Sazonov’s Response to Germany: 30 July 1914

The Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergey Sazonov, responds to a German plea to localise the conflict between Austria-Hungary and Serbia should the Dual Monarchy respect Serbia’s territorial integrity.

Sazanov to Russian ambassadors in Berlin, Vienna, Paris, London and Rome. St. Petersburg, 30 July 1914.

The German Ambassador, who has just left me, has asked whether Russia would not be satisfied with the promise which Austria might give that she would not violate the integrity of the Kingdom of Servia and whether we could not indicate upon what condition we would agree to suspend our military preparations. I dictated to him the following declaration to be forwarded to Berlin for immediate action:

“Si l’Autriche, reconnaissant que la question austro-serbe a assume le caractère d’une question européenneé se déclare prête à éliminer de son ultimatum les points qui portent atteinte aux droits souverains de la Serbie, la Russie s’engage à cesser ses préparatifs militaires.”

Sergey Sazonov

Sergey Sazonov

“If Austria, recognising that the Austro-Servian question has assumed the character of a question of European interest, declares herself ready to eliminate from her ultimatum points which violate the sovereign rights of Servia, Russia engages to stop her military preparations.”

Please inform me at once by telegraph what attitude the German Government will adopt in face of this fresh proof of our desire to do the utmost possible for a peaceful settlement of the question, for we cannot allow such discussions to continue solely in order that Germany and Austria may gain time for their military preparations.


Source: Russian Orange Book


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