Russo-Swedish War (1554–1557)

Russo-Swedish War (1554–1557)

The Russo-Swedish War of 1554–1557, considered a prelude to the Livonian War of 1558–1583, arose out of border skirmishes. Furthermore, Gustav I Vasa of Sweden felt he had been slighted by Ivan IV of Russia, because the latter made the king's ambassadors confer with a governor of Novgorod rather than receive them in the Moscow Kremlin as could have been expected between equals. The tsar responded to Gustav's remonstrances: "Ask your merchants and they will tell you that Novgorod's suburbs are larger than your Stockholm and that Novgorod's governors are descended from sovereign rulers of great empires, whereas your parents sold oxen at a market several decades ago". While the Swedish diplomats tried to find support for their cause in Livonia, Poland and even England, admiral Johan Brigge besieged and bombarded Oreshek, the strongest Russian fortress in Ingria. In response, Russian forces laid siege to the Swedish castle of Vyborg and ravaged the neighbourhood. As both sieges lumbered on without a prospect of success, the belligerents found it wise to sign a peace treaty preserving the status quo and according free passage across the border to merchants of both countries. In order to conclude peace, Archbishop of Uppsala, Bishop of Åbo (Turku), Sten Erikson and Olof Larson arrived to Moscow, where they dwelt in the Lithuanian Embassy for several months and were frequently summoned to the Kremlin to discuss with the tsar matters of religious doctrine.

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