"Amigos para siempre"

Author: Vladimir Chkhikvadze

Russian-Spanish Relations 155

"Amigos para siempre"1

Vladimir Chkhikvadze, Head of the Administration of Social and Economic Development of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia

The first time the question about the advisability of "establishing a consul or vice-consul in Barcelona" was raised was in a report to Her Emperor's Majesty Catherine II, signed by Duke N. Osterman, Duke A. Vorontsov, A. Bezborodko, and P. Bakunin in May 1782.2 However the decision to establish a provisional consul was made only in 1806 under Aleksandr I.

The reports of the provisional consuls in Barcelona have survived: by Gasso from 1808-1815, by Rafael Valdezhuli from 1862-1870, by Vice-Consuls I. Tintorer and Giberg from 1891-1892.

The provisional consuls in Barcelona answered after 1827 to A.I. Gesler, Russia's Consul General in Cadiz, who was assigned to his position in Spain by the Emperor's order and was granted wide authority.3

In Barcelona itself, the General consulate of the Russian Empire was established in accordance with the Supreme Order of July 8, 1893. A wide region of activity (consular district) was designated to it, and the consulates in Cartagena, Seville, and Mahon, the vice-consulates in Torrelavega, Tarragona, Valencia, Alicante, Vigo, Bilbao, Santander, Gijon, San Sebastian, Pasajes, El Ferrol, and Cordoba, as well as the consular agency in Ibiza, were to yield to it.

The first Russian Consul General in Barcelona, until 1897, was Dmitrii Kira-Dinzhan.

During this time, the Spanish Empire had in Russia a consulate in St. Petersburg, to whom the vice-consulate in Kronshtadt answered; the consulate in Moscow, whose district included the following provinces: Moskovskaia, Tverskaia, Iaroslavskaia, Kostromskaia, Vladimirskaia, Riazanskaia, Tulskaia, Kaluzhskaia, Tambovskaia, Voronezhskaia, Kurskaia, Orlovskaia, Smolenskaia and Vologodskaia; the consulate in Helsingfors (The Grand Duchy of Finland), which had sixteen subordinate vice-consulates and consular agencies; the consulate in Riga, whose district included the provinces of: Estliandskaia, Lifliandskaia and Kurliandskaia, to whom the vice-consulates in ...

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