On the other hand, the khans of the Crimea were able, partly from their geographical position and partly from having placed themselves under the protection of the sultans of Turkey, to resist annexation for more than two centuries and to give the Muscovites a great deal of trouble, not only by frequent raids and occasional invasions, but also by allying themselves with the Western enemies of the tsars.
Finding himself unable to resist the Muscovites, the grand master of the Order put himself under Polish protection, and this led to a seven years' war (1563-70) with Poland, during which the Swedes and Danes intervened on their own account.
While the Muscovites of the upper classes were thus beginning to abandon their old oriental habits, their government was preparing to make a political evolution of a similar kind.
He was one of the first Muscovites who diligently collected foreign books, and we hear of as many as sixty-nine Latin works being sent to him at one time from abroad.
He was the only Russian statesman of the day with sufficient foresight to grasp the fact that the Baltic seaboard, or even a part of it, was worth more to Muscovy than ten times the same amount of territory in Lithuania, and, despite ignorant jealousy of his colleagues, succeeded (Dec. 1658) in concluding a three-years' truce whereby the Muscovites were left in possession of all their conquests in Livonia.