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An Argic Meeting

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The King has made an official statement in Krakow's central square inviting the president of @Prymont, George Duval, to a state visit to the Commonwealth capital of Krakow. If accepted by the Prymontian president, then the series of meetings and talks would last three days. (June 2nd-June 4th)

Topics included to be talked about between the two countries include Argic Socialism, the Commonwealth's Eastern Occupied Region, Polish-Prymontian trade, air travel between the two countries, and others.

The official statement can be read below-

"Throughout the past few months, tensions in the region, along with belong surrounded on all sides by potentially hostile countries, have forced the Commonwealth to take drastic measures to ensure the continuation of it's survival, chiefly among them the occupation, and hopefully eventual annexation, of the formerly-"barbarian" controlled territories to the east. However, and partially because of the annexation, we have yet to find any long lasting friends in the region. Today is when that ends. It is now best that we open up official talks with other Argic leaders. The revolutionary nation of @Ahrana poses a threat to our nation's wellbeing and independence, so it would be unwise to let their leaders have a greater influence in the Commonwealth. Because of this, the next best choice is Prymont. Using my standing as the King of the Commonwealth, along with it's constituent regions, Poland and Lithuania, I herby invite the Prymontian president, George Duval, to Krakow for a series of high-level talks with me and the Chancellor."

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However he decided to look at his calendar, President Duval was in for a busy few weeks. Progress in The Hellenic Rus was steady and government and military officials were currently being contacted to return, he was long overdue a follow-up meeting with @Ahrana's Secretary General, debates in Parliament were heating up to prepare for the two week break in late July, and now he'd been invited to @Poland-Lithuania. The latter didn't come as a surprise, as there'd been numerous back room discussions building up to this. Duval had the intention of inviting the Commonwealth's leaders to his own country, to a place where he felt much safer, but he'd been beaten to that post. It would only be rude for him to reverse the invitation and imply that his country was better suited to host, when in all truth, it was.

He would still have a week to prepare, in which he would meet with Ahrana's Ivanoff and chase up ongoing events in The Hellenic Rus. In between all of that, preparations for the diplomatic meeting would be squeezed in. Poland-Lithuania had never met with an official from the United States; decades ago, there had been events with leaders and politicians from Prymont's then-individual states, but nothing had ever occurred during the union. Thus, it would be a monumental, historic affair.

While mundane matters like transport connections and trade tariffs would be discussed, Duval was much more interested in demanding swift, decisive action on Poland-Lithuania's supposed annexation of nearby lands. The rise of socialism in central Argis had been increasingly apparent in recent years, and such an event would allow George to put his foot down and influence socialism at the heart of the continent. His voice seemingly fell upon deaf ears in Ahrana. It was hoped that Poland-Lithuania would be more open to change.

What he did know was that the Commonwealth had few friendly shoulders to lean on in their neighbourhood. Socialism was a cruel, lonely world, and offered few benefits. Poland-Lithuania's aggressive expansion had also cost them great potential ties, and it was fortunate for their nation to successfully organise a meeting with a leader in capitalism. With few friends standing behind them, Poland-Lithuania were in a vulnerable position. They yearned for approval and companionship, and would only receive that from the United States if they were to calm down and see sense in their malevolent ways. 

The rise of socialism in central Argis threatened the very existence of the United States, an already weak country that'd only just emerged from the red straitjacket. Evil socialist ways which sought harmful expansion, like Ahrana and @The Eurofuhrer, would spark interest in the remaining socialist supporters in the United States. A return to socialism would start the end of Duval's political career, and that simply couldn't be permitted. This meeting would be quintessential in many ways. At the end of the day, it had to go in Duval's favour.

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Eugastin walked down the old hallways of Krakow's royal palace, his silver-and-red outfit shaking just as much as he was. He needed to make the upcoming meeting count. The Commonwealth desperately needed allies, especially when it was surrounded by potentially hostile threats such as Ahrana and Greater Serbia. Even if it meant that he would have to engage in serious talks with the Prymontian government, the safety of the nation needed to be secured.

And he would do all that he could to make sure that happened.

The Commonwealth's leaders, including the King, had entirely underestimated the effects that annexing the region to the East would have on the country. For one, it was taking far more resources to integrate then what had originally been thought was necessary. The original owners of the region had been poorly maintaining their existing infrastructure, leading to the Commonwealth having to repair nearly everything from pipes to bridges. Additionally, there was little-to-no transportation between the many towns and cities in the region, meaning that it would take millions upon millions of rubles to properly connect them with core cities like Krakow.

And the international blowback wasn't exactly helping things either.

What he really needed right now was other countries, such as Prymont, recognizing the Commonwealth's acquisition to the East. That would surely boost the nation's international standing, or so Eugastin thought to himself...

For now, though, preparations needed to be made. The Prymontian President was due to arrive in less than 24 hours, give or take a few, and a 21-gun salute was definitely in order.

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Having just left @Fulgistan's General Secretary Almas in the good hands of Vice President Peter Lafleur, President Duval was joined by longtime friend and advisor Ralph Lowe as he boarded the Presidential plane to @Poland-Lithuania. The past week had been incredibly hectic; he'd held his last ever meeting with Ahrana's former Secretary General, welcomed Fulgistan to Prymont for the first time in years, and was now due to make history by meeting a backwards nation who were currently openly invading a bordering nation. Duval had no idea what to expect from the Commonwealth's King and Chancellor, which only fuelled his uncertainty surrounding the event. Safety was also a priority, and while he would travel with two dozen secret service agents, he could never be too safe in a barbaric state.

The brief time he'd spent with Almas had been enjoyable, and Duval wished that he could delegate this meeting to someone else so he could continue to host Fulgistan. However, he had to attend this one, as anything less would undermine the serious nature of the conference. No doubt would it be more tense and less relaxed than the meeting he'd just left, but that was the difference between a somewhat friendly nation and one he'd never interacted with before. Was he outright scared? No, but he had his fears. Those were enough to keep him on edge during the flight.

"Can we expect them to inquire about ATARA or TRIDENT?" Duval posed the question to his advisor, who had been studying history books published by their host country. 

"Possibly ATARA, yes, but I doubt they'll mention TRIDENT. ATARA can easily be handled anyway; Greater Serbia and Derthalen are only observers, so Poland-Lithuania can be offered that position until they smarten their ways," Lowe replied without looking up from his book. It was clear that the Commonwealth yearned for attention and recognition of some sort, and ATARA would be a good way to go about receiving that. "You've never officially mentioned Prymont's stance on their expansion efforts, George. What's your plan?"

"Condemn them for the unnecessary slaughtering of innocents and advise that they rescind their claim. Like Xara, we can't just go about supporting countries that are killing thousands of normal people all in the name of more land. Poland-Lithuania have proven themselves to be just as barbaric as they claim their victims are."

Soon enough, their flight would be over as their plane touched down in new lands, coming to a steady halt and proceeding to the instructed terminal. Duval chugged back the remains of his coffee before straightening his tie and patting down his suit. A quick visit to the W/C gave him a mirror to perfect his hair, and he returned to the central cabin with an air of confidence. "Let's hope it's not as bad as the CIS ceremony."

"Even if it is, try not to pull a Nordeng. We have the upper hand here. Let's use it."

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Kacper Jolvinus walked down the airport stairs with a small smile on his face. The Prymontian plane had just showed up, and Kacper had been ordered to take those onboard the craft to the royal palace, where the King waited. As he left the building and walked towards the plane, which, by now, had completely ground to a halt, he took out a small pen.

Once the airstair of the Prymontian plane was fully deployed, Duval walked out and was soon met with several staff members of both the government and the airport, along with Kacper. Kacper then asked for transportation out of the airport, and a silver car was soon driven up. They would use this to travel to Krakow's central square, where they would then walk to the palace.

Kacper bowed to the Prymontian president, then motioned him inside the car.

He then gave the pen in his hand to Duval.

"I was asked to give you this by the King. I presume he wanted you to have this as a token of gratitude for showing up. Actually, I don't suppose you know my name yet. I am Kacper Jolvinus, vice-attendant of the Commonwealth's King. As we are making our way to the capitol's center, the royal palace, feel free to ask any questions. This dull grey weather certainly makes using transportation in this country quite of a bore."

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The air was slightly humid as the Prymontians departed the plane, descending the staircase to meet their hosts at the bottom. After shaking hands with the officials and employees that'd greeted him, he was met with yet another gentlemen who bowed in his presence before introducing himself as an attendant of the King. Jolvinus wasted no time in escorting Duval and Lowe to the car, in which Duval chose to ride with the most senior secret service agent he'd brought. Lowe and the rest would travel in additional vehicles, and rendezvous with them at the palace.

"Ah, thank you," Duval smiled briefly as he took the pen, slotting it into a pocket within his suit. A pen was quite a disappointing welcome gift, but the President hadn't brought anything at all, so both parties would be disappointed. "Don't worry about the weather, it's the same in the United States." They rode in silence for a few minutes before Duval thought to ask of a question; it'd been on his mind for quite some time, but it was also to break the awkward silence during the journey. 

"I don't suppose you'd be able to enlighten me on exactly why your country has chosen to ruthlessly invade another? I've heard reports that you were attacked first, but they contrast with other intelligence I've been provided with. Legitimate, reliable news from reputable sources within your country is hard to come by, and so the rest of the world has been left in the dark."

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After being asked the question by Duval, Kacper waited a few moments to think before responding. He needed to make these first impressions count.

"From the information I've been able to come by, after the initial attacks on Commonwealth soil, public opinion of the current government quickly dropped. The government-owned newspapers would never publish that, at least not in full, but the invasion was seen by the government as a quick way to raise domestic support. Of  course, it was somewhat nullified by the truth about the soldiers' fighting conditions coming out. Additionally, the "barbarians" weren't technically, well, barbarians. The three-or-so groups that the Commonwealth invaded were incredibly underdeveloped, sure, but the main reason that they had attacked the country in the first place is that they had needed money to buy food from the even-more-eastern city states and republics. As of now, we're pouring nearly every spare ruble we can find in the government's budget into developing the region by building bridges and highways and whatnot. Personally, I think the government should have simply given money to the eastern groups to stop the attacks instead of outright invading them, but I would most likely get demoted to a lesser governmental position or fired if I ever said that publicly."

The car that they were in then took a corner and arrived in the central square of Krakow. Duval exited first, followed by Kacper, and the other vehicles were not far behind.

The entire square had been almost entirely cleared out beforehand, save for a few civilian vehicles, and the white-and-red architecture of the square could clearly be seen.

As they made their way forwards, they were stopped by a 21-gun-salute performed from the top of the palace, soon followed by a rendition of the Prymontian and Commonwealth national anthems.

Afterwards, the group went inside and were directed to the main meeting hall where the King awaited.

"Welcome. Please, make yourselves comfortable."

The long oak table, along with the accompanying velvet-back rolling chairs, set the scene for the upcoming talks.

"Now, Duval, what exactly do you have in mind for future Commonwealth-Prymontian relations?"

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Before Duval could respond, he was ushered out of the car and through Krakow's central square, standing before the palace as the gunshots fired into the air. The ceremony gave the President some time to review what he'd been told. Public opinion appeared to be negative, and Poland-Lithuania could easily bankrupt themselves if they spent too much in a country that didn't want them. They'd forced themselves into a vulnerable position, and now it was clear why they wanted international recognition. Perhaps Prymont wasn't the best place to seek such recognition, but it would be a good opportunity to discuss other matters of concern.

Once the national anthems had come to an end, the group were taken into the royal palace, guided straight to the meeting hall where the King was waiting to receive them. The President resented the fact that they were being rushed about so much. It would've been nice to relay his findings to Lowe and hear some advice, but clearly the agenda wouldn't allow for that. Duval and Lowe took a seat next to one another, accompanied by three agents while the others waited outside.

"Thank you for welcoming me into your country, Your Majesty, and for the pen." Duval felt daft mentioning the pen, but it would be rude not to. That was the King's gift to him, and he had to appreciate it. "Certainly, there are many things for us to discuss. During the journey here, I was talking to your assistant regarding your..." he searched for the right term, not wanting to appear rude or brash, "border skirmishes. I feel like that's an appropriate, pressing topic to start on. Firstly, I'd like to hear your opinion about it, and to pose the question to you of - why violence? If you want to expand your borders, why couldn't you consider more diplomatic means?"

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The King thought for a moment, wanting to word his response correctly.

"While the Chancellor and I may have been somewhat rash in ordering the invasion, you must understand how we were feeling at the time. Public support for the government at the time was at an all-time low. We couldn't risk having the raids continue to effect the Commonwealth, and so the attack, and subsequent annexation process, was ordered. In my opinion, If the Easterners wanted to find a diplomatic solution to their problems, they should've called one of the Commonwealth's diplomats over to talk something out. Instead, they chose violence for several days straight, and so we responded with the same."

Eugastin then fully focused his attention on Duval.

"Or do you have another way that the raids on Commonwealth soil could have been negated?"

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"With all due respect, you had the perfect opportunity to set an example and lead the way in diplomacy and peace. Instead, you chose to utilise full violence and aggression, painting your nation as a brash, radical mess. I understand that you're significantly funding infrastructure improvement in your desired lands, and while it may boost public morale over there of you and your government, you're heading straight for bankruptcy. These are some telltale signs of a poorly run country, one that runs head first into violence without considering the ramifications. Regardless of what route the 'Easterners' took, you should've taken the moral high ground and called for talks of peace and prosperity, not fight fire with fire."

President Duval exhaled a long sigh, hoping that his message had gotten through but severely doubting it. Poland-Lithuania, so far, didn't seem like a logical, rational country. He only hoped that he was soon proven wrong.

"Expanding your nation through aggressive manoeuvres won't gain you the international recognition and approval that you so desire. Showing that you're a mature, peaceful nation, who wishes to resolve conflict without benefiting excessively from it, does earn you some favour in the region. Currently, central Argis is full of ridiculous countries, egotistical leaders, and corrupt ideologies and governments. At the present moment, you're included in that group. I ask for you to change your ways, look for peace instead of power. If you were to reverse your claims while still assisting the country to rebuild, although on a scale that costs you less expense, the United States would consider improving relations with you. Right now, I cannot exercise that option, for the safety of my people, my neighbourhood, and my continent." 

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The King tapped his foot, thinking again about how best to respond.

"See, now there's my problem. If I were to fully withdraw from the occupied region, I would lose all remaining support I have amongst the armed populace that are part of the Commonwealth's army. If they're forced to withdraw from the East, then, more than likely, the protests will return, though this time, instead of being about the admittedly poor conditions that the army fights in, they'll be about how their actions in the region "were completely for naught", or something along those lines. They would also most likely be larger than before, with the families of those affected having more of a reason to also join in."

The King tapped his foot some more, thinking of a way to solve the problem that would satiate both sides.

"I have a possible solution. Would you be open to the area becoming a highly autonomous region under Commonwealth control instead of being either fully integrated or left alone? If I cut down on some of the planned infrastructure in the region for now and raise taxes slightly, I may be able to squeeze enough money from the government's overall budget to do it..."

Edited by Poland-Lithuania (see edit history)
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"You see, that's an issue. You fear public outcry, when really, it's one of the best outlets for the people to voice their concerns. Instead of trying to avoid protests, see them as a democratic right. It's a way for everyone to let you know how you're doing, what you're doing wrong, and how to resolve it. You should look at them in a better light, in a constructively critical light. As I see it, you're not running a successful country if the people are protesting often. Protests haven't occurred in the United States since 2012, and that was during a socialist government. Embrace change. Do what is best for your people, not what is best for you."

Duval considered the King's proposition for a while, sipping on some water as he did. Preferably, Poland-Lithuania would not be allowed to expand at any costs, whether it be under total control or with an autonomous region. Spreading their negative socialist light would only further bring on central Argis' downfall, something that would strain local economies and affect the lives of millions. Duval had quickly learned that this country was not ran well, much like Ahrana under it's former leader Ivanoff, and there had to be monumental changes before they became a decent nation.

"What would've been best was for you to have left those lands alone completely. If you're attacked, then I can understand -- not accept, but understand -- retaliation, but going there to then claim those lands? That's not acceptable to me. Either way, from what I understand, you want it to be part of your country. I'd highly recommend that you continue your current spending levels, which have set a precedent, and then entirely remove yourself from the area. If that's not feasible for you, the next best step would be an autonomous region, like you suggest. You've set a high bar for yourselves in that area with your current excessive spending on infrastructure rebuilding. If you reduce that, you're only worsening the lives of the people you want as yours. Do that, and I foresee more protests in your near future. I understand that they're something you wish to avoid."

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"I would like to keep the central government's control over the country secure, and I have been letting people protest more then they had been able to before, but, you know, I'll tell you what. After these meetings are fully over, I'll talk to the former leaders of the eastern region, along with the leaders of the largest anti-government groups, in an effort to make a compromise between them and the Commonwealth in the name of peace."

Eugastin paused for a second before continuing.

"As for now, well, we could all use a break, and I need to talk to the Chancellor. If you would like to chat amongst yourselves for the next 30 minutes or so, then a small room is open a little further down the hallway. Also, food, if you're hungry, is available in the palace's kitchen. Once the meeting resumes, I would like you, Duval, to talk about what you would like to see in an autonomous region, if the East gets turned into one, and for us to discuss the possibility of a trade deal between our countries."

The King then stood up and walked out of the room.

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  • 3 weeks later...

The intermission of the meeting was sudden and prompt. Duval was given little chance to intervene, and instead he and his party were taken away to a small meeting room further along the corridor. Once comfortably in the room, Duval took the time to discuss with Lowe what had already been said, and what was left to say, while awaiting the arrival of a meal they'd ordered.

"It seems as though they won't back down from the east. Whatever happens, they'll want some form of ownership over it, and we're in no position of control over them to say no." The President exhaled a deep sigh, knowing that the meeting hadn't gone to plan so far. The aim had been to stunt Poland-Lithuania's claim over the eastern lands, and prevent it from advancing any further, but clearly that plan had been left on the plane. The best he could hope for was some sort of limitation to be implemented, a way in which Poland-Lithuania received control over the country but was not too threatening to the neighbourhood.

"Yes, but, remember, they seek our approval for their ownership. We haven't given them that, and I hope you don't plan for that to change. He's asked your opinion on what an autonomous region would consist of, how it would function. Use your words wisely to impact the future of the relationship between these two countries." As always, Senior Advisor Ralph Lowe was the voice of reason, of wisdom. Many years in high level politics had led to an advanced knowledge being developed by the old man, something that was of great use to the relatively young President. While George also had a strong holding in diplomacy, it was not as rich as Ralph's. The man had dealt with hundreds of leaders, kind and vicious, over the years. He'd handled thousands of situations, of crises, of national and international events of pride and sorrow. If there was anyone that could help Duval become a better leader, it was Lowe.

"I can only hope to limit it." 

"Put your foot down. Say no. Offer no alternative."

"There's a relationship to be formed between Prymont and Poland-Lithuania. Even if it's strained, we could be influential. I don't want that opportunity to go to waste."

"Relations with this kind of country don't often end well. Remember the meetings between Ostport and the early Germanic Staat in the 1940s? Remember what kind of a mess that left the Prymontian territories in?" A series of secretive meetings had occured between Ostport and the newly born hellish country, the Germanic Staat, in the mid 1940s. Initially Ostport had attempted to quell the Staat's rising aggression and strong bond with The Hellenic Rus, to no avail. However, when the press caught wind of these meetings, the worst was assumed and something of a scandal broke out at home, as Ostport were seen as assisting a backwards state. While Duval hoped that common sense would be more reasonable over seventy years later, the sensationalist media were not to be taken lightly.

"I've read about it. That won't happen, and don't take my word as naivety. As for trade, what do you think? I'm sure KAG will want to further their profit margins, and perhaps we could sell some oil once we get the fields functional at Kanamoi?"

"Don't forget fish. It's an industry that's on life support and is in desperate need of revival. It's quintessential to the Ostportian way of life, and to their, and in turn, our economy. Search for demand in this area and seek to satisfy it."

With that, Duval and Lowe waited to be summoned to the King, enjoying their meal in the meantime.

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In the hallway, Eugastin thought to himself about the current state of the meeting and what to do to try to turn it in his favour, or at the very least, make it equal between both parties.

He knew that he was in no place to make one-sided demands, and that, even though he so desperately wanted a full annexation of the East, it would be impossible to pull off in the current political climate. Additionally, if he let it the region regain full independence, there was a high chance that the government's popularity with the public would drop. Drastically.

All that he could do was to begin to plan a meeting with the former leaders of the occupied region to hopefully make a compromise.

Otherwise, the Commonwealth needed more trade with other nations. The country had enough of the basic resources, such as wood and metal, to sustain itself, along with an excess of bread, but it could use more rarer natural resources, along with a better overall economy. Hopefully, he could make a beneficial deal with Duval over this matter.

He then walked back to the main meeting area and told the official waiting there to bring George Duval and his advisor back to the room to continue the talks if they were ready to.

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Once summoned, Duval and Lowe wasted no time in returning to the main meeting room. There was much to discuss on their agenda, and having such an early intermission didn't inspire the Prymontians with confidence. If regular breaks were to be held, the meeting would be delayed exponentially, wasting time that could be spent brokering deals and negotiating diplomacy. Duval was a man of time, and seeing it tossed aside like this was wasteful.

"Thank you for providing such a lunch, Your Majesty," Duval smiled briefly as he sat down, adjusting his suit and tie before continuing. "I do believe any further discussion of what you choose to do with the eastern region is unnecessary. I've made my stance clear, but just to reiterate, the United States does not approve of violence in the region and will condemn a full annexation. As we've done with the current borders of Poland-Lithuania, a travel ban will be issued to any annexed lands to keep our people safe, as I'm afraid I cannot trust you and your forces to do so."

"However, regarding trade, there is perhaps some profit to be had for us. First and foremost, we can offer a variety of surplus fish; haddock, cod, tuna, and salmon are amongst our most popular catches. The Canamo Sea offers a high quality of marine life, and any fish caught will be guaranteed to be of the highest calibre. We have strong engineering and automotive industries, and the Kaldestad Aamot Group would be more than happy to satisfy any of your car and plane needs. Likewise, there has been a strong push in recent years to advance our research into renewable energy, and we can offer highly efficient, state of the art wind turbines to provide greener energy for your country. Finally, there are raw materials available, such as coal, iron ore, silver, and gold. We've been trying to reduce our uranium mining in the hopes of progressing in greener areas, but I'm sure our mining companies wouldn't object to generous contracts."

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"Well, Duval, I'll see what I can do about the East, and I understand where you are coming from with the travel ban. I can assure you that I will be taking steps to lessen the danger that the Commonwealth poses to tourists in the future."

The King paused for a second.

"Anyway, now, onto trade. I would be happy to let Prymont's Kaldestad Aamot Group open a factory in the Commonwealth, under strict pay rules, of course, and my country's stores could always use more diverse food options, such as the Canamo Salmon, but I'm afraid that I don't have too much to barter with."


"Would you appreciate some of the Commonwealth's extremely-unnaturally long-lasting civilian bread being shipped to Prymont? It doesn't taste the greatest, but it's healthy, or so I've been told, and it's perfect for use in food storage vaults. Besides, we really do make excessive amounts of it. Other than that, I could also let one of your Prymontian companies mine rare-earth minerals on the Commonwealth side of the Commonwealth-Eurofuhrer border, as long as they don't pollute the area too much. Wouldn't want the Eurofurherian border agents getting mad at us..."

He then paused, waiting for a response.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Duval had to stop himself from laughing at the offer of bread. Here he was, presenting Poland-Lithuania with a variety of fantastic vehicles, fish, and energy solutions, and the highest man in the land was offering bread. It truly represented what the Commonwealth had become.

"With all due respect Your Majesty, my country has no need for unnatural, distasteful bread. If we wanted that we'd go to the Lysians, frankly. However, your proposition of mining at the border is far more intriguing. Recent environmental legislation in the United States has unfortunately seen a downwards trend in mining, which is something we've been hoping to somehow prevent. The relocation of jobs and creation of new local jobs would be monumental for these companies to continue trading, and as such it's definitely something we're eager to pursue."

"Now, as for the Kaldestad Aamot Group, I understand they're not interested in the opening of another factory. It's a simple case of allowing the cheap importing of vehicles to the region. Perhaps your people would be more interested in our budget brands, such as Esé or Altvarna? Not to be disrespectful, but I doubt your people could afford the luxury of KAP or Visto. As for fish, we are introducing strict quotas with all nations fishing in the Canamo Sea, which will mean less fish to export. If you're willing to offer competitive purchase prices, against the likes of @Iverica and @Derthalen, we'd certainly be open to allocating you a portion of our surplus."

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Eugastin was fully content with what Duval had responded with, for once.

"Yes. I do realize that most citizens of the Commonwealth wouldn't be able to afford many of the products of your country's more, uh, luxurious companies. However, the Prymontian Esé and Altvarna brands do seem, well, good enough, I suppose, for civilian use in the Commonwealth if you either allow a factory belonging to either of those brands to be built in a Commonwealth city such as Krakow or cheap importing of products made by those brands into the Commonwealth. They just need to follow the pay rules and whatnot of my country if you do allow either of them to build a factory or import products."

The King took a short pause and opened up a small map before continuing.


"Well, as for the mineral mining, from what we have been able to survey, there seems to be a decently-sized deposit of various rare-earth minerals in the area of this map covered in pink. The most ecologically diverse regions in the Commonwealth are all north of here, so it would be the perfect place for a company of yours to mine in, as long as, again, you don't make any Eurofurherian environmental officials on the other side of the border mad. And for your fish, well, eh, I don't exactly have a whole lot of extra money to spare on offering competitive prices on your seafood harvests. Sorry."

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The President took a moment to review some of the notes he'd prepared before the meeting. With so many potential topics to discuss, it was impossible to remember every aspect off the top of his head. After reassuring himself with the details and double-checking with his advisor, he was ready to continue.

"I understand that Altvarna would open a factory in the area to establish themselves in Argis. Particularly in central Argis, where average income levels are low, Altvarna would sell particularly well, and it's a great area for them to broaden their market share in. They're one of the fastest growing car manufacturers in the world, and I believe a factory of theirs would be a great asset for your country. Maybe we could look at a tax reduction, or perhaps financial assistance with construction and employment, as an incentive for the company to settle here? Once established, Altvarna would be able to guarantee hundreds of jobs, not only through the creation of the building but through various sectors of the company such as manufacturing, marketing, research and development, and administration. It's an incredibly expensive task, and isn't something that can be undertaken lightly."

Duval then paused to review the map the King had revealed. Immediately, it was apparent that Poland-Lithuania had a larger potential mining area, which meant more money to be made. It'd be a rather lucrative area for a company such as PAMKL or Hellerud Mining to probe into, but naturally, there was a tangled web of diplomacy, environmental regulation, and corporate agreement to get through before any cash would start flowing.

"It's a very tempting proposal. I'll have my Business Minister contact any interested parties back in the United States, who will be able to send more in-depth surveyors to see exactly what lies in the land. If it's something worthwhile, I'm sure that contracts for mining rights will be fought for tooth and nail. I trust that any deal would have to be settled with the Eurofuhrerian government, which I'll entrust upon you. The United States employs its own strict environmental regulations regarding mining, so our companies will have plenty of experience with following anything you have in place, as long as they're notified well in advance. Regarding the mining rights, what sort of pricing are you looking to lease the land for, and would your government require a cut of any findings?"

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"Well, I don't have a lot of money that I could give to Altvarna directly, as you may know, but I could see if it's possible to lower the taxes that they would, uh, experience in the Commonwealth by, oh, 20 to 25 percent or so. Additionally, the cost for construction can be reduced from what would have otherwise been a "normal" amount if they were to hire one of the Commonwealth's government-owned companies to build their factories and admin buildings and whatnot."

The King paused for a moment, thinking of how to best handle the Eurofurhrerian issue.

"As for the issue with Eurofuhrer, I'll see if I can contact their head of government to try and solve the issue about the mining. Otherwise, if you do send Prymontian surveyors, a few Commonwealth officials will gladly be able to transport them to the possible mining region. Just wait until I get the Eurofuhrer stuff sorted out first before sending them over."

Eugastin took a short pause before continuing.

"Anyway, is there anything else that you would like to talk about?"

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"Initially a 25% tax reduction is promising, but perhaps we can extend that to 35%, possibly 40%? You must understand that entering a new market such as one in Poland-Lithuania will be a mammoth undertaking, one that the Kaldestad Aamot Group and Altvarna Automotive have very little experience in. The economic benefits will be there for you to see once production has started. The automotive industry is a very lucrative one, one that leads the economy of the United States, and will certainly bring fortune to your country. Additionally, we're happy to cut costs further by contracting your respective companies for construction work."

Duval looked over at Lowe briefly when the King didn't mention any prices for leasing the mining land, or of what cut the Commonwealth government would look to take from any findings. They may be incredibly lenient and cheap, or perhaps Eugastin simply forgot.

"Again, I'd like to ask about land leasing and the costs surrounding that. I hope you appreciate how expensive it is for companies to enter new countries, and as such, all of the pros and cons must be explored. It is therefore critical for us to know how expensive your land is, and what portion of the revenue you'd look to take from the ore so a more favourable deal can be negotiated."


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"For your knowledge, the lowest I'll likely be able to set the tax rate, without peeving off governmental staff, would be somewhere around 63% of the normal amount. That's a 37% deduction. Any lower, and the heads of the governmental departments would likely begin to see opening a Prymontian factory as not beneficial enough to the Commonwealth to bother with. I hope you understand."

Eugastin took a sip of water before continuing.

"Well, as for the minerals, if I do get the deal with Eurofuhrer finalized, my government will likely be wanting, oh, somewhere in the realm of 2 to 3 billion Polish Rubles up front for the company to use the land, and at least a 15-25 percent share of any gold, silver, platinum, copper, iron, nickel, or cobalt mined. As for rarer materials such as the much-coveted uranium, If I had to guess, the Chancellor, at least, would like the Commonwealth to at least have a 10-15 percent share. If those numbers don't sound good to you, tell me, and I'll see if I can get some sort of a deal with my government sorted out in the coming days."

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Despite wanting to push for more to further increase the financial gains for Altvarna from entering Poland-Lithuania, Duval feared that it would be thrown back in his face. In this case, 37% was far better than no deal, and would duly be accepted. "37% will be more than satisfactory. I'll contact Altvarna, who will in turn begin the proceedings of construction when the finances have been settled. Thank you for providing such a generous deal."

The President then took a moment to consider the pricing provided by the land. The King seemed completely uncertain with the values he'd given, which likely represented the country as a whole. If he was unsure of the true value, then it could certainly be negotiated by someone who seemed a little more confident.

"The initial lease for the land does seem rather steep. I'd be more inclined to agree with a deal more in the region of 1 billion Polish Rubles, which roughly equates to 2.3 billion Prynds. Obviously mining is a lucrative business, and the lands are thus far untapped, but as I'm unaware of any residential development in the area, it'll be incredibly costly to house the miners and their families and establish logistic routes and the like. Unless, of course, the Commonwealth will cover the entirety of these costs, then 2 billion Rubles does seem agreeable. As for the actual mined ore, Prymontian companies will not be happy to lose the actual product. Preferably, 100% of the material would be kept, and for the lesser ores, 10% of the revenue can be returned to you. For uranium, it's a much more expensive industry, and as such, 5% of the revenue is preferable, perhaps 7% at a stretch." Again, Duval was unwilling to push his luck too far, but was always seeking a favourable deal. As with these socialist central Argic countries, they existed to be taken advantage of.


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"Well, the ore-related percentages can always be negotiated with my government. You must understand that I, even as the King of the Commonwealth, can only do so much when it comes to domestic issues, such as mining, for example. If it sounds good to you, I could try to get your more favorable revenue percentages to pass in the various councils of my government, but I can't make any promises."

Eugastin quickly cleared his throat before continuing.

"As for the cost of the land, well, if I, uh, convince, some of the Commonwealth's companies, I'll likely be able to get the actual cost of the land down to the requested 1-Billion-or-so ruble amount. Of course, that won't include food and housing and whatnot, but bread, as you may know, is cheap in the Commonwealth, and the cost of basic housing isn't that unreasonable, either."


"Anyway, is there anything else you wish to talk about, or do you want to wrap up these talks?"

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