The successful offensive and the crossing of the Balkans by Russian troops during the Russian-Turkish war, which took place in 1877-1878, forced the Turkish government to send its commissioners to conclude a truce. The result was the signing of the Berlin Treaty.
Under the terms of the Treaty of San Stefano, an independent state was formed - Great Bulgaria, the territory of which stretched from the Black Sea to the Aegean Sea. Turkey had to withdraw all its troops from it. Russia returned to the lands of Akkerman district of Bessarabia, which were taken away in 1856 under the Paris Peace Treaty, as well as the Izmail District. In addition, it provided for the reimbursement of all military costs. However, the Berlin Congress did not give an opportunity to implement all the preliminary Russian conditions.
In England and Austria-Hungary such conditions caused extreme indignation. Since the seizure of Constantinople and the Straits was England's long-standing dream, it could not allow the Russians to outstrip themselves. In addition, the British government feared that the inclusion of Bulgaria in its sphere of influence would help Russia become a great Mediterranean power. Soon it was announced that the British government was not going to recognize the conditions of the world as valid.
The same position of hostility was taken also by Austria-Hungary, having begun the transfer of troops to the Russian border. Together with Britain, they demanded the transfer of questions "of all the preliminary bases of peace", so that the Berlin Congress would consider them at an international conference. Russia found itself in a desperate situation, since the imminent war with England could lead to disastrous consequences, and hopes for Germany's support were in vain, despite the fact that it was Bismarck who drove Russia into the war with Turkey. The result of these circumstances was the Berlin Congress, which was convened in 1878.
June 13, 1878 in Berlin, an international congress was opened. Its participants were the following countries: Russia, Germany, England, Turkey, Austria-Hungary, Italy, the Balkan states and France. "Boss" was, of course, Bismarck.
The diplomatic struggle was extremely tense. The Treaty of Berlin was signed only a month after the opening of the conference.
Despite the fact that the main stages of the decision of the Congress were stipulated in the Anglo-Russian agreement, the borders of Bulgaria were not clearly defined. This moment was very important for all participants of the congress, as the Balkan passes had a serious strategic significance.
England, and with it Austria-Hungary, not without the support of Germany, achieved significant changes in the conditions of the San Stefan Treaty, but this was extremely unprofitable for the Slavic peoples. The Berlin treatise stated that the Bulgarian principality would be though independent, but vassal, territorially limited to the Bulgarian mountains. The southern part of it received partial autonomy, remaining in the Ottoman Empire. Another result was the return of Macedonia to the power of Turkey.
The Berlin Congress of 1878 confirmed the independence of Romania, Serbia and Montenegro. Austria-Hungary following the negotiations received the right to occupy Herzegovina and Bosnia, and Austro-Hungarian troops were established between the territories of these states. Thus, the powers wanted to prevent the unification of the Slavic neighboring states. Control over the coast of Montenegro was also provided to Austria-Hungary. Contributions that were imposed on Turkey, declined to 300 million rubles. Russia got only Kardagan, Batum and Kare, Bayazet returned to Turkey.
The Berlin Congress redrawn the map of the Balkan Peninsula and thus gave rise to numerous conflicts on this stretch of the Earth, thus aggravating the international situation as a whole. Even after liberation, the Balkan states did not cease to remain an arena on which the great European powers competed.