Global Realignment Underway, Opens Possibility to Break Forever from Geopolitical GamesBy Helga Zepp-LaRouche and Harley Schlanger
HARLEY SCHLANGER: Hello I’m Harley Schlanger with our weekly dialogue with Helga Zepp-LaRouche, founder and Chairwoman of the Schiller Institute. Today is April 2, 2022, and we’re in the midst of extremely fast-moving events on both the broad strategic front, and including on the economic front with some very significant moves toward realignment. And we’ll take up all of these topics. I think what we should start with is this disgusting performance of the European Union at the European Union-China summit. You were interviewed by CGTN to discuss some of the background to this, but Helga, what’s the EU trying to do with China?
HELGA ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Well, it’s good that the dialogue took place, because if there’s anybody that can get reason into the EU it’s probably China, because I think contrary to the performance and show and so forth, the European Union is in no position to really cut relations with China, unless they want to completely accelerate the economic demise of all of Europe. So they wanted arrogantly to only make the Ukraine issue the main topic on the agenda; naturally, China was not interested to discuss only that. But I think, the effort to get China into a mediation role is actually not a bad idea at all, however, not exactly the way the EU was thinking about it, maybe by trying to cut the relationship between Russia and China, which I think is a futile effort.
What I said in the interview with CGTN is something different: Namely that there is one conception which Chinese President Xi Jinping has promoted, which is absolutely suitable to play such a mediation role, and that is the idea of a shared community of the one future of humanity, which is a concept which has been articulated by Xi Jinping many times; and it is the idea that we are one humanity, that we have one future, and either we settle our accounts in a peaceful way or we don’t exist. And this is in times of acute war danger, even World War III danger, a very important concept. Because obviously either you use Ukraine as a tool, as an instrument to weaken Russia: This has been promoted by Brzezinski for a long time who said, “With Ukraine, Russia is superpower, but without Ukraine, it’s just a mediocre regional power.” And obviously, either you use Ukraine, and right now it’s being used not by Russia, but by NATO, keeping up the sanctions and pushing Russia against the wall.
So that the idea that we must find as quickly as possible a way out of this, and therefore, to have an international security architecture, which would include every single nation on the planet, is the subject of our upcoming conference on April 9, and that fits exactly with the idea of the shared community of the one mankind: Namely, that if we would say that we have an international security architecture which includes every country, including Russia and China, then you would have to have an economic policy which would be the underpinning of that by Europe and the United States joining with the Belt and Road Initiative, which makes a lot of sense because we have a lot of very pressing issues—world famine, the pandemic is not over, new pandemics looming, poverty increasing.
So it would make absolute sense that we stop this geopolitical game, and that we integrate the Eurasian continent economically, that we develop together Latin America and Africa, and really devote our efforts to the common aims of mankind. Now, in that case, Ukraine would not be an instrument of geopolitical contention, but it would be the bridge between Europe and the rest of the Eurasian continent. And I think that is the conception which we absolutely promote.
SCHLANGER: And that is exactly what fits in with the whole idea of the extension of the Silk Road which became the China policy in 2013.
But just to go back on one point you were discussing, the effect of the sanctions policy, which was supposed to bring Russia to its knees, it’s actually creating a backlash against the dollar system. And you have a number of examples of this: For example, Lavrov in India, talking about the ruble-rupee relationship. What can you say about that?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: As you say, and there are some people noting the fact that the aggressive push for sanctions, and of stealing assets, of Afghanistan, now, of Russia. That by the way, nobody mentions any more, that the United States and the Europeans have basically confiscated more than $300 billion worth of Russia’s foreign assets, and naturally, every country in the world now has to consider that if you have your assets in dollars and euros, they’re not safe. So there is a massive push toward building a new financial system, rupee, ruble, renminbi and other national currencies are used for trade among countries. And clearly, this is very quickly in the direction of setting up a new financial system. Naturally, nobody can want that either, because if you have a total decoupling of the dollar-eurozone from the other countries, well that would be very much to the detriment of the West, because the Western values are unfortunately a lot in monetarist values, while Russia, China, and the countries that work with the BRI are much more focussed on physical values and physical investments; so while it would be painful for everybody, I think the West would suffer by far the most.
SCHLANGER: Now, among the other aspects of this, you have the question that came up, of Putin’s insistence that now gas and oil be paid for in rubles, rather than any other currency. The original deadline was yesterday. It looks as though there’s a slight extension, but where do you think this is going? The European Union so far has refused to do it; this will have extraordinary consequences on German industry as we’ve heard from BASF and Siemens. Why is Europe being so stubborn on this?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Because frankly, I think they have lost touch with reality. I think they’re sitting in their bubble, I think they’re full of themselves, they’re arrogant, they think they are better. They think their “rules-based order” is superior to the values of other cultures, which is being perceived by many other cultures in the world as absolute arrogance of a Euro-centric world outlook, and it’s not in touch with reality!
I mean, what Putin has set up is that Gazprombank, that people can still go to that bank, pay with their Western currencies, exchange for rubles, and then pay for the gas in rubles. Now, the EU is even refusing that, at least so far, they say they will—and even Robert Habeck, who’s a Green Economic Minister in Germany—which is an exclusive combination; I mean, one excluding the other, but unfortunately, it’s not—even he has warned that Germany cannot totally separate from importing Russian gas.
But there is an absolute mania among some people who insist that Germany should cut its dependence from Russian gas—naturally the U.S. and the British are putting maximum pressure on Germany and Europe to this effect—but as you say, there are people who are alarmed about what this would do!
I mean we are already in a terrible crisis! On top of the pandemic which had severe impacts, if you now have this kind of sanctions, cutting off gas imports because of the sanctions, the gas prices, energy prices, food prices, everything is already going through the roof, so the CEO of BASF Martin Brudermüller said that we are looking at the total collapse of the German economy, that especially the small and medium-size firms, many of them would not make it; similar warnings are coming from Siemens Energy, and I think that we are really looking at the danger of a collapse of Europe, if these policies are not being reversed. Already now, since 2000, the part of the EU in the global GDP has collapsed from 26% to only 18%, and if these policies are being pursued, we could see a real collapse into social chaos, into an absolute poverty, social unrest, and it’s just an insane policy. So we are trying to counter that because it’s so much against the German interest and against the European interest, especially because it comes in a situation where due to the sanctions, already now the people who are in danger of starvation this year, with the pandemic, it rose to 200 million and as a Chinese economist from the Chongyang Institute of Financial Research just noted, with the sanctions, it’s now going up to 1 billion people who are faced with starvation this year!
And then you have the Green lobby pushing no food increase, no increase in the food production, like the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), they say, no, we should not increase the food production; we should stop feeding grain to animals, we should not produce meat any more. I mean, this is a Green Malthusian policy which should be firmly rejected and the economist from Russia, who is now the Minister for Integration and Macroeconomics of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) Sergei Glazyev noted a few days ago, that the world could easily produce food for 20 billion people, which is more than double the number of people we have now. And I think that is exactly the right way to go—we have to double food production, because why should anybody starve to death if we could easily remedy it?
So I think this hypocrisy must stop, accusing Russia, China and everybody else, of human rights violations, when the very economic policies pushed by these institutes really mean mass death and mass famine!
SCHLANGER: One note on that is the situation in the United Kingdom: Inflation on food prices there is up higher than the rest of Europe. Butter costs are going up 30% next week; it’s going to cost an extra €850/year/family—that’s the initial estimate—and the British are taking the lead against paying for gas in rubles, they’ve already sanctioned Gazprombank, I think they’re the only country so far that’s done that. And Dmitry Peskov, the spokesman for Putin said yesterday that the British are the lead of the anti-Russian policy.
Now, on the overall move toward regime change, there are interesting developments in the last days in Pakistan with the operation against Prime Minister Imran Khan; also in India. But let’s start with Pakistan, Helga. What’s the latest there?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Yes, that’s quite amazing, and I have not read anything in the German media about it, but it is quite a scandal. Imran Khan has sent a demarche to the U.S. Embassy about the fact that one Pakistani ambassador in another country (I don’t know which one) was told officially in a formal meeting by representatives of the United States, that they should get rid of Imran Khan, or else Pakistan would suffer horrific consequences. Now, this is quite incredible! Quite blatant. And Imran Khan reminded people that this is not the first time that unfriendly countries, and it’s now clear which one it is, have gotten rid of a Pakistani prime minister, referring to Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, and also some other leaders where the demise of the President or prime minister was very dubious.
So this is incredible! What did Pakistan do? All they did was they refused to take sides in the Ukraine crisis; they said they don’t want to be put into a geopolitical confrontation, and even offered to mediate between the United States and China. So I think this is quite something, and Imran Khan said these people are corrupt, they’re paid from abroad, so I don’t think we have seen the end of it. There is a vote of no-confidence this weekend, and we should be very alert as to what comes out of this.
SCHLANGER: As for the threats against India, Daleep Singh, who is one of these State Department officials in charge of the sanctions against Russia, was in India at the same time that Lavrov was meeting with the Indians. And he said in a “friendly discussion,” he told them, they must not help Russia in any way, or face consequences.
Now, you mentioned earlier to me that there was a meeting in Berlin of discussing regime change in Russia. Of course we have Biden’s comments last weekend, that Putin must go. What was this Berlin meeting about?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Well, unfortunately, this is being promoted by Deutschlandfunk [radio/TV]; apparently it was cosponsored by the “Center for Liberal Modernity” or whatever it’s called. It’s basically a followup think tank of the Green think tank, the Böll Stiftung. They had a meeting with quite a number of Bundestag MPs, Michael Roth from the SPD; Roderich Kiesewetter (CDU/CSU); and Marie-Agnes Zimmermann (FDP)—and basically it was an open advertisement for regime change against Putin, by instigating and discussing how the business establishment of Russia should be encouraged to break with Putin. It’s really incredible! These are institutions, at least the Munich Security Conference and Deutschlandfunk, they’re pretty much close to the government, or official, and for them to engage in this is just increasing the very bad, already-nonexistent relation between Russia and Germany, and it’s part of building an atmosphere towards war! And if these people don’t understand that, they’re not in the real world.
SCHLANGER: And the fact that this was not widely reported was interesting, because the Pope made a statement the other day which was a fairly strong statement against the continued buildup in arms, and that was blacked out, wasn’t it?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Yes, this is incredible: The Pope, in a contradiction to what had come out of the Vatican earlier which basically toed the line on the official narrative on Ukraine, the Pope made a very dramatic statement blasting the decision to increase spending on weapons to 2% of the GDP, saying that investment in weapons and sanctions, is absolutely not leading to peace. And he said, what it does, “it blackens the soul, the hearts and all of humanity, and it is crazy.” He called it “crazy.” Now, there was only a mention in a few tiny notes here and there. But if you think, the Pope is after all, the spiritual head of the Catholic Church, which is 1.2 billion people, and there was no mention of, that shows you about freedom of the press: if you have any opinion which doesn’t go in the direction of the war policy, you get blacked out, even if you’re the Pope. And I think all Catholics of the world should really make it an effort to find these words of the Pope, and take them to heart, if they don’t want to their heart to “blacken,” as the Pope says.
SCHLANGER: Helga, you already mentioned the increase in hunger that’s coming from the effects of the sanctions, the likelihood that there will be smaller harvests in Ukraine, the shipping is blocked up. Now, in this context, the situation in Afghanistan has still not been resolved. There’s, in general, the Western countries are doing nothing, little if anything to alleviate the humanitarian crisis there. But there was a conference, I believe in Tunxi, Anhui, which included a very significant pledge from China, also working with the Organization if Islamic Cooperation (OIC): What came out of that conference?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: This conference was in Anhui, a beautiful province of China, and it was with the neighboring countries of Afghanistan. Lavrov was there, and met with Wang Yi, but also they had a two day conference on March 30-31, discussing setting up humanitarian aid, and especially economic buildup of Afghanistan. So this is very important, and I think there was a big delegation of the Taliban, the acting Deputy Prime Minister Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, and acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi. They praised the Afghanistan-Chinese relations and I think that is the only real serious effort—and the Taliban also said that China is the only country which is approaching the crisis with a serious economic policy. So this is very good.
Before that, you had in Islamabad, a conference of the OIC on Afghanistan, and the OIC is stressing that their relationship to China is improving a lot and that they want to work together to tackle all kinds of problems.
So as you can see, you have a complete realignment, and this is what neither the United States nor the Europeans really realize, that their policies are pushing the rest of the world to realign, to act together for development because they don’t want to have this war policy; so you have right now a realignment of Russia, China, and India—this was basically not intended because, because they wanted to pull India into the “Quad,” into the Indo-Pacific global NATO; India wants to stay neutral, and work with Russia and China. This is a big breakthrough which occurred. And naturally you have the development of a new system! It’s not yet done, and it will take some steps, but based on the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the BRICS, the RIC countries will have another summit this year of Russia, India, China; and the Global South in general is orienting towards that combination which offers infrastructure investment and economic development.
And I can only say, the Europeans and the United States should really rethink: Is there not somebody who understands that if you go for a confrontation to try to suppress the rise of China, which is not possible; it’s 1.4 billion people! plus now, the relationship between China and India, which has another 1.4 billion people, now, that is the majority of mankind right now going in another direction. And the United States and Europe would do so much better if they would say, “We just stop the geopolitical confrontation and we cooperate, because we have so many problems to solve.” If you consider that there is 1 billion out of 8 billion, who are threatened with starvation this year, this should really be a reason to say we have to change the policy!
And naturally, we need a world health system, we need to combat poverty. We have so many joint problems, and I think there must be a different approach.
SCHLANGER: On the realignment question, it was quite interesting that with Sergey Lavrov, the Russian Foreign Minister welcomed in Delhi for talks this weekend; at the same time, a British delegation of MPs which was planning on coming was told not to come. And so, you see this potential for a shift which is, I think a perfect way to discuss what we’re going to be doing next Saturday, April 9, the Schiller Institute conference will be taking up the convening of an event to discuss the change to a new security and financial architecture. Helga, why don’t you give our viewers a sense of what to expect from this, and of course, everyone should register for it, and organize for it. But since you’re the main organizer, why don’t you give people a sense of what we’re going to be doing?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: This coming conference on April 9 is probably the most important conference the Schiller Institute has done, ever, or for a very long time. Because people know that the world is on the verge of World War III: Many people are really scared that we could have a Third World War, and therefore, what the conference concentrates on, is, to conduct, very soon, an international conference in the spirit of the Peace of Westphalia, to have an international security architecture which takes care of the interests of every single country on the planet. This naturally must go along with the establishment of a new world economic order; we are on the verge of a collapse of the trans-Atlantic financial system, and we have to have a New Bretton Woods system, a credit policy which allows to investment in long-term investment for the development of the developing sector to overcome poverty and underdevelopment forever. Because of a combination of factors, the sanctions, previously the pandemic, we are now faced with the danger of 1 billion people dying of hunger this year—that is 1 billion out of 8 billion people in danger, and we must reverse that policy.
So we are going to assemble an extraordinary combination of speakers, from Russia, from China, from the United States, from India, from Africa, from Latin America, from Europe, and you absolutely should join this conference and organize for it, because it’s the only place where productive and positive solutions are being offered. And if you look at the combination of people who would speak, you can see that this is not just nice words, but we are serious in trying to get a coalition together to put on the agenda for the world a new paradigm, one which allows the survival of all of mankind.
SCHLANGER: And you can find the registration form for the conference at the Schiller Institute website. You’ll also find a very important document, of the LaRouche Plan for a New Economic Architecture which goes through, in some depth the shift from a funny-money, collapsing system into physical economy. So that’s all available on the Schiller Institute website.
Helga, is there anything else you want to add at this point?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Yes. You should look at the press release which we will publish probably later today, and get that press release about the upcoming conference around as widely as you can.