[Quantum key exchange
encrypted message transmitted via tightbeam to Umerian embassy on Zero, subsequently decrypted and passed to the Supreme Soviet through normal channels]
FROM: Maxim Chernov, Second for Foreign Affairs
This note is a preliminary response by the Council of Technarchs to recent discussions between Commune officials and Ambassador Hrabowski and his staff, on the subject of a mutual defense pact.
We greatly appreciate the exceptional bonds of respect and friendship between our nations that underlie this offer. Your proposal presently has the highest priority for consideration at the top levels of the Umerian state.
However, the proposed defense pact raises questions with extraordinarily broad strategic implications, beyond the scope of anything the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had expected when Ambassador Hrabowski was dispatched to Zero. Therefore, the Council of Technarchs has chosen to send a special envoy to Zero to discuss this proposal, with expanded power to make binding agreements: Dr. Nancy Bowinger, Third Technarch for Foreign Affairs.
Ambassador Hrabowski retains full authority to make binding agreements on technical and economic issues, and on all routine embassy affairs. We maintain our full confidence in his abilities within that sphere; it is only the great astropolitical implications of the defense pact proposal that lead us to take such a step.
Third Technarch Bowinger will depart as soon as the preliminary round of Council discussions on Umeria's official stance on the defense pact is complete; a full set of instructions from the Council will await her on arrival on Zero in February, allowing her to begin negotiations immediately.