Portrait of Vice Chancellor Count Karl Vasilyevich Nesselrode (1780-1862)


The artist is unknown

Karl Vasilievich Nesselrode (1780–1862) – statesman of German origin, Minister of Foreign Affairs, for forty years led the foreign policy of Russia (1816–1856). In 1801, he began a diplomatic career as an official of the Russian mission in Berlin, from where he was soon transferred to the Hague, and then again to Berlin and Paris. With the outbreak of Patriotic war 1812 he was in the army, under Alexander I. After Rumyantsev’s resignation, in 1814 he was appointed a speaker for a foreign department, two years later he headed the Foreign Ministry. According to contemporaries, he was not distinguished by an insightful mind and a solid character. A long stay as a Minister of Foreign Affairs by many researchers is explained by the fact that he was "obedient" the guide of the ideas of the monarchs, for which he was called "Kisel -House". Nesselrode’s largest foreign policy mistake was his incorrect forecasting the reaction of leading European countries about the possible war of Russia against Turkey. As a result, Russia was in international isolation and under the blow of not only Turkey, but England and France. Immediately after the conclusion of the Paris Peace Treaty (1856), Alexander II sent Nesselrode. The count died in St. Petersburg, was buried in the Smolensk Lutheran cemetery.

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