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tv   Russia- Ukraine Discussion at Johns Hopkins University  CSPAN  October 11, 2019 5:48pm-7:07pm EDT

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and make up your own mind. c-span's campaign 2020, your unfiltered view of politics. >>, in, a discussion on russia-ukraine relations and the role of the west. speakers include david cramer, a former assistant secretary of state during the george w. bush administration. he talks about the russia-ukraine conflict and the impeachment inquiry of president trump, russia sanctions and u.s. military aid to ukraine. from the johns hopkins school of international study, this is an hour and 15 minutes. >> i'd like to welcome everybody to the russia-you're asia seminar. we do it every two weeks, as you
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know, and given the speaker that we have and the topic is going to deal with. we have the pleasure of welcoming c-span here which is broadcasting this event as far as i can tell live on c-span2. i'm charles gotti. i organize these seminars and i say very little because i want the speaker to have as much time as possible. just to give you a little background. he hails from massachusetts and the soviet studies at harvard, before that, he got his va also in soviet studies and political science from tufts university. at harvard he studied with the legendary adam olamb and in
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tufts with solitary and old friend of mine, indeed. >> he left washington after, ana professor at -- in florida, at -- at florida international university, and that's a move that is shrouded in mystery, because few people do that, but perhaps he will tell us one day. we will maybe have some declassified information that will now allow us to figure out why he left washington, just in may of this year, and he is a very nice suntan, as you can
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tell. i don't know if he actually works -- i suspect that people in florida have better things to do. but he is very active, he has an op-ed in the washington post, which i think we have copies available as you leave, printed out enough copies for everybody, it's not yet -- i suspect it will be tomorrow the next day, hopefully, in the paper, and just briefly, what he did in these 25 years in washington, he worked extensively in the state department, deputy assistant secretary of state for eurasia, including ukraine and russia, of course, he was also an assistant secretary for democracy and human rights, there he worked on the policy planning staff and he was
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advisor to the -- to the global affairs thank you. so he has a very distinguished background indeed, and he has arranged his current crisis in your -- after i invited him to speak here, so that seaspan would show up and all of you would be coming here, which is another major achievement that i figured that i ought to mention. david is also a friend of mine, in front of my wives who, was here, you are most welcome here, we are very pleased that you are here and we look for your presentation. >> charles, thank you very much. it's great to be back here. you had me here a few years ago, and i flew in this morning from miami where i am now based. and fortunately,
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it's not that cold here yet. -- as charles mentioned, i'm in florida international university now, in the steven jiang school of international and public affairs, and i'm the new director for the european and eurasian studies program as well as with the václav havel program for human rights and diplomacy, so i'm dual hatted it down there, it's been a great move and a good time for a change of scenery, if you will. so the topic today is trans in russia-ukraine relations and the role of the west. it is, as you said, a very timely subject these days. we see developments on both sides of the atlantic, and i will try to touch on all of those and also look forward to your questions and comments afterward. but let me start with a few points that i think are essential for understanding
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the situation, when we look at the russia ukraine crisis and the role of the west, in 2014, russian forces under the orders of vladimir putin, invaded ukraine, this is not a civil war, it's an inherent flicked, it is aggression committed by mr. putin against his neighbor ukraine, there is no ambiguity about this, you shouldn't use the term civil war, you shouldn't talk about separatism. this is something that mr. putin launched against ukraine. nato -- the reason for mr. putin's aggression, had nothing to do with what was happening in 2013 and 2014, nobody in 2013 and 2014, whether in ukraine or in europe or in the united states, was talking about ukraine's
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becoming a member of nato. the issue at the time the triggered moscow's reaction was ukraine's intention to sign agreements with the european union, including an association agreement and a deep and comprehensive free trade agreement, that's what triggered this, not any talk about nato enlargement to include ukraine. third, this isn't a frozen conflict. this is a hot war. where ukrainians are being injured and killed on a daily basis. the violence was as a result of cease-fire treatments but more than 13,000 ukrainians have been killed as a result of the aggression. more people have been killed in this conflict since the signing of the mitts agreement in february 2015 and then were killed before the signing of that agreement, so any notion of the fence cooker and has brought about a cessation in
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hostilities that are simply not true for those by name in the local leadership are not separatists, they are either russians themselves or russian backed forces who are trying to destabilize ukraine, there wasn't a separatist movement in either the donna bass or crimea before russia moved in, which means the next, point crimea is part of ukraine, it was recognized by the international community as part of ukraine where the breakup of the soviet union under the accords and the organization for security and cooperation in europe in under the budapest memorandum signed in 1994, and i will come back to that in a minute, the west in my view should never
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recognize what is widely considered the illegal annexation of crimea, moreover we should be paying more attention to the situation in crimea with the human rights issues are absolutely appalling, where they have been victimized many times over the decades are being victimized once again. mr. put it in my view responsibility for the over 13,000 ukrainians killed in this conflict, some 2 million have been displaced, enormous economic damage and i would argue the shootdown of the malaysian airliner in july 2014 in which 298 people were murdered. in my view mr. putin has a lot of ukrainians and others on his hands, for what he has done here and last point to start things to set the stage, i haven't seen anything mr. putin has done that
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deserves an easing of sanctions, membership in the parliamentary, assembly and the council of europe that russia was allowed to rejoin back in the spring or certainly return to the ag eighth, russia still occupies and threatens ukrainian territory, russia is not withdrawn, mr. putin does not deserve any breaks from the sanctions and actions that were taken by the international community, let's fast forward to the current situation with the impeachment inquiry and the scandal that we are witnessing here, even a before the phone call that president trump made to president zelensky on july 25th this year he according to media reports had a very
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negative view of ukraine, the washington post reported for example that a former senior administration official that repeatedly discuss the issue, that the president thought quote what we are doing in ukraine was pointless and just aggravating the russians, the official went on to say that the president's position basically is that we should recognize the fact that the russians should be our friends and who cares about the iranians. the new york times and they had a similar report saying that president trump has had harsh words about ukraine, they are terrible people he is quoted of having said they are all corrupt and they try to take me down, it is this sense that the president and his personal attorney have been arguing that in fact it was ukrainian collusion with the democrats and the clinton campaign, not russia collusion with the trump campaign and that should be the focus of investigation. >> in addition, mr. giuliani
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has been trying to push for further investigations of former vice president biden's son hunter, with his role with the burisma company. despite being one of the first leaders, president trump was one of the first leaders to congratulate newly elected president zelensky after his landslide victory, 73% of the vote, at the end of april of this year. also, despite the fact that president trump, in contrast to his predecessor, president obama, president trump was the one who agreed to provide lethal military assistance ukraine to help defend itself against aggressive russian forces. -- it was the right thing to do, and i strongly criticize president obama for his refusal to allow this kind of assistance to ukraine, as russia -- more recently, the
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president, president trump has been given ukraine and president zelensky the cold shoulder. in his congratulatory call, after president zelensky's victory in april, trump promise an oval office visit for the president of ukraine, and ukrainians have been waiting for this to happen. in addition, from reports, there was also additional military assistance that was supposed to go to ukraine, in the amount of 391 million dollars. and it appears that for whatever reason, depending on who you listen to, there are different explanations. that ate was held up because of concerns either about corruption's, because the president wanted to use it as a leverage -- >> it sends the wrong signal when we look at lessons we are trying to convey about rule of law. when we stress the
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importance of the politicizing the judicial process. when we tried to say that you shouldn't seek revenge against political opponents. these are messages that president putin might send, not an american president. the rule of mr. giuliani has painted a terrible image of ukraine. he seems unconcerned with the damage that he's doing to ukraine and its relationship with the united states by smearing it as a country that is helplessly corrupt. ukraine, for sure, has huge corruption problems, but to say it is hopelessly corrupt, i think, is a mistake. all of this is music to mr. putin's ears. the release of the memorandum of the telephone conversation also caused problems for president zelensky with germany and france. he is quoted as making
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some fairly disparaging comments about european governments. all of this leaves ukraine and president zelensky, i fear, with a sense of abandonment. where he looks and sees that he doesn't have friends that are coming to his eighth, after winning with 73% of the vote, after seeing his party, the servant of the people, win a majority for the first time, this is the first time that has happened in ukraine since 19 one, win a majority in the parliamentary elections in july, you would think that this would be a time where the west, including the united states, would be engaging with, them helping him, helping him deal with the russian threat, helping deal with the -- but instead, mr. zelensky, and i think many ukrainians, are feeling abandoned and confused. and that, unfortunately, plays into
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the hands of mr. putin. we have seen early september, the release of 35 ukrainian prisoners from -- including 24 sailors, who were kidnapped in an attack on ukrainian vessels in the crush strait last november, in exchange, russia got 35 people returned to their country, including someone reportedly connected to the shootdown of the malaysian airliner. mr. zelensky, i would argue, probably feels like he has to make the best of the situation. if he senses that western countries are not there to back him up to support him. but he's also discovered that that can prove problematic on the home front. we saw protests this past weekend with ukrainians turning out in the streets worried that he, zelensky, was making too many concessions to mr. putin. there
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was an agreement struck, a tentative agreement at least, on october 1st, to provide for a framework on eventual elections in those regions. in which they would also receive a special status if those elections were held according to ukrainian electoral standards and osc standards. but the interpretation of this agreement is already very different depending on whether you think of the russian side or the ukrainian side, there is unfortunately also ukrainians feel a sense of pressure coming from europe and the united states to end this conflict, there seems to be a desire here in this city among some and certainly in some european capitals to return to business as usual with mr. putin in russia, this has gotten into law and i think for many europeans, it is affected our
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trade, it is affected our ability to get along with moscow, and so instead of applying pressure on russia, after all applying sanctions, which is the right thing to do. but instead of wrapping up sanctions in a serious way to apply more pressure on putin, and said the west seems to be applying pressure on mr. zelensky, it's focusing on in the wrong point in my view, ukrainians are fed up with corruption, zelensky is notorious because he campaigned against corruption, but there are concerns as i mentioned about certain individuals and their ability to influence decisions, the chief of staff of the president is a former lawyer of mr. whisky, they are tired of war, no question about, it they are the ones it should be tired of, it not the ones in the west, they're the ones
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fighting in defending in the country, now putin is taking advantage, looking to exploit a lot of the western and exploit the upgrade, taking advantage in hoping to take over a new president there that doesn't know the ropes he tried this right after zelensky one where he announced an easing of passports for those living under -- zelensky handle every, well but there are more tests coming for him as we have already seen, it is really stepping back for a moment to see how he reached most of, this how he got to this point and i mentioned briefly the budapest memorandum, of this was an agreement signed 1994 in which the united states, the united kingdom, of russia, and ukraine reaffirmed their commitment to ukraine to respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing
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borders of ukraine, the existing quarters of 1994 included crimea as part of ukraine, it reaffirmed those countries obligation to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity erie or -- another weapons will ever be used against you create except for and self-defense. it also reaffirmed their commitment to ukraine to refrain from economic coercion to subordinate their own interest the exercise by ukraine of the rates inherent in their sovereignty and i'm reading from the memorandum, this was all provided an exchange to ukraine's agreement to give up its nuclear weapons inherited from the soviet union after its breakup in 1919 one, they became the third largest nuclear weapons purgatory after the break of the soviet union and in exchange for agreeing to
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relinquish and turn over those nuclear weapons to russia. russia, the united states and the uk signed this memorandum. russia has violated the budapest memorandum and we have not lived up to our obligation, and it's not a treaty, it doesn't incur article five security like nato membership but what ukraine relinquished, all of its nuclear weapons is pretty significant to say the least you can also look to 2004, the orange revolution in ukraine and which remember this name victor yanukovych sought to steal an election and in doing so he was supported in fact by mr. putin who visited he created several times and is stood with yanukovych and sought to encourage crackdown in that revolution, and the
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president at that time had decided not to deploy forces and ukrainian military also wouldn't except to do so and we saw the orange revolution succeed fast forward to 2010, yanukovych again comes back. and he wins, a free and fair election. i was there to observe the second round of that election in 2010. he defeated tymoshenko, who was the prime minister at the time. but after securing victory in 2010, yanukovych launched into a terribly corrupt direction, and also huge very closely to a pro russian line. the spark for the revolution, the revolution of dignity, in 2013 and 2014, that came in the first term of
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yanukovych as president came as a result because of ukraine's intention to sign agreements with the european union. again, it's the european union, it's not nato. that was the spark for russia's interference in their affairs in 2013. in november 2013, ukraine, along with georgia, moldova, and armenia, planned to sign agreements with the european union. russia pressured the armenians to back out of these agreements, and our media agreed, and has since signed them. but it also pressured mr. yanukovych. just a week before a summit before these agreements were to be signed, he agreed not to sign them. after treating the european union as a much lesser evil than nato, mr. putin got into his mind that the european union was bad news for moscow. that signing agreements with the european union meant that these countries, along russia's
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borders, were moving in a more westward direction, towards deeper integration with the euro atlanta community, and he wanted to stop that. so he pressured mr. yanukovych into not signing these agreements, or reneging on these agreements, and the result was a social media moment, that led a few months later, to mr. yanukovych fleeing power, going to russia, and a new government coming. and there were more than 100 people killed during the violence. unlike in 2004, with the orange revolution, there was terrible violence this time in the mind on in downtown ukraine. mr. yanukovych has the blood of those people on his hands. we then see a sense of panic in moscow, that the revolution, if successful, could possibly spread to russia
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itself, you have to remember that in 2011 and 2012, there were huge protests in russia, after the elections there, they continued up until may of 2012, when putin ordered a crackdown on the protesters, so putin was already a little spooked by people turning out in the streets in his own country, and was fearful that if ukrainians could bring about the end of the young coach regime, maybe this would spread. but of course, it wasn't ukrainians who were really responsible for this, in his mind. it was the united states. as he said in december 2011 about the protests in russia, accusing secretary of state at the time hillary clinton of sending a signal to russians to turn out industries, he again assumed that it was outside forces that it was the west, and particularly the united states, that was behind this revolutionary movement in ukraine. putin refuses to
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believe weather in his own country or in ukraine or elsewhere, that people on their own could indigenously rise up against corrupt authoritarian governments. he has to find a country to scapegoat, a responsible party, and invariably, that winds up being us. you also need to keep in mind putin's views towards ukraine. in 2008, he famously said to president bush, george, you have to understand, ukraine is not even a country. part of its territory is in eastern europe, and the greater part was given by us. so in putin's mind, ukraine doesn't even exist as a separate independent state. for him to trample on ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity wasn't such a big deal. the invasion of ukraine, as well, it's important to keep in mind, by miss report and, was not the first time russian forces had been used against neighboring
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states. in 2008, russian forces invaded georgia. in august of that year, russia has used economic energy tools as weapons, including against ukraine, in violation of the budapest memorandum. the cyber attack against estonia, and then from there, we see much more brazen attacks in the so-called hybrid war and the tactics that russia uses. putin's number one, staying in power, it is number two goal is staying power, against what his number three goal is, staying in power, he will do whatever is necessary to achieve that, goal including if necessary invading a neighboring state that undermines the successful revolution that could represent in his mind a threatening alternative to his model in russia, ukraine became a victim of putin's determination to stay in power, and his
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dismissive attitude towards the country was also a factor, putin of course initially denied that russian forces were in crimea until of course he admitted otherwise, we had to take unavoidable steps so that events did not develop as they are currently developing in southeast ukraine, putin said, in april 2014. of course our troops stood behind crimea's self defense forces, in december 2015, so almost two years after the initial invasion put in acknowledge the presence of special forces in the donbass region, we never thought that there -- including the severe he declare, trying to draw a distinction between uniform regular russian troops and specialists or even volunteers, people want vacation he would try to
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explain. putin's invasion of ukraine starting in late february 2014, with crimea and then moving into donbass, march the 1st annexation of one european country, one europeans country territory by another in world war ii, it threatens the entire order and stability and peace in europe. and one stroke food and thumbed his nose to the helsinki accord, of the russian ukraine friendship treaty, the paris charter of 19, 90 any budapest memorandum that i have talked about already from 1994. the post cold war era was torn to shreds and the concern was that if putin's brazen act was left unchallenged other authoritarian regimes would think that they too could engage in this kind of activity it get away with it, it has not stopped in ukraine and putin
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might move into other countries, and so rightly the eu and the united states and other countries, canada among them imposed a series of sanctions on russia for its invasion of ukraine, those sanctions have not been ramped up much since 2014 and 15, in order for sanctions to be effect the target of sanctions has to think that he is going to get him with more sanctions unless he changes his behavior, otherwise the target of sanctions can get adjusted to sanctions and that is more allows what is happening, sanctions have had an impact on the regime and on russia, i don't think there is any denying it and i think most observers would agree that sanctions kept putin from going further and to create but they have not changed the overall rush of behavior under mr. putin, sanctions have been
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linked into the mid-accord, there were two versions of this, one is signed in september 2014 and the other signed in february 2015, both badly flawed but the ukrainians were essentially forced to sign these because they were under tremendous military dress from approaching russian forces, neither version from the february 2015 one is the one that people refer to, neither version refers to crimea, there is no reference to crimea whatsoever, that has sort of left for another day, there is talk about elections one day and areas that are essentially controlled by russian forces and that is where mr. zelensky made some agreement or overture in this regard recently with
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russian officials, the problem is you could not conduct elections under current circumstances and conditions, ukrainians do not control those areas, russian forces are present, their have been over 2 million people displaced so how will they vote in these elections and who is going to observe them, the organization for cooperation and europe has been mentioned as the observer, but conducting elections on the current circumstances what it disenfranchised those 2 million people, it would not be according to the standards and i would not be under ukraine's controlled, so zelensky now is saying that these elections will not take place as long as there are russian forces on ukrainian territory, the kremlin, not surprisingly has a different interpretation of this and says these elections should take place and that they should be granted special
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status once the elections are over, what putin wants is for them to have veto control and a federalist system which ukrainians have rejected, in order to veto ukraine's aspirations to integrate more closely with the eu and nato, and it is a lewinsky is under growing pressure not to yield to these demands, as i said, i think the sanctions imposed or a thing to do, i wish we would see more of them, i was sorry to see that ambassador john in an op-ed yesterday in the wall street journal criticize the sanctions in place for russia, i have not heard of convincing argument of critics of sanctions on what we should do in place of sanctions, if we say that putin's invasion of ukraine is unacceptable that we
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have to do something about, it otherwise we accepted, so the imposition of sanctions was our way of saying this is unacceptable and this is the price you pay, i welcome anyone, here if you think sanctions are of a bad idea, what would you do instead? to demonstrate to mr. putin that the invasion of ukraine is unacceptable and will incur significant cost. lastly we see in the current controversy the royal vice president biden and his involvement in the previous administration and he and my view played a positive constructive role and keep in mind president about my never visited ukraine despite the fact that it had been invaded by russia during his presidency,
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he did visit once when he was senator, president obama never visited. vice president biden was in said designated as the point person for ukraine policy and in 2016 he along with the entire u.s. government, many european governments, the, imf others advocated for the dismissal of the prosecutor general of the time, but shokin was not doing his job, and a quick side note i think biden's decision to take this decision show terrible just meant, that he was very an appropriate for him to have had this role at the same time that his father was playing such an active role in ukraine policy, but there is no indication including from the previous prosecutor general that mr. biden violated any
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laws and in fact he said that they had to close the investigation in the extent that he was active in the first place, now there is pressure on ukrainian officials to take another look into hunter biden's activity there, again this is an issue that is complicated, u.s. ukrainian relations deeply and at the end of the day with tensions and relations between kiev and washington, the party that benefits from that is moscow. so i think we need to approach all of these issues very carefully, very openly, transparently, but recognizing that zelensky with the huge mandate by which he won is deserving of our support, our engagement, our, embrace and our help in a time when he was
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facing enormous challenges in this country and i hope that sooner policy can get back on the right track so that we can support you create in defending itself against putin's aggression. helping it deal with the cancerous problem of corruption and recognize that concepts of sovereignty which president trump is certainly talking about, our sacker saint and so with that let me stop there charleston. >> thank you very much david for this candid, hard hitting as well as comprehensive book, and the, primarily adds the original sources of this aggression against ukraine and the crisis that has since developed there and let me ask you to questions before i open it up. i think very correctly
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you stressed putin's responsibility for the prices because especially in washington and that you know better than i it is easy to always blame the united states for whatever happens there and as you pointed out there are reasons that i happen to share your criticism of obama's weakness and reluctance to getting gauged more than he did foreign policy in the second obama administration was not what it should happen and be that as it may be the issue is really as you highlighted, is russian aggression and yet today the top against what you indirectly spoke so eloquently, the top is trump not putin, there are good reasons for this,
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for sure but trump the issue on which i would like you to comment or these trump has declined or refused to criticize putin for the very aggression of that you so eloquently in factually described so going so far as to try to encourage zelensky to negotiate with russia from a position of other weakness which is about the last thing that he should be doing and this in addition to all the other facts and i will not detail them now raising the question again and i wonder if you would care to speculate about this, after all you are very familiar with the dossier and many other things from
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recent years. how do you explain to yourself trump's motives, i realize motives are very hard to discuss and at times we don't even and we can't even do a good job of explaining our own actions but is it simply that he likes strong man as some people suggest, is it that he has financial interests or hopes for financial interest in moscow or elsewhere where is it possible that the russians have compromising information about half a man that is why he is kissing up to putin as much as he has, so sale little more about this if you are willing to speculate understand in clear you don't know either and none of us can know this for sure but it would be very
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interesting for us if you said a few words and the second question has to do with the telephone call and now i share the view that this is, this was outrageous, i assure the view that there was an implicit quid pro quo and of course if the remaining parts of the conversation classified where there are the three dots between sentences when we find out more as well and i suspect that we will and yet maybe this is too much of a theoretical question, without in any way trying to mitigate trump's approach to zelensky i just
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wonder if this is as a new as we who oppose trump or i who strongly oppose him i recall towards the end of world war two in tehran presidents roosevelt talk to stalin about eastern europe and he told him, he says something to the effect, i paraphrase, go easy on a pole and, which was guided of course by domestic political interests on the part of president roosevelt because of all the polish american vote that he wanted to have understandably, he wanted the polish americans to vote for him and so we asked stalin, you know not to impose
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totally the rules or least not right away and there is a period of a couple of years after the end of world war ii when there was a period of transition, was that all that different from what trump is doing now don't we always get some domestic consideration, maybe too much into our former policy or conversely is it just foreign policy analysts outside of the political realm maybe here in washington people like you and me who believe that a pure not political approach to foreign policy is possible, those are my two questions. >> thanks, let me start with the first and answer it this way with at least what i think i now rather than speculate
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areas that i don't know, without question president trump has shown an affinity for strongman leaders, you see this not just with putin but you see it in egypt, erdogan in turkey, or upon, you know that situation much better than i, duterte in the philippines, it is a long list, he phone love with kim which i think of any other president said that would have launched outrage. and i don't know why, but he has this affinity for strongman leaders and in addition he has a misunderstanding of what the problem is and u.s. russian relation and as a candidate and presidents he says wouldn't be great if we got along and that is the wrong question of course
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we would be great if they got along and the right question to ask, is it possible for them to get along, as long as the prudent regime is in power without sacrificing our values and others in the process, the answer to that question is now, so i think the president needs to refrain his question and thinking, understand that while we are not flawless in this relationship over the years, the vast box of blame lies in the kremlin with mr. putin, individual of batter, there is more hope and possibility went they were the president of russia other maybe even hopes that the very sense of putin, although some of us and included are skeptical given his background but i just say no hope whatsoever for
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relationship that is protective of our values for there to be any strategic partnership and yes presidents and administration's to keep in mind political considerations, it is just human nature but in the case you cited with fdr he was asking for something more u.s. national, interest not to see porn destroyed, that may have been to interest of polish native americans but we had an absolute interest, a natural interest in seeing those countries be independent not controlled by the soviet union but that interest got drowned
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out of course in this case you have the president asking a newly elected president in ukraine, corruption it is a serious problem, asking him to meet both with his attorney general the distinction and rolls between the two to investigate his political opponent and food to ukrainian involvement in the 2016 election contrary to what the intelligence community produced in january 2017, so i do see those as very different. >> thank you very much, the floor is open to questions and comments and i would like to call initially on students if you would identify yourself and all others come after please
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forgive me for that, but we do of our students. >> i love my into. >> but they're not here, i would call on them if they were. and obviously you ask whatever you want to ask but i would like to remind you of the professor's request that if you think these sanctions are extensive or excessive or not particularly helpful or effective or whatever and if you have a different view on this then please don't hesitate to bring it up and we will give him a chance to respond so first question to you. >> i'm drawing parallels. >> i'm a second year student focus on the russian track, i'm drawing parallels with what's
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going on in the crisis in logged over to the crisis in georgia with (inaudible), it seems again russia is creating more buffers owns and influences, i don't think the sanctions are working, at first we saw the russian tank now has leveled out, and despite increasing sanctions and pervasive i would like to get your opinion if you're willing to provide it to what the u.s. and the allies should do especially during the situation where ukraine american relations are getting hit and playing directly into his hands. >> great thank you, first i think you're right to raise paralyze, and the common theme
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here is that you see russian forces occupying other countries territory, in the case of georgia, 20% of georgian territory is occupied by russian forces, and trans isa is about have 1 million people, a little less than 4 million people and what you see that is consistent with denny ask andrew hands is an attempt by putin, although the other conflicts predated putin, but they haven't been solved under putin either to act as a kind of de facto veto on these countries aspirations, the thinking i assume in the kremlin is, if you occupy crimea and dynastic and morons
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and i will put trans on easter in a different character because they're not interested in joining nato, but georgia and ukraine are after the revolution in 2014, although in 2008 there was a request for an action plan but that is different an actual membership, the kremlin is there is no way the eu and especially nato will look into deepen ties with them, how can you provide article five security guarantees as you know say then attack on one nato ally is an attack on all so how could do ruled security five guarantees if there occupying 20% of georgia, what i think needs to be done in that case is to be clear that russian occupation of another country's territory will not serve as a de facto veto on
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their countries aspirations, there have been examples over the years, if you look at germany, western east germany what 30 years ago and west germany became a nato member state and then when that reunification happened all of terminated and cypress is another example where there were conditions made because of contested territory so i think you can pursue integration with nato and the eu in these countries and create some system and mechanism where article five released for the time being wouldn't extend those territories, if you don't be imaginative and come up with ways to address countries aspirations that want to join these aspirations, the kremlin winds, they have established and created a de facto veto and again i read the part of the
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budapest memorandum, it's entirely inconsistent with that memorandum, and terms of sanctions, i agree, i support the, sanctions i want more sanctions, that is my criticism, it isn't that i want to lift the sanctions and try something else, the alternative is you do nothing on use and military force and the ukrainians are not asking as to send troops they are asking us to use and missiles to destroy and -- they are not asking us to fight their fight for them and making sure that we provide that the assistance, i'm glad that the hold on the assistants that was imposed has been lifted, largely due to congressional pressure and i didn't editorial by the washington post on this issue, i also think there needs to be a lot more sanctions if we want to see this resolved in a way that satisfies ukraine's
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sovereignty and territorial integrity, right now as we both have said the impression is the pressures on his own skin on putin, yes there are sanctions on russia for what it's done in ukraine but as i said before there really hasn't been a significant increase in sanctions from either the eu or the united states and unless that happens i don't think you will see russian withdrawal. >> so we start imposing sanctions on those that have the highest trade relations with russia as maybe an alternative to directly sanctioning the russian government. >> as you know there is talk about sanctioning and the pipeline this is something that would go straight from russia and germany under the baltic sea and would obviate the need for the pipeline that currently
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goes across ukraine, that pipeline that currently exists from russia to ukraine to other countries i receive the energy brings in the, about two or three billion dollars in revenue fees, that pipeline is very, important ukraine has made great progress in reducing its dependency on russia for energy but it needs that money from transit fees with that pipeline, nor in stream to make that pipeline unnecessary, so the issue would sanction the western companies, not pipeline is almost been finished, the german government will argue that it is based on commercial interest, nor stream one, is not at full capacity, so if it is not at full capacity why on earth do you need to other than to screw ukraine basically and
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that i think it is something worth looking at for the sanctions, let's move to other questions, there was, yes i'm a second year student i want to ask you a little bit about what the purpose of sanctions are and the prospect of regime change because earlier you were mentioning that the point was to change behavior and if we wrap up sanctions maybe we would see a change, but does anyone expect that it will increase, and putin will turn a new leave and say maybe i was wrong, i will work with you, it doesn't seem likely and as you alluded as long as he is in power it seems like he's going to do, this is going to be the way it is so is the point of sanctions really to undermine his rule and provide consent, if that is the case i think in russia as you alluded to as well they have this idea that
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any sort of protest, state department sponsored, so it seems like our hands are kind of tied there so if this is the case, the sanctions are really the best, hope is that gonna undermine their rule and what are the prospects of that and what can we do without this narrative that were meddling in doing the same thing they detained us. >> thanks for that, and his organization was just designated by russian authorities which will cause some problems, his foundation has exposed massive corruption there is a long list of organizations that have been so designated as underside herbal which makes them illegal to operate. the free russia foundation and the -- all the
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organizations that have been trying to do some good and bring about some democratic reform, those are the, ones anti corruption and on your question, is a strong opponent my interest is not in a regime change because i don't think we are capable of that, it's not our responsibility to do, that that is for russians to decide whether they want a regime change or not and i have heard a number of russians, including -- friends of mine who thankfully has survived to poisonings have been strong advocates of sanctions but they say a change in a regime, that is our, russians responsibility and i agree with that, what i want to do though is make life unpleasant and uncomfortable for putin and his cronies and those that are involved in one way or another in the, illegal annexation of crimea any
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ongoing aggression interference in our election and other elections and as i said before, i do think there is evidence to suggest that russian forces stop their assault because the imposition of sanctions, it's a hard thing to prove but i think there is evidence out there, you are absolutely right these sanctions regime that is in place from the europeans and the americans, canadians and others, have not brought about a behavioral change in the sense of leading russian forces out, i actually think putin if he could would like to end this thing because i think he feels he sort of stuck and he doesn't know how to get, out crimea is costly for russia to maintain, they built this absurd a bridge that has shoddy construction, i wouldn't be surprised if it fell into the city and then of course they will blame me --
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for sabotage, in the treatment of people living in crimea, it is absolutely appalling the organization i used to run rates and assesses disputed region separate from the nominal country, so ukraine is assessed and rating and crimea is done separately because ukrainian government authorities don't have control over it and they should and be deemed if you will because of the horrible human rights situation, the responsible for that lies in moscow so i would like to see sanctions that, the option about swift is sometimes mentioned, this is the banking system that most countries use, the united states on its own it doesn't have the ability to impose these that were imposed on iraq and were pretty crippling but i've always been a view since russia invaded
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ukraine that you have to ramp up sanctions periodically otherwise putin and company just adjust to the sanctions are in place and they haven't really been new sanctions over crimea and for years. (inaudible) you talk about what exactly he was doing in response to the peace, process moving forward now they are in the enormity formats and russia, what are the implications of that position indicated in those processes. >> so in the interest of full disclosure we have been friends and i worked with him at the mccain institute, which is my
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last place of employment here in washington before i migrated to miami, and i think courage was the perfect person for that job, it was an unpaid position by the, way it was a part-time position and he continued as the head of the mccain institute and i think they can a found a better person to do his best and try to bring a resolution in this conflict, he is not met with his russian counterparts in almost two years i believe, he is an important interlocutor but certainly not the decision-maker on these things, the challenge i think he faced, teary face this problem is the russian side just like assisted and negotiate and talk, they
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never want to get to a conclusion or a resolution in the crisis, they like to travel to various cities ends meet and i dealt with this when i was in the state department i had the misfortune of being the representative, those are the biggest waste of time in my life, to sit down with russians and others to negotiate resolution, they're not interested in resolving this even though they said if you could, so it's very unfortunate that it's big and now, i have a little trouble who would want to take the protection right now and but this is why the situation is so unfortunate, ukrainians on a daily basis or getting injured or killed in this conflict, pressure on
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zelensky not just from moscow but i said from europe in the united states, pressure domestically that he's facing, we need as much attention focused on this as possible and we don't need you know these hearings about corruption in the ukraine, it exists, i would be the first to acknowledge it and i think every ukrainian to be the first to acknowledge, it that tell me is the wrong way to focus because the kremlin may as well holds those hearings, that's how it plays back in kiev. >> just to follow up to that question, in a more general sense, what do you think of the dilemma that republicans like kurt faced with trump, do you think it was a good idea
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hrough joy the administration knowingly difficulty of conducting diplomacy while trump is in the white house? >> i hold nothing against anyone who went into this administration out of a sense of duty, public service and interest to advance our national interest, i have always felt that you need good people in these jobs than the alternative if you will and i was never approached, i was a bit of a critic of mr. trump before he was elected so i didn't have to face this dilemma or challenge and i'm glad some people have accepted because problems are in going to wage around the world while we sort out our own domestic challenges and problems, we need people to address these
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things, you need them to feel that they have the support of their superiors, and that they can get things done, so i certainly don't hold it against anyone who is joined, still there, got in and left, i have a fair number of friends who have been working on this administration and having been on the state department for eight years they also have a number of friends in the foreign service who are also doing their best on a daily basis to advance u.s. national interest. >> back there, here yes. >> so for the masters, my question is what do you think that the u.s. and western allies can do to help zelensky, there are a lot of things that
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you can do on a long term but what can we do in the short term, so the imf was just there and did not include that so helpings one ski and his, team he's got an impressive new government there and he has brought you people into the government, for better or worse, so it's a rather an experienced government but helping ukraine get back to the finish line i think is one of the main short term goals that we should have together with them, redirecting the pressure so that zelensky does not feel that europe and the united states are looking at our watches wondering when we get back to business as usual and focusing our attention moron moscow to bring about a resolution on it
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helping him with the fight against corruption and this was one of his key tends to root out the problem of corruption and as i mentioned he has some challenges already there has been questions raised about his chief of staff and he needs backing from the international community to push back on any efforts by these oligarchic influences to make sure that we don't see ukraine slip back to its old patterns, so i would say helping corruption and, having him on the conflict of course and with the imf, the imf one in particular i think is a short term one that should be achievable with some support from the international community. >> we have time for one more
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question, yes or. >> i am the u.s. correspondent for the english language newspaper, i'd like to ask two things, one speculating eye on president trump's motives, we can see one of his modes was trying to gain information, do you think it's another one of his aims to try to achieve something that he could present as a foreign policy success or achievement, bring about some sort of peace at the expense but to kind of lay off the failure said he has had in that
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field and on another track, whether you think, i see people talk about ukraine, writing about ukraine in a manner that they would end about other countries where ukraine's territory, history and may being belonging somehow to russia's backyard, seems to creep in and somehow not with everybody but was some people to say well, maybe russia has a point, president trump in fact said something along those lines about crimea, saying that the russian speakers pro russians or russian ethnic so is there a lingering doubt and
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son studies that ukraine should be an independent and sovereign country. >> let me try the second question first, there is certainly a lingering doubt in putin's mind, i think before you got here i reference his comments to president bush that ukraine is not a real country and i don't think there is doubts elsewhere in the international community, i sure hope not because otherwise we, the international community agreed to accept the boundaries that came about with the break of the soviet union and emerging from that ukraine played a critical role in the disillusion of the soviet union with belarus and russia, so ukraine should be recognized as an independent state, i don't think anyone's questioning ukraine's independence except for mr. putin and people around
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him, a foreign policy success at ukraine success would not be a foreign policy success i think the blow back from the congress, from the think tank, university community, everywhere would be so severe that if the president try to push some resolution and they came into ukraine suspense it wouldn't be sustainable, so in order for it to be labeled to success it can't came at ukraine's expense, on crimea, turkey could make some claims on crimea stands up and so the mid 18th century was part of the ottoman empire, so and 54 whose give to the ukrainian republic, there was acknowledgment and agreement of that, and 94, 97 with the russian and ukraine friendship treaty and it's only mr. putin
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and those like him that want to erase all that and claim that crimea actually belongs to russia, if we allow that to happen then we are losing our brings, in my view the international community should never recognize crimea as part of russia, we never recognize the politics state absorption into the soviet union and it took until, what until four plus decades later for those countries not only become independent states and officially regained their status but down the road to become members of nato and the eu, if it takes four and a half decades for crimea to return then so be it and i hope it's a lot shorter than that but if we recognize this food and wins and that is certainly not a foreign policy success in my view i believe we have to stop
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here david thank you very much for your knowledge you were not reading some of these important facts from your notes so you are from your memory it's what it used to be, look who is talking so thank you very much and i'd like to point out that unless my memory is all wrong, and if you don't count russia as a european country this ukraine that too many people seem to dismiss is the largest european country, it is a significant country it's not some, little i don't want to damage your background but it's not latvia his family comes from there and it's not hungry
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it's not luxembourg, it's a significant country, the largest 45 million people so we have to take it seriously and you gave us a lesson in why we have to do that beyond is size and we are very grateful to you thank you so much
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it's almost hard to believe that there will be anything life to say after those pants, so i was going to propose that we do this whole thing and wrap or maybe in finish but i thought that was unfair give


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