Why did England, France and Russia give importance to the Balkan region?

1)       The East European region under Turkey was known as Balkan region.
2)       The people living in this region had started national movement against Turkish rule.
3)       The geographical location and strategic importance of Balkan region generated interest of all great European powers who started interfering into the politics of this area.
4)       Claiming that majority of the people in this area was Slav by race, as were Russians. Russia started to exert pressure in this region.
5)       England and France started interfering in this region fearing that their passage to Asia through Mediterranean region would be endangered if Russia would get an entry in this region.
6)       Austria too was interested in Balkan region because the boundary of Austro Hungarian Empire touched the Balkan.

7)       Thus, all the major European powers including England, France and Russia attached great importance to Balkan region.