The humanities and social science

2022 Issue №2

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The study of the history of consular and diplomatic relations between Australia and Russia (on the publication of the book “Diplomatic Correspondence Russia — Australia 1856—2007”)



The article examines how well the history of consular and diplomatic relations between Russia and Australia is studied in the historiography of both countries. A brief review of the contacts established between Australia and Russia since the beginning of the 19th century has been carried out. The authors also present the works of Russian and Australian authors, who touch upon the issues of political relations between the two states. It is noted that in Russian historiography there are a few meaningful works on the formation and activities of the Russian consular service, which worked in the Australian resettlement colonies and in the Australian Commonwealth from the second half of the 19th century until 1917, the consuls’ dispatches were searched out in the archives and published. Well-founded works have recently appeared in Russian and Australian historiography devoted to attempts to develop political contacts between Russia and Australia in 1917—1921, the establishment of full-fledged diplomatic relations between the two countries in 1942, the development of political ties during the Cold War and in the post-Soviet period. The latest work on this topic, the book Diplomatic Correspondence Russia — Australia 1856—2007, published in 2019 by the editors of the Australian Russian-language magazine Avstraliada, has been subjected to a detailed critical analysis. It is noted that a random selection of documents published without observing the rules for publishing archival materials and covering only the front side of the development of diplomatic contacts between the two countries, as well as the absence of comments and an introductory analytical article, significantly reduce the scientific level of this publication and form a biased picture of the development of relations between Russia / USSR / RF and Australia.