Treaty of Voskhod

From Acw

After massive successes in the Space Race, Grossdeutschland and the USSR both posessed bases on Mars in the closing years of the Twentieth Century. In 2001 they opened joint discussions on the geopolitical division and future terraforming of the planet, and those discussions would eventually be enshrined in the Treaty signed in Voskhod in 2006.

Lines of Demarcation

As part of the treaty, the two nations agreed to an exclusive duopoly between Grossdeutschland and the USSR, with the Martian surface divided longitudinally into two equal parts. The line of demarcation would follow the 0ยบ north-south meridian, with Grossdeutschland claiming the eastern hemisphere and the USSR the western hemisphere. Both nations also agreed to defend each other's sovereignty should another terrestrial based power attempt to claim ownership of any part of Mars.

Reasons for Terraforming

From our modern, 24th Century viewpoint with the environmental issues of the early 2100s and the migration conflicts that succeeded them only now beginning to recede from memory, it is easy to fall into the trap of assuming that the two colonial powers on Mars wanted to terraform it because of population pressures. In fact, in 2001 this was not at all the case; Russia was just happy to have maintained a technological lead in the Space Race, while Germany still had grand plans for a "Thousand Year Reich".

It was with this in mind that they set about the terraforming process, and they opted for the fastest possible terraforming method out of a sense of pride. Initial experiments showed an acceptable radiation levels on the atmosphere for the nuclear detonations that would melt the poles, and in the final analysis it was deemed a safe and economical method. Once again, the desire for technological progress amongst the major powers overcame sensible long-term planing. The lessons learnt on Mars saved other planets from similar fates, but this is small consolation to the inhabitants of the Red Planet, who are only now beginning to see their planet recuperate from these early setbacks.

The Treaty and the Migration Crises

As it was, the swift and contentious terraforming method Russia and Germany chose at the Treaty talks played perfectly into their hands. By the early 2100s they each had existing settlement programs and infrastructure, and a burgeoning if sickly Martian population in place that made relocation of incoming environmental refugees a much simpler matter. Russia could divert its funding into the FTL program, while Germany's restrictive immigration programs and overtly racist policies made the migration pressures much less of a problem.

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