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Furlanìe

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As the ODS delegation left Linian, the security in the Cjiscjel of Spesse received reinforcements, snipers took position on the main tower, looking at the countryside around them, military trucks with equipment and men parked in the town of spesse, and created a temporary base, the traffic in the city of Linian was heavily checked, with great dismay of the Friulian tourists coming there to relax,
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and the local police received support from the entire county of Langhere, a missile defence system was moved in the Spesse countryside from the nearby military airbase of Val Vestre.
The meeting room was moved from the southern wing of the castle to the suggestive and safe wine cellar, and the best wine of the local Count was made available, with or without his consent, by order of His Highness in person.

The show of hospitality didn't end there, since, as for the ODS delegation, there was a possibility for the negotiations to take more than a day, Ville Rûs, local property of the Grand Duke halfway between Spesse and Linian, was prepared to welcome to the guests.
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Although their stay wasn't sure, especially after the quick departure of the ODS delegation, the Government decided to be prepared for every occurrence, Furlanìe was to offer its best in order to give an impression of strength to the imposing Kadikistani figures set to reach the Grand Ducal shores.
A set of traditional grappas, more wine, traditional food made with the best local resources, a small orchestra ready to play music in the villa's large living room, and, waiting in the servants' house, some human entertainment, just in case.

At the Linian naval base, the Confenonîr was the first to arrive, after a brief tour of the base he waited the arrival of the Kadikistani delegation.
As they arrived hand were shaken, formal welcomes where given, a brief military parade was organised with the most experienced soldiers available in the County, then everyone was escorted to the Cjiscjel.

The pleasant smell of the wooden barrels pervaded the room, while the outside temperature was hot, the cellar was much cooler, some traditional old chairs where positioned around the central table.

The Friulian delegation: Confenonîr , Foreign Minister , Defence Minister , and Economy and Finance Minister ; welcomed the Kadikistani and sat down.

:
"I hope the trip has been pleasant, certainly you won't lack any comfort here if you need to recover; let me say that our peoples share a common way of thinking, a common pragmatism, similar passions, and we all have the common goal of stability and safety for our own beloved peoples, although different in ideals therefore, I, and the Grand Duke especially, think we are very similar after all."

@Kadikistani Union
 

Kadikistani Union

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The All-Union diplomatic mission graciously hosted by the Friulians were some of the heaviest hitters the massive nation had to offer. First and foremost was Ivan Mladzic, First Secretary of the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Workers' Party. He was flanked by the increasingly notorious People's Commissar for External Affairs Annaguly Oghankanev and People's Commissar for Defence Marko Zukarov. Safe from only a few people like Second Secretary Petar Kujundzic, these three were all in the top five of the All-Union nomenklatura. In their wake two less powerful, but not in the least insignificant figures, were part of the delegations. These men were People's Commissar for Special Economic Zones Srban Buvlatovic and Deputy People's Commissar for External Trade Pjotr Ruslev. With them they brought a small army in their wake made up of translators, personal staff, advisors and even some mistresses disguised as some of the previously mentioned.

As always the All-Union entourage displayed their militarist tradition by showing up in their often overly decorated formal military uniforms from their respective branch. The only exception was Srban Buvlatovic whom didn't pursue a career in the military after his mandatory service was completed. He was part of a growing minority of high-ranking All-Union functionaries who didn't use the military as the traditional way of moving up the social ladder, but rather relied on his merits as a politician and his thorough understanding of behind-the-scenes Kadikistani power-struggles. Civilian or military, all of them genuinely enjoyed the Friulian welcome and greeted them as if they were seeing old friends. Content with the fact that their host has spared no expense the All-Union entourage followed them inside the magnificent Castle.

As expected the First Secretary was the first of the All-Union delegation to speak: "It is always our first move to look at the things that unite us with a potential partner, rather than fix our eye on that which divides us. When we can act in a matter that would serve as mutually beneficial we will not say no to such a noble endeavour. Alas responsible and pragmatic governments seem to be a dying breed these days..."As the Friulians were the host, the Kadikistani men waited for them to take the initiative.
 

Furlanìe

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:
"Indeed so, Siôr Mladzic"
replied Bernars, trying his best not to mispronounce the name
"I'll give way to Siôr de Roncalt"

:
"Mandi, I'm Umbert de Roncalt, Foreign Minister;
There are many things we all have to share and discuss, so I will start with a summary of the situation, and the point with the ODS endeavour.
As you have been made aware here present Confenonîr Bernars, after further discussions with party leader Regìs Dagarm, the tacit support of the opposition leadership, and with the approval of His Highness the Grand Duke, that hasn't been able to participate due to a mild malaise, and sends his regards to your delegation, gave me the task to explore a possible reconciliation with the ODS, for a sense of continental brotherhood and for the evident economic opportunities; therefore I attended a first meeting destined to inquire over the feasible changes, and gather the necessary requirements of the ODS for a future Friulian participation, to then bring all back to you in an open discussion over possible breaches to the Ivar-Grau Understanding, with in mind the possibilities of flexing an article in particular, in order avoid unnecessary tensions.

During the meeting, I have been made clear, that the organisation is still very much hostile towards the Grand Duchy, as half of the answers I got from the Secretary General where slogans and insults.

Although not an easy task, we managed to converge on a number of proposals that where supported by both sides: a non aggression treaty between ODS and Furlanìe, and access to the common market.

In exchange for these points, I have been asked to allow the free passage of ODS assets through Furlanìe, so to allow Auraria to be in direct access to the Lars-Trier compound, which is something, Siôr Artûrs agrees, would be not impossibile, but surely difficult to digest both for the Understanding and for our own military leadership.

In light of the positive progress made, I proposed a new initiative, that is: a defensive alliance that would protect both parties by an attack coming from any actor but the Rurikgrad Pact, an alliance that, we thought, could have been offered and expanded to the Rurikgrad Pact aswell, in a significant step towards the Ivar-ODS peace we aimed at from the start.

The alliance, of course, would have been created to protect Gallo-Germania, and Europe in extension, from the increasingly influential DDI, which we all thought was a common menace.

Unfortunately, by the response of Siore Vavi, I figured out, and was even clearly made aware by the Secretary, that the organisation has seen a steep shift in its geopolitical alignment, coming from a union of democracies coming together to get stronger and independent, to a group of DDI supporters, going as far as hinting at a future aggressive action by the anarchist block to the sovereignty of our southern brothers, the Pelasgian Empire, and knowing enough to predict Furlanìe wasn't going to be a target of any hostile move, at least as things stood in that moment.

I must say, and then I will give way to Confenonîr Bernars, this final passage, that swiftly re-heated the discussion, has left me very much astonished"

:
"As far as my Government is concerned, we would like to salvage what is possible from this negotiation, but, as Siôr Artûrs and the military leadership have underlined, going too close to the ODS would, in light of these revelations, be more of a security negative, than it could be an economic positive, so I would like to first know the Kadikistani position on the situation, as you are at the moment, right after the Pelasgians, our second most close economic and strategic partner"
 
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Kadikistani Union

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The Kadikistani delegation listened closely and while they would commend their Friulian counterparts for their transparency, they were also weary of their negotiations with a rival international military alliance. Not in the least because the generally phrased 'Status Quo Treaties', like the Ivar-Grau Agreements, were the benchmark of Kadikistani foreign policy since the death of Nikolai Leninov in 1957. That meant that when even one SQT was undermined, all of them would be and with it All-Union foreign policy. The latter no doubt having massive external, but also internal consequences as the radical factions within the All-Union Communist Workers' Party would be more then happy to see them fail. Nonetheless the fact that Furlanìe had once again approached the All-Union was something that strengthened trust.

Always looking for reliable partners and pragmatically indifferent to the specific political and economic systems thereof, Ivar was more then willing to listen. The Mladzic regime couldn't afford to turn a blind eye to a possible collaboration between its two competitors. In the case of the Grand Duchy there was also an undeniable strategic interest. With the increased combined military strength of both the DDI and the ODS, Ivar would have to consolidate further. At least if they wanted to be able to live up to their commitment to the Burgundian People's Republic. The military leadership of the All-Union realized that in case of a global conflict control over the Engell Sea could not be assured. In order to keep Western Burgundy from falling into enemy hands the Kadikistani's would need the Friulian corridor.

After his Friulian counterpart finished, Ivan Mladzic took a last sip of his drink before taking the floor. That last sip giving him a few more precious seconds to process the words he had just heard and formulate an appropriate response. Besides being a main proponent of pragmatic foreign policy, he was also inherently a deeply pragmatic man. "It is not our intention to meddle with the politics of our friends, whom they do business with, whom they befriend,... and so on. This not withstanding that we see it as a matter of security to monitor such things. Our analysis of the situation is that your attempts to do business with the ODS has been welcomed by hostility. Time and time again they have slammed the door in front of you, only because your fine government dared to conduct a pragmatic foreign policy based on building bridges rather than mindlessly building weapons to destroy them. While responsible rule is applauded in the Free East, it is apparently cause for punishment in the West."

The All-Union First Secretary adjusted himself, leaning back on his luxuriously decorated chair. "We both come from cultures that prefer a direct approach. That's why I will do you the courtesy of being direct. If it further solidifies our partnership in the region, the All-Union is willing to go far. We realize your outstanding conflicts with our Burgundian friends in the region. If requested, I am willing to personally mediate between what I consider to be two historical and natural allies in the region. If security is an issue we can rely on not only the All-Union, but also the broader and extensive Rurikgrad Pact arsenal to accommodate you. Most importantly we can find ways to further our already strong economic co-operation to help compensate for potential sanctions or other forms of bullying coming from either the ODS or the DDI. In fact we can use our weight in the Rurikgrad Pact to open up the Eastern and Burgundian markets for Furlanìe, in doing so given you a position unparalleled by any non-socialist state no doubt resulting in massive economic opportunities. "
 

Furlanìe

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Cosàn Bernars poured some wine in his glass and took a few sips as Mladzic spoke, abandoning altogether the Germanian reconciliation, one of the pillars of his political career, would have been a hard hit, and steering the country through the economic storm that rerouting trade flows and production chains would have been, could have serious consequences for his career. in any case, the growing disillusion of the public towards the ODS, and the memories of the anger that followed the hurting of the national pride in the first attempt of an approach, weighted very similarly in his mind, as anger is, much more than any alternative political system, the true enemy of the established order.

:
"I understand your point, and I can understand your polite refusal for any modification to the Understanding...
with all things considered, I can't but agree with you as things stand. the ODS was a difficult partner to negotiate with, a shady and rigid bureaucracy unable to confront with reality, it has been difficult to obtain support for this second approach, and with the increasing difference in objectives and geopolitical vision, even though it greaves and saddens me, I must surrender to reality myself."

He took one more sip of wine

"I am very thankful to you for not just halting our project but also providing a sound alternative, if your Government will really honour those propositions, Furlanìe will desist from further negotiating with the ODS; but, recalling the intense pressures and intimidations that came right after the signing of the Ivar-Grau Understanding, one can only imagine what will be the consequence for definitely turning our back to the DDI-infested europe. therfore I would like to propose to you the same alliance Minister de Roncalt failed to achieve with the ODS delegation: if you and your Government accept to join us into a defensive alliance, we will do as you suggested, as long as we can have further future talks about the Burgundian issue, which we will discuss with the same pragmatic spirit we have in this occasion.
We are not afraid of fighting, we are a fierce society; but I don't want my people to fight, alone, a war against half of Europe"
 

Kadikistani Union

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Mladzic did something he would rarely do and showed his counterparts a warm smile. "Concerning the Burgundian matter we will do what we must to arrange and moderate a meeting between your two fine nations. We are sure all past grievances that may exist will be buried and a mutually beneficial deal can be made. Diplomacy is after all the most durable path to peace " Mladzic then looked to his left and signalled People's Commissar for Defence Marko Zukarov to take over. The latter raised his broad chest, extinguished his cigarette and took the floor. "The All-Union is willing to guarantee the independence of the Grand Duchy of Furlanìe from this day until the end of days. Such a guarantee does not pull our Friulian friends into a conflict they potentially have no interest in, but does mean that in case of an attack on Furlanìe, we are bound to come to your aid with the military might at our disposal. We are willing to frame this within a broader alliance, potentially including our long standing partners in the region, the Pelasgian Empire."

Mladzic intercepted Zukarov and directed himself straight to the Friulian leadership. "A triumvirate, if you will.", he said with a clear reference to the Tiburan Empire and thus the history of Furlanìe. "What we consider a nessecity in these troubling times, to maintain the order of the world and secure enduring stability"
 

Furlanìe

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:
"to peace, stability and friendship" announced Bernars, standing up and rising the cup of wine in his hand "salût!" he shouted.

There was little to be merry about, as the coming days, weeks, maybe months, would have been a constant challenge, a storm from which he would come out as one of the historical figures of the Grand Duchy or as the miserable man who brought the country to ruins, but there he was, there was nothing else to do but following the flow.
 

Pelasgia

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The Pelasgian Delegation had been invited to the summit by the Kadikistanis, and had gladly obliged, judging the growing aggressiveness of the DDI in the Long Sea as the prelude to an armed attempt to enforce progressive across Europe, starting by cutting off the maritime links between the remaining holdouts of the pre-liberal world order. Prime Minister Thrasivoulos Platanias, 12th Baron Platanias, led the delegation, alongside Foreign Minister Nikolaos Chrysopoulos, 8th Count Chrysopoulos, and Megas Doux Alexios Dalassenos, 7th Duke Dalassenos. The three men represented the three main power centres of Pelasgia: the secret services, the bureaucracy, and the military. They were all dressed accordingly: Platanias wore evening dress while displaying the Order of the Pomegranate, the highest Imperial Order of which he was a knight; Chrysopoulos wore the dark blue uniform of the Vice-Chief of the Imperial Diplomatic Service, with its characteristic golden embroidery; and Dalassenos wore the all-white summer dress of the highest officer of the Imperial Pelasgian Navy.

To the Pelasgians, the Kadikistani delegates were well known and like friends. The Friulians were well known, but still perceived quite amicably, given the Grand Duchy's very public attempts to build friendly relations with Pelasgia. "It is rare," Platanias said, "to see pragmatic leaders concerned with peace, stability and friendship these days. Many seem to have lost their minds, diving head-first into reckless global war for the sake of abstract values like 'freedom' and 'equality'. Thankfully, it seems a few of us are left."
 
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Furlanìe

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After a night of celebrations in Ville Rûs, during which the Kadikistani and Friulain delegations had further time to discuss, in a friendly atmosphere, the details and consequences of the covenant at hand, the second day of the negotiation started in the early evening with the arrival of the Pelasgian delegation, welcomed with the same honours of the Kadikistanis at Linian.

:
"indeed abstract and dangerous ideals, it takes very little to ignite a fire but who will be there to feast over the ashes of our civilisations? certainly not our own people, with no structure, culture and real values left alive, but the far eastern anarchists, which are ever so close to dominating the entirety of Europe as the ODS bows to them blindly.

As I think you have been made aware, but certainly could expect already, the ODS delegation revealed that an aggressive action from the DDI against the Pelasgian rightful supremacy over the Long Sea is coming, we, bound to centuries-old relations and traditions recognise the Pelasgian Empire as the ruler of those waters, and protector of the prosperity of our far away territories, that is why we immediately agreed with the Kadikistani delegation that your involvement was crucial.

In yesterdays session we agreed that a Friulian involvement with the ODS is, at this point, out of the way, as it would be against our own strategic interests; as economically painful as the process of departure will be, we cannot keep knocking at a closed door and sell our honour to what grows closer and closer to an enemy, this process will be painful indeed, and we expect quite a storm to come our way, that is why we agreed to work together, and form a defensive alliance.

We together are certainly strong enough to survive, but, growing this family with the Pelasgian Empire would make us all thrive, a united front against the disruptive forces of our time would give us a one time opportunity to reverse the winds of chaos coming our way, and direct Europe safely ashore. what say you?"
 

Pelasgia

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"You are right, Mr. Prime Minister," Platanias said, "it seems the liberal Gallo-Germanians, blinded by their hatred of Kadikistan and their refusal to recognise its sphere of influence and leave it be, have decided to sell off their continent to the Anarchists and the Engells. We tried warning them against provoking their eastern neighbours last time, and it ended much the same way... They still accuse us of 'betrayal,' forgetting that without our intervention, war would have broken out three times before. Alas, such is life; men remember all harm you do them, and none of the good."

"Which brings us to the Long Sea... ironically, Pelasgia has never treated the Long Sea like a fief. All we ever did was police it for pirates and keep it open for trade. We have, for centuries, held unquestionable naval and trade dominance in the region, and we have never used it to order any other State around. Alas, the Anti-State and the Sylvanians were looking for an excuse to spread their toxic ideologies and sphere of influence to our back yard, and that is the angle they took. Pelasgia will never force the Long Sea nations to bend a knee or pay tribute, but we will never accept a Touzenite fleet on our doorstep either, with the supposed legal authority to 'police' the region, or whatever the ridiculous excuse their Long Sea Authority's charter tried to put into law."

"Though we might seem like an unlikely alliance, we are united by one thing: pragmatic rationalism and a wish to avoid needless wars. In this way, there is no more rational and necessary alliance. A defensive alliance between our three states to guarantee the Status Quo in our broader region would be the only way to solve the issues that we are faced with."
 
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