|Russia and the CIS News Digest
Kudrin Brings Lousy Agenda from London
Feb. 9 (EIRNS)Today's meeting of the Russian Government Presidium was keynoted by a report from Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Alexei Kudrin on Russia's ongoing international consultations on the global financial crisis. Kudrin was just back from a visit to London, and it showed. He continued the performance that made him the subject of a Nov. 10, 2008 LaRouche PAC release, "As if Reading from a London Script," when he called for imposition of a "global Maastricht" to prevent countries from "living beyond their means."
Kudrin reported to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and the Presidium that Russian officials have been discussing with the Chinese, Central Asian, and other governments, to prepare for the April 2 meeting of the G20 countries in London. This was a major topic of his trip to London. Kudrin's entire emphasis was on "improved financial market regulation." According to him, Russia is contributing to four G20 working groups, preparing documents on "financial market integrity," "IMF reform," "new banking oversight standards," "improved rules of audit and accounting in order more precisely to identify risks on the books of lending institutions," and so forth.
Again, Kudrin invoked the European Maastricht treaties, the British-inspired and authored strictures which impose a bankers' dictatorship on the nations of Europe, including prohibitions on sovereign credit-creation for development. Said Kudrin, "Unified financial standards are being developed to maintain macroeconomic stability. Here the Maastricht experience is especially important. In the EU and the Eurozone, budget deficits continue to be strictly regulated, which we hope will mitigate the crisis in that zone."
Having set forth such a rotten City of London agenda, Kudrin said that Russia is working intensely within EurAsEC (Eurasian Economic Community) and in the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) fora to prepare for the April meeting in London to discuss it. Lyndon LaRouche offered the following comment on the Kudrin report: "After reading what Kudrin reported, I can only say that this is dangerous nonsense, and if Kudrin succeeds in implementing this policy, Russia will be destroyed. He clearly has no competence in the ABCs of economics. My recommendation is that if he refuses to change, he should be exchanged."
Soros Inflicts New Schemes On Russia; Kudrin's Finance Ministry Likes It
See In-Depth, "World News Briefs," p. 62-63.
Viktor Ivanov: Drug Epidemic in Russia
Feb. 13 (EIRNS)Viktor Ivanov, head of Russia's Federal Drug Control Agency, warned of a drug epidemic in Russia, at a press conference in Moscow yesterday. At Itar-Tass news agency, Ivanov said: "The increase in the number of drug addicts in Russia is beginning to look like an epidemic. Each day, over 80 people die from drugs and more than 250 become drug addicts." While there are officially 537,000 drug users in Russia, Ivanov said that, "At the same time, international estimates are five times that figure.... Around 90% of drug addicts in Russia are addicted to Afghan opiates, are hooked on the 'Afghan needle,'" Russia Today quoted Ivanov.
He said that NATO is only fighting terrorism, and this keeps the fight against the drug plague ineffective. "At the moment, NATO has not set the task of fight against drugs, instead, fighting only terrorism," Ivanov said. He added that Russia alone cannot cope with Afghan drugs, from which all countries suffer. In earlier statements, Ivanov has urged cooperation with the United States in this area.
Burns: Opportunity To Reset Relations with Russia
Feb. 14 (EIRNS)U.S. Undersecretary of State William Burns, echoing Vice President Joe Biden's Munich speech of last weekend, declared that "We have before us an important opportunity to reset our relations [with Russia] on a more productive plane." In an interview with Interfax correspondent Alexander Korzun, after meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow this week, Burns said that, rather than getting bogged down in disagreements, "We are committed to trying to take advantage of this moment of opportunity and of the common interest between us."
Burns cited a number of issues on which the U.S. and Russia can work together, including negotiation of a new nuclear arms reduction treaty, Afghanistan, and global economic issues. With respect to Iran's nuclear program and missile defense in Europe, Burns said that, "If through strong diplomacy, with Russia and our other partners, we can reduce or eliminate that threat, it obviously shapes the way at which we look at missile defense. And we are also open to the possibility of cooperation with Russia, with our NATO partners on new missile defense configurations which can take advantage of assets each of us has."
Lincoln Bicentennial: Kansas City Celebrates U.S.-Russia Alliance
Feb. 12 (EIRNS)Kansas City, Missouri's Union Station celebrated Abraham Lincoln's 200th birthday with an exhibition on "The Tsar and the President: Alexander II and Abraham Lincoln." The show, which was exhibited earlier at the Oshkosh, Wisc. library, features correspondence and artifacts of the Russian-American alliance during the U.S. Civil War, as well as other aspects of the two countries' relations during that period. One section focusses on the emancipation of the serfs in Russia and the slaves in the U.S.A., another on the assassinations of the two leaders.
The show was organized by the American-Russian Cultural Cooperation Foundation.
Speaking at the Kansas City opening, Russia's Ambassador to the United States, Sergei Kislyak, lamented the fact that the United States had basically sided with the party that had "started the shooting" in Russia's recent conflict with Georgia, while noting that the U.S.-Russia relationship had been "rebooted" since that dispute. Kislyak also stressed the fact that the United States and Russia were allies in both World War I and II, and that Russia supported the development of the United States during its early years. "There are a lot of things we need to and can do together," Kislyak said.
Russia, Turkey Declare New Era with 'Strategic' Document
Feb. 14 (EIRNS)Turkey and Russia have taken another step toward closer cooperation. Meeting in Moscow, President Abdullah Gül and Russia's President Dmitri Medvedev signed a joint declaration on improving multidimensional cooperation between the two countries, with the Russian side defining the declaration as a "strategic document." Gül was in Moscow on Feb. 12 for a four-day state visit, indicating the high level of importance of the visit. Accompanying him were State Minister Responsible for Foreign Trade Kürsad Tüzmen and Energy Minister Hilmi Güler, and a large business delegation. Foreign Minister Ali Babacan joined the delegation, traveling to Moscow late on Feb. 12 from Riga, Latvia, where he had paid an official visit.
Speaking ahead of their meeting, according to Zaman, Medvedev highlighted bilateral cooperation in the Black Sea region. "Turkey and Russia are doing much for the maintenance of security in the Black Sea region and the Caucasus in general. We count on strategic cooperation with Turkey in that sphere. I think both our countries are interested in it. We hope such coordination will be maintained," Medvedev said.
In December 2004, then-Russian President Vladimir Putin made the first visit to Turkey ever by a Russian head of state, and the highest level visit since chairman of the Soviet Presidium Nikolai Podgorny had been to Ankara in 1972.
Babacan, speaking from Riga before leaving for Moscow, advised the United States, NATO, and the European Union not to adopt a confrontational attitude in their dealings with Russia. Babacan said, "The key term is cooperation. A strategy of confrontation with Russia is not going to give positive results and risks producing lose-lose outcomes."
Russia-Japan Civil Nuclear Agreement To Be Signed
Feb. 12 (EIRNS)Sergei Kiriyenko, the head of Russia's state-run atomic power company, Rosatom Nuclear Energy State Corp., said Feb. 11 that Russia can soon prepare documents to sign a bilateral civil nuclear cooperation agreement with Japan that is under negotiation between the two governments. The agreement, which is expected to pave the way for Japan to export the latest nuclear electric power generation plant to Russia, may be signed during a planned visit to Japan by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin "early this year."