Empire Of The Ring 639 Negotiations In Moscow 3
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Putin's lavish dinner was not only because he had strengthened his political position but also because this project to modernize the Trans-Siberian Railway would provide an opportunity to address economic difficulties. It created a breakthrough in logistics improvement, and its economic impact was so great that it was hard to estimate.
It was decided that the Russian government would take a 10 percent stake in the investment, and the consortium led by the Kazakh royal family would own 90 percent of the investment.
They also planned to build a large logistics base in Vladivostok in the Far East and Saint Petersburg, located in the Gulf of Finland, which would contain container bases and cold storage complexes.
As the large picture was painted, the rest was up to the Kazakh royal family to form a consortium.
Youngho agreed to invest two billion dollars in joint investment with Yaniv, and the rest would be invested by foreign investors.
For Putin, he agreed without a murmur to Youngho's proposal, fearing that he might lose the opportunity while showing his pride for nothing.
"Your Highness, I'm going to have to drink a little bit today."
It seemed Putin was quite happy to offer to drink since he usually did enjoy drinking.
"Thank you for your decision, Mr. President. All I have left is my job. And I'm going to exclude certain foreign companies that partic.i.p.ate in the consortium, so please understand even if you hear some issues."
"You mean Chinese companies?"
"Yes. As I have told you before, Chinese companies are illegally taking over resources in Siberia. Since we have to form a consortium of companies that we can trust, I've decided to exclude them."
"The Chinese government is going to be very resistant"
"There is no reason to protest if we present difficult conditions such as performance or whether they have a new technology. If you have a foreign company in mind, please recommend it. We will actively reflect your opinion to our selection."
"For us, we prefer a company with funding rather than technology."
He seemed to be concerned about future businesses with those foreign companies even after this project was complete.
"We plan to supply all the new trains from Kazakhstan. Korean electric train maker is operating a local plant in Kazakhstan, which could save money."
"Then give Russian companies a chance to partic.i.p.ate in the delivery of the train."
It was questionable whether Russian companies would be able to meet the level of quality and durability that Youngho wanted.
"If they can match the price and quality, we will give them the opportunity to deliver. But is there a company in Russia that can compete with foreign companies?"
"We need to make them compet.i.tive, even by partnering with advanced companies."
Youngho had a rough idea of what Putin was worried about.
This was because it did not help the economy much by putting in basic construction materials and personnel such as cement and steel bars for the construction although the large-scale construction was going on in the country.
Russia's industrial products had been staying at the level of the 1990s, although its defense industry and s.p.a.ce aviation had shown remarkable technological prowess that even surprised Western countries.
"I know what your concerns are. But, would those companies be able to acquire advanced technology in a short time?"
"Please do your best to build a joint factory in Russia just like you have in Kazakhstan."
Eventually, what he was asking Youngho was to help attract H Corporation's H-Rotem's a.s.sembly plant in Russia as well.
In the past, Youngho and Yaniv tried to set up H Rotem's joint factory in Russia but were forced to quit as Russia faced economic sanctions after taking over Crimea.
It was a project which was almost finished, but the Korean government was reluctant to proceed.
Putin was asking because the Kazakh royal family could invest independently of economic sanctions.
That would reduce Kazakh interests a little, but on the other hand, it was an opportunity to indebt Russia.
Since Youngho was promised the rights to use the Baltic-White Sea Ca.n.a.l, he readily agreed.
"Korea`s H-Rotem has been trying very hard to make inroads into Russia. If Kazakhstan takes the lead, it'll be accomplished regardless of economic sanctions. If we set up a local factory in Russia, it wouldn't mind a technology partners.h.i.+p."
H Corporation's establishment of a power train a.s.sembly plant in Kazakhstan was a strategic move aimed at Russia as well as Central Asia.
In other words, the efforts made so far had finally come to light.
If President Kim Joo-hyuk heard the news, he would fly to Kazakhstan in a single breath.
"Thank you for making such a big concession. We will make a special law so that there will be no problems in the establishment of the local plant."
"You're welcome. Russia's economic prosperity will soon lead to Kazakhstan's prosperity."
"Hahaha... Yes. We are brotherly countries after all."
In response to Youngho's answer, Putin smiled loudly and put his arm on Youngho's shoulder as if to show it off to those at the banquet.
It might be a diplomatic discourtesy at first glance, but it was Putin's impulsive act that came out of his excitement.
The amicable appearance of the two leaders made the partic.i.p.ants of the two countries feel better, and they exchanged vodka here and there.
Youngho and Putin walked out of the dining room and sat opposite to each other in the reception room.
Putin did not enjoy drinking, so he briefly left the room to avoid disturbing the much-excited partic.i.p.ants.
Youngho talked about the Chinese company's illegal diamond collection in Siberia.
"Mr. President. The Chinese company's illegal collection of diamonds is tantamount to the destruction of the forest. The damage will not only be to Russia but also to Kazakhstan."
"We want to sternly punish Chinese companies for committing illegal acts in Siberia, but if China withdraws, Russia will be in great trouble."
China's investment had been the only breathing point for Russia, and if it withdrew without an alternative, Russia's economic blow would be immense.
The Russian government was forced to turn a blind eye to the illegalities even though it was aware of it.
"If you keep turning a blind eye to the illegal act, China will become more and more prideful. It would be difficult to restore the damaged taiga forest again."
"I can't help it because it has more economic benefits for Russia than a little bit of damage to the forest."
"If we abandon China in Siberia, I will take the lead in helping Western countries fill China's empty seats."
"It's been a long time since forests were damaged in the process of harvesting forest resources. Is there anything wrong with having a little scratch in the broad Siberia?"
"I understand what you mean. I'm sure your Excellency has your own thoughts behind this decision, so I won't comment anymore."
Illegal diamond extraction could be regulated.
Youngho did not expect Russia to turn its back on China, but as he mentioned this first, Putin would not have a good feeling about China, and if China and Kazakhstan run into each other in Siberia, Putin would not take sides with China.
With Putin on his back now, there were endless ways to deal with China in Siberia.
This was because Youngho had the regional military unit, government officials, and even the mafia under his control.
"Duke, what can I do to repay you for your help in many ways for Russia?"
"Oh, I wouldn't have done so if there was no profit. I have to invest more for the sake of the friends.h.i.+p between the two countries, but it's a shame that I can't do more."
"You're reducing my burden a lot."
"We will continue to invest in Russia as long as the royal family can."
As the atmosphere matured, Putin looked around and carefully opened his mouth even though it was only the two of them.
"China made a fuss about the fact that you have nuclear weapons. Is it true that you still have nuclear weapons from the Soviet-era?"
The nuclear weapons issue had finally come up.
Putin would have been extremely curious, but he could not ask because of his face.
Maybe he had recently heard from the former Kazakh president, Nazarbayev, who was hiding in Russia.
"Isn't that something you should know better? We know that all nuclear weapons were destroyed with the U.S. lead, and the rest were retrieved in the mid-90s, so there can't be more. If the former regime somehow hid some nuclear weapons, the former president, Nazarbayev, who's in exile in Russia would know better. It would be faster if you asked him."
Putin immediately closed his mouth when Youngho mentioned President Nazarbayev.
It was Putin who allowed him to seek asylum and hide in Russia.
"If you need nuclear weapons, tell me. If you want nuclear weapons, I'm willing to hand them over."
"What do you mean?"
"I'm suggesting because I trust that Kazakhstan won't do anything reckless even if it has nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons are the only alternative to keep China in check."
At first glance, he may be trying to keep China in check, but on the other hand, he was trying to see Youngho's reaction.
"Kazakhstan already has the technology, and we can build nuclear weapons whenever we want to."
The technology of making nuclear weapons was no longer one of the great technological pillars. At Youngho's words, Putin remained silent.
"If it comes to the existence of Kazakhstan, I might take your suggestion, but I'm confident we can keep China in check enough when it comes to local warfare."
"What a great sense of self-confidence. China is not a country to be trifled with."
"If China uses nuclear weapons for local warfare, we are ready to respond immediately. I'll just tell you that we can neutralize a nuclear launch in China immediately."
The remark was confusing since it was unclear whether Kazakhstan had nuclear weapons or developed other new weapons to neutralize nuclear weapons.
This meant that Russia should not even dream of making provocations.
"You always seem to react boldly against China, but I guess there was something. I'm very curious, but I won't ask you anymore. I hope we can share it with you when we get the chance."
"It's nothing but a trifle to Russia which has strategic nuclear weapons."
Putin would have understood by now. With his confident att.i.tude and bluffing, Youngho was warning Putin as well not to underestimate Kazakhstan.
Empire Of The Ring 639 Negotiations In Moscow 3
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