In the report to Alexander II the head of Russian delegation, Chancellor A. M. Gorchakov wrote: "The Congress of Berlin is the blackest page in my official career». Emperor marked: "So it is in mine."
The Treaty of Berlin was signed July 1 (13), 1878 following the Congress of Berlin in 1878, convened by Britain and Austria-Hungary to revise the Treaty of San Stefano that ended the Russian-Turkish war of 1877-1878.
International Congress in Berlin took place from June 1 (13) to July 1 (13), 1878. It was attended by delegations from Russia, England, Austria-Hungary, Germany, France, Italy and Turkey. Representatives of the Balkan countries (Greece, Iran, Romania, Montenegro and Serbia) were invited to the congress but did not participate in its work. The initiators of the Congress were Austro-Hungary and England, who spoke against the strengthening of Russia's position in the Balkans and the formation of a large Slavic state - Bulgaria. Russia, under the threat of a new war, weakened by the just-ended war with Turkey and not supported by Germany, was forced to agree to the convening of the congress.
The states at the Berlin Congress were represented by: Russia - State Chancellor, Prince A. M. Gorchakov, ambassador in London, Count P. A. Shuvalov, ambassador in Berlin P. P. Ubri; Germany - State Chancellor, Prince O. Bismarck, Foreign Minister B. E. Bulow and ambassador to Paris, Prince H. Hohenlohe-Shilli
The treaty was signed July 1 (13). It consisted of 64 articles and significantly changed the terms of the Treaty of San Stefano.
Under the new agreement, Bulgaria was divided along the Balkan mountain range into two parts: the northern one which was declared an autonomous principality, paying tribute to Turkey; and the southern (Eastern Rumelia) – it remained under Turkish rule on the conditions of administrative autonomy. Macedonia ,which under the Treaty of San Stefano was making part of Bulgaria, was also given to Turkey.
Territories of Serbia, Montenegro and Romania, which remained independent, were reduced. Bosnia and Herzegovina found themselves in the zone of occupation by Austria-Hungary. Russia retained the mouth of the Danube, in the Caucasus - Kars and Ardahan; Batum became a free port for trade. As to Alashkertskaya valley and the city of Bajazet, Russia returned them to Turkey. The definitions of the Treaty of Paris of 1856 and the London Convention of 1871 regarding sea straits remained unchanged. England, which had concluded a secret agreement with the sultan, received Cyprus for its help to Turkey.
As a result, the acquisitions of Russian and of the Balkan states which fought for the independence, were severely curtailed, while Austria-Hungary and England, who did not participate in the war, were even given certain acquisitions. Concessions made to Turkey at the Congress were the result of European policy to curb the influence of Russia in the Balkans.
Lit.: Берлинский конгресс 1878 // Большая советская энциклопедия. М., 1970. Т. 3; Берлинский трактат [Электронный ресурс] // Московский государственный университет имени М. В. Ломоносова. URL: http://www.hist.msu.ru/ER/Etext/FOREIGN/berlin.htm; Дебидур А. Дипломатическая история Европы от Венского до Берлинского конгресса (1814-1878). М., 1947. Т 2.
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