Importance Considering the current economic sanctions imposed by developed countries against Russia, it becomes especially important to review issues of customs wars and trade agreements. Germany historically remains the most active trade partner of Russia. Hence it is essential to study the Russian–German customs war and trade agreements of 1894 and 1904 in this context. Objectives The research attempts to give an unbiased account of events during the Russian–German customs war, customs tariffs and agreements of 1894 and 1904 in terms of historical development so that it would be possible to draw upon the historical experience in contemporary situations. Methods The research employs such methods as retrospective approach, historical method, scientific credibility and objectivity, consistency, which were used to analyze sources, overview historical events, their relationship and mutual dependence and determine the accuracy and completeness of information such sources provide. Results We delve into causes and effects of the Russian–German war for the Russian economy and identify that the Ministry of Finance played a leading role in settling the conflict with Germany and deciding on activities to support the agricultural sector and national manufacturers. Conclusions and Relevance Examining customs wars between Russia and European nations on a retrospective basis, we can formulate a contemporary paradigm as an example to address the issue. The findings can be applied in theory and practice of setting up customs tariffs and customs policy as a whole.
Keywords: customs tariff, customs war, trade agreement, Ministry of Finance, Russian Empire, Witte
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