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Rauchen
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[quote]Dear Mr. Putin,

I hope this message finds you in good health. With the Duchy of Kurland fully established and stabilized, we can now look beyond our own borders and engage in diplomacy with our neighbors. To this end, I'd like to invite you to my palace in Riga to discuss the establishment of Russo-Kurlandic relations. Nothing binding, of course, but I believe it would be in the interests of both our nations to start off on the right foot.

I eagerly await your reply.

Sincerely,
Alaric Völund I von Kurland
Duke of Kurland[/quote]

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[quote]I am well thank you. I hope that are well also. I would be honored and pleased to visit your home. My office will make the necessary arrangements for me as soon as possible.

Signed,
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin[/quote]

Within days of receiving the message, a government jet with the Prime Minister onboard landed in Riga.

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The Prime Minister would be met on the tarmac by a convoy of two military jeeps and one armored limousine, with a security attachment consisting of a dozen soldiers. Foreign Minister Alfbern Landau was standing by the limo with two of the soldiers, smiling pleasantly as Putin descended. It was an unusually hot day in Riga, and the fumes from the planes and the heat reflecting off the tarmac did nothing to help; the foreign minister was sweating slightly by the time the plane landed. When Putin reached the ground, Alfbern strode forward and offered his hand. "Mr. Putin. It's an honor to meet you," he said in Russian. "I am Alfbern Landau, foreign minister to the Duke." He wiped his brow off with his sleeve and continued, "Come, let us not dawdle in this heat. There are drinks in the limo."

He walked around to the other side of the limousine, where one of the two soldiers already stood, holding the door open; the other one was doing likewise with the door closest to Putin. When both dignitaries were inside, they shut the doors and sat in a separate compartment of the vehicle. Alfbern opened the miniature refrigerator as the convoy started off, revealing a stock of drinks ranging from colas to vodka. "Can I offer you a refreshment?" he asked, pouring whiskey into a shot glass for himself.

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Vladimir glanced at the refrigerator. It was a rule of his to never drink alcohol while on official business, so he just had water.

“This is a nice country.” He said as he got a little more comfortable. “I haven’t been here since the war. It’s a shame that all this land went to the Germans. The past is the past, so let’s talk of brighter futures.”

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Alfbern shrugged as he passed the water to Putin. "I'm inclined to disagree, but merely because otherwise, my German father would have never gotten drunk and staggered into my Russian mother at a party, but that's a story for another day." He drained his whiskey and peered out the window. "The palace is just around this corner; you'll be able to see it once we drive past the Diet's building." Sure enough, the duke's modest palace, dwarfed by the Reichstag-style legislative structure, lie just around the corner, making up for its small size with its large, beautiful gardens featuring flora from across the world. "What little I have to ask will likely come up in your conversation with the duke, so I think I'll spare you that redundancy."

As the convoy pulled up to the palace, the two soldiers in the other section of the limo got out; one made to open the door for Putin, saluting as he did so. As the prime minister exited the car, Alfbern raised his refilled whiskey glass to him. "[i]Auf wiedersehen, Herr Putin.[/i] May your visit be the first of many." And with that, the soldier closed the door and gestured towards the palace's doors as the convoy drove away. The two guards would flank Putin as he entered the palace.

Duke Alaric I von Kurland awaited Putin in the entrance hall, accompanied by his secretary, four more guards, and Grand Marshal Emelrich von Reval, who looked utterly bored by the proceedings. Alaric spread his arms in welcome as Putin crossed the threshold. "Prime Minister!" he exclaimed, speaking in Russian just as Alfbern had done and offering Putin his hand. "A pleasure to finally meet you. I trust your journey was safe and pleasant? Mr. Landau didn't talk your ear off, did he?"

At that moment, Emelrich exploded, "Alright, Goddammit, if you're going to force me to stick around, then speak a damn language we can all understand!" The guards struggled to hide smirks of amusement at this outburst.

Alaric turned to the marshal, frowning. "Actually, Emelrich, I don't recall telling you to stay. Why are you still here?"

Emelrich glared at him, mouth working furiously but silently; Alaric [i]had[/i] asked him to stay, but, he now realized, he was perfectly at liberty to refuse. Somewhat abashed, he strode out of the door with a grunt of farewell. Alaric laughed, saying, "I apologize for Emelrich; he's never been one for politics."

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“Quite the contrary Your Highness,” he replied, “Mr. Landau and I spoke briefly on the ride here, but overall he was rather quiet.”

Vladimir nodded politely to Emelrich as he left then turned back to the Duke. “Thank you for inviting me into your home. As I was telling Mr. Landau, the last time I visited this area was before the war. He didn’t seem to share my sentiments though. Well should we get down to business?”

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"Of course, of course," Alaric said, rubbing his hands together. "Captain, if you don't mind waiting for us down here..."

"Yes, sir," the Captain of the Guard replied, saluting and motioning for his men to get out of their way.

Alaric and his secretary, Alexia, led Putin up the marble staircase in the center of the room and off to a secluded corner of the second floor. They entered Alexia's office, which acted as a hallway into the the duke's office. "Hold all my calls, Ms. Westerberg, I'd rather not be disturbed." Alexia nodded and held the door open for Alaric and Putin, shutting it behind them when they entered.

The Duke's office was fairly small and simple; a teak desk with a black leather office chair was the primary furnishing. There was a small liquor cabinet in the opposite corner and a mini-fridge behind the desk. The rest of the walls, save the entrance and an unmarked door in the corner, were covered by bookshelves. "Have a seat," Alaric offered, gesturing towards the three soft chairs on the other side of the desk. He himself sat down in his office chair, which he rolled over to the mini-fridge. He withdrew two bottles of water, rolled back to his desk, and set one of the bottles down in front of Putin. "So, Prime Minister," he said, twisting open the cap of his bottle and taking a swig. "I have, until recently, been far more concerned with domestic affairs and the war raging on in Germany. So tell me, how fares Slavorussia in these times?"

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“Things are going well in Slavorussia. Despite the war in Central Europe, we are happy to know that the British will be leaving Franz Josef Land soon. Their presence has been an issue of concern for quite some time. There are still a few loose ends to tie up, but overall British imperialism seems to be going in reverse.”

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"I admit, I have only heard whispers about the Franz Josef question," Alaric said, opening a drawer in his desk and taking out a cigar box. "I am happy, however, to hear that the issue is being resolved peacefully." He opened the box and withdrew a cigar, then held the box out to Putin. "Cigar? Don't take the ones on the left; those were a product sample from the Reval Reefer company. I'm happy that new businesses have been taking off, but they don't seem to realize I quit in college..." Alaric took a lighter from his pocket and lit his cigar, then put it on the desk where Putin could reach it if needed. "So, am I correct in assuming Slavorussia will be occupying the islands, or will Vauleya be doing so?"

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“Thank you, but I don’t smoke.” Vladimir said, waving the cigars away. “Actually Greenland will be the new steward of Franz Josef Land. They’re less aggressive and more reasonable than the British, so it’s still a win as far as I’m concerned.”

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Alaric stowed the cigar box back in his desk. "As long as the new steward of the land is not a frequent aggressor, then yes, I suppose it is a victory." He blew a smoke ring off to the side and ashed his cigar. "Let's return closer to home, though. I'd like to foster closer relations between Kurland and Slavorussia, and I think the first step should be economic cooperation and overall amicable relations. Free trade, non-aggression, that sort of thing. What say you?"

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Alaric took a pen from a holder and pulled a piece of paper towards him. He began to write, occasionally scratching things out and muttering, then, when finished, copied the end result onto a separate sheet of paper, which he then pushed towards Putin. "What do you think?"



[quote]
Preamble
In the interests of mutual friendship and regional stability, the Duchy of Kurland and the Slavorussian Empire, henceforth referred to as Kurland and Slavorussia respectively, do hereby enter into a bond of economic cooperation.

Article I. Nonagression
Slavorussia and Kurland agree that neither signatory shall, under any circumstance, wage war against the other, whether it be aggressive or as a result of treaty obligations. Furthermore, both shall make efforts to avoid circumstances that would put the two signatories at odds with one another.

Article II. Trade
Both signatories agree to encourage commerce between themselves, and shall therefore relax restrictions on businesses from the other nation, making it easier for bilateral commerce to take place. Kurland and Slavorussia also agree to decrease tariffs on exports betwixt them by 33%, in order to promote trade while protecting local traders.

Article III. Friendship
Kurland and Slavorussia agree that, in the spirit of maintaining healthy relations, all diplomatic communications with or regarding the other signatory, regardless of the subject, will be good-willed and amicable.

Article IV. Cancellation
In the event that either signatory feels that this treaty no longer accurately fits the relationship between these states, they may cancel it at any time, provided that they give the other signatory at least 48 hours prior notice. They may, however, revoke the cancellation at any point during this period.

Signed for the Duchy of Kurland,
Alaric Völund I von Kurland

Signed for the Slavorussian Empire,
signed,
Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister
Ratified by the Parliament of the Slavorussian Empire
[/quote]

Edited by Rauchen
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