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Russia and Bulgaria., Issue 7915, 24 May 1889
Russia and Bulgaria.
Telegraphing on March 28, the Belgrade correspondent of the London ‘ Standard ’ says:—
I had this morning a conversation with M. Zankoff, who arrived here on Monday, Making every allowance for the bias of the speaker, his remarks were full of interest. He said “ I have come to Belgrade so as to be as near as possible to Sofia, and ready to cross the border directly a change occurs there. By Bulgarian law, I cannot approach within thirty kilometres of the frontier, but I can wait here. It may be a few weeks, perhaps a little longer. Prince Ferdinand must know that he cannot remain on the throne. The longer he stays tho more painful and degrading will be his exit. Instead of copying tho Battenberg, he should have followed the example of King Milan, who, when he saw it was impossible to continue on the throne, resigned the government into the hands of the party possessing the people’s confidence. I was once an implacable enemy to King Milan -, now he has all my respect. If Prince Ferdinand were now to tender his resignation to the heads of parties, and ask them to nominate his successor, his name wouffi always be honored. But, so long as he continues in open opposition to tho national wishes, he will be more and more detested every day. He knows as well as anybody that his^ resignation is inevitable, and it only remains for him to perform the act gracefully. When I was in Vienna I asked whether any personal friend of his would convey to him this advice, but could find no one to undertake tho task. Should you go to Sofia, you would be doing a great service, both to the Prince and Bulgaria if you could make him understand. You say his case is different from Milan’s, because the latter left a son ready to succeed him. But there are plenty of successors ready for Bulgaria. Not that Russia has any particular candidate. I thought she had before I saw the Czar, but now I am convinced to the contrary, Russia will leave it entirely to the Bulgarians to choose their ruler this time, though I do not think he will be a German, It is now becoming generally recognised that, as I learnt long since, Russia, and not either Germany or Austria, is the natural guardian of tho Balkan States. When it is a question of choice between Russia and Austria, neither Servia, Bulgaria, Bosnia, nor Herzegovina can or will nesitate for a moment. I have followed the tendency of national sentiment for more than thirty years, and from Russophobe I have changed to Russophile, I may assure you that the sympathies of these peoples are to a man with Russia.”
On taking leave, M. Zankoff helped me on with my coat, answering my polite remonstrances with the following anecdote • “ When I was in London I met Mr Gladstone by appointment. It was at a new house, and there were no servants; so he accompanied me into the hall, and held my greatcoat for me. On my begging him, the Prime Minister of England, not to do such a thing, he replied ‘ It is our custom in England.’ ‘So,’ added M. Zankoff, smiling: ‘ I always help an Englishman on with his coat in honor of Mr Gladstone.’”
Russia and Bulgaria., Issue 7915, 24 May 1889
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