Giers, Nikolai Karlovich [key], 1820–95, Russian statesman. Appointed deputy foreign minister in 1875, he increasingly took over the duties of the elderly foreign minister Aleksandr Gorchakov, whom he succeeded in 1882. He sought to preserve the Three Emperors' League with Germany and Austria-Hungary. This policy, however, conflicted with the expansionist desires of all three powers, particularly those of Austria-Hungary and Russia in the Balkans, and in 1887 Czar Alexander III refused to renew the league. Nevertheless, Giers was able to maintain a limited alliance with Germany through the Reinsurance treaty (1887). In 1890, however, Germany refused to renew the Reinsurance treaty and Giers reluctantly negotiated (1891–94) a Franco-Russian alliance, which became the nucleus of the Triple Entente (see Triple Alliance and Triple Entente).
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