Skip to main content

tv   NATO Secretary General on Russian Invasion of Ukraine  CSPAN  February 24, 2022 3:05pm-3:46pm EST

3:05 pm
c-span now is a free mobile app featuring your unfiltered view of what is happening in washington live and on-demand. keep up with the day's biggest events with four screenings and hearings from the white house, for events, campaigns, and more from the world of politics, all at your fingertips. also stay current with the latest episodes of washington journal and find scheduling information for c-span's tv network and c-span radio, plus a variety of compelling podcasts. c-span now is available at the apple store and google play. download it for free today. c-span now, your front row seat to washington anytime, anywhere. >> nato secretary general in nato -- yen stauffenberg condemned russia's invasion of ukraine. in addition, he's announced a virtual summit of nato leaders and said more troops were being
3:06 pm
moved into eastern europe ember states to deter russian aggression jan ukraine. the secretary general spoke from nato headquarters in brussels, belgium. this is about 30 minutes. >> good afternoon. russia has attacked ukraine. this is a brutal act of war. our thoughts are with the brave people of ukraine. sadly, what we have warned against for months has come to pass. despite all calls on russia to change course and tireless efforts to seek a diplomatic solution. peace on our continent has been shattered.
3:07 pm
we now have war in europe of a scale and a type we thought belonged to history. we've just finished a meeting to discuss the situation. the council also addressed several countries to hold urgent consultations under article four of the washington treaty. this is a grave moment for the security of europe. russia's unjustified and unprovoked attack on ukraine is putting countless lives at risk.
3:08 pm
this is a deliberate, cold-blooded, and long planned invasion. despite his litany of lies, denials, and misinformation, the kremlin's attentions -- intentions are clear for the world to see. russia's leaders bear full responsibility for their reckless actions and the lives lost. nato allies condemned russia's invasion of ukraine in the strongest possible terms. it is a blatant violation of international law, an act of aggression against the sovereign, independent, and peaceful country. and a serious threat to atlantic security. we call on russia to immediately cease its military action. withdraw its forces from ukraine
3:09 pm
and choose diplomacy. we fully support ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. and ukraine's right to self-defense. russia is using force to try to rewrite history and deny ukraine is free and independent power. nato's core task is to protect and defend all allies. there must be no room for miscalculation or misunderstanding. an attack on one will be regarded as an attack on all. this is our collective security guarantee today, the north
3:10 pm
-- security guarantee. today, the north atlantic council decided to activate our defense plans. at the request of top military commander -- at the request of the top military commander. this is a step to protect and shield other nations during this crisis. and it will enable us to deploy capabilities and forces, including the nato response force to where they are needed. in response to russia's massive military buildup, we are already strengthening our collective defense on land, at sea, and in the air. in the last weeks, allies from north america and europe have deployed thousands of more troops to the eastern part of the lines and placed more on standby. we have over 100 jets at high alert, protecting our airspace. and more than 120 allied ships at sea from the far north to the mediterranean. all this shows that our collective defense commitment,
3:11 pm
article five, is ironclad. we will continue to do whatever is necessary to shield the lines from aggression. i called a virtual summit on nato leaders tomorrow to address the way forward. russia is now facing severe costs and consequences imposed by the whole international community. the kremlin's aim is to reestablish its sphere of influence, that has kept us for decades, and what we hold dear. this is the new normal for our security. peace cannot be taken for granted. freedom and democracy are contested by regimes. and strategic competition is on the rise.
3:12 pm
we must respond with renewed resolve and even stronger unity. north america and europe together in nato. we are an alliance of 30 democracies standing as one. we will protect our people and our values. democracy will always prevail over autocracy. freedom will always prevail over oppression. and then i am ready to take your questions. >> thank you. secretary-general, we all know that nato will not fight for ukraine. but don't you think it's time
3:13 pm
for nato to build onto putin's coalition? thank you. >> nato stands in solitary with ukraine and nato allies are enforcing severe costs on russia for their reckless invasion of ukraine. nato allies come in nation with european union partners all over the world, are now imposing severe economic sanctions on russia to demonstrate that we -- follow-up on what we said and it will be a high price for russia to pay. nato allies for a very long period of time have also provided support, military support, to ukraine and help ed them to build russia stronger and much better trained armed
3:14 pm
force today than ukraine had in 2014. and i'd like to recognize the bravery of the ukrainian men and women in uniform that are now standing up against the russian invasion. so, we continue to stand together, condemning the russian full-scale invasion of ukraine. and allies stand together also in sending a message that we will never accept the brutal violation of international law that we see taking place as russia now invades ukraine. >> we'll go to bloomberg. >> do you have any information that shows that nato allies face a direct threat from russia at the moment? and would nato reconsider military intervention in ukraine? thank you.
3:15 pm
>> make no mistake, we will defend and protect every ally against any attack against any nato territory. and that's the reason also we have increased our presence with more troops over the last week to send a very clear message that an attack on one alley will be an attack against the alliance. what we do is defensive. it's prudent and it's measured. but it's necessary because we see the aggressive actions of russia against ukraine. and therefore, allies also have to make sure that there is no room against anything like that against the nato country. >> national public radio. >> hi, thank you.
3:16 pm
mr. secretary general, in the next statement, you say that we 're deploying additional forces and increase the readiness of forces. is this now, today, more forces being sent as a result of the fact that the invasion has now happened? or are you referring to what has already been done? i understand it will now have the ability to assemble without coming back for approval. and finally, are you still willing to sit down with president putin or other representatives of the russian government after this? or are you suspending your offer to hold talks on other issues and the nato russia council? thank you. >> this invasion doesn't come as a surprise. we were warned against this for months. and sadly, what happened this
3:17 pm
morning during the night was something that allies and security in terms of services have predicted for a long time. we have tried to prevent this by calling on russia to engage in diplomatic efforts, by telling russia there will be very severe costs if they invade ukraine further. but what has happened over the last hours demonstrates that russia, despite our diplomatic efforts and despite our messages of economic sanctions, russia decided to once again invade ukraine. but since we have been warning against this for a long period of time, we have also taken prudent measures to prepare ourselves. and that's the reason why we have significantly increased the presence of nato troops in the eastern part of the alliance. morland troops, ground forces, but also air and naval forces.
3:18 pm
in the coming days and weeks, there will come even more. so we will further increase, and we are increasing our presence in the eastern part of the alliance. and today, we activate authority to move forces and a deploy -- and to deploy forces when needed. of course, this could also be elements of the nato response force. so we are ready. we are adjusting our posture. but what we are doing is defensive, is measured, and we don't seek confrontation. we want to prevent the conflict in a nato country. we have reached out to russia for weeks and months. and what we have seen is that
3:19 pm
the russian message has been that they have never taken this talks seriously. because why? we were trying to find a political solution. they were planning for this. while we were trying to find a political solution, they were day by day, week by week, increasing their literary -- their military presence on the border of ukraine. so russia shut the door to a political solution. we regret that. but that's, sadly, the reality, which has very severe consequent as for ukraine, but also has security concerns for all of us. and that is the reason why we step up our presence in easton parts. >> thanks a lot for taking the questions. secretary-general, actually two questions. the first one, i'd like to hear your reaction to what president putin said this morning when he
3:20 pm
announced the military operations. he said that any country that interferes with them would face consequences greater then you have seen in your history, which i take as a veiled threat with a nuclear attack. so please, what is your response to that? he did not specify what interference means. and the second question, very simple, can the nato russian founding act be upheld in these circumstances? thank you. >> the threatening rhetoric by president putin and the aggressive actions by russia, of course, is the reason why we're saying we are now faced with a new normal for our security. and we need to consult closely all allies. and we'll do that tomorrow when the virtual meeting at the summit. what does this mean for our longer-term relationship with russia?
3:21 pm
how should we continue to protect our allies in this new security reality? and how can we make sure that we uphold the values to freedom and democracy faced with a more aggressive authoritarian regime in moscow, a regime that is willing to contest our values and threat and use force on the nation? so this will have some long-term effects on our security, on how we respond, on how nato is reacting, and also how our relationship with russia can evolve. we don't have all the answers today. but there will be a new reality. there will be a new europe after the invasion we saw today. and therefore, there will come a fact that we are so closely coordinating, so closely working
3:22 pm
together in nato. we stood together in warning against the russian aggression, the plans. we stood together in reaching out to russia in trying to prevent the attack. now we need to stand together in responding to the attack. and that is exactly what we are doing. that was the first question. second question? that's part of this new reality, that we have to look into. there will be a difference. we need to respond. this is not the day to draw all of the solutions. we will have a important discussion on this tomorrow. >> thank you for the question. mr. secretary-general, today, ukraine has called on turkey to close the straits for russia and vessels.
3:23 pm
-- russian vessels. is that an action that was discussed in this morning's meeting, and are there similar actions that have been discussed today? >> that was not discussed in the meeting today. turkey is, of course, a nato ally. turkey has a special role when it comes to the straits. but it's not an issue in the meeting. what we discussed was that they need to activate the defense plans. we made a decision to activate those plans, which enables to -- us to move the forces more quickly and to where they're needed. also, to have statements where we discussed very strong in the russian invasion of ukraine, and also announced that we are going to have a nato summit, a virtual nato summit tomorrow. >> wall street journal. >> dan michaels, wall street
3:24 pm
journal. thank you for the question. could you talk about the activation of the defense plan? what exactly does this change? and when was the last time this was done? thank you. >> these plans are plans we have developed over the years to make sure we have plans in place to react to crisis like the crisis we are facing now. they are defensive plans, they are prudent plans, and they are plans that coerce the whole east of our alliance down to the mediterranean, and they give military commanders some more authorities, within politically, the guidance and frameworks to deploy forces where they deem is needed. and that's exactly what we have agreed today.
3:25 pm
so these are our defensive plans, ensuring that we have forces at the right place throughout europe. >> have they ever been activated before? >> so, i don't know whether it is right for me to answer those questions. i don't know if it has been made public before. >> associated press. >> hello, mark carlsen, associated press. is the nato response force inside ukraine right now? >> no, there are no nato combat troops inside of ukraine at all. we have made it clear is we don't have any plans in intentionally deploying nato troops to ukraine. what we have made clear is that have all the increased and are increasing the presence of the nato troops on a nato territory.
3:26 pm
ukraine is a highly valued partner. we have supported ukraine for many, many years. we have helped them to build a more capable force, military. we have helped them to train, equip, and in many ways, strengthen their armed forces. we've helped them with cyber defenses, nato and nato allies in different ways. but we don't have nato troops in ukraine. and we don't have any plans to send nato troops into ukraine. but we are able to protect and defend all of nato allies. so, we support ukraine. we provide absolute security guarantees for nato allies. and we demonstrate that commitment by increasing our presence in that part of the alliance. >> we will try to take a couple questions online before we go back to the press room. new york times.
3:27 pm
>> thank you, secretary-general. two quick questions. one, do you, does nato still have military contacts with russian forces today? are those ongoing? and secondly, a lot of nato countries are going to want to keep supplying weapons to ukraine. do you foresee this as a major risk of nato-russia conflict? and where else do you see risk of conflict now between russia and nato countries that could spill over into something worse? thank you, sir. >> we have increased the presence in the eastern part of the alliance and we have activated defense to make sure that we do not see any spillover
3:28 pm
to nato territory. of course, as long as russia knows that an attack on a nato ally will trigger a response from the whole alliance, they will not attack because we are the strongest alliance in history. as long as we stand together and make sure we are committed by our collective defense commitments, that's the best way to prevent any attack, any spillover from the tragedy, the heinous attack we see in ukraine, spillover onto any nato allied country. the nato allies have provided support to ukrainians over the different years, especially with 2014. nato has helped them with the cyber defenses. we have also helped them with trust funds and different activities. on top of that, different measures to help them to
3:29 pm
sanction the naval forces and other elements of their armed forces. but then again, on top of what nato has done, nato allies, it has also included defensive weapons and other types of supportive training. it'll be a decision to continue to provide support. so that's for individual nato allies to provide. -- to decide. deconfliction is extremely important to us. there has been contact between our military commanders and russia. we will continue to reach out to them to make sure that we can do everything we can to ensure deconfliction. >> yes. what is your message to the
3:30 pm
countries, finland and sweden, about this situation? is this realistic during a crisis? thank you. >> finland and sweden are very close partners. and i've taken note of a very clear message both from finland and sweden, that even though they don't apply for membership now, they strongly believe that nato should not sign any kind of agreement with russia based on what russia has proposed to us to sign a legally binding agreement on any enlargement of nato in the future. so i think that sweden and -- apply for nato membership.
3:31 pm
the right for the nation to choose its own path, whether it wants to belong to nato or not belong to nato. nato respects those decisions, regardless if it is a yes or no to joining nato. we very much value close relationships with finland and sweden. it is important for nato and finland and sweden. we see how closely we work together at the atlantic council and increase our ability to operate together in interoperability and also close political consultations. therefore, i have invited sweden and finland to the russian -- the virtual summit tomorrow, the nato summit tomorrow. so at the nato summit, we will have sweden, finland, and the
3:32 pm
two eu presidents present showing they are very strong unity. >> we we will go to polish radio. >> if i may, a follow-up question. when exactly these high regiment sentiments of the nato response force may be deployed? is it after the summit for tomorrow? thank you. >> first of all, we have already deployed thousands of troops. to poland, there are more u.s. forces, there are forces from the united kingdom, there also other nations deploying more forces to poland. and also to other countries in the eastern part of the alliance. more shapes in the baltic sea.
3:33 pm
and more planes conducting air policing and protecting our airspace. there will be more forces in the east. of the alliance over the next days and weeks. then that should include elements of the nato response force, but the most important thing is not exactly which elements, or which forces, but the most important thing for poland and for the other allies, is that there are more nato forces in the east. and there even will be more nato forces in the coming days and weeks. >> thank you for the question. from norway. secretary-general, you have received very good intelligence in recent weeks. you have shared it, you have been open about it. do you have any information of the russian plans ahead?
3:34 pm
>> our intelligence has been very precise. it has predicted over several months the military buildup but also russian plans to attack ukraine. of course, those plans can always be changed. we continue to call on russia to change its course and not to attack. we saw this morning that they attacked. that is exactly what our intelligence services have predicted over several months. we have shared that intelligence to mainly try to prevent russia from attacking. we are shared intelligence about the missile buildup and also about all the different attempts for russia to create a pretext -- staged situations that they
3:35 pm
could use as an excuse. false claims of genocide against russians. or the alleged sabotage actions inside russia and so on. it is false. it is staged. but we exposed those attempts because we hoped that could reduce the risk of military invasion. we have seen that they speak to their plans. they have done what they actually planned for a long time ago. and we need to understand that throughout all of these weeks and months, when they said they had no plans invading ukraine, they had plans. and there were not only having plans, but they actually built up all of these forces with one clear aim -- to invade ukraine. despite that, they were telling us, the world, and the public we
3:36 pm
have no plans to invade ukraine. yes, they had plans. and now we are seeing they were serious about invading ukraine all the time. never serious about really engaging in diplomatic efforts. what we are seeing now is a full-fledged invasion of ukraine from multiple directions. we see air, land, and naval forces taking part in those attacks. it is too early. we don't have a full damage assessment yet. but this is extremely serious. it is an attack on a peaceful, sovereign, independent nation. it is a war of a type and a scale that we actually thought was part of history in europe, but now it is back and imposing
3:37 pm
enormous suffering on the innocent people in ukraine. >> thank you very much. >> thank you. this concludes this press conference. >> thank you. >> are joined by the acting director of the kanaan institute. as we continue to discuss the russian invasion of ukraine. let's just start with your biggest immediate concerns right now. and what you are expecting from president biden, when he addresses the nation. we are expecting that to happen around noon today. noon eastern. >> what i am expecting from president biden is a condemnation of what the russian federation has done in ukraine. and the implementation of massive sanctions and coordination with our european allies. host: massive sanctions, what does that mean. -- what does that mean?
3:38 pm
we have heard about harsh and crippling sanctions. the sanctions have to hit to be harsh and crippling and massive? guest: i think the united states has already envisioned what level of sanctions we want to implement, but they are severe in terms of the limitations on the export of technology and software. there is still a question as to whether we will implement a section on the swiss system, the banks messaging system, but i think everything is now on the table, and it will be very important to have a united front with our european allies in any sort of sanctions program. host: in terms of your biggest concerns right now, we had callers, right before you came on, with several concerns about escalation to the point of nuclear escalation. a lot of folks, pointing out that it wasn't expected that we would get this far, and how far could this go? what would you say to those callers?
3:39 pm
guest: obviously, that would depend on vladimir putin and whether he would want to escalate it with nuclear confrontation. i think based on the initial assault on ukraine, it is still a military operation, an invasion. but with several flanks, and with the likely possibility that the russians will try to occupy kyiv, the donbass, and several other ukrainian cities. so i think that in terms of a military operation, i'd still think it is a conventional operation, but one in clear violation of international law and a host of other international policy. host: in terms of what's next, we are hearing talk of refugees already fleeing the country, when it comes to an occupation, what could that mean for ukraine?
3:40 pm
explain what you think might happen here in the days and weeks to come. guest: i think the indications are that putin and the russians will try to go after kyiv, a siege of kyiv. this will result in tens of thousands of refugees, but the key variable for such an assault would be whether the russians have enough troops to occupy kyiv and the other major cities. as military experts have pointed out, for an occupation, russia needs boots on the ground, and we still do not know what -- do not know whether 150,000 or 200,000 troops is enough to occupy ukraine, a country of 40 plus million people. host: william pomeranz, with us this morning, from the wilson center. we want to get as many phone calls as we can.
3:41 pm
as usual, republicans, (202)748-8001. democrats, (202)748-8000. independents and all others, (202)748-8002. go ahead and start calling in, we will get to as many of your calls as we can. as folks are calling in, this tweet from not too long ago, from the ukrainian president. russia treacherously attacked our state in the morning, as nazi germany did in the second world war. we are on different sides of world history. russia has embarked on a path of evil, but ukraine is defending itself and won't give up its freedom, no matter what moscow thinks. william pomeraz, could this have been avoided? could something happened on different to deter putin? or was this always a likely outcome? guest: judging from the speech that putin gave two days ago,
3:42 pm
when he described the rationale for this invasion, this is something that vladimir putin has been thinking about for 30 years. that he doesn't believe in the independence of ukraine. he doesn't even believe that ukraine is a country or a nation, and he has thought this evidently from the beginning. we can argue about whether some sort of concessions were possible, whether the minsk agreement is viable or not, but -- was viable or not, but with vladimir putin's recognition of the two breakaway republics, the minsk agreement is over. it's white clear that he never really wanted to negotiate over minsk, either. and so, i think we have to say this is vladimir putin's invasion and it is all because of vladimir putin's worldview points. host: and a quick primer on what
3:43 pm
the minsk agreement is -- or i guess i should say was, at this point. guest: the minsk agreement enabled a cease fire in 2014 and required negotiations between kyiv and the breakaway republic. the conditions under the minsk agreement were very onerous, especially for kyiv. it would essentially have to allow a veto power to the two breakaway republics, and if -- kyiv has acknowledged that and agreed to that, it would end the independence and unity of the ukrainian state. host: let's get some calls, chuck, from jefferson, georgia. go ahead, chuck. caller: i have two questions. was genghis khan a genius? host: what's your other question? because we are talking about russia and ukraine right now. caller: well, he came out of russia, which is what putin is doing.
3:44 pm
my next question is the nord stream thing, is it a penalty for russia? host: mr. pomeranz, the nord stream 1 and nord stream 2 pipelines? guest: the germans have issued the most severe sanctions, as it were, on russia, because they have stopped the flow of natural gas from russia to the european country. host: what was nord stream 1? guest: that was a smaller pipeline. host: is there a chance that nord stream 2 could come back? is this a temporary block? guest: it's clear that nord stream 2 and 1 will not come back in the near term, and that the agreement to license this
3:45 pm
massive pipeline, it's not on the cards. host: monty, democrat, good morning. you are next. caller: thanks for taking my call. quick observation, it seems to me that russia is at war with ukraine, finally. it seems to me, as for the world, on a larger scale, the war between democracy and authoritarianism has begun. guest: yes, russia represents a different worldview. it has a long autocratic mission, and russia now has used its history, or putin has used its history to justify what is a violation of international law. yes, the idea that somehow we would cohabitate in the 1970's and 1980's, and the idea that somehow we could make russia a


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on