On December 6, 1917, the U.S. government severed diplomatic relations with Russia, shortly after the Bolshevik party took power from the Tsarist regime after the “October Revolution.” President Woodrow Wilson then decided to retain his recognition because the new Bolshevik government had refused to pay previous debts to the United States, which had been incurred by the Tsarist government, ignored agreements already made with other nations and confiscated American goods in Russia after the October Revolution. The Bolsheviks had also made their own peace with Germany in March 1918 in Brest-Litovsk, thus ending Russian participation in the First World War. Despite significant trade relations between the United States and the Soviet Union during the 1920s, Wilson`s successor maintained his policy of non-recognition of the Soviet Union. Following the revolution, Wilson refused to acknowledge that the newly installed government refused to pay past debts to the United States, incurred by the deposed Tsarist government, ignoring existing contractual agreements with other nations and confiscating American property. Towards the end of 1927, correspondence between the foreign diplomatic corps of France and the United States began a request for an international treaty in which the signatories would refrain from using war as a political instrument.  Negotiations proceeded quickly in the first half of 1928 and the foreign departments of 15 governments eventually participated in this process.  The final language was agreed fairly quickly and on 27 August 1928, a formal signing of the Kellogg Briand Pact (named after US Foreign Minister Frank B. Kellogg and French Foreign Minister Aristide Briand) was signed in Paris.  While it is fair to be concerned about Soviet compliance with general international and contractual law, which complies with the obligations of the Soviet Union in the Tsarist era, the pattern of the Soviet response to the problem is a little more complicated than Mr.
Trebach`s quotation on unpaid debts and war credits suggests. CATHAL J. NOLAN Asst. Professor, Political Science University Miami, Oxford, Ohio, November 16, 1990 In accordance with the terms of the Roosevelt Litvinov Agreements, the Soviets committed to participate in future discussions on the settlement of their financial debts to the United States. Four days earlier, after another private meeting with Litvinov, Roosevelt also secured assurances that the Soviet government would not interfere in the internal affairs of the United States (i.e. support the American Communist Party) and grant certain religious and legal rights to American citizens living in the Soviet Union. As a result of these agreements, President Roosevelt appointed William C. Bullitt as the first U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union. Unfortunately, the cooperative spirit embodied in the Roosevelt-Litvinov accords proved short-lived.