Izvolsky, Alexander


Izvolsky, Alexander
(1856–1919)
   A Russian diplomat and foreign minister from 1906 to 1910 under Nicholas II. Izvolsky’s nationalist tendencies led to his involvement in a potentially disastrous episode of foreign diplomacy in 1908. In a meeting between Izvolsky and the Austrian foreign minister, Count von Aehrenthal, the two agreed to support each other in the following way: Austria would annex Bosnia, and Russia would declare the Straights of the Bosphorus and Dardenelles as open to Russian ships. Izvolsky did not, however, inform his superiors of this agreement. When the arrangement was made public, it nearly brought Europe to war. The Serbs, who had long considered Bosnia-Herzegovina their own, started to prepare for action, and Austria moved troops to the Serb border. Britain came to the support of Russia; Germany supported Austria. In the end, both sides backed down, but Austria retained its new territory and Russia got nothing. Following this embarrassment, Izvolsky began to actively support Serbian nationalism.
   See also <>; <>; <>.
   FURTHER READING:
    Izvolski, Alexander. The Memoirs of Alexander Izwolsky, Formerly Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Ambassador to France. Edited and translated by Charles Seeger. Gulf Breeze, FL: Academic International Press, 1974;
    Lieven, D.C.B. Russian and the Origins of the First World War. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1983.
   LEE A. FARROW

Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.

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