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Giers, Nikolai Karlovich

Giers, Nikolai Karlovich nyĭkəlī´ kär´ləvĭch gēyĕrs´ [key], 1820–95, Russian statesman. Appointed deputy foreign minister in 1875, he increasingly took over the duties of the elderly foreign minister Aleksandr Gorchakov , whom he succeeded in 1882. He sought to preserve the Three Emperors' League with Germany and Austria-Hungary. This policy, however, conflicted with the expansionist desires of all three powers, particularly those of Austria-Hungary and Russia in the Balkans, and in 1887 Czar Alexander III refused to renew the league. Nevertheless, Giers was able to maintain a limited alliance with Germany through the Reinsurance treaty (1887). In 1890, however, Germany refused to renew the Reinsurance treaty and Giers reluctantly negotiated (1891–94) a Franco-Russian alliance, which became the nucleus of the Triple Entente (see Triple Alliance and Triple Entente ).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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