Empire Of The Ring 150 Crisis And Opportunity 1

Empire Of The Ring -

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Despite the international society's worrisome voice about the imminent large-scale war, the Azerbaijani government was calm. Since the government was being highly suspicious, Youngho tried his best to contact high officials and get clear information out of them but he did not have any results.
Michael of the CIA's European chapter had been grilling Youngho every single day.
"Lee, are you being carried away by your personal businesses? Don't forget that you're an agent."
"Chief, I'm the one dying to know about this. If things go wrong, I'll lose everything. Even if you told me to rest, I'll be showing up here and there to find out what's going on."
"If you can't get anything from the government, why don't you ask for the mafias' help?"
Michael was guessing that President Aliyev and Putin must have a secret agreement with each other. If Youngho contacted Yaniv, it was not at all impossible to find out what was going on between the two presidents since Youngho had helped Putin multiple times before.
"Stop pressuring me, chief. What about the department of information and communication? Did they find anything yet? They have cutting-edge equipment that cost hundreds of million dollars but they are no better than field agents like us? They must be napping in their work hours."
"They're getting paranoid when I show my face to them. They're trying their best too."
"Since I have great achievements, I'm the one who's getting disadvantaged in times like this."
"You don't have to brag about such achievements. Such achievements are natural since we supported you. It's basic for an elite agent like you."
"You're now diminis.h.i.+ng my skills when you're supposed to be encouraging me?"
"Shut up. Get something useful by this week, or you won't have any break this year."
Other agents would be disappointed by such statement but Michael could say this because he was close with Youngho. Knowing how Michael must be feeling, Youngho only grumbled to himself.
He still could not figure out what was going on even after hanging up the phone.
The Azerbaijan government officially announced that they would not allow the autonomy of Nagorno-Karabakh. Yet, there was no action to support its announcement.
Jongil came back from the downtown and spoke as he stepped into the study.
"Is the ice age coming finally? Baku cannot be -3 degrees in Fahrenheit if not."
Jongil barely attended college, yet he ought to learn something about the ice age.
"Wow! Where did you get your Ph.D. from? I didn't know physical education major students learn about the ice age at all."
"Shut up. Do you think physical education major students are gangsters or something?"
"Well, you do not necessarily need to be smart 'cause you were accepted by the college with some special skills."
"You know what. I am going to get at least a master's degree and rub it on your face. Then, you will be the dumb one."
"Oh please do so my dear friend. I would like to a friend with a master's degree."
"Just watch me your dumb face only with a bachelor's degree."
Youngho was glad to see Jongil being about himself now and pursuing college education. Wherever people go, they talk about which colleges they went and what kind of degrees they have. It the past, Jongil could never be part of the conversation. That was why Jongil was dying to get into Buku University because it was the best university in Azerbaijan and people respected graduates who went there.
"No information, right?"
"You got that right. I didn't know Azerbaijanis were so soft, didn't they always call out eye for an eye? Did they all become Buddhists or something?"
"Michael's been pus.h.i.+ng me to find out what's going on. But I have no idea."
"Both countries must be waiting for the right time to make a move. We should check up the security of the ranch again. Our ranch would be the best route for guerillas."
Whenever Jongil said he would tighten security, all Youngho had to do was to sit back and relax since Jongil was a master hand in that category. He was going to make the ranch an impregnable fort.
"Okay. You can take care of Serbian Village when you still have time. As for collecting information, I'll come up with a route. I'll even go to the presidential palace or grill Yaniv to get what I want."
"Then, I'm off of that now."
As soon as the conversation was over, Jongil left the study as if he was fleeing. He had been under huge stress looking for information from officials and businessmen.
Neither leaving Baku nor asking Yaniv to visit Baku was a good idea, instead, Youngho contacted Sergey.
"Whoa, what's up my dear lucky charm?"
Sergey seemed to be glad to talk to Youngho.
"Brother Sergey, don't you think you should be more considerate? No gift? Nothing for people letting you make a lot of money by supplying great wines? Man, I should find another person to sell my wines."
"Ha Ha… Get to the point brother. What do you need?"
Working together for years, Sergey could read Youngho's mind already before he even mentioned anything about the real business.
"Let me guess. Aren't you wondering why the Azerbaijani government has been so quiet?"
"I should've visited Volgograd, but it's been quite hectic in Baku."
"I've heard what happened. My guess is Armenian politicians are behind the guerrillas of Nagorno-Karabakh."
"Azerbaijan government had no reason to hesitate to strike back. I am worried about the offsh.o.r.e oil field. We need to start gas production as soon the pipeline construction is completed."
"Don't worry about the gas line. The Azerbaijani government is eager to complete it. Unless they are ready to erase their county on the map, they wouldn't touch the oil field."
"Did Yaniv mention anything?"
"If he had something in mind, he wouldn't wait to tell you or me. But I will ask just in case. I've seen him with the president. He must've heard something."
President Putin had invited Yaniv several times since he often came to hunt near Taiga forest in the Ural Mountains, where Yaniv was close by. A leader who had been a KGB spy and a businessman who had been mafia did not seem to make sense, but their relations.h.i.+p had become quite close.
Because of Youngho's information about terrorism, President Putin's entourages even trusted Yaniv. Probably, the rich man, Yaniv's disinterest in everything else might be another reason for the relations.h.i.+p.
Yaniv helped to promote the relations.h.i.+p between Russia and Azerbaijan in spite of the past sediment. Recently, Russia, even though they made an alliance with Armenia, seemed to show more favor to Azerbaijan because of Youngho and Yaniv's effort.
Knowing Youngho's part regarding the relations.h.i.+p with Russia, President Aliyev was treating him, a naturalized foreigner who helped the country, with respect.
Still, Youngho ought to be the only businessman who was fearless enough to send a few boxes of wine as presents to a long-term dictator of a country.
Yaniv contacted Youngho that he would be visiting President Aliyev with a Russian president's envoy. It was unusual for a businessman like him to be a.s.signed to escort a president's envoy, it seemed that President Putin wanted to establish Yaniv's position in the political world.
Previously, Yaniv was only known as a businessman who had been mafia and he had maintained a personal relations.h.i.+p with President Aliyev whereas now he was invited to the presidential palace as a businessman who was officially recognized by the Russian government.
Knowing this, Youngho thought that there would be an important meeting. He called Michael right away to inform him about this.
"You need to figure out what's being discussed at the talks no matter what."
"I told you, I'm invited to the reception site."
"Don't drink too much over there."
'Does he think I'm an alcoholic?'
In fact, Youngho could be a bad drunkard sometimes.
"Who would drink until drunk in such a serious meeting?"
"There is. I've seen a lot of such kinds."
"Shall I put you in the guest list? I'm capable of doing that much."
At that moment, the phone was hung up. It meant that Michael did not even want to hear such a joke from Youngho. Michael's position as the European chapter's chief seemed to be shaking now.
In Youngho's perspective, Michael was more than a great leader of the chapter but the headquarters was very objective. The performance of an employee in a leaders.h.i.+p position was the only thing that was counted in keeping one's position. It was especially so because the CIA was affected by politics often. Youngho wanted Michael to be his boss for a long time, and he was determined to be a great subordinate and help him keep his position.
Yaniv's role was a private businessman a.s.sistant administrator of RussiAzerbaijan-Iran land transportation project. Although it was a national project, some parts of the railroad were invested by private businessmen in order to boost the distribution industry.
Armenia's provocation was the worst move for the three countries working on the railroad project, and as a result, the Azerbaijani government decided to call for Russia's help.
Russia might have been behind the guerillas of Nagorno-Karabakh might, so that the country could interfere and exert its power over Azerbaijan and Armenia.
The guerrillas were only sacrificed for Russia. It was obvious to see 50,000 citizens of Nagorno-Karabakh would be sacrificed as well. As a result, both Russia's long cherished desire and Azerbaijan's wish would be granted.
In addition to that, Azerbaijan would take a role as a hub for the land transportation between Russia and Iran. The goal of the railroad project was to take over 50% of transportation from the Suez Ca.n.a.l.
Through a conversation with Yaniv, Youngho could grasp the situation, and the information was transferred to the European chapter right away.
The CIA had no other choice but to stand by Azerbaijan taking over Nagorno-Karabakh because a reckless move could lead to the cancellation of the oil pipeline expansion construction, a business project between the U.S and Azerbaijan. Armenia was expressing the blame to the U.S. because the U.S. already announced to provide a loan to Azerbaijan for the construction.
In Youngho's eyes, this incident was like a drama to show the coldness of international relations in which only countries with resources and the good location could win.
Finally, Youngho had an opportunity.
No one would question about Zeynep Wine Company's qualification to be a part of one of the private businessman investors for the land transportation project because the members.h.i.+p was first chosen by the amount of international trade products.
Although Zeynep's wine company did not make a lot of profit from exportation, Youngho exported enormous numbers of his wine to Russia.
Shamakhi also was another investor chosen to be one of them.
"Mr.Lee. I've heard that private companies work on highway constructions and make money from charging toll gate fees in South Korea. Do you know anything about the profits they make?"
"Most of them gain humongous profit out it. Some part of the highways barely make a profit though, then the federal government pays the difference anyway."
"Why wouldn't the government work on the road on their own if they are going to make up the lost amount to private companies?"
"If it neither for national security nor on the national agenda, the government has no reason to do it. If private companies do it, it creates employment opportunities and eventually, that would circulate the economy more."
Shamakhi was concerned about losing money from investing in the land transportation project. Although it would be like hitting a jackpot if the railroad could take over some transportation in the Black Sea, there was always a risk in investment. Youngho started brainstorming.
"Mr.Shamakhi. If you feel like you have too much dollar cash, would you like to buy some more gold bars from Russia?"
Youngho needed more cash now since he did not have enough to invest in the private investor's consortium. He needed to lose some of the gold bars piled up from the gold mine anyways. His prey was right in front of him. Why would he let go of this chance?
"You can deliver extra gold bars?"
With sparkling eyes, Shamakhi asked back as if he already forgot about the possibility of losing money in the railroad project.

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