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tv   U.S. Senate  CSPAN  December 23, 2011 9:00am-12:00pm EST

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>> thank you. thank you for this wonderful welcome for me in visiting washington this week. you have actually arranged for scottish weather. [laughter] to greet me. i really feel at home. none of you will know me. after being appointed a. -- lord advocate. i have been a prosecutor for 70 years. i have a very determined man. the most difficult task and more obstacles on my part i see as a challenge to be overcome. ..
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>> and with my office colleagues, lindy miller, to try -- we have at the top of the radar. it still is. terrorism and u.k., british soil and, of course, that includes scotland. so you have my personal commitment i will do everything that i can to bring the others involved in this appalling act to justice. can i just say, it is humble,
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truly humbling for me to be here on such sacred ground at arlington cemetery, where there is a part of scotland here with 270 stones each representing a life lost in this tragedy. and you have the wishes of the people of scotland, the support of the people of scotland and your quest for justice which i share. i have a brother, i mean, like all families in scotland, like to travel and settle abroad. many of the founding fathers of the united states were scots. i have a brother who married a lovely girl, an american girl, and is now an american citizen, my brother in jacksonville, florida. i think slightly better weather than we are facing today. [laughter] but i can tell you that my brother, when i speak to them on a regular basis, always asks me
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about, you know, what we are doing to try to bring justice for you and for all the families that have lost loved ones in lockerbie. there is a wreath which i've arranged from the people of scotland to be placed. and the reason says some simple words. always remember, never forgotten, and for ever in our hearts. and that is a genuine sentiment from the and my colleagues and the people of scotland. and it's in both english and gaelic. so thank you very much for allowing me to be here on this wonderful and moving ceremony. thank you. [applause]
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>> we had a number of calls from the press about the speakers we had here today, that were obviously a very high-powered group of government officials that we were honored that they were here. but the press seemed most interested in the fact that the libyan ambassador was going to be here. and they were saying was he going to say? i don't know what is going to say, he's a diplomat, he made a -- he may not say anything. sometimes they are not allowed to say much. but we do know some of the things you said in the past. the ambassador has been in washington for sometimes some te representing the prior administration. as soon as the rebellion started he defected in february of this year, with a very, very strong
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statements gadhafi was talking about what was going, he was going to do to these rebels. it was going to be a river of a blood, he was going to murder them. he called them the rats. ambassador aujali resigned, said i can't represent his country and they can't represent this man. and he took down the gadhafi flag and put up the old libyan flag, where we are very interested as i said before in hoping that the new government in libya is going to help us with our investigation. i talk to him all a bit about this, and i know that gadhafi killed a lot more than our 270 people. he killed thousands and thousands. he killed 1201 afternoon at that prison. thousands have been killed in this rebellion. i never thought that i would say good things about any living to
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be honest with you, particularly after so the tv coverage of the heroes welcome. but we know that was staged. we know, i know, i think i know what this man stands for. we are honored he wanted to come your. and we hope that he can tell us what the new libyan government is going to do with respect to our evidence. ambassador. [applause] >> good afternoon, thank you very much. i wish i can bring good weather, sunny and warm. [laughter] anyhow, today not bad, even some rain but not cold. thank you very much for inviting me and thank you very much for good introduction. i'm real proud to tell you that two decades in this country since 2004 i start to get some of you, and some of you loyal.
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and i told them very straightforward to the critical issue, and we have to do something about it. and we do remember exactly how much suffer the families leave behind each one of you story, children suffer, husband suffer, why is suffer, friends, all of you suffer. but let me tell you that aren't 6.5 million bolivians suffering for the last few years. there are more than 25 million who were killed in eight months, more than 25 disappeared in eight months. and more than 1200 libyan innocent, political prisoners were killed for us. gadhafi's victims all over the
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world. he killed his own people by the hand. we were very hard and we will work very hard with you and with the state department to find, to find the truth which everybody want to know. this madman, nobody was safe from him here and the first victim of course is the libyan people. i would like very much to thank you, and thank the government and the president and the congress to, believing that you health, without your support, nothing would happen. the people are suffering and the one who control libya is gadhafi and his family. there was no army to protect the people like indonesia or in egypt. the army that gadhafi had is
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from his own security. i never believed, i never believed in my lifetime that libya will enjoy one day freedom. then when things started in 17th of february, i told my people are killed, wounded, rates, more than a thousand women and girls were raped. and you know what that means in the arab culture. now, we have to work together. and he made a very straightforward when he was asked that he was gadhafi spokesman for the. there is no such action like this can be taken. there is no way, there is no way. we share your suffer. we share your hard time you went through, but you have a new friend now that you have a democratic country.
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we'll have our first election in 32 years, and when we do we still need your support. now it is clear that we can build the confidence which is not really easy for the last 42 years. now you have a partner, real partner to work on the security, not only the united states but of libya, the region and security of the world. we will help, and you are not alone, to find the truth. the libyan people are with you. and whatever i can do here, i will be very happy to help you. and feel free to call us. you have real friends, not only since february but since i came to this country. thank you very much. [applause]
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>> now, i would like to ask fbi director bob mueller and attorney general eric holder, if they would bring our wreaths forward. thank you both very much. now, i want to thank the choir. they are from pender united methodist church and they have been coming for many years. we always have different weather for them, but i'm glad that we had a tent to put over them.
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that, i want to thank katherine for that. i think i have enough scarves for each one of them. i hope so. so don't disappear on me before, you know, at the end so i can hand out your scarves. okay. now, mike, do you want to come up? your next. >> finally? >> finally. >> john brennan. i first heard from john brennan on august the 19th of 2009, and he called to say who he was. we determined that he was an irishman, the oh stood for a win. if you're an irishman, oliver is
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important. anyway, that's an aside. john, john said he had just spoken to kenny mccaskill. he did it on the half of the president of the president told him to call mccaskill and say we did not want this guy released. john's job, i don't know how john sleeps at night. he is a guy who meets with the president every day, every morning, and tells him all the horrible things that have gone on around the world. and he has been involved with us since that day in 2009. we've had several conference calls with them. he gave a speech here three years ago that is on our website that was just a tremendous speech, very moving speech, and we are honored that he would come again. we, as i said, and we know of his interest and the attorney general, and molars, and as i
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say, it's personal. john moved people on the plane. john work for the cia for 31 years. we would not have been able to present the criminal case that we did come as brian murtagh will tell you, without the unprecedented help of the cia. they gave us, that gave the prosecutors sources and methods that normally they don't do. and the timer was found common was actually discovered by the cia. tom of the fbi brought it to the cia. that's how the case was, one major reason the case went the way it did. anyway, i would like to present to you, the guy really did invite first, the most important person we think in the government for homeland security and counterterrorism, john owen
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brennan. [applause] >> thank you very much, frank, for that warm welcome. and thank you all for leading -- leading this organization is remarkable one in which keeps alive the memories of those we are here today to remember, to commemorate and to honor. i was humbled to speak at the ceremony two years ago, and i very much appreciate the invitation to be with everyone again today. and it is wonderful to see, despite the weather, so many people have gathered here today on this very special occasion. as it shows that while time may pass, memories and love never fade. it is in that spirit that i bring with me the heartfelt wishes of president obama. i met with president obama this morning, and i told him i was coming here to join you this
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afternoon. and he asked that i convey a very simple message to each one of you, and that message is that america will never forget your loved ones who were lost on that fateful wednesday night 23 years ago. on an otherwise serene and tranquil december night, over a small quaint village in southwestern scotland called lockerbie, the horror and the evil of terrorism visited us once again. tragically claiming as its victims 270 innocent men, women and children. every year since, december 21, has been a very special day for so many whose lives have been touched in some way by what happened aboard pan am 103. because on that flight and on the ground where our fathers and
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our mothers, our sons and our daughters, our sisters and our brothers, relatives and our friends, our coworkers and her neighbors, our schoolmates and our teammates, our fellow citizens and citizens of the world. and it is those beautiful lives that we remember today. we remember fathers and mothers and brothers and sisters who helped make you the people you are today. sons and daughters, their whole lives ahead of them, service members proud to wear america's uniform, students returning home from the adventure of studying abroad, and the littlest ones in the arms of their parents, jonathan ryan thomas and brittney lee williams both just two months old. we remember them all. we honor them all, always. but this year of course there is
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a special poignancy, i'm going to any longer under the yoke of a brutal dictator, the libyan people with international backing finally cast themselves and the world free. free of the evil of moammar gadhafi who brought a legacy of terrorism. and so today for the first time after all these years we can mark this day, we can come to this hallowed place knowing that, finally, the regime that was responsible for the loss of 270 lives, and many, many more, has finally come to an end. it is gone from the face of the earth. [applause] as individuals, as a nation, we do not rejoice or revel in the
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loss of human life. and yet it cannot be denied, in the end of the libyan regime, in the death of the libyan dictator, there is at last some semblance of justice. president obama, indeed, all of us, are proud of the role the united states played helping to bring an end to the gadhafi regime. and when that happened, when that regime fell, i firmly believe that the 270 souls who were taken from us all too soon, could rest for peacefully, knowing that we could finally say never again, never again. when that dictator, that murderer, finally met his end, president obama reflected on the meaning of that moment, especially for you and your families. and today, i would like to repeat what the president said in his remarks to the nation two months ago.
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and i quote, for us here in united states we are reminded today of all those americans that we lost at the hands of gadhafi scared. their families and friends are in our thoughts and in our prayers. we recall their bright smiles, the extraordinary lives and their tragic deaths. we know that nothing can close the wound of their loss we stand together as one nation either side. that's why we are here today. attorney general eric holder, fbi director robert mueller, csa director john pistole, members of congress, our scottish partners and our libyan friends, because we stand together by your side and part of standing by your side is making sure that at the end of a brutal regime does not mean the end of the pursuit of justice. as you said in your statements, that day, our work is not done. and today we want you to know that for those of us in
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government, our work is not done either. the government investigation into the bombing of pan am 103 is still open. the indictments against abdelbaset al-megrahi and others are still pending. we have raised this investigation repeatedly with the new government of libya, and the new leadership of libya understands the great importance that we attach to this matter. and i am heartened by the words of the libyan ambassador. we are working diligently to gain access to any information or individuals associated with this case. i can promise you this, our commitment to pursuing justice for your loved ones, for your families, will not waver. as our nation goes forward we draw inspiration from you because over these past 23 years, you and your families have shown the american people the true meaning of strength and resilience. in the face of unimaginable
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loss, you have done just what your loved ones would have wanted. you have carried on. even as you have honored their memory, you have continued to live. thank you for allowing me to share this day with you once again, and you may find some comfort in knowing that your loved ones live on in you and in the life of a nation, which will never forget them. thank you. [applause] >> i said to give them -- who gives him the plaque? they said you do. john, thank you very much. that's another speech that will go on a website, and we're very grateful, thank you. [applause] >> okay. i had a lovely thing to say about our next speaker, but i'm going to have to make it real fast. last july brian murtagh retired
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from after 42 years of federal service. 36 of them represent the united states as a prosecutor employed in several capacities by the department of justice. in 1989, as u.s.a. for the district of columbia, brian was assigned responsibility for the investigation into the bombing of pan am flight 103. he worked closely with the scottish police office, the cia, and, of course, with other fbi agents. in the fall of 1999 -- 1991, in close cortège with his colleagues in scotland, in the criminal division of doj, brian presented the case to the grand jury which returned the indictment charging megrahi and others unknown with the murder of 270 victims that we remember
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here today. and every day. there was a beautiful letter that was written by the top of one victim, her name is tory. it was lovely, about how wonderful he was for her and her family in holland, the trial. and i personally remember brian, when we got a verdict that megrahi was guilty, i gave him the biggest hug and almost broke his neck. so anyway, i would like -- i would like to give him this plaque from the victims of pan am flight 103. and this book, looking for lockerbie. it's a lovely book. thank you.
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>> and how, to? >> should i break his neck? [applause] >> goodness. kathy, frank, distinguished visitors, victims of pan am flight 103, colleagues and friends, i'm deeply grateful for this award and what it signifies, and your warm friendship. i've had the privilege, as they mentioned him and honor to represent the united states as an advocate for over 36 years. with the right of audience to appear and i also became a victim's advocate somewhere along the way. no surprise there. it's always been about the victims for me. i'm truly humbled by tories live but i've no idea how a simple act, basin i came up and they were sitting outside the courthouse shivering and asked them if they had any questions. could have had such a profound and lasting impact it doesn't
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get any better but it doesn't get any better, particularly retired feds. my only regret that i was not able to do more to bring all those responsible for the atrocity above, and in lockerbie, to justice. but it isn't over yet. not by a longshot. in the counterterrorism section of the national security division, of the department of justice, the baton has been passed to my colleague of over 20 years, jennifer. jaynee, anything you need, just ask. i would also ask the families to give gene the same level of understanding and support that you have given me. you have always understood when i said i can't tell you what's happening. you never pushed, and i'm eternally grateful for that. to my scottish friends and colleagues, both those here today and in edinburgh, i
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confirm the same offer. anything you want, just ask. and i also say to my scottish friends, will he know come back again? to all my colleagues in doj and fbi, i wish you the best in your efforts in the days to come. it isn't going to be easy. please permit me to thank my wife of 42 years, margaret, he was shivering out there with you, who has made many sacrifices while i was away chasing criminals year after year. and to all the family members, and to so much for letting me into your lives. i only wish it had been under different circumstances. god bless. see you next year. thank you very much. [applause] ♪
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♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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♪ >> you're watching c-span2 with politics and public affairs, we decision live coverage of the u.s. senate. on week nights watched key public policy bands. at every weekend the latest nonfiction authors and books on book tv. you can see past programs and their schedules at our website, and you can join in the conversation on social media sites. >> the senate is coming in momentarily. the chamber is reconvening for approval of an extension of the payroll tax cut after an
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agreement was reached last night between house and senate leaders. the house is expected to pass a bill by unanimous consent. just after 10 a.m. eastern. before that, just in a few minutes, here in the senate, senators will mean that bill passed after the house approves it. the presiding officer: the senate will come to order. mr. reid: mr. president i ask unanimous consent to be recognized. the presiding officer: without objection, the majority leader is recognized. mr. reid: i now ask unanimous consent that the house pass the senate's bill which is identical to the text which is at the desk
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which is a two-month extension to reduce payroll tax, unemployment insurance, tanf and the medicare payment fixed, the bill be considered read three times and passed, the motion to reconsider be laid on the table with no intervening action or debate, and any statements related to the bill be placed in the record at the appropriate place as if read. further that when the senate receives a message from the house requesting conference with respect to h.r. 3630, the senate agree to the request for a conference and the chair be authorized to appoint conferees on the part of the senate with the ratio of 4 to 3. that if the house does not act by january 1, 2012, with respect to passage of a bill providing the two-month extension the senate action with respect to a conference on h.r. 3630 be vitiated. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection, so ordered. under the previous order, the senate will now stand adjourned
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until 12:00 noon on december -- until 12:00 noon on december -- >> the senate coming in for just a minute there, approving the two-month extension of the payroll tax cut deeming it approved after the house approves its version of it. the house expected to come in about 10 a.m. eastern time approving the bill by unanimous consent. legislation will continue the payroll tax cut. it also expands unemployment and a 20% pay cut for doctors who treat medicare beneficiaries. here's house speaker john boehner's news conference from last night announcing the agreement of the two-month extension.
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[inaudible conversations] >> good evening, everyone. senator reid and i have reached an agreement on payroll tax relief on behalf of of the american people. key parts of this agreement are that on january 1, no american worker will see an increase in their taxes. we will ensure that a new complex reporting burden is not unintentionally imposed on small businesses. this solution will at a minimum prevent small businesses very new administrative burdens and a sure that american workers will see their tax relief as soon as possible. the senate will join the house and immediately appointing conferees with instructions to
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reach agreement in the weeks ahead on a full one year payroll tax deduction, along with unemployment reforms an extension of unemployment, and the so called doc fix two years. we expect that these members will work expeditiously to complete the one year extension that all of us want. we will ask the house and senate to approve this agreement by unanimous consent before christmas. the middle-class families and small businesses are struggling, and they're making sacrifices. i think this agreement will help our economy. one important provision in this measure that i want to highlight is the keystone pipeline. as you know, this project would create tens of thousands of jobs in our country. this jobs project has bipartisan support in the house and the
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senate. it's backed by broad-based coalition. i hope the president will approve this pipeline to put those americans to work. i want to thank our members, particularly our countries have remained here at the capitol with the holidays approaching, for their efforts to enact a four year extension of the payroll tax cut for working families. under this agreement, we are going to do that just as quickly as possible. i don't think it's any time for celebration to our economy is struggling. we've got a lot of work ahead of us the coming year. but i want to wish the american people and all of my colleagues a very merry christmas and a happy new year. >> speaker boehner, speaker boehner, d. have assurances that no one will object to unanimous consent? >> i don't know that, but our goal is to do a by unanimous consent. >> a lot of stories say you caved on this.
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did you cave? speak with you know, sometimes it's hard to do the right thing. and sometimes it's politically difficult to do the right thing. but, you know, when everybody called for a one year extension of the payroll tax deduction, when everybody wanted a full year of extended unemployment benefits, we were here fighting for the right things. may not have been politically the sparse thing in the world, but let me tell you what. i think our members waged a good fight. we were able to come to an agreement. we were able to fix what came out of the senate to all year you've heard me talk about short-term extensions, short-term gimmicks, and the consequences they have for our economy. and you know, when you look at this, just another, it's another short-term extension that this
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creates uncertainty for job creators. i used to run a small business. i know how this works. and kicking the can down the road for a couple of months does cause problems. when you look at the reporting requirement, that came out of this bill because it was hastily put together, it was a big burden for businesses, frankly, of all sizes. [inaudible] number one, was that by decide not to have that at this time? and number two, hung out to dry -- [inaudible] >> i don't set up the conference calls, but listen, we have a lot of members with a lot of opinions. we've been, we have fought the fight, the good fight. but, you know, i talked to enough members over the last 24
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hours who believe that hey, listen, we don't like this two-month extension. we don't like is reporting problem in the senate bill, and if you can get this fixed, why not, why not do the right thing for the american people, even though it is not exactly what we want? >> if so what objects do more and it is not passed by unanimous consent, will you bring the house back for a vote next week state was absolutely. last one. >> speaker boehner, given the whole last week, the photo op at a photo op, on both sides, democrats are really charging that the radical tea party element of the house republican, do you think this whole fight was worth it and the political cost that has come up? >> listen, doing the right thing for the right reasons is always the right thing to do. and while everyone asks for a full year extension of these pro
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grams, a lot of people were not willing to put the effort in because the holidays were approaching to get it done. our members were. so i'm proud of the efforts that they put into this. again, it's not always, it's not, it's not always easy to do the right thing, but we believe that we came here to change the way this town does business. and no more gimmicks, no more short-term this, short-term debt. it's time to do solid policy and it's time to do it the right way. thanks. >> [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> we just saw the announcement yesterday by how speaker boehner. the senate just a few minutes ago came in briefly approving the extension of the payroll tax cut and then implement benefits for two months. and the house is coming in at
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10 a.m. eastern time. you can see that on c-span, for that unanimous consent request speaker boehner was talking about. we are live here on capitol hill. senate majority leader harry reid is expected shortly for a news conference. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] >> well, i'm certain that most of you would rather be any place than here. i'm glad you here today. so i would be relatively brief. the conferees i am going to point will be max bachus, chairman of the finance committee, ben cardin, a member of the financial committee, no one in the senate has been more protective of federal employees than senator cardin. and when we were doing the negotiations for long-term deal, one of the places people were looking to do some real difficult things were federal employees. i know that he will be fair.
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nevada has had unemployment very, very high for a long time, but a state that has been hit really hard but unemployment has also, is rhode island. and no one innocent has been more protective of the unemployed and jack reed. so he will be my third country. the fourth conferees will be bob casey. bob casey is chairman of the joint economic committee, and this is his bill. the payroll tax, the holiday extension is bob casey's legislation. i have talked to each of them. they will work expeditiously to come up with a long-term arrangement on the payroll tax, on unemployment, of course, and on the doc fix. i have great confidence in them. i also want to say this. most everything we do around here is based on trust.
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that's how we get things done. and i want everyone to understand how much i appreciate mitch mcconnell sticking by the arrangement, the agreement we made. i have told him that personally, and i say that to all of you. when we come back next month, we had a lot of important things to do. i have already talked about the payroll tax package, we have to do that. we can pay for it in many different ways. we have to be somewhat inventive, and during the past few days i've had many calls from my caucus members of the ideas they have that would protect the people that need the extra few bucks each month, but also save money in the long run. unemployment, we have to figure out a way to extend that. this is the first time that we have paid for unemployment tax extension, which i did not favor, but significant number of my own caucus did so it was something we had to do. we will continue to fight for
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the long-term unemployed. i would hope that we can do something to do something final to get rid of this sgr, this doc fix, so that doctors who take care of these senior citizens don't have to worry every few months as to whether they will get paid the following month. so those are some things we certainly have to do your couple of other things that are paramount in my mind. the faa reauthorization. we have to get this done. we've a short-term extension. this involves the employment of a couple hundred thousand new people, a couple hundred thousand. we have made many offers, the house, and we have to get this done, forget about all the extraneous stuff and deal with faa. same applies to the very good bill that was reported out of environment public works committee. very conservative, jim in off am
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a white progressive, barbara boxer have come up with an arrangement to extend his for two years in very, very good bill. i would hope that my colleagues don't play any games with this bill. it is important. short-term extension say the jobs of more than 1 million people during highway construction. to your bill will create new jobs, not just say the jobs. so those are a few things we have to do. i hope this congress has had a very good learning experience, especially those who are new in this body. everything we do around here does not have to wind up in a fight. that isn't the way things need to be. people wonder why the approval rating of congress is so low. i don't wonder. seems that everything we have done this last year has been a
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knockdown drag out fight. there's no reason to do that. and if there were a message received from this last thing we have been through, i would hope, especially, i repeat to new members of the house, will understand that legislation is the art of compromise, consensus building, not trying to push your way through on issues that you don't have the support of the american people. i repeat what i said earlier. this institution relies on trust and goodwill to get work done. the american people need this institution to work effectively. we have enormous challenges facing our great country. i indicated earlier, it's early true, we have a new year coming very, very quickly. working families we have help for a couple of months, that's not enough. they sent us to washington to find ways to make their life a little easier, give them the
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tools they need to try to get ahead. they didn't send us your to wage partisan battles or settle ideological scores. so i say to my colleagues, it is new year's. let's put those games aside and make it, and make it our top priority, our top priority is not for political advantage, but to get things done. if we are able to get things done, there's lots of credit to go around to everybody, but conversely if we don't get things done, there is criticism that steals off on everyone. let's show the american people that despite our differences we can tackle the big challenges that stand before us. the stakes are really too high for us to do anything else. happy to take questions. yes? >> senator, looking forward to 2012, there are 21 democratic seats in the senate up for election. how is this tax cut extension communicated to voters in those
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seats that are up for election? >> i think has been pretty will done by all of you the last week or 10 days. >> you just want to battle on taxes. how does this set you up for what's going to be probably a battle in february when you talk about extending the payroll tax for a forger and how does it set you up for the tough negotiations over the bush tax cuts in the summer of next year? >> i think the first thing we will do rather than worry about bush tax cuts being extended, which i'm not great about that at this stage, we have work again. i've gone over some of the things that are on my mind, but senator mcconnell and i've talked to one of things want to do is get our appropriation bills done and i have to worry about this on the bus which was very difficult at this time. as i've indicated, try to this morning, i would hope this expect anyone has had, it will make us better legislators. >> senator reid, will augment.
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>> to get me together with them sometime together next week. week, senate democrats will get together and go be a schedule, we work together to come up with a schedule so that during the next, during the time we're not in session the conferees will still have work to do. >> this bill reduce the duration of unemployment benefits by 20 weeks, 79 weeks. that's what state democrats are trying to revisit and try to prevent from happening on a year-long extension? >> yeah, we a people have spoken out loudly about putting this back -- putting this back. but this is something we couldn't get it done otherwise. we'll come back and revisit that. as i indicated that's the reason i have jack reed on this conference. i want someone who works everyday, understands the plight of people who don't have jobs
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and haven't had jobs were longtime. i have not seen anyone who is more in tune with that in jack reed. >> senator, one of the sessions the democrats made -- concessions was the millionaire surtax paid for. is that something you guys will bring back? >> i've constructed in my telephone calls with my four senators there is nothing off the table. everything is on the table. and, of course, i have talked to senator reid publicans, poor, who think there should be a fair tax on rich people, and using the stories. so i am going to make sure, as i have for my conferees, understand that could be part of what we try to do, and we will see what happens. >> senator reid, was your appointing senator bachus and the house having appointed
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congressman upton and congressman camp, we're going to a number of people have already been through these sort of discussions over pay-fors, for the supercommittee. is there any reason you expect they will reach a different conclusion this time than they did on the? >> of course, this is totally different program than the supercommittee. my, the reason i went to some length to describe who my conferees are, i want to make sure everyone understands from our perspective, this is a new day. i'm very disappointed with the conference the house has appointed. five at eight have already spoken out prior to being appointed. they spoke out against extending the payroll tax cut. tough negotiations to go, and that's why i spent a lot of time this morning indicating that this is a new day. i would hope that prior statement saying they don't want to extend it will not prevent us from getting something that is
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good for the american people. >> senator reid, a few days before the senate voted on this bill, you had the meeting with boehner and mcconnell. there seems, was there room for consumed -- one another as a proxy by speaker boehner to negotiate? could you shed light on the? >> i understand everyone's precocity. i think i'm better off just think senator mcconnell did what he thought was right for the country. he stuck by that and i appreciate it. thanks everybody. have a good christmas, hanukkah, new year's, and if you have, if you're bored this afternoon at 5:00, california on cbs. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> in addition to two-month
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extension for the payroll tax cut in unemployment benefits, scheduled cuts in reimbursements to doctors who serve medicare patients will be postponed. and negotiations on a year-long tax cut extension is also called for in the agreement. we heard majority leader read in a press conference say he is disappointed with the negotiators selected by the house. the "national journal" writes that the extension will not single-handedly boost the fragile economy but it will help 1.8 million unemployed workers stave off poverty and give 169 families extra cash to boost spending and demand for products and services. >> coming up tonight on c-span2, some of the british inquiry into phone hacking by tabloid newspapers.
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>> russian prime minister vladimir putin held its annual television call-in program last week. he took more than 90 questions and responded to tweets. we will hear from senator john mccain. this is an hour and 10 minutes.
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>> shall we start? >> sure. good afternoon. thank you for coming. i think it will be correct if we start this program with a question about the elections which have caused a variety of rations, and today he would not comment at the last few days for development. what is your personal attitude to the fact that the rally was by an individual who don't tend to see themselves, a majority of them anyway, as your political opponents? yet they don't quite like have the authorities treat them? the fact that people express their point of view regarding processes on the way in this country, both in its economy and in the social area, and the political area are completely
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normal things. as long as everybody stays within the law. of course, and i count on it continuing to be that way. i have seen on the television screen people, most of them tend to be young, active people with their own position who clearly and articulate express their position. and it makes me happy. and if this is the result of the putin regime and it is very good. i don't see anything wrong here. once again the most important thing is for all the actors and all the political forces to stay within the law. >> here's a question from the internet. the elections of them have caused traditional this agreement which ended with protest in moscow and st. petersburg where people are enraged what they thought -- you think the elections were fair
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and you think the results were honest and fair? [speaking in russia] >> translator: as far as effective composition is unhappy with the results of the elections, tell me something you. this has always been the case. this will always be the case. this is what opposition exists for, lives for. it fights for power and that is what it looks for any opportunity in order to approach the current authority and to somehow oust the incumbent authorities to accuse them of something to point out their mistakes. and on the whole, once again it is a capsule in normal development. as far as these elections and whether or not they were objective, fair, then from my perspective, as i've already said as much publicly, my perspective is the result of these elections undoubtedly reflect the actual balance of power in this country, and the
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fact that the ruling party, united russia, has lost some of the ground, there is nothing unusual. now listen, we have been through most very difficult crisis period. look at what's happening in other countries but it's clear that it has made a negative impact on people and the standard of living has dropped and many have lost jobs. so for the opposition to recruit among the ranks individuals who are unhappy with the current status code is of course now considerably easier than it used to be. but then again the fact that united russia has held onto its lead, that is a very good sign. as far as whether or not they were honest or dishonest, the opposition will always point out that elections were not on us, always. it happens everywhere in all the countries. it's just a matter of how that is expressed.
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and that in itself is a matter of political culture. [speaking in russia] >> translator: as far as i'm concerned, it's clear to me that attacks against the elections in this regard, the elections have taken place are only secondary in nature. the primary goal, the primary target is the next election, the elections of the president of the russian confederation. and to avoid any problems here, to minimize the opportunity to be able to point out that these elections and the future elections will be dishonest or may be dishonest, in order to kick the ground from under the feet of those who seek to delegitimize the authority and the power in this country, i have a suggestion. .. my
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office. and click my computer moss on the web camera. i suggest to the central electoral committee set up web cameras at all the polling stations in the country and we have 90,000 plus of those and they work 24/7 day and night and i put everything on the internet so the entire country can see what's happening to the particular ballot box.
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to leave out the very classifications all together. >> i know that we have individuals -- but here's what i would like to say, i believe and i ask that attention be paid to this. the opposition should be given an opportunity to monitor everything that happens at the polling stations, on a full scale. and it can be done using such web cameras and what needs to be ensured in accordance with the law, the local electoral commissions represent all the political forces that make up the poll you. by i would like to say the following and ask and speak to those who are willing to vote including for me as presidential candidate, please do not think and do not that they would vote for him but they will do something there so i need to go to my groceries and get my
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country house, no, nobody will do anything except for you. it's only up to you. you have to make up your mind and decide who will envision foreign policy and who will represent this country internationally. who will secure, who will ensure domestic and external security. who will they be dealing with social matters and who will be dealing with the development of economy? only you and nobody else. [applause] >> translator: let us stay on elections and i know there are some people who would like to ask some questions and them and let him ask a question. editor of the chief of the radio station and he was an observer. >> translator: here's my question. you have been talking about the position but please believe me it was not just the opposition who were in the square and you're now answering to what
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opposition wants and seeks. but what will you respond to the newly upset newly frustrated. they believe their words have been thrown. there was a search for fairness that's very important. i would like to you answer that -- i would like to you answer to those people, not the opposition. >> translator: first, i already said what i think about it and there were different people there and i was happy that i saw healthy, dynamic and energetic individuals who looks like they were intellectuals who were actually impressing their opposition. it makes me happy that there are such people. and as far as the procedure for street resolution it is well-known and it is set forth in the law. in certain cases where the results have not been evaluated, the electoral commissions have the right to recount the votes
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on some several occasions that is exactly what was done at the demand of the opposition parties. but when the line has been drawn, then there is another way of settling such views. you have to take it to a court of law. of course, you have to proceed with the courts that they will be objective. and regarding the square, there's a point of views which is opposite to the one by alexandria. we have here a work veteran of the works. >> translator: how are you? >> translator: why don't you give the microphone -- it's not like he'll pinch it or something. >> translator: well, it seems to me -- and i will say it straight. anytime in any house, there's always room for improvement.
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somebody is angry about something. and these matters can be resolved and on this occasion speaking of the elections. in the city, the city square, had a demonstration to about 100 individuals. why so? the city is working. we have planned our work and already there's a number of orders placed for us for next year and we work like we've never worked before. we used to build 20 to 21,000 railway cars. as of yesterday we're working on 24,000. where is the big order for next year as well. people can see that their employment is a future and they're happy and, of course, there are those who are unhappy and especially with today's attitude with the individual. this utilities matters --
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something that has been talked about for six months plus. and nothing is in order here. people will get two or three instructions to pay. and there is fraud. and these matters have to be dealt with. and those who are to be held responsible. people believe in a good life and today there are different parties but we're all driven by the same interest. we have to get rid of red tap tape so people will be appreciated, so people will be heard so that others will work for the people so that people will not try to hide behind the mandates of deputies, whether it's local council, district counsel, regional counsel or the state. there are people like that among us today. and attention needs to be paid very quickly to agriculture, not just lip service be paid to it but it has to be done so that our tourists will go to egypt
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and bring our russian potatoes, not bringing their potatoes to europe. i'm speaking to all the russians right now. the matter is we should not invite trouble to russia. we have been through a lot of trouble. you don't need great revolutions. as today i'm a deputy of state of duma and i will do what i can to defend fairness, honesty and i think that we will be able to set things up in a way that people will be happy so that people will be heard and that all the leaders will work for the people, starting with the prime minister and ending with the foreman. will you ask questions of the chairman of the government? [applause] >> well, i think i have said in all the translated into life this is the chairman of the government. it's not really a request. just one instruction.
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stamp out red tape and deception of the people. thank you. [applause] >> translator: as far as agriculture, i'm sure we'll talk about that. i'm sure there will be questions about agriculture during this conversation of ours today. as far as people bringing potatoes of egypt. i've not heard anything about that. that sounds very exotic. i have to tell you egypt is one of the largest importers of our grain. in the past decade it was close to unfathomable. we were net importers of grain as you know. importing it from canada, the u.s. and australia. to date we are the third largest exporter in the world, of grain. and there has never been the case before and, of course, this is the result of the work and talent of our agricultural workers and last but not least,
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through the support of the government. another question about the russian, hearing the rallies and people wore these white ribbons and they seemed to be something like a symbol of the future color revolution in russia. do you agree? >> i have already said what i think about these developments on the whole. and it seems to be maybe we should get on other subjects, there are many other interesting subjects. i mean, aafraid we'll have to keep coming back. as far as ribbons and color-coded revolutions, as far as color-coded revolutions i think is everything clear. it's a way to destabilizing society. and i don't think this scheme of society was bourne and evolve with itself. we have associated with the original revolution in the ukraine. by the way, some of the members
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of our opposition at that time were in ukraine and they officially were employed as advisors to the then-president ushenko and they are transplanting those practices to russian soil. speaking of frankly when i saw this on the tv screen, people were wore something on the front of the clothes although i was a little embarrassed about it, but i thought they were -- they were fighting aids. that they were wearing -- that they were wearing contraceptive materials on their chests. why are they doing is so critically and then i took a closer look and realized it was something else. in principal my first thoughts, it's great they are fighting for a healthy way of life. i'm sure the doctor will support this because this is especially relevant for young people. [applause] >> translator: by the way, the people they wore these ribbons in the congress. good for them. well done. so the process, yes.
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as long as they are within the law. disagreement with what the authorities are doing, yes. because the authorities do not always act appropriately and correctly amid the challenges of the times. oftentimes people run into unfairness and injustice and it has to be responded to, but to allow oneself to be destabilize society that i think would be incorrect. that can not be tolerated. also, you did say in the beginning that many people went into the square, the square in moscow as demonstrating their displeasure how the authorities were treating them. but look at one could see on the television screen. when some of the leaders of the opposition who had asked people to come to the square, they were yelling. sheep, go forward! what kind of language is like that? can people be treated like their
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cattle so people are unhappy with the -- with the authorities, would be preferred to have this kind of authority over them? i think people who did go to the square ought to know the students who participated were paid a little and that's fine. let them get paid a little but to allow themselves to be humiliated, i don't think that should be tolerated. [speaking in native tongue] >> translator: i would like to pass it forward to the studios who are my colleagues. here in the studios, we have a member of the public chamber. please ask a question. good afternoon. [speaking in native tongue] >> translator: it started with the square because this is a topical subject and i understand it very well, but they are speaking about the interaction of society and the state, the
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authorities and the individual, you have seen for yourself repeatedly that we have been struggle so far in colleagues. i had been receiving phone calls that had been coming in. i can say the individuals that i directly spoke to they were all lamentling that he could this not find a common language locally with where they live. i spoke on the phone to natalia from the village and she told me that since 2005, she had been trying to solve the problem of -- not she personally but her neighbors, members of the community. they have repeatedly asked for a meeting with the mayor, the head of the administration. she said that the mayor simply laughs in her face and say i need some kind of overseer or handler who would handle this problem and that is not a solution. i received colleagues from the
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moscow region and we should think about changed the interaction between the local authorities, municipalities and with the members of the public. why can't we solve this problem? you have been meeting with individuals. you travel through this country and you put out fires and you're doing something as a prime minister. why can't we convince the local authorities to physically meet with the people on the ground and people say that we would like to have a meeting with the mayor, with the head of the municipalities to discuss certain issues and decide where to build the bridges or something else and we want things to be imposed. we want a principal for the people without the people. i don't think that should be tolerated. these things are in the past and it appears to me that it's time to think about that. the complaints that come to your address, to the public chamber they are numerous and we ask the question why do they write to
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the federal authorities because the local authorities don't want to talk to them. what is your opinion and format of intersection with the public? i i was in the square as an observer and i spoke to them. they didn't come here because they wanted to support some kind of slogans. they hadn't even heard those slogans. they were talking about something. they didn't just come out here for no reason. i think the time has come to change the format of interaction. i think everything should be done not just for the people but also with the people. and these ethics that have been voiced by the people, the ordinary members of the public today, it appears to me that we have to listen to them and to think about how this can be done. i think that your suggestion setting up web cameras at election polls could indeed be implemented but also in municipalities and in the region and look at how governors --
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[speaking in native tongue] >> translator: thank you. let's be a little bit more shorter in terms of time. as far as the authorities are responding to the member of the public, well, i have my own authority. i'm keeping time and there is nothing that can be done about that. this kind of behavior is intolerable. you should have let him speak. of course, i support you. but this is really an important question. and i know how much attention you pay to yourself. i don't think you should be doing it by yourself. i think we ought to think about how management needs to be changed. i understand this is not an easy question. and matters will be decided as far as the federal government and a number of other matters, but we have to think about how to approach the individual closer, how to solve matters that he or she deals with on a daily basis. [speaking in native tongue] >> translator: i will respond. i've been looking at the questions here on the billboard and one was, will you bring back
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the wintertime -- the daylight savings time. we'll talk about that and we'll talk about single matters which is a very serious matter, retired veterans receive more than the average retiree nationwide, the average pension this year will be 8,350 rubles but, of course, we'll texas and adjust for inflation and will increase the pension significantly by 60% on average. now, as far as -- this is just an aside. as far as your question, it is a very important question. once again i would like to visit what yeltsin used to talk about. he talked about the municipal part of the meeting when i talked to him i remember there in grave detail share his ideas about strengthening the markup level of authority american people and i think it was exactly right as far as it is concerned because the municipal
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level of authority is the level in which people speaking figuratively reach out and touch. and this is the most important level because directly on its effectiveness depends the effectiveness of the work -- depends on the quality of life, everyday life, of the individual. there's the first thing. the second thing is we have to make sure that the municipal level of authority is self-sufficient as far as dealing with the issues that have been put on its agenda. and speaking honestly to the level, the availability of financing sources for dealing with these matters, matters that are faced by municipalities is very low. it does not allow the financing of municipalities to effectively tackle challenges facing them on a full scope and that is why in government we have now an entire group working under the
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leadership of the deputy prime minister that is looking into the matter of redistributing the powers and the source of financing in dealing with such issues but in terms of dealing with the sources and opportunities we deal with indifference. and the the slogan that thieves should be put in jail more frequently, i agree. although we should not turn it into a campaign bungling. what is very important is that the municipal level of this government is elected directly by the public. and, of course, people must understand whom they elect so they will not elect for some kind of handouts, some of the local quasi oligarchs or their representatives. they will elect individuals who truly are respected in their community and can be effective and capable of dealing with matters of speaking directly with individuals.
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i already cited the example i'm going to talk about before. it was a while ago. shogi went to one part of russia and i told him it was a difficult winter. one of the communities had a problem. the pipes burst. and they had to go there quickly and do something. so he comes there and talks to the local authorities, and he says, let's go to this town. and be local and i can't go there because they will beat me up. how can you not go? people are freezing there? so he grabs him, brings him somewhere from where they're supposed to get him to a helicopter airplane and fly further. this local guy says, excuse me, for a moment, i need to use the bathroom and then he just disappeared through the back door. he literally escaped, and that is the level of local authorities he was responsible
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for the local authorities. so how can you comment on that? >> yes, we need to give them more opportunities. we need to be tougher on them, asking them to do their job but people once again and i would like to repeat that, that it's very important. that people must understand what elections are all about. there should be a comprehensive effort to strengthen this highly important segment in the power sectors of this country, the municipal level of authority. more questions about elections that we cannot avoid. in russia virtually a presidential campaign had started. you like other candidates have submitted documents to the central electoral committee for registration. the question from a site of a program for eight years you were president. you were able to achieve a lot as prime minister. the question is, if you win, what do you think is the mission of president of vladimir putin in 2012 [speaking foreign
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language] >> translator: if you for your kind assessment of what has been done before. indeed, even though we still have a lot of unresolved issues and challenges, but certain things i consider them landmarks and they have been achieved over the previous years and starting with that, i even wrote down some of the results of the current year that we'll talk about later. but over the past few years, here's what we've been able to do. we have been able to accomplish a lot in the social area and that is key. in the year 2000, even by russian standards and russian standards are much more modest than those used in europe, 29% of the population lived -- 29% of the population lived below the poverty line in 2000. one-third of the population lived in poverty. can you imagine what kind of state the society was in over 10 years we were able to reduce that number by half. today, the number is 12.5%.
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yes, it's too much. it's more than european countries, but the trend and tendency are obvious. it's a positive trend. in 2000, the average wages in this country were 2,132 rubles. i adjusted for inflation. today, the average wages nationally would have to be 7400 rubles. this is where we would be if we had just developed a natural way. however, while the average wages in this country are nothing to write home about, there are not 7400 rubles. there are 23,400 rubles. this despite the crisis phenomenon and the decline in the income of the population. this is the most important thing. i'm going to talk about the strengthening statehood and strengthening our countries international standing, et cetera. these i believe are obvious things. but even as far as the crisis,
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if we were to go back to the crisis, we have gone through the crisis thanks to the potential that had been amassed and we had increased the economic output almost twofold over those years because the economy had commanded. it became more stable, the financial component became more stable. we have passed the crisis in a much softer way in 2009 and 2010 than other countries on the planet. even then during that time, we were experiencing a certain real -- real income growth. and i'm emphasizing real adjusted for inflation. so this year we'll have economy growth registering at 4.2-4.5%. it's 1 to 1.2%. next year, mainly economists are
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planning zero economic growth and the same applies to the united states. and some of european economies are going to be in the negative. this is official data. not that we're happy about it. there's nothing to be happy about it because this can affect us as well. but our ratios are much more stable and better. and there's a very important indicator that we have been working on over the past few years about inflation. i'll remind you in the early otts inflation was high. and before that it exceeded 100%. now we have a record low inflation levels. something unmatched in the history of modern russia. this year we'll have 65% which is close to the u.k.'s 5%. for russia it's a great indicator, of course, we will need to maintain the strength for reducing inflation. we need to target inflation and, of course, unemployment, which is a crucial indicator of what the state of the economy is.
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as far as unemployment, we have dropped below the precrisis levels. we currently have 6% unemployment using the ilo methodology. that is a very important indicator of the health of the economy. do you remember how we started out as far as debts? remember, we had 120 billion in debts and 12 billion in effects reserves. teams we're barely afloat. as a prime minister and made the first bet to rehabilitate this system and not only have maintained this trend but we respect it many times over. we have the world's third largest gold and effects reserves in the world. we have almost brought them back to the precrisis level, not quite but almost and we have what is the minimal foreign debt among foreign economies. we only have 10%. just to remind you, it's 45%
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debt to the gdp increase, it's 162%. in japan it's more than 200% debt to the gdp. and this ratio is only 10%, of which foreign debt is only 2.5%, almost nothing. we have a healthy sound economy and on this basis we can successfully develop the social sphere, although it has to be done carefully. of course, we have to make sure that nothing gets unbalanced but the result of this year are politics. and as i already mentioned the gdp will have grown by 4.5%, industrial output by 5.1%. the real wages are not growing as fast as we would like them but this year we do have 2.9% increase in the real wages. we have indexed all the pensions, although last year we increased all of them by 40-plus
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percent which i have said at the same time, nobody said with the crisis. they did just the opposite. they reduced the pensions. they froze them. they increased the retirement age. but we opted for a different scenario so this is what has been done. what needs to be done are goals of an entirely different caliber. they're more complex than those we have worked with before. we have to strengthen our political system. that's the first order of priority. we have to expand the basis of democracy in this country so as people work directly their connection to the bodies of authority locally in the regions and at the level of the federation so that people will have more trust for the authority so that the political system will be self-sufficient and stable and able to deal with external shocks and deal with attempts to try and get here and go the way here and impact our domestic political processes. this has to put an end to it.
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we need to diversify the economy and modernize and renew the economies and innovation and modernization will be part and parcel of our, overall, posts and we need to increase and improve the social sphere so that nobody will feel left behind by the government but these are all the goals that we will have to work on. obviously, if the public decides that it can trust me to do this work, it will be my pleasure to do this work and i will work with as much intensity as i did it before. the studios are getting into the conversation. i pass the floor to marie and her guest. please be briefer in your questions so that everybody can ask a question of the chairman of the government. [speaking in native tongue] >> translator: earlier, i said we have -- turning to andrea i pass the floor over. they will not let me take a
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microphone. just tell me that you promise to be brief. >> the microphone is the symbol of the authority. [speaking in native tongue] >> translator: well, thank you, by way of continuing, what have you been just been discussing the overarching goal with president putin when you were talking when this country was on the brink of a civil war had to be dealt with. but today this overarching goal has been achieved. you have already said how much will be done and the socialist fetishes that are growing at an unprecedented pace they are causing some concerns on the economy. how will we be able to pay the taxes that we will have to pay so that the have-nots live better? the very word "stability" is already acquiring a negative shade. and the important thing is many say that this was a decade of high oil prices and, therefore, a decade of lost opportunities, missed opportunities. i would like to ask the question you were asked 12 years ago.
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in english it sounded as follows, who is mr. putin? i would like to translate it into clear russian and say this, the overarching goal of the presidential candidate -- not the president but presidential candidate vladimir putin today, with when everything he discussed has already been solved, what is this overarching goal? and whom do you represent? to me it sounds like this? what is the reason for to you seek another presidency? >> as far as the statement that the goal of strengthening the state and statehood has been fully result, i could not quite agree. yes, it is most important thing has been done. separatism and terrorism have been put an end to but look at the caucuses. just look at how people are suffering there from those phenomenon. if you just let things go a little bit then maybe we'll understand what the difficulties of today's day -- difficulties of today are, when people
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instead of going to the city square will have to go and face bullets and fight terrorists where they will not be thinking about how much pensions are here. [inaudible] >> and around us have done that. i want to talk about the countries with long life expectancies, where the demographic is such that the number of those employed is relatively less and less compared to those who are in a country and their life expectancy in russia has even less but under the pressure of financial institutions who said you will not get any money.
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>> you were forced to comply. so to say that everything has been done and everything is stable, i would not say that. >> yes. a great deal has been done. >> and with the word is beginning to sound a little bit negative. stability is not a kin to marching on the spot, ending on the spot. stability implies stable development. that is my concept of stability. and that is what was ensured over the previous years. and that is what will need to be secured in the future. i have already told him that in the short term, in the memory and in the longer strategic term we'll have to deal with
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different challenges. society needs to be arranged in a different way. the political system needs to be strengthened and the democratic institutions need to be strengthened and all life needs to be modernized, both the political and the economy and the social sphere. and to a certain extent we need profound machinations in this society so this this country will be both stable and so that the laws of its development will be irreversible so that it will actually reach new frontiers. can we do it? or not do it? yes we can. this will be my overarching goal if the people of this country trust me with this job. [applause] >> we have just talked about how this country successfully overcame the 2008 crisis. has it largely been responsible to the safety pillar represented by the stability fund that had
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been built based on an idea by the former finance manager. just the other day he said the second wave of crisis has already begun. by the way, he said that he and you are a like minded person. if you win, will you bring him to your team? >> well, you know, he never left my team. he's a very, very old acquaintance of mine. a very close friend of mine. i would say he's a close friend. what happened in the government -- there are many factors that i will not go into now. he has not left that far. i only spoke to him the day before yesterday and we discussed all these matters and i understand his position on matters. moreover, he has done a great deal to strengthen the economy of this country. it is not an accident that the international expert community has twice on two occasions recognized him as the best finance manager of the world and i take pride that someone like
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he worked in my government. once again, at the imf we spoke about the situation in the economy about the future. indeed, many things we see differently. but they're not crucial. they're not a principled nature. as far as a decade of missed opportunities including what word does this come from? let me tell you where it comes from? let me talk about the mechanics of it. i will reveal that. so we made a decision to increase the pension by 42% -- 45% amidst the crisis and some of the liberal economists told me then that it must not be done in the middle of a crisis. we need to save money and if we were to increase pensions, then
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at the same time, we need to take steps that one way or the other, it will be necessary at some point. in the area of the same pension system. for instance, we have a great deal of individuals in this country who are entitled to early retirement. what do you think is the number? >> out of a total number of retirees, it's 34%. 34% have the right to early retirement. and i was told it had to be done now. we are radically increasing the pension size and this step must be taken as well. the same applies to several other issues. for instance, as far as the public health, if we are making the steps whereby we are issuing 460 billion additionally, to the republic health system if we are doing something else, something additional in the education a a
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area, we have to take necessary action to reduce the number of institutions, reduce the number of staff to make the system more mobile, more interesting. what do we need so many beds in the hospitals when in wintertime they are mostly used for elderly just to spend the winter in the hospital? bhaumd to be able to do in a hospital is to undergo treatment. just like in the western hospitals, two or three days and then the next station and for that you don't need as many beds as we have. >> correct. probably not. but first we have to build a modern public health system and equip it with proper technology so that effective assistance can effect given effective treatment and care can be given to people for two or three days and also for people who live within that system, what do we do with those? well, you have to lay them off. well, first they have to provide
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jobs for them. so is this a time of missed opportunities? >> you know, politics are the art of the possible and i have always with respect listened to those this particular mode of action and i frequently agreed when i thought it was possible. but i never will forget how it will impact the individuals, the specific individuals, where it will lead to, what kind of sentiment for society. yes, we need to lay people off. and, yes, we need to provide technology in any area, not just in public health or anywhere. or we will in the middle of the crisis we will send people into the street without a job. is that a time of missed opportunities? i don't think so. we have to work carefully so going back to your question i once again want to say, yes, indeed. we do have certain disagreements but on the whole in principle people like kudrin think of
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global terms and they have a strategic vision of people and people like he, of course, are needed in the current government and the future government. there will be room for him in the ranks. >> we have an information center at work which is collecting communications and that is manned by my colleague. maria? >> yes, thank you, we have a great deal of questions and communications. so far we have received more than 1.5 million communications including 1 million 90,000 phone calls including texts -- and texts as well. as far as comparing it to the previous year, more are interested in the matters of domestic policy. let's go to questions. how are you? you're on the air. please introduce yourself. >> my name is delores. last year you said that the
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utility part would not grow in more than 16% and you would personally oversee this. however, in certain localities and certain regions, the growth has exceeded 15%. do you think that bureaucrats are so used to you that they're no longer afraid of you and they do as they please? thank you. >> thank you to who? to me or to them? >> well, as far as the utilities, it has been discussed here earlier indeed this is one of the most sensitive for the public and indeed this is an area where there is a great deal of unfairness and fraud, unfortunately, i have to say that honestly just to remind you not to pass the buck to somebody, but because this is by law and this is by fact of life. but the utilities are the competence as well as it should be of the local and regional authorities, not that i'll passing the buck to them. but this is the fact that the utilities are the confidence of the local and regional authorities. and when we recently ran into
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problems in this area, i started raising it to the level of the government of the federation and i will tell you -- i will not keep it serious. i will talk immediately. to not do this, to not get entangled with this problem, it is very difficult to solve and it's not even our competence. >> well, as you know i have an entire different style of operation. i know that people don't care -- they couldn't care less. they don't give a damn on who's competence includes a certain matter. people don't see the difference. they don't differentiate. they want matters dealt with. that is why we started dealing with this at the level of government. in order to raise the level of responsibility, we passed some of the authority of dealing with issues from the municipal to the regional level. we also empowered these regional and local authorities of government in a way that they
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can now determine the consumption rate and bring in the so-called management companies and set tariffs in certain areas, in those areas. so here is what we've run into. >> yes, and, of course, removal of cross-subsidies and cross-payments. let me explain. i will try to be very, very brief. as far as the consumption rate, when they start setting consumption rate at the local level, they will either be lower or higher. and on this, to a great extent it depends on the level of collections. people will be bypassing immediately at the market there are companies affiliated with local bureaucrats and it pains me to say that but this is true. this is the most important goal to monopolizes this market. there are a number of payers for other payers for the public in this regard, what needed to be
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done regularly in the previous years gradually as the economic ambitions allowed, as inflation who gradually without too much paying for the people but in a way that was adequate to the situation evolving in the economy tariffs needed to be raised. but as we say out of the utility -- out of the federal utilities fund we can only support those regions that are compliant with these terms including our removing cross-subsidies and in certain municipalities and regions they did not make the timely decisions to raise tariffs in a gradualual way? what happened there, trying to get federal support and inflated the prices by 100 or more percent and of course we were forced to bring the bar back to last year through 25% according to information available to me,
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all of this has been done. if, however, we have overlooked something, then please tell us and i will immediately ask the operator to tell me where you are physically in this country. the fifth year was set the bar at utility growth at 15% and another percentage more. as of now, so far the average -- the average increase nationwide is, i think, 13.5%, year-to-date. it's possible that the tariffs may have grown by a high percentage point somewhere. once again, tell me where. but even last year, such municipalities where tariffs grew and there were not many of them. >> yes, they did kind of tarnish the overall picture but all together there were maybe 1,000 of them nationwide which in relative terms is not a large
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percentage. however, as far as the next year, we've made a decision to limit the growth of tariffs by inflation, which means that the tariffs will grow by 6, maybe 6-plus percent. consciously not because of political reasons, not because we have elections coming up, but because if the tariffs are raised early in the year, they kind of accelerate. that is why we made the decision to only allow tariffs to be increased starting in midyear. once again, on a year on year basis they won't increase by more than 6.5% but the actual growth will not only start until the second half of the year. >> thank you. i would like to pass the floor. [inaudible] >> yes.
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do we have -- do we have any communications from maria. a great deal of questions and communications. as soon as you leave the floor, we'll start having them out. perhaps we can have the subject of education because there have been a great deal of questions. here's the first one that came by text. is it true that tina will become the administration minister? >> well, based on the response by the audience, the audience supports it. tina is a multitalented individual. she has an interesting bright personality. but to head up a ministry especially such as important ministry as an education ministry, both need to have managerial experience and needs to work in the relevant sector. i'm not sure that tina does have such experience but, of course, everybody who wants to work,
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everybody who can work, i hope, will find employment and there will be a demand for them. >> let's take more questions from the audience. we have students of the academy of the ministry of emergencies and they have a question about students in uniform. >> please tell me do you think that the reform of the interior ministry was formalistic and superficial? what is the point of calling and renaming the militia into police if the substance is the same? >> well, i'll tell you i did not work on this segment of the reform of the law enforcement system from the beginning but what i think is undoubtedly positive is that the salaries have been raised both for the
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men and women serving under the ministry of defense and in the law enforcement area or as they call it now the police. of course, this will make a difference in the sense that it will make it possible for the state to bring in worthy individuals 'cause the level of wages is a very serious factor for people to make a choice in favor of a certain job. we have heard so many times what do they expect from the police if their salaries are like ann's? it was a common place. so now they are raising the salaries and wages in the law enforcement area and in the defense industry. and in a year, in 2012, we'll increase the salaries in other related sectors as well. people know that we cannot do it as a lump sum -- on a lump sum basis and on the whole of those
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services understand that, appreciate that so we will do it on january the 1st, 2013. and generally speaking, in any structure including paramilitary and military organizations, they are different individuals. it's part of our society. there are individuals who do their job properly. those who don't do their job properly and there are those who behave badly and even commit crimes and, obviously, this has to be monitored on a 24/7 basis and it can be due to the specifics of a political service. it has to be opened and understood and culled by society. but as people in uniform including the interior ministry system it has to change. if we want them to work effectively, they need our respect. and raising their salary is not
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going to cut it. >> more questions from your site on the web. i'm not trying to set you up with these elections. >> well, it can help. there are questions and questions about the elections. quote, you were not part of the douma elections and you were not held up on the list but you're being held responsible for the results of the voting. they don't like you. just remember the tory authority magazine where there was a photo with a caption that said, president putin goes -- because we're on the air i can't repeat it. so what do you think about this attitude to you. president putin? >> well, i did see that caption. it made me laugh. actually, it made me happy and i'll tell you why, there's nothing new about this attitude. i remember in the early 2000s when we were fighting terrorism
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and north caucuses. i don't know what i heard about myself and saw about myself. of course, the western partners were really bending backwards, were really going out of their way. i saw really scary caricatures and captions. but i was then confident, and i am still confident that i acted correctly and i'm confident that i'm acting correctly now. as far as statements on the ballots, as far as i understand, this particular ballot was dropped in london where people came to vote in the embassy. we do know -- we've gathered in london and we do know why they won't go back to russia. and their wish to tell me to go to hell has to do with the fact they want to come back here but as long as i'm here, they can't come back and i understand this perfectly well.
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so, therefore, i'm not upset. and i don't hold it against them. moreover, i've called for all russian citizens to come and vote. and they came. they heeded my call and i praised them for it. thank you. >> maria, i would like to say we have today with us a famous children's doctor who's the president of the national medical chamber of college. i thought we would not get as far. he is going to go after me again today. just like the elections. but first of all, maria asked me to let her keep the microphone. i will comply and i will not go after the microphone. but the question about the square development and they don't have anything to do with the public health. i was not on the square because my institute was the closest to
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the square and we didn't know how it would all end. that is why we had gathered all personnel, surgeons, trauma specialists, intensive care specialists and we were ready. people had come from home to work extra time. thank god they were not needed and i talk to businessmen who were on the square and who prior to that had lived normal lives. they have houses abroad and, you know, they are wealthy and so i asked them, why are you doing that? i've asked them why they're doing that. they said it's so difficult for business now who are being strangled by kickbacks. and they have the means to get kickbacks from. many are going broke. many are going bankrupt and credit. there is a great credit crunch. it's very difficult to obtain credit for a small business. that is why they were there.
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that's the main thing. and also i did not want to ask this question. i actually wanted to but then i changed my mind because let the prosecutor's office deal with it. let them say what is good and what is bad because there have been many things said about this and they're not true, for instance. i heard that there will be people in the administration and keith bright so that he would -- i believe that an office investigation needs to be conducted. i think this is nonsense. specific individuals will prove that. let some specific individuals prove that's the case. i talked to the citizens and they're discussing what discussing. part of them i did ask on central television. the first question has to do with the paid nature of services in the public health.
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on one hand we say we have guaranteed medical assistance but everything that is not covered by the guarantee has to be paid for. now there is pressure being brought by the executive branch. and, you know, fairly strong pressure to increase the paid-for nature of the public municipal health services. am i right? yes. it's very important. so how do we find a balance? that's the first thing. and the second thing is, i'm not talking about the quality of the assistance. that's a problem of professional organizations have to improve that. but long wait-lists in clinics to see specialists and we're close to a catastrophe in terms of public health? now with the salaries of the specialists have been reraised. it was a mistake in the past
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when we didn't do it in the past but how you will it help solve the problems? how do we get rid of the waiting list? thank you. >> let me make a note here to make sure i don't forget. as far as credits for small business and credit in general, i will be brief on that subject. of course, availability of credit is an extraordinary factor which is one of the key tools of expanding economic activity and economic growth. the availability of credit is continuously toward and one has to be very careful in this area. the credit on this economy on the whole is consistent with other economies.
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the difference is with china. in china, they have a little more credit. too much credit activity is dangerous. why? because if efforts are made toward artificially pump money into the economy bubbles. they give money artificially. production is inflated and then there is oil production. it's not -- it's not a trivial economic category. for instance, in the tapes right now credit is available almost for free and all the specialists believe when will it end and what will it lead to? that's one of the threats to the global economy and that leads to inflation and other negative consequences. sooner or later, the u.s. monetary authorities will have to reduce this level of sustaining cheap or free money for the economy. and how this will impact the economy, how it will contract, what it will lead to as far as
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america itself and the global economy and the whole. nobody knows this yet. this is one of the threats of the global economy, just like the dramatic increase in the debt obligations in the eurozone. that is why our central bank, i believe, on the whole has been acting very carefully. we have maintained a level as sufficiently acceptable level credit availability and we're not pumping it. ..
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>> carefully without destroying the economy on the whole affair as far as the pay for nature of public health and weight of this, of course this is a very important and sensitive matter for just about everybody. as far as paid versus fee, you are one of the codirectors of the fundamentals of medical activities in russia. and there it says everything regarding what needs to be paid for and what needs to be free. that is the first thing. second, where do these distortions from? you will know that for sure but i think it was 1993 that a decision was made to pass the matters of passing it to the public service and a broad sense to the leather of region. it was not done because life is great. it was done because the federation simply could not
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finance those mandates. and it virtually turned over those mandates without any money. that is where the tragedy lies. regions and municipalities began to finance medicine based on their specific capabilities. and, of course, those capabilities vary dramatically from one region to another. i can tell you even more. what does this lead to? the differential in financial availability of medical services in our regions is 20 times over, therefore our goal was an consist in concentrating some of the resources in the center, just like it is being done at the budget area. and to use the mandatory medical insurance in order to redistribute these resources, in order to even out the availability. yet we cannot do it, certainly cannot be simply taking away
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money from better doing regions to drop the level of public health fair and to keep the money to where things are going very poorly. we have to be doing it carefully. and we will do it in conjunction with adoption of the new law on the mandatory medical assurance which has been in effect since at least january the first of this year. and that you were to join on with your colleagues. we will do it on a stage by stage basis to the first stage i think runs out in 2013, to be followed by the second stage but as far as waiting lists and critics, it is a very important matter. i have called the attention of my colleagues to this. i have sent people to videotape those lines of people waiting outside a doctor's office. it has to do with the financial, with the lack of finance in some of the regions that that is exactly why we decided to carry
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out the next step, the step of modernizing the system of public health. so in 2006, we made the decision and carried out a program of national projects, including in public health. i identified our most sensitive points, our weaknesses, and we drafted a new law, medical insurance. and the new loan with your assistance on the fundamentals of the medical activities in russia. and based on this law we will be redistricting those forces, and we have included a new program. i've said many times over, this is a vast amount of money. but everybody i hope knows by now about this, that money will have to be used to modernize the public health institutions in the regions of the russian federation. the program has become active, and hope that the public will feel the impact.
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i believe and i hope that the crater degree of pay for services in the public health will not be connected to my name here no, no. , it will. everybody know the doctor is a strong opponent of paper services in medicine altogether. i would like to provide completely free medicine but the law as of today says what can be provided on a paper basis must be free. i think there's a clear understanding and it's important, basic things undoubtedly have to be free. generally public sentiment in russia has to be free. they mention kickbacks. yes, kickbacks by business, yes. you know, that is very corruption we've been talking about that has to be fought. of course, this is problem. a problem by the way for any transitional economy with
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business, business community has to deal with primary at the level of bureaucrats. the problem exists. it has to be eradicated. and that's the end of it stuck we have thousands of calls and text. areas within. your friend, u.s. senator mccain through twitter says that he will repeat -- the death of moammar gadhafi. is this an empty threat or a real plan of the west? >> i think it's a great exaggeration that he is my friend. because yes, i have met mr. mccain, just once i think in munich at the security conference, but, of course, i've heard statements. i read them. what can be said? it is not said about me. it is said about russia. some people want to push russia aside so that it won't be in the way so that it won't be in the way of dominating the globe. they continue to be afraid of
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our new potential, that is why it is in come is a focus, that is why it is such an irritant. also, we have a lot of opinion. we conduct important policy and hope we continue in the future. of course, this bothers some. second, the west is not on the same and we have more friends than enemies. and third, mr. mccain is known in japan. i think on his hands there is enough blood of fiscal citizens. i think he just loves, probably can't live without those horrifying scenes of how the doctor was dealt with when all the tv screens in the whole world, they showed how he was being killed, all bloodied. is this democracy? then they brought in swat over the radio, they brought in so-called opposition members,
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and he was destroyed. summarily without any investigation or a trial. it should have been done by we, people deciding it by democratic procedure. yes, it's complex but it requires time but it's possible otherwise. mr. mccain as we know it was captured in vietnam and he wasn't just in prison, he was in a whole. and he spent a few years there, and anybody will go crazy after that. so there's nothing unusual in this statement. >> the house and senate approved a two month extension of the 2% payroll tax cut this morning. the bill also extends unemployment benefits and previously scheduled cut in payments to doctors who treat medicare beneficiaries. the senate approved nearly identical legislation last saturday that attitude today's bill is a so-called technical
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fix the with how employers report payroll taxes to the irs. the bill is now headed to the president for his signature. and wrote to the white house coverage is coming up today. newt gingrich is holding a town hall meeting in columbia, south carolina. you can watch it live on c-span at 12:30 p.m. eastern. >> with the iowa caucuses and new hampshire primary next month, c-span series the contenders looks back at 14 men who ran for president and lost but had a long lasting impact on american politics. tonight charles evans hughes, chief justice of deny states, and then on saturday three-time governor of new york al smith followed by businessman and member of the liberal wing of the gop linda wilke. next week the series continues starting monday with thomas dewey. the contenders every night at 10 eastern on c-span.
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>> in russia's parliamentary elections earlier this year, vladimir putin's party won with just under half the vote. four years ago his party won almost two-thirds of the vote. the center for the national interest recent hosted a
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discussion about the election and what it means for russia. this is almost an hour and a half. >> all right. we're going to get underway now. it's a great privilege to moderate this afternoon session. i called dmitry now only about a week ago after a course of observing the events underway in the russian federation in moscow, and other cities. what some have described as perhaps the beginning of the breakup of the ice that forms during a russian winter. to discuss the political changes under way in russia.
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and i suggested, of course, that dimitri should join us to provide his views on, not only what happened, but what could occur in the future. surprisingly, he sort of resisted me. and wanted to talk about these issues, but i very quickly was able to twist his arm to get him to agree to the meeting. i think dimitri now, looking at the very good turnout we have today, the level of interest, a lot of familiar faces around the table, i think we have the opportunity to not only listen to dimitri's views, but also to, i hope, engaged in a good back and forth discussion amongst all of us. dimitri truly is the guy who needs no introduction. just remind you that he came to
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the united states from the soviet union in 1973, developed a close relations with current and past policymakers, most notably with president nixon. became an obvious choice to lead then nixon center, and at the center for the national interest. he is one of those renaissance people who is able, i think, to combine both topicality and following daily events, not only in russia but globally, but with a deep academic and theoretical perspective. we titled this session the end of the putin era, question mark. and i think at this stage the question mark is very appropriate.
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something is going on in russia, but we are not quite sure at this stage what it is. but dimitri, i'm going to give you the floor so you can help us understand it been i think much for the generous introduction, and in the spirit of full disclosure, rick did not twist my arm. he just raised by doing at the board of directors. [laughter] and since ambassador burt is the chairman of our committee, when he makes a suggestion, i listen very carefully. but now, ambassador, thank you for the opportunity. the end of the putin era, with a question mark. i think that anyone who claims that the putin era is coming to an end needs to define what does it mean. the editor of the nation can
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tell you about an article, recently published about an end of the american era in global politics, an article by steve wolf. and what was good about this article, that it frames the issue not in terms of black and white, not in terms of the united states started being a superpower, losing global influence, but with much greater nuance asking a question, with the united states play the same dominant role in international affairs? we were able to play after the end of the cold war. so using this article as an example, and i will say that i cannot predict with certainty whether putin himself will depart from power any time soon. what i think we can predict with
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certainty, that he will not be able to rule the way he was ruling russia during last 11 years. and his ability to understand and to accept that, that might ultimately determine whether he is able stay as russian president. it is quite clear that important things are happening in russia, and that things have the potential watch for very meaningful reform, and for a very dangerous destabilization. 50,000 people have demonstrated in moscow on december 10. 50,000, doesn't sound a huge number when you look at what happened, for instance, in egypt. when you look at some other demonstrations in europe.
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when you remember nuclear demonstrations in new york and in central park, almost a million people. so it doesn't sound like a huge number, but in terms of previous russian practices, 50,000 peop people, meeting in washington, not organized by any established parties, organized primarily through internet on the very short notice. this was quite remarkable. and there were thousands and thousands of other russians demonstrating all over the country, smaller meetings and many other cities, but you can say with a considerable degree of certainty that this was the first time russian urban middle class decided that they wanted to be taken seriously.
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we still do not know to what extent people who came to this meeting, political platform, to what extent they will have specific political demands. what is very clear that they wanted to deliver at least one simple message. enough is enough. and we are not going to tolerate this nonsense any longer. this was a very important and a very powerful message. because only a couple of years ago, when we were observing russian public opinion, we could say with a considerable degree of certainty that the russian middle class was not necessarily suggesting about the government, but they didn't want to become involved in politics. they believed in putin's grand bargain. meme, use the people don't question how we go into government, and we make sure that your lifestyles, you're
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living standards consistently improve. and we would not interfere in your latest trick you don't tell us, the government, what official policy should be. and we would not tell you where you should live, where you should travel, where you should work on or even what you can think it and if you want to criticize the government, please do it, as long as you don't do it on cd national tv channels, which were considered by the government to important. that grand bargain was rejected on the summer 10 in moscow, and in many other russian cities. why it happened, i don't think we will ever know. like when we look at the revolution in tunisia and other arab revolutions, you can see a relatively small event that has triggered public indignation.
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but clearly, the public, or at least major parts of the public, already felt quite interested and ready to engage in protests. and 50,000 people again is not a huge number of people. but revolutions in russia traditionally start by small middle-class minority tom and particularly in moscow and st. petersburg. so for the government to know of these people i think the government would do it only despair. these people if they would be acknowledged, an attempt would be made to ostracize them, to present them as foreign agents, i think that would make them only increasingly angry. they may become a revolutionary, contrary to their own initial inclinations. we were talking for some time about two realities in russia.
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i was talking about then several months ago with a leader of the labor party, one party which is a kind of force, as a part of official opposition, loyal opposition, was allowed to take part in last parliamentary elections. but at the same time very genuinely were critical of the government. he said to me at the time that in russia, people existed in to their realities. one was the reality of the tv universe. what people who watch tv, more influenced by what they think is an approach suggested by the government, and at the time acceptable to the vast majority of russian citizens. and then there was a growing
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internet space, people who are very cynical about the government, people who relied primarily on internet use, people who were spending a growing amount of time on internet. but as he said at the time, these people were not awakened. for them, the internet reality was not something that required anybody to action, that required them to do anything specific in their lives. what has happened on decembe december 10, the internet reality moved into this reality of russian political life. and they don't think that you can see any real turning back. what has provoked this people who went to demonstrate? well, i think it started probably on september 24, when
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putin and medvedev had announced that they would change jobs, and now that putin would run again for president and medvedev would become prime minister. most people assume by that time that putin probably would run for presidency. and most people i thought were prepared to accept that. but the way it was done, kind of an announcement at a party meeting without any preparation, without any discussion, really offended a lot of people. particularly educated people who felt that once again they were taken for granted. both who were supportive of putin were quite upset with the way it was done. than entrée at that time, vice president star, minister of finance came to washington to
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take part in imf meetings. he left moscow on leave of that united ruling russian party meeting with announcement of putin and medvedev switching jobs was made. putin consistent, including just three days ago, was describing putin as one of his closest political associates. , indeed personal friends. when putin came to washington he would have done for the last time that medvedev would be the new premise to. he had differences with him and he made an announcement in washington which was rather provocative in the newsroom, saying that he would not serve in the russian government under and medvedev. and you know, and acting minister of finance and advice prime minister, to make an innocent like that on foreign
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soil, really i thought it was not something that is conventionally done. but if you don't understand from this is also not conventionally done for a first vice president should come to another country and learn from foreign tv what is a reins in his own government. you would understand his reaction. first vice prime minister, he has said publicly that he has learned about this arrangement when he listened to it in a meeting of the united russia. i talk to senior kremlin officials in organizing that united russia meeting. they told me that yes, they were informed in advance, like 24 hours in advance. because they had to arrange the meeting, they would -- they had to be told. but otherwise, nobody really
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knew. prime minister putin still around russia as if he was a senior kgb officer, as if it was a secret, where the more you share, the more you can get into trouble. and we don't really share information with anyone, and don't seek anybody's advice. prime minister putin was once asked about his advisers, whose advice does he take from foreign policy issues? putin thought a little bit and said henry kissinger is the chairman at the center and i have the greatest -- i think putin is doing well listening to henry kissinger. but what was remarkable was he did not think about anyone in his own country, in his own government, whom he would want to call an advisor.
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the emperor doesn't will have advisers. they have lieutenants, they have assistance. they don't have advisers. and that created situation even inside the russian elite, inside the russian government, that announcement about putin and medvedev switching jobs was taken very poorly. medvedev was considered more liberal, and that he would bring with them his liberal constituency to support the ruling party during dome elections. but the opposite has happened. because medvedev contrary that, was complaining exactly putin. and most of his constituencies felt betrayed. so bringing medvedev back as prime minister really did not
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surface to a. i also think that there was considerable fraud during last elections. i ask we do not believe that it was as widespread as some critics, perhaps have suggested. i think there was considerable consistency between the results of public opinion polls, including public opinion polls conducted by independent organizations, like the center, and the way the world count was announced. but there were a couple of very notable exceptions. and the primary exception, clearly considerable disconnect between the way the votes were quote unquote counted, and independent poll, exit polls have suggested. there was a considerable
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disconnect, and people in moscow, they knew how they had voted, how their friends and neighbors had voted. and when you look at the figures, they clearly felt betrayed. and the judgment not just about moscow but about the way this elections were conducted. so i think that's what has triggered, particularly in moscow, and we are where we are. the question is, can the russian government is to hold its grounds and get putin reelected as president in march? in my view, it is still doable. it is not assured.
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>> i talked to some very knowledgeable russians, very knowledgeable about russian economy and people fully supportive from the government. and they believe that they are likely to be serious difficult economic difficulties in the soviet union this fall. and that is but the putin and
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particularly to the military and security services on whose loyalties they want to count. and there is great challenge for the government to be able to balance the budget. and to maintain any kind of fiscal prudence. that is one reason finance minister putin was so critical of what medvedev was doing in president and clearly we could talk a few disagreements with putin. it's a serious situation when government is able to survive so much but major confrontations and major allegations of fraud and what is going to be a serious economic difficulties next fall? and when it would not just be internet generation but ordinary russians from many cities who would feel squeezed and go to the streets. so this is a very challenging
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time for russia. so far i seen russian governments response was inadequate. putin talking about all of this being the product of foreign conspiracy. i think it was very interesting that people putin needed to try to persuade. and i think the majority of russians -- when they hear allegations like that coming from putin from medvedev, from russian tv, even if there is something to this allegation, i don't think that they can -- i think it's a question of dignity and respect. i've seen a lot of russians want the government to recognize that if they make it clear that they're angry and that they won't change, that for the government to say that all this has been directed by hillary clinton, this is not the right way to proceed. if the government wants to maintain its support and to maintain its legitimacy inside
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russia itself. let me make a point about a position. the trouble with rising russian situation is situations in arab countries who would like to believe that the government is corrupt. well, like, like the knights on the white horses, unfortunately, that is not quite the case. putin was right in my view in the long interview on russian channel 2 of the bureau chief this year and putin said a lot of things about former prime minister being widely perceived as very, very corrupt, about some russian opposition leaders really coming back from the '90s and there is real danger that
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what is being criticized of the putin government is a group of citizen groups that the citizen groups from the 21st century -- they may be replaced by the gangsters and robber barons of the 1990s. that would not be a good scenario. and we also do know that during last parliamentary elections, as unfair as this election could be, there was a set message from this election that populace parties, nationalist parties they have done much better than the liberals. i have already mentioned this general liberal russian party, they were not subjected to any greater discrimination and harassment than the communist
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party and the nationalist party. i have seen mr. alinsky on the channels, and mr. costa is bureau chief for russian channel number 1. i thought alinsky was quite positive and when they have someone's presentation they know how to select what they want to select. i thought alinsky -- that they were publicity. yet, they did not get in the dumas. [inaudible] >> what worries me is that we
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may confuse what we have confuse confused in union with protesters in the square with another modern country and there is a price in egypt and the muslim brothers and those more conservative than the muslim brothers are doing quite well and they might be surprised if generally free election scenario and we may see many in the russian government who would be pretty critics of the west, particularly of the states. incidentally, all parties that have entered the government, they have denounced secretary clinton for her criticize of the
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elections and they have criticized the nonprofit groups which have received support from u.s. foundations and particularly from the u.s. government. let me finish on a note about u.s. stakes and the u.s. interest. russia today does not look like a very important country except in terms of nuclear weapons. we have recently together have produced a report on u.s. policy where we made the point that russia is important for many reasons. but particularly because russia is the only country which can destroy the united states. there was a scenario where russia would want to do something like that, and have the capability. several people in this room who were at the meeting with putin in november at the so-called
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forum where putin took an issue with our report saying, well, russia, of course, can destroy the united states and actually you said it would take 60 minutes and we can do it even faster. but putin said there were also other reasons where russia can be important to the united states. and i think many americans will not take that russian importance very seriously. let me mention, however, that according to a recent forecast by the goldman sachs, which was mistaken on a number of a number of facts including their own process. but still, this forecast prepared by putin knowledgeable serious people and they believe that by the year 2050, russia will be number 6 in terms of global gop product, number 6.
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being ahead of most american allies and perhaps even of japan. now, i would not take it too literally but i would simply say that the russian economic potential is serious and real and if russian introduces necessary reforms. it may be a major international player, not only but of its nuclear potential. russia also is, of course, a member of the u.n. security council. and russia, of course, is a country which can quickly change the dynamics of international politics if it chooses to ally itself with china. russia and china for many years were competitors. they look at each other with considerable suspicion. they have different economic interests. and initiations but economic issues are very difficult
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indeed. having said that, if we manage to create major issues and american relations with both china and russia, at least on a technical level, some kind of alliance or at least an agreement between the two powers is quite possible. and then international politics would not be quite the same. let me end on a very simple note. with a choice to make in years policy toward russia, secretary clinton was very critical of russian elections and probably with some reason. at the same time israeli foreign minister was in moscow meeting with prime minister putin and he
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said that she talked to israeli observers at russian elections and they all told them there were no serious violations. now, i can assure you that his family who came from the soviet union and is a very conservative israeli leader is that she's not naive about russia and about russian politics. and she was not bought by the russian government. actually, there were very difficult negotiations with putin and others because israel had disagreements with russia support of syria, hamas, and she came to russia moscow on all the issues of great importance to
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israel. so she clearly made a calculation that as she was negotiating with russia about matters of great importance to israel, that would be not the best time for him to criticize russian government domestic policy. during last 20 years, we came from a very different conclusion. we came to a conclusion that after the end of the cold war we can tell about everybody, how they should conduct domestic affairs, and that we can do it without an impact on the u.s. interests and on the u.s. ability to do things which are very important to us, like russian support of iran, like continuing supplies across russia to afghanistan. things that really affect american security and american lives. whether we should be able to have our cake and eat it too, it's difficult to make a prediction but i do believe that
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there are instances when american interests and american values are in some conflict and i also believe that doing what is in the u.s. national interest is that it saves american lives and protects american security, that it also reflects american fundamental values. and we should remember about that in forming american policy toward russia. >> thank you, dimitri. you've given us a lot to think about. and i hope to talk about. and i think i will exercise the moderator's right to make ask you the first question or make the first comment. and i'll give some fair warning to my good friend, general scowcroft, after i ask my questions and his response so you have a little time to prepare. dimitri, i found part of your
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presentation maybe a little bit -- you've given us kind of a paragon, if you will. i mean, i think you quite correctly pointed out that if you survey the whole political scene in russia, you don't find united russia on the one hand and a group of western liberalizers on the other. i think the second largest political party are the communists. you've got zeronofski and his nationalists. you've got a gaggle of other extremist parties. and as you -- as you pointed out, the would-be liberals at most 3 to 4% at the same time, as i watch those protests on the news, i saw what you again correctly pointed out were what we used to call in the 1980s
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mainly yuppies, young urban professionals who clearly -- if they didn't get the straight news from television, they were in touch on the internet. they probably all followed this figure navalni, this famous blogger. there does seem to be, at least amongst the protesters, a group of people who i was classify as modernizer. i wouldn't necessarily call them liberals but they clearly are people who are not extremists, are not ultra nationalists necessarily. and didn't strike me as conventional communists either. am i wrong about this discrepancy? i did get this sense at least in
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the early demonstrations in the arab spring that you did have people who wanted openness and more transparency at least and wanted a government that they could -- >> i think there is paradox in the restriction two of our objectives of russia. on one level, of course, we'll look at this young urbanized yuppies, as you call them. people are clearly interested in modernization. people are clearly outraged by pervasive outrage in russia and it's difficult for us not to identify with them, particularly, people we mostly see are our own tv and read about them in new york and "time" magazine. we have seen this obviously in egypt several months ago. and to support these people, to
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support reform is very natural for america. but then we also want to support something else, a free election and then you discover in egypt and then we may discover in russia that there is a certain disconnect between this young urbanites who are so visible and who sound like this and many of them speak good english and some of them, some of their best spokesmen spent time in the united states being associated with the best universities but then we discovered once you allowed for a free election, other groups, other social stratus are much more humorous and come to the talk. and what they want to do, you may find very problematic. in the case of egypt, of course, one of our challenges is what an islamic majority in the new parliament assuming they will be allowed to keep an islamic majority in the new parliament
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by the military, what they would do with israel. in the case case of russia, well, i would want to know, how would it affect their ability with the united states? you mentioned alexi who was almost a cult hero for young urbanites in russia. he's a former member of their leaders. he was asked to leave because she was becoming an arab nationalist and only recently they took part in an event which included russian nationalists and he himself was talking about russia for the russians, meaning russia for people who are ethnic russians and who was stopping to
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subsidize northern areas where they already have strong separatist movements and that can lead to a real destabilizetion and she was talking about nonethnic russians, especially those from moscow. and if you will see this kind of policy coming from the new russian political majority, we may discover that this is not the outcome we would be fully comfortable with. >> so you're suggesting perhaps that the real political choice at this stage of russian political development between putin and the ultra nationalists? >> i'm suggesting that we cannot be sure. we could not be sure in the case of it. what i'm also suggesting is that there is an unfolding drama on a variety of outcomes that are possible. i'm also suggesting that the
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government has some cards to play. but i do not see evidence so far that they can play their cards well. let me tell you about a conversation, a very revealing conversation that i had last february in moscow. we, the center for the national strategy, with a group in moscow led by a lexi putkoff, who was a commentator who was just elected by a new chairman of the russian labor relations and that was just the beginning of arab springs and that crushed people in the room where they saw the arab spring could come to moscow anytime soon and everybody said, no, it's not going to happen. maybe two, three years from now. but then i said, okay, but let's assume you're wrong.
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let's assume that there would be major disturbances in russia particularly in moscow during next several months, particularly, during the election, can the russian government rely on the military and security services? and every person in the room said no. they were a little more specific, things if it would be one demonstration, one act of violence, the russian government could use the so-called general security division and they probably would be able to handle it. but if it would be an election in egypt, day after day, with growing number of casualties, there was a sense in the room that at the minimum, the governments could not be certain that the military and security
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services where the soldiers of enlisted man happened to be just regular recruits which represent the cross-section of the russian society, the russian government can count on them. you may ask me, well, of course, you can adjust to one conversation over dinner in a moscow restaurant and why it's so important. it was important because participants didn't include. two former pm one of whom used to be the director of the federal security service and the national foreign intelligence service and former chief of the general staff who is now advisor to president medvedev. and several douma leaders and leading protests were progovernment and independent and there was not a single person in the room had any confidence in russian security services to be being able to handle violence on any protracted basis.
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for me it suggested that mr. putin has to be very careful in how he manages the russian protest because if they evolve rebellion, we may have a totally unpredictable situation. >> general scowcroft? >> thank you, dimitri. that was -- that was a fascinating analysis. just a couple of points. first, you harken to egypt in many -- in many different times. it seems to me that there's one thing you didn't focus on and that is at the heart of both of them, two things. first, the ease with which demonstrations can be organized now. you said there's no party behind it. you don't have to have a party. all you have to do is push a button and say, turn out in the
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square at 10:00 tomorrow morning, and it goes to a million people. that's the first thing. the second thing is, as we're seeing in egypt and other places, we take opposition and demonstrations as a cry for democracy. it seems to me much more basic than that for dignity. and what happened with the switch from -- between putin and medvedev was an affront to dignity. unacceptable. one of the things i want to ask you, do you think the primary motivation was what happened in september that opened which back again or elections which were considered to be abrupt because it makes -- it makes a
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difference which way it goes? .. has that last six years merely gone, or if. ♪ succeeds will be coming in fast and have a new vladimir putin? he is not a dummy. has he learned something from the style of dmitry medvedev and how he is still with the world that my promise a different
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operation? >> that think that on many levels he is one of the most intelligent were leaders today. it seems that putin is one of the most impressive in terms of his intellect, knowledge of history, in terms of his being it will to think strategically. my concern is whether he is clearly not the communists anymore, and while i just believe that he has any serious attempt to recreate the soviet union or the russian empire, i think that there are a lot of security agents. by security agents, i mean that a person who is -- who seems to trust is a weakness.
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a person who thinks that if you share information it is likely to be used against you. a person who came from the military background and he thinks that your support and should obey you unquestionably and express their opinions when they're asked in a kind a predictable manner, what they know when you're running it, it is the exact opposite to what. ♪ expected from his own security council. it was very clear that any kind of preformed, when experts would be able to express opinions, that is not what putin ever expected. yesterday mr. putin talked about
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russ and energy and apparently he has discovered that about 50% of officials, executives in the russian government controlled energy companies are simultaneously engaged in businesses of their own, businesses which obviously connected -- >> just discovered that? >> is sounded -- it sounded like he has just discovered it's. my impression is that remarkably with their is a lot of things in russia which this very well educated man does not know and does not quite understand about his own country. medvedev in this sense looks much more modern, much more appealing to this urbanized generation, but medvedev was reduced to being the loyal lieutenant of to 11 after the announcement of september 24th
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was made. i think it eliminated the credibility of medvedev. this generation and this sense which has stopped being terribly useful to 211. >> i did not mean that medvedev isn't useful, but putin is smart. has he not learned anything? he deeply resented the united states and the way that we treated russia and the end of the cold war. medvedev has gone much farther with the different approach. now, if putin is so intelligent, and they agree with you that he is, all he had to do was change his visceral attitude. it is not an intellectual -- >> if he is capable of that he has not demonstrated yes. [laughter]


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