Benckendorff believed, like many of his London friends, that Germany’s every move was calculated to destroy the Entente; and as Russia was an informal but recognized member of the coalition, he estimated every initiative planned at St Petersburg by its potential to thwart Germany’s purpose. He assured St Petersburg that British statesmen’s wariness of a powerful Germany also meant that they wanted Russia to be strong. He used this assumption, rather unexpectedly, to deny the truth of Russian conservatives’ complaints that Britain undermined the Russian Empire by providing refuge to Russian radicals and terrorists.1 He refused to dwell on the idea that, as in Persia, Britain would be pleased to see the regime which he represented replaced by a parliamentary system2 and that British tradition did, in fact, make it convenient for the enemies of the existing Russian government to work against it from the British territory and to enjoy the sympathy of the British public. He refused to see the difference between Russia’s and Britain’s political traditions as a barrier to cooperation, because he imagined that the Anglo-Russian convention was working toward a liberal and constitutional Russia.