20 SEPTEMBER 1940, Page 2

Russia Protests to Germany

The protest addressed by the Soviet Union to Germany against the holding of a Danubian conference in which it was not represented appears to have been a strong one. It is reported to have said that the Soviet Union could not recognise decisions taken at a conference at which it was not consulted. Germany has presented the Balkans with a fait accompli through which her influence in Rumania has become predominant. The " arbitral " award of the two Axis Powers provides a settlement of the dispute between Hungary and Rumania which is certainly not congenial to Russia, and has the effect of creating a type of Rumanian State directly opposed to that which the Soviet Union favours. Russia has presumably supposed that her recent friendship with Germany implied recognition of her interests in the Balkans and the Danube. But a major settle- ment has been brought about in which she has been cold- shouldered and her interests ignored. At the moment of writing Germany's reply to the Russian protest has not so far been reported. Hitler is anxious to be on good terms with the anti-Communist Governments, especially Spain, and has no wish to be in the position .of making conciliatory replies to Moscow. None the less this is not the moment when he desires a break with Russia. Lord Halifax and M. Maisky are meanwhile making contact rather pointedly.