|Russia and the CIS News Digest
Neo-cons Called "New-Bolsheviks" in Russia
Writers in Russia have begun to point up "neo-Bolshevik" qualities in current U.S. policies. Columnist Igor Torbakov, in an overview published by Eurasianet.org on Sept. 28, cited recent articles by political scientist Boris Mezhuyev and by a former adviser to Mikhail Gorbachov named Alexander Tsipko (both of whom Torbakov oddly dubbed "arch-conservatives"). "The leader of the biggest world power has actually turned himself into a champion of world revolution," wrote Mezhuyev about George W. Bush, in an APN.ru commentary. Tsipko titled a recent article, "The Colored Revolutions, or the Revival of Bolshevism." He compared Bush with Lenin, with respect to "exporting revolution."
None of the commentaries cited by Torbakov touched on how today's "right-Synarchist" doctrines of permanent war, espoused by the neo-cons, are rooted in the "left-Synarchist" campaigns by Leon Trotsky and Alexander Helphand Parvus for "permanent revolution," 100 years ago. EIR of Sept. 23 (EIR Online #38, Sept. 20) presented that historical continuity in depth.
Central Asia Cooperation Organization Meets in St. Petersburg
Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomed leaders from Central Asian countries to St. Petersburg on Oct. 6, for a two-day meeting of the Central Asia Cooperation Organization (CACO). Putin travelled to St. Petersburg from Moscow with Tajikistan's President Emomali Rakhmonov. Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev was already in the northern Russian city. Uzbekistan's President Islam Karimov and Kyrgyzstan's President Kurmanbek Bakiyev also attended. CACO has been working, under various names, since 1998. Its recent sessions have focussed on cooperation in the areas of water and energy, food supplies and transport, as well as common anti-crime and anti-terrorism policies. Rakhmonov told the meeting that he and Putin, together with President Alexander Lukashenka of Belarus, were working to merge CACO with another post-Soviet association, the Eurasian Economic Community (YevrazES).
Spate of Russian Economic Deals in Central Asia
NTV television reported during the CACO summit (see above), that Russia was going to step up investment in the aluminum industry in Tajikistan, and to modernize one of that country's hydroelectric plants, even as the United States tries to court Tajikistan as a replacement military staging groundUzbekistan having kicked U.S. forces out of the base they were using there.
Other recent economic negotiations likewise reflect a concerted intensification of Russian activity in Central Asia.
* On Sept. 26, CEO Alexei Miller of the giant Russian company Gazprom signed agreements with officials in Uzbekistan, regarding the disposition of natural gas produced in there, as well as Turkmenistan's natural gas, which is transported across Uzbekistan. Gazprom is to invest $1.4 billion in Uzbekistan's gas pipeline system and development of two new gas fields, the latter on a production-sharing basis. According to Kommersant-Ukraine, Gazprom has now "spoken for" all the natural gas to be exported from Uzbekistan for the next five years, thus putting a crimp in Ukrainian hopes to arrange direct purchases of gas from Turkmenistan. Gazprom intends to triple gas prices for Ukraine on Jan. 1, 2006.
* The Eurasian Development Bank, created by agreement between Presidents Putin and Nazarbayev (of Kazakhstan), is going operational with initial capital of $1.5 billion. Two-thirds of that initial investment will come from Russia's state budget. According to Vedomosti, the bank is headquartered in St. Petersburg and Almaty and will invest in joint economic projects.
* Russia's largest oil company, LUKoil, will buy Nelson Resources Ltd., a Bermuda-registered Canadian company, operating in Kazakhstan. Vedomosti reports that financing will come from J.P. Morgan bank. Nelson Resources owns half of two Kazakhstan oil fields and has a joint venture with the Chinese National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) for Caspian Sea oil development.
Putin Visits Brussels, London; Then Hosts Schroeder at Home
The Oct. 3-4 visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin to Brussels, and then to London for bilateral talks with Prime Minister Tony Blair and an EU-Russia summit meeting, produced no dramatic headlines. The EU-Russia agenda covered four cooperation "road map" areas, agreed upon last spring, with slight progress being reported in reaching an acceptable visa regime. At a London press conference, Putin continued his recent emphasis on Russia as an energy supplier for Europe, including through the projected Baltic Sea gas pipeline, which is chiefly a Russian-German project.
On Oct. 7, back in his home city of St. Petersburg, Putin hosted German Chancellor Schroeder for a two-day visit. The agenda was to include, besides Putin's 53rd birthday celebration, international crisis hot spots (Iran, Palestine, Iraq, etc.), energy (oil, gas pipeline projects) and aerospace cooperation issues (bilateral, EU-Russia), and increased German industrial investments in Russia.
Storm in Moscow Over Adamov Extradition Order
Swiss authorities on Oct. 3 agreed to extradite former Russian Atomic Energy Minister (1998-2001) Yevgeni Adamov to the United States, as opposed to Russia. Adamov was detained last May on a warrant from the U.S. Department of Justice, which seeks to put him on trial for embezzlement of funds from the U.S.-backed program to provide security for nuclear fuels and processes in post-Soviet Russia. Russian authorities, who have sought to have Adamov sent home instead of to the USA, on grounds that he knows state secrets, immediately charged that the Swiss decision was politically motivated.
Several leading members of the State Duma denounced the move as part of a plot to extract state secrets from Adamov. RFE/RL Newsline analyst Robert Coalson reported Oct. 5 that some Russian sources have gone further, warning that Adamovlike former Ukrainian Prime Minister Pavlo Lazarenko, who was arrested and convicted in the United States for financial crimescould be used as a tool for implicating other Russian officials in corruption, thus destabilizing the regime. Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said Oct. 4 that Adamov no longer possessed classified information, but his former ministry, Rosatom, indicated that what he knows will be classified for at least six more years. On Oct. 5, Russian press reported Justice Minister Yuri Chaika's announcement that Russia will continue to fight Adamov's extradition to the United States.