1898: Russia and the Red Sea

BERLIN, MONDAY — The following curious notice appears in a Berlin paper: “It’s said that Russian officials holding a high position in their own country are now on a secret mission in England, where they have been negotiating for the last month with officials in the British Civil Service.” Their alleged object is to obtain information, maps and plans concerning English concessions in Persia and Arabia.

“After leaving London they are to go to Paris in order to contract a large loan there, and to obtain the support of France. Russia’s intention is to build a gigantic railway through Russia, Turkestan, Persia, and Arabia to the Red Sea. At the terminus of the Red Sea a Muscovite naval station is to be erected, and an agreement with the Government of the Shah of Persia has already been concluded and signed.”

— The New York Herald, European Edition, Dec. 21, 1898