Posted on April 13, 2021
The Percentages Agreement 1944
The Percentages Agreement was a secret informal agreement between British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet Head of State Joseph Stalin at the Fourth Moscow Conference in October 1944. It ceded the percentage of control over Eastern European countries and divided them into spheres of influence. Franklin Roosevelt was consulted provisionally and was granted to the agreement.  The contents of the agreement were first published in 1953 by Churchill in the last volume of his memoirs. U.S. Ambassador Averell Harriman, who was to represent Roosevelt at these meetings, was excluded from the discussion.   In October 1944, Churchill told Soviet dictator Josef Stalin that they had to conceal an agreement on the fields of influence in Eastern Europe „because the Americans might be shocked.“ Churchill`s support for the maintenance of monarchies, both in Italy and Greece, as the best way to remove the communists from power after the war, also caused tensions with the Americans, who opposed the behaviour of King Viktor Emmanuel III in Italy and King George II in Greece, who had supported the two fascist regimes and discredited the houses of Savoy and Glucksburg.  Unlike Churchill, who defended not only the maintenance of monarchies in Italy and Greece, but also the power that supported fascism, like Marshal Pietro Badoglio, Roosevelt was much more open to making Italy and Greece republics after the war, while favouring men with liberal and moderate left positions as future post-war leaders.  However, the fact that there were no Soviet troops in Italy fighting in Italy reduced Churchill`s fears that the Italian Communist Party would come to power after the war.
 Knowing that Red Army troops in Ukraine were very close to Romania, indicating that the Soviets would probably enter this nation first, the British Foreign Minister, Sir Anthony Eden, met in May 1944 with Fedor Tarasovich Gusev, Soviet Ambassador to the Court of Santiago, to discuss an agreement reached by Greece in the British sphere of influence in exchange for an agreement that Romania would be in the Soviet sphere of influence. discuss.  At the Yalta Conference (February 1945), Roosevelt proposed to resolve the issues raised in the percentage agreement by the new United Nations. Stalin was appalled because he wanted a Soviet sphere of influence in Eastern Europe.  „I don`t understand now, and I don`t think I understood at the time, exactly what Churchill thought he would achieve with these percentages,“ Harriman recalls. The Anglo-Soviet summit in Moscow, which began on 9 October 1944, was largely provoked by the Bulgarian question, notably by the possibility of a „greater Bulgaria“ after the war in the Soviet zone of influence, as well as the possibility that all the Balkans and Hungary would soon be occupied by the Red Army.  Roosevelt, after relentlessly ignoring the Balkans for most of the war, began to take an interest in the region.  In October 1944, Roosevelt was fully involved in his re-election campaign, as he aspired to a fourth term, which prevented him from attending the Moscow Summit as he wished.  In a telegraph to Stalin on October 4, Roosevelt regretted that his re-election campaign had prevented him from participating, but that „in this world war, there is literally no political or military issue that the United States does not care.“  Roosevelt requested that the U.S.
Ambassador to the Soviet Union, W. Averell Harriman, be allowed to attend the summit as an observer, which was politely refused, as Harriman could only participate as Roosevelt`s representative.  In his memoirs, Churchill recounted his decision to write down some characters on half a sheet of paper and pass them on to Stalin.