Statement by U.S.S.R. Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Security in the Near and Middle
East, April 16, 1955
The situation in the Near and Middle East has recently become consider ably more
tense. The explanation of this is that certain western powers have been making new
attempts to draw the countries of the Near and Middle East into the military groupings
which are being set up as appendages to the aggressive North Atlantic bloc. . . .
It is not difficult to see that, lying at the basis of the policy of setting u military
groupings in the Near and Middle East-just as in the establishment of the aggressive
military grouping in South-East Asia (the so-called S.E.A.T.O.)-is the desire of certain
western powers for the colonial enslavement of these countries. The western powers wish to
carry on exploiting the people of the countries of the Near and Middle East so as to
enrich their big monopolies which are making greedy use of the natural wealth of these
countries. Unable to establish and preserve their domination by the old methods, these
powers are trying to involve the countries of the Near and Middle East in aggressive
blocs, on the false pretext that this is in the interests of the defence of the countries
of this area.
Military blocs in the Near and Middle East are needed, not by the countries of that
area, but by those aggressive American circles which are trying to establish domination
there. They are also needed by those British circles which, by means of these blocs, are
trying to retain and restore their shaken positions, in spite of the vital interests of
the peoples of the Near and Middle East who have taken the road of independent national
development. . . .
As has frequently happened in the past, now, too, efforts are being made to cloak the
aggressive nature of the Near and Middle Eastern plans of the United States and Britain
with ridiculous fabrications about a "Soviet menace" to the countries of that
area. Such inventions have nothing in common with reality, for it is a matter of record
that the underlying basis of the Soviet Union's foreign policy is an unalterable desire to
ensure peace among the peoples, a peace founded on observance of the principles of
equality, non-interference in domestic affairs, and respect for national independence and
From the very first days of its existence, the Soviet state has decisively condemned
the policy of imperialist usurpations and colonial oppression; and it annulled all the
unequal treaties which the tsarist government had concluded with the countries of the
Regarding the national aspirations of the peoples of the east with full understanding
and sympathy, the Soviet government was the first to recognise the independence of
Afghanistan and helped her to restore her state sovereignty.
The Soviet government cancelled the tsarist government's unequal treaties with Iran,
and transferred to her great material wealth which Russia owned in Iran.
During the years of Turkey's hard struggle for national independence, the Soviet Union
stretched out the hand of friendship and gave her all-round assistance - a fact which
played a decisive part in the struggle of the Turkish people against the foreign
The Soviet government was the first to recognise Saudi Arabia as an independent state
and supported the struggle for state independence of the Yemen, Syria and Lebanon, and
Egypt's rightful demands for the withdrawal of foreign troops from her territory.
In international bodies, the Soviet government always supports the legitimate demands
of the countries of the Near and Middle East aimed at strengthening their national
independence and state sovereignty.
The Soviet Union has unswervingly pursued, and continues to pursue a policy of peace
and the easing of international tension. Proof of this, in particular, can be seen in its
proposal to end the arms drive; to prohibit atomic and hydrogen weapons; for an immediate
and substantial reduction of armaments and, first and foremost, of the armaments of the
five great powers; and for the establishment of a system of collective security in Europe.
. . .
Of course, the Soviet Union cannot remain indifferent to the situation arising in the
region of the Near and Middle East, since the formation of these blocs and the
establishment of foreign military bases on the territory of the countries of the Near and
Middle East have a direct bearing on the security of the U.S.S.R. This attitude of the
Soviet government should be all the more understandable since the U.S.S.R. is situated
very close to these countries-something which cannot be said of other foreign powers, for
instance, of the United States, which is thousands of kilometres from this area.
The refusal of the countries of the Near and Middle East to take part in aggressive
military blocs would be an important prerequisite to the ensuring of their security, and
the best guarantee of these countries not being drawn into dangerous military adventures.
Striving for the development of peaceful co-operation among all countries, the Soviet
government is prepared to support and develop co-operation with the countries of the Near
and Middle East, in the interests of strengthening peace in this area. In its declaration
of February 9, 1955, the Supreme Soviet of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
declared that it considered it of exceedingly great importance that relations among
countries, large and small, should be based on those international principles which would
facilitate the development of friendly co-operation among the nations, in conditions of a
peaceful and tranquil life.
The Soviet Union believes that relations among states, and real security can be ensured
on the basis of the practical application of the well-known principles enumerated in that
declaration-namely: equality; non-interference in domestic affairs; non-aggression and the
renunciation of encroachment on the territorial integrity of other states; and on respect
for sovereignty and national independence.
The government of the Soviet Union would support any steps by the countries of the Near
and Middle East towards putting these principles into practice in the relations between
them and the Soviet Union, towards strengthening the national independence of these
countries and consolidating peace and friendly co-operation among the peoples.
If the policy of pressure and threats with regard to the countries of the Near and
Middle East is continued, the question should be examined by the United Nations
Upholding the cause of peace, the Soviet government will defend the freedom and
independence of the countries of the Near and Middle East and will oppose interference in
their domestic affairs.