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Russia and Great Britain signed Petersburg protocol

4 April 1826

March 23 (April 4) 1826 in St. Petersburg the governments of Russia and Great Britain signed the British-Russian protocol on joint actions in the settlement of the Greek question - the armed struggle of the Greek people for independence from the Ottoman Empire.

National liberation uprising in Greece, which began in 1821, dealt a serious blow to the system of international relations prevailing in Europe after a period of the Napoleonic wars, and became one of the reasons for the collapse of the Holy Alliance (Russia, Austria, Prussia) as a political organization. The Greek national liberation movement was met with sympathy in Europe by the public. The reaction of the Russian government was initially negative. Alexander I, loyal to the principle of legitimacy, did not openly support the rebels. Britain, which recognized the Greek belligerent, decided to take advantage of such a stance of Russian diplomacy, and offered to mediate in resolving the crisis.

Soon, the Russian government, realizing that failure to aid the Greeks threatened loss of Russian influence among the peoples of the Balkan Peninsula, took a benevolent stance toward the rebels, but sought to maintain cohesion of the allied powers and tried to achieve a collective European intervention in the Greco-Turkish conflict. Already in the early 1826, Emperor Nicholas I declared his desire to move to a more rigorous course in the Balkans and the willingness to develop tactics jointly with London against the Ottoman Empire. As a result of negotiations between the Russian diplomats Count K. Nesselrode and Prince J. A. Lieven, with a British envoy Duke of Wellington in St. Petersburg, was signed a joint British-Russian protocol.

According to the Petersburg Protocol, it was assumed to jointly provide autonomy to Greece under the supreme power of the Ottoman Empire. The document stipulated that to prevent clashes between Greeks and Turks, first obtained the right to acquire Turkish estates in Greece, which boundaries were to be determined by a special agreement between Russia and Britain. In case that Turkey rejected the proposal about English mediation, it was stipulated to make the "common or sole" impact on the Ottoman Empire and the Greek side for their reconciliation.

Petersburg Protocol, which was the first major diplomatic victory for the Emperor Nicholas I, made the basis of the Convention, concluded in London in 1827, by representatives of the governments of Russia, Britain and France on the future state system in Greece.

Lit: Губина И. Г. Противоречия европейских держав в первые годы греческой войны за национальную независимость 1823-1826 гг. // Учёные записки ЛГПИ им. А. И. Герцена. 1966. Т. 288; Дебидур А. Дипломатическая история Европы. Священный Союз от Берлинского до Венского конгресса. 1814-1878. Т. 1. Ростов-на-Дону, 1995; История дипломатии. Т. 1. М., 1959; Палеолог Г. Н., Сивинис М. С. История вмешательства России, Англии и Франции в войну за независимость Греции. СПб., 1863; Палеолог Г. Н., Сивинис М. С., Рикорд П. И. Исторический очерк народной войны за независимость Греции и восстановления королевства при вмешательстве великих держав России, Англии и Франции. СПб., 1867; Фадеев А. В. Россия и восточный кризис 20-х годов XIX века. М., 1958; Федосова Е. И. Петербургский протокол 1826 г. и дипломатия Франции // Вопросы истории. 1985. № 3; Шпаро О. Б. Освобождение Греции и Россия. М., 1965.

From the Presidential library materials:

Мартенс Ф. Ф. Собрание трактатов и конвенций, заключённых Россией и иностранными державами. Т. 11: Трактаты с Англией. 1801-1831 . СПб., 1895. С. 322-343.