What were Russia’s interests in the Balkans? With what powers did she have to compete here?

What were Russia’s interests in the Balkans? With what powers did she have to compete here? How did this affect the formation of military and political blocs?

The situation in the Balkans also remained tense. Russia sought to strengthen its influence in Bulgaria. Austria Hungary, however, temporarily with Serbia, trying to make it a rival to Bulgaria (and therefore Russia). But in the fall of 1885, relations between Russia and Bulgaria deteriorated. The fact is that Bulgaria announced the annexation of the autonomous Ottoman province of Eastern Rumelia. This was a violation of the decisions of the Berlin Congress, and Emperor Alexander III recalled to his homeland Russian officers who held leading posts in the Bulgarian army.
Of course, this weakened the military forces of the Bulgarians. Austria Hungary decided to take advantage of the favorable situation and persuaded the Serbs to start a war with Bulgaria. However, the Bulgarians quickly defeated the weak Serbian army. A diplomatic game began, in which Great Britain also intervened. As a result, Bulgaria recognized that formally Eastern Rumelia remained an Ottoman province. But the British persuaded the Turkish sultan to appoint a Bulgarian prince as governor there. And in fact, this territory remained with the Bulgarians.

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