South-East Europe in the International Relations at the Turn of the 20th Century (II)

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Part I

France’s Balkan policy of the status quo    

The fundamental interest of France in the region of South-East Europe was of the economic nature but not fundamentally of the political one. The region was perceived by the French politicians as primarily significant in the following three points:

  • As a well-suited area for the investment of the French financial capital.
  • As the region which was the most appropriate overland traffic bond with the Ottoman Empire.
  • As a foothold for the French economic domination over the East Mediterranean.[i]

In this respect, the French economic penetration into the region, followed by an investment of the French financial capital in all Balkan states, acquired a notable success in the second half of the 19th century. It is true particularly for Serbia, Bulgaria, and Greece. The Kingdom of Serbia became among all Balkan countries the most depended on the French financial capital especially after 1881 when the French company General Union gave a so far the uppermost loan for the building of Serbia’s first railway-line (Belgrade−Niš). Serbia became more depended on the French capital in 1910 when the French-Serbian Bank was established with the predominant French capital. Therefore, on the eve of the 1912−1913 Balkan Wars the French investment capital dominated in Serbia. However, the French economic concessions were closely connected with the French policy in the region. As a result, the French Government in a great extent controlled Serbia’s foreign policy.

However, the principal object of the French financial subjugation inside the region of South-East Europe was, in fact, the Ottoman Empire. The French financiers and businessmen financed around 32% of the Baghdad Railway’s Co., while 63% of the Ottoman state’s loan should be paid for France. Nevertheless, what was the most important, a predominant number of share-holdings of the state’s Ottoman Bank belonged to France. Hence, the French entrepreneurs obtained very important concessions for the construction of the Ottoman railway-lines in Anatolia, Armenia, and Syria. Subsequently, the designers of the French foreign policy in connection to the Balkans had seriously to take into consideration the economic interest of France’s financiers and businesspersons. The French entrepreneurs, however, in order to make money inside the Ottoman Empire, realized that the Ottoman Empire must not be territorially and politically disintegrated or dismembered. Moreover, they supported an idea of the Ottoman economic, institutional and political reformation and prosperity. Shortly, the French financial capital and investments could earn the profit only in reformed and prospered Ottoman Empire but not politically disintegrated one. This political economy’s fundamental principle became the leading standard in the French Balkan policy of the status quo.[ii]

The French approach toward the Balkan League of Serbia, Montenegro, Bulgaria, and Greece, especially to the Serbian-Bulgarian accord, had a double standard. On one hand, Paris disagreed with the creation of such an alliance if it would be directed against the Ottoman territorial integrity. However, on another hand, Paris supported the establishment of the alliance in the case that it would accept an anti-Austro-Hungarian political course but not an anti-Ottoman one. This was clearly pointed out by the French Government to the Bulgarian Premier Geshov: France’s aims in the East were to preserve both territorial integrity of the Ottoman Empire and the political status quo in the Balkans.

It must be said that France’s policy of good and very friendly relations with the Ottoman Empire dated back even in 1535 when the French Government concluded the first bilateral arrangement with the Ottoman Sultan and Porte (Government).[iii] When during the preparations for the 1912−1913 Balkan Wars, the French Prime Minister Raymond Poincaré visited the Russian Emperor in St. Petersburg in August 1912 he remarked that the Balkan League of Bulgaria, Serbia, Montenegro, and Greece was not welcomed by France since it was designed as the anti-Ottoman military-political coalition.[iv]

The main reason for the French animosity toward the Balkan League was the French appraisement that such kind of a military-political bloc would be under the Russian political control and finally to be used against the French economic and political interests at the Balkans. Especially the article of the 1912 contract between Serbia and Bulgaria on the arbitrary role of the Russian Emperor Nicolas II in the case of the Serbian-Bulgarian controversy over the division of Macedonia made Paris suspicious toward the conception of any form of the Balkan countries’ cooperation. In other words, the Balkan League of 1912 was seen by France as the military-political alliance under the Russian patronage, which will be used by the Russian Emperor to assist Russia to gain the Straits and Constantinople. Therefore, the French administration did not give to Bulgaria a state’s loan in the autumn of 1912 being afraid that this loan (180 mils. francs) will be used for the purpose of changing the Balkan status quo, i.e., for the war against the Ottoman Empire[v] what is unambiguously accented in political-diplomatic memoirs of Raymond Poincaré.[vi] The French press, like Parisian Figaro, shared his opinion as well. However, when the Balkan countries already defeated the Ottoman Empire in the spring of 1913, the French diplomacy tried to cooperate with Russia in order to transform the alliance into the military bloc against the Dual Monarchy of Austria-Hungary.[vii]

The British policy of the balance of powers in Europe and the Balkans 

The British Balkan policy likewise the French one followed essentially its own economic interest in the region. The financial capital from the United Kingdom was present in each of the Balkan states but especially was influential in the Ottoman Empire. At the beginning of the 20th century, the British merchants controlled the biggest portion of the Ottoman export-import trade.[viii] For instance, 35% of total Ottoman import was coming from the United Kingdom. The British entrepreneurs showed particular interest to deal with the exploitation of the Ottoman oilfields in the Middle East. For example, the Anglo-Persian Company with the Shell company had around 75% of investment in the Turkish Petroleum Company which had a monopoly to exploit the petrol in the Ottoman Empire. A similar situation was in regard to the Ottoman cotton trade which was predominantly in the British hands. Henceforth, the Persian Gulf was considered by the British businessmen as the terrain of the first priority for Great Britany’s economic as well political strategy towards the Ottoman Empire. However, the similar interest upon the Gulf showed and Russia which was a military-political ally of the United Kingdom. The Russian-British competitions over the Persian and the Ottoman oilfields and other natural wealth temporally were settled by the agreement on spheres of influence between St. Petersburg and London in 1907. According to this agreement, the Persian territory was divided on the northern Russian and the south-eastern British spheres of economic-political influence. Nevertheless, the principal territory (central part of Persia) as an apple of discord between Russia and the United Kingdom, was left undivided. The Russian line of influence was running from the River Heri-Rud on the East to the city of Jäsd in the South and finally to the southern Kurdistan on the West. The British demarcation stripe of the sphere of influence in Persia ran from the town of Burudschänd on the North-East to the city of Kirman on the West and finishes in the seaport of Bändär Abbas on the South.[ix]

For the United Kingdom, the Persian Gulf had an additional point of importance as in this region the Baghdad-Basra railway-line had to be ended. Thus, in order to enlarge its own territory of the protectorate in the area of the Persian Gulf, the British foreign policy endeavored to tear off the land of Kuwait from the Ottoman Empire and to create a semi-independent Kuwait state under the British patronage. The first phase of this plan was successfully accomplished in 1899 while the second one was realized in 1913, i.e., during the Balkan Wars.[x]

There are indications in historical sources that the Ottoman Empire was forced to hand over the territory of Kuwait in 1913 to Great Britany’s protectorate in order to obtain the British support in the question of Albania – a province of the Ottoman Empire which was at that time under Serbia’s and Greece’s military occupation. The British diplomatic strategy considered its influence in the Persian Gulf as a counterbalance to the Austro-Italian influence in Albania and Otranto Strait. It is not out of the truth that, in fact, the British ruling establishment required on the London Conference of ambassadors upon Albania to obtain the British protectorate over Kuwait in exchange for the Austro-Hungarian and Italian protectorate upon de iure Albanian independent state which should be recognized after the 1912−1913 Balkan Wars.[xi]

The political influence of British diplomacy in the Ottoman Empire was maintained through many British officers and representatives who worked in different sectors of the Ottoman state’s offices and organizations. The Bretons became in the first place influential in the Ottoman ministries as employed advisors within the different sectors of the Government.

The British financial capital gradually was more and more present in the economic life of Serbia during and after the Serbo-Austro-Hungarian “Custom War” of 1906−1911. The British financiers were interested in the building of Serbia’s-projected the Adriatic railway-line to connect Belgrade with the Adriatic Sea. According to the constructing scheme, its one branch would run via Serbia to the Danube and the Black Sea while another one would connect Albania with Salonica and Istanbul. The crucial portion of the British trade with Albania, Greece, Serbia, and Montenegro was hold by the brothers Begston’s Balkan Committee. However, the policy of the Balkan Committee was to obtain an autonomous status for Macedonia and Albania inside the Ottoman Empire in order to provide better conditions for the investment of its capital in this area.[xii]

The British foreign policy toward the Ottoman Empire and South-East Europe was incorporated into the general British policy toward European affairs. This policy supported an idea of maintaining the “European balance of powers”. Due to this policy, the Ottoman Empire was protecting its own territorial integrity for decades. Great Britany preferred, likewise France, to keep alive the “Sick Man on the Bosphorus” for the very reason just not to allow Russia to take advantage of the Ottoman Empire’s disintegration and to establish its protectorate over the Orthodox Christians on the Balkans.[xiii] Actually, the United Kingdom was the principal opponent to the Russian conception to create one united great Slavic Balkan state under its patronage. However, after the 1908 pro-German Young Turk Revolution in Istanbul[xiv] and from the same year the Austro-Hungarian annexation of Bosnia-Herzegovina,[xv] the Bretons started to closer co-operate with Russia and France in the Balkan affairs. The purpose of this partnership was to prevent further penetration of the Germanic “Drang nach Osten” in South-East Europe and the Near East. The British Minister of Foreign Affairs Edward Grey launched an idea of the Balkan coalition in the following years as a barrier to the Habsburg deeper penetration into the Balkans.[xvi] The British diplomacy worked to include Greece into the coalition in order to pursue its own influence on the Balkan League. At the same time, Greece would make the alliance which would be unable to become subjugated to the Russian Balkan policy.[xvii]

Russia’s driving towards the Straits

Russia’s financial influence in the economies of the Balkan states at the turn of the 20th century compared with the German, the Austrian-Hungarian, the Italian, the British, and the French influence was notably lesser. Moreover, the Russian financial influence in the Ottoman economic life was almost not existing. The trade exchange between Russia and the Ottoman Empire was underdeveloped. In addition, unlike the other members of the European Great Powers, Russia did not have a single concession for the construction of any railway-line in the Ottoman Empire. However, the presence of the Russian financial capital gradually increased in Bulgaria and Serbia after the 1878 Berlin Congress. However, the Russian entrepreneurs did not succeed to get a very important railway building concessions for the lines Sophia−Ruse and the River Danube−the Adriatic Sea. It was so far the most relevant indicator that Russia was losing its political-economic positions in South-East Europe primarily on behalf of the Dual Monarchy of Austria-Hungary.

The Russian capital set foot in Serbia in 1867 when Serbia’s government of Prince Mihailo (Michael) Obrenović took the first state’s loan from Russia. The loan was engaged in Serbia’s military preparation for the war against the Ottoman Empire. The principal nature of this loan was a political one but not economic. This case with the Russian loan indicated that the Principality of Serbia at that time intended to tie its political destiny in the upcoming events with Russia.[xviii] It clearly shows two diplomatic missions by Serbia’s diplomats Jovan Marinović and Milan Petronijević in Moscow and St. Petersburg in the autumn 1866 and spring 1867 respectively.[xix] During his visit to Moscow in November 1866, J. Marinović promised to the Russian government that the Russian Emperor would be informed upon every diplomatic action of Serbia regarding the region of South-East Europe. In fact, Serbia’s obligation was the first condition under which the Russian imperial Government was willing to support Serbia and her foreign policy.[xx] Second Serbia’s loan from Russia was taken in 1876 again for the war preparation against the Ottoman Empire (at the time of the 1875−1878 Great Eastern Crisis). This Serbian political-economic linkage to Russia led Serbia’s Government to conclude the first trade contract with Russia in 1892.

Russia’s policy toward the Ottoman Empire was totally different in comparison with the British and French policies towards the same country. While London and Paris intended to prolong the territorial existence of the Ottoman Empire in the Balkans, St. Petersburg’s politicians aimed to create a new Balkan order but without the Ottoman presence in the region. In other words, according to the Russian conception how to resolve the Balkan Question, the Ottoman Empire had to lose all of its European possessions alongside with the capital Istanbul and the Straits.[xxi] Bosphorus, the Sea of Marmara and Dardanelles, all of them the parts of the territory of the Ottoman Empire, were for the Russian trade and navy of the principal importance. Consequently, the first goal of the Russian foreign policy was to obtain control under these three geostrategic objects of interest. The Russians believed that this idea could be realized only in the case if Istanbul (Constantinople) would be under direct Russian administration or at least protectorate. Shortly, according to the Russian concept of rearranged Balkan affairs, the place for the Ottoman Empire was reserved only in Asia Minor but not in South-East Europe.[xxii] Control over the Straits with Constantinople became a real Russian historical myth.[xxiii] The Russians were especially scared that Germany would occupy the Straits in the case of the Ottoman territorial disintegration. According to the Russian opinion, in this case, an entire economic life of South Russia would be tutored by Germany.[xxiv] The Straits were important for the Russian economy because they connected the Russian Black Sea’s trade with the Mediterranean and Far East’s markets. In addition, the Straits were the principal overseas ties between the Russian Baltic Sea’s possessions and the southern lands of the Russian Empire. Russia’s export of the corns from the territory of present-day Ukraine and Russia’s oil from the Caucasus highly depended on the free passage through the Straits and the Sea of Marmara.[xxv]

The Russian diplomacy found that the best way to obtain Russia’s protectorate over the Straits and the Sea of Marmara was to support the liberation movement of the Balkan Orthodox Slavs against the Ottoman authority. Finally, independent Serbia, Montenegro, and Bulgaria but under the Russian protectorate should provide Russian exit to the Mediterranean Sea.[xxvi] This political task was hidden under the policy of pan-Slavic solidarity as Russia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sazonov pointed out in 1914.[xxvii] Because of the meaningfulness of the Straits for the Russian economic and political strategy, the Balkans had the first importance in the Russian foreign policy. This region was considered as more significant in comparison to the rest of Europe, the Middle, and the Far East. In addition, the Byzantine Constantinople (the Ottoman Istanbul) was considered by the Russian Emperors since the time of Ivan the Terrible (in power 1533−1584)[xxviii] as a spiritual center of the Russian and the Orthodox culture and civilization (as the Third Rome).[xxix] The Bosphorus and Dardanelli were of the same importance for Russia as it was Albania for Italy or the Persian Gulf for the United Kingdom. 

The main Russian opponent in the Balkans was the Habsburg Monarchy (from 1867 the Dual Monarchy of Austria-Hungary) since the first Russo-Ottoman War in 1677−1681. The struggle between these two European Great Powers upon the spheres of influences in South-East Europe was only temporarily settled in 1782 when the Russian Empress Catherine the Great and the Austrian Emperor Joseph II divided the Balkans into the Russian and the Habsburg spheres of influence. The line of division, in this case, ran from Belgrade to the Adriatic Sea. The territories eastward from this line belonged to the Russian zone of the protectorate, while the lands westward from the line went to the Austrian area of patronage. In fact, the Serbian lands were shared between Russia and Austria while present-day Albania was given to Russia. It was the first and the only example that Austria agreed to renounce the claim over the territory of Albania and to cede it to Russia. The Russian imperial navy started to implement this agreement by the occupation of the Ionian Islands in 1799. This military action was designed as an overture for the later Russian deeper penetration into East Balkans exactly via the territory of Albania.[xxx] However, during the whole 19th century the territory of Albania was under the Austrian sphere of interest but not of the Russian one. Moreover, the Russian diplomacy signed two agreements with the Dual Monarchy of Austria-Hungary upon the Balkan status quo in 1897 and 1903. Accordingly, the territory of present-day Albania with West Macedonia and Kosovo-Metochia was recognized as the Austrian-Hungarian area of patronage.[xxxi] 

The importance of Albania for the Russian foreign policy emerged again during the Serbian-Greek military occupation of the present-day territory of Albania in 1912−1913 as a land of the Ottoman Empire. At that time only Russia supported Serbia and Greece in their policy against the independence of Albania while all other members of the European Great Powers opposed the Russian plan to divide Albania into two parts. At the same time, during the Albanian crisis, a significant number of the Muslim inhabitants of Albania expressed their loyalty to the Ottoman Empire. The Russian intention to divide Albania between Serbia and Greece in 1913 was, in fact, the compensation to Belgrade and Athens for Russia’s design to give to Bulgaria great territorial concessions in Macedonia and Thrace. Additionally, the Russian diplomacy had an idea in 1914−1915 to unite Serbia with Montenegro, Kosovo-Metochia, Dalmatia, North Albania, and Bosnia-Herzegovina into a single federal state of the Serbian nation.[xxxii] This idea was alive during the time of the creation of the Balkan League in 1912 and its the main protagonist became the Russian ambassador to Serbia N. Hartvig.[xxxiii] However, during the 1912−1913 Balkan Wars, the ultimate Russian ceding of Albania to Austria-Hungary and Italy in 1913 occurred under the Emperor’s deep conviction that the Albanian Question would provoke the Third Balkan War what for Russia was not prepared at that moment. Albania was seen in conception of the Russian foreign policy in the Balkans as the territory which should thwart the Italian and the Habsburg penetration in the direction towards the Straits[xxxiv], and Constantinople where “the keys of the Russian home had been.”[xxxv]

 

Dr. Vladislav B. Sotirović

www.global-politics.eu/sotirovic

sotirovic@global-politics.eu

© Vladislav B. Sotirović 2019

 

Endnotes:

[i] Documents diplomatiques français 1871−1914, Vol. VI−VII, Paris, 1933.

[ii] About this problem, see in [Georgeon F., “L’ économie politique selon Ahmed Midhat,” Edhem E. (ed.), Première rencontre internationale sur l’Empire ottoman et la Turque moderne, Istanbul, 1991, 464−479; Inalcik H., Quataert D. (eds.), An Economic and Social History of the Ottoman Empire, 1300−1914, Cambridge, 1994; Kunelarp S., “Les Ottomans à la découverte de l’Europe: Récits de voyageurs de la fin de l’Empire”, Etudes turques et ottomans: Documents de travail, theme issue on “Voyageurs et diplomates ottomans,” № 4, December 1995, 51−58].  

[iii] Поповић В., Источно питање, Беогрaд, 1928, 56.

[iv] Renuvin P., Evropska kriza i prvi svetski rat, Zagreb, 1965, 144. See also [August T., The Selling of the Empire: British and French Imperialist Propaganda, 1890−1940, Westport, 1985].

[v] Балканската война или pуската оранжева книга, София, doc. № 11, 8 (The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ diplomatic documents about the Balkans from August 1912 to July 1913).

[vi] Poincaré R., Les Balkans en feu, Paris, 1923, 33. About the same issue, see more in [Becker J. J., The Great War and the French People, Leamington Spa, 1985].

[vii] Documents diplomatiques français, Vol. VI, doc. № 229. About this problem, see more in [Jelavich B., A Century of Russian Foreign Policy, 1814−1914, Philadelphia, 1964; Thaden E., Russia and the Balkan Alliance of 1912, University Park Pennsylvania, 1965; Jelavich B., Russia’s Balkan Entanglement, 1806−1914, Cambridge, 1991; Геллер М., История Российской империи, Vol. III, Москва, 1997].  

[viii] Taylor A. J. P., The Struggle for Mastery in Europe 1849−1918, Oxford, 1954, 504.

[ix] Westermann Großer Atlas zur Weltgeschichte, Braunschweig, 1985, 134.

[x] Palmowski J., A Dictionary of Contemporary World History from 1900 to the Present Day, Oxford−New York: Oxford University Press, 2004, 358.

[xi] Archives du Ministère des Affaires Etrangès, Corrèspondence politique, Turquie, Guerres balkaniques, Conférence de Londres; Decision of the Ambassadors’ Conference, Nov. 9, 1921, Simmonard A., Essai sur l’independence Albanaise, Paris, 1942; Commission Internationale de délimination des frontières de l’Albanie. Frontière Serbo-Croato-Slovene-Albanese. Protocole de delimitation, Florence, 1926. This question has been dealt more extensively, in [Puto A., Albanian Independence and the Diplomacy of the Great Powers 1912−1914, Tirana, 1978; Puto A., The Albanian Question in the International Acts of the Period of Imperialism, 1912−1918, Vol. I−II, Tirana, 1987].

[xii] Балканската война или pуската оранжева книга, София, doc. № 11, 18−21 (The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ diplomatic documents about the Balkans from August 1912 to July 1913).

[xiii] Taylor A. J. P., The Struggle for Mastery in Europe 1849−1918, Oxford, 1954, 504−506; Janković B., The Balkans in International Relations, Hong Kong, 1988, 89−119. About the same issue, see more in [Rossos A., Russia and the Balkans: Inter-Balkan Rivalries and Russian Foreign Policy, 1908−1914, Toronto, 1981]. 

[xiv] On the 1908 Young Turk Revolution, see in [Lévt-Aksu N., Georgeon F., (eds.), The Young Turk Revolution and the Ottoman Empire: The Aftermath of 1908, London−New York: I.B.Tauras, 2017].

[xv] On the British perspectives about the 1908−1909 Annexation Crisis, see in [Demirci S., British Public Opinion Towards the Ottoman Empire During the Two Crisis: Bosnia-Herzegovina (1908−1909) and the Balkan Wars (1912−1913), Gorgias Pr Llc, 2010].

[xvi] Thaden E., Russia and the Balkan Alliance of 1912, University Park Pennsylvania, 1965, 120. About the same issue, see in [Taylor A. J. P., The Habsburg Monarchy1809−1918. A History of the Austrian Empire and Austria-Hungary, London, 1990, 276−302, Seton-Watson R. W., Britain in Europe 1789−1914.

[xvii] British documents on the Origins of the War, 1899−1914, Vol. IX, doc. № 461; Drosos D., La Fondation de l’ Alliance Balkanique, Athenes, 1929.

[xviii] Миљковић Д., Прилози расветљавању привредних односа Србије и Русије у XIX  веку, Београд, 1956, 11−16 (documents).

[xix] Дипломатски архив, Београд, Архива  Илије Гарашанина, Letter from Schtackelberg to Ignatiev, Wien, November 27, 1866. In this letter, there is a concept about the conversation between Marinović and Gorchakov; Ibid., Писмо Гарашанина Ристићу, Београд, 11. децембар, 1866; Ibid., Мариновић J., “Питање о градовима”; Haus-Hof und Staats-Archiv, Wien, Letter from Beist to Prokresch, Vienna, December 20, 1866; Ibid., Marinović’s papers, Letter from Prince Mihailo to Bismarck, Belgrade, October 24, 1866; Дипломатски архив, Београд, Архива Јована Ристића, Писмо Гарашанина Ристићу, Београд, фебруар 1867; Ibid., Писмо Гарашанина Ристићу, Београд, 11. мај 1867; Дипломатски архив, Београд, Архива  Илије Гарашанина, Писмо Гарашанина Ристићу, Београд, 11. мај 1867, концепт; Ibid., Писмо Гарашанина Петронијевићу, Београд, 20. мај, 1867, концепт; Дипломатски архив, Београд, Записник седница од 31. маја 1867; Ристић Ј., Последња година спољашње политике кнеза Михаила, Београд, 1895, (memoires), 15, 45; Ловчевић С. (уредник), Писма Илије Гарашанина Јовану Мариновићу, Зборник САНУ, том II, № XXII, Београд, 1931.

[xx] Дипломатски архив, Београд, Политички односи, Писмо Мариновића Горчакову, Београд, 17. фебруар, 1867, концепт; Ibid., Letter from Stremoukov to Marinović, St. Petersburg, February 9, 1867; Дипломатски архив, Београд, Хартије Јована Мариновића, Letter from Shishkin to Marinović, Belgrade, March 1867.

[xxi] On this issue, see the conversation between the representative of the French ministry of foreign affairs, Maurice Paléologue, with the Russian ambassador to France, Izvolsky in [Taylor A. J. P., Taylor A. J. P., The Struggle for Mastery in Europe 1849−1918, Oxford, 1954, 505; Paléologue M., An Ambassador’s Memoirs, London, 1923].

[xxii] About this issue, see more in [Taylor A. J. P., “The War Aims of the Allies in the First World War”, Pares R., Taylor A. J. P. (eds.), Essays Presented to Sir Lewis Namier, London, 1956; Balsover G. H., “Aspects of Russian Foreign Policy, 1815−1914”, Pares R., Taylor A. J. P. (eds.), Essays Presented to Sir Lewis Namier, London, 1956].

[xxiii] Адамов Е. А., Константинополь и проливы по секретным документам б. Министерства иностранных дел, Москва, 1926.

[xxiv] Report by the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sazonov to the Russian Emperor, Nicholas II, December 1913.

[xxv] The Russian economy enormously suffered when during the 1911−1912 Italo-Ottoman war the Ottoman authorities closed the Straits only for two weeks in April 1912.

[xxvi] Gottlieb W. W., Studies in Secret Diplomacy During the First World War, London, 1957, 148−162. On this issue, see more in [Дякин В. С., Русская буржуазия и царизм в годы первой мировой войны (1914−1917), Ленинград, 1967; Покровский М. Н., Царская Россия и война, Москва, 1924; “Die Internationalen Beziehungen im Zeitalter des Imperialismus”, II, 7 II, № 493]. Winston Churchill stated during the first months of the First World War that the Russian soldiers will fight bravely only if the Straits would be the task of their victory.

[xxvii] Sazonov S., Les années fatales, Paris, 1927.

[xxviii] On the reign of Ivan the Terrible, see in [Anisimov J., Rusijos istorija nuo Riuriko iki Putino: Žmonės. Įvykiai. Datos, Vilnius: Mokslo ir enciklopedijų leidybos centras, 2014, 131−146].

[xxix] On this question, see in [Mango C., Byzantium and its Image, London, 1984; Mango C., Byzantium The Empire of New Rome, New York, 1982; Shevchenko I., Ideology, Letters and Culture in the Byzantine World, especially “Constantinople viewed from the eastern provinces” and “Byzantium and the eastern Slavs after 1453”, London, 1972; Johnson R. M., The Third Rome: Holy Russia, Tsarism and Orthodoxy, The Foundation for Economic Liberty, Inc., 2004].

[xxx] More about the Eastern Question in the 18th century, see in [Sorel A., La question d’orient au XVIIIe siècle, Paris, 1889; Driault E., La question depuis ses origines jusqu’a nos jours, Paris, 1898]. About a geopolitical character of the Eastern Question and Russia, see in [Перишић С., Нова геополитика Русије, Београд: Медија центар Одбрана, 2015, 56−60].

[xxxi] Хвостов В. М., История дипломатии, II, Москва, 1963, 345−351; Динев А., Илинденската епопеја, II, Скопје, 1949, 5−10.

[xxxii] Дипломатски архив, Београд, Извештај министарства спољних послова Србије војној врховној команди, телеграф послат из Ваљева 3. октобра 1914. г., документ бр. 5714; Архив Југославије, Београд, Фонд Јоце Јовановића Пижона, Дневници Ј. Ј. Пижона, кутија бр. 54, документ бр. 247. On the Russian diplomacy during the First World War, see in [Трубецки Н. Г., Рат на Балкану 1914−1917. и руска дипломатија, Београд: Просвета, 1994 (memoires)].

[xxxiii] Международние отношения в епоху империализма. Документы из архивов царского и временого правителъства 1878−1917, том XX, Москва, 1938,  Report by the Russian representative in Belgrade from September 20, 1912; Балканската война или pуската оранжева книга, Софиа, doc. № 36, 19−20 (the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ diplomatic documents about the Balkans from August 1912 to July 1913). 

[xxxiv] On this issue, see in [Проект захвата Босфора в 1896 г., Красный Архив, том IV−V, (XLVII–XLVIII), Москва−Ленинград, 1931; Хвостов В. М., История дипломатии, том II, Москва, 1963].

[xxxv] Покровский М. Н., Царская Россия и война, Москва, 1924.


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President of the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK) Ramush Haradinaj, a Kosovo Albanian former guerilla commander who served briefly as prime minister, speaks during an interview with Reuters at the AAK headquarters in Pristina December 4, 2012. REUTERS/Hazir Reka
The Balkans has always been cursed by a recurring theme: that each entity within it can, at some point, become greater and more consuming in territory than the next neighbour. Each nation has, and in some instances continues, to nurse dreams of enlargement, pecking away at borders and assuming that few will notice.  Strategies of expansion tend to have one problem: they are hard to evaluate in the way of conventional agreement, contract or conspiracy. For decades, historians of various shades would attribute to Imperial Germany a conscious, global goal of conquest, mistaking the plans of contingent invasion with actual policy. In ...
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A Contribution to Biography (C.V.) of Philanthropist George Soros
Many conspiracy theories have been created about Hungarian-American financier and philanthropist George Soros since his rise to economic wealth. Many of them deal with the intersection between his political beliefs and his financial wealth. However, here we present a real truth on who was and is George Soros. What is missing from official George Soros' C.V. by © “Free Media Group” 2017. © “Free Media Group” 2017 Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!Donate to Support UsWe would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, ...
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Trump and the Wolfowitz Doctrine
As President Trump affirms publicly his commitment to friendly relations with Russia at an economic summit in Hanoi, (the first President since Franklin Roosevelt to do so), the press backs the special prosecutor seeking to indict him, while NATO continues to ramp up its forces on Russia’s borders with Europe by bringing in tanks and other ‘defensive’ weapons. Although the United States was founded on Christian principles, and has one of the highest percentages of people practicing a religion of any Western country, most Americans seem not to realize that their country is building a case for nuclear war with the ...
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A Collection of Thoughts about American Foreign Policy
Louis XVI needed a revolution, Napoleon needed two historic military defeats, the Spanish Empire in the New World needed multiple revolutions, the Russian Czar needed a communist revolution, the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman Empires needed World War I, Nazi Germany needed World War II, Imperial Japan needed two atomic bombs, the Portuguese Empire in Africa needed a military coup at home, the Soviet Empire needed Mikhail Gorbachev … What will the American Empire need?I don’t believe anyone will consciously launch World War III. The situation now is more like the eve of World War I, when great powers were armed and ...
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Fake Solidarity by NATO
On the 16th anniversary of the country’s accession to NATO, Lithuanian Minister of Defense Raimundas Karoblis came up with a well-known myth: our state is an equal member of the alliance. “We are stronger than ever before and we are grateful to the Allies for their efforts in strengthening the defense capabilities in the region and their willingness to help when it necessary” said Karoblis.If you look at the facts, Lithuania is fighting alone with the epidemic of COVID-19 infection. However, like all other countries of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.You just need to look at Italy, which does not ...
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U.S. Geopolitical Games in Montenegro and Proven Winning Approach by Đukanović
In December last year [2015], NATO officially invited Montenegro to become the 29th member state of the most powerful military organisation of our times, if not, in fact, of all time. The country’s Prime Minister, Milo Đukanović, assured the NATO secretary-general that “you can count on us at any time.” It is always nice to hear that someone has your back. But in Montenegro’s case, it means that they have our back with an entire active-duty military force of only two thousand personnel. It is not quite clear how the tiny nation of less than 700,000 people enhances U.S. security ...
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A Refugee Problem in Europe
Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection, Public Domain & Pinterest.Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!Donate to Support UsWe would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.[wpedon id="4696" align="left"]Save
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Twenty Years of Dictatorial Democracy
The presidential campaign has mortified millions of Americans in part because the presidency has become far more dangerous in recent times.  Since 9/11, we have lived in a perpetual emergency which supposedly justifies trampling the law and Constitution.  And the illegalities will not end after Tuesday’s vote count.  Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have signaled that they will perpetuate power grabs in the next four years.For generations, politicians have touted voting as a magical process which almost automatically  protects the rights of everyone within a 50 mile radius of the polling booth. But the ballots Americans have cast in ...
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The Human Rights Disaster in America
Antonio Zambrano-Montes, a 35-year-old Mexican national, was shot to death by police in Pasco, Washington last Tuesday as he was backing away from officers with his hands up. A video of the shooting clearly corroborates claims by Zambrano-Montes’s family that he was killed “execution-style.”Police claimed that Zambrano-Montes, who had lived in the city for ten years and worked as an orchard picker, may have been “armed with a rock” before he was shot multiple times. Protests erupted over the weekend, with more than a thousand demonstrating in Washington state on Saturday against the killing.The United States has invaded, bombed, and ...
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Democratic Shaking Hands with Kosovostan’s War Criminal
Only one example of traditional Western liberal democracy's support of the notorious war criminals, bandits, and gangsters:Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection, Public Domain & Pinterest.Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!Donate to Support UsWe would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics, and international relations.[wpedon id="4696" align="left"]Save
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The 1915 Armenian Genocide and its Russophobic Origins
"As a result of the Jewish lobby's recommendations, the Young Turks government removed Armenians from Anatolia in 1915. Hence, the economy of the country was left in the hands of Jewish capital." - Ekrem Buğra Ekinci of The Daily Sabah Turkish newspaper, October 13th 2017. Johann von Bernstorff (German ambassador); "The way the Armenian problem was solved was hair-raising. I can still see in front of me Talaat's cynical expression, when he emphasized that the Armenian question was solved."1 Einar af Wirsén (Swedish Diplomat) "When I kept on pestering him about the Armenian question, he once said with a smile: 'What on earth do you want? ...
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American Pravda: How the CIA Invented “Conspiracy Theories”
A year or two ago, I saw the much-touted science fiction film Interstellar, and although the plot wasn’t any good, one early scene was quite amusing. For various reasons, the American government of the future claimed that our Moon Landings of the late 1960s had been faked, a trick aimed at winning the Cold War by bankrupting Russia into fruitless space efforts of its own. This inversion of historical reality was accepted as true by nearly everyone, and those few people who claimed that Neil Armstrong had indeed set foot on the Moon were universally ridiculed as “crazy conspiracy theorists.” ...
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Kosovo’s Political Murders: Unpunished but Not Forgotten
The first thing you hear is the slow-moving clatter of a wheelchair. Then comes his voice. Fetah Rudi survived an attempted assassination which left him paralysed for life, and has spent more than 17 years suffering the consequences.Kosovo Liberation Army - A Balkan Islamic fundamentalist terrorist organization a la HezbollahIn June 1999, Rudi was one of the Kosovo Albanians who was detained and tortured in a Kosovo Liberation Army, KLA prison.A few months later in December 2000, Rudi - a member of the Democratic League of Kosovo, LDK, which at the time was President Ibrahim Rugova’s party - became a ...
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US, UK, & EU, are Now Dictatorships
How can it be that in virtually all of the Presidential-candidate head-to-head Democratic versus Republican polling that was done of both Democratic and Republican candidates during the primaries, the preferred Democratic candidate against any one of the Republican candidates was Bernie Sanders, but he almost certainly won’t be that Party’s nominee (and there’s more on that here); and the preferred Republican candidate against either one of the Democratic candidates was John Kasich, but he certainly won’t be the Republican nominee?Sanders and Kasich also scored the highest in his respective Party for net favorability rating, but almost certainly neither candidate will ...
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The EU’s Architects: Nazis and Nazi Collaborators
There is an old adage that pertains to the founding of the European Union «If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, again». And for the Nazis and Nazi collaborators of the Second World War, viewing the post-war European death and destruction brought about by Adolf Hitler and his «Third Reich» alliance of Italian fascists, French Vichy, and others, the immediate decision was to «try again» with a European Union that would establish the same European super-state envisaged by Hitler but with a decidedly «democratic» aura.What eventually became the EU, the European Coal and Steel Community, was formed by six Western European ...
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The U.S. Military Interventions (1945- )
Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection & Pinterest. Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement! Donate to Support Us We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations. [wpedon id="4696" align="left"]
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Hillary Clinton Wants to Do this Again — Now to Syria
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (and President Obama — and some NATO partners) did it previously to Libya, and here was the result (as discussed by the retired British career diplomat Craig Murray, at his craigmurray.org.uk, who has kindly allowed me to distribute it to other newsmedia) [and I as editor will add a few clarifiers and questions in brackets] (and then afterward, I shall add my own comments); so, here is Craig Murray:This is the result of NATO bombing of Sirte to “enforce the no-fly zone” in Libya.When the neo-cons in the UK parliament and the serial warmonger Hillary Clinton call for a ...
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Stalin Deported Crimean Tatars to Protect Them from Punishment for Nazi War Crimes
On Saturday, May 14, in Stockholm’s Globe Arena an event called the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest final will take place.According to the Eurovision Official Rules 2016 posted on eurovision.tv:1.2) Criteria of eligibility1.2.1) Songs“The lyrics and/or performance of the songs shall not bring the Shows, the ESC as such or the EBU into disrepute. No lyrics, speeches, gestures of a political or similar nature shall be permitted during the ESC. No swearing or other unacceptable language shall be allowed in the lyrics or in the performances of the songs. No messages promoting any organization, institution, political cause or other, company, brand, ...
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The 2016 Aleppo Massacre: Are Putin and Assad the Only “War Criminals”?
On Friday, October 5th, the U.S. Secretary of State – John Kerry calls for war crimes investigation of Russia’s and Assad governments for the destruction of the Syrian city of Aleppo. The western corporate mass media was a very quick, like, for instance, The New York Times, immediately and clearly to accuse the Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad of alleged war crimes in Syria – the same cliché used by the same propaganda machinery against the Serbs (Srebrenica case from 1995 or Kosovo War from 1999) during the bloody destruction of ex-Yugoslavia (by the U.S. ...
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The Declining of Yugoslavia (1967‒1981)
In the last years of the Cold War (1949−1989), the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (the SFRY) was the largest, most developed and ethnoculturally diverse country in the Balkan peninsula (South-East Europe).It was a non-aligned federation comprised of six republics: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovenia. In addition to these six republics, two separate territories of Kosovo-Metochia and Vojvodina held the status of autonomous provinces within the Republic of Serbia. Undoubtedly, ex-Yugoslavia was a mix of ethnic groups and religions, with Orthodox Christianity, Roman Catholicism, and Islam being three main religions in the country.[i]Coinciding with the collapse of Communism ...
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Greater Albania and the Balkans
A Contribution to Biography (C.V.) of Philanthropist George Soros
Trump and the Wolfowitz Doctrine
A Collection of Thoughts about American Foreign Policy
Fake Solidarity by NATO
U.S. Geopolitical Games in Montenegro and Proven Winning Approach by Đukanović
A Refugee Problem in Europe
Twenty Years of Dictatorial Democracy
The Human Rights Disaster in America
Democratic Shaking Hands with Kosovostan’s War Criminal
The 1915 Armenian Genocide and its Russophobic Origins
American Pravda: How the CIA Invented “Conspiracy Theories”
Kosovo’s Political Murders: Unpunished but Not Forgotten
US, UK, & EU, are Now Dictatorships
The EU’s Architects: Nazis and Nazi Collaborators
The U.S. Military Interventions (1945- )
Hillary Clinton Wants to Do this Again — Now to Syria
Stalin Deported Crimean Tatars to Protect Them from Punishment for Nazi War Crimes
The 2016 Aleppo Massacre: Are Putin and Assad the Only “War Criminals”?
The Declining of Yugoslavia (1967‒1981)

Written by Policraticus

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