UPA (Utanian Press Agency)
Release: May 25, 301 AP.

President confirms Zartanian co-development agreement

President Okarvits has confirmed that Utania is indeed party to a joint-development agreement with the Greater Zartanian Empire, prompting outrage from liberals and socialists in the government.

Earlier this year, the Utanian government stretched forth the feelers to find partners in the development of military equipment for Utania. Feniz, the Zartanian Empire and Lendosan Confederation all responded enthusiastically and with "excellent proposals" said the President.

"We have decided to engage in joint-development with the Zartanian Empire because of their proximity and the already good relationship that Utania has with the Empire", the President announced. He confirmed that the Zartanians being physically close to Utania was a key to the decision to sign with them.

"We cannot stress the proximity question enough", declared the President. "Utania must keep allies in the world that are close by." Questioned as to who would be a threat to Utania, the President demured, saying only that "threats can come from unlikely sources".

The President emphasised that this was not yet an alliance with the Empire, leaving the door open to joining with another or other nations in the future. This allowed a sigh of relief from liberal and socialist MPs in the government who are strongly opposed to any deal with the Zartanians.

"We cannot align ourselves with a militarist state, no matter how much we owe them for liberating us from Tsarist (Guwimithian) rule", said one socialist Peoples Party MP. "They are an anathema to the Utanian people, and Utanian principles."

It is also known that the government-supporting Burovians are not pleased with the deal. Yet, there is plenty of support from the opposition. The Liberal Nationalists are delighted, while the Conservatives and Democrats are pleased that a "non-liberal" nation has been selected to join Utania in her desire for world peace.

"Peace is not exclusively the domain of the liberal", said opposition leader Thomas Kemp, adding, "But the political conservative is keen that it is a peace with teeth. This is something liberals cannot stomach, and we're pleased President Okarvits has walked against the forces of futility in his own government."

President Okarvits would not detail the agreement as details were "still under discussion", but confirmed that it involved the design and constuction of attack helicopters, armoured personnel carriers and "possibly" naval warships.

©UPA, 301 AP.

©Mike Ham, 2001. All rights reserved. No reproduction without, at least, tacit approval. ;-)