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DIPLOMAT, POET, SAVANT
by Lyubov MANKOVA, Cand. Sc. (Philology) A diplomatic war that broke out between Russia and Great Britain in 1716 ended in the "Hanover quarrel" four years later and in the breakup of diplomatic relations (restored but ten years after). Upon King George I's death the British government made the first conciliatory move by appointing C. Rondo a special envoy at the Russian court. Prince Antiokh (Antioch) Kantemir (1708 - 1744) represented our country's interests vis-a-vis Europe's greatest power. The British envoy filed a report to his government on November 4, 1731: that the Russian Empress Anna Ivanovna had chosen Prince Antiokh Kantemir, son of Moldavia's former gospodar' (ruler), as resident envoy to London. Soon after, Rondo made a personal acquaintance of the Russian ambassador designate whom he, together with other very important persons of the Russian court, invited to formal dinner. -The prince looks quite young, the Englishman wrote. -He is a man of sound reason, fluent in French and in several other languages. Concerning his young age, Count Osterman said he (Kantemir) was twenty-eight, and a worthy individual at that; his young years could in no way interfere with the conductance of affairs between the courts of the two countries... Kantemir was actually but twenty-two. This embarrassed the Russian empress-could a young man like that be competent in international politics with so many knotty issues? Pushing against France, Britain had emerged as the world's Number One power. Meanwhile, our country's prestige had fallen dramatically; European countries capitalized on this fact by stepping up their anti-Russian activity. Considering this balance of forces, it was particularly difficult to forge friendly relations with "misty Albion"; an experienced diplomat was needed for that, not a young man wedded to the sciences. It was Count Ernst Biron (Bieren), a court favorite, who talked Empress Anna Ivanovna into appointing Prince Kantemir Russia's resident envo ... Читать далее
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