19 NOVEMBER 1870, Page 1


THE week has been marked by a startling event. Russia has repudiated the Treaty of 1856. On the 19th October, or as the civilized races call it, the 31st October, Prince Gortachakoff addressed to the Russian Ministers at all Courts concerned in the Treaty a circular stating that his august master intended to break it. He states that recent events affecting the balance of power have compelled the Czar to reconsider the position of his Empire, and that he finds the neutralization of the Black Sea injurious to ?that position. Turkey can keep a fleet in the Archipelago and the Straits, England and France can keep fleets in the Mediterranean, while the Southern Coasts of Russia are undefended. Written international law is no longer held in respect ; the Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia have been united ; the Black Sea has been entered by whole squadrons ; and in fact, the Treaty has been violated in its essential provisions, and the Emperor, therefore, "bids his envoys declare that he can no longer consider himself as being bound ('no saurait se considerer plus longtemps comme tiée') by the obligations of the Treaty of 1856." He withdraws also from the convention with Turkey limiting the fleet of each power in the Black Sea, and permits Turkey to do the same ; but entirely adheres otherwise to the Treaty, and does not wish to reopen the Eastern Question.