Shafirov, Petr Pavlovich
Born 1669; died Mar. 1 (12), 1739, in St. Petersburg. Russian state figure and diplomat; baron (from 1710).
Shafirov came from a Jewish family. In 1691 he took up his father’s profession and began serving as an interpreter and translator in the Posol’skii Prikaz (Foreign Office). In 1697 and 1698 he took part in the Great Embassy in Western Europe; during this time, Peter I brought Shafirov into his own service. In 1703, Shafirov became a privy secretary to Chancellor F. A. Golovin, and in 1709 he became vice-chancellor and director of the postal service. Shafirov concluded the Prut Peace Treaty of 1711 with Turkey, and he signed the alliance agreements with Poland and Denmark in 1715 and with Prussia and France in 1717. In 1717 he became vice-president of the Collegium of Foreign Affairs. He helped with preparations for the conclusion of the Treaty of Nystadt with Sweden, which was signed in 1721.
In 1723, as a result of a struggle among groups at the court, Shafirov was accused of embezzlement of public funds and was sentenced to death; the sentence was commuted to exile for life. Shafirov was sent to Nizhny Novgorod to serve his sentence, but in 1725 he was pardoned by Catherine I and was made president of the Commerce Collegium. During the reign of Emperor Peter II (1727–30), Shafirov was in retirement. From 1730 to 1732 he served as Russian ambassador in Tehran, and in 1732 he concluded the Treaty of Resht with Iran. In 1733, Shafirov again became president of the Commerce Collegium.