Peace of Tartu


October 18, 2021

The Peace of Tartu was a peace treaty between Finland and Soviet Russia that was signed on October 14, 1920 after almost five months of negotiations and entered into force on December 31, 1920. The agreement was signed to establish relations and strengthen the border. 1918 Since the Finnish Civil War. The negotiations took place in Tartu, Estonia. In the agreement, Petsamo was annexed to Finland, while the municipalities of Repola and Porajärvi, which agreed to join Finland, remained in Soviet Russia. In other respects, the border between the countries remained the same as the old eastern border of the Grand Duchy of Finland. Finland also had to relinquish its allied territory from the Republic of Kirjasalo in northern Ingria. The borders agreed in Tartu in Finland were smaller than in the original goals of the Finns, but wider than in the goals of Soviet Russia. The East Karelia region sought by Finland remained part of Soviet Russia, and the question of its autonomous status was left to rub off between the two countries. Russia's civil war continued during 1920, but the victory of the Bolsheviks began to look certain, so Finland and Russia's other neighboring countries wanted to normalize their relations with the Soviet government. Before Finland, Estonia had already signed a peace treaty with Soviet Russia in Tartu in February 1920, Latvia with its own peace treaty in Riga in June 1920 and Lithuania with its own in July 1920 in Moscow. In addition, the Tartu peace talks coincided with the war between Poland and Soviet Russia, which indirectly affected the course of the talks.

Situation before negotiations

State of war between countries

Diplomatic relations between newly independent Finland and Soviet Russia had been severed after the outbreak of the Finnish Civil War, when the Council of Russian People's Commissars recognized the revolutionary people's delegation as the Finnish government. Russia's 42nd Army Corps in Finland had also started hostilities against the Finnish white forces and some of the Russian forces supported the Reds. There were no significant battles between Finland and Soviet Russia during the Civil War, as the Finnish Reds themselves fought most of the battles. Under the Brest-Litovsk Peace Treaty signed between Soviet Russia and the German Empire in March 1918, Russian troops were completely withdrawn from Finland, with the exception of a few volunteers. The Finnish Senate, or government, announced for the first time that it considered itself at war with Russia in early April 1918, justifying the imprisonment of Bolshevik diplomat Lev Kamenev in Åland. Relations between the countries could not be restored after the Civil War. In April 1918, Soviet Russia appointed Colonel Konstantin Kovanko as his diplomatic representative in Helsinki, but he was imprisoned by the Finnish authorities at the end of May and did not allow his successors to enter the country. After several requests, Germany agreed to host peace talks between Finland and Russia, which were held in Berlin in August 1918 for three weeks. Negotiations ended in failure due to uncoordinated territorial requirements in both countries. In addition, Soviet Russia did not accept the Finns' interpretation of the state of war between the two countries, because then all the property of the Russian state that remained in Finland would have been transferred to Finland as prey. Over the next two years, the Soviet leadership declared its desire to maintain peaceful neighborly relations with Finland for the time being. Normal diplomatic relations could not be established, although there were occasional informal exchanges of notes between the foreign ministries of the countries. The Finns considered the state of war to continue and held informal contacts with the leaders of the Russian whites as well. Heim

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