|Russia and the CIS News Digest
Medvedev Continues Emphasis on Technology, Infrastructure
Nov. 12 (EIRNS)Russian President Dmitri Medvedev delivered his second annual State of the Federation message today, striking some of the same themes that are at the center of Russia's new quality of collaboration with China. They also suggest the prospects of Russia playing a pivotal role in what Lyndon LaRouche has identified as the Four-Power alliance to defeat the power of the London-centered global financial oligarchy. LaRouche commented that the address was in accord with the agreement between Russia and China, which he sees as a solution to the problems facing Russia.
Medvedev focused on the need for the Russian economy to be based on technological and scientific innovation, rather than raw material extraction for export. He recalled French scientist Louis Pasteur, who said that "Science must be the most elevated incarnation of the Fatherland, as, of all peoples, the one who will be the first is the one that will overtake the others in the field of thought and mental activity. We should make sure that scientific specialists are willing to work in their own country."
Medvedev elaborated: "The nation's prestige and national prosperity cannot be upheld forever by the achievements of the past. Oil and gas production, which provide a large share of the budget revenues; nuclear weapons that guarantee our security, industrial and communal infrastructurethis was all to a large degree, created by Soviet specialists. In other words, we didn't create them. The time has come for us, the current generation of Russians, to make its voice heard; to raise Russia to a higher level of civilization. The well-being of Russia in the near future will depend on whether it will be successful in developing ideas, knowledge and science; finding and supporting people, who are creative; and bringing up very young people to be intellectually free and active....
"We gave preference to further developing our old economy based on raw materials, and few and non-systematic measures were taken to promote our innovative technologies. We can't put this off any longer. We have to begin modernization of the whole industrial base. I think this is the matter of surviving of our country in the modern world."
"It is high time for today's generations of the Russian people to express themselves and raise Russia to a new and higher level in developing civilization," the President added.
The President devoted a section of his message to Russia's expanded role in state-of-the-art nuclear power, including a new generation of nuclear plants, and fuels, and collaboration with other nations on thermonuclear fusion research.
Vitrenko Mobilizes in Ukraine to Put 'LaRouche Plan' on World Agenda
Nov. 12 (EIRNS)Yesterday Ukraine's Central Electoral Commission completed preliminary certification of 18 candidates for the country's Jan. 17 Presidential election (which may or may not be held, in view of the current emergency around high flu death rates). One is a businessman who changed his surname to "Protyvsikh" (Mr. "Against All") while two others are purely media creations. Each of them made the over $300,000 deposit, demanded by the CEC for a candidate to run.
Natalia Vitrenko, leader of the Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine, was not certified. Vitrenko offered a payment of 1964 hryvnias, or about $250, which was rejected, and denounced the extortionist payment requirement as unconstitutional. Enumerating the violated articles of the Constitution, Vitrenko charged that "for the current Ukrainian authorities, the Constitution of Ukraine is a piece of toilet paper."
The same day as these events, Vitrenko launched a new campaign, counterposing Lyndon LaRouche's economic policies to those of the International Monetary Fund. Her website published a headline: "Save the World from Onrushing CatastropheInternational Signature Campaign: The LaRouche Plan To Save the World Economy Must Be Placed on the Agenda." Under the headline is the full text of Helga Zepp-LaRouche's appeal, issued Nov. 3 by the Schiller Institute. Vitrenko's Nov. 11 statement, accompanying publication of the appeal and addressed to all regional organizations and members of her party, reads:
"I ask you to be very active in gathering signatures to support the appeal to Stop a World Catastrophe.
"The liberal economic model, imposed by the IMF on the whole world, not only has led the world economy into crisis and is bringing on a global catastrophe. Neither the wealthy countries of the notorious G7, nor the G20, have developed effective measures to take the world economy and national economies out of the crisis. They are hiding from the essence of the problem in a cowardly fashion and are incapable of showing the political will to save humanity.
"We are obliged to demand, putting forward a specific plan of action, that they do so. On all the continents of our planet, people are beginning to gather signatures under this document.
"I hope that citizens of Ukraine will be especially active in this, understanding the civilizational tragedy which the reform policies, conducted in Ukraine according to IMF prescriptions for these 18 years, have brought to our country. Today's Presidential campaign is a rat race of greedy and ill-prepared candidates. Today, it is more effective to fight to save the country through the mass collection of signatures in support of this appeal.
"I wish you success in this matter of importance for civilization."
Moscow: India Should Be 'Proactive' in Building Up Russia's Economy
Nov. 15 (EIRNS)During a four-day visit to India, Russia's Deputy Prime Minister and co-chairman of the Inter-Governmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation (IRIGC), Sergei Sobyanin, told the Press Trust of India that "India's technological feat has opened up new avenues of cooperation with Russia, which is now poised for radical modernization." Sobyanin also pointed out that with China and the West seeking access to Russia's immense mineral and natural resources in its eastern part, Moscow wants "Indians to be proactive in capacity-building." This would include investing in various economic sectors where India is traditionally strong and which could help produce goods in Russia that would fulfill India's import requirements.
Sobyanin met with Minister of External Affairs S.M. Krishna to discuss a wide range of topics, including nuclear deals, bilateral trade, and terrorism. This is a prelude to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Russia, scheduled for early next month. Singh will be in Washington meeting President Obama in the last week of November.
In mid-October, India's state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) indicated that it is considering the purchase of oil and gas fields in the Tomsk region of western Siberia. The ONGC is currently taking part in Sakhalin-I, an oil and gas project off the coast of Russia's Pacific island of the same name.
It is evident that the enhancement of the Russia-China collaboration in developing mineral resources in Siberia, and infrastructure projects, as exhibited during Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's recent visit to Beijing, has also triggered the call for closer and broader Russia-India relations.
Tajik Government Disappointed at Moscow's Response
Nov. 14 (EIRNS)Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon's visit to Moscow and his meeting with Russian President Dmitri Medvedev left the Tajik government deeply disappointed. This is the first meeting between the two heads of state. Tajikistan is in deep financial crisis, and one of President Rakhmon's main objectives was to get a contract securing $300 million per year for the continued presence of Russian troops at the 201st military base in Tajikistan. Russian authorities, however, made immediate reference to the bilateral agreement of 2004, where it was stipulated that the Russian base would be deployed in Tajikistan without fees until 2014.
Prior to his visit to Moscow, President Rakhmon had assured his people that he would complete the massive 3,600 MW Rogun hydroelectric power station, suggesting that construction of the power plant was "not only a matter of survival, but also one of ensuring the country's energy independence." Addressing a gathering at the power plant's construction site, the Tajik leader said that nearly $150 million was earmarked for the Rogun project in the country's 2010 state budget. During his meeting with President Medvedev, Russian investment into Rogun hydropower project was requested, but Medvedev did not show any interest. Media reports of the talks between the two Presidents suggest that relations between Russia and Tajikistan have never been as cold as they are now.