The article displays one of the directions of Russia’s foreign policy during the reign of Peter the Great, namely, an attempt to gain a foothold on the Eastern coast of the Caspian Sea for further advancement through the Central Asian states to India in order to establish direct trade relations. The paper analyzes the goals and objectives set up by Peter the Great to Prince A. Bekovich-Cherkassky to initiate a new trade route to India from the Caspian Sea basin. Russia’s steps aimed at creating a foothold on the Eastern coast of the Caspian Sea are being considered. The adopted scientific ideas about the number of strongholds in the Caspian region founded by Russia in 1716 are analyzed. The Russian-Turkmen relations are described during the period of Russia’s activity in the Caspian region and after the failure of the Khiva expedition of 1717. The fate of Russian fortress-cities in the eastern Caspian region is traced. The assessment of the actions of Prince A. Bekovich‑Cherkassky on the implementation of Russia’s policy in the Caspian region is given in the context of Peter the Great’s plans.
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