27 MARCH 1909, Page 1


DURING the greater part of the week the news from the Balkans was of an exceedingly disquieting kind. Happily things seem to have taken a turn for the better, and Thursday's and Friday's news is of a distinctly more hopeful character. This turn for the better is due to the wise and statesmanlike action of Russia. It appears that M. Isvolsky, the Russian Minister for Foreign Affairs, has given the German Ambassador at St. Petersburg assurances that if Austria-Hungary asks his Government to recognise the annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Russia will accede to the request. As the Times points out, this, coupled with the news from Vienna that the presentation of the Austro- Hungarian Note to Servia—a Note which would have been in the nature of an ultimatum—will probably be again deferred, and that the negotiations which Sir Edward Grey has been carrying on in order to arrive at an understanding between Servia and her great neighbour are proceeding, "distinctly improves the prospects of peace."