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Imperial Russia’s maritime access to the Black Sea and the Mediterranean broadened the framework of tsarist influence in the Ottoman Empire during the 19th century. The pursuit of strategic and diplomatic aims in Istanbul, the Straits and the Balkan peninsula, in conjunction with the protection of Eastern Orthodoxy and the extension of trade in the Levant, made the Eastern Question a complex and multi-faceted issue for Imperial Russia. Archival sources on commerce and consulates shed light on the variety of interests which comprised Russia's Eastern Question and deserve more critical examination by scholars of Russian designs in the Near East.


Originally published in Balkanistica 17 (2004): 67-78

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