San Stefano, Treaty of 1878

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

San Stefano, Treaty of (1878)


the preliminary treaty that brought an end to the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78. On Feb. 19 (Mar. 3), 1878, in San Stefano (now Yeşilköy), near Istanbul, Count N. P. Ignat’ev and A. I. Nelidov signed the treaty for the Russians, and Safvet Pasha and Saadulla Bey signed for the Ottomans. The truce of Adrianople, concluded on Jan. 19 (31), 1878, was the basis of the Treaty of San Stefano.

According to the terms of the treaty, Montenegro, Serbia, and Rumania were made fully independent and significantly enlarged; in particular, Rumania was given the southern Do-bruja (arts. 1–5). Bosnia-Hercegovina was granted autonomy within the Ottoman Empire (art. 14). Bulgaria, which stretched from the Danube to the Aegean Sea and from the Black Sea to Lake Ohrid, was made a dependency of the Ottoman Empire but at the same time was declared an autonomous principality with the right to elect its own prince (arts. 6–7). Ottoman troops were to withdraw from Bulgaria altogether; Russian troops were to remain in Bulgaria for two years (art. 8). Russia acquired Batum, Ardahan, Kars, Bayazid, and southern Bessarabia, the last of which, except for the islands in the Danube River delta, it had lost under the Treaty of Paris in 1856. The Ottoman Empire pledged to pay Russia an indemnity of 310 million rubles (art. 19), to introduce in Epirus, Thessaly, and Albania an administration modeled after the one introduced on Crete in 1868 (art. 15), and to carry out reforms in Turkish Armenia (art. 16).

The Treaty of San Stefano was opposed by the Western powers, especially Great Britain and Austria-Hungary, and at the Congress of Berlin of 1878 it was superseded by a multilateral treaty much less favorable to Russia and Bulgaria. Although the Congress of Berlin greatly reduced the extent of the Bulgarian principality, it retained what the Russo-Turkish war had won and what the Treaty of San Stefano had formally sanctioned—the liberation of Bulgaria from Ottoman rule and the emergence of a Bulgarian national statehood.


Sbornik dogovorov Rossii s drugimi gosudarstvami, 1856–1917. Moscow, 1952.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.