Moscow Conference (1945)
The Moscow Conference of Foreign Ministers (also known as the Interim Meeting of Foreign Ministers) of the United States (James F. Byrnes), the United Kingdom (Ernest Bevin), and the Soviet Union (Vyacheslav Molotov) met in December 1945 to discuss the problems of occupation, establishing peace, and other Far East issues.
The Communique issued after the Conference on December 27, 1945 contained a joint declaration which covered a number of issues resulting from the end of World War II. It was signed by the foreign ministers of the three powers and contained the following sections:
- Preparation of peace treaties with Italy, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Finland. (See Paris Peace Treaties, 1947)
- Far Eastern Commission and Allied Council for Japan.
- Korea: The rival U.S. and Soviet military commands in Korea would set up a Joint Commission to make recommendations of a single free government in Korea. This Commission was treated with great suspicion on both sides from its inception. Most important was the decision that a four-power trusteeship of up to five years would be needed before Korea attained independence.:p.34
- The establishment by the United Nations of a commission for the control of atomic energy
Veteran American diplomat George F. Kennan, who was then serving in the American embassy in Moscow, observed the proceedings first hand, and wrote in his diary concerning James Byrnes, the American Secretary of State:
The realities behind this agreement, since they concern only such people as Koreans, Rumanians, and Iranians, about whom he knows nothing, do not concern him. He wants an agreement for its political effect at home. The Russians know this. They will see that for this superficial success he pays a heavy price in the things that are real.:pp.287–288