Volume 14, No.2 - Summer 1968
Editor of this issue: Anatole C. Matulis
ISSN 0024-5089
Copyright © 1968 LITUANUS Foundation, Inc.


Pact of Mutual Assistance Between the U.S.S.R. and Estonia

[See also: "Negotiating in the Kremlin: The Esotnian Experience of 1939".]

The President of the Republic of Estonia, on the one part, and the Presidium of the Supreme Council of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, on the other part,

Desirous of developing the friendly relations established by the Treaty cf Peace of February 2nd, 1920, based on the recognition of independent political existence and non-intervention by either Contracting Party in the internal affairs of the other Contracting Party;

Recognizing that the Peace Treaty of February 2nd, 1920, and the Treaty of Non-Aggression and Peaceful Settlement of Disputes of May 4th, 1932, are and remain the solid foundation of their reciprocal relations and obligations;

Convinced that it is in the interest of both Contracting Parties to determine the exact conditions for the consolidation of their mutual security;

Have deemed it necessary to conclude between themselves the Pact of Mutual Assistance hereunder, and have for that purpose appointed as their Plenipotentiaries:

(Molotov and Selter, U.S.S.R. and Estonia respectively)

Who have agreed as follows:

Article 1

The two Contracting Parties undertake to render each other assistance of every kind, including military assistance, in the event of direct aggression or threat of aggression on the part of a European Great Power against the maritime frontiers of the Contracting Parties in the Baltic Sea, or against their land frontiers across the territory of Latvia, and also against the bases provided for in Article 3.

Article 2

The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics undertakes to assist the Estonian army on advantageous terms, with armaments or other war material.

Article 3

The Republic of Estonia grants the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics the right to have naval bases on the Estonian islands of Saaremaa and Hiiumaa and in the town of Paldiski, together with a number of aerodromes for air forces, on lease at reasonable rates. The exact sites of the bases and aerodromes in question shall be assigned, and the limits thereof defined, by common accord.

With a view to the defense of the naval bases and aerodromes in question, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics shall be entitled at its own expence to maintain strictly limited numbers of Soviet land and air armed forces, up to a maximum to be determined by special agreement, within the areas allotted for the said bases and aerodromes.

Article 4

The two Contracting Parties undertake not to conclude alliances or to take part in coalitions directed against either of the Contracting Parties.

Article 5

The enforcement of the present Pact may in no way impair the sovereign rights of the Contracting Parties or, more especially, their economic system or political structure.

The areas allotted for the bases and aerodromes (Article 3.) shall remain territory of the Republic of Estonia.

Article 6

The present Pact shall enter into force on the date of the exchange of the instruments of ratification. The exchange of the instruments of ratification shall take place at Tallinn within six days from the date of signature of the present Pact.

The period of validity of the present Pact shall be ten years, provided always that, if neither of the Contracting Parties deem it necessary to denounce it one year before the expiry of that period, its validity shall be automatically renewed for a further period of five years.



It is agreed that in the interests of averting and debarring any attempts to draw the contracting Parties into the war at present going on in Europe, the USSR has the right, for the duration of this war, to keep separate garrisons of land and air forces totalling up to 25,000 men in the sites appropriated to aerodromes and bases. (Article 3 of the Pact.)


Temporarily, until the construction of a base in the town of Paldiski (Article 3 of the Pact), however, not longer than for a period of 2 years from the signing of the present protocol, vessels of the Soviet navy may put in at the port of Tallinn to complete their stocks of provisions and fuel for shelter. The detailed rules for the exercise of this right will be determined by a special agreement.


The assistance stipulated in Article 1 of the Pact is rendered at the express desire of the other Party, while the Party which is obliged to render assistance may, on mutual agreement, remain neutral in a war of the other Party with a third power.


For the implementation of the present Pact and the solution of problems arising therefrom a Mixed Commission on the principle of parity is to be established, which will evolve its own rules of procedure.


The present Confidential Protocol is an annex to the Pact of Mutual Assistance concluded between the USSR and Estonia on September 28, 1939.

September 28, 1939

V. Molotov                                            K. Selter