Agreement on the Sphere of Influence between Russia and Great Britain in Afghanistan – 1895

Agreement on the Sphere of Influence between Russia and Great Britain, 1895

On March 11, 1895, the following Agreement between the Governments of Great Britain and Russia, with regard to the spheres of influence of the two countries in the region of the Pamirs and concerning the position of Afghanistan in that region, was drawn up :

The spheres of influence of Great Britain and Russia to the east of Lake Victoria (Zor Koul) shall be divided by a line which, starting from a point on that lake near to its eastern extremity, shall follow the crests of the mountain range running somewhat to the south of the latitude of the lake as far as the Bendersky and Orta Bel Passes.

From thence the line shall run along the same range while it remains to the south of the latitude of the said lake. On reaching that latitude, it shall descend a spur of the range towards Kizil Rabat on the Aksu river, if that locality is found not to be north of the latitude of Lake Victoria, and from thence it shall be prolodged, in an easterly direction, so as to meet the Chinese frontier.

If it should be found that Kizil Kabat is situated to the north of the latitude of Lake Victoria, the line of demarcation shall be drawn to the nearest convenient point on the Aksu river, south of that latitude, and from thence prolonged as aforesaid.

The line shall be marked out, and its precise configuration shall be settled, by a Joint Commission of a purely technical charactor, with a military escort not exceeding that which is strictly necessary for its proper protection.

The Cominission shall be composed of British and Russian delegates, with the necessary technical assistance.
Her Britannic Majesty’s Government will arrange with the Amir of Afghanistan as to the manner in which His Highness shall be represented on the Commission.

The Commission shall also be charged to report any facts which can be ascertained on the spot bearing on the situation of the Chinese frontier, with a view to enable the two Governments to come to an agreement with the Chinese Government as to the limits of Chinese territory in the vicinity of the line, in such manner as may be found most convenient.

Her Britannic Majesty’s Government and the Government of his Majesty the Emperor of Russia engage to abstain from exercising any political influence or control, the former to the north, the latter to the south, of the above line of demarcation.

Her Britannic Majesty’s Government engage that the territory lying within the British sphere of influence between the Hindu Kush, and the line running from the east end of Lake Victoria to the Chinese frontier, shall form part of the territory of the Amir of Afghanistan, that it shall not be annexed to Great Britain, and that no military posts or forts shall be established in it.

The execution of this agreement is contingent upon the evacuation by the Amir of Afghanistan of all the territories now occupied by His Highness on the right bank of the Panja, and on the evacuation by the Amir of Bokhara of the portion of Darwaz which lies to the south of the Oxus, in regard to which her Britannic Majesty’s Government and the Government of His Majesty the Emperor of Russia, have agreed to use their influence respectively with the two Amirs.

March 11, 1895

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