/ / San Stefano peace treaty - brief triumph of Russian diplomacy

The San Stefano peace treaty is a brief triumph of Russian diplomacy


The Russian-Turkish War of 1877-1878.is known as one of the most "progressive" and, in essence, was liberating for most of the Slavic countries of the Balkan Peninsula, which are under the rule of the Ottoman Empire. In addition to these goals, which enjoyed wide support among all sections of the population of the Russian Empire, the tsarist government had its own interests in strengthening its influence in the Balkans.

The San Stefano peace treaty was signed 16March 1878 in the homonymous town of Constantinople, the capital of Turkey. This treaty was very beneficial to the Russian Empire, because to them our country, exhausted by a heavy and financially unfavorable military company, wished to officially formalize its official gains from victory as soon as possible. The Ottoman Empire was forced to agree to all the demands of Russia and to sign the San Stefano Treaty, since the Russian-Bulgarian forces that occupied the whole of the European part of the empire were under the capital Istanbul (Constantinople), and only the intervention of European countries saved it from final defeat.

The San Stefano peace treaty - the basic conditions:

  • The treaty recognized the independence of Serbia, Montenegro and Romania and increased their territory;
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina formed an autonomous region;
  • the main goal of the war was also achieved -the territory of Bulgaria from the Danube to the Aegean Sea and from the Black Sea to the Ohrid Lake was completely liberated from the Ottoman Empire and gained independence. She was to be under the Russian protectorate for 3 years, after which she became completely independent, while retaining her connection with Russia, which had already provided her with substantial assistance;
  • The Turkish empire had to payan indemnity of 1.4 billion rubles, part of which was paid off by territorial concessions: towns and fortresses of Kars, Ardahan, Bayazet, Batum, Kars, Dobruja, part of the Danube Delta and Zmeiny Island (European territory Russia was inferior to Romania);
  • Russia obliged the Ottoman Empire to reform the administration of Armenia and Albania, which was part of it, and slightly to moderate its claims concerning certain territories of Greece.

However, the triumph of Russian diplomacy was short-lived- the governments of Great Britain and allied countries were dissatisfied with the results achieved by Russia in the course of the war. The San Stefano peace treaty gave too much to Russia, Romania and Bulgaria, violating the old political system and the distribution of forces. England was afraid of the weakening of Turkey, which was the eternal rival of Russia and a kind of shield that covered the way to the Mediterranean straits that England wanted to control on its own. The Austrian empire, which had direct borders with Russia in the West, was afraid of strengthening its role among the kindred Slavic peoples who inhabited most of the empire and the emergence of liberation wars following the example of Bulgaria. For Russia there was a threat of the second Crimean War, to which, weakened by a grueling war and financial instability, was not ready. That is why the Berlin Conference was convened, which completely revised the San Stefano peace treaty and its conditions, reducing many of its points.

Nevertheless, Russia has achieved the main thing -the liberation of Bulgaria and the strengthening of its moral and political authority in the Balkans, although the war sufficiently long undermined its fighting capacity, shook the financial system, temporarily knocking it out of the pan-European big game.

Today, the San Stefan world is celebrated in Bulgaria as a day of national independence and is one of the most popular holidays in this country.

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