tv Washington Journal Nina Jankowicz CSPAN September 28, 2019 7:06pm-7:36pm EDT
communicators. thank you both. ♪ >> the house will be in order. >> for 40 years, c-span has been providing america unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court, and public-policy events from washington dc and around the country. so you can make up your own mind. created by cable in 1979, c-span is brought to you by your local cadle -- your local cable or satellite provider. c-span, your unfiltered view of government. ♪ >> we are back with nina janke itz, an expert on central europe. we have heard a lot about ukraine and what is going on with the american government. what exactly is the relationship between the united states and ukraine right now? ght now? relationshipk the
is one of surrogacy in some ways. the ukrainian government has gone through tumultuous resolutions -- revolutions over the past 30 years. the recent five years, there was the revolution in 2013-14. for the past 30 years, we have been supporting ukraine on its path to democracy. aid a$500 million for year. on goodupporting them governance, energy reform, energy independence from russia. the trump administration did initiate this military aid package to ukraine as it resists russian aggression. host: what happened 30 years that started this relationship? guest: ukraine was part of the soviet union. soviet union fell in 1991.
since then, we have been supporting countries as they reformtize and try to their governments, anticorruption things, this list of things i have been discussing. ukraine is a really important geopolitical player and occupies a really important space geographically in europe. i would remind everyone that ukraine is fighting a war right now against russia. it is a hot war in europe that has claimed 13,000 lives. and this is a country worth supporting. host: you just brought up that president trump has added military aid to ukraine. what is the united states involved in in ukraine right now? are there soldiers on the ground? what are we talking about? guest: it is basically a program that allows the ukrainian government to buy from the
united states things like antitank missiles. we have military support and training. there are no u.s. troops on the ground. ukraine is not a member of nato. inare supporting ukraine defending its own sovereignty. host: we are talking about this because of the phone conversation between president trump and ukraine president zelinski. why is he important in this conversation? guest: he is a really interesting guy. i was in ukraine covering the election for the wilson center. i got to see it firsthand. he was a comedian before he became a politician. president in his tv show. rantays a guy who puts a on social media. that goes viral about
anticorruption in ukraine. suddenly, he finds himself on the ballot, becomes president, and starts to reform. powery ways, his path to has mimicked that. he has huge support in ukraine, over 70%. he is pursuing a very aggressive anticorruption program so far. host: at the united nations, president zelinski discussed the phone call with president trump and whether he felt pressured. here is what he said. [video clip] >> i am sorry, but i do not want in the elections of usa.
we had a good phone call. we spoke about many things. i think nobody pushed me. president trump: in other words, no pressure. felt no it possible he pressure at all from president trump given all the aid going back-and-forth? guest: i think you are right. luxurious not in a position to choose allies. it was probably looking to establish a relationship. in the call, he expresses thanks for the aid received. i think it is likely they did not feel pressured. i heard from congressional staff that they did not know how to navigate the signals coming from the united states with regard to aid. suddenly, this aid was suspended
at the end of august. ukraine did not know why. host: what are the main issues zelinski has to address in ukraine? what does he have to address immediately? guest: there is a lot. people incted because ukraine were not feeling performs the previous president put into place. people wanted to see tariffs lowered. they wanted pensions increased grade a lot of ukrainians are living on meager salaries and forced to sell potatoes and berries at metro stops. it is a sad situation. he promised to reach out to those people. he wants to end the war in the eastern part of ukraine where russia has been very aggressive over the past five years and taken 13,000 lives.
he wants to see the return of crimea. i am not sure we will see that happen. russia illegally annexed crimea in 2014. getting 24rested in sailors captured by russia returned. there was a large prisoner swap last month. he is on his way. that is not even including the anticorruption package he wants to pursue. he has a lot on his plate even without this plunging of ukraine into the news. host: he was elected two months ago. how long is his term? guest: the election was in april. he was sworn in in may. terms are five years in ukraine. he has an absolute majority in parliament. that gives him more leeway to pursue these packages and more carte blanche than any other
ukrainian president has had. there are questions about people in his inner circle. it is to seem to see whether they will have influence over his anticorruption program. people are optimistic right now. host: if you want to join in our conversation about the relationship between the united states and ukraine, we are going to open our regular lines for democrats, republicans, and independents. remember, we are always reading onyou can text us or hit us social media on twitter and facebook. there has been a lot of talk about democratic nominee joe
biden and his son in ukraine. can you explain to us what the conversation is and the substance behind it? guest: it is a very confusing and murky story, as are most the amount of ukraine. joe biden during the obama administration was kind of our top level envoy to ukraine. issuee was an important for the obama administration said he was sent to send a message of support and talk about things like anticorruption which is important to the united states. the aid package we were sending to ukraine included a $1 billion loan guarantee. there was a prosecutor general in ukraine that was bad news. he was not pursuing anticorruption reform. he was stonewalling. biden said if we give you
this guarantee, it is important you remove this prosecutor and replacing with someone interested in pursuing anticorruption reform. that is all aside from the fact that hunter biden sat on the board of the gas company in ukraine. that company had been investigated by that prosecutors general's office. correct guy who was came in -- corrupt came income of those investigations stopped. by asking the president to fire him, biden was inviting more investigation into his son, not trying to protect him. it is important your viewers understand that was the situation on the ground. anticorruption activists will tell you he was a bad dude and they wanted him removed. he was not an anticorruption crusader. he was doing very little to
investigate corruption in ukraine. this was not a quick -- quid pro quo to protect his son. host: prosecutor general in ukraine is equivalent to the attorney general here? guest: about the same, but particularly concerned with anticorruption. host: let's go to our phone lines. john is calling from virginia on the democratic line. good morning. are you there? john? can you hear us? caller: yes. can you hear me? host: yes. caller: thank you for taking my call. in ukraine, we had one friend, john mccain. i am surprised the president of the united states telling another president i'm going to bring putin and you together to work out a deal. we know putin violated ukraine's
sovereignty. we know he destroyed a town and killed innocent people. man, is to me this young hope he has good advisors, ukraine president, who knows how the system works. being a comedian and being a politician is completely different. fighture ukraine will their right. russia will never give up their sovereignty. i don't care what donald trump says. there is a good history between russia and ukraine. cap base they used to have -- the base they used to have they will never let go. russia will not accept ukraine to join european nato. they will not accept that. that president, when i look at his face, he was a little shy about the question. he was a little confused.
investigation outress is doing to find what the call is about. it is not enough to save the call was good. we need to get to the bottom of this. thank you for taking my call. host: quick response? guest: there's a lot to impact. russia has been very reticent to let ukraine out. made european integration one of its top priorities. i don't think we will see ukraine swaying from that path. certainly, it has support from the international community. it has bipartisan support on capitol hill. their support for ukraine is unwavering which is great to see at a time of political
difficulties like this. host: let me correct myself. earlier, i called vice president candidate.emocratic the primary is still going on so he is the -- a nominee to be the candidate. let's go to jim on the republican line. caller: i hope i have as much time as the former caller. i noticed in my "columbus dispatch" this morning, that the is looking into the hacking of the democratic national committee before the last presidential election. , i am watching this program because i was informed we are going to hear about what
the relationship is between the united states government and the ukrainian government as far as information about corruption. and here i am. i am watching the wilson center whose current director and previous director were nothing or peoplecal hacks not interested in our relationship between the ukrainian government and the u.s. government so far as anding into corruption actually what happened between the biden family and the money exchanged to their advantage. host: quick response? guest: the wilson center is a nonpartisan institution.
it is a research-based institution. i lived in ukraine for over a year and reported on the presidential elections from the ground. that is what informs my understanding of ukraine. it is not motivated by any political biases. run callinggo to from maryland on the democratic line. caller: that is michigan. host: ok, go ahead. caller: i understand there is a force in ukraine that is very and is in the military. from the united states and other countries, white supremacists and fascists have been going to ukraine to serve in that unit and have come home to spread their military training among white supremacists and other terrorist organizations in the united states. we had an unwritten agreement that the united states and nato
would never encroach on the borders of the old soviet union and russia. russia will never stand for the strangulation of their nation. and they never should. ukraine was one of the nations that was supposed to not be part of nato. we are forcing it into nato. russia has every right to defend sot land that they spent much blood and treasure for in world war ii. plain and simple, it is their land and they will hold it. host: quick response? guest: let me start with fascism in ukraine. there are some worrying developments with white supremacy, fascism, and white nazism in ukraine as around the rest of the world, including our own country. in ukraine, they enjoy very little electoral support and do not have anyone in parliament.
they were not able to meet the parliamentary threshold. the united states state department has categorized it as a neo-nazi hate group. we are very clear on what is going on with fascism and nazism. regarding ukraine's sovereignty, it is an independent nation and has been for 30 years. culture,s own history, and traditions. at theans would bristle idea that because they were part of the soviet union and the russian empire that they do not have a right to self-determination, which is the agreement and international law, that all nations have a right to self-determination. if ukraine wants to pursue nato and european union membership, that is entirely up to ukraine and not up to larger governments that would like to sway their decision. host: let's go to john from new mexico on the independent line. good morning.
caller: thank you for taking my call. i am a registered democrat book kind of float back-and-forth. i choose by candidates. this young lady is clearly a democrat trade there is no doubt about it. she is an apologist. that is fine. that is her side and i have got mine. we are kind of the same in some ways. i want to know why nothing is about the conversation where crowdstrike comes in. everything goes to mr. trump's telling the guy he wants a favor. why did that conversation have to be taken and parts moved from
one place to another to make it look worse? that is the part that bugs the heck out of me. if she could address crowdstrike and maybe that part of it? guest: thank you so much. i am not motivated by any political leanings. i have studied and lived in ukraine and am hoping to share my knowledge with all of you. that is why i am up at 8:30 on a saturday morning speaking with you. asarding crowdstrike, as far i know, the president is referring to the hacking of the d.n.c. servers. crowdstrike may have a ukrainian ceo. i was unclear why he was referring to this in the phone call. it seems to be the relitigation of the 2016 election. as far as i know, there is no evidence the servers are in ukraine. i have forgotten the second part of the question. host: how did the president's
conversation -- what youam not sure are referring to in terms of parsing it out. we have a partial transcript. this is not a word for word transcript. trump isn president asking president zelensky for a favor is disturbing to some people is because of the relationship between the united states and ukraine. it is one of surrogacy and support. ukraine really depends on the united states for this aid and rhetorical support as well. perspective,to that $400 million in military aid amounts to about 5% of ukraine's military budget. that is a lot on the line for a nation fighting a hot war with russia the last five years and has lost 13,000 citizens as a result. i think that is what is so disturbing to some people.
that we would put personal, political favors ahead of the democratic development and sovereignty of a nation that has been our ally. host: house democrats opened an impeachment inquiry into president trump. is there any way the ukrainian government will participate or provide documents -- were is that beyond the pale for another government to offer documents for an inquiry in the united states? guest: i think ukraine would be very reticent to participate in this at all. from the clip, it is clear president zelensky does not want to be involved. they are walking a thin balance beam. they do not want to upset anyone on either side of the aisle. they enjoyed bipartisan support and do not want to upset that
balance. host: eddie is from massachusetts on the democratic line. caller: i heard that khrushchev gave the disputed land to ukraine in return for allowing atomic missiles to be situated in ukraine. and in the 1990's when they took the missiles out, ukraine never gave the land back. fascism wasscism, created in italy in the 1920's when stalin took over. fascism was there to fight the communists. thank you. guest: you are right about crimea. after thea referendum missiles were removed. .here is a nonaggression pact
by encroaching on these territories and deciding to change international borders unilaterally with force for the first time since world war ii, pressure is violating a trove of .nternational law none of the international organizations recognized the referendum in 2014. you cannot just decide unilaterally as a nation to change international borders that have been long established. host: much influence does russia have over the ukrainian government or military? guest: i think russia has lost a lot of support since 2014-15. previousvictory of the
administration, there was a stronger relationship. that dwindled over the poroshenko relationship. president zelensky has had strong words for president putin since he became president. there is no love lost in that relationship right now. calling on the independent line. good morning. caller: thank you for giving me this opportunity. this is a serious subject dealing with the ukraine and united states relationship. i think it is important we look at everything going on in this particular relationship over the last five or six years. action to look at her while she was under secretary of state and what she did in the ukraine. it would be very difficult to get the truth without and asking hert
why the ukraine president went over to the soviet union. all this has to be taken into consideration. now we are dealing with a real mess. it will take some real truth bearing to deal with this. the wayot deal with it you are dealing with it now because you are not dealing with all of the truth. you should be very careful as you are doing this process. this is very serious relationship between the united states and the soviet union and also the ukraine and the american people. they need to understand the truth. host: go ahead and respond. guest: i think it is a very serious issue. it is serious for 45 million ukrainians who have been doing as much as they can to pursue democracy as well. we need to keep them in mind. it is not just about the united states. it concerns the democratic aspirations of a whole other
nation as well. host: we know we will have conversations about the talks between president trump and president zelensky. question we look for next -- what should we look for next? guest: i think there will be pressure for more to come out about the conversation in april as well as any dealings rudy giuliani had with ukrainian officials in the interim. host: we would like to thank nina jankowicz from the wilson center for coming in with us at 8:30 in the morning ♪ c-span's washington journal, live every day with news and policy issues that affect you. sunday morning, a former u.s. envoy to the middle east, dennis ross, talks about tensions with
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