The Five Great Lakes Resource Exploration Company was a joint economic venture proposed by the Osean Federation to Belka in August 1991. Although the Osean government billed the collaboration as mutually beneficial, in reality, it was a clandestine effort to exacerbate Belka's political and economic instability.
Origins and formation
Main article: Belkan economic crisis
Throughout the 1980s, Belka's economy suffered under a severe recession. In an effort to restore economic stability, Belka allowed its eastern territories to secede and entered into negotiations to sell its vast, western Great Lakes region to the Osean Federation.
On August 29, 1991, Osea proposed a collaborative venture in which both nations would share profits from the extraction of natural resources in the Great Lakes region. Belka, which stood to profit from both the sale of the land and the resources therein, agreed to the proposition and, together with Osea, formed the Five Great Lakes Resource Exploration Company.
Insolvency and ramifications
Barely one month later, the company had gone bankrupt. It was soon discovered that Osea had greatly exaggerated the amount of natural resources within the region, likely in an effort to further destabilize Belka's precarious economic status. Although the international community condemned Osea's actions, calling them "predatory", the damage had already been done. The company's failure resulted in additional financial losses in the Belkan economy and fueled anti-Osean sentiment among the Belkan populace, which helped give rise to the nationalistic Democratic Liberal Party (DLP) within the Belkan government.