University Library “Svetozar Marković”
Miroslav Spalajković, the Serbian Minister in Russia in the July Crisis of 1914
Abstract: One of those who played a supporting role in the prologue of the great European tragedy of 1914 was Miroslav Spalajković, the Serbian Minister in St Petersburg. Known as a sworn enemy of Austria-Hungary, he was a close associate of the Serbian Prime Minister Nikola Pašić. The latter was aware of Spalajković’s weaknesses but trusted him nevertheless. Although Spalajković had spent a brief period of time in St Petersburg prior to the July Crisis and could not have exerted considerable influence on the Russian ruling circles, he spared no effort to secure support for Serbia in the face of Vienna’s sabre-rattling. In fact, the Russians did not need a Serbian diplomat to point out what was obvious: that they could not allow the destruction of an independent and pro-Russian Serbia on the southern border of Austria-Hungary. Having sensed the political mood in St Petersburg, he enthusiastically reported to his government that Serbia would not be left in the lurch. His dispatches boosted self-confidence in Serbia and made its leaders firmer in their resistance to Austria-Hungary’s demands.
Keywords: Serbia, Miroslav Spalajković, July Crisis 1914, Russia, Austria-Hungary, First World War