Ignatiev, Nikolai Pavlovich, Count (nyĭkəlĪˈ pävˈləvĭch ĭgnäˈtyəf) [key], 1832–1908, Russian diplomat. He was sent to China as an envoy in 1859. There he played the Chinese against the British and French and secured the Ussuri region for Russia through the Treaty of Beijing (1860). As ambassador to Constantinople (1864–1877), he promoted nationalist and Pan-Slav (see Pan-Slavism) aspirations in the Balkans and helped instigate the anti-Turkish rebellion in Bulgaria. His diplomacy led to the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78, at the close of which he negotiated the Treaty of San Stefano, which greatly expanded Russian influence in the Balkans. Shortly afterward, his influence waned and he retired. He served briefly as minister of the interior (1881–82).