|Russia and the CIS News Digest
Putin: New Policy, Not Bailout!
Sept. 22 (EIRNS)Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin called for a new international financial architecture rather than bailouts, in a press conference in Sochi, the Russian Summer capital, on Sept. 20. Putin had been holding discussions with French Prime Minister François Fillon there, Itar Tass reported.
"We all need to think about changing the architecture of international finances and diversifying risks. The whole world economy cannot depend on one money-printing machine, Putin told the final press conference. "This is a very serious issue that should be addressed in a calm, attentive and working manner, without haste, together with our colleagues from Europe and America," Putin said. "This issue should be considered not in a confrontational way, but very benevolently, in order to find the most acceptable ways for the development of the world economy and world finances."
Rice Wins Clown-of-the-Week Prize for Speech Chiding Russia
Sept. 19 (EIRNS)Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice gave a speech on Russia yesterday at a German Marshall Fund event in Washington, for which she deserves the award for clown of the week. She read the riot act to the Russians, saying that they had better not try to isolate themselves from the international community. Their fate is in their hands. She held forth with a description of the "success" of U.S. policy in Latin America, China, Central Asia and elsewhere, adding that Russia should engage with the rest of the world, where there is so much prosperity!
One day later, however, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates warned against those who are pushing confrontation with Moscow. Speaking in England after a NATO conference, Gates said that "Russia's current actions ... do not represent the existential and global threat that the Soviet Union represented," and that their military "remains a shadow" of the Soviet armed forces. He said that "Russia's policies are born of a grievance-based desire" to deal with the nations on their border which were once in the Soviet Union, rather than "an ideology-based effort to dominate the globe." Gates said we avoided confrontation with the Soviet Union, and should not change that policy now.
NATO Council in Anti-Russian Provocations
Sept. 15 (EIRNS)The NATO Council of ambassadors of the 26 member-states began a two-day meeting of solidarity with Georgia in Tbilisi today, although Georgia is not a member, and openly defying protests by Moscow against this premeditated demonstration of anti-Russian views. In yet another provocation, NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer told the Financial Times that the de-escalation deal on Georgia worked out between French President Nicolas Sarkozy, in his capacity as rotating president of the EU, and Russia, is "not acceptable," because of the Russians are being allowed to "maintain their troops on South Ossetian and Abkhazian territory."
While Sarkozy and the EU have said that they will be willing to restart EU-Russia partnership negotiations following Russia's withdrawal from Georgia, Scheffer declared that "NATO would stand by its decision to suspend regular meeting of ambassadors from NATO and Russia as long as Russian troops remained in the two breakaway regions."
If British asset and Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili had hopes that he would be officially invited to join NATO at this meeting, however, it did not happen. While he and Scheffer did sign a Framework Document for a NATO-Georgia Commission, Scheffer did not commit to offering him a Membership Action Plan (MAP) at the summit in December. NATO itself has not issued an official communique, and Scheffer simply urged "patience" for Georgia.
Russia Against Further Iran Sanctions
Sept. 20 (EIRNS)The Russian Foreign Ministry made clear today that Russia is against any further sanctions against Iran, after a meeting of the P5+1 (the Permanent Five members of the UN Security Council, plus Germany) group in Washington on Sept. 19. "On the Russian side, we underlined the necessity of continuing efforts to include Tehran in a constructive dialogue aimed at launching a process of talks," the ministry said in a statement. "In this context, we spoke against the development of extra measures by the UN Security Council." According to wire reports, the U.S., Britain, France, and Germany are pushing for harsher sanctions against Iran for its insistence on developing its uranium enrichment capability.
Ukrainian 'Orange' Government Collapses
Sept. 16 (EIRNS)The Speaker of the Ukrainian Supreme Rada (parliament) today announced that the ruling coalition was dissolving. The move was not unexpected, as the rift in the coalition had deepened for several weeks. President Victor Yushchenko ordered his party to leave the coalition, when his coalition partner, the bloc led by Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, working together with the opposition Party of the Regions, sought to pass legislation to limit the powers of the President.
An underlying problem is the differences between the two parties with regard to Russia. Yushchenko has clearly associated himself with George Soros's agent and Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, in condemning the Russian action in South Ossetia, and in pushing hard for NATO membership. Tymoshenko, however, does not intend to go that route. She stopped a measure supported by Yushchenko that would have condemned the Russian "aggression," and she has resisted the President's attempt to impose restrictions on the Russian Black Sea Fleet, moored at its base in Crimea, which Russia leases from Ukraine.
The parties have 30 days in which they must pull together some workable coalition, or else there will be new elections. During the interim, Tymoshenko is still the prime minister, and has said she will continue conducting the work of the government.