chapter  V
35 Pages

CRISIS IN THE BALKANS (October–December 1878)

FoRTHEremainderoftheyearRussianpolicyinthepeninsula suppliedthemainprobleminthetreatysettlement.The behaviouroftheRussianagentsinBulgariaandEasternRoumelia, andeventheactionoftheRussiangovernmentitself,seemedto indicatealltooclearlythatRussiamight,afterall,repudiate herobligationsunderthetreaty,andattempttocreateagreater BulgariaundermoredirectRussiancontrol.Thiscrisisbrought AustriaandGreatBritainmorecloselytogether,anddefeated theplansofShuvalovandBismarckforco-operationbetweenthe threeempires;insodoingitbroughtaboutthefinalcollapse oftheDreikaiserbiindnis,whichhad,inhowevervagueaform, maintainedsomesortofexistencesince1872-3.Thetemporary suspensionoftheAustro-TurkishnegotiationsoverBosnia,and Salisbury'swillingnesstopostponetheseriouspressingofhis reformprogramme,facilitatedeffectiveco-operationbetweenthe BritishandAustriangovernmentsandthePorte.Bythe middleofSeptember,whenthepowerswerebeginningto grapplewiththedetailsoftheBulgariansettlement,ithad alreadybeenmadeclearthatAndrassyhadnodesiretoabandon hiscloseunderstandingwithEnglandortolookfavourablyon anyRussianattemptstomodifyorrenouncethetreaty.As yet,however,theBulgariansettlementhadnotcalledonthe twopowersforanyveryactiveco-operation,althoughEngland andRussiafoundgroundsfordisagreementfromthestart.