From Volume 38, Issue 38 of EIR Online, Published September 30, 2011
Russia and the CIS News Digest

Russia Expert: 'Putin Is Good for Germany'

Sept. 26 (EIRNS)—Interviewed by Germany's leading mass-tabloid Bildzeitung today, Alexander Rahr, Russia expert at the German Foreign Policy Association (DGPA) in Berlin, said: "With Putin, there will soon be a man in the Kremlin again, who is very much a Germanophile. That we have to utilize. Putin wants to go West via Germany. The alternative to Putin would be anti-Western nationalists."

As for German industry, Rahr said the prospects are improved, because doing business with Russia will be easier with Putin, because as it is now the case, people talk to President Medvedev but everybody knows that the final decisions are taken by Prime Minister Putin. "With him, there will be one single command center again."

Russia Making Big Indonesian Investments

Sept. 22 (EIRNS)—Russia is making large resource and transport investments in Indonesia. Gita Wirjawan, chairman of the Indonesian Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM), said Sept. 21 that he had met with the state-owned Russian Railways, which confirmed its intention to build a railway line in Central and East Kalimantan provinces on the island of Borneo. The Russian company is expected to invest $2.5 billion in the construction of a 185-kilometer railroad connecting the two provinces, which have large coal deposits.

Gita also met with representatives of Russia's Solway Industries, which confirmed plans to build a nickel smelter in Halmahera, North Maluku Province, with investment of up to $3 billion. The Maluku islands are situated between the islands of Borneo and Papua. Earlier reports suggested the smelter would have a capacity of 150,000 tons per year. The Russian company possesses several exploration concessions in Indonesia, including one in Halmahera that is estimated to contain about 114 million tons of high-quality nickel ore.

The signing of a memorandum of understanding between Russian and Indonesian entities is expected in November, when Russian President Dmitri Medvedev visits Bali for the East Asia Summit.

Russian Expert: Solution to Korea Crisis Is Regional Cooperation

Sept. 23 (EIRNS)—Alexander Zhebin, the director for Korean Studies at the Russian Institute of Far Eastern Studies, told a Washington audience Sept. 21 that "this is the opportunity—don't waste time," in getting international cooperation for regional development around the Korean Peninsula. "No channel other than the economic development channel can bring North Korea into the world community, and it is the only channel that North Korea will be interested in," said Zhebin.

In response to a question from LaRouchePAC which reviewed the Bering Strait concept, the recent Yakutsk conference, the urgency of Russia/China/U.S. cooperation on development, and the idea of "peace through development," Zhebin responded: "Such great projects aim at meeting several tasks. One, to stimulate Russian integration in Asia and diversify Russian export markets; two, to develop the Far East; three, the APEC [Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation] meeting next year puts a big obligation on Russia to further increase its role in the Pacific and internationally."

As to China, Zhebin said that "some say that China is not happy with this process, but they forget that it is a priority for both Russia and China that there be peace and stability in Korea and in the region." As to the North Korea situation, he said that "some countries say 'all options are on the table,' but Russia and China say that the military option is not on the table. Russia and China have different approaches—Russia is offering big infrastructure and technology, while China is focused on trade, "but our interests are complementary and coincide."

Putin's 'Surprise'

See InDepth for "Putin Flanks the Empire."

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