Public association «Kraievied», Odesa, Ukraine
Abstract. The article analyzes the main international acts, treaties, conventions governing commercial shipping in the Lower Danube in the XIX – early XX centuries. Considerable attention is paid to the periodization and peculiarities of international diplomacy regarding commercial shipping on the Danube.
The measures of European states for the introduction of a single legal regime and guarantees of safety of navigation on the Danube are considered. The attempts of the Russian Empire to establish political, economic and legal hegemony in the European international shipping trade are analyzed. The process of creation of the European Danube Commission (hereinafter – EDC) and its place in the deployment of international shipping in the region is studied.
By the middle of the XIX century most often used bilateral diplomacy aimed at strengthening the presence of European countries on the Danube. Britain, Austria, and Russia actually imposed their conditions on the Ottoman Empire regarding shipping and trade relations. The Russian Empire almost monopolized its presence on the Lower Danube with the Peace of Bucharest (1812), the Peace of Andrianople (1829), and the Ackermann Convention of 1826, much to the displeasure of leading European countries. Therefore, from the middle of the XIX century efforts of European countries (including Britain, France, Austria) were aimed at ousting Russia not only from the Danube, but from the Budzhak region and the creation of an international commission (EDC), which would regulate commercial shipping. Russia’s defeat in the Crimean War of 1853-1856 and the loss of the Danube part of Budzhak temporarily drove it out of the Danube region. The legal alternative was the activity of the EDC, which was clearly regulated by international treaties and conventions. In addition to regulating the shipping regime, the EDC dealt with the issue of quarantine, arrangement of shipping channels, legal regime in the area of responsibility.
Even the victory in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–1878 failed to restore Russia’s full presence. The agreements of 1878–1883, according to which Russia regained the Danube part of Budzhak and the Kiliia estuary, became a certain compromise, and the powers of the EDC extended to the entire Lower Danube.
Until 1918, control over waterways continued to be exercised by the European Danube Commission, which in turn also did not take into account the interests of the newly formed Danube states (Romania, Serbia, Bulgaria).
Keywords: Danube, shipping, navigation, trade, Budzhak, EDC, convention.
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