It immediately became clear that Mandelstam automatically dropped out of the list of possible opponents — he had not yet managed to get a Ph.D. Immediately informing Andrei Nikolaevich about this, Vardan was very surprised when, in September, after returning from Feodosia, he was handed a review of the dissertation signed by Mandelstam at the department. It turns out that, having arrived on vacation, Andrei Nikolaevich considered it his duty to write a review and attach a petition to it: “Please consider me a participant in the dispute and read out my review. Dragoman of the Russian Embassy in Turkey A. Mandelstam. Moscow. August 29, 1899”.
Andrei Nikolayevich’s response, in particular, said that Vardan’s dissertation work attracted attention both by the content and the personality of the dissertation candidate, and he regarded it «as a serious legal work, many of whose provisions should form the basis of subsequent legal constructions.»
Omitting particulars, I will quote the final paragraphs of the review, which are very flattering for Vardan: “God sent me happiness to meet the author of the dissertation. Even more, I replaced him as a dragoman of the Russian embassy. It seems to me that talented people are attracted to diplomacy by the enormous creative potential of our work. Diplomacy is a multifunctional occupation, it reveals the most diverse, sometimes unexpected qualities of a person.