Wuxiaworld > Empire of the Ring > 637 Negotiations in Moscow 1

637 Negotiations in Moscow 1

The Trans-Siberian Railway Modernization Project proposed by Min-seok was as attractive as the canal project as modernization of the Siberian railway in the Far East was not only good for Russia but also Kazakhstan could benefit from it.
The railway of the Far East section was still connected to the Trans-Siberian Railway, but it was having difficulty moving logistics due to the bottleneck phenomenon on the Far East Siberian side.
"Your Highness, one concern is whether Russia would accept foreign capital for the Siberian railway project."
"It's almost impossible to modernize the Siberian railway with Russia's economic power alone. But it's not easy for foreign companies to come in. Russia's investment environment is unstable, so who'd want to jump in?"
However, if Kazakhstan got involved, the story would be different.
This was because forming a consortium as it did in the case of the Volga-Baltic Waterway could reduce risk factors.
"But isn't Russia eager to attract foreign investors?"
"What kind of companies would rush in when Russia's policies and investment environment are changing every morning and night? Only if we take the lead will foreign companies snoop around. To preoccupy Siberia, we must also win the railway modernization project."
"..."
"Do you think Russian would leave Siberia alone if its economy develops? It's not going to open up any more of the resources. That's why China and Japan are taking risks to get the upper hand. So are we."
"Wouldn't Russia force to take back the Siberian work sites we or other countries leased for the long-term?"
"How can it nullify the rights guaranteed by international or Russian domestic law? If it forcibly revises the law, foreign investors will rush to leave like the low tide. Then Russia's economic development is off the charts. Putin, who dreams of being a tsar, would never do that."
The reason for the continuous investment in the Krasnoyarsk region was to preempt the Siberian region.
Putin, who was eager to revive the economy, was struggling to attract foreign investors.
Youngho was planning to advance to the tundra region as well as the taiga region if conditions permitted.
The reason why he participated in the project to expand the Volga-Don Canal and the Volga-Baltic Waterway was because the trans-Siberian trains were unable to digest all the logistics that were increasing due to the development of Siberia. Youngho was able to invest in the project because he had enough money at the time, and as a result of investing in the canal project, he was able to have a close relationship with Putin. A more solid wedge was needed, and it was to invest in a project to modernize the Trans-Siberian Railway.
***
"Mr. Yaniv, I'm arriving in Moscow in three days. When will you arrive?"
-I'm meeting Putin tomorrow. When I roughly explained your idea, he seemed to be very pleased. He was exuberated saying that the Siberian railway project has been slow and he had been worried about it. Besides, if you, not anyone else, wanted to invest, it would be weird if he refused."

"Then there won't be a big problem with this negotiation. You're going to join us, right?"
Before meeting Putin, Youngho left the pre-coordination to Yaniv.
Although it was more urgent for him to confirm whether the Baltic-White Sea Canal could be used or not, he had intended to bait Putin with the Trans-Siberian Railway project and demand the use of the canal as a benefit in return.
It seemed Putin was interested in Youngho's idea.
-Of course, I would invest, too. It's a project you're getting involved, so there's nothing to worry about. First of all, we can invest about five or six hundred million dollars. I'd like to invest a billion dollars, but I don't have much room because I invested in an icebreaker.
Even though Youngho got Yaniv involved in the icebreaker business, he was always sorry that it was a business that could generate immediate revenue.
"It won't be until the next year when the icebreaker business will be profitable. It's bad that the ship is just stuck in the harbor. I don't think it'll make a big profit in time, either. I'd rather take over."
-Then, you'd lose money.
"We need several icebreakers to sail between the coast of Siberia and the Yenisei River. It's our own business, and we have nothing to lose."
Even in order to transport the wood with the large bulk ships, the icebreaker was necessary.
-I left it to a commission and it'd be embarrassing if I sold it because there's no immediate profit. Even if there's a little blood loss, I'll have to take it.
"No, you don't have to take a loss. Investing in the Trans-Siberian Railway project is much more advantageous than the icebreaker project. The icebreaker business cannot expect much profit for the time being. My prediction missed a lot. I brought you in and I'm responsible."
For Youngho, who was running a country, needed to have an icebreaker as a long-term investment, but for Yaniv, a businessman, would lose other investment opportunities. Knowing that Youngho could not force him to sacrifice it.
-You don't have to do that. We'd make less profit from the railway business. I don't want to obsess in money since I won't carry money to my coffin.
"It's because I need it, so don't feel pressured. I'll pay for the interest of the meantime on top of the icebreaker's price and send it to you. I have some extra money in the royal family."
-If it's the Duke's decision, I can't help it. I'll tell that to Sergey. By the way, I'm meeting Putin tomorrow. Do you have any other requests?
"Well, I don't want to be seen as requiring a condition, but I'd like to ask if we could use the Baltic-White Sea Canal. I don't know if Putin will grant it."
-It's a canal that can't be used during the winter. He won't be so insistent about it.
"But it's like the main entrance of the Russian fleet. Would he give in so easily?"
The Baltic-White Canal was a 227-kilometer-long canal with19 floodgates built in the 1930s.
It was quite a long canal, but the ground between the two waters was flat and connected to several lakes and waterways, making it easier to build than other canals.
It was a military canal designed to overcome the isolated situation of naval forces in the White and Baltic seas.
It was used by Soviet naval forces to avoid NATO surveillance during the Cold War and was still home to a Russian submarine base.
The canal was a route that could cut 4,000 kilometers from the starting point of Saint Petersburg to the Arctic Ocean, as it led to the White Sea after passing three lakes.
-I'll mention it to him. It won't make sense if he can't pay that much to Kazakhstan for investing in the Siberian railway project. Besides, Kazakhstan is no stranger. Duke, I'll do everything I can. See you in three days at Arirang Hotel in Moscow.
***
While visits to the United States or Europe were full of tiring work, with many things to coordinate beforehand and protocol procedures to be considered, visits to Russia did not require such complicated procedures.
In Russia, a socialist country, one word from Putin's mouth could change anything.
That happened during Youngho's visit to Moscow.
Putin personally came out to greet Youngho's group at the airport.
It was such an unconventional surprise.
It was rare for a nation's top leader to come to the airport in person to greet someone.
No matter how unofficial the visit was and how close their relationship was, the president usually waited for the visitor at the presidential palace, Kremlin.
"I can't believe you came out to the airport to greet me."
"I can't sit in my room when my friend is bringing a big gift. And there's not much to do in the Kremlin."
His words did not match him who was a man engaged in various low-key activities in Ukraine and the Middle East.
"What kind of gift would it be when it's an investment for the development of both countries?"
"I was failing to deliver my promise to the people. If you plan to invest, it's a big gift for me."
"Don't mention it. The modernization of the Siberian Railway helps Kazakhstan, too. I'm glad I can contribute to that."
"What do you mean, you made a big decision that you could boast about. On behalf of Russia, I am grateful."
They had not exchanged memorandums of understanding, but they were saying as if the construction had already begun.
It was Putin's verbal pressure.
As the total cost of construction was close to 6 billion dollars, the Russian government had invested only about a fifth of its cost and the project had been adrift.
The total cost of construction was calculated by the Russian government, so it was likely to increase further.
In any case, Youngho had yet to decide how much he would invest, so Putin's loud welcome felt very burdensome.
The two talked candidly, riding a limousine prepared by Putin to the Kremlin Palace.
"I couldn't sleep, how happy I was to hear your decision."
"I'm proud to hear that your Excellency was pleased."
"How many leaders can talk in Russian without translation? It's still amazing that we've become allies."
Youngho was not sure where Putin was headed with this conversation as he was mentioning about being allies.
"Of course. Only when Russia is rich can Kazakhstan develop together. As we start with the canal project and we get more and more cooperative projects, the Russians in Kazakhstan will be happy too."
"I've heard that Russians in Kazakhstan respect the royal family very much. I guess they had a good reason for that."
"That's a compliment. As a multi-ethnic country, there is no other way than to pay close attention to all people."
"I've heard these days that you've been working hard to build up your navy. Is it necessary to do so? If necessary, our Russian navy can be of assistance at any time. I know it takes an astronomical amount to operate and maintain the Navy."
"The royal merchant ships are under threat in the Gulf of Aden or the Strait of Malacca. So, we've launched some of the naval vessels for protection. That's not a lot of power."
"Not much power of the Aegis that operated in Syria? It was amazing to see the joint operation with the U.S. military."
"We were forced to get involved in the safety of the Kurds. We couldn't let the Syrian government force targeting anyone regardless of rebels or the Kurds "
"Our Air Force could have been damaged."
Youngho knew this story would come up someday.
The Kazakh navy focused on chemical plants, while the U.S. military concentrated on Syrian military units.
"I was worried about that, too, so I told you to move the Russian Air Force to another airfield in advance as I had a hard time getting the U.S. military's understanding."
The U.S. military airstrikes were made by giving the Russian Air Force time to get out in advance.
The U.S. also provided Russia with information on the idea of preventing the escalation of war, although it seemed to be a proxy war.
"You pulled out of Syria in a flash."
"Our purpose was to transport the Kurds safely. The U.S. has called for a continued presence, but I didn't intend to get involved in Syria's political situation in the first place."
"It's a wise move. We're getting involved for nothing, and we're not getting anywhere."
Putin's claim was not true.
The world knew that Russia was using Syria to raise its voice in the Middle East.
But it would not matter to Kazakhstan if Russia did not do anything to hurt Kazakhstan, no matter what it did in the Middle East. Youngho did not want to be a policeman in the world like America.
Right now, achieving economic development was a priority.