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Russia established diplomatic relations with USA

5 November 1809

October 24 (5 November), 1809 John Quincy Adams, the future U.S. President and U.S. Secretary of State as well as the first U.S. Ambassador in Russia presented his credentials to the Emperor Alexander I, which marked the formal establishment of diplomatic relations between Russia and the United States.

In the first half of the 18th century Russian traders started to actively develop the lands in North America. Many Russian settlements were founded in the Aleutian Islands, mainland of Alaska, in what is now the Canadian provinces of Yukon and British Columbia and American states of Washington, Oregon and California. Gradually the Russian Empire proclaimed its sovereignty over the territory occupied by Russian settlers.

In late 1790s London hosted the first official meeting of Russian and American diplomats – the U.S. envoy in Britain Rufus King and the Russian ambassador at the court of St. James S. R. Vorontsov. At this meeting there was talk about the conclusion of a trade treaty between Russia and the United States, as well as about the appointment of an American envoy to St. Petersburg. In 1799 followed the opinion of the Emperor Paul I: «We are more willing to establish the mutual missions, since their government by its  behavior in the present circumstances has won our every respect ... thus, as soon as the abovementioned States appoint their Minister, we will do the same. " In April of 1803 Levett Harris was appointed the American consul in St. Petersburg.

Despite the fact that consular relations between Russia and the U.S. had already been established, formal contacts continued to be made via the diplomatic representatives of the two countries in London. Therefore, in June of 1806 in Washington, the issue of appointment of an envoy to St. Petersburg was raised. In October 1807 the Head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia Nikolai Rumyantsev expressed the willingness of the Russian government to exchange diplomatic representatives with USA.

The first American envoy to Russia was appointed John Quincy Adams, the future sixth president of the United States. His candidacy was proposed by President James Madison and received the approval of Senate in July, 1809. J. Q. Adams, son of the second U.S. President John Adams, had once been in Russia. In addition, he had acquired a significant diplomatic experience being the U.S. envoy in Netherlands and Prussia. The main purpose of the American mission was all-round development of friendly relations and mutual understanding with Russia, as well as providing a favorable environment for the development of trade between the two countries. 13 (25) October J. Q. Adams arrived in the capital of the Russian Empire and October 24 (5 November) presented his credentials to the Russian Emperor. Following the ceremony, a lengthy private conversation took place between Adams and Alexander I, who expressed his firm intention to promote Russian-American trade. "There should not be any conflicting interests or reasons for rupture between the United States and Russia, while the trade between the two countries could be very useful for each of them," said the emperor.

During the World War I Russia and the United States were Allies. However, after the revolution of 1917 the United States refused to recognize the Soviet government. In 1918-1920 American troops took part in a foreign intervention supporting the White Army and at the domestic front the U.S. started a struggle against communist and socialist movement.

Impetus for a new political dialogue between the USSR and the U.S. were the trade relations which established between the two countries in late 1920s - early 1930s. A significant role in the normalization of relations with the Soviet Union played the interest of the U.S. business circles in trade with the Soviet state.

October 10, 1933 U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt sent a message to the chairman of the Central Executive Committee of the USSR Mikhail Kalinin on the establishment of diplomatic relations between the USSR and the USA. A reply message was sent to the U.S. on October 17, 1933. November 16, 1933 People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the USSR Maxim Litvinov and President Roosevelt exchanged notes on the establishment of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. The first Soviet Ambassador to the United States was appointed Soviet diplomat A. Troyanovsky, and the first U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Russia was William Bullitt.

Lit.: Гольдберг Н. М. Русско-американские отношения в начале XIX в. (1801 - 1815). Тезисы дисс. ... канд. ист. наук. Л., 1948; Россия и США: становление отношений.1765-1815. М., 1980.

From the Presidential library materials:

Anniversary of Fort Ross foundation // On this day. 11 September 1812;

Russia – USA: From the History of Relations: collection;

Russian America: collection;

Russian-American Company created // On this day. 19 July 1799;

Russian-American Convention concluded // On this day. 17 April 1824;

The trade agreement on Alaska purchase between Russia and the United States signed // On this day. 30 March 1867.