Having served in the Russian embassy for eight years, Vardan Boyajyan repeatedly witnessed the two-faced policy of the Russian government, which cared not so much about the Armenian autonomy, but about good relations with Turkey, because it controlled the Black Sea straits.
Another priority was for Russia to increase its influence in the Balkans and weaken the British influence in Porto. The implementation of the imperial plans was largely facilitated by the then ambassador to Turkey, who was appointed to this post in the summer of 1883. My hero had the good fortune to work under him until the middle of 1898. Vardan quickly realized that Alexander Ivanovich Nelidov was a supporter of an active Middle East policy. An intelligent and experienced diplomat, he had a keen political sense and was well versed in Balkan affairs. In addition to official reports to the ministry, the ambassador sometimes addressed the king directly, and he listened to his opinion. So, on one of the notes about two options for the possible occupation of the Bosphorus, armed and peaceful — Nelidov presented it to the Foreign Ministry, — Vardan saw Alexander III’s handwritten note regarding the peaceful option: «Of course, this would be the most desirable.» It was Nelidov who was instructed by the tsar to assure the Sultan that he was striving for rapprochement between the two countries.