Austria, Friday, 24th July

Morning Berchtold asks Kudashev to call on him. He explains the purpose of the ultimatum is to stop Serbia supporting the Greater Serbia movement and to enable Austria-Hungary to check that it is doing so. Austria has no intention of taking territory from Serbia and wishes only to preserve the existing order.
Vienna considers her demands can be met and is prepared to risk armed conflict in the event of rejection. Austria-Hungary has to give proof of her stature as a Great Power, essential to the balance of power in Europe.

Morning Kudashev reports what he has been told to St Petersburg.

Morning Berchtold sends coded instructions by courier to Szápáry instructing him to tell Sazonov that if Austria-Hungary's statement that it does not covet Serbian possessions or intend to infringe the sovereignty of Serbia does not persuade Russia to give Austria-Hungary a free hand in dealing with Serbia he is to make it clear that Vienna will go to "extreme lengths" to obtain fulfilment of its demands and it will not recoil from the possibility of European complications.
The courier doesn't get to St Petersburg until the afternoon of 27 July.

Morning The Austro-Hungarian embassy in Rome informs the Italian government of the ultimatum to Serbia. The Italian official notes its terms and says we appear "to have arrived at a turning point in history".
San Giuliano has already earlier that morning instructed the Italian ambassadors in Berlin, Vienna and also St Petersburg to tell the respective governments that Italy has no formal obligation towards Austria-Hungary and Germany in the event of a Balkan war.