Belgrade, Treaty of 1739
Belgrade, Treaty of (1739)
signed on September 18 (29), to conclude the war Russia fought (in alliance with Austria) against Turkey from 1735 to 1739. On the initiative of Austria, which was trying to persuade Russia to make peace at the price of abandoning some of its demands, the allies had recourse to France as an intermediary. The French ambassador in Constantinople, the marquis de Villeneuve, deliberately prolonged the negotiations, expecting Austria to be weakened further. The successes of the Russian army with the occupation of the Crimea and victories at Khotin, Iaşi, and Stavchany marked a turning point in the war. However, the great losses suffered and the unsuccessful military operations of the Austrian army, as well as the separate treaty signed on August 21 (September 1) by which Austria returned Serbia and Lesser Walachia to Turkey, and the increased strain in relations with Sweden, forced Russia to enter into talks with Turkey. By the terms of the Treaty of Belgrade, Russia won back Azov, but with the obligation to take down its fortifications and not to rearm the city. Russia also was granted the right to build a fortress on the island of Cherkas in the Don River, and Turkey was allowed to build one at the mouth of the Kuban’ River. Greater and Lesser Kabarda were recognized as a neutral buffer between Russia and Turkey. Russia was prohibited from maintaining a fleet on the Sea of Azov or the Black Sea, and trade on the Black Sea could be conducted only in Turkish vessels. The conditions of the Treaty of Belgrade were not consistent with the successes of the Russian troops, and the terms did not answer the primary needs of Russian diplomacy—gaining an outlet on the Black Sea. The 1739 treaty was annulled by the Treaty of Kuchuk Kainarji in 1774.