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Baltic Diplomacy


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*Private*
King Alaric I von Ösel scratched his goattee as he examined a stack of foreign affairs reports and a map of the world. Where had the time go? The Baltic had changed hugely in the last year, and now, Kurland was, in many ways out of the loop. Germania was gone, Finland was back, and relations with all of their new neighbors were average at best. In the fall of the Germanic Union, Kurland had also come into possession of what had once been Prussia, and integration of these new regions had taken a priority over Kurlandic Sweden and Yarmouth. Recently, a peaceful demonstration had begun in Kalmar, petitioning for reunification with their Swedish kinsmen. Alaric was sympathetic to the movement- royal attention had shifted away from them in recent years, and with local governments comprising almost entirely of Swedes, it was to be expected that they would have an interest in reunification. He wasn't one to deny his constituents their desires, so he'd come to a solution.

"Send this to the Swedish queen at once," he said, handing a sealed letter to Foreign Minister Ludvig Mikaelsson, a Swede himself by birth. Mikaelsson had been somewhat concerned by the potential effects of his countrymen's patriotism, but had assured Alaric that he would continue to serve in the Kurlandic government, no matter what happened to Kalmar and Gotland.


[quote]To the Kingdom of Sweden
From the Kingdom of Kurland

Salutations, Queen Caroline I Bernadotte,

I hope this letter finds you in good health. As you may know, Kurland has been removed from regional politics for the past year, and as we emerge from this period, I feel it would be beneficial to pick Kurlandic-Swedish relations where we left off at the Nordic Council summit, before your reign began. You'll recall our existing agreement, wherein all Kurlandic Swedes are allowed dual citizenship in Sweden. I'd like to invite you, or a representative of your government, to my palace in Riga to discuss the future of the relationship between our nations, as well as the future of Kalmar and Gotland.

Yours,
Alaric I von Ösel
King of Kurland[/quote]

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[quote][b]To[/b] the Kingdom of Kurland
[b]From[/b] the Kingdom of Sweden

[i]Greetings[/i]

I hope that, likewise, you are also in good health, Alaric of Kurland, I was briefed after my ascension to the throne about the events that transpired at the Nordic Council, I accept your invitation to speak on these matters personally. I will be also bringing along my Minister of International Affairs and Trade to this meeting, which I will hope won't be too much of a bother. I am glad that during these dark times of conflict in Eurasia, that two countries can show that cooperation with other countries is veritably not a thing of the past.

[i]Regards,

Caroline
Queen of Kurland
House of Bernadotte[/i][/quote]

Caroline would depart Sweden for Kurland by a military high-value-individual air transport, which would be escorted as far as Kurlandic airspace by fighter elements of the Swedish Air Force, a wartime precaution, of course. Traveling with Caroline would be Christian Nyquist, the Swedish Minister of International Affairs and Trade, with two plainclothes officers of the the Swedish [i]Livgardet[/i]. Once in Kurlandic Airspace, the transport would request to land at Riga.

"This could be a turning moment in our nation's history, your grace," nodded Nyquist, as they approached the Eastern Baltic Coastline, and he looked out the porthole.

"I wouldn't peg too much hope on this first meeting, Christian, it is but that, a first meeting. While we can hope for something, we shouldn't expect everything to fall into our laps," responded the young, but astute monarch.

"True," nodded Christian, turning to look at the young monarch. "If Kalmar and Gotland are truly united though with Sweden, eventually, it would be a great moment in recent times for Sweden though."

"I think your overflowing optimism ebbs from the fact that you grew up in Kalmar yourself, is that not the reason?"

"Yes and no. There are patriots, your grace, in our nation, who have been waiting for a long time to see this. First the Norrlands returned, now, maybe we are taking our first step towards a fully reunited Sweden."

Caroline leaned forward, smiling at him, "Mr. Nyquist, I should know, for I wrap myself in the flag as well, and it would do me proud to see it flying over Kalmar and Gotland as well, but let us not hinder our thoughts of official business while we are here. Whatever comes of this meeting, comes of it."

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King Alaric and Minister Mikaelsson stood beside an armored limousine on the tarmac at Riga International, watching the plane's descent. Two uniformed Raiders sat in the front seats of the limo, and a total of eight more filled the two SUVs, located in front of and behind the limo, solely for the purpose of escorting the dignitaries.

"It's a strange feeling," Mikaelsson commented as the transport approached the nearby runway, "actually giving away your home."

Alaric glanced over at his foreign minister, the corner of his mouth turning up. "Feeling nostalgic, Ludvig?"

Mikaelsson didn't take his eyes off the plane. "Of course I am. Wouldn't you if you were signing away Ösel to another country?"

The king shrugged. "I don't know. It's not really something you think would happen. I can't imagine how you must feel."

"It's nothing," Mikaelsson replied, shaking his head. "I'm not just a Swede anymore, I am a Kurlander, and I will not abandon my duties to my country in order to cling on to faded memories."

As the Swedish transport taxied in parallel to the vehicle column, the limo's Raider drivers got out of the car and took up positions flanking Alaric and Mikaelsson as they walked to greet the plane.
"[i]Grüß Gott, Königin Carolin,[/i]" Alaric said as they disembarked the craft. "I hope your trip here was a pleasant one." He took Carolin's hand in his and kissed it lightly, then shook hands with Nyquist. "I am King Alaric von Ösel. It's a pleasure to finally meet you." He gestured towards Mikaelsson. "Ludvig Mikaelsson, my foreign minister."

Mikaelsson smiled and shook both of their hands. "Good day, Your Majesty," he greeted in Swedish. "Welcome to Riga."

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Caroline would smile, and return the greeting, "It is a pleasure to meet you, Your Highness," she nodded, shaking hands with Mikaelsson. "This is Christian Nyquist, my International Affairs and Trade Minister," she said, introducing the other Swede. "I daresay the trip was quick and very smooth," she would add, with a grin.

"Thank you for greeting us here, Your Highness, Minister Mikaelsson, I daresay its been a long time since I've been to this side of the Baltic," nodded Nyquist, shaking hands with both men as he straightened his suit jacket.

"Yes, I didn't believe I would be meeting the King of Kurland on the tarmac, but it is a lovely surprise," nodded his counterpart, as she smiled warmly at the two Kurlanders. The two [i]Livgardet[/i] Officers would accompany the duo off the plane, one of them being Caroline's aide.

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"I simply wanted the pleasure of welcoming my honored guests to my country personally," Alaric replied. He gestured towards the limousine. "Shall we get underway? There is extra room in either of the SUVs for your escorts." He led the small group of diplomats and guards back to the convoy. The two Raiders assigned to the limo held the back passenger doors open for the statesmen before returning to their seats up front. Alaric and Mikaelsson took the two seats closest to the back of the limo.

"So, Your Highness,- may I call you Carolin?- I understand that Sweden has been experiencing an economic rejuvenation," Alaric said as the procession began to move. "I'd expected nothing less. The Swedish people have proven resilient in standing strong through worse."

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Caroline and Nyquist would nod their assent, and join the Kurlandic Delegation in their limo, as the two [i]Livgardet[/i] officers joined the security detail. Caroline thanked the Raider that held the door for her, and settled herself next to Nyquist in the back of the limousine. As the convoy got moving, Nyquist would observe out the window, as Caroline's attention was on the Kurland monarch, as well as his Foreign Minister.

Nodding at Alaric's commentary, she responded, with a smile, "Of course, you may call me Caroline. "Yes, Sweden has seen a definite ebb in its literal fortunes these days, the collapse of Germany did much to rejuvenate the country, with the reintegration of Norrheim into Sweden. Saab and Volvo are definitely experiencing a bounce back from lower fortunes, with government contracts and the like, that is for sure," she said, with a proud smile.

"Given our economic expansion, that has included customers in North America and the Far East, it has definitely been a good year for Sweden," added Nyquist, turning his attention back to their two counterparts. "As I understand it, Kurland isn't doing that bad either, of course we would like to have a steady regional trading partner. Norway is a recent addition to our list of friends and economic destinations, but I am wary of the results of the newest election, combined with the goings-on in Finland as well as France."

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"Domestically, Kurland's economy has been growing steadily since its birth, and the integration of Prussia since the fall of the Germanic Union has given us a considerable boost in our industrial base," Alaric said. "However, our trade relations abroad are limited almost entirely to Norway and Slavorussia- one of the negative points of the Germanic collapse. They were our primary trading partner, you see. We've been looking to expand foreign trade recently, as the loss of the huge German markets has really begun to hurt our manufacturers."

"I can't say that I share your concerns about Norway," Mikaelsson told Nyquist. "I'm confident the Norwegian Worker's Party will be as competent in their administration of Norway as their predecessor. But I can understand the Finnish concerns. The Defense Ministry indicated high levels of Finnish activity near our coasts and across the Gulf of Finland that only recently died down. Considering the new Finnish government has made no effort to make diplomatic contact with us, we are extremely wary of their intentions."

The procession passed the National Diet building, where a trickle of legislators were dispersing for a late lunch break. They arrived at the palace, just a block away from the Diet, and the two Raiders assigned to the limo once again got out to hold open the doors. Two more that were stationed outside the palace did likewise with the ornate double doors. The two Swedish [i]Livgardet[/i] officers were allowed to accompany the dignitaries inside, but the rest of the Raiders from the convoy, aside from the SUVs' drivers, scattered to their preassigned posts.

"Welcome to my home," Alaric said sweeping his arm about as they crossed the threshold. "Not nearly as glamorous as the famous Kadriorg Palace in Reval, but I, unlike the Czars of old, had this place constructed from my personal funding and optional donations rather than the treasury. It wouldn't do to spend the taxpayers' money on excessive luxuries."

Minister Mikaelsson now led them up the stairway to the second floor of the palace and led them down a side hallway to one of the palace's two conference rooms. This one, the smaller of the two, was furnished with a conference table, ten comfortable office chairs, a bookshelf, and a slide projector that was gathering dust. Alaric dismissed the two Raider officers to wait outside and respectfully requested that the [i]Livgardet[/i] joined them as he and Mikaelsson walked around the table to occupy two chairs at the middle of the table, facing the door.

"So, Caroline and Herr Nyquist, what is it you would like to discuss first?"

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Caroline nodded attentively, taking glances out the window at the city as they passed through it. "Yes, it was rather abrupt that Germany collapsed, given your status with Germany as a trading partner, I can see where it would cause problems," nodded Caroline, upon mention of the collapse of Germany, and the beginning of the new 'Greater Germany' that had come from leaders from the east.

"We could certainly ease some of the hardship on your manufacturers, of course," added Nyquist, as he looked at the duo attentively. "That being said, we could certainly hammer that out in any formal diplomatic agreement we reach today." As they reached the palace, he would raise an eyebrow, while Caroline took in the sight of it, which was simple, yet still appeared to be fit for any respectable monarch.

Caroline would nod her thanks as the door was opened, and she stepped out, listening to Alaric speak of the palace. "That is certainly a respectable decision, not putting the burden on your subjects for the funding of this building," she said, with a polite smile, as they stepped inside. Whilst doing so, she laughed lightly of his comment about the Russian Czars, "Alaric, you and I may be monarchs, but the Czar was a God, there is a certain line between pageantry and practicality, and the Czars always crossed it."

As they walked deeper into the residence, and the Kurland Monarch requested the absence of her two Life Guards, she would nod her assent, and the duo would take up positions outside their conference room, attentively. Caroline and Nyquist would settle into two chairs, facing their counterparts, and Caroline would ask, with a polite smile, before they started officially, "Excuse me for my forwardness, but might I request a pitcher of water? I am a little parched from the flight in."

As soon as Alaric asked about their discussion, Nyquist would look at her to take the lead, and she nodded, "Well, as noted by your letter, you invited us to discuss a future relationship with Sweden, and also discuss Kalmar and Gotland. I say we go in that order, given you are our neighbor, we are looking to secure our position in this region with friendly economic and defense relationships with other nations in the Baltic, and we give preference to neighbors before others, given their proximity, especially."

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Just as Caroline spoke, Alaric's secretary opened the door, bearing a tray laden with a water pitcher, several liquor bottles, and four glasses. She set them on the table and turned to leave without saying anything.

"[i]Danke[/i], Alexia," Alaric called as the door swung shut behind her. He gestured for his guests to help themselves and poured himself a small glass of Jägermeister as he listened to Nyquist. "It is our responsiblity," he said, taking a sip from his glass, "to step up and maintain the security of the Baltic, in the wake of Germania's collapse. Their position as a cornerstone of Baltic stability could very well jeopardize the region to influence from exterior forces. I don't place much faith in Greater Germany's ability to fill this void on account of their own extensive coastlines and borders, and I'd much rather have more...localized powers involved in any coordinated efforts."

"I think," Mikaelsson piped up while stirring a vodka and Sprite, "that the failed Nordic Council had a fairly agreeable basis. Regional security, economic cooperation, and defensive reassurances, all wrapped up in one neat, albeit unsuccessful, package. Considering that this is only a bilateral meeting rather than a multilateral bloc conference, I think a defense pact, with economic clauses, will work well."

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"Thank you," nodded Caroline, smiling politely at the aide who delivered the refreshments, quickly filling a glass with water, and drinking deeply from it as she listened intently to Nyquist and Alaric exchanging ideas about Baltic security. As she set her glass down, she would comment, "Well, we are both well-positioned to maintain security in the Baltic, given our countries occupy both sides of it, and Sweden is optimally placed at the entrance to it."

"Indeed," added Nyquist, as he poured himself a small tumbler of brandy, taking a sip before continuing. "I believe a bilateral defense pact, with economic clauses would certainly benefit both our nations in the long run. Although the Swedish parliament has had some substantial... political debates recently, and a few votes of no confidence against our current Prime Minister, I can guarantee that a treaty with Kurland would be able to pass through the [i]riksdag[/i]."

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"That would be very agreeable," Alaric said, taking another sip from his glass. "That settled, let's turn our attention towards Kalmar and Gotland. Recently, a protest has swept over the county of Kalmar, requesting reunification with the Swedish nation. I have no interest in maintaining an empire of reluctance, and I will not deny my constituents what they seek. However, a significant number of Kurlanders have migrated to Gotland and Kalmar since their integration to take advantages of new opportunities in green energy and automobiles. Roughly 13% of the population of Gotland is now Kurlandic Germans, and so is 5% of the population of Kalmar. That's about 20,000 in Gotland and 14,000 in Kalmar. Those on Gotland are particularly opposed to reintegration with Sweden. The German population is centered primarily around the Fårö island to the northwest of Gotland, where they form the local majority, but a significant number of them also populate Visby. Therefore, I propose that Kurland transfers control of Kalmar and Gotland to Sweden, excluding the island of Fårö. I would also request that Sweden allow those Germans who remain in their area of control dual citizenship in both of our countries, and that you allow those Swedes who currently hold Kurlandic citizenship to maintain that status. Would this be acceptable?"

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Caroline looked at Nyquist, before turning back to Alaric, "I believe, given your nation's steady rule over the region, that such a proposal would be acceptable, it is understandable given your nation has been overseeing those two municipalities, that there would certainly be some immigration over the years. Given your generous offer, I believe that allowing Kurland to retain Faro, would be fine. Of course, being able to retain the dual citizenships for the region's citizenry is perfectly acceptable."

"Given the fact that we'd be defense pact signatories, we would also like to inquire about being able to make use of, when we need to, of course, Kurland's naval and air facilities, our navy and air force are very active in patrols around the Baltic, and an extra place to refuel or make emergency landings is certainly a plus," added Nyquist, as he sipped his tumbler slowly.

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Alaric polished off the last of his drink as he listened to Nyquist. "I have no qualms about granting that access, so long as it is reciprocated by Sweden. I have nothing further to put forward. Is there anything else you'd like to talk over before we draft the agreement?"

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"Of course. I took the liberty of preparing a rough draft before this meeting," Mikaelsson said, taking a sheet of paper and a pen from a drawer on the table. "I just need to write up the military access clause." The foreign minister scribbled quietly for a couple of minutes, then handed it to Nyquist. "If you find this agreeable, we can formalize it and sign it this very day."



[quote]

[center][i][u][b][size="6"]Treaty of Riga[/size][/b][/u][/i][/center]
Preamble
In the spirit of friendship and regional prosperity, the Kingdoms of Kurland and Sweden hereby enter into a pact of economic and military cooperation.

Article I. Friendship
The undersigned nations agree to maintain cordial relations in all situations. Neither state will engage in activity that will be in any way detrimental to the other’s security. Kurland and Sweden also agree to share any information that could impact the security of the opposite signatory.

Article II. Trade
Kurland and Sweden agree to promote trade between one another, and will reduce or remove restrictions on that trade.

Article III. Mutual Defense
The signatories of this treaty hereby agree to defend their counterpart in the event that an aggressive war is declared against one of the participants. This clause does not apply to wars being declared on a signatory as a result of their involvement in a pre-existing conflict; in this event, intervention becomes optional.

Article IV. Military Access
Kurland and Sweden both agree to allow the air and naval forces of the other signatory free access to ports and air bases. Positioning ground forces in the other partner’s territory still requires prior consent by their respective governments.

Article V. Kalmar and Gotland
Kurland hereby agrees to cede control of the Counties of Kalmar and Gotland, excluding the island of Fårö and the township of Fårösund, to Sweden. In return, Sweden promises to allow all residents of Kalmar and Gotland dual citizenship. The transition will be completed over a period of two months (RP time).

Article VI. Cancellation
Should either signatory feel that this pact is no longer an accurate representation of their mutual relations, they may cancel it at any time. A signatory seeking to cancel the treaty must first deliver 72 hours (RL time) notice to the other nation. This treaty will remain active throughout this cancellation period. Cancellation will not reverse Article V.

Signed for the Kingdom of Kurland,

Signed for the Kingdom of Sweden,
[/quote]

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Nyquist and Caroline both conferred over the treaty, reading it over, and Nyquist nodded, "Looks good to me."

[quote][i]Caroline of Bernadotte
Queen of Sweden[/i]

Christian Nyquist
Minister of International Affairs and Trade
Leading Foreign Representative of the Swedish Parliament[/i][/quote]

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"Excellent!" Alaric exclaimed. "I will have this sent through the Diet today." He raised his voice. "Oberst Weiman!"
One of the two Raiders outside opened the door. "Yes, [i]meinen König?[/i]" he inquired.
Alaric folded the rough draft and sealed it in an envelope. "Take this to Chancellor Tolkien at the Diet building. Or send the major."
"[i]Jawohl,[/i]" Weiman said, taking the letter, saluting, and marching back out the door, where he would promptly hand the letter over to his subordinate, Major Kästner, who reluctantly departed.

The king turned back to his guests. "If you have the time, you can wait until this is formalized and sign it here and today. But it may be a few hours, and it is a beautiful day out. Allow me to show you around our humble capital..."

The treaty would be copied and sent to the Diet just a block away, where Chancellor Tolkien would take charge of the Diet long enough to present and push approval through. Within two hours, the treaty had been formalized, and the final draft sent to Alaric, Mikaelsson, Tolkien, and the Swedish officials. Alaric entertained his guests with a brief tour of Riga while the agreement was reviewed, taking them to the old Livonian Order castle, the Riga Cathedral St. Peter's Church, and the [i]Wöhrmanns Garten[/i], and had them returned to the palace to sign the final draft.

[quote]

[center][i][u][size="6"]Treaty of Riga[/size][/u][/i][/center]
Preamble
In the spirit of friendship and regional prosperity, the Kingdoms of Kurland and Sweden hereby enter into a pact of economic and military cooperation.

Article I. Friendship
The undersigned nations agree to maintain cordial relations in all situations. Neither state will engage in activity that will be in any way detrimental to the other’s security. Kurland and Sweden also agree to share any information that could impact the security of the opposite signatory.

Article II. Trade
Kurland and Sweden agree to promote trade between one another, and will reduce or remove restrictions on that trade.

Article III. Mutual Defense
The signatories of this treaty hereby agree to defend their counterpart in the event that an aggressive war is declared against one of the participants. This clause does not apply to wars being declared on a signatory as a result of their involvement in a pre-existing conflict; in this event, intervention becomes optional.

Article IV. Military Access
Kurland and Sweden both agree to allow the air and naval forces of the other signatory free access to ports and air bases. Positioning ground forces in the other partner’s territory still requires prior consent by their respective governments.

Article V. Kalmar and Gotland
Kurland hereby agrees to cede control of the Counties of Kalmar and Gotland, excluding the island of Fårö and the township of Fårösund, to Sweden. In return, Sweden promises to allow all residents of Kalmar and Gotland dual citizenship. The transition will be completed over a period of two months (RP time).

Article VI. Cancellation
Should either signatory feel that this pact is no longer an accurate representation of their mutual relations, they may cancel it at any time. A signatory seeking to cancel the treaty must first deliver 72 hours (RL time) notice to the other nation. This treaty will remain active throughout this cancellation period. Cancellation will not reverse Article V.



Signed for the Kingdom of Kurland,
[i]Alaric I von Ösel[/i]
King of Kurland

[i]Konstantin Tolkien[/i]
Chancellor

[i]Ludvig Mikaelsson[/i]
Foreign Minister

[i]Approved by the 2nd Kurlandic Diet[/i]


Signed for the Kingdom of Sweden,
[i]Caroline of Bernadotte
Queen of Sweden

Christian Nyquist
Minister of International Affairs and Trade
Leading Foreign Representative of the Swedish Parliament[/i]
[/quote]

Shortly after, Alaric apologetically excused himself to return to other matters of state, and Mikaelsson escorted the Swedes back to the airport, where they would find their transport refueled by Kurlandic ground crews and prepared for takeoff whenever they were ready.

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Caroline and Nyquist would enjoy their tour thoroughly, as the latter was usually deeply involved in work, and rarely got to enjoy the countries he was visiting, so he was ecstatic to be able to tour the various destinations around Riga. Upon their arrival at the airport, Caroline thanked Mikaelsson with a curtsy, and Nyquist exchanged a handshake with his Kurlandic counterpart.

"Thank you again, for the opportunity to visit Kurland," nodded Caroline, with a warm smile.

"Indeed, it was a pleasure to meet you, please convey our gratitude to Alaric, again, it is comforting that our two nations could forge a new relationship here, despite the various conflicts and the strife inflicting the continent these days," nodded Nyquist, as he shook the Kurlandic foreign minister's hand.

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