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Uralic Bashkortostan opens its doors to questions


Uralica
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A newly-rebuilt Ufa is the scene of the first diplomatic press conference in the young history of Uralic Bashkortostan. Although the technology of the nation will take years to recover from the destruction caused by the bitter civil war that brought Estovakia to its end, the amount that has been recovered ensures that the Uralics and Bashkirs have enough technology to perform this service. It is very quaint by the standards of most nations in this day in age, but it functions.

In the centre of the city lies the Öfö Conference Hall, which took its name from the Bashkir name of the city. The conference was to be held in the centremost room of this - an elegant old-style room with enough seating for around eighty.

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The most recognisable faces of the post-Estovakian restabilisation effort sit at the front of the room. There is tall, balding, pale-faced, somewhat intimidating Jarkko Salomäki, the man whose actions would create the nation. His right-hand man from the campaign against Dark Hand, ethnic Bashkir Akhmetkhan Gubaidulin, sits at his right-hand side - a man of average height, with black hair, darker skin and slightly slanted, dark eyes. Dr. Ovdey Shlomov, a Russian Jew who also claims some Udmurt ancestry, sat at his left side, his greying hair and beard making him obvious. The room had roughly a dozen translators on hand, ready to translate into the world's most prevalent languages. Draped from the wall behind them were four flags - the blue and white with three golden crosses of Uralic Bashkortostan, and lower, the blue, white and green flag of Bashkortostan, and the flags of Chelyabinsk and Orenburg Oblasts.

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In front of each were three rather dated but still-perfectly-functioning microphones, as well as what had to be at least four pages of notes each, and a notepad for each to write on.

Salomäki cleared his throat, and in a mostly-Finnish accent that had a hint of Russian influence to it, he began to speak.

"Greetings, friends and diplomats. I am Jarkko Salomäki, Tribal Chief of the Neo-Tribal State of Uralic Bashkortostan, and with me are two of my closest government members, Dr. Ovdey Shlomov from Orenburg, and Akhmetkhan Gubaidulin from this region of Bashkortostan. As you are well aware, we are a very new nation on the map of Robertian politics, so we are open to any questions that other nations might have, unless of course they are of a classified nature. We hope you enjoy your time in Uralic Bashkortostan, even though our rebuilding is nowhere near complete."

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What is your position on foreign affairs?

Jarkko Salomäki answers:

"At this point we simply wish to establish friendly relations with any nation who is willing, but especially in our region. We share history with Bosporan to some degree, as no less than a third of their land and almost all of ours was once in Estovakia, so relations with them are high-priority. Furthermore, we have a sizable population of former Estovakian Loyalists, meaning that we would also love to have good relations with Slavorussia."

Akhmetkhan Gubaidulin adds:

"Also, because of the Bashkir population, and our Altaic connections to Altin Urda, we would like to see more of them as well. Even though we do not always share their ideologies, what is the saying? 'Blood runs thicker than water?' There was a sizable Kazakh population in Estovakia, and there are Kazakhs in Altin Urda as well, so we wish to maintain those ties."

Salomäki nods, and adds:

"We are non-aggressive in nature and would never try to instigate a war. However, we have considered membership in RUSSIAN, and feel a strong enough connection to this area's nation, particularly Slavorussia, Bosporan, and as my Bashkir comrade rightly pointed out, Altin Urda, that we would be willing to chip in whatever we can to aid them in their time of need. We might not have much, but we are willing to contribute."

What in your opinion is the best way to lower unwanted pregnancy?

Ovdey Shlomov answers:

"Abstinence."

Salomäki adds:

"Birth control is very much available in our country, but one cannot go wrong with abstinence."

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What is your view on communism and socialism?

What is your opinion on RUSSIAN and TNE?

We would like to get to know you better and become have better relations, would you be willing to trade embassies?

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What is your view on communism and socialism?

Gubaidulin: "The nature of communism is inherently atheistic, therefore it would simply not work in Uralic Bashkortostan as we are a predominantly Christian nation with a large minority of Jews and a small Muslim minority. Socialism... that varies depending on its practice. In terms of our political ideology, we are probably best described as mildly socialistic. There are safety nets in place for the less fortunate. It isn't like we fix all salaries alike, or force people to give high percentages of money. In a country that values Biblicality, despite separation of church and state, that would probably be responded to with some outrage. It's hard to find a balance, but we try, and God willing, we'll find one."

Shlomov: "On that thought, in this country, people haven't necessarily had to give ridiculous amounts of money to the government in taxes, even in order to fund rebuilding efforts. Instead, they put their noses to the grindstone and work on rebuilding themselves, paying for materials directly either individually or as groups of people, out of their own pockets. Mr. Gubaidulin can attest to this. He and several of his family and friends here in Ufa were part of such a crew.

Gubaidulin laughs and adds: "I have the bumps and bruises to prove it too, comrade. But yes, working together on rebuilding is one of the reasons why we feel we are such a cohesive state. As leader of the Bashkir nationalist coalition prior to the Dark Hand war, I can say that we Bashkirs were a bit leery of the Uralics at first, but it was their willingness to help us achieve our ends, which in the end proved to be mutual to theirs anyway, that brought us together as brothers."

What is your opinion on RUSSIAN and TNE?

Salomäki: "TNE... while we are sad at the supposed demise of the Emperor, we have a strong connection with its people. However, we will not take kindly to any Communist indoctrination. This nation has a very deep tradition of faith."

Gubaidulin: "As far as RUSSIAN is concerned, pretty much the entire Council thinks highly of it, because in spite of its diverse ideologies, it has been a reasonably cohesive unit and there is mutual respect even in disagreement. We would certainly put membership considerations before the Council, and if the Council voted in favour (in our country it requires a 60% affirmative vote to pass) then it would be put to a national referendum. We have strong ethnic and historical ties with this area's other nations, so RUSSIAN would seem almost natural for us."

We would like to get to know you better and become have better relations, would you be willing to trade embassies?

Salomäki: "Absolutely. The only issue right now is, of course, our rebuilding. Ufa is probably the only city whose infrastructure is beyond 2/3 restoration at this time, so the building you get might not be that great at first. It is our hope that we can spread the embassies out amongst our major cities once they are completely restored."

Shlomov: "Orenburg is approaching the 2/3 mark as well. Some cities are going to take a long time to rebuild, particularly Chelyabinsk and Miass. I hope you don't mind cramped quarters for a few months."

Edited by Uralica
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What are your views on religious tolerance and liberties in your nation?

Shlomov: "As a Jew in a predominantly Christian nation, I can vouch for this - you will never hear any Uralic-Bashkir complaining about not being tolerated on account of their religion - granted, we've never had any Satanists in the nation! *chuckles* Since Satanism falls under the category of "religion deliberately established to be a mockery of or affront to another," it is not considered religion at all."

Sectarian violence of any sort, on the other hand, will not be tolerated. To commit a felonious crime on the basis of a person's faith is just as bad in the eyes of this nation's law as committing it on any other basis, or no basis at all. Punching a Satanist in the face is just as bad as punching a Christian in the face. It's still punching someone in the face, and is worthy of assault charges.

We do encourage debate, however we request for the sake of national cohesion that it be kept civil. And it has been surprisingly so.

While there is freedom of speech for the most part, deliberately inflammatory remarks towards someone not sharing the remarker's faith are frowned upon amongst the people, and could be viewed in extreme cases as attempting forced conversion.

Not allowing someone into a public establishment on the basis of one's faith is forbidden. If it is a private establishment, it is under the jurisdiction of the owner, however I haven't seen a private establishment registered that excludes anyone on the basis of faith. Usually, the only grounds for such exclusion is flagrantly disruptive behaviour in previous visits, which is entirely fair."

Salomäki: "Just some clarification on extreme cases. Anything that could incite a riot is punishable in criminal court. Attempted forced conversion is illegal, and legitimate grounds in our country for civil suits, or in extreme cases such as armed death threats, (which are illegal in every situation anyway) criminal court. However, you'd have to say something pretty bad to not get either complete cheek turnage or going through Biblical ways of conflict resolution (Matthew 18:15-17 for reference) in this country. The fact that the Christian population follows this line of thinking, and that the rest of the population has followed along with this even if they don't believe in Christianity, keeps lawsuits to a bare minimum.

We're allowed to disagree. We aren't allowed to blatantly persecute or force. If your "religion" is set up around the mockery or persecution of another, you aren't considered a religion at all. That's about a sum-up of what Dr. Shlomov said."

Edited by Uralica
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What is your view on diplomacy with nations outside your region?

Gubaidulin: "None of use would have an issue with establishing diplomatic relations with like-minded people outside of this general area, and all nations will be treated with respect and decency, even if they choose not to reciprocate. Of course we all have our preset ally preferences. A lot of the Bashkirs desire closer relations with Azerbaijan and New Byzantium. The Uralics are interested in Mariehamn, ADI, and Greater German Empire."

Salomäki: "On a personal note, I also would have no qualms about having really strong relations with other nations. I remember visiting the Proxian Empire when I was still a Slavorussian citizen. Beautiful country, and their ruler is a great man. Because of the influx of English-speaking Finns from the Fraser Valley and Sointula, Viniland and Tahoe are also of concern to me."

Shlomov: "A great number of our Jews and Muslims also desire relations with Rebel Army for predominantly religious reasons."

Salomäki: "Indeed. I mean, with all this being said, it isn't like we'll turn anyone away as far as having embassies go, unless they do something we feel is wrong, which would have to be something rather drastic. But our close relations outside of our region will be determined by their conduct towards us more than anything else. Example - the Greater German Empire has some Hungarian population. But if their leadership doesn't treat us with enough respect (and I'm sure they would, this is for the sake of hypothesis only) then we aren't going to sign a treaty with them. On the other hand, you have a nation like Proxia that doesn't have a single Uralic citizen, yet if they treat us with sufficient respect, then we're going to sign a treaty if they ask us to."

Gubaidulin: "So basically, summing this up, we will treat all nations with respect, but the ones who do the best job of reciprocating that respect will be the ones we have our closest relations with."

Edited by Uralica
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Ms. McCormick, independent journalist (formally a reporter of the Procinctia Broadcasting Corporation)

"What will your administration do about the remnant Dark Hand, whose conspiracies have plagued Eastern Europe over a century, the international criminal organization responsible for the previous Estovakian government's dissolution?"

Edited by Generalissimo
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Fair enough. Another question...

What standards of education do you currently enforce in your nation?

Shlomov: "It is our hope that we can provide the best education possible for our children. We obviously do not have the resources to manage this yet, however once we fully rebuild, making sure our education system is on par with the best nations in the world is a high priority. As a nation of Uralic peoples, we will encourage the teaching of as many Uralic languages as is viable. And as a nation of Bashkirs, we will make sure that language is taught as well, as well as the closely-related Tatar and Kazakh languages. We want our nation to be a nation of many tongues. Most people in the area speak three or four languages to begin with, so it's only natural. So in this area, we cannot really be blamed for wanting to be cutting-edge."

MeganMcCormick.jpg

Ms. McCormick, independent journalist (formally a reporter of the Procinctia Broadcasting Corporation)

"What will your administration do about the remnant Dark Hand, whose conspiracies have plagued Eastern Europe over a century, the international criminal organization responsible for the previous Estovakian government's dissolution?"

Salomäki and Gubaidulin look at each other and grin.

Salomäki: "Somehow I knew this question would come up after what Dark Hand did to our lands. Here's a little history lesson for you. After the fall of Estovakia and the Kazakh Revolt in the south, Dark Hand began a campaign of terror against this region, which started with the razing of Chelyabinsk, in which countless lives were lost. So vile was the attack that many Slavorussian Dark Hand members turned against their leaders. Since so many of these 'traitors' were of my Uralic brethren, Dark Hand began having all Uralic members killed, and began terrorising those Uralics who lived in what used to be Estovakia, particularly the Khanty and Mansi in what is now Bosporan.

Obviously this infuriated the Uralic populations in Slavorussia and other nations, who demanded something be done about it. Thus started the Uralicist movement in the Slavorussian city of Syktyvkar, which is held to be the closest major city to the original Uralic homeland. I was a founding member of the movement.

The original Uralic Protection Front was started by me, for the sole purpose of destroying Dark Hand. Slavorussia was occupying Bashkortostan at the time, so they told us to go there and prepare for all-out war. And that is what we got.

Gubaidulin adds: "At first we thought we were being overrun, however the Uralics were nothing but friendly towards us Bashkirs, and when I personally found out what their true intentions were, I immediately sought to join my Bashkirs with Jarkko's Uralics. We spent a few days in Neftekamsk near the Slavorussian border trying to hammer out a deal. The day we finished, though, Ufa was attacked by missiles, which we would later find out from Slavorussia had come from the east, from the Miass-Zlatoust area.

I had never felt such hatred towards anyone or anything, and I shall never again. We decided that it was our bounden duty to completely obliterate Dark Hand from the area.

Our first victory was when an Udmurt ex-member fleeing the purges of his people came to us gravely injured and begging for help, in exchange for the location of a Dark Hand stronghold. The glory of our victory at Buguruslan is still sung about today. But that was only the first battle in a long and bloody war. We had to use very... unorthodox tactics. However in the end, the victory was won and all Dark Hand bases were completely destroyed within what is now Uralic Bashkortostan. All those members who remain are known to us because of a couple of good Slavorussian computer hackers who got into the Dark Hand membership database when we were in Orsk. If they are found, they will be arrested. If they resist with arms, they will be shot. And any Dark Handers from outside the area who attempt to enter our nation will be treated likewise."

OOC: This "history" will hopefully be role-played out in greater fashion later. I'm still waiting on Justinian and Centurius. :P

What is your view on the ongoing radiation cleanup in Europe?

Salomäki: "It is something that affects us as well. We would certainly be willing to donate our time and work force to help out."

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