Document ReferenceBu 48/5
TitleCopy letter in French from Prince Gorchakov, Tsarskoé Sélo [Tsarskoye Selo], to Baron Brunnow, London, sent to 2nd Earl Granville [G. Leveson-Gower], Foreign Office, London by Baron Brunnow; 19 Oct 1870.
Date19 October 1870
Content DescriptionClaims that, although the Treaty of 1856 was designed to neutralise the Black Sea and avoid all possibility of conflict in that area between the maritime powers, in practice this has not been this case and Russia is unable to defend herself adequately against foreign aggression; Moldavia and Wallachia have undergone a series of revolutions contrary to the letter and spirit of the Treaty; Russia alone has pointed out that this was in contradiction to the Treaty; if this support was extended to the Christian populations of Turkey, the Russian Government would support them, but the Turkish Christians were excluded; the Russian Government has seen the Great Powers repeatedly infringe the terms of the Treaty; many excuses have been used to open the Straits to foreign warships.

Russia feels that the other Great Powers have an unfair advantage in military terms; the Emperor has carefully considered the terms of the Treaty to which it has been so faithful; Russian security at present rests on a fiction which has not stood the test of time; the Emperor, being faithful to the sentiments of equality of the powers that were signatory to the Treaty of 1856, declares that he can no longer consider himself obligated by the Treaty in as much as it restricts his rights of sovereignty in the Black Sea; the Emperor denounces the terms that restrict the number and size of warships in the Black Sea, remains loyal to the signatories and guarantors of the Treaty, and respects the fullness of the Sultan's rights, as he asserts his own; the Emperor has no concern but to preserve the peace of Europe.
Termtreaties, Treaty of Paris 1856, Russian repudiation
Turkish affairs, 'Eastern Question'
navies, Russian
politics, Russian, foreign policy
foreign policy, Russian

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CodePersonNameDates of existence
NA6192Alexander II (1818-1881); Emperor of all the Russias; (succeeded 1855)1818-1881
NA6137Gower; Granville G. Leveson- (1815-1891); 2nd Earl Granville; diplomat M.P. statesman1815-1891
NA6888Abdülaziz (1830-1876); Sultan of Turkey; (succeeded 1861)1830-1876
NA141Gorchakov; Alexander M. (1798-1883); Prince; Russian Foreign Minister1798-1883
NA6099Brunnow; Philipp I. von (1797-1875); Baron; Russian diplomat1797-1875
PL1823/Moldavia/Eastern Europe
PL1822/Wallachia/Central Europe
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