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This article appears in the June 1, 2007 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

Two Very Different Meetings:
EU-Russia Summit in Samara;
LaRouche Mission to Moscow

by Helga Zepp-LaRouche

May 20, 2007

The appointment in Samara ended with an open conflict between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russia's President Putin. Already in the preceding days and weeks, the dissonances around such strategic problems as Kosovo, Iraq, Iran, and the proposed U.S. anti-missile systems in Eastern Europe, were so serious that both sides were ready to call it as a success, if the summit took place at all. It did take place, but it was certainly no success. Yet it revealed how little Mrs. Merkel understands how to use Germany's six-month presidency of the European Union for a real politics of peace. This development is in no way astonishing. It is only the logical consequence of the policy which the EU has pursued since latest 2004, and in a broader sense, since 1989.

While former Chancellor Schroeder knew how to counterbalance the expansion policy of the EU, seen as hostile to Russia, through his friendship with Putin, Chancellor Merkel has gambled away this valuable relationship, and carps against Russian actions against demonstrators. A bit hastily, as it came to pass. It turned out that Russian dissident Gary Kasparov could very well have gone to Samara without interference, but he preferred to give a press conference against Putin instead. And Putin said the obvious: What about the West European police roundups against anti-Group of Eight demonstrators?

Poorly done, Mrs. Merkel,— whether this behavior was the result of a total lack of diplomatic intuition, or the result of the new Sarkozy-Brown-Merkel constellation in the EU. For she must have known that Russia has long equated the policies of NATO and the EU as a policy of encirclement and destabilization of Russia. And what is slandered in Western media as Putin's dictatorial policy, is perceived in Russia as a patriotic effort to reverse the selling-off of Russia to robber-capitalism during the Yeltsin period, and the degradation of Russia to a raw-materials supplier. If only Mrs. Merkel showed similar spine against the selling-off of Germany to the locust-funds.

This EU-Russia summit unfortunately confirmed that nothing positive is to be expected from Europe at this time, and in any case, no sort of initiative which might address the existential problems of humanity in any way.

In complete contrast was a series of events and meetings in which my husband, Lyndon LaRouche, and I participated in Moscow over the past days [see article]. Their center was the double festivities on the occasion of the eightieth birthday of Professor Stanislav Menshikov, member of the Academy of Sciences, top expert on the U.S., author of many books, and, most important, an original thinker gifted with incorruptible humor and love of truth. For Menshikov, who wrote and published one of his books with Roosevelt advisor John Kenneth Galbraith, and many of his birthday guests, represented a completely different axiomatic basis for the relations between Russia and the West.

Professor Menshikov laid down the leitmotiv himself in his opening address to the birthday ceremony: What the world will look like at the time of his 100th birthday in 2027. It is foreseeable that China, the U.S., Russia, India and Japan will be the strongest economic powers, and it is obvious that they must find means of collaboration. Menshikov thereby took up the main message stressed by Lyndon LaRouche in many speeches and conversations in Moscow: That the relation between the U.S. and Russia, but also with China and India, must be pursued on the basis of Franklin Roosevelt's policy: the final ending of colonialism, and the cooperation of sovereign states for the common aims of mankind.

Because many of the participating members of the Academy of Sciences were living witnesses of the Russian-American collaboration at Roosevelt's time, the projection of this policy into the future was easy for them to conceive. And so many conversations turned about the Bering Strait part of the Eurasian Land-Bridge as a conscious policy of war-avoidance. The urgency of finding an alternative to the worsening atmosphere of strategic discussion, was very conscious in many discussions.

The toasts made at the birthday banquet showed that the perspective of an optimistic vision of the future can establish in action, the plane on which the contradictories can be overcome in the sense of Nicholas of Cusa. The idea that at the time of Professor Menshikov's 100th birthday, the transport corrridor between Alaska and Siberia over the Bering Strait will already be extensively developed, found spirited agreement.

Maybe it was coincidence, that the location of the EU-Russia summit was the Russian city of Samara. In any case, the name brings to mind the famous story "Appointment in Samarra," ascribed to a Sufi sage of the Ninth Century. It tells of a servant, who, meeting Death in the marketplace of Baghdad, flees to distant Samarra to escape it. But Death, in answer to the question of why he was astonished to see the servant in Baghdad, answered that he had an appointment with him that night in Samarra.

In an extended sense, the unhappy appointment in Samara should remind the people of the EU countries that, if man cannot escape his destiny, he can nevertheless influence and change the course of history. For the European countries, this means that we must cease to imitate the imperialist policy of NATO through the EU. Instead we must support a new world order in the tradition of Roosevelt, and affiliate ourselves to a relation between the U.S. and Russia on this basis. We don't need a policy of baby-steps; we need a vision of how we can shape the 21st Century. And that lies in the construction of the Eurasian Land-Bridge.