From Volume 36, Issue 50 of EIR Online, Published Dec. 25, 2009
Russia and the CIS News Digest

Yakunin Speaks on World Rail and Bering Strait Tunnel

Dec. 20 (EIRNS)—Creating another headache for the British Royals, an article in the London Sunday Express today—based on an extensive interview with Vladimir Yakunin, CEO of the state-owned Russian Railways—highlights Russia's plans to link Eurasia with North America across the Bering Strait. "Dreams of travelling from London to New York by train were evoked last night after one of Russia's most powerful men pledged a crucial tunnel linking his country to North America would be 'feasible' within 10 years," the Sunday Express writes.

"Vladimir Yakunin, the president of state-run Russian Railways and Prime Minister Putin's closest confidant, said his ambition was to connect more than half the planet by train." He said American investors had already approached him about boring a 64-mile tunnel under the famous Bering Sea that separates Asia and North America. "With new rail links planned through Alaska and eastern Russia, the tunnel would help enable freight and passenger trains to run from the U.S. to London on uninterrupted tracks," he said. Yakunin suggested that the state should be responsible for the rail connections: "There should be a system that either demands the private investor should invest into these spheres, or the state becomes the owner of the infrastructure and they invest budgets into infrastructure and that enhances the security of operations."

The article continued, "Yakunin said he had been negotiating with potential partners from around the world to trigger a 'renaissance of railways.' 'We are in contact with countries in Latin America, Africa, and with Arab countries and China. It's in everyone's interest to develop railways.'" The Sunday Express interview has already circulated to other media, including an article in India's Economic Times.

Commenting on the Yakunin statement, Lyndon LaRouche said that it represents an obvious extension of what must be done, in the aftermath of Britain's defeat at Copenhagen. "Such a worldwide rail link," LaRouche said, "running from Eurasia to Africa, through Europe, and into North and America, would define a new conception of cooperation among sovereign nation-states. It would represent one global economic process which would be a giant step toward solving the present crisis of humanity. What we are looking at, with the moves toward upgrading of cooperation between China, Russia, India, and the United States, is a real global reform. It is a revolution in economy and statecraft. We will be uniting continents in the common economic interest of nation states. This is the real alternative to globalization."

Russian Researchers Expose British Climate Fraud

Dec. 17 (EIRNS)—The Institute of Economic Analysis (IEA), based in Moscow, and linked to the U.S. Cato Institute, said in a new report that the Hadley Center for Climate Change and the Climate Research Unit of East Anglia (HadCRUT) have "cherry-picked" data from Russian meteorological stations for their database, thus exaggerating estimates of "warming" in Russia. HadCRUT selectively used only 25% of stations for their database, excluding 40% of Russian territory completely. The IEA reviewed meteorological reports for the past 130 years, which did not substantiate HadCRUT's figures.

The IEA analysts indicate that those stations showing either consistent temperatures, or even cooling, were excluded by HadCrut, and at the same time, HadCRUT used data reflecting urban warming, rather than remote stations offering correct data, and selectively used incomplete reporting that emphasized a warming effect, rather than complete observations. Overall, the IEA report states, actual warming from 1877-1998 was increased by 0.64°C. If used across the board, such exaggeration would considerably increase the rate of change of global temperatures, the IEA report states.

The IEA says the scale of distortion in current climate modeling cannot be known until calculations are completed using full and correct data-sets, as opposed to the fraudulent data used.

'Russia Today' Airs Interview with Danish Schiller Institute

Dec. 20 (EIRNS)—Russia Today, the Russian quasi-official English-language TV channel, today had a wrap-up of the COP15 Conference in Copenhagen and showed a short excerpt of an interview it conducted with Schiller Institute chairman Tom Gillesberg on Dec. 18, on the British attempt to use the climate change conference to do away with national sovereignty. In the full exchange recorded by RT, Gillesberg also stressed the failure of Copenhagen, resulting from China and India sticking to the idea of national sovereignty; the weakened position of Obama and the increased pressure this creates inside the U.S. to go with Lyndon LaRouche's idea of the U.S. joining China, India, and Russia in a Four-Power agreement to set up a new credit system; and finally, the LaRouche plan for global reconstruction and development.

The clip aired by RT omitted most of these points, but showcased Gillesberg's point about sovereignty and development. Correspondent Laura Emmett, after describing the failure of the conference overall, says: "But some say this summit was never about climate change, and that the real goal was to force countries to act against their national interests in the name of preventing global warming. The way forward, according to the Schiller Institute, is for the U.S., India, China, and Russia to join together to create global financial system."

Video is available on RT's website at

Russian Security Council: Build Anti-Drug Belt Around Afghanistan

Dec. 16 (EIRNS)—"Efforts to counter the further spread of narco-aggression must be stepped up [in Afghanistan]; mainly as part of our initiative to create 'anti-narcotic security belts' around Afghanistan," Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev said in an interview with Interfax published two days ago. Patrushev said that Russia will pay careful attention to the situation in Afghanistan, since the Obama Administration has announced its new strategy for the Afghan War: "We shall see whether additional forces will change the situation. We are also going to carefully monitor the change dynamics in the situation in Afghanistan."

The Russian official went on to say that the Afghan population needs "stable and legal sources of income to replace their involvement in the mass-scale production of narcotics," but "right now, the complete opposite can be seen." (See article in EIR InDepth.)

Kapitsa's Son Calls for Rejuvenation of Russian Science

Dec. 20 (EIRNS)—Sergei Kapitsa, son of renowned Russian nuclear physicist Pyotr Kapitsa, refers to the collaboration between Dmitri Mendeleyev and Sergei Witte, in an article published in the weekly Argumenty i Fakty. Kapitsa, a mathematical physicist, warns of the tremendous brain drain from Russia, meaning the loss of cadre who can train a new generation of innovative, young scientists, who are attracted by the salaries and conditions of work abroad, compared with those in Russia. This state of affairs will lead, Kapitsa notes, to a collapse of scientific innovation in Russia, the lifeblood of any society. "The resolution of the problem of innovation—that is, the introduction of scientific knowledge and its utilization in society—is the most important task for the development of Russia, important not only for the preservation of the State, but perhaps also for the preservation of the integrity of the nation and society," Kapitsa writes.

He then refers to the cooperation between Mendeleyev and Witte at the turn of the 20th Century. Pointing to the great innovators like Faraday, Planck, and Mendeleyev, he notes Mendeleyev's contributions to the development of the Periodic Table and to the creation of the Russian oil industry, as well as his "work on economics and tariff policy," which "created the means to defend Russian production from the intrusion of foreign capital." "In that task, he was working with the support of S. Yu. Witte, who as finance minister and as premier turned to the thoughts and advice of Mendeleyev," Kapitsa writes. Nevertheless, Kapitsa continues, the "scientific associations" did not appreciate fully the work of Mendeleyev and passed him over twice when he was nominated for membership in the Academy of Sciences.

Similar short-sightedness exists today in Russia, Kapitsa says. He calls for an improvement in the pay and living conditions of scientists and engineers in Russia (unfortunately recommending that they be paid in dollars rather than rubles), and enhancing the reputation—and the quality of the work—of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

All rights reserved © 2009 EIRNS