Jassy, Treaty of

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During the eighteenth century, Russia and Turkey fought repeatedly for hegemony on the Black Sea and in adjacent lands, including the Pontic steppe. Russia's growing power became truly dominant during Catherine II's Second Turkish War, when the military-administrative talents of Grigory Alexandrovich Potemkin and the generalship of Alexander Vasilievich Suvorov and Nikolay Vasilyevich Repnin finally brought Turkey to its knees. In a treaty negotiated successively by Potemkin and Aleksandr Andreyevich Bezborodko at Jassy in modern Romania, Sultan Selim III's representative, Yusof Pasha, agreed with terms that essentially acknowledged Russia's stature as a Black Sea power.

Potemkin died before the treaty was signed on January 9, 1792, but his absence did not affect the outcome. Russia agreed to withdraw its troops from south of the Danube, and Turkey recognized Russian annexation of the Crimea and lands between the Bug and Dniester rivers. Both parties recognized the Kuban River as their mutual boundary in the foothills of the Caucasus, while Turkey agreed to restrain raids on Georgia and Russia's Kuban territories. The southern steppe now came under full Russian control, with a subsequent blossoming of settlement and commercial activities. The Russians now also had both naval bases on the Black Sea and a territorial springboard for further military action, either in the Caucasus or in the Balkans. The Treaty of Jassy thus marked a major milestone in the titanic struggle between Russia and Turkey for empire in the Black Sea basin.

See also: potemkin, grigory alexandrovich; russo-turkish wars; turkey, relations with


Alexander, John T. (1989). Catherine the Great: Life and Legend. New York: Oxford University Press.

Menning, Bruce W. (2002). "Paul I and Catherine II's Military Legacy, 17621801." In The Military History of Tsarist Russia, eds. Frederick W. Kagan and Robin Higham. New York: Palgrave.

Bruce W. Menning