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42

DIPLOMACY AND THE WAR

undertaken to preserve the status quo ante, provided the federation of the Balkans respected our interests. I outUned this idea in the early days of the war (October, 1912), and described the proposal in greater detail before the delegation (November and December, 1913).

My proposal, however, was not carried out. Together with Russia, we made the impossible demand that the Christian States should be content, even in case of victory, with their previous boundaries. In consequence of this policy we made an agreement with Serbia, and were forced to protect our interests against our victorious neighbour, which led to continued antagonism and to the increasing probability of war. The final result was that Serbia continued her policy of territorial aggrandizement in spite of our well-known opposition, and finally became a more bitter enemy of ours than ever before.

The probability of a European war became so imminent during the Balkan War that Russia made every effort in all directions to improve her chances to safeguard herself against the ever-threatening dangers of the situation. Russia agreed in 1912 with Japan that, in case of a European crisis, Japan would protect Russian interests in the Far East, without occupying Russian territory, so that Kiautschou might be snatched from Germany. Russia also concluded a naval agreement with France, and massed troops on her western frontier under the pretext of a trial mobilization.

The fact that neither the Moroccan crisis nor the Balkan War led to a European conflagration showed