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tv   Quadriga - International Debate from Berlin  LINKTV  February 5, 2023 10:30pm-11:01pm PST

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as soon as the west agreed to supply ukraine with heavy battle tanks, ukraine started to demand for more. president zelensky says his country urgently needs fighter jets and submarines now this has sparked a heated debate in international politics u. s. and germany have refused to agree to this new demand. others wonder if returning to diplomacy could be the way to end the war. so today on to the point, we asked new weapons for ukraine, where does the vital aid lead? hello and welcome to. to the
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point, it's good to have you with us. now, before we start, let me introduce our guests. we have nick connnnolly. nick works as foreign correspondent with deutsche welle, he has been reporting extensively out of ukraine for the last few months. welcome, nick next on the panel is professor wolfgang merkel. he's skeptical about sending more arms to ukraine and last but not least we have with us island mutli. she's security expert at the german council on foreign relations. she's alsbased in berlin but she's joining us remotely today. nick, let me start with you. you've been on the ground. you've seen the situation there. now, russia has been attacking residential areas and ukraine claims now that russia is preparing for an offensive for 24 february. can ukraine really hold its ground quite literally. well, i think that's definitely the conviction in kiev. i think they are
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positively surprised, at least what in terms of the kind of arms that have been supplied in the last couple of weeks after a long period of frustration and kind of calls on the west to send more. we've had a kind of flurry of announcements of new equipment? obviously the question mark hangs over when this stuff is actually gonna arrive on the front lines. i think there is a sense that there isn't really fear that the russians are gonna makeke a lot of new gains. but the question is how fast will ukraine or will ukraine at all be able to reclaim territory that's been lost to the russians since the 24th, 22. so i think it's more about, can ukraine make significant gains before some kind of negotiations restart negotiations we say. um, i'll and i'll come to you now. now, ukraine says it needs heavy tanks, it needs long range missile systems and it's going to get that as well. germany has agreed us has agreed other countries are going to provide things. but now when we talk of fighter planes, germany and america, they're both extremely, very of that. what's the reason for that
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i can't tell you exactly what the reason for that is. but my assumption is that as has been sort of the reason and motivation throughout the war so far especially germany, but also the united states and their leaders are a bit afraid of escalating or contributing to an escalation of the war by ways of sending new weapons systems, including fighter jets? professor michael, do you think that by delivering more and more weapons to ukraine? the west is in a way pushing putin to escalate the war putin doesn't really need to be pushed to get deeper into the war. he is the kresser, there is no doubt about it. nevertheless, we are dealing with an aggressor
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and we are dealing with a dictator and he can decide without all these checks and balances we have in democratic systems. he can decide more or less on his own or in this very small inner circle. what he wants to do and what we have seen in the war is that he begins to uh initiate a new turn uh in the escalation. and this is quite obviously what the americans and parts of the german government are afraid of. and this is what i expect. and at the end and war has to be ended by negotiations the sooner the better you've said, negotiations, you've also mentioned negotiations now, nato allies had barely settled a weeks long standoff over the supply of battle tanks to ukraine. and now a new confrontation appears to be brewing after tanks
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will there be negotiations for fighter jets and submarines? berlin wants to supply ukraine with 14 leopard two tanks. other countries are also taking part above all, poland and norway the usa was to send abrams tanks, but that's not enough for ukrainian president. further escalation. ukraine is also demanding a submarine from germany arms deliveries to ukraine really the
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only way to force russia to negotiate? or are the crititics right. and fearing that the delivery of potential offensive weapons could end west give ukraine everything it needs to win. should the west go on delivering everything that ukraine asked for island, i'd like to ask that question to you. where does this really end? should the west go on delivering things? i cannot predict where any of this will end. and i think that nobody in fact can however, if the goal of the west is to continue supporting ukraine in its right to claim to reclaim territory to fend off russia's aggression, to sort of to to hold on to its its serenity to its territorial integrity en i thinkt is necesry forhe west to
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continue supplying ukraine with weapons by the way, not only new weapons systems, but also ammunition for systems that have been delivered already. artillery systems, for example, there are numerous reports of some some of those systems running out of ammunition and the west sort of scrambling for for further supplying those um ammunitions. so it's a question of both new weapons systems, but also the question of continuing to sort of to supply ammunitions for systems that have already been delivered and are still necessary on the battlefield to to to be amused. but ukraine is also asking for german submarines. do you think that's realistic. i think it's i wouldn't want to preclude that the german government at german submarines. do you think that's realistic. i think it's some point will will rule in favor of that? seeing the sort of the history of especially germany and supplying
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raine with weapons. it's been really history of um of of of wavering essentially. but then in the end germany raine with weapons. it's been really history of um of has almost all the time given into demands that ukraine made in concert with its allies. so i wouldn't now go on record sort of precluding germany might change its mind on that matter. professor mamack. we do see a divide. there are some countries that are more than willing to supply. there are other countries that do not want to supply their extremely hesitant. how do you really see this? how do you interpret this? do you think putin has managed to create rift in the western allies? or could that be a strategy of the west? i don't i don't see any rift with among the western countries putin was quite unsafe unsuccessful to create such a cleavage
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between the different countries. of course the countries have a dierent geo strategic position. we have the baltic countries, we have poland. it's not the same as we are looking to portugal or to italy though there is a very different situation if it comes to geopolitics and the other thing is uh there are different historical uh, memories and of course poland and the baltic countries have different ones and they want to see russia defeated. but my hunch is the more russia has to be afraid uh slipping on the slippery slope into a defeat. it will escalate because putin cannot imagine and he can even not support on the slippery slope into a defeat. it will escalate
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that russia will lose. it is his fate as well it is his fate as well. nick you've been on the ground as i said in the beginning now, how do people in ukraine see this? is there a sentiment that we have to win the war? there should be victory only then that's the end or would they rather prefer a solution through dialogue and diplomacy? i think there's very little support in ukraine for some kind of negotiation soon on russian terms. i think there's definitely a kind of fairly broad consensus in ukraine society that russia is not going to stop that. they tried this in 2014 that they tried to freeze the conflict. they basically tolerated russian control of crimea, they left front lines where they were and that ruia just came back for another bite of the apple. and that russia this time might use the time the kind of breather to improve its army to stock up on spare parts and to really then try again more successfully a second time. there's a real sense now having to grab this opportunity while the west is supporting ukraine while you have joe biden in the white house willing to really provide a lot of finance and also weapons, you know, in case for instance, there's
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a second trump presidency, there's a real fear that if ukraine doesn't really regain control of its territory now get some really kind of hard and fast security guarantees that this is going to get a lot worse and more dangerous for ukraine in the future. and um holland had recently said the ex french president that it's actually putin strategy that the western allies, they should get tired, they should just run out of ideas and that's what they're doing. they're fighting amongst each other that we have to deliver things and they'll go on delivering and that's the part of the strategy and only then putin is going to win. how do you react to that? i don't believe that the western country will get tired. they are already deeply involved into this war and the reputation of the military and the defense reputation of the countries, especially of the united states depends to some extent what will be the outcome of this war. and they cannot simply
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forget what they have done so far. they cannot forget that there is an aggressor which violates international law, flagrant tree, so they will not get tired. i'm completely sure and if you look into the discourses of our country what are we debating about? we are discussing the situation of the war we are discussing to which extent we can and should get involved. and if we are looking to the little sequence we have seen now in television it seems to be that the president of the united states sees it more clearer than many european countries, which are the risks involved in an intensification escalation of this war. you say negotiation is the only way out. how
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do they reach a negotiation? finally, this is a $1 million question. uh i don't have an prepared solution for that. what i'm asking for is we should explore it more intensively, we should start and we should uh the countries should talk with the two uh war parties, russia and ukraine and the united states of america should push it more. uh of course putin will not do it on his own, but probably and this is very difficult to say. and it's even not easy for me might be that the dictator must be offered something uh and we cannot start with maximalist positions and saying only we
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negotiate only then when the russian troops have left completely ukraine, this will simply not happen. negotiations are important, but as you said, the ukrainians, they don't want negotiations on the russian terms. and also there's a real sense in ukraine that there's a lack of imagination in the west about russia after putin, that, you know, there is not necessarily, you know, kind of given that putin survives this politically in any scenario and that, you know, if the losses start adding up, if people from moscow and petersburg who were called up, lose their lives, not just people from distant provinces. that actually the kind of discontent in russian society could put him on a lot of pressure and maybe in a year or two, the west might find themselves negotiating with totally new people in the kremlin but people do want the end of war. they want the end of the war. but i think there's definitely a sense that russia has not given up its aim of destroying ukraine as a sovereign country and that conflict is inevitable and that they want to, if negotiation happens of destroying ukraine as a sovereign country and that conflict do that for a position of strength and from a position where they can defend themselves. it's important to remember
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here, ukraine gave up its nuclear weapons in the 90s in return for security guarantees so called budapest memorandum. the uk. the russians signed the americans and we saw that paper was totally worthless. those guarantees proved totally unable to defend ukraine. so i think ukraine, ukraine is really looking out for hard and fast facts on the ground and for real guarantees that they can then call on should russia try again. people in ukraine want to see the end of the war. what do people in russia want and how do the germans see this? let's take a listen. according to polls, a slight majority of germans are in favor of supplying offensive weapons to ukraine in moscow
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many blamed the west for the war in ukraine. so a lot of germans, they believe that by directly by sending tanks and by sending weapons germany is directly part of the war, whereas german chancellor olaf schulz, he has
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rejected that interpretation completely. ellen let me come to you talking of the legal concept if you set your foot on the battleground, you directly part of the war. if you train people or if you provide intelligence, that's kind of a gray zone. but if you only provide weapons then it's not a problem at all. why is that so what's the legality around this? well, i'm not a sort of an expert on international law, but as far as i can read the international law, it is pretty clear that as you just pointed out providing weapons to ukraine doesn't equal or it doesn't mean that the west is actually, you know, part of some of the conflict is actually actively participating in the conflict. and actually, you know, speaking of international law, we're talking also about you
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know upholding the u. n. carter um here where it is enshrined that country attacked by another sovereign country as is the case in in in in ukraine that other countries are allowed legally allowed to come to to the country's aid. so it's there's really no so no room for interpretation whatsoever in terms of whether or not the west is a as a party to the conflict. however i just like to point out one thing obviously the west is not neutral either. we have been or the west has been sort of standing by ukraine side from the get go. so we're not. so we're not neutral either, especially not in political terms. professor merkel, if there's no slippery slope, why are so many countries hesitant on sending weapons? and especially now we're talking about fighter jets from u. s. and germany because of course there is
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a slippery slope. nobody knows how the escalation continues. and if you assume and this is my hypothesis, if you assume that putin cannot afford to lose this war because his political and physical existence is challenged by it. and dictators know perfectly if they lose wars, they quite often get executed as well. so he will do everything, everything not to lose the war. and this is what countries know. and even obviously the united states of america, they are afraid that the escalation goes to something where nobody can steer anymore what is going on on the ground and this is certainly an important point. the second point is the people and the political elites in latin america
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do not have that much trust into the west. the same is true for india. the same is true for indonesia because they have seen even the democratic country, the united states of america violating international law and attacking iraq so they are talking about the west speaking with two tongues so to say and therefore they are skeptical, they don't want to be part of it. and to some extent for them it's an european war, it's not a war going on in latin erica or in asia, a lot of people are skeptical. they don't want to be part of it. so while the western countries are busy figuring out which weapons to send and which not the newly elected brazilian president, lula da silva has emphasized the creation of and i quote a club of countries that
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want to build peace on the planet and he seems to have found a leader for this club too, brazil has no interest in supplying ukraine with munitions time for china to get involved between russia and ukraine. professor markel though lula da silva mentioned chinese, he said our friends the chinese, but what i found interesting was his choice of countries that he wants to make this club. but he mentioned apart from china, he mentioned india and indonesia now, brazil on the one hand is in bricks with china and india. on the other hand it is in g 20 troika with india and indonesia. how do you see this is the power shifting to the global south is the global south really play really going to play a very big role in solving this western conflict. i
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would like to hope it, but i don't have too much trust into it and let's recalculate who are the major players, the major players are on the one side certainly russia and ukraine. but above all the united states of america without us will to end this war. the war may not end very pretty soon and i'm anyway skeptical that the war will end very soon. and i expect if you listen to political decision makers, it will loom into the 2020 for and this becomes a war of attrition and it means each day 1000 people die on the ground. so the global thous can play a role as a neutral actor. but he will not be
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the decisive one. nick, russia says it will not return the next territory. and zelinsky says that he wants everything back even crimea. so what could be the solution if you're talking about negotiations? how did he really come to the negotiation table that they're loggerheads right now? i think we're not there. i think negotiations are a long way off. maybe if, you know, six months a year, years down the line, one of the sides is exhausted in terms of financial resources, human resources, then maybe they'll be willingness to kind of compromise. but you know, russia claims carson as its territory and that was a city that was retaken by the ukrainians last year. it's even questionable whether russia knows what its borders, its claiming our right now. we had the kind of absurd situation where vladimir putin's press person was asked, where does russia end? and he couldn't give an answer one question about going back to the global south, interestingly, there's been some credible reports come out of ukraine recently that pakistani major shells have been found in the ukrainian army that ukraine is offering
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services to help pakistan with its soviet made helicopters in return getting munitions. so i think if you look beyond the kind of political, more open support, there is definitely the sense that it is proving possible to find resources and military equipment from countries who aren't necessarily publicly getting involved in this conflict. island. last thoughts coming back to again, coming back to the role of mediator. if china does take up the role of mediator, will the west accepted and knowing um china stands, do you think china would be a partial mediator? you've said that west is not? do you think that's possible? well, it's not, i don't think it's a question of whether the west except china as a as a possible broker. it's ukraine and russia, first of all, first and foremost, having to accept a mediator and i'm pretty sure that russia would be more than happy to acct china as a mediator. but
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i don't think that ukraine would would agree to that seeing as china is anything but a neutral player in this war and is politically and has been politically supporting russia from the very beginning. and i just like to point out that i find the wording, it's not that it's sort of european or western conflict a bit unfortunate because it is not, we're talking about russia's war of aggression against ukraine and not a conflict beten russia and the west. i'll have to stop you there, island. sorry we're running out of time. one of our viewers on youtube asking quads, pardon me if i've written, i've mispronounced the name has written. the enemy doesn't care if you're a pacifist or not. he will not, he will come no matter in what you believe. if you are also watching us on youtube, do let us know what you
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