|Russia and the CIS News Digest
LaRouches' Addresses to Russian Anti-Globalists Make Waves
Dec. 7 (EIRNS)Lyndon LaRouche's video address to the Dec. 3-4 Moscow conference, "Let the Earth Live! From the Clash of Civilizations to Their Cooperation," is making waves in Russian political circles; hundreds of people are watching his speech and that of Schiller Institute founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche on RuTube. The event was co-sponsored by the Russian Anti-Globalist Resistance and the Academy for Geopolitical Studies, which is headed by former Russian Defense Ministry international department head Gen. Leonid Ivashov (ret.).
An Anti-Globalist Resistance press release highlighted Lyndon LaRouche's presentation, demonstrating his fame within Russia as the person who forecast the current crisis. After reporting that the conference was opened by Sergei Baburin, former vice-speaker of the Russian State Duma and now rector of the Russian State University of Commerce and Economics, the release continued: "The well-known American economist Lyndon LaRouche, famous for having forecast the economic crisis over 30 years ago, addressed the conference by video, and he not only identified the main causes of the crisis and the pathway out of it, through creating a new financial system with participation from the strongest groups in the world. He also once again provided a long-range forecast: the shift of the center of world relations from the Atlantic zone to the Pacific, and even flights to Mars as a possible common goal for the Earth's inhabitants." (LaRouche's and Zepp-LaRouche's speeches appeared in EIR of Dec. 11.)
Speaking next, General Ivashov discussed the erosion of national sovereignty in today's world. He also reportedly traced the history of imperialism, including the rise of the British and Dutch financial centers out of Venice. Ukrainian Progressive Socialist Party leader Natalia Vitrenko addressed the afternoon session, which began with the playing of Zepp-LaRouche's videotaped remarks.
A resolution adopted at the conference called for "radical measures to change the financial system in the world," through a "New Bretton Woods" which would determine new exchange rates. Unlike the current Schiller Institute appeal to "Place the LaRouche Plan on the World Agenda" (which the Russian Anti-Globalist Resistance has publicized), the conference resolution failed to distinguish between a monetary system and a credit system, or to identify physical economic development projects for implementation. It named China, Russia, India, and the U.S.A.the same four powers whose action LaRouche identifies as crucialas countries which should convene such a conference, but added Brazil to the list.
The conference press release has been reprinted on several Russian websites, including the blog of Maxim Kalashnikov, an advocate of high-tech reindustrialization of Russia, whose blog President Medvedev recently instructed his chief of staff to study. The website of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation reported on the conference, including the fact that the LaRouches had addressed it. Zepp-LaRouche's assertion, "As long as the European countries are stuck in the corset of the European Union, Europe has no chance to overcome this crisis," has been picked up on Russian-language Internet discussion forums based in the Baltic countries, which are EU members.
Some Russian leftists were destabilized by LaRouche's optimistic call for Mars colonization as a shared mission of mankind. Darya Mitina, a 36-year-old Russian Communist Youth League figure, flipped her wig over LaRouche's speech in her blog, ranting against both the Mars perspective and LaRouche's differentiation of the American "not monetarist" system from the system of British imperialism. Mitina is coming under fire for this, as one reader demanded: "If you're going to attack LaRouche like that, why don't you report what he said?"
India and Russia Expand Cooperation in Asia-Pacific
Dec. 8 (EIRNS)India and Russia emphasized strategic relations, especially "in the Asia Pacific region," in their Joint Declaration, signed in Moscow Dec. 7 by Russian President Dmitri Medvedev and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Singh was in Moscow for the two nations' annual summit Dec. 6-8.
In addition to their breakthrough agreement on civilian nuclear energy development, in "an unanticipated development, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's intensive engagement in the Russian capital with President Dmitri Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin led to understandings of immediate and long-term nature to access the vast Russian resources in eastern Siberia and far eastern Russia," The Hindu reported. The immediate focus is on oil and gas development. The two sides will also expand cooperation in infrastructure development and in advanced medical technologies and nanotechnology, areas set by Medvedev as key for breaking Russia out of its dependence upon oil and other exports.
The sides note the "growing efficacy of close multilateral cooperation in the Asia Pacific region in the 21st Century," the Joint Declaration states. They welcomed the enhanced Russia-India-China trilateral discussion, as well as the BRIC group, which includes Brazil. Russia called for India's full membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and India welcomed its own increased involvement, with other SCO Observer states, in that organization.
"This is breaking the Commonwealth," Lyndon LaRouche responded today.
Russia also called for Indian membership in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum (APEC), the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), and for India to become a permanent member of the UN Security Council.
The Declaration states that, no matter what "stakeholders" and other international organizations globalization has thrown up, "a modern state is the main tool for reconciling public interest with securing the rights, freedoms and interests of individual citizens, and continues to be the basic building block of international relations, amidst the radical changes in the world." Medvedev and Singh traced the relations between the two nations back to 1947, after India became a republic.
The nations will expand cooperation against terrorism and the "illegal narcotics infrastructure in Afghanistan."
Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao told the press, on the return flight to New Delhi, that the visit had been "extremely successful and very, very productive by any definition," emphasizing the civilian nuclear agreement and three defense pacts.
The Russian press greeted Singh's visit with enthusiasm. Nezavisimaya Gazeta wrote that the Russian-Indian nuclear deal "does not contain such limitations as a similar U.S. agreement. In fact, it holds a possibility of Russia becoming the most important supplier of fuel for Indian nuclear plants." Although no details of the agreement have been released, and there has been no confirmation from the Indian side, Sergei Kiriyenko, head of Rosatom, the state nuclear corporation, told Vedomosti daily that "Russia could build up 20 reactors for nuclear power plants. It is not just billions, it is tens of billions of dollars." Vedomosti added that "India is becoming the largest foreign partner for Rosatom," Russia's nuclear power agency.
Dmitri Orlov, general director of the Agency of Political and Economic Communications, told actualcomment.ru, that the agreement "will work for the development of Russian technologies. The agreements with India in the civilian nuclear sphere demonstrate that our technologies have found a market abroad. This interest stimulates scientific developments in the country and makes concrete profit for a federal budget."
Moscow Calls Washington's Bluff on Afghan Drugs
Dec. 9 (EIRNS)Despite repeated warnings by Russia and Iran to Washington over the years, about the havoc caused by post-U.S.-invasion opium production in Afghanistan, President Obama's speech at West Point carefully avoided the drug issue. Subsequently, in hearings in the House and Senate, neither the questioners nor the administration witnesses paid even scant attention to this menace.
On Dec. 8, Russia's Director of Federal Drug Control, Victor Ivanov, told CNN that his country is bearing the brunt of this trade, and that more must be done to crack down on poppy cultivation within Afghanistan. He has called on the United States to use its troop surge into Afghanistan to help stem the flow of drugs crossing the border to Russia, as heroin addiction reaches epidemic levels. Ivanov suggested that the U.S. use herbicides to defoliate opium crops from the air, pointing out how successful this had been with coca in Colombia. "According to UN data, in the past year 75% of coca plants have been destroyed," he said. "This can be attributed to the defoliation method. It is the most effective method, and I'm surprised that we are not using it in Afghanistan."
In June, Richard Holbrooke, Washington's top envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, and a crony of drug legalization advocate George Soros, told reporters at a meeting of G8 nations in Trieste, Italy: "The Western policies against the opium crop, the poppy crop, have been a failure. They did not result in any damage to the Taliban, but they put farmers out of work." "We are not going to support crop eradication. We're going to phase it out," he added. Holbrooke's statement was an explicit rejection of an offer made by Ivanov at the end of January, that the U.S. and Russia make the joint war against drugs a central aspect of their collaboration.