Vladimir Yakunin at “Peace With Russia” Conference in Berlin

German media has some interesting coverage of a recent conference in Berlin that was attended by Vladimir Yakunin (or “Wladimir Jakunin” in German transliteration), a close confidant of Vladimir Putin who has featured a number of times on this blog due to his involvement in soft power initiatives using culture and religion.

The conference – titled Frieden mit Russland! – was organised by Compact magazine, and featured political figures such as the Vice President of the AfD, Alexander Gauland, and Egon Bahr, the architect of Ostpolitik under Willy Brandt. According to the blurb (tidied up from Google translate):

The policy of the USA, NATO and the EU has maybe put us in the most dangerous situation since the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 after the end of the Second World War in 1945. Every decent German and any decent Europeans has the duty to resist in this warmongering against Russia. The encirclement of our neighbor to the east is not in the European interest, but only serves Anglo-American power. That they cover up the goals of their endeavor as the defense of international law is a transparent ploy. If Washington and London speak of human rights, it’s really about mineral rights.

All surveys show that the people do not want a new war against Russia, not even a cold one! The rational forces must now come together and give ear: “Peace with Russia. For a sovereign Europe “- See you on November 22 in Berlin!

A report for Bild by Peter Tiede describes the conference as a “a summit of German friends Putin, right-wing populists and conspiracy theorists in Berlin”, while Sidney Gennies for Der Tagesspiegel appears to have spent time with an attendee (not apparently a speaker) who explained how Coca Cola was invented to destroy the body’s immune system and how vaccines are a plot to decimate Africa (a conspiracy theory I looked at just recently, after Kenyan Bishops spoke on the issue).

Bild also draws attention to document produced by a Russian think-tank called “The Centre for Strategic  Communications”, called Putin: The New Leader of International Conservatism. This is somewhat old news – the report, by Dmitry Abzalov, was launched at a press conference in December last year, and featured in an article by Brian Whitmore for Radio Free Europe. According to Whitmore:

According to excerpts from the report cited in the media, most people yearn for stability and security, favor traditional family values over feminism and gay rights, and prefer nation-based states rather than multicultural melting pots. Putin, the report says, stands for these values while “ideological populism of the left” in the West “is dividing society.” 

Bild now adds that the report has a specific strategy for Germany; according to a derivative detail from Bild in English in The Local:

The paper’s authors highlight one of the AfD’s financing methods – trading gold – as a way for the Kremlin to buy influence into the party. The advisors suggested the Russian government could sell gold to the party at a loss or use the Germans as a middleman for gold trading at commission as a way of filling the party’s coffers.

The Berlin conference appears to be a regular yearly event, although interest has been heightened following news of a “secret meeting” between Russian oligarch Konstantin Malofeev and right-wing figures in Vienna during the summer.

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