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Romanian answer to the British ultimatum of 30 November 1941
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  • Romanian answer to the British ultimatum of 30 November 1941

    The Romanian Royal Government has taken notice of the communiqué that His Majesty’s Government transmitted through the Legation of the United States of America.

    Given the situation brought about by this note, the Romanian Government is obligated to offer for consideration the following review:

    In June 1940 Romania was the victim of a grave aggression by the USSR. Disregarding the rules of the Nation Rights, the historical rights and the rights of self-determination, as well as the obligations formally assumed by the acts of 9 February 1929 and 3 July 1933, the Government of USSR has taken over Bessarabia, Bukovina and the Herta Region of Moldavia.

    More aggravating, and that is a fact that the Romanian Royal Government wants to declare openly, the USSR is the main offender in the case of territorial changes on other Romanian borders, changes that Romania had to endure because of the Soviet aggression.

    In this light, all the acts of neutrality, non-aggression and recognition of rights made by USSR to Romania between 1929 and 1940, can be seen as dissimulation means for goals of expansion and usurpation upon Romania, USSR taking advantage of the first critical and complex international situation, to unleash not only her invasion, but to bring about hard conditions on Romania, which had to choose between its total collapse and anarchy in South-Eastern Europe, and a temporary state of usurpation. Having achieved its first goals of aggression, the Soviet government did not cease the provocations, showing up its will of continuing the policy of expansion and invasion.

    We bring into attention:

    1. The brutal occupation of four islets on the Danube in the fall of 1940;
    2. Daily harasses at borders and the continuous strive to change the borderline by force;
    3. The tendency to take over the shipping routes on the Danube;
    4. Steady intrusions of the Russian airforce, between 2 and 7 per day during April-June, against all Romanian protests, proving the preparation of military operations against Romania;
    5. The massive concentration of military forces at the Northern and South-Eastern borders of Romania, with operative disposals and reconnaissance raids. The Soviet forces deployed on Romanian border comprised of 30 infantry divisions, 8 cavalry divisions and 14 motorized brigades;
    6. The attempts of Commissar Molotov to sap the security of Romania and the revilement of Russian goals of expansion, directly or by actions towards foreign statesmen;
    7. In the same time, Bessarabia and Bukovina were subjected to organized destruction, tens of thousands of men were killed or imprisoned, hundreds of thousands of Romanians were banished into Siberia, therefore population of centers such as Kishinev was severely diminished.

    In face of this grave situation and under the pressure of the threat rendered by the many Soviet divisions at the borders, on 22 June 1941 Romania commenced a military action for preserving its national entity against never ceasing aggression and for re-establishing its stolen rights.

    The Romanian Royal Government strongly believes that its military action was the only way to achieve its salvation from the Russian threat, a new aggression being imminent, as proven afterwards by the most objective and categorical findings.

    To defend its national entity, to re-establish its rights and to preserve the order and civilization of the South-East [Europe], Romania had no other choice than to fight beside the Great Power [Germany] which engaged itself in this historical fight to defend the European civilization and to counter the invasion that was to come upon Romania and Finland first, then upon the rest of Europe.

    Engaged in this war, Romania respects the rules of honor.

    On 22 June, Great Britain was not allied with the USSR. Nevertheless, on 30 November 1941, Great Britain considers that Romania carries out aggression acts against Russia, the ally of Great Britain.

    Romania did not carry out and does not carry out aggression acts.

    The military action which Romania has undertaken is a legitimate act of defense against the Russian aggression, begun in 1940 and continued after, and the military operations for cleansing the border, for reducing the military center of Odessa, which at 45-km away from the Dnestr Estuary was a nest of permanent threat, as well as Crimea which was a center of airpower covering the Romanian territory and oil; these operations are natural military actions on a front born by Russian aggression, and which Romania had to undertake in order to secure a zone of peace.

    The Romanian Government fulfills its duty to remember His Majesty’s Government that:

    1. At the Paris Convention of 28 October 1920, Great Britain officially stated that “the borders regulated by the present treaty, as well as the Romanian sovereignty on the territories stipulated in it, cannot be reconsidered…”
    2. A series of international regulations between 1920 and 1939 required the borders to be respected in a unified manner.
    3. Great Britain’s declaration of guarantee, from 13 April 1939, stipulated that “in case of an action that threatens the independence of Romania … His Majesty’s Government is obligated to offer its assistance”.

    In spite of these, when on 26 June 1940 USSR made public its intention to carry out an aggression, which was accomplished in the following days, His Majesty’s Government did not undertake any action to defend or to respect the guarantees offered to Romania.

    The Romanian Royal Government, remembering His Majesty’s Government the terrible sufferings and threats, usurpation and occupation that the Romanian people had endured since the 18th century from its Eastern neighbor and the healthy anti-communist position that Romania displayed in the last two decades, defending since 1919 South-Eastern against social disorder and invasion, must emphasize the fact that in the past, this kind of attitude was strongly supported by Great Britain.

    Arguments can be found in many declarations of English statesmen between 1919 and 1939, declarations which raised the alarm of communist threat against the social and political security of Europe.

    The Romanian Royal Government believes that what Romania had accomplished by this day, it was the only thing that could be done for defending South-Eastern Europe and for preserving the Great institutions of European civilization.

    Romania was the victim of an aggression with grave consequences in 1940 and it was living under the threat of further aggression; what it did in 1941 was the only thing to be done. This is nothing else than self-defense and sacrifice for civilization.

    6 December 1941

    Author: Dragos Pusca
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