|Russia and the CIS News Digest
Russian Science Policy To Stop 'Brain Drain'
May 29 (EIRNS)Russia will spend 600 billion rubles (US$25 billion) on scientific research in the next two years, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin announced today to the general assembly of the Russian Academy of Sciences, which is meeting in Moscow. Key areas for such state investment in science will be nano- and biotechnology, nuclear energy, and aerospace, he said.
Putin addressed the critical issue of scientific manpower, which has been Russia's most essential asset for 300 years. The "brain drain" that the government wants to reverse is due not only to emigration, but to young people going into business, rather than science. Putin announced that his government will institute incentives "for encouraging more young people to work in the sphere of science, education, and high technologies...." Other problems to be solved include low wages and inadequate housing for scientists. Over the past two years, he reported, an Academy of Sciences researcher's salary has been tripled, from 6,000 rubles monthly, to 20,000 rubles (about $870).
Young scientists need to "see the horizons of their scientific growth," and have decent living conditions, Putin said, calling for housing construction on Academy-owned land. He also raised the ever-sensitive question of making scientific research pay for itself in immediate money terms, saying: "We cannot make do without the launching of modern approaches to the organization of research, without developing competition among scientists. It is only this way that can convert investment into the growth of effectiveness of our science, into creation of the intellectual product needed both in Russia and elsewhere in the world."
Putin wants the Academy to contribute to creating a network of federal universities, which will be "world-class scientific and educational centers, and their students and teachers should have the opportunity to work at laboratories of the best institutes of the Academy."
The Academy elected 44 new Academicians yesterday, notably the economist Sergei Glazyev. Others are Khabarovsk Territory governor Viktor Ishayev, a specialist in policymaking for Russia's regions, whose name was attached to the YEAR State Council report that called for dirigist measures to rescue and mobilize the productive economy in Russia; space exploration institute director Lev Zelyony, who specializes in space plasma; Alexei Sisakyan, director of the Unified Institute of Nuclear Research in Dubna, Moscow Region; and Anatoly Torkynov, rector of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), under the Russian Foreign Ministry, a specialist in the Asian-Pacific region and northeastern Asia. Polar explorer and Duma member Artur Chilingarov, who last year led Russia's expedition to the North Pole and did a bathyscaph dive to the Arctic Ocean floor there, was elevated to Corresponding Member of the Academy.
Russia and Mongolia Move Towards Nuclear Cooperation
May 26 (EIRNS)Following the visit of Mongolian President Nambaryn Enkhbayar to Moscow May 16, Prime Minister Sanjaa Bayar is today in the east Siberian city of Chita, to carry forward talks on nuclear energy cooperation with Sergei Kiriyenko, director general of Russia's state nuclear energy corporation, Rosatom, Itar-Tass reported. Bayar told the press that "back in Soviet times, Mongolia conducted sweeping prospecting works of its uranium deposits, and now it is high time to develop these deposits with mutual profits." Chita is located in the Zabagkalsky Krai, which borders both Mongolia and China.
Kiriyenko and Bayar visited the Priargunsk Mining and Chemical Integrated Works, and went down a shaft at a uranium ore mine. Mongolia currently has six uranium fields and more than 100 uranium deposits, with explored reserves at some 62,000 tons and projected further reserves of some 1.3 million tons. It is fourth in the world in uranium reserves, after the United States, Kazakstan, and South Africa.
Recently, Kiriyenko said that Russia has reserves of some 615,000 tons, which will be enough for its nuclear plants for several years, but new prospecting must begin. The Rosatom head said that "Russia will boost investments in geological prospecting tenfold for the next two years, and will spend 1 billion rubles [about $255 million] for these operations in 2008 alone.... At present the price of one kilogram of uranium is about $100, but quite recently a kilogram of uranium cost only $40 on the world market.... This situation makes it economically profitable to produce uranium for the needs of the developing nuclear industry." Kiriyenko said that "Russia intends to produce uranium everywhere it is economically profitable for us."
The director general of the Russian company Atomredmetzoloto, Vadim Zhivov, was quoted by Itar-Tass, saying that "Mongolia certainly links real prospects for uranium production growth with the resumed cooperation with Russia in this sphere.... [A]s compared with other countries, Russia has many advantages for these mining operations in Mongolia.... Russia has a long-standing experience of cooperation with Mongolian specialists and a large-scale uranium production plant not far from the major Mongolian uranium deposits."
Desperate for Food, Tajikistan Lured into World Bank Trap
May 30 (EIRNS)Desperate for food, Tajikistan is being lured into the World Bank financial clap-trap. More than 1.5 million people, about one-fifth of the population, have a chronic lack of food, and tens of thousands go entire days without eating anything at all, according to a UN report scheduled to be issued this week.
The crisis in Tajikistan comes amidst skyrocketing food prices, famine in Africa, and the urgent aid needs of cyclone-hit Myanmar. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization on May 28 listed Tajikistan as among 22 nations that are particularly threatened by the global food crisis. In April, neighboring Kazakstan, which has a wheat surplus, announced it would suspend grain exports until September, in a bid to tamp down domestic prices. Russian wheat exports also have dropped off significantly this year, raising the specter of famine in Tajikistan.
Meanwhile, like the "honorable" subprime mortgage lenders, the World Bank has announced that financing for Tajikistan, Togo, and Yemen to buy food from the world market would be considered by the Bank board in June. The Bank has not yet specified the pound of flesh that it would like to extract from these nations in return.
Tajik Social and Ecological Union executive director Sonya Kurbanova has endorsed Helga Zepp-LaRouche's call for emergency action to double world food production and convene a conference on a New Bretton Woods system.
Russian Publication Features LaRouche on the '68ers
May 26 (EIRNS)The online version of a prominent Moscow magazine, Russky Zhurnal (Russian Journal), today published Nikita Kurkin's interview with Lyndon LaRouche on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the May 1968 student strikes in Paris, which touched off a sequence of destabilizations of European nations, in parallel with similar events in the U.S.A. In his replies, which Russky Zhurnal includes in full, LaRouche identified the pathology of the now-ruling Baby-Boomer generation, as rooted in the post-war period when President Franklin Roosevelt's commitment to freeing the world from Anglo-Dutch oligarchism was overturned by Harry Truman and other tools of the British Empire.
Under the headline, "'68 Was a Show, Orchestrated by Intelligence Services," Russky Zhurnal introduces LaRouche's remarks with an editorial note: "Lyndon LaRouche is one of the most colorful and original public figures in America today. You will be able to see this for yourself, when you read his answers to questions from the editors of Russky Zhurnal about the Paris events of 1968, and their sociocultural and political consequences."
Included in the interview were these historical observations by LaRouche:
"Until the day President Franklin Roosevelt died, U.S. policy for the post-war world was to eliminate all forms of colonialism, especially the Anglo-Dutch Liberal forms, through aid of both U.S.A. physical-economic power, and the conversion of the great economic capabilities developed for the war against Nazism, into economic power for development of the nations to emerge from their liberation from sundry forms of imperial subjugation. We knew, as Franklin Roosevelt knew precisely, that Mussolini and Hitler were creations of London, and that London was the chief enemy of the U.S.A. and civilization generally.
"However, already, in the Summer of 1944, a sharp right-wing turn had erupted in the U.S.A. and Fabian Society circles in London.... Thus, first, whereas FDR had been anti-colonialist, Truman defended British and Dutch colonialism, although sometimes in altered forms. The plan for a 'preventive nuclear attack' on the Soviet Union, which was authored openly by Bertrand Russell, and the launching of cultural warfare in such forms as existentialist conspiracies and the Congress for Cultural Freedom (CCF), were typical....
"The development of the so-called 'New Left' generations in the Americas and Europe, were not 'spontaneous' social eruptions, but were orchestrated developments, always under the fine-tuning control of relevant security organizations. The leading political forces in both leading U.S. political parties are of the 'Baby Boomer/1968er' characteristics typified by the British Fabians and the model of former U.S. Vice-President Al Gore. They are radical Malthusians, whose role has been the destruction of the economy and sanity of the population of the most politically and culturally influential stratum of the U.S.A., from the relevant section of the children of the 'white collar' class born between 1945 and the depths of the U.S. deep economic recession of 1957-58. The lower eighty percentile of family income-brackets in the U.S.A. are reduced to choosing among both physical and mental items presented for consumption by the presumptive 'ruling class,' composed largely of hard-core 'sixty-eighters' in positions of either power or great influence.
"If one does not understand the nature and significance of today's '68er' phenomenon, no competent grasp of current world history is possible today."