Russia at the beginning of the 20th century was considered a powerful Eurasian power. The country had a very significant international authority.
At the turn of the century, 19-20, the international situation developed against the backdrop of the struggle of the great states for redivision of the world, the strengthening of direct annexation (annexation) of various territories with the conversion of them into a colony.
Foreign policy of Russia in the early 20th centurywas carried out in accordance with geographical position, strategic, geopolitical and economic interests. At the same time, inconsistency was noted in the choice of priority areas and allies. The situation was aggravated also by the inconsistency of the methods that Nicholas 2 chose to carry out foreign policy tasks.
However, part of the government(Stolypin, Witte), realizing the danger of the development of conflicts for modernization within the country, insisted on the application of peaceful, diplomatic measures. At the same time, Russia at the beginning of the 20th century actively participated in resolving the issues of disarmament.
The other part in the circles of the government (Sazonov, Bezobrazov and others), advocating the continuation of territorial acquisitions, took an expansionist position.
Russia at the beginning of the 20th century preserved for itselftraditional foreign policy directions. The main thing, as before, was the Middle East. The Russian state was seen as an ally and patron for the Balkan peoples. However, as a result of the strengthening of friendly relations with them, at the beginning of the 20th century Russia met with opposition from certain European countries.
Allied relations in the European directionwith countries such as Austria-Hungary, Germany cooled more and more. They did not bring positive results in establishing mutually beneficial relations and repeated meetings of the Russian emperor with the German one. Thus, all attempts to create a Russian-German-French alliance were doomed to failure. At the same time, at the beginning of the 20th century, against the backdrop of contradictory relations with Germany, strengthening friendship with France, concluded in 1891-1893, was forced to get closer to England.
After the signing in 1904 of an agreement between theGreat Britain and France, against the background of increasing German militarism, the Russian government joined the Anglo-French alliance. Along with this, some of Russia's actions were not supported by either England or France, which forced it to seek an agreement with the German government.
At the beginning of the 20th century the Russian Empirewas activated in the Far Eastern foreign policy direction. It should be noted that the Far East was a place of attraction for all great states with their interests as early as the end of the 19th century.
Quite often I experienced imperialistaggression on the part of many countries, a backward and weak China. Colonies (zones of influence) were acquired by Germany, England, France. America (USA) proclaimed the doctrine of "equal opportunities and open doors", which in practice leads to China's "enslavement" in the economic sphere. Japan, Korea, Pescadores, Taiwan moved to Japan.
The Japanese state aspired to occupy the leadingposition in the Pacific region. Claiming for the creation of "Greater Asia", the capture of Manchuria, the northeastern province in China, was preparing. In turn, for the Russian state was the threat and location of Japan at the eastern borders.
Along with other countries, Russia aspired toTo become the owner in the Far East and its zones of influence. In 1896, she concluded a defensive alliance with China against Japan. In 1900, Russian troops were led to Manchuria. In 1903, the Russo-Japanese talks about the fate of Korea and Manchuria reached an impasse. This was due to the desire of both sides to dominate China. At the same time, England provided support to Japan. In 1902, the Anglo-Japanese Union was concluded. And in 1904 - became the year of the beginning of the war (Russian-Japanese).