tv Inside Story 2017 Ep 357 Al Jazeera December 25, 2017 10:32am-11:01am +03
been left a trail of destruction more than two hundred people are dead after landslides and flash floods in the southern philippines guatemala's president says his country will move its embassy in israel to jerusalem making at the first nation to follow donald trump's plan to move the u.s. mission there guatemala was one of nine countries that voted in support of the u.s. and israel last week at the u.n. general assembly the country receives an estimated eighty million dollars in annual aid from the u.s. . peru's former president alberto fujimori has been pardoned because his health is failing his supporters celebrated the news outside the clinic where he's been since saturday after a big drop in his blood pressure put him or he was serving a twenty five year sentence for corruption and human rights crimes committed during his ten years in the presidency the russian foreign minister sergey lavrov is calling on the u.s. and north korea to start negotiations aimed to deescalate tensions on the korean peninsula he says moscow is ready to facilitate the talks last month pyongyang test fired a ballistic missile it says is capable of reaching the u.s.
mainland at least nine people have been killed in a suicide bomb attack in the afghan capital kabul the attack happened near an intelligence agency building in kabul shushed neighborhood feisal says it was responsible those are your headlines so far today the news continues on al-jazeera after inside story i will see you top of the hour by phone. witnessed documentaries. at this time on al-jazeera. as the year winds down donald trump describes moscow as a threat to accuses washington of aggression to global powers on a slippery path to mold tension in two thousand and eighteen where does it leave the rest of the world this is inside story.
well welcome to the show i'm sam is a than now the trumpet ministration kicked off two thousand and seventeen with hope for better relations with russia but the year ends with hardening rhetoric between two of the world's most influential powers washington is now taking a tougher stance on moscow what it kohls the stabilizing activities just this week donald trump announced the united states will give you crane and hans defensive capabilities to fight pro russian separatists in other words weapons vladimir posner response a warning that the learning crease the use of force and use the same tone in outlining how russia will move into two thousand and eighteen. the numbers and.
i'm convinced that we must develop the mechanisms of democracy fully explore the potential of the civic activity that is laid down in our constitution and encourage competition competition of ideas and approaches to solve an issue to treat with respect constructive and responsible opposition and to be such an opposition means not only to argue with authorities and blame them for all moral center we know ourselves of the problems the country confronts but to be responsible means to have a clear program of constructive actions or trump hasn't shied away either announcing his new national security strategy he named china and russia as the primary threats to u.s. economic dominance we also face rival powers russia and china that seek to challenge american influence values and wealth we will attempt to build a great partnership with those and other countries but in a manner that always protects our national interest well as
trump nears one full year in the white house russia has never been far away from his presidency on both a domestic and global level at home there is the ongoing investigation into moscow's interference in the two thousand and sixteen election and an increase in cyber activities which russia denies several white house staff members have resigned and the two countries are not as sides in the war in syria the u.s. is backing the syrian democratic forces while russia supports bashar al assad's government north korea's missile test prompted a stream of fiery tweets from trump and sanctions against pyongyang russia is one of north korea's main trading partners and it's called for calm and talks. let's bring in our panel then joining us from moscow we have nicholas so-called the foreign policy analyst at the russian international affairs council in alexandria virginia via skype lawrence korb a former assistant secretary of defense and senior fellow at the center for
american progress and in nairobi my chatty and when any and international relations expert at the united states international university welcome to you all if i could start with nicholas so you think russian u.s. relations have turned something of a corner in the last few days and is this where we're heading in two thousand and eighteen. well first of all good afternoon or i don't think that there was something unexpected we were actually prepared to see this kind of development donald trump was acting more aggressively each month because the year began with an attack against iraq airbase in syria then we have different accusations about russia supporting the syrian government about russia supporting the use of chemical weapons so that was the case in next we heard more about the the ukraine and now we're facing the problem of little weapons coming
from the u.s. to the ukraine so well it was obvious to us that don't trump will do his best to show that russia is not a friend of his administration because if all his steps are dictated by domestic politics and he is ready to do anything including creating more tension with russia in order to power well at least for now it actually he even his decision to support . to declare jerusalem as well to support the idea that jerusalem is the capital of israel was also dictated from at least from our point of view was dictated by the. mystic considerations in order to get more support from the congress so we were prepared for these kind of development and i don't see any surprise in that well of course there were hopes there were there were hopes when he came to power
there were hopes that relations will improve we thought that mr trump will be easier to deal we have than the democratic administration because he seemed to be a pragmatist and mr putin is also a pragmatist so to pragmatists can all or we can always make a deal but now we see that he is so much. concerned with his domestic right all that is there. simply unable to do it of the shadowing the situation from but on that note of hope's lawrence at one point in time the u.s. president was praising let him a hootin as a very smart thirsts and in the russian leader as late as october the fourth still sounded somewhat hopeful of better relations with the u.s. saying his country had quote many friends in america what happened was it all down to domestic american politics i don't think it was domestic politics i think it was basically his national security team general mattis and the pentagon secretary
chiller sen general mcmaster who's his national security advisor have pointed out to him that russia and putin are taking advantage of the president by pushing their agenda for example has been mentioned in and in syria they show no sign of backing off in ukraine and even with the what korea while they're voting for the sanctions they're not really enforcing a no to the extent that the united states would line now one of the problems with president trump is he will say one thing and then and basically he what they his staff will put out a strategy that's completely different. if you read that strategy that he put out you know earlier about a week ago basically it's like something president bush or president obama could have done but basically then if you read the speech he gave ahead of time.
it doesn't does doesn't add up i think personally he feels that he can establish a relationship with president putin but in international politics it's just not personalities it's really the interests of the of the countries that. that town and in his strategy which you read before he talked about russia as an economic threat like china russia is not there condi is declining to ply some of ball as is not what it used to be so they're having you know economic problems china obviously is an economic a competitor russia is trying to reassert its. basically its role in europe that declined to the collapse of the soviet union and the latest thing that happened here we find russian submarines are out messing with the internet connections between the united states and europe so perhaps any sort of hope at the
early part of the trumpet ministration for better relations with russia that seems to be dissipating much area what does this leave the rest of the world does it mean in two thousand and eighteen we can expect a rise in global tensions. well yes better than a few more confrontations between the united states and russia but not so much as to blow up into a war sort of thing but tensions are like it increases for one no degree with the other panelists it appears that trump is present he's a cup to give of domestic politics and when the reasons he appears to be so erratic and incomplete isn't his counterpart putting when he said he would like to get along with appears to be very focused. as a target and systematic about the eagles about doing what he wants to do so the
contrast in the appearing on this is that the us is declining because it is that arctic and because the president is a cup give of domestic politics do you think if i come back to lawrence on that point the trumpet ministration then going forward is going to have a hard time. to come back to show and say trump's early hopeful position of better relations with russia you got the ongoing investigation muller investigation you've got the suspicions and accusations of collusion with russia and he's lost a few people within the administration who are so we say more pro better relations with russia people. there's no doubt about it somebody like steve bannon for example is no longer in the administration he doesn't get the support even from the republican party remember they put very tough sanctions on russia he didn't like but he signed the bill anyway because they are concerned about the russian interference in the election whether or not it led to trump winning not is not the
issue the issue is they they got involved they're also violating the intermediate nuclear forces agreement which is an arms control agreement with both sides pledged to get rid of intermediate weapons but they're violating not. and that's going to make it tough to extend the new start a new start agreement trumps military budget is going nowhere increase our nuclear weapons capability house talked about he's very surprised that we've made all those cuts over the years so basically i think what's happened is that geopolitical realities have trumped if you will on the personal relationship that he thought that he could have with president putin not recognizing not you know the nations have interests not just personalities. and they. have the u.s.
announced as i'm sure you were away it was sending heavy armaments to ukraine for the first time we've heard some russian officials saying well that shows that washington is no longer interested in maintaining talks and dialogue over ukraine what do you expect will be the russian response to that shall we say at least the response from pro russia rebels in the donbass region do you see a pick up in conflict yes. yes that's what i was actually. willing to talk about because while syria is a certain problem but the main problem next year will be in the ukraine even now we can see that the fighting is escalating already the situation that we're joined by the what all of us toward you expect i mean it's already is a problem how bad do you expect to go x i x. expect another round of hostilities and probably more fighting in this region very very soon because the
supplies the american supplies of heavy weaponry of little weaponry will certainly embolden the government in kiev and these people are clearly inclined to read ok this is an interesting point that i want to take that while you have a very interesting thought hang on hang on a second let me bring lawrence in precisely on that point lawrence do you think the company ministration has decided to try and resolve the ukraine issue militarily because what we're hearing from nichelle is exactly the so the sentiment that's being reflected from people officials in the russian parliament well i think what the trumpet ministration has decided as they are not going to allow russia to push more into eastern ukraine obviously and not going to try and object the russians from crimea and i think they've basically drawn a line and this is something the congress has wanted to do for a while even the republican congress president obama resist this but president
trump now as i say given people like general mattis this is something he asked support but for russia for for quite a while so basically they're drawing a line and they're saying that they will not allow any further incursions into into ukraine after crimea the russians may have interpreted the fact that we didn't arm the. eastern ukrainians there for quite a while that they could continue to a four man instability this is not an area but i think this is and if you do this going to be a heavy price i wonder machar and you think the next global milestone to watch out for is what happens in the u.s. congress in february in terms of that sanctions decision who. what congress does we'll have a big effect on whatever policies donald trump wants to adopt and the rest of the world is watching from far as to what is going on the confrontations
over ukraine interesting to watch. and no diff who are all between two big powers on whose neighborhood should be infiltrated by that kind of thing so the sanctions if they come how much effect with there. have to be compared with what has happened before dissensions stop something from being done if a particular countries is determined to do whatever it is that it is well to do and short of exchanging big big bombs and sanctions may not deter as expected they will have a defect but they may not have that big a deterrence effect so or if it doesn't have a terence a fag and they struggle then continues how much concern is that looking outside of the capitals of washington and moscow. well the i think the concern out is who are they to affect these two countries policy one in other areas to what
extent would the confrontations affect the way they related countries in africa. how they relate to countries in asia or in an america that in its own may be of interest because it might and and that is the assumption which area is it is you think of a color reality in two thousand and eighteen that we'll see a pick up in tension that this sort of tension be played out in other areas whether it's africa or asia it you know it is likely if these tensions keep on building up i think ukraine is just a sideshow there may be bigger confrontations we know that the russians are interested in moving out of the areas of they have been confined. they are making inroads you know in north africa we know that. the other did president put in who was president bashir and bashir was very clear at telling the put in please help us
come and protectors of america and so we don't know how much of that will be played up and then if the americans are to react to that kind of discussion between sudan and russia or between one faction of the libyan government and the russians how it will be played out in other places is something that we are interested in watching. might have an effect one has tons of water resources is seventy odd we took advantage of i'm wondering nicholai on thursday the u.s. defense department accused russian planes of deliberately failing to dig conflict i think is the term we're using the conflict the airspace over syria of the u.s. planes intercepted russian planes putin's envoy also for syria that they called on the u.s. to leave the country are we going to see more tension between those two powers. in syria when it comes to syria face well more attention is likely we were on the
bring or than other round of tension several months ago or not not not even several months ago just about one and a half months ago when there was intensive fighting in their resort but the problem was not about their own it was about the oil theory or fields that are situated in to the east of there us or so there is clear competition between the government in damascus and the syrian democratic forces which are mostly made of so where does that leave the prospects for peace in syria in two thousand and eighteen then. the prospect well there we have very contradiction contradicting trounce on the one hand we still hope to have a new round of negotiations leading us to geneva and probably a peace agreement because we have with leader russia at least she used some understanding with the saudis we have an understanding with the turks so with many regional players but you for donald trump makes his position towards syria more
tough in order to please the congress then we'll have we'll be in trouble we might see even ask where you might see even incidents involving russian. spy planes or military so this is the it will be a very bad development so we have very contradictory trends now and hopefully hopefully we will have more negotiations another area perhaps to want to go or lawrence of course is north korea there are some common interests between washington and moscow lawrence when it comes to north korea but on december the sixteenth interestingly china russia concluded joint drills and if you listen to some of the former military commanders of the chinese army in their country at least they say it was designed to counter any u.s. military moves should war break out of the korean peninsula we see perhaps less can . sensis emerging between washington on the one hand and perhaps moscow and beijing on the other on the north korean file well i think you saw it this week with the
new u.n. resolution which the north koreans declared an act of war that russia and china recognize that if you have a confrontation there nobody wins because north korea now has nuclear weapons and that they could really create havoc so i think the russians and our and the chinese basically are concerned that the united states might take advantage of the if you don't buy a korean peninsula with that is not to is not is not the case but they basically don't want to see north korea get to a point where you could lead to an accidental nuclear war president trump has not helped because he is undermined his own secretary of state who wanted to negotiate with the north koreans and i think most members of the even the congress feel that that's the only way to solve this thing is through some sort of on
a good negotiations in which the north koreans agree to freeze their nuclear program they're not going to get rid of them in return for the united states and south korea. having fewer exercises there each year but hopefully this is one area where the russian chinese and the united states can work together to deal with the situation which if it gets out of hand nobody wins talking about working together when you listen to some of the strategy being outlined by vladimir putin nicolay the russian president talks about the need to focus on further developing military technology do you think that this is going to be a focus of how russia now calculates its future relationship with america counting more on on. how to outmaneuver the us through military technology rather than counting on any high hopes for better cooperation well yes and no i
mean that now it's clear it became clear to the russian leadership that in the near future we cannot really expect any equal. fram department ship with the us so basically now russia is preparing for a kind of confrontation which will not be as tense as we used to have during the cold war but still. it became clear what that without strong military you can't. be a global power we have the example of the e.u. which is very strong economically but weak militarily and cannot influence events even in its neighborhood like in the middle east so that will be the case and we will see more military build up russian military is actually russian army your air force and navy are in the process of more or of buying more new and sophisticated
weaponry so if you can stop this now but steal it it is only an attempt on behalf of the russian leadership to be treated as an equal partner all you see the main ambition of mr putin is only to make the u.s. respect russia's national interests in the world and to acknowledge this national interest because still we have a feeling that russia is treated as someone. else as someone inferior as a as an inferior country but this is not the case at least from the point of view. and that's why. that's where this military buildup comes from a case of a military buildup macharia can russia really realistically speaking it doesn't have the sort of budget does it the americans have at their disposal its military technology isn't on the same level as the u.s. . can it really challenge the u.s. position globally which underwrites much of the international order that we know
whether it's economics or international shipping and so on and so forth which many nations count on. it's really a matter of perception because the military buildup is meant to increase that level of dignity that a country feels it has to avoid being bullied by others and therefore feel as if it is safe because with ability to appears to we that weakness invades bulling and which also is built diversity into the national economy and that will fill the of the people so there is that desire to be seen to be on a par with everybody else and if i may comment on that nuclear feeling it the pattern has been from the time the us had them when no police have nuclear atomic power to stop everybody else from having it and so the others have just been eaten into lot more nobody and now you have
a nuclear club trying to stop another one from becoming a nuke a member of the club and therefore the other neutral in that it is now it has to do it in order to avoid being bullied by the others as for the u.s. and russians and the chinese from korea the russians and the chinese border north korea rifa nothing happens there they'll get direct impact we are at a time so we'll have to leave it there let's thank our guests nicholai lawrence and of course macharia and thank you to you for watching you can see the show again any time by visiting our website al-jazeera dot com of further discussion head over to our facebook page that's facebook dot com forward slash a.j. inside story you can also join the conversation on twitter our handle there is actor a.j. inside story from me sam is a than a halted here for now is good buy. a
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