From Our Russian Correspondent
It is difficult to recall anything as sensational as the surprise sprung upon the world this week by Berlin and Moscow.
Yet here and in France there had been for some time suspicions that Germany might be planning such an agreement—as a matter of fact this
was France's constant excuse for her Soviet Pact, that it stood in the way of a German-Soviet agreement.
But. for all those who constituted the so-called " Peace Front," whose policy was based on the illusion of a Russian " steam-roller," the blow must have indeed been stunning.
The intensified attacks of the German controlled Press against Poland, and the extension of the Reich's demand from Danzig to the whole " Corridor " and other parts of Poland formerly incorporated in the Reich, brought about a crisis similar to that of last September, yet with the difference that this time Soviet Russia seemed firmly determined to back the "Peace Front." German diplomacy now has undoubtedly scored a striking success, for the advantages of the agreement for the Reich are obvious.
STALIN'S GAME Stalin's game is less clear: Germany's eastward aggression is primarily a menace to the U.S.S.R. Any extension of German control over Poland, Rumania or the Baltic States brings the Reich and the Soviets nearer to each other, making the final conflict between them inevitable.
Soviet diplomacy strove to enmesh the democracies in such a way that war would start in the West without Russia being involved. This plan failed, owing to the British Government's firm attitude on the exact meaning of "internal aggression " in the Border States.
Stalin then realised that Germany's decision to obtain full satisfaction from Poland signifies that the U.S.S.R. would be expected to fight immediately. a thing he dreads above anything. He compelled the Great Powers to make one concession after another; even his demand for the staff talks in Moscow was granted, but all the time, with true Eastern duplicity, he was secretly negotiating with Germany.
What has now happened means this: Stalin is concerned only with the saving of his own skin and the maintaining of his tyranny at any cost. The Germans, naturally, knew this; this move now is but another step towards Hitler's ultimate goal—domination of Russia and of her potential wealth.
Stalin will cede anything, any territories, for he has no concern for Russia. provided he be allowed to rule in the Kremlin, even if his sway did not extend beyond the territory of the medieval principality of Moscow.