Moscow Peace Treaty

Moscow Peace Treaty
Finnish areas ceded in 1940.png
Areas ceded by Finland to the Soviet Union
Typebilateral treaty
Signed12 March 1940 (1940-03-12)
LocationMoscow, Russian SFSR, USSR
Original
signatories
USSR
Finland
RatifiersUSSR
Finland

The Moscow Peace Treaty was signed by Finland and the Soviet Union on 12 March 1940, and the ratifications were exchanged on 21 March.[1] It marked the end of the 105-day Winter War. Finland had to cede border areas to the Soviet Union. The treaty was signed by Vyacheslav Molotov, Andrey Zhdanov and Aleksandr Vasilevsky for Soviet Union, and Risto Ryti, Juho Kusti Paasikivi, Rudolf Walden and Väinö Voionmaa for Finland.

Background

The Finnish government received the first tentative peace conditions from the Soviet Union (through Stockholm) on 31 January 1940. By this point, the regime had greater claims before the start of the war. The demands were that Finland cede the Karelian Isthmus, including the city of Viipuri, and Finland's shore of Lake Ladoga. The Hanko Peninsula was to be leased to the Soviet Union for 30 years.

Finland rejected these demands and intensified its pleas to Sweden, France and the United Kingdom for military support by regular troops. The reports from the front still held out hope for Finland, anticipating a League of Nations intervention. Positive signals, however inconstant, from France and Britain, and more realistic expectations of troops from Sweden, for which plans and preparations had been made all through the 1930s, were further reasons for Finland not to rush into peace negotiations. (See Winter War § Foreign support for a detailed account.)

In February 1940, Finland's Commander-in-Chief marshal Mannerheim expressed his pessimism about the military situation, prompting the government to start peace negotiations on 29 February, the same day the Red Army commenced an attack against Viipuri (now Vyborg).

Other Languages