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Noted for Your Morning Procrastination for July 18, 2014

Liveblogging World War I: July 18, 1914: The British Foreign Service Is Anxious

NewImageSir G. Buchanan to Sir Edward Grey:

St. Petersburg, July 18, 1914
D. 8:50 P.M.
R. 10:39 P.M.
Tel. (No.161)

In the course of conversation to-day Minister for Foreign Affairs expressed the great uneasiness which Austria's attitude towards Servia was causing him. He had received disquieting telegrams from the Russian Ambassadors at London, Berlin, and Rome, and proposed to ask the French Government to give a word of warning at Vienna. He had just seen the German Ambassador and had impressed on him that Russia's sole desire was to be left in peace. She cherished no aggressive designs against anyone, and wished to devote all her efforts to the development of her internal resources, and to the construction of the railways of which she stood in such need. The period of expansion through which she had passed was now over. The increase in her armaments was not directed against any other Power, but was necessary for the peaceful development of her vast Empire. Germany was, relatively speaking, in a far stronger position than Russia, as she had not the same length of frontiers to defend or such an extent of territory.

The Pan-Serb agitation in Austria was an internal growth, and blame could not be thrown on Servia any more than Germany could be held responsible for the Pan-German or Italy for the Italian propaganda that was carried on within the Austrian Empire. In reply to a question of mine, his Excellency said that anything in the shape of an Austrian ultimatum at Belgrade could not leave Russia indifferent, and she might be forced to take some precautionary military measures.