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tv   Inside Story  LINKTV  January 17, 2022 5:30am-6:01am PST

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middle-class contributed -- middle-class country. ♪ anchor: good to have you with us. the headlines on al jazeera, a former syrian colonel jailed for life in germany for torture and murder during serious civil war. he is the first syrian state official to be convicted for such crimes. he moved to germany as an asylum seeker in 2014. prince andrew has been stripped of his military titles and can no longer call himself his royal highness as he prepared to face a civil sex abuse trial in new york. he has been accused of sexual
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abuse by virginia giuffre who says she with traffic to have sects with him when she was 17. >> what we are seeing is the institution of monarchy acting quickly, ruthlessly, certainly brutally to protect itself. the queen decided that enough was enough. the last few weeks and months have been dominated by headlines about the duke of york, the work the members of the royal family is doing seems to not get noticed. it could not go on any longer. she moved to protect the monarchy by doing something that is hard for any mother to do, which is permanently sack and publicly humiliate her son. anchor: the supreme court has blocked a vaccine or testing mandate for large companies, the plan would have forced millions to get the covid-19 jab or take
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regular tests. when hundred milling covid-19 vaccines were rejected by poor nations in december, unicef says it is because the vaccines supplied to the covax program were close to their expiry dates. countries have been forth to delay getting more because they cannot store them. california's governor has denied parole to the man who was convicted of the assassination of presidential candidate robert kennedy. sirhan sirhan has been serving a life sentence for the 1968 killings. those are the headlines on al jazeera. the news continues after today's addition of inside story coming up next. ♪
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>> is a meeting reminiscent of the cold war era, nato and russia talked with relations set to be at a greatly low level. what does each side actually want? is an armed conflict likely or does diplomacy still have a chance? this is inside story. ♪ hello and welcome to the program. a high-stakes meeting between russia and the nato over ukraine ended without a breakthrough. politicians and military men from both sides set a significant differences remained during what they described as frank and open discussions. more talks are underway but failing to reach an understanding means the cisc --
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means the risk of armed conflict israel. -- conflict is real. the u.s. and nato have been worried about a russian military by the border with ukraine. market units prodded fears of a ground invasion. vladimir putin has repeatedly denied that while warning mitchell against expanding their exporter. nato and the u.s. rejected the kremlin's demands on security, among them, a guarantee that nato will not accept ukraine and other former soviet nations as members. >> this process is a making of russia. ukraine has the right to self-defense that is enshrined in the u.n. charter. nato helped them to uphold that
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right to self-defense. >> the united states and our nato allies made clear we will not slam the door shut on nato's open-door policy, a policy that has always been central to the nato alliance. if russia walks away, it will be quite apparent they were never serious about pursuing diplomacy at all. that is why we are preparing for every eventuality. peter: russia stepney foreign minister said nato's position is unacceptable for moscow. >> nato asked for the policy of the turning russia. we will respond with counter deterrence. if it uses intimidation, we will respond with counter intimidation. if it looks for vulnerabilities in the russian defense system, we will look for nato's vulnerabilities. it is not our choice but we don't have other options. if we don't overturn this dangerous course of events. >> tensions between nato and
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moscow can be trained -- can be treated to the crimean peninsula. in 2014, ukraine's pro-russian government was toppled following months of protests. russia responded by seizing control of crimea. pro-russian then declared independence after a referendum was held. that triggered a conflict between ukraine and the separatists. despite a cease-fire, fighting has never really stopped. in 2016, naito deployed battle groups to baltic states and poland in response to the annexation of crimea. the latest tension started last year when russia mobilized 100,000 soldiers near its border with ukraine. let's bring in our caste, joining us from brussels, we have the director of the center for russia, europe, asia studies. we have a defense and military
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analyst. and we have a professor of international relations at the university of southeastern norway. teresa, is this a moment of truth in the relationship between russia and nato? >> i think there is a giant sigh of relief that the meeting took place. russia, there was rumors they might not have the meeting if the meeting with a u.s. to not go well. there is -- it is a promising sign that they had the meeting, it is the first time in two years in the meeting lasted longer than anticipated. there are two problems. we have the problem of ukraine, tensions are high. it is clear that nato is not willing to shut the door. it is up to countries if they want to apply to nato that they are leaving the door open. this is something that president putin has been clear that he
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wants a treaty outlining that neither ukraine nor georgia could join nato. i don't know how they are going to get around this. this is an intractable point right now. many have wondered, did putin make these requests to see how much he would get in return? everyone is unclear about what he is doing. his demands include other countries that joined nato post-1997 would have to leave. what he is doing by surrounding ukraine with 100,000 soldiers, some have not seen that as blackmail, trying to get negotiations, but others feel that we are being heard. the other issue is, is putin miscalculating? in many respects, he is creating a backlash. we have seen sweden and finland signal, instead of leaving naito, right now they are
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considering joining nato. instead of decreasing the amount of countries in naito, putin inadvertently is perhaps increasing the size of naito. peter: is there a chance that perhaps the feeling in the kremlin, i.e. mr. putin's position on this, is why should naito be allowed to cherry pick from our list of demands? >> that is the official position that russia has been telling before these meetings, during these meetings, after the meetings, that these russian demands should be accepted or else. now, we are like the moving into the or else timeframe. today, there is a meeting in vienna discussing the same thing. it is obvious there will not be any breakthrough because that is
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not the forum where you can achieve any kind of compromise. many nations are represented. you need unanimity to get anything. today, that russian negotiator said that maybe we right now are not planning any new meetings with america or nato or with the west, we will be considering our countermeasures, which will be military or military technical in nature. that means russia will be planning military responses to the rejection by the west of russian demands. maybe deploying russian military infrastructure to venezuela and cuba. he said that is maybe yes, maybe not, as just one of the options. russia is considering actions on
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the military technical response. peter: for the united states, for mr. blinken, the idea of a bilateral or unilateral deal, self-supporting over ukraine, was toxic. that u.s. did not want to go. was that the best attitude and the best approach to have ahead of the nato meeting? >> no, i think there has to be some flexibility. the reason why we have this standoff is because we need a solution to what is the european secure the architecture? we had a lot of deals on this topic. in the early 1990's, we had all these agreements on pan-european security where all sides agreed on principle security. one side would not expand at the expense of the other side. whether blinken is reflecting
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this new argument by nato, which was that the real principle of european security should be the right of nato to expand and this is the main problem. these two principles do not harmonize. this is why we have this conflict. the u.s. insists on the right of nato to expand and pressure insists it will not permit nato to expand. this idea that not giving means to russia as a diplomatic victory to stand up to the russians, it does not make much sense. the only solution left without a diplomatic solution to the standoff is simply for russia to have to rely on its military to prevent further nato expansion. in a final note, this idea of elevating nato above any pan-european security agreements, this was reported in other areas. the act of 1997 stimulate that
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nato should not put any permanent troops in new memory states. now, nato secretary-general suggests gold members, effectively nato has these new principles that do not allow it to abide by the security agreement in the past. it is a standoff and i don't think blinken was able to move this issue forward in any way. peter: when he talks about mr. putin considering his options, is this what we are seeing, old putin, you can expect him to be a matter of ambiguity, doesn't that test is not to send mixed signals, is not actually like, but messes with issues, she does his stance ever so slightly so even the big boys of nato and big boys of european politics cannot get a grip on where they think he might decide to go next. >> as we know, he was a judo
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master. he has always moving around, watching where the best weaknesses are and how can he leverage that. that is a perfect example of how he is approaching these talks with nato. festival, they tried to break european unanimity by demanding bilateral talks with the united states, insinuating that the u.s. would not talk to the european allies about european security. wendi sherman has had 100 debriefings before the nato meetings after the meeting with russians about security in europe. that europeans are not happy, other members are happy. she had to make a for the deficit for lack of trust from the trump administration. people feel almost over briefed but i think they had to do this in order to reassure them. i think there is a dictator's dilemma. with putin, and the soviet union, you have other people making decisions but we see that
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the negotiators must go back physically to moscow to get new instructions. they did not have the ability to negotiate at all. they are just given the lines by putin and they have to try to give these speaking points. i think this hampers the russian position. it also creates a lot of concern for countries in eastern europe because they are asking now, as he pointed out, asking for reassurance because of russian aggression. they want troops, they want more help. putin might have seriously miscalculate. peter: does this come down to the kremlin feeling threatened or feeling that it is increasingly -- its increasingly large sphere of influence is coming back toward we have to go further back? there was a point when the berlin wall was about to fall,
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james baker, other than secretary of state working for bush, said to gorbachev, if you are ok with german unification, nato will not expand to the east, i promise you that. fast-forward to boris yeltsin as russian president, he had a conversation with the polish president and he says, we are thinking about joining nato. for stilts says, absolutely, feel free. if you look at the map of europe, that is why hitler invaded poland, is only 60 >> -- 60 lciks -- clicks. >> pressure feels betrayed from the broken promises that nato would not expand. it has been well documented. i think some terminology is misleading. this idea that nato continues to suggest that russia want to
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reassert its influence. however, if you look in places like ukraine, ukraine and russia proposed to the eu in 2013, let's find a trilateral solution. ukraine is so divided, if you make us choose between east and west, it would break into a civil war. the eu says no, and supported the code. -- coup. russia has no illusions about having exclusive influence in ukraine. what they are trying to prevent is nato from asserting its influence in ukraine. russia has redefined what it previously called spheres of influence, is now the fears -- now the first if -- it has to recognize that it has security interests. weaving nato into ukraine is an existential threat to ukraine so they can make huge moves without
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consulting russia. a letter the russian affairs comes from the past. there is a similarity between the direction the u.s. and nato are moving, the same path as nazi germany had. all of this rhetoric third nato is only including and embracing countries who wants to join, it is primarily an alliance to contain russia and the in europe. -- and assert hegemony in europe. when nato offered nato membership to ukraine on the approximately 20% of ukraine's population wanted. which suggests it is not nato that is feeling pressured to take in these countries that was to join, it is nato that is pushing for expansion. the rhetoric is very much skewed. peter: what happens if nato goes for the so-called tripwire
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scenario, which is -- there are apparently people hire pena nieto saying we should do this -- we should build our military up in romania and bulgaria. how would that be perceived in the kremlin? >> not good. nato has plans to reinforce its eastern flank or eastern front, i don't know. with troops, there is 30 plus 30 plus 30 plus 30, 30 days, 30 battalions, 30 warships, 30 squadrons of warplanes should be moved to poland, the politics, and romania and there yet. present bulgaria is not very interested in station data trips, i does not feel threatened, it does not have a connection to ukraine.
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romania, poland, the baltic states will gladly accept more troops. if you begin moving troops, that is a serious problem because nato would take a vote of time to bring an attack division from texas to poland or estonia order maniac, it takes a lot of time and effort. it is a long way. for russia to move its forces from siberia, it is much shorter. there's going to be a scramble, who deploys first. that is how the first world war began. when troop movements begin, before war is declared and anyone crosses the border, you're getting to a slippery slope from which you cannot easily extract herself or maybe not at all. you get into a spiral of
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escalation. peter: we are heading towards the end of the program. does mr. putin want to re-create the old ussr in his image? he is not growling at the politics because he can't but if we examine what happened in georgia 2008, the crime area -- the crimea to 14, today in kazakhstan, today just outside ukraine, sounds, look like a sphere of influence. >> we have to the member who putin is, he is a soviet man. he has 70 years old and looking at his legacy. what is he going to be known for? i think his dream is to reanimate his old soviet idea and not the soviet union, but have this pressure sphere of influence. his nose in kazakhstan played on television all across russia how
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great russia was helping their kazakh friends and how strong and powerful they were. that is what is animating theirs and everyone here knows that ukraine cannot join nato. there is a conflict in ukraine. dodo -- nato cannot accept any stated conflict. -- any state in conflict. others are concerned that what he fears more -- he knows they cannot join beto with these conflicts. what he fears more is a democratic ukraine on its border . that is what he is concerned about. russia under putin, the next generation will be different leadership. how long is putin going to stay in power? you mentioned kazakhstan. this is an important lesson that putin took away from that. [indiscernible] have a semi retirement. he has been removed from power.
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putting took away from that that he can never tire. he has to keep going and there are some talking about we have to inspire the imperial russian movement, that will keep our country going. i think there is a lot of economic issues to deal with. peter: not wishing to be to sensationalistic or profit of tomb, is there a -- prophet of doom, is there a timeline? if anyone blows it at the talks, pressure will invade ukraine. >> i do not think it will necessarily invade ukraine. i would define russia as a status quo power. it could have invaded ukraine in 2014, it didn't. it only cemented its existing
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position and prevented ukraine from joining nato. nato is a revisionist and expressionist power and russia is pushing to her oldest squirrel. -- pushing to hold the status quo. it is striving to negotiations, trying to change realities on the ground. i think russia will seek more solutions if it does not seek alternatives. peter: the last word to you. if nato/that u.s. does not apply sections, is there a dynamic that might play 10 nato's advantage, particularly with reference to ukraine? mr. putin does not have a good track record when it comes to plate spinning different issues. he has his fingerprints on kazakhstan, on ukraine, on the
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relationship with nato. he does not have a form when it comes to be able to handle more than one big issue anytime. >> russian resources are limited. russia is not the soviet union. russian troops are withdrawing from kazakhstan. they demonstrated the heightened state of alert they are in. but russia does not have enough troops and transport and now they are moving out, maybe be concentrating for a possible crisis that may happen in the west. it is not only ukraine, it is maybe other things. rush -- russia may deploy missiles in forward positions in crimea, maybe belarus to give european countries a sense of threat, that russia could then trade for concessions. i'm afraid we are moving into a
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situation where the tensions in europe are going to grow, it could be escalation in ukraine, it could be escalations in other parts of the overall western russia divide. peter: very last word to you. 30 seconds. where we are in the moment seems to be between nato and russia. let's agree to disagree. how do they both build on that, assuming that both sides actually want peace in europe, they don't want a conflict? >> i think they did reach out and olive branch to russians, stating they could discuss missiles. i think that is a key area and the russians seem interested in discussing this. that is an area they can build on. discussing missiles. i think they should try people put china into this because it is in russia's interest -- china is not involved in missile discussions.
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this might open a new chapter in cooperation. peter: we have to leave it there. thank you to our guests. thank you for watching. you can see the show i get any time via the website and for further discussion, go to our facebook page. you can also join the conversation on twitter. for me and the entire team, thank you for watching. we will see you at the usual time tomorrow. for the moment, bye-bye.
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