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PRESS RELEASE


Australian Delegation at Eurasian Women’s Forum in St. Petersburg Presents Zepp-LaRouche UNGA Appeal and World Land-Bridge

ST. PETERSBURG, Sept. 25, 2015 (EIRNS)—A two-day Eurasian Women’s Forum concluded today in St. Petersburg, Russia. The meeting, initiated and hosted by Chairman of the Federation Council (upper house of Russia’s Parliament) Valentina Matviyenko, was worldwide in scope, with nearly 750 delegates from 80 countries—"including the U.S.A., Western Europe, and Australia, despite the sanctions," as a Federation Council release put it. The representatives from Australia were Gabrielle Peut and Elisa Barwick, members of the Executive Committee of the Citizens Electoral Council, the LaRouche movement in Australia.

"We do not presume to replace the tribune of the United Nations," Matviyenko said in one of her conference interviews, "but this is a very serious platform, where some of the female members of the world elite have assembled." The Forum’s importance, she added, is defined by its occurring "when the world is experiencing the greatest tension in international relations since the end of the Cold War." In her keynote yesterday, Matviyenko pointed to the Islamic State as "a horrific threat to the entire world," which in turn has generated the migration crisis in Europe. IS is "fascism in a new format," said Matviyenko, and she openly attributed its growth to foreign support and "interference in the sovereign affairs of nations."

As head of the Federation Council, Valentina Matviyenko is a permanent member of the Russian Security Council. She previously worked as a diplomat and was a deputy prime minister in 1998-2003, starting in the Yevgeni Primakov government and continuing into the first years of President Vladimir Putin’s tenure. She was the governor of St. Petersburg in 2003-11.

At a press conference yesterday, after the opening plenary session, Senator Matviyenko called on Peut to ask "a question from Australia." Peut publicly presented Matviyenko with a copy of EIR’s 2014 Special Report "The New Silk Road Becomes the Land-Bridge," citing it as the work of American economist Lyndon LaRouche and Schiller Institute founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche of Germany. She thanked the leadership of Russia and China for the initiatives of the BRICS, then asked her question, which centered on Russia’s war-avoidance moves in the context identified by Zepp-LaRouche in her appeal "The UN General Assembly As a Last Chance for the World!" which warns about the danger of a nuclear world war, if the U.S.-NATO confrontation against Russia and China continues.

Matviyenko, noting that the question would require a lengthy reply, promised that these issues would be discussed throughout the remainder of the conference. She also asked Peut her own question, about why Australia had joined in imposing sanctions on Russia, since sanctions are "a vestige of the past." Peut responded that Australia’s actions, dictated by the British Crown, are opposed by many in Australia, and that the CEC had distributed 400 thousand copies of its newspaper, calling for cooperation with Russia, China, and BRICS. "That is the correct answer!" said Matviyenko. The exchange was reported in a Federation Council release and by several Russian media, as follows: "During the press conference held on the sidelines of the Eurasian Women’s Forum, an Australian journalist reported that in that country, which adopted the sanctions policy under pressure from Great Britain, there is much controversy about it, and a broad movement for lifting the sanctions." (The press conference has been posted in full on the Federation Council’s YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGfcQmxv8r4.)

The Forum’s declaration ultimately included a call to drop sanctions as a measure in international relations, replacing it with dialogue. During her press conference, Matviyenko announced that she has received a visa from Switzerland to attend the upcoming Inter-Parliamentary Union meeting there, whereas the United States had barred her from an IPU meeting in New York. On Sept. 23 Matviyenko had a bilateral meeting with the American delegation, led by retired University of Wisconsin professor Sarah Harder, who had met her at a Soviet-American peace conference in 1990. Russian media reported that Harder apologized to Matviyenko for the State Department’s denial of her visa, and quoted Harder calling it "crazy, just crazy" not to conduct dialogue at this time in history.

Gabrielle Peut’s presentation on "The New Economy and Nuclear Power," given during a Forum panel on "Women in the New Economy," was well received, especially by delegates from Africa, one of whom commented, "This is the kind of political approach we need!"

Courtesy of the Eurasian Women's Forum

Above is a group photo of the delegation leaders, with the host, Senator Valentina Matviyenko (chairman of the Federation Council) front and center and the Australian delegation at upper left.