Wuxiaworld > Empire of the Ring > 769 The Buffer Zone 2

769 The Buffer Zone 2

Even from Russia's point of view, Uyghur's full independence would be gaining a buffer zone against China. For this very reason, Russia was a stakeholder.

Both Russia and China were socialist states, but as they were in a competitive relationship over the supremacy of the region, they were bound to maintain a tense relationship.

There were times when they spoke in the same voice in the global society, but internally they defined each other as a potential enemy.

The troops at each side of their border were its proof.

Given such a circumstance, Russia would be glad if Uyghur could be a buffer zone that was located at the western border with China.

Even though Russia could not intervene directly, it could possibly provide military supplies to Uyghur.

It was hard to ask for help from the U.S. as it was already occupied with the trade war against China and it was the one that arbitrated a negotiation with China to give Kashgar and Ngari regions the status of an autonomous republic.

Knowing Putin's mind so well, Youngho was not going to miss this opportunity.

"Mr. President, forgive me for not visiting you but calling you instead. I didn't want to draw too much attention."

"Why do you say that? It's between us. We can ignore the formality. Don't feel bad because I know very well that Your Highness is always busy."

"Thank you for understanding. Then I'll get to the point right away. China's movement seems a bit concerning these days, so we've been providing military supplies to Kashgar."

"Is that true? We've been watching China too, but we didn't find anything special."

"This is what our intelligence service found out in secret."

"Then, I guess Kazakhstan shouldn't be seen as directly helping Kashgar."

"You are right. So, we've been letting out our military supplies idling in our warehouse, but we don't have enough weapons left."

"I understand what you mean. I guess we could lend a hand."

"Thank you, Mr. President. That will be of great help."

"Don't mention it. They've been a nuisance anyway since they cost us a lot for maintenance."

Putin understood what Youngho meant immediately.

All old weapons in Kazakhstan's warehouse were Russian so Putin knew that Youngho was asking for military supplies.

Russia seemed to be suffering the same issue with Kazakhstan. There were not only one or two kinds of old weapons in the warehouse that had nowhere to go but cost too much for maintenance.

Putin was glad that they could be used to build a stronger relationship with Kazakhstan and Kashgar.

"The interim government of Uyghur will also thank you."

"Thank you for opening a way for our country to participate, I promise that we will be a good ally of Uyghur as well."

"That's what I wanted to hear from you. I'll pass your word to the interim government."


"Call me anytime if you need other things. I will support you to my best ability."

Putin made an offer that Youngho did not even expect. It was a natural response as Russia would be benefitted without directly involving in the issue.

***

In the meantime, Youngho was spending a busy time checking Uyghur's situation, Fatima said she would visit Baku with the children.

It was spring and flowers were in full bloom in Baku, and Fatima wanted to enjoy the warm weather after a boring winter.

Although it was also spring in Kazakhstan, it was still cold.

Since Youngho also wanted to refresh his mind too, he decided to go with his family.

When the royal family visited, the whole city of Baku turned busy.

People of Baku loved the royal family of Kazakhstan as it was the main reason that Azerbaijan could end a long dispute with Armenia and dictatorship.

Also, after the revision of the constitution, the royal family was now involved in Azerbaijan's diplomacy and defense.

It was all thanks to the Kazakh royal family that Azerbaijan established a ground for the end of the long dictatorship.

Looking at the people on the streets welcoming the royal family and waving at them, Fatima opened her mouth in excitement.

"The people's faces are bright."

"They've been stuck in a long, dark tunnel for a long time and now they're free. Of course, they are happy. As long as our royal family exists, there will be no more war. And the absence of the dictatorship gave them a sense of autonomy as well."

"I am proud of you for easing their pain."

Youngho felt mixed emotions at Fatima's praise.

He got himself involved in Azerbaijan's matter only because of Fatima's wish.

She especially loved the city of Baku and always felt sorry for the people suffering from the territorial dispute with Armenia and the influence of dictatorship.

"It looks like you are happier than the residents of Baku."

"Of course, I love it since we can come to Azerbaijan anytime we want now. I want to stay in Baku all year long, but I know that's not something feasible."

"If the Queen loves one region, the federal citizens will be sad."

"Baku is my first love. No matter how much I try to like Kazakhstan more, it just doesn't happen."

"I didn't know you are suffering that much."

"No, it's all right. I'll go anywhere as long as you are there."

Youngho felt sorry and appreciative at the same time.

He had been married to Fatima for a long time, but she was still lovely and thoughtful.

"That's why I gave you Baku."

If people of Azerbaijan heard it, they would be upset but he was in front of Fatima. He could say anything.

"Hohoho… I must be the only girl who could receive a gift of this huge size."

***

Secretary of the Interior Sevan visited the royal villa in Baku without a notice, which meant that there was something going on.

"Is there something going on?"

"Your Highness, it's rude of me to visit you like this, but there's something... I don't know where to begin."

Youngho visited Baku to take a break, but it seemed that he would have to work.

As Youngho frowned, Sevan felt more uncomfortable.

"Your Highness, we detected a movement of anti-government forces."

It was shocking news to hear since the royal family's approval rating was sky-high.

"Are they also against the royal family?"

"We can't exactly define them as an anti-royal family for now, but we are sure that they are against the current government."

It was unusual that Azerbaijan's new change was accepted too smoothly, but it seemed there were also forces who refused constitutional monarchy.

"Why don't you talk to the anti-government forces instead of forcefully holding them down? That will only be a temporary solution."

"Your Highness, most people welcome and accept constitutional monarchy. In order to prevent this from recurring, I think we have to punish them. If we let this go half-heartedly, they'll continue to raise their voice against the current government and the royal family."

"Are those the remnants of the former government?"

"No, they are hard-line nationalists. Some people are being stirred by their incitement."

"They're not armed, are they?"

"If they were, I would have mobilized the police already and taken them down. So far, we've only been monitoring them."

It was fortunate that they were not armed.

"Can I get in touch with them?"

Since there was no armed struggle yet, Youngho wanted to meet and talk to them.

It was important to first learn what they were after by overthrowing the current government.

"We have suspects, but we haven't figured out who their leader is yet."

This meant that the leader of the anti-government forces was not openly active but secretly moving. Youngho wondered how Sevan found out about this.

"Minister, are the secret police still active?"

Sevan flinched at Youngho's question.

Sevan's reaction showed that the secret police organization was still being maintained.

Azerbaijan's secret police was notorious for punishing the people for making innocent crimes.

The secret police was an organization created to catch spies because of a dispute with Armenia but had been disbanded since the peace treaty was signed, at least Youngho thought it was, as the huge police organization was said to be reduced.

"It was a chaotic time when the constitutional monarchy was adopted, so I was going to take time to overhaul the organization rather than dismantle it right away. Fortunately, we were able to find out about the anti-government forces because we kept the secret police organization."

Saying so many excuses, Sevan did not seem like he would disband the secret police.

"I know you will take care of it, but you have to know that ignoring the eyes of the people will bring a disaster."

Since he was the head of a police organization with no particular checks, his desire to keep his power by running a secret police organization was understandable, but Youngho had to make sure that Sevan would not go overboard.

"Your Highness, I will never have such an unfaithful heart, but I'm only keeping it for the meantime because I can't allow any forces that challenge the authority of the royal family."

Sevan denied it hard, but Youngho could tell that he wanted to be in power and authority.

Since it would not be helpful for the royal family if he was left with power, Youngho drew the line.

"I understand your loyalty, but please abandon the idea of solving problems using coercive methods. That can really shake the public sentiment."

It was certain that Sevan wanted to punish anti-government forces using authoritative power like he used to. This also would give him a cause to maintain the secret police.

However, such a coercive method could be a seed to a civil war in the future, so Youngho emphasized to use a more moderate way to Sevan, who was sweating in front of him even though the interior temperature was not even warm.

"Very well. Please find out about the leader of the anti-government forces. I am going to resolve this matter through conversations, so please treat him well. We will be able to reach a midpoint as we talk."