Sergei Sazonov

Sergei Sazonov was born in Russia in 1860. Nicholas II considered Sazonov to be a competent international analyst and in 1910 appointed him as his foreign minister.

Sazonov was aware that although the Russian Army was large, it was also inefficient, and was careful to avoid conflict with Turkey during the Balkan Wars. However, in 1914, Sazonov was of the opinion that in the event of a war, Russia’s membership of the Triple Entente would enable it to make territorial gains from neighbouring countries. Sazonov and Nicholas II were especially interested in taking Posen, Silesia, Galicia and North Bukovina.

On 31st July, Sazonov advised the Tsar to order the mobilization of the Russian Army even though he knew it would lead to war with the Germany and Austria-Hungary.

During the early stages of the First World War Sazonov was busy making long-term territorial arrangements with Britain and France. This including the promise that after the war Russia would be given control of the Dardanelles.

Sazonov came into conflict with Nikolai Maklakov and other conservative figures in the government. His desire to create a unified, independent Poland after the war lost him the support of Nicholas II and he was dismissed from office in July, 1916.

Sent to Britain on diplomatic duties, Sazonov remained in London during the February Revolution and the creation of the Provisional Government. As an opponent of the Bolshevik Government in Russia, Sazonov was invited to the Paris Peace Conference in 1919. Sergei Sazonov died in 1927.