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This transcript appears in the January 13, 2023 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

[Print version of this transcript]


Implication of Minsk Lies: Erosion of International Law, Loss of Trust

This is the edited transcript of the Schiller Institute’s January 4, 2023 dialogue with Helga Zepp-LaRouche. A video of the webcast is available here.

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Angela Merkel, former Chancellor of Germany, and François Hollande, former President of France, have each confirmed that the West’s policy behind the Minsk accords was never to achieve peace between Ukraine and Russia, but rather to buy time for building up the Ukrainian military.
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Harley Schlanger: Hello, welcome to our weekly webcast with Schiller Institute founder and chairwoman Helga Zepp-LaRouche. This is Wednesday, January 4, 2023.

We’re embarking on a year that has tremendous potential for change, but also a continuing dynamic for war coming from the interests behind the unipolar order, the City of London, in particular, the corporate cartels. Helga, one of the things that came out in the last weeks of 2022 was the confirmation from Merkel and then from former French President François Hollande, that the Minsk Accords were never intended to a be a policy of peace and reconciliation between Ukraine and Russia, but a time to allow for the buildup of the Ukrainian military. In other words, they were committed to a war against Russia, going back to 2014. What are the implications of that, in terms of the broader diplomatic situation?

Helga Zepp-LaRouche: Well, first of all, I’m sure this subject will be a matter of discussion among many countries and many think tanks, and politicians and concerned people, because the implication of that is really huge. Because this was not just lying about the intention, but there was actually a UN resolution 2202, which basically made the Minsk Accords international law. And by admitting that they couldn’t care less about that, Merkel and Hollande, they basically were saying, we don’t care about international law, it doesn’t matter to us. And this, after the United States has already demonstrated that many times, by not sticking to UN resolutions concerning interventionist wars, and all kinds of things, with all the lying in the case of Libya, for example, where they lied to the UN Security Council.

Flouting International Law

So, this is an erosion of international law. And that comes from those people who are speaking, almost every two minutes, about the “rules-based order.” Now, that clearly shows that the “rules-based order” is in complete violation and contradiction to international law. That’s not new, but it’s an incredible, scandalous confirmation.

Now, Merkel, I must say, I never thought highly of her, because I always thought she was mediocre, but this is really even going beyond that. And in the case of Hollande, I think he has deserved, now, the nickname the “Lying Dutchman”: This is a pun on “Hollande,” or Holland, the Netherlands, and the opera The Flying Dutchman, in German is Der fliegende Holländer, which you can now change into the Lügender Holländer. I hope that a lot of people repeat that to make it stick, because it’s actually ironic, but also very important that people are constantly reminded about the lying character of the so-called “Western leaders.” [Box: The Minsk Deception, in the Words of the Perpetrators]

Now, the implication of that is really incredible: because if you think about it, and I actually looked it up—I put in some search engines “Minsk Accords,” “sanctions,” and for years, all kinds of politicians were always saying that the sanctions against Russia can only be lifted after the full implementation of the Minsk accords. And you can be sure, if Merkel and Hollande were saying that, and [then Ukraine President] Poroshenko—I mean Putin was the only one in that quartet who obviously did believe that they meant it seriously. But that means that they were all the time, the entire EU leadership was lying all the time, when they said the sanctions can only be lifted after the Minsk accords are implemented, while they were arming the Ukrainians for a coming war, and only Putin was patient.

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Annalena Baerbock, Germany’s Minister for Foreign Affairs: The aim all along has been to achieve the “political and economic isolation of the Russian regime, to ruin Russia.”

Now, I think that whole thing needs to be discussed and reflected upon. Because it does take apart the story that Russia committed this war in an “unprovoked” fashion and war of aggression. Unprovoked? This was built up for a very long time. Look at these nine packages of sanctions. I looked them all up, and it’s step by step, more and more strangulation of the economy. That was the plan from the time “go,” probably before the Maidan coup, which Nuland was famous for saying that the State Department spent $5 billion on preparing color revolutions. So, the aim from the beginning, obviously was, as German Foreign Minister Baerbock is saying repeatedly, to “ruin Russia.” And that was even repeated by these two unnamed White House officials on January 25, 2022, a year ago, that is, before the so-called “war of aggression” started, where two unnamed senior White House officials, in an official background press briefing, said the aim is to cut Russia off from any ability to diversify from oil and gas, to deny them any modern technology. And that already was incredible, because how are you authorized to say that you want to prevent another country from their right to development?

The whole thing is really becoming very, very transparent. But the implication of it is severe, because now the Russians, like Foreign Minister Lavrov is saying that they will no longer do any project together with the EU, because the trust has been completely destroyed. And that is something which will be very, very difficult to repair, because this is really a betrayal over eight years! So, I think the implication is really incredible, and I would really hope that a lot of people who are concerned about the condition of the world would engage in a discussion about what that implies, about the values of the West.

Schlanger: Helga, what you just went through is, number one, completely verifiable, based on real facts, not the so-called “fact-checking” that’s done by the operatives of the pro-war grouping. But secondly, if this were known to people, it would be clear that it’s the West that should be put up for war crimes and trials. Now, if you say these things, in the West, you’re accused of “disinformation.”

What’s interesting, though, is people in the Global South are not buying it. They actually are seeing a different picture, aren’t they?

The Word of the Year

Zepp-LaRouche: Yes. If you look—it’s difficult to look at things with the perspective of an historian, because we are in the middle of events—but one could try to think, if you look at the world as it would be looked at by an historian (it may not be accurate, completely), but it helps you to look at the longer arc of developments. And from that standpoint, I think it’s already very clear, that the Western leaders thought that they are so clever, so devious, that they could really pull this off big time. I think they have been completely miscalculating! They’ve tried to impose this world domination of the unipolar world, putting sanctions on Russia until the Russian economy would be strangled, force everybody into a so-called “democracy alliance.” But then, you look at it, and what you see is that the exact opposite is happening.

I just was reading an article by a Chinese scholar, Wang Wen, who is the Dean of the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies of Renmin University. He wrote that 2022 “word of the year,” was de-Westernization. This has to be compared to German Chancellor Scholz’s “epochal change,” Zeitenwende, which now all kinds of institutions have made the word of the year.

Wang Wen wrote in the Jan. 3, 2023, South China Morning Post, “If there’s a keyword, it’s ‘de-Westernization’.” He then describes how many countries in the world are actually absolutely trying to distance themselves from the West, pursuing their own interests. And he goes through the many countries in Latin America, where now 80% of the governments are so-called “left” governments—I don’t want to comment on that—but all of them are trying to get a distance from this geopolitical confrontation between the U.S. and China. Then, the Central Asian countries, the Southwestern Asian countries (the so-called “Middle East”), Africa. So, you have the BRICS-Plus. Seventeen countries have applied to become members in the BRICS, the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization), the Eurasian Economic Union, many countries in Africa. The famous shift by the Arabs, Saudi Arabia, and others.

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Neocon Robert Kagan argues that stability depends on having a unipolar world. The best this arrogant view could accomplish is the annihilation of civilization.

So, I think this has backfired completely, and by trying to impose something which most countries do not regard as in their own interest, they have actually helped to catalyze a new world economic order. And I think this has some hidden justice to it, which one should really think about: That the effort to impose a unipolar world was clearly not met with enthusiasm. But the countries of Global South did not answer with confrontation, but they more or less quietly went the other way, putting their own interests in the center of their activities, and I think that has created quite a completely different dynamic in the world.

Schlanger: And you mentioned the movement from the nations in the South, especially around the BRICS: This last week was the inauguration of the new President of Brazil, which was an opportunity for diplomatic discussion that was precisely of this nature, the move toward a new system of integration, of common benefit and so on. And yet, you still have people like Robert Kagan, the famous neocon, Mr. Victoria Nuland, writing an article [for the January/February 2023 issue of Foreign Affairs magazine, published by the Council on Foreign Relations] saying that stability depends on the unipolar world! People have to look at these neocons and just identify that they’ve got more than one screw loose in their head.

Zepp-LaRouche: I think people should really read this new article by Robert Kagan in Foreign Affairs. In one sense it’s completely off reality, but it also is an incredible sign of intention to bully people. And you should also look at Robert Kagan and think your own thoughts about it.

But it’s not going to work. It’s based on an arrogant view of the world, and the best it could accomplish is the annihilation of civilization: That remains a danger. I don’t want to play down that danger, especially now, because what we have been mentioning already in some previous shows is happening; that I think 2023 will be an effort to go global with NATO. Unfortunately, the Japanese government’s decision to double their military budget is absolutely pointing in this direction, but they’re the minority. They can beef up their weapons systems up the wazoo, but it’s not going to change the main dynamic in the world, which is that the vast majority of countries in the world want to have peace, win-win cooperation, overcome poverty, and to no longer submit to these imperial designs.

Schlanger: One of the targets of Global NATO continues to be China, and yet we’re seeing an interesting potential diplomatic development, with Marcos, Jr., the President of the Philippines, going to China for a series of talks over Jan. 3-5.

Just to come back to the Ukraine situation, the German government continues to be putting itself in a position of being a partner in the war, with the stationing of U.S. planes in Germany. What do you think of this complete lack of a conception of where this is headed from the German government?

Zepp-LaRouche: Well, the United States is now putting six U.S. Navy EA-18G Growler electronic warfare aircraft into Spangdahlem, a U.S. Air Base in Germany. These are planes which are supposed to knock down the air defense of the opponent. Add to that, the training of Ukrainian troops, Germany is making itself more and more a party in the war. And this government is not defending German interests! That has to be said very clearly.

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Robert Habeck, Germany’s Vice Chancellor and Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action. His policies, driven by Green ideology, are ruining Germany’s economy.

The fact that they know who blew up Nord Stream 1 and 2, and they’re not saying a word about it! They’re making Germany the vassal of these imperial designs! I think it’s high time that people start to discuss that.

What Economics Minister Habeck is doing with his various economic policies, which are so incompetent that it’s unbelievable that the German industries still tolerate somebody who is only pursuing his Green ideology: He has no idea that he’s ruining the German economy right now. You have this Baerbock woman, who is running around doing absolute damage to the image of Germany in the world, apart from trying to do the poodle job for Blinken—who by the way, is a close friend of Robert Kagan, so it’s all one group.

I think this German government is really a problem. I think they’re ruining Germany right now, and even the head of the DGB trade union federation, her name is Yasmin Fahimi, she said that we are looking at the complete de-industrialization of Germany!

And I think it’s high time that there is a reorientation of the policy. And just to mention it, as if it would not be the right of free speech in a democracy to say that you have a different view than the government—are we living in a dictatorship? Immediately, Reuters, of all places, put out an article saying that there are forces inside Germany trying to change the course of policy of Berlin. Yeah, sure! If the government is screwing up, then you have the right to criticize it, and supposedly this is the sign of a democracy. So, I think it’s really high time, that either this government changes itself, or one should change the government.

Schlanger: We also see with the release of the Twitter Files, that it wasn’t just Twitter that was involved in this, but all the government agencies and the intelligence community and so on.

The Pope’s Call for Negotiations

Helga, I want to go now to one of your important initiatives, the support for the call from the Vatican for negotiations, with the Vatican as a venue for that. This is gaining a lot of support, but there are also people who just don’t seem to understand it, who are critical of you for putting this out. So, I think it would be worthwhile for you to talk for a moment about the importance of this initiative.

Zepp-LaRouche: Yes. As of now, because, and as a result of what Merkel and Hollande, did, the Russians have given up—from everything one can see, according to their statements—the hope that this can be solved, that the Ukraine situation can be solved through diplomacy. And it looks to me, and I’m not claiming that I know all the innermost thinking of the Russian military, but as they say, and what I also observe, is that they think that this must be settled on the battlefield, that the Russian military must win. That’s the Russian position.

But then, you have the Western side, which says, no, we cannot allow that, Ukraine must win, and we must send more heavy weapons—and Leopard 2 is in the discussion—and more offensive weapons.

Now, what is the danger down the road, obviously, if both sides are intending to win, well, we are sitting on a thermonuclear powder keg, which could explode, at any moment. And if it does, then that was it. And we are millimeters close to that. Now, this is why I picked up on the initiative of Pope Francis and also his Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin, to offer the venue of the Vatican for negotiations, which should start without preconditions, and I think that’s the only way how you have any hope to find a diplomatic way out of this terrible crisis.

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Pope Francis has offered the venue of the Vatican for peace negotiations, to start without preconditions.

Now a lot of people say, “we don’t like this Pope, we don’t trust him because he’s Green.” Others say whatever other reasons they may have, “you can’t trust anybody anymore.” The problem is that if we do not find a different approach, and I’m not saying—it’s not an endorsement! It’s a question, look around: Where is a figure in the world, who could be a credible mediation force?

Fortunately, I just learned this morning that a group of countries from the Global South want Brazilian President Lula to be a mediator, but also representing them. Now, that’s very, very good, and I can only hope they will be successful. But still, I think what is needed, is not just to stay in the field of geopolitics or interests of nations. I think what we need is a higher level of approach. And people have forgotten that the Catholic Church and the institution of the Papacy, over the millennia used to be for the most part an institution which would bring in this higher level of natural law. And that’s exactly what you need. And that also why I wrote these Ten Principles of what should be the basis for a new security and development architecture.

We discussed these Ten Principles repeatedly, but I want to point to the last five principles, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, where I’m trying to bring in exactly such a higher level of thinking, that the thinking of Nicholas of Cusa of the Coincidence of Opposites brings in exactly that idea, that you have to think about the one humanity first, before you think of the interest of any nation, and I’m not distinguishing between one or the other. You have to think about the one humanity first, in order to come to a resolution of this question.

You have talked to a lot of people, as well, and maybe if you tell me what their argument was, I’m very happy to respond to it.

Schlanger: Well, I think one of the main things is that people are saying that the Church has had financial scandals, sex scandals, the Green policy and so on. But I think what you’re pointing to is something that’s more profound, and given what we were talking about at the beginning, the absolute violation of all international law, with the lying that was now proven by their own statements, by Merkel and Hollande, and Poroshenko, of course, that you have to find something that goes outside of the bubble that’s controlled by these people.

And I think, in this context, what we’ve been identifying is the role of the British Empire in using geopolitics, controlling the discussion in the United States through such institutions at Chatham House, and Atlantic Council, Council on Foreign Relations—you mentioned the Foreign Affairs article—this is what we’re up against. And these are people who are actually Satanists, in the sense that they don’t like humanity. They hate human beings, and they’re out for their own personal interests.

And in that sense, Helga, I think what we’re seeing from the Global South and from the initiatives you’ve made with the Schiller Institute, is that we do stand at a point where we could break out of geopolitics once and for all. What would that look like, when you talk about relations based on mutual benefit of sovereign nations, what would that look like in this world, and where would that come from? And that’s why I think this initiative is so important.

Zepp-LaRouche: Well, as I said in the Ten Principles, there are very concrete and practical things one has to solve, and they can only be solved if the major countries of the world work together. The first one, naturally is, to establish sovereignty again, because why is the sovereign nation-state so important? Because it’s the only form in which the individual can participate in self-government. Not in supranational institutions, where the individual has no way of participating: You can see that with the EU Commission, which is a typical example of such a monster creation of supranational institutions. The sovereignty is very important, that’s why I made it the first principle.

Secondly, you have to overcome poverty: You have to make sure people have a life as long as possible through a health system; you have to have education for everybody, because if you have no education you cannot develop your mind; you have to have a credit system which serves the common good, and not the interest of a few; and so forth and so on. So, there are these kinds of questions, of overcoming underdevelopment, a health system in every country, universal education for every child and adult—these are very concrete and practical questions.

The Higher Needs of Humanity

But I think beyond that, once we solve what Franklin D. Roosevelt called the “wants,” we can move to what some people call the “noetic wants”: these desires which have to do, not with the biological existence of man, but with his intellect, with the noösphere, as Vernadsky called it. And that is when human beings become truly human. We want to solve all diseases which presently are not solved, like cancer, like many heart and blood diseases, other forms of disease. I’m sure that we can find cures. We should move to have boundless energy, by developing thermonuclear fusion as an energy source.

We should seriously think about space science and space travel, and not make, like one of the atrocities of the last days of last year was that the head of NASA basically said there will be “space war,” that the U.S. has a Space Force, and that Russia and China have to be denied access to space. Now, that’s the opposite of what is needed! We need to have international cooperation: What do you think you want to do? You want to have one nation control 2 trillion galaxies? Expand the Robert Kagan wet-dream to the entire universe, to control 2 trillion galaxies? I mean, give me a break!

The real question is the divine nature of human beings. The late Pope Benedict XVI, the former Cardinal Ratzinger, who just passed away, wrote a lot of things about the divine nature of man, which is reflected in great Church music and great Classical music: That divine nature has destined us to be the space-faring species. We should really remind ourselves of our creative potential which is unique to us as human beings as far as we now know. We have not found another species in the universe with similar creative capabilities, so we are, as of now, the only ones. Do we want to sacrifice that by behaving like roaming pigs, and taking the trough of the other pig, because we have to control that trough? That’s not our nature!

We should be a species of poets, of scientists, of composers, of people who celebrate their creativity through their life. And I’m quite confident that that is the trend of the time. We should look at this present year, 2023, with joy and energy to implement these designs, and have a peaceful world!

Schlanger: Helga, I think that’s a good way to sum up our discussion today, the contrast between what we see from the Merkels and Hollandes, as opposed to your conception which was shaped by your long collaboration with your husband, Lyndon LaRouche, about the potential for human beings to transform the universe, for the benefit of fellow human beings into the future.

So, Helga, thanks for joining us. We will be having a series of events coming up in the next month, including Jan. 8, with Diane Sare, and then a few more events. People should check on our websites to see when they’re going to be, and to sign up for them.

Thanks for joining us, and we’ll see you again next week.

Zepp-LaRouche: I should mention one event: Next Tuesday, Jan. 10, we will have an event on the strategic matters, including with Ray McGovern and Scott Ritter, and several people from Europe as well. Absolutely tune into that if you want to have real good entertainment.

Schlanger: You’ll find the information for that on the Schiller Institute website. Helga, thanks, and see you next week.

Zepp-LaRouche: Till next week.

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