Declaration by Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov in response to the Marshall Plan

Seminararbeit, 2010

6 Seiten, Note: 2,0


Declaration of Vyacheslav Molotov, Paris July 2nd 1947

The Molotov declaration is an address by Vyacheslav Molotov, secretary of the state for foreign affairs of the Soviet Union, made at a conference in Paris on July 2nd attended by the three powers France, Britain and the Soviet Union. The meeting was held as an inter-governmental forum for negotiating the details of a speech made by US secretary of state George C. Marshall earlier that same year on June 5th. In this speech, George Marshall had announced on behalf of the American government his nation's willingness to provide an elaborate financial assistance programme to the economically weak and war-torn countries of Europe as a means of reconstruction and recovery for their devastated continent. The proposed plan aimed at achieving nothing less than a wholesome recovery of the European economy, which the United States perceived as vital for political stability and the assurance of perpetual peace. Accordingly, the primary purpose of the proposal was „the revival of a working economy in the world so as to permit the emergence of political and social conditions in which free institutions can exist.“ This aid, so Marshall, would be granted by the United States to any nation „willing to assist in recovery“. However, Marshall did not elaborate how such a funding was to be conducted exactly. Nor did he give any precise number or figures for the plan. [1]

A key point of his address stated, however, that although the United States intended to contribute largely to the re-building of the continent, the main effort in doing so would need to come from Europe itself by working closely together and creating their own scheme for reconstruction. In particular this called for the Europeans to first agree on the requirements they needed to improve their economical situation as well as the specific role each one of them was willing to take in the reconstruction. Marshall notes that any recovery plan can only work on a common basis, which is why it was in the interest of the Europeans themselves to establish a joint programme in order to alleviate their situation. Only then would the support of the United States have a proper and beneficial effect for all nations concerned.[2]

How to meet these requirements and what approach to take towards the establishment of such an ambitious programme then became the subject of the Paris conference in late June/early July 1947, attended by the Foreign Ministers Vyacheslav Molotov (Soviet Union), Ernet Bevin (Great Britain) and Georges Bidault (France). As a result of discussing which specific structure the institutional framework for the implementation of the American aid needed to assume, the French and British delegation eventually issued a concerted proposal regarding the matter. Primarily it suggested the establishment of a „High Authority“ which was, for one, to evaluate the economical needs of the recipient countries, and, based on its proper assessment, was to oversee the distribution of the financial assistance. However, the delegation of the Soviet Union did not consent to the proposal and ultimately rejected it altogether. The reasons for doing so were then at length elucidated in the declaration made by Vyacheslav Molotov. Naturally this not only raises the question as to on what precise grounds the Soviet Union refused to go along with the British-French suggestion, but even more so with regard to what may have been the deeper reasoning underlying the Soviet decision.

The perhaps most striking point in the declaration is Molotov's claim that the proposed organisation's evaluation of economic needs would amount to an explicit intervention in the recipient countries' internal affairs. In strict contrast to the British-French proposal, which promotes the detailed assessment of national needs as a means to further the development of certain industrial sectors in order to allow the best possible allocation of the US-funded aid, Molotov, for his part, perceives such a move as a direct interference to organise the said sectors along such lines that solely benefit the interests of the supervising powers. Moreover, Molotov not only focuses on the alleged economical exploitation of the countries taking part in the programme, but, what's more, he also repeatedly states that it would ultimately lead to the subservience of these countries to the „High Authority“, resulting in a profound loss of independence and national sovereignty.


[1] Speech given by George C. Marshall at Harvard University on June 5th 1947. Available at

[2] Speech given by George C. Marshall at Harvard University on June 5th 1947. Available at

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Declaration by Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov in response to the Marshall Plan
Université du Luxembourg
ISBN (eBook)
399 KB
Marshall Plan, Soviet Union
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Joe Majerus (Autor:in), 2010, Declaration by Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov in response to the Marshall Plan, München, GRIN Verlag,


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