Russian Memorandum of Advice to Serbia

24 July, 1914:
Russian Memorandum of Advice to Serbia

Special Journal of the Council of Ministers
11 [24] July, 1914
[The date, July 11, corresponds to July 24. The Russians at that time were using the Julian calendar, then thirteen days behind the Gregorian calendar used by the West.]

Subsequent to the declaration made by the Minister of Foreign Affairs regarding the most recent measures taken by the Austro-Hungarian Government against Serbia.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs informed the Council of Ministers that, according to information received by him and according to the announcement made by the Austro-Hungarian Ambassador to the Imperial Court, the Austro-Hungarian Government had turned upon the Serbian Government with demands which appeared, in fact, to be quite unacceptable to the Serbian Government as a sovereign State, and which were drawn up in the form of an ultimatum calling for a reply within a definite time, expiring tomorrow, July 12, at 6 o'clock in the evening.

Therefore, foreseeing that Serbia would turn to us for advice, and perhaps also for aid, there arose a need to prepare an answer which might be given to Serbia.

Having considered the declaration made by Marshal Sazonov in its relation to the information reported by the Ministers of War, Marine, and Finance concerning the political and military situation, the Council of Ministers decreed:

1 -- To approve the proposal of the Minister of Foreign Affairs to get in touch with the Cabinets of the Great Powers in order to induce the Austro-Hungarian Government to grant a postponement in the matter of the answer to the ultimatum demands presented by the Austro-Hungarian Government, so that it might be possible for the Governments of the Great Powers to become acquainted with and to investigate the documents on the Sarajevo crime which are in the hands of the Austro-Hungarian Government, and which, according to the declaration of the Austro-Hungarian Ambassador, it is willing to communicate to the Russian Government.

2 -- To approve the proposal of the Minister of Foreign Affairs to advise the Serbian Government, in case the situation of Serbia should be such that she could not with her own strength protect herself against the possible armed invasion by Austro-Hungary, not to offer armed resistance to the invasion of Serbian territory, if such all invasion should occur, but to announce that Serbia yields to force and that she entrusts her fate to the judgment of the Great Powers.

3 -- To authorize the Ministers of War and of Marine, in accordance with the duties of their offices, to beg your Imperial Majesty to consent, according to the progress of events, to order the mobilization of the four military districts of Kiev, Odessa, Moscow, and Kazan, and the Baltic and Black Sea fleets.
(Note by the Acting Secretary of the Council:
"In the original the word 'Baltic' has been added by his Imperial Majesty's own hand, and the word 'fleet' corrected to read 'fleets.' ") 4 -- To authorize the War Minister to proceed immediately to gather stores of war material.

5 -- To authorize the Minister of Finance to take measures instantly to diminish the funds of the Ministry of Finance which may be at present in Germany or Austria.

The Council of Ministers considers it its loyal duty to inform your Imperial Majesty of these decisions which it has made.

Countersigned: President of the Council of Ministers,
[Names of Members of the Council follow.]

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