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AND THE OUTBREAK OF WAR. IQ
ïä had so long been the object of her national
6- ambition.
ld If then we regard the questions at issue
[Y from the point of view of imperial ambition,
LU the secular rivalry of states and the balance
1€ of power, the case for Russia is overwhelming.
ZE But there is a further element to be considered
>€ which is of equal importance. The creation
Il of independent Slavonic principalities and
? kingdoms had opened a prospect that the
>T Balkan question might eventually be settled
Ell with sole regard to the wishes and to the
interests of the inhabitants. The establish-
d ment of the Balkan League, had it been per-
JS manent, would have created conditions under
3 which the independent Slavonic peoples would
11 not have been forced to assume the position
11 of clients and dependents, either of Austria
O or of Russia. The collapse of this league at
S once reopened the rivalry of the two Empires
"C in an acute form, but there had been added
L1 a new factor, the importance of which cannot
’­ be over-estimated. There had always existed
€ a very strong and genuine mutual sympathy
¥S between Serbs and Russians, who were con-
€ scious of their relationship as members of the
H Slav Race and the Orthodox Church. In recent
[1 years as intercourse became more frequent,
B 2