|Russia and the CIS News Digest
Russia, China, India 'Enhance Trilateral Ties'
Nov. 16 (EIRNS)Amidst intense diplomacy among the three great Eurasian powersRussia, China, and Indiathe question keeps emerging: how to deal with the United States? Lyndon LaRouche has answered that question in terms of junking the Obama-Fed policy of hyperinflation, getting the U.S.A. on course with LaRouche's Four Powers policy, if the three Eurasian powers themselves are to survive.
Recent discussions in the region have revisited the idea of a Russia-China-India "Strategic Triangle," first put forward in 1998 by then-Russian Prime Minister Yevgeni Primakov. A commentary in the China Daily today states that, 10 years after the concept of the Strategic Triangle was first proposed, Russia, China, and India "have begun to recognize the importance of enhancing their trilateral ties to safeguard their interests since the start of the new century, especially following the US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.... The global financial crisis, which has dealt a heavy blow to Western countries, has made the China-Russian-Indian trilateral cooperation increasingly prominent." The crisis, author Yu Jincheng wrote, "has offered rare opportunities for the three countries to push forward their economic restructuring and to take the initiative in the post-crisis era."
An editorial today in The Hindu, India's newspaper of record, said that other regional forums cannot be any "substitute for the Russia, India, China trilateral (RIC). What makes the trilateral uniqueand importantis the convergence of geography, foreign policy philosophy, and economic ascent within the group." Unlike the EU or Japan, "their foreign policy is independent.... The three also have strong ties binding them, though these are somewhat uneven." But a "mismatch within the trilateral stems from the way each relates to the United States."
Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao will go to Russia Nov. 22-24, to meet with Vladimir Putin for the 15th China-Russia Regular Prime Ministers' Meeting. On Nov. 25, Wen will be in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, for the 9th Meeting of Prime Ministers of Member States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), involving the governments of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgystan, and Uzbekistan, as well as Mongolia, India, Pakistan, and Iran. In Moscow, the two PMs will discuss recovering trade levels, advanced technologies, and energy cooperation, as well as military sales, following the visit of Russian Defense Minister Anatoli Serdyukov to Beijing Nov. 9.
Wen will go to Pakistan Dec. 15, and then to India, Dec. 16-17. Russian President Medvedev will also go to India for an annual summit in late December. In preparation, on Nov. 18 New Delhi will host the 16th Indo-Russian Intergovernmental Commission on trade, economic, scientific, technological and cultural cooperation, co-chaired by Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna and Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov. They will discuss Indian energy investments in Siberia and the Yamal peninsula, and nuclear energy cooperation.
Gorbachov Crony Threatens Wiki-Attack on Russian Leaders
Nov. 22 (EIRNS)Alexander Lebedev, business and political crony of ex-Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachov, boasted to the Daily Mail of London Nov. 13 that a journalist from his and Gorbachov's Novaya Gazeta has met in Sweden with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who is on record as wanting to release classified documents to expose corruption in the "despotic" Russian regime. Russian media trumpeted the story that anticipation of such a smear campaign was the motive for a recent raid on Lebedev's National Reserve Bank (NRB) in Moscow. Lebedev himself attempted to build up the drama by saying he could list "50 other reasons" for the raid, ranging from "corrupt FSB [Federal Security Service] officials" to "the Moscow construction mafia."
The Nov. 2 raid on the NRB was done by Moscow city police special forces, carrying a warrant from a city court. A press spokesman for the city police said the investigation was "part of a criminal case opened earlier." Whoever commissioned the raid, it was a blow against interests around Gorbachovwhose London special relationships go back to his years in charge of the U.S.S.R.that have been trying to destabilize the power of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, in particular.
Novaya Gazeta has been especially active in attacking allies of Putin, as in a vicious article last Spring against Russian Railways leader Vladimir Yakunin and Far East Presidential Envoy Victor Ishayev for promoting Siberian development projects. On Oct. 20, Gorbachov himself condemned both Putin and President Dmitri Medvedev for letting Russia become "a swamp of stagnation, apathy, and corruption." His line is that more "democratization" is the precondition for economic progress in Russia. At the same time, liberal politician Boris Nemtsov and others are promoting a scenario in which Medvedev would distance himself from Putin and build up "democratic" credentials, in preparation for a 2012 reelection run, by pardoning Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the jailed ex-CEO of Yukos Oil. A verdict in Khodorkovsky's second trial for financial wrong-doing is to be handed down next month. Other Moscow press outlets are promoting rumors that Yakunin, as well as Gazprom head Alexei Miller, will step down soon.
Lebedev also owns two British dailies, the Independent and the Evening Standard. He and his son run the Raisa Gorbachov Foundation. According to Russian sources, Lebedev's British ties date from his work in London as a young KGB officer in the 1980s, his friendship with members of the Rothschild family having subsequently facilitated the amassment of seed money for his acquisition of the NRB in 1995.
Behind the Victor Bout Case: More Targeting of Putin Circles?
Nov. 18 (EIRNS)A well-placed Russian analyst has warned that the extradition of alleged Russian arms dealer Victor Bout to the United States, to stand trial on charges of selling weapons to the Colombian FARC, has a deeper purpose, totally unrelated to his "business" dealings. The source has been warning about a concerted international campaign, coming principally out of London, to remove Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin from the political scene in Russia before the next Presidential election. By bringing Bout to the United States, he said, corrupt U.S. officials are trying to use Bout as an informant against Russian government, oil industry, and intelligence officials. The larger context is a British-directed effort to sabotage U.S.-Russian strategic cooperation. Russian officials who met with Bout in a New York City Federal prison charged that U.S. government agents tried to strike a deal with Bout during his transfer from Thailand to the United States, when there was no attorney present.
The Russian specialist reported that Bout's role as an international arms dealer was greatly exaggerated by the media and by U.S. Justice Department officials, and that they are really out to exploit his ties to the Russian military and intelligence establishment, and use him as part of a political operation. In reality, the analyst explained, Bout is a mid-level figure who did engage in the international cargo business, including international arms sales.
A senior U.S. intelligence official confirmed that the Bout affair has created friction between the U.S. and Russia at a critical moment, when cooperation between the two nations is expandingdespite President Obama. The Bout affair, he warned, could worsen the friction, particularly if Senate Republicans succeed in postponing a vote on the START II treaty until the new Congress convenes in January 2011.
Russians Talking about LaRouche as Systemic Crisis Intensifies
Nov. 22 (EIRNS)American economist Lyndon LaRouche is being paid close attention in many circles in Russia and Ukraine, especially among opponents of kowtowing to British imperial monetarist dictates.
* The Nov. 18 LaRouchePAC release "LaRouche on the 'Irish Crisis': Let Britain's Inter-Alpha Group Go Bankrupt" has been republished in Russian by two of the most widely read bloggers in Russia: the Maxim Kalashnikov blog, and Alexsword in the Global Adventure financial forum, and on the site of Natalia Vitrenko's Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine, and as well as being posted by forum participants at other locations. Kalashnikov told his readers, "Lyndon LaRouche is warning of the danger of the 'Irish' bomb exploding."
* Earlier this month, Russian economist Mikhail Khazin was interviewed on Radio Ekho Moskvy radio about the flurry of attention to World Bank head Robert Zoellick's nervous Financial Times article calling for a new set of reserve currencies and some role for gold in the world system, to succeed the failed "Bretton Woods II" (1971) system. Khazin started citing "the well-known American dissident Lyndon LaRouche" as having called for a new Bretton Woods for many years.
Few Russians, however, grasp the parameters of a real vs. a phony Bretton Woods, or the nature of a credit system. Russian press and commentators, stuck in the muck of British monetarist categories, reveal horrible confusion about Bretton Woods, "the gold standard," gold pegs, and fixed exchange rates, even though several have expressed a dawning recognition that the bailouts are a disaster. "The U.S. Printing Press Issues Death Warrant for Globalization," headlined a Newsinfo.ru report on the Fed's latest $600 billion debt purchase plan.
* An LPAC-TV report from Oct. 21 was the third-highest viewer-rated, and ninth most viewed news video on Russia's RuTube service Nov. 18. It reported on an intervention by the Summer Shields Congressional campaign outside a Russian-American Business Council meeting called "From Silicon Valley to Skolkovo," featuring a Russian-language banner quoting LaRouche: "Free Russia from the Pirates of the Caribbean."
In RuTube's Science section, LaRouche's reply to Student Republic leader Pavlo Viknyansky during the Sept. 24 webcast, titled "Ukraine Needs Science, Not Biznes!", was the 5th-highest rated and 12th most viewed video today. It has also been published in a written translation on the Student Republic site.