22/7/1914 Poincaré and Sazonov receive disturbing reports from Rome

President Poincaré’s state visit to Russia continues with more military parades, presentation of gifts and honours and a banquet hosted by the the Grand Duke Nicholas, cousin of the Tsar. All is well, for all that Prime Minister Viviani is increasingly unwell and nervous.

But then Poincaré receives an ominous diplomatic report from the French embassy in Rome. The Italians are apparently saying that Germany will not restrain Austria-Hungary in whatever actions it chooses to take against Serbia. Worse, the Italians reportedly believe that Russia will not come to Serbia’s aid.

Sazonov has also received ominous news from Rome. The Russian ambassador there has heard that Austria-Hungary is planning to annihilate Serbia.

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