OPINION

June 12-13, 1953

SOVIET CLAIMS I: London, 11 – Within the framework of the Soviet Union’s new policy in the Balkans and following an announcement in which the Kremlin abandoned its claims to acquire the Turkish vilayets of Kars, Ardahan and Artun in the Caucasus, along with bases in the Straits, Moscow appears to be preparing the ground for a more general peace effort with free Balkan states in an attempt to forestall objections to its actions. Specifically, as has been reported from Bucharest, the Romanian government has ordered the immediate departure from its territory of all Greek outlaws and Yugoslav communists resident in Romania. This is the first friendly gesture Romania has made to Greece within the framework of action aimed at smoothing relations between the Soviet Union and Balkan nations, including Yugoslavia. SOVIET CLAIMS II: Paris, 11 – The dramatic shift in Soviet policy toward the Balkans is being viewed in all Atlantic circles as being within the framework of an attempt to cause divisions within the Western bloc. (…) Particularly indicative of this view was Moscow’s later decision to deport Greek communists from its Balkan satellites, so as to assure Greece that in the future there would be no risk of yet another armed invasion of Greek territory.