What started out as a war of words between Zamastan and Xiomera over the latter’s treatment of journalists and free press, now looks likely to escalate into a full-blow trade war between not only Zamastan and Xiomera, but also threatens to involve Kerlile and Trive too.
So far, with the exception of protests against Zamastanian businesses in Xiomera, the conflict has been relatively bloodless and diplomatic, but recent Zamastanian decisions to freeze assets of the Xiomeran government and high-ranking officials has prompted fury in the south-western Catican state.
The Emperor of Xiomera, Topilpopoca, has reciprocated the asset freezing, and severe tariffs are now being laid on Zamastanian goods. The Xiomeran government has threatened embargoes and, sources tell this newspaper, has not yet ruled out enforcing any embargoes through military actions such as blockades.
In the midst of the dispute with Zamastan, Xiomera has signalled closer trade and relations with Kerlile. This increased relationship has caused the Tofino government to also levy sanctions against the Kerlile government; sanctions which is likely to severely impact high-ranking officials within the Matriarchy more than regular citizens.
Also added to Zamastan’s sanction list is Trive, who recently violated Kerlian sovereignty with a hack of their airwaves to broadcast inflammatory messages from the Trivian Emperor. It is likely Trive will respond to the Zamastan sanctions with similar moves.
The ever escalating dispute is being monitored by governments in both Sanctus and Laeralsford. Neither Sanctaria nor Laeral have financial skin the game yet, but a region-wide trade war would prove disastrous for regional development, and would bog both the resources of both countries down in trying to resolve.