First Russian-Georgian Treaty -1783
Between Catherine II, Empress of Russia, and Irakly II, King of Georgia
May no one tell us that it is an evocation with no legal value. Let us not forget that it is a matter of national sovereignty. It is therefore of particular importance to know under what circumstances the convergence between two States, Russia and Georgia, took place and how and to what extent, Georgia remained on its guard in the defence of its national and territorial unity.
Here are the essential clauses of this Treaty:
Art. 2. Her Imperial Majesty, receiving from His Serene Highness this sincere and solemn promise, equally promises and reassures by means of Her Imperial word, on her own behalf and on that of her Successors, that their favor and protection shall never be withdrawn from the Most Serene Tsars of Kartli and Kakhetia. In proof of which, Her Majesty gives Her Imperial guarantee of the territorial integrity of the present realm of His Serene Highness Tsar Irakli Teimurazovich, proposing to extend such guarantee also to such territories which may in the course of time and by circumstances come to be acquired and, by firm means, secured for him.
Art. 4. For proof that the intentions of His Serene Highness are pure with regards to his close union with the All-Russian Empire and recognition of the supreme power and protection of the Most All Serene Rulers of that Empire, His Serene Highness promises not to have relations with the neighboring Sovereigns without the previous agreement of the Chief of the Border and Her Imperial Majesty’s Minister assigned to [Georgian affairs]; and when emissaries or letters should arrive from these [neighboring sovereigns], he shall, on receiving them, consult with the Chief of the Border and with Her Imperial Majesty’s Minister regarding the return of such emissaries and concerning the response to be sent with them back to their Rulers.
Art. 5. In order to facilitate all necessary relations and agreements with the Russian Imperial Court, His Serene Highness the Tsar desires to have at that Court his own Minister or Representative; and Her Imperial Majesty graciously acceding to this [request], promises that such [Minister or Representative] will at Her Court be received [with the same honors] as other Ministers of Sovereign Princes of the same rank; and, furthermore, [Her Imperial Majesty] is pleased on her side, to keep [at the Court of] His Serene Highness a Russian Minister or Representative.
Art. 6. Her Imperial Majesty, having received with favor the recognition of Her supreme power and protection over the Kingdoms of Karlti and Georgia, pledges in Her Own name and in that of Her Successors: 1) to consider the peoples of these Kingdoms as being in a close union and in complete harmony with Her Empire, and, consequently, to regard their enemies as Her enemies; thus a peace concluded with the Ottoman [Sublime] Porte or with Persia or another power or region would extend also to these peoples [of the Georgian Kingdoms] protected by Her Majesty; 2) to preserve His Serene Highness Tsar Irakli Teimurazovich and the Heirs and descendants to his House, uninterrupted on the Throne of the Kingdoms of Kartli and Kakheti; 3) to leave the power for internal administration, law and order, and the collection of taxes [under the] complete will and use of His Serene Highness the Tsar, forbidding [Her Majesty’s] Military and Civil Authorities to intervene in any [domestic laws or commands].
Art. 7. His Serene Highness the Tsar, accepting with due respect this gracious assurance on the part of Her Imperial Majesty, promises on his own behalf and that of his descendants: 1) to be ready at all times to serve Her Majesty with his military forces; 2) to meet the needs of the Russian Authorities, being in constant contact with them regarding all affairs relating to service to Her Imperial Majesty, and to protect [Her] subjects from all offenses and oppression; 3) in the appointment of persons to offices and in their promotions in rank, to show respect for their services before the Russian Empire, on which depends the peace and prosperity of the Kingdoms Karthlie and Kakhetie.
Source: Comments translated into English from: Georges Gwazava « La Phase actuelle du Problème Géorgien ». Paris 1934 (full original French text: see blog « premiererepubliquedegeorgie »).
Clauses of the Treaty of Georgia translated from the Russian by ©Russell E. Martin – Source: PSRZ, vol. 22 (1830), pp. 1013-1017.