Moscow, 29 January 2022 (TDI): Nikolay Pavlovich Ignatiev was a Russian Diplomat who played a key role in the administration of Russia’s Foreign Policy. He was born in St. Petersburg on 29 January 1832. Today marks the 190th birth anniversary of Nikolay Pavlovich Ignatiev.
At first, Ignatiev finished the Corps of Pages. Then, in 1851, he graduated from the Military academy with a silver medal.
Initial Stages of Career
Before embarking on his diplomatic career, Ignatiev served as a military attache in the mission in London. There, he was advised to develop an understanding of political and military insights about Europe and later in Asia.
Meanwhile, in 1857, he traveled to Europe and the Middle East. He acquired rich political, military, and economic insight from those regions. This also helped Ignatiev to contribute towards the diplomatic engagements.
Eventually, he sent his briefs to Minister of Affairs A.M. Gorchakov. Similarly, he proposed to send expeditions towards the Central Asian Regions.
Treaty with Bukhara Khanates
In 1858, Ignatiev went on an expedition to formulate diplomatic relations with Bukhara Khanates and Khiva. Most importantly, he succeeded in finalizing a treaty with Bukhara Khanates.
This treaty allowed free navigation of Russian ships in the Amudarya River along with lessened custom duties on imports. Thereafter, he also negotiated to establish a commercial agency in Bukhara.
Likewise, in 1860, Ignatiev concluded a historic treaty between Russia and China. This was termed as Convention of Peking. As a result, Russia acquired territories back and there has been a demarcation of the eastern boundary between Russia and China.
Accordingly, the Convention of Peking regulated the Russian-Chinese trade as well. The boundary line between both states got free and duty-free barter systems for citizens.
Similarly, the Russian Government got permission to open consulates in Urga and Kashgar. Also, the Chinese authorities could nominate its consuls in the Russian Empire.
Consequently, Ignatiev acquired the rank of Adjutant-General and became the Director of the Asian Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was later in 1864, appointed as Ambassador of Russia to Istanbul.
In March 1867, he was given the rank of Ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary. During his time in Istanbul, Ignatiev was part of the negotiations for the creation of Romania and related liberation dialogues in the Balkans.
Treaty of San Stefano
Due to the Peace settlement between the Ottoman government and Russia, the Treaty of San Stefano was signed in 1877-78. Soon after when Russia won the war, Ignatiev negotiated the Treaty to grant Serbia complete independence from Turks, resulting in creating a state of Bulgaria.
This entire Treaty was favorable to Russia. Fortunately, Ignatiev once again became successful while dealing with the treaty. Later in history, as European powers refused to accept this Treaty, the Treaty was replaced with the Treaty of Berlin.
This Treaty from the Europeans was meant to put Russia in a less advantageous position. This led Ignatiev to take retirement, regrettably.
Most importantly, the Treaty of San Stefano bought the liberation of Balkan states from the Ottoman empire. Resultantly, Serbia, Montenegro, and Romania got independence. As far as Bulgaria is concerned, it established its army and governmental authorities. Lastly, Bosnia and Herzegovina were also granted liberation from the then Ottoman Empire.
Engagement with Social Activities
Meanwhile, Alexander III ascended to the throne in 1881. He made Ignatiev, Minister of State Properties and later Interior Minister due to his previous contributions to Russia.
Thereupon, he took part in social activities. Firstly, he became Chairman of the Society for Promotion of Russian Industry and Trade. Secondly, he led the Petersburg Slavic Benevolent Society and became a member of the Russian Geographical Society.
It is pertinent to note that, the Russian Geographical Society collects and distributes reliable geographical information. It has played a crucial role in exploring Siberia, the Far East, the Middle, and Central Asia, as well as the World Ocean.
Moreover, this information helps in developing navigation, meteorology, and climatology. Owing to its research and geographical discoveries, the society obtained world recognition in the 19th century.
Besides, it also focused on disciplines such as ethnography, archaeology, anthropology, zoology, and history. For instance, it organized an expedition to study the life of New Guinea Papuans.
Currently, the society is a member of the International Geographical Union. As a part of Geographical society, Ignatiev wrote his memoirs.
Nikolay Pavlovich Ignatiev died on June 20, 1908, in Kyiv province.