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a special edition of going underground less than 20 days before vladimir putin. his schedule to be teaching, being at the winter olympics in china while britain focuses on personal catastrophes for morris johnson and prince andrew. this has been a week of critical talks between nato and russia to avert possible global conflict of ukraine as they reach a seeming impass moscow's hopes of turning back the clock on nato expansion appear rejected as jo, biden's threats of massive consequences dissolve signs for optimism or pessimism in what could be a global existential crisis. joining me now from cambridge is the ex u. k. p. m, tony blair's former ambassador to russia. so tony branch and thank you so much for coming back on the show. i want to be slightly optimistic before we get into some of the statements being bandied around europe this week. again, stalled, embargo major at least said that the missions are going to open in moscow and in brussels, or between nato and russia. so at least that some good news talks is that the small, it's a good news. i got
a still disagreement about how many each side is going to house. well, you're going to go on to the business department. i'd have to go there. i am going to have your sales please. i know, but let me, let me just say one other for sure. it is good news that after russia produced its draft treaties and it says, demands the west. united states in particular, didn't simply say, get lost. what it said was ok, let's talk and it's good news to that, the west. ok, we can get on to what they disagree with. but they have offered some things which the 2 sides can discuss constructively, like arms control, like where people put nuclear weapons like those sorts of things. now, you're about to go on to this. yeah, those good things. suppose good things are missile deployments, i should say, of course, for our audience around the world, the britain is in the leadership crisis of sorts of corona virus restrictions. and of course, actually this all was taking place in europe. well, north korea tested
a hypertonic missile the can it delay in 30 minutes, but that, that, aside from that, the polish for ministers, a big me of route said, europe is the closest to war in 30 years. stolberg says it's the situation is dangerous, possible armed conflict, these are the actual words being used. and i mean, i think sensually adam schiff at the, in the u. s. chief of the us house intelligence committee, claim that the invasion of ukraine by russia is very likely you believe it's very likely i have notes and i actually, i see your students. so i don't think russia wants to do it. and obviously the west doesn't want it to happen, but i mean, the 1st, once i got that is that even if russia does invade ukraine, it's pretty clear that nature would not get involved militarily. there would be very strong thanks and so on. but the idea about the europe wide war between nature and russia as a result of what's going on in ukraine, very low,
but going back to ukraine itself. russia has been very clear on its determination that ukraine will never join nato. nato has been equally clear on the principle. countries can join whatever alliances they like. both sides have spent a series of meetings this week saying those things to each other. so i think is the 1st and foremost, as we of course, said today, the talk so far have failed. and it's an interesting question where things go now, but i wouldn't, i mean, there's a solution to this which, which is pretty obvious one. everybody knows that ukraine, it with a lot of joints next in the, in the term. the future is certainly not going to do that. within the next few years. there's contested territory between russia and ukraine, is of course, in crimea, is a small civil war going on in ukraine. was russia involved in the dumbass in those circumstances? make sure it's simply not going to take it. so would i get that?
sorry to tell you, but what would they have if the russians hadn't put a 100000 troops across the border in russia will be 200 miles, i think away from the ukrainian border. yes, i mean, the presence of those troops is ineffective. had the effect of getting the discussions that are not taking place going. they haven't shifted anyone's positions so far as i can see, so far at all. and the fear is that those troops will actually be turned into an invasion force, which i say, i suspect that both sides would vastly not to have so much of finding an elegant solution to the difference of you, which prevents that happening. and if i, i don't wanna, i don't shop for too much like for let me just say there is an obvious solution to that. as i said, you can is not going to join nato for the next decade to decades because of differences. right? crimea differences about the dumbass, so it ought to be possible engineer and agreed statement between nato,
the west and russia, which says slash says, ukraine is not going to join a so for x years or for some time, i not an offending against russia's principal is never going to join a so nor offending against nature is principle. we can't say it's never going to join nature, but establishing some agree ground a few years, which then give us more time to sort out the disagreements between the 2 sides. well, no sign of any statement like that from st oldenburg, let alone, blinking. last time you were on the program. you said, i think i challenged you and said, why is boris johnson sending in warships into the black sea? what is going on and you end russia can send its troops where it likes, in a sense saying in international waters in recognize international areas. they can do what they like. that's not true. we realize from statements coming from the white house, from the,
by the ministration but russia is not allowed to move its troops within its borders in russia, according to the way native things. no one says that they're not allowed to. what people have said is that if they behave as they have done, that raises tensions and raises questions. and, you know, if you want to maintain decent international discourse, particularly when the question of noise involved, it's helpful to have some transparency and predictability and for people to know from russia why it's doing what it's doing. so if for a similar situation to, if russia based it's warships and so on, knows and special forces to mexico because the united states and britain have special forces in ukraine as far as i understand it. if you look at the parallels and make it all things being equal, that's a situation. you know, you're quite right. there are panels. and i think the reason why our special flight and we have special forces, but we certainly setting up a training facility in, in ukraine at the moment,
is that we want to help ukraine to acquire the abilities and itself. stephanie doesn't evidently, doesn't have at the moment. i can't, for example, when the war and dumbass are behavior. and you may disagree with it. russia may disagree with it, but it is entirely transparent in objectives that it has. the pulling together of those $100000.00 russian troops around ukraine. they're so far, no nation for 2. you see, i'm all, you have what you mean saying does not tally with the kind of briefings being given to british journalists in this country or us journalists in the united states, which is clearly the idea that putin is bent on invading ukraine, imminently let alone and his strengthening of expansion of russia in kazakhstan, and in belarus, and the where is your saying look, reason probably not going to do it. where are these, where these briefings can, who are these people, these mysterious,
often anonymously brief briefings to journalists in nature, nations who is there some sort of vested interest here, saying the opposite of water prior ambassador to moscow, like yourself a say not sure that the briefings of that absolute is what the price is publishing, and some of our press is well known that is hot over against russia. but what do they want more than to reject? just to say what i suspect, i'm not seeing the briefings. my suspect the briefings of said here are these troops. there are an awful lot of them, quite most to the borders of a much smaller and less well defended state. pretty clearly, those troops are there for a reason. and pretty clearly, that reason is to intimidate ukraine in a case and arguably nature, we don't know it, but that's what it feels like. and that you're saying the truth to me. i mean rush, rob is he says they're military training. but ironically, all of these briefings, and i mean they're pretty straight. and i mean, as i said, the house intelligence committee chairman adam chef says we have the intelligence.
that's what the intention is. it's not too intimidated to invade the of course the, i can see, i don't think shifted. so he's a, does he play on the invasion? is quotes very likely. that's what he said. very likely. okay. i suspect he's gotten ahead of the if okay with them. ironically, this kind of some might say, scare mongering does have one impact the winter olympics are coming up and letting me put in his schedule to be going to see she jumping at why do you think and policy makers don't realize that every action they seem to take is drawing beijing and moscow in ever closer embrace and seeing nato countries as enemies. so once we agree entirely, i say exactly the same thing. western, the bad relations between western russia. obviously i'm pushing russia more and more into, into china's arms. and that, i think is a mistake. i don't think that mister putin entirely welcomes it. and i think would be helpful. a key results of our finding better relations with russia would be
indeed to attract rusher into a more. how can i put this some way he could live room position between the west and china. now, i haven't seen you much on british media. it has to be said, but during the context on appalling atrocities in our mighty and so on with so many people died. what did you think? when again, we had the same kind of anonymous briefing. that same report is telling us, you know, the fact that the russian troops have been invited together. it's done. we'll create tensions between beijing in moscow. where do you think such a geopolitical analysis emerges from again, i agree with you. like the briefing, what the newspaper said felt to me to be pretty ignorant and prejudiced. i mean, obviously the russians will assist you were invited supply troops to back up because ext on government, they went there now leaving, it seems to me in international terms to be an entirely defensible operation. and
on the position of the chinese, i would guess the chinese, i would guess that russia and china in the sense improve their relations if they were unprovable. as a result, because china has lots of stakes. instability in catholic and russia is just made a significant contribution to the stability. well, of course, one could think there is some kind of method in this perceived redness. even if russia says they're unsuccessful. these talks recently we had china, of course, in alaska, that famous blinking meeting when biden became president. when china started reading the riot act about native american genocide to the united states. and we saw that tweet or, or no, it was actually statement by the russian foreign office replying to blink and saying, don't if i read basically don't, if i russians at your house as guests because they'll stay longer than they should . and of course, the russian said you're more likely to be raped or robot if american stay in your house. maybe the americans, maybe nato, maybe they have their people. they're saying, look, there is a resurgent,
certainly a rhetorical anger from moscow imaging that we've not seen for a long time. the best thing is to up the ante i, i got that i think we can statement is actually stupid, sang by the russians in and now down there we go. and it is now proven wrong. and surprising to go back to a point you made a bit earlier, america's key as it sees it get political concern at the moment is somehow containing china and, and getting into a big disagreement with russia is obviously not helpful to that. and i think ben can stick with said, and hopefully they would have learned from the experience. so tony branded, i'll stop you there more from x, u, k, p. m, to any bless former ambassador to russia after this break.
ah, now we have e cigarettes, i just heard that it was a healthy alternative to cigarettes. do we trust tobacco companies with their message that these new products are actually going to reduce? are these issues or making the tobacco have been doing over 2 years? ah, we had recently, of course, are you in sorry, didn't the united states talking about human rights talking about press freedom. if you going to talk the talk, you got a book. in other words, you got to be consistent. you chastise. on the one hand, we believe in press freedom, but on the other hand, we're going to richmond, julia massage. and i think the hypocrisy of the united states in his choice is what really makes a lot of people really mad about the caching. turning here in australia where people just don't understand them, right. what is his trade incentives?
are these religions down with ah, welcome back. i'm still here with ex u. k. p. m. tony blair's former ambassador to rochester, tony brenton sorry to keep harping on about the media element of this, but that is after all, where normal people are normal. people informed their impressions continually the idea unchallenged. i heard on the b b. c. the other day that nature is a defensive or defensive organization. i know this is a point that russia and china and went to the global south and says, how can they call themselves a defensive organization? how can journalists not challenge that idea, given the iraq afghanistan and libya, yugoslavia where i think you're wrong, nature is a different nation and specifically so in the european context is found it sounds
doing things overseas that there's no other western organization to do. like i keep buying a gas done and getting involved in iraq, you say, but when the european context i in our dealings with the rush, they say it is very much a defensive organization. and one depressing fact, coming back to the current disagreements about ukraine, is it each side is treating the other as a threat to security. whereas in fact, nature is never going to attack russia. and similarly, russia is never going to attack, makes it quite nice for both sides to recognize that fact and begin to get the temperature down. yeah, but i mean, they donations avatar china and russia having the, i mean, i know it was a mistake with him on a slab that was a mistake when they, when they attack russian insulation to syria. that's a mistake. me the native nations, as well as you could say, rather than nato as
a whole. but there's no doubt that they donations of attacked russia and china. no nato nations. well, i know the incident, your furniture, which was, i think it was a nato bombings. he was plain, but the nato bombing off serbia, in the run up to the war to, to, to liberate cost. if i was already turned into a mistake and i was a bad mistake in the chinese responded really quite dramatically to it. and i, i hope that i learned from that mistake, but it wasn't america or nato attacking china. it was an error in the course of a war which was entirely justified given what the serbs were doing in crossover at the time. well, as all this, talk about an alleged chinese intelligence agent here in westminster, in the house of commons. christine lee, you're a diplomat. what do you make of britain saying? they're not going to send diplomats to they went to games in china as of the global . so there's vladimir putin arrives there, a good idea. now, i think it's
a mistake. i mean, you get to choose to slee stub. we don't do, could you choose to say snob, anybody, but you certainly don't go to assess the snob. the 2nd most powerful national plan . yes, but the british government, as you know, says it's not gratuitous. it's of actually a response to alleged human rights abuses. yeah. and those human rights abuses are real. but nevertheless, we need to maintain a constructive relationship with china. and i think doing this sort of thing is petty and does not achieve anything in a week when guantanamo had. it's the anniversary of its 1st detail. he, i think human rights are a pretty relative, as all countries seem to be saying and have done for a long time. what about the role of germany? nod stream to the russian government. very angry about the noise is coming from washington and from brussels. you see the new chancellor change leadership in germany being better for us go well better than they do. i
use for you to judge. i'm not stream to is probably not the ideal subject to base it on. i mean, we've been around the north string to circuit before back in 19 eighties when, with the question 1st arose of russia exporting gas to germany. another was new nations. the americans tried to impose sanctions to stop it. the new european nations, and particularly germany insisted that they needed the gas and eventually the americans act down. now, if all the other noise it's going on what's going on, i would be reasonably confident that's the way this would go as well this time. but it's been come bound up now with the whole ukraine issue. and i suspect that at the moment that the 1st russian ball drops in ukraine, which let's hope it doesn't at that moment, not stream to the dead for decade or so. and 40 percent of your obscenity? no. europe. we're not going to. is this it is not just not seem to obviously the other bipolar no, no, no, no, no, no, no,
no rushes performance on delivering gas to western europe has been impeccable. russia signs, contracts, and delivers on them, and it is pretty clear that even through all is the current, most it's going on. russia is maintaining that policy. you have an argument about what they're doing on the side. they're not shifting such gases for markets is people used to, but they're entirely within their rights to do that. and i assume we'll want to continue doing latch until unless something goes dramatically, dramatically wrong and all price to them for maintaining that position. i'm not fin to the point of delivering current deliveries of russian gas is not necessary, but we'll have to see how things evolved from here. oh, yeah, i mean, a former u. s. u s senior adviser would look back was on the show this week. people can watch it and i started by saying to him, from moscow and b jane's point of view,
they're looking at the u. s. is continue destabilization of latin america as they see it. they're looking at a t o p and the t p are left. they're looking at obviously a resurgent military presence around taiwan. they're seeing continued attacks on china about what's happening in jang. how long do you think the shanghai corporation organization, states which include russia? of course i'm trying to i'm just going to say here, allow this to keep on going before they start to militarily engage with the warships, nato nations ascending to all these places and, and armament. i don't see the shanghai corporation organization, wonderful organization that is actually challenging, apparently united states. and it's obviously a bit of an arm wrestle going on at the moment about control of the c lanes in the south china sea and so on. that's principally between the united states and china
and, and i, well, those 2 countries will have to decide what level of competition they're ready to engage in. and how much further they're willing to go. the 1st one is actually taiwan. and again, let's hope that has been assigned to say a peaceful solution to what is on c major. deep disagreement can be found, but i don't see united states wandering around the world destabilizing places in the south china sea. it is protecting international see ways which are open to everyone in some believe in humanitarian intervention and often point to those who are converted to the policy by the rwandan genocide. you think there are parallels dionne sander libyan elections are again being postponed libya to beijing and moscow was a kind of red line. they can no longer allow nato countries to can no longer trust them. obviously they,
china abstained on the olivia un resolution that libya was a line in the sand and no longer do russia and china or take for granted the words coming from washington and brussels. i was quite heavily involved li minister intervention policy. and it felt right at the time, there are a lot of really quite nasty governments around the world repressing brutally repressing massacring there in peoples that included of saddam and iraq that included in that fee. in libya, that continues to include syria aside in syria. and the feeling was, and this is partially related to, at the time the absolute military dominance of the west. and i've been a, so there's a feeling that we should intervene to help these are press populations. now, in retrospect, it has not been a very successful policy in iraq. it produced isis. and a lot of subsequent was in libya and produced anarchy,
which continues to this day in syria produced very nearly a war with russia actually, and syria remains in the cooling mess. at the moment, actually, i think there's a lot of chin scratching going on in the west about whether this was an entirely sensible approach to life. now let's see what comes along next. but for the moment, i think you're looking at something of the western pause and interfering for humanitarian reasons. in however, got countries on government. and i was conspicuous example of that, obviously, is there other abrupt us and therefore nature withdrawal from afghanistan? there? what were your feelings about that? because i have to say, and i know, i mean even with cove it so you don't get to go to as many diplomatic parties as you might have done before. you know, those hawks are still out there who aren't in scratching. we're just saying actually people are defeatist when they complain about the interventions that you just just delineated there. now, i'm not,
i don't get it done. i think that was all this right. i was involved right in the beginning, afghanistan, i was in washington dc time and evolve since and started off. well, 1st of all, it started off as a result of $911.00. i'm going to check on the trend towers avoidable. and they then turned into an effort to turn afghanistan into a western style democracy, which i always felt was bound to fail and has failed. and we would biden, and therefore we were right to get out. but i don't exclude the possibility that somewhere around the world, you have a nasty dictator repressing his people in a way that we the west could stop and are therefore deciding to go it. what i would say, however, is that the mistake in a lot of these interventions so far has been that you go it easy to when we got massive armed forces, you go in, you, when you throw the die out, that's very straightforward. you can't then just turn your back and walk out again
. you have to rebuild the society somehow. why the same time not becoming the enemy domestically to, to whatever politics or just all, just stay out to stay out of it. and, and i mean, when you say that, that kind of idea is it precisely why 911 happened in the 1st place, of course, the machine and so forth, which leads me on i supposed to be asking you at the moment in the past few weeks, israel armed by britain in the united states is of course, in bombing, syria, and garza and so on creating incredible a inspiration are acting as a recruitment sergeant for islamists all around the world. which would mean another $911.00. who knows this here, given the hatred for the west, that these kinds of her actions inspire. so again, when we see the same mistakes being played out again of, well, we take out a dictator out here, or there are a terrorist leader as they would call it. and then try and rebuild societies in,
in their own image. hey gal, who said the one thing we learned from history is that no one ever learns anything from history. we've conducted these operations. they have not been very successful, but it is not difficult to imagine. as i say, some nasty dictator, all over the televisions worldwide, murdering his people and the west feeling constrained to act, meeting with russia. i mean, russia is a country with an international conscience to the trick. yes, but surely. but the point is britain in the united states helping the mass murder of people in yemen on pay. i mean is a, you basically say no, i don't think so. the pressure on the saudis now with the people who really foul assuming that the saudis couldn't do what they're doing without britain. and we know boris johnson, reputedly jokes about the civilian casualties in yemen. if you use exactly the same ideas you're using to me, they're majoring in russia, could say right enough is enough. these atrocities being committed with british and
american aid deserve a response. and the regime change in london in washington. i mean, i think that's from the change of us attitude is very visible. i have not followed this closely for the u. k, but the united states now criticizing the saudis for what they did to show me that unfortunate journalist did. and then you turn, they are pulling back on various arms supplies, deals with saudi. it's quite striking. the saudis are not having to go around with the begging bo should other bits of the middle east who have the rockets that they need. i suspect that what you're looking at is a rabbit, colder climate towards saudi, at least from washington, d. c. my suspect or so therefore from one i haven't gone into the details of his out. he's did i any a wrong doing? and they say actually they're the army. when contracts are being honored, vulnerable, beg you q, that's over the show will be back on monday when after golden globes success for squid game we investigate the rise of korean pop culture. 15 years to the day,
the doomsday clock were set to 5 minutes to midnight after north korea's 1st missile test. until then keep in touch viral as social media let us know which side you'd be on in a war between nato in russia and china. it really is happening here in l. zante outside the door and then to be known globally as the home of big coin city. and we're witnessing the demise of gold as a monetary. the monetization takes place. now we have e cigarettes, i just heard that it was a healthy alternative to cigarettes. do we trust tobacco companies with their message that these new products are actually going to reduce these sugar is making the tobacco with
a ah, without headlines here one or 2 months ago slams washington or for alleging rushers preparing a false flag operation to justify it. suppose it ukraine invasion class in the program, august size up the chances of a full blown military conflict. nice owens document was always going to weeks detention. we have here in ukraine, the plans of the missiles, 5 minutes from moscow. now the question is, how do you, how do you deal with a bully, a massive chemical fi and for say, new jersey is sending large plumes and potentially dangerous smoke into the air. and it could be heading now in the direction of nearby new york city or from the