Today Kommersant is reporting on an event held this week in Germany titled “Strategic Partnership Germany-Russia: Looking Back on Russia’s G8 Presidency and Looking Forward to Germany’s,” featuring the participation of Gerhard Schroeder and Igor Shuvalov. The Kremlin’s No. 1 Flak Having personally attended this event, I can tell you that no one in that room had any doubt they were subject to one of the greatest doses of newspeak since the glory days of Brezhnev. To hear the former chancellor tell it, the only thing Russia does wrong when it extorts its neighbors and hustles investors is not give Germany’s energy suppliers sufficient notice. If before there were any doubt about the Kremlin’s black PR campaigns being exported to Europe, just take a look at Schroeder greedily feasting from the Gazprom money trough. On behalf of the Russians, Mr. Shuvalov came to this conference with arguments bordering on the absurd. By blaming the polonium incident and the murder of Anna Politkovskaya on the enemies of Vladimir Putin, the conference attendees were treated to an immaculate performance of bare-faced cynicism not seen since the theatrics of the Russian Federation’s predecessor. This coverage in Kommersant underscores not only the lack of democratic values in today’s Russia, but also the willing acceptance of “the big lie” by German energy companies. Thanks to Gerhard Schroeder’s new start-up company, “Rent-a-Chancellor,” the wool is being pulled over Europe’s eyes. I have no doubt that Mr. Schroeder’s new company will soon list on the London Stock Exchange – but I wouldn’t recommend a long-term investment. From Kommersant:
Schroeder Helps Putin and Gazprom to Improve the Image Berlin hosted a high-profile Russian-German meeting on Wednesday, discussing Germany’s turn in presiding at the G8. Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and Russian presidential aide Igor Shuvalov topped the bill at the meeting. The two insisted that Gazprom is the most reliable energy supplier for Europe and Vladimir Putin is the most democratic ruler in Russia in its centuries-old history. … “Russia is the most reliable and best energy supplier for Europe no matter what.” Igor Shuvalov, the Russian presidential aide on economy, echoed. “Russia has never halted supplies deliberately, it never has,” he said. “We will keep meeting our obligations in full.” The two speakers were anxious to dispel fears over curtailing democracy in Russia. “President Putin is developing Russia in the democratic direction,” Mr. Schroeder said. “It is simply foolish to look at the young Russian democracy as many people in the West do.” … Speaking about last year’s high-profile murders of Anna Politkovskaya and Alexander Litvinenko, the presidential aide said that the two killings had been planned by Vladimir Putin’s enemies. “Polonium and Politkovskaya – these things are linked,” he said. “There are strong groupings out there which are constantly attacking the policy of the president.”
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