Russian Federation, Siberia
In the desolate plains of Siberia - Project Gateway was underway, in the old and now refurbished old-USSR underground facility. Thousands of generators running on crude oil, siphoned from the nearby pipes. The cold helping to keep everything cooled and operational - Russia lacked the great technologies of the West. But what it made up for was sheer ingenuity and the will and tenacity of it's people.
Many had assumed, that when Russia started their own Project just four years ago - that they would barely reach anywhere. They assumed, since they lacked the instruments and knowledge of trans-dimensional physics - they'd be out-done by the West and left to the dustbins of Earth. Well, Russians weren't quitters and they had a way of improvising. The Duma had authorized and funded many of the best minds the Russian Federation had produced and hauled them over to Siberia - no expense was too much. Every scientist would receive a very handsome reward for their work, not to mention any patent they discovered was theirs - after taxes, of course - but they alone would be herald as heroes, in the days of the Soviet Union.
They were just one minute into the hour long count-down - the rest of the world would not be the first. As numerous computers started recording and monitoring the data - slowly aiding the scientists in starting the process. As soon enough the steel shutters were slid into place - and the Siberian facility soon activated it's nuclear reactors. The UN took away the world' nuclear weapons, but nobody said anything against nuclear power - especially since the West wasn't so keen on sharing its other knowledge. Not without paying a deep price - whatever the case, Russia would go its own way as usual. Unchained by anything.
In the city of Poland - a meeting was being held by the nine heads-of-state that made up the union that was known as the Alliance of Ex-Soviet Republics. The name itself was ironic, as one might think it was a continuation of the old Soviet Union - rather it was much farther than that. It was an alliance against such times - while at the same time, an alliance against the encroaching German state of the West.
Many hadn't forgotten the armies of Communists that had surged from the East - at the start of World War Two, neither could they forget the abandonment after the end of it. Many had spoken on how the West was weak back then, how insecure - it was something, one German politician named Adolf Schicklgruber had tried using to re-arm Germany, before he had been defeated in the polls.
Sadly - many newly independant nations of the former Russian Empire had assumed the West were lead by men of intelligence and good character. They were a hundred times better than the rulers of the former Czar regime. Sadly, when the bells rang and the skies darkened with fire - they were left to hang. France and Britain both promised freedom to Poland - before that promise was stripped from them. They later came to their aid - after the Hammer and Sickle was knocking at the door of the Germans.
They had driven back to Reds - and then, when the people hoped for liberation they were denied it. As the West made peace with those they had called enemies for six years. It was a lesson, none forgot - the lesson, when the nations once more took their freedom into their own hands. The West was so eager to curry them then - but the nine would hear none of it. The famous Polish politician Lech Walesa had once spoken famously: 'he hadn't regained Polish freedom, to surrender it to the yoke of the German'.
As such AESR was formed - the old plan of Józef Piłsudski, the First Marshal of Poland, was dug up. The concept of a 'wall' between the East and West - this time around, there wouldn't be the hoping from Western aid or Eastern mercy. They would defend themselves and bow to noone. The world seemed all too eager to reinforce that ideal - as the UN nor the United States were eager to help the ex-Commies to restore their lives. Instead the nine men and women sitting here, decided to help eachother.
Compared to the other unions and alliances - AESR was rather equal in its membership. The notion was simple - they all needed eachother. Poland was big, but no match for juggernauts of Germany and Russia. Bulgaria' industry could not compete with the United States. Estonian' naval cannons were useless without an army to defend her borders. As such, these people had come together - and had done so for the past seventeen years. From a simple military union, to that of a political and economic one. The agenda: the Gateway Projects.
It seemed almost every nation on Earth was developing one - China, Japan, USEA, Germany, France, UK, United States, Legacy - even Iran and Israel. All of them were eager to break into the next-frontier of human development. Namely the idea of reaching other planets via teleportation gateways - it seemed like something out of science fiction, now turned into science fact. Many were eager to reach the deadline of 2018. Eager to outdo the other. While many were eager to pour money, time and manpower into it - the nations of AESR had different ideals.
Many had done the calculations, and to them it didn't seem that feasible. Not to mention - they were mostly an isolationist confederacy. No member could dictate the will of the other - but mostly in this light, none of them were eager to take a chunk out of their GDP for something, that was liable to be expensive in the long-term. Namely many scientists in their respective states - had spoken, that while the idea might be feasible. There was no direct way of knowing where or how to control such a portal - for all they knew, many of the portals would connect to a barely breathable planet or worse...a planet at all.
There had been a referendum to debate that - the people, were informed of what such a cost might be and it's likely outcome. Not many politicians were eager to take up such a plan - instead, they had diverted a good portion of such GDP into increasing their industry instead. Russia in-general was buying up lots of electronics and raw goods easily. While they hadn't informed the world of their own Gateway Project - it was easy to see, from the numbers that they were. They just weren't telling where they were building it exactly.
As it was - AESR instead would focus on the possibility of cashing-in, on the likely influx of people heading to these new 'worlds'. If not, then they'd continue their own way as usual - looking inward, instead of outward as many other states liked to do.