Genoa, Conference of

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Conference of Genoa, 1922, at Genoa, Italy. Representatives of 34 nations convened on Apr. 10 to attempt the reconstruction of European finance and commerce. It was the first conference after World War I in which Germany and the Soviet Union were accepted on a par with other nations. The USSR, despite its repudiation of the czarist national debt, had offered to discuss the question at an international assembly. This offer marked the first Soviet attempt to enter the European diplomatic circle after the Russian Revolution. At Genoa the creditor nations—all represented except the United States—demanded recognition of the czarist debt, compensation for confiscated property, and guarantees for future contracts. The Russians, headed by Georgi Chicherin, offered to recognize the debt in return for cancellation of the Russian war debt, compensation for damages inflicted by Allied forces in their intervention after the revolution, and extensive credit for the Soviet government. The divergent purposes of the former Allies and the distrust caused by the announcement of the Treaty of Rapallo (see Rapallo, Treaty of, 1922) between Germany and the USSR made agreement impossible, and the conference adjourned on May 19.