Sikorski-Mayski Agreement

It was particularly important to avoid in Britain the notion of the „Treaty of Riga“ (i.e. the peace agreement between the Republic of Poland and the USSR of March 1921, which also set the boundary) as „unpopular“ in Britain and was not accepted by Moscow. Both Polish and British spokesmen for dialogue suggested to Sikorski that Moscow`s recognition of the agreements with Berlin in the autumn of 1939 as invalid or unimportant would thus mean the re-establishment of the 1921 border. However, this has not been the case. This is proved not only by the subsequent course of events, but also by the very logic of the Treaty. As Stanisław Cat-Mackiewicz, one of Poland`s most important historical journalists, strongly stated: „On August 29, 1918, the Soviet government also cancelled all the agreements that the Russian Empire had concluded with the Prussian Kingdom and the Austro-Hungarian monarchy on the partition of Poland, which did not confuse the Soviet government to recognize Poland`s border east of Vitalia. Mogilev, Bila Tserkva and Humania, as before 1772… The signing of the Sikorski Mayski Agreement, London, 30 July 1941 From the beginning, the Soviet side left no doubt about the real meaning of the agreement. On 3 August 1941, the Moscow daily newspaper `Izvestia` emphasised that `the question of Poland`s eastern borders remained open` and that the Treaty of Riga was not valid. As early as December 1, in a statement addressed to the Polish embassy (now open) in the USSR, the Soviet authorities declared that „all citizens of the western regions of Ukraine and Belarus of the USSR who carried themselves on the 1st and 2nd „On November 1st, 1939 in this field (…) acquired in accordance with the Law on Citizenship of the USSR, citizenship of that country. At first, this formula was used by Moscow to prevent the recruitment of Polish citizens of Jewish, Ukrainian or Belarusian nationalities for the Polish army in the USSR and to buy time – to dismantle the apparatus, to help the Poles and prevent them from leaving the Soviet Union. Stalin agreed to declare null and void all previous pacts he had made with Nazi Germany, to invalidate the German-Soviet division of Poland in September 1939, and to release tens of thousands of Polish prisoners of war in Soviet camps.

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