The envoy of Sheikh Ali Khan, according to the powers given to him, took an oath of allegiance. But when in October 1793 a special official sent from I.V. Gudovich to Sheikh Ali Khan asked the latter to take the oath, Sheikh Ali Khan delayed it in every possible way under various pretexts. Apparently, one of the reasons was that at the same time Sheikh Ali Khan was afraid of losing the tribute he received from the Baku Khanate. In 1795, Huseyn-Quli-khan again sent to General I.V. Gudovich through Ashtrakhan a special envoy, his closest relative, Manafbek, with full power of attorney both from himself and from all residents of Baku, to enter into the eternal citizenship of Russia (42). In December 1795, taking into account the commercial and military-strategic importance of Baku, the Senate decided to accept the Baku Khanate into Russian citizenship. General I.V. Gudovich, so that there were no doubts before sending the representative of the khan to Petersburg, demanded that the khan take a personal oath at 58
observance of the following conditions of compliance (43): 1) That he and his successors were established in the khan’s dignity by the Russian emperors and remain loyal to them; 2) that the khan was not made any conditions and negotiations with neighbors without the consent of the main Russian commander of that region; 3) that the khans should provide patronage and deliver all possible advantages to Russian merchants, traders in Baku and Persia; 4) so that Baku residents do not rob goods from crashed ships, but keep them for handing over to the owners; 5) that a Russian consul and as many military courts as the Russian government deems necessary should be permanently in Baku; 6) that the Baku Khan should pay Derbentsky the tribute he has paid so far ”. Of course, Russia’s goal was very clear: 1) to capture Baku; 2) create a naval base and take over the most important trade routes. The last point was only formally added so that Sheikh Ali Khan could not find any reason to resist Russia. Despite the fact that the tsarist government recognized the Baku Khanate under its patronage, nevertheless, it did not provide real military assistance against Aga Muhammad Khan. Therefore, it is no coincidence that in 1796 the Baku Khan again turned to Russia with a request. In his letter sent through his ambassador Mammad-Selim bek, the Baku Khan indicated that if the Baku Journal of Qafqaz University
the khanate will be taken under the rule of Russia, then the fortress of Baku will be secured (44). Further in the letter it was indicated that “We subject ourselves with all our rulers into eternal submission to his imperial majesty” (45). The assertion of Iranian domination in the South Caucasus would be a serious blow to the economic and political plans of Russia. Therefore, she decided to act more energetically. At the end of November 1795, two battalions of Colonel Syrokhyev went through the Darial Gorge to Tiflis. Another, slightly stronger detachment of General Saveliev was supposed to defend the Caspian provinces. But for the implementation of Russian plans for the conquest of the South Caucasus, these two small detachments were clearly insufficient. The successful completion of the Polish affairs made it possible to allocate additional significant forces for the campaign in the South Caucasus. Catherine II gave instructions to prepare for a campaign in the South Caucasus, which began in the spring of 1796. After the Russian troops crossed Samur, V.A.Zubov received news of the preparation of the Baku Khan for the defense of Baku. The reason for the concern of the Baku khan was the appeal of the Russian general of the Armenian nationality – I. Argutinsky to the Armenian – Karabakh meliks, where he, without the permission of V.