tv Consider This Al Jazeera March 3, 2014 10:00pm-11:01pm EST
ukraine: >> russia's u.n. ambassador insisted troops in crimea were invited, entering at the request of deposed ukrainian president viktor yanukovych to establish: >> but america's u.n. ambassador samantha power didn't buy it. >> military action cannot be justified on the basis of threats that haven't been made and aren't being carried out. there is no evidence that ethnic russians are in danger. >> meanwhile at the white house president obama warned russia that the u.s. and russian allies were making preparations of their own. >> we are examining a whole series of steps - economic, diplomatic - that will isolate russia, and will have a negative impact on russia's economy, and its stat news the world.
>> but with pro-russian crowds celebrating the arrival of russian troops in crimea, arizona senator john mccain had a bleak view of what sanctions might achieve. >> the question is is it too little too late. that's pretty much the situation now >> first to ukraine, and nick schifrin. nick, you are there now, have there been signs of troop movement or activity? >> the occupation is increasing and the resistance, as far as we can tell, was non-existent. we spent a lot of time going to bases today outside of this capital, and we saw bases with russian flags flying. we saw soldiers flying, hanging out. then we saw arm ris, where the russian soldiers were digging in
trenches. there's a sense that the tide is turning, that the russian occupation is getting larger, the u.s. is calling for a deescalation of this peninsula, but, in fact, russia is escalating. not only are we seeing more russian troops coming in, but the threads. local reporters down at the coast at that port where the ukrainian ships are waiting and basically besieged do insist that russian ships a few hundred feet off the coast delivered an ultimatum saying in about an hour the ukrainian ships had to be abandoned and the ships or the men on board and their weapons handed over to the russians. whether or not that happened or happens, the fact is here at government institutions, at military bases, certainly the russians are increasing their presence and the ukrainian resistance is melting away or never started to begin with.
>> away from the military, crimea's pro-russian president set a march 30th date. here is what an activist said about whether crimea should stay with ukraine, when asked by al jazeera. >> we'll never become one nation with the western part of ukraine. we have different mentalities. their heroes are our enemies, ours are the soviet soldiers who saved us from the nazis. >> is that a popular view among the people in crimea that you talk to? >> you ask anyone, in western, eastern ukraine, southern ukraine, and everyone has a story from world war ii. without getting too much into history, basically you have people who say the soviets saved ukraine and the rest of the world from hitler and germany. the people in western ukraine opposed the effort, and that's why the western ukrainians are called fascists, nazis, who shot
soviet soldiers in the back. it is common to get that story here. every time i asked anyone who supports russia, looking to east, to moscow, they call everyone in kiev traitors, fashists and use an historical term in which soviet soldiers were literally shot in the back. this is something they think is repeating again and again. that's why you have so many passionate response, so many people coming out waving the flag saying, "we don't want to look west, we want the russian soldiers here." you speak to people outside the becauses and they say they are protecting them from the fascists, the people in kiev, and that's why we need the russian soldiers. a lot of people say there's nothing to protect them from, the only one doing the aggression are the russian
soldiers. >> we'll see what tomorrow brings. al jazeera's nick schifrin, thanks. >> ukraine's week-old interim government is looking to the west for help as it admits it's out-dated and underfunded military is no match for russia. what are they expecting u.s. and its allies to do. joining us from kiev is andriy shevchenko, a member of the fatherland party. good to have you on the show today. the new prime minister, arseniy yatsenyuk, warned that ukraine is on the brink of disaster. we vice-president hearing claims of the russian ultimatums. what is the biggest fear from the kiev government right now? >> well, i think what we are witnessing is not just a military invasion into ukrainian territory. russia is taking the whole world into the cold war era. we are really seeing the events which are unfolding as a major
threat not just to our state hood and integrity, but to peace and security throughout the whole world. >> yulia tymoschenko, a former prime minister released from prison, she said there's a russian bill discussed in the duma calling for the annexation of crimea. have you heard that? >> it's information from the russian parliament that a bill has been registered in the russian parliament. it's too hard to tell whether it's political bluffing on behalf of the russian lawmakers or part of vladimir putin's plan. we see it as unacceptable, not just for ukraine, but the whole democratic world. >> pardon me for being a devil's advocate, a lot of alarms are coming out of kiev.
is that at all part of the strategy, getting the west to do something? >> in 1994 ukraine gave away its nuclear weapons, and signed the so-called buddha pest memorandum with russia, the americans and u.k. it was clear. it expected the three powers to guarantee territorial integrity and sovereignty. now is the moment to pay back. they think the west was too slow acting on dictatorship by viktor yanukovych, and led to people being killed and wounded. now, we expect the reaction of the democratic world of the international community will be quick and substantial. >> talking about what you were addressing there, yulia tymoschenko said the ukraine is not alone in this war because of
those agreements signed by the u.s., england, britain and moscow, and she says that, in fact, the west are guaranteors of the security of the ukraine. what do you think the west will do? will to do enough? >> we have started consultations with the n.a.t.o. countries and the participants of the buddha pest memorandum. i think the first political reaction from the international community was precise and timely, and i hope that it will be united in the next several days. as of the moment, once again, we still have a hope that we are not going to fall into full-scale military action. that would be a disaster for not just the two country but the whole nation. ukraine is really very peaceful nation. we have not had a military
action in our territory since world war ii. so what we go through now is a nightmare for the nation, and it's important to pay enough attention to that >> i imagine, because i do know that is the case. you guys gave up your nuclear weapons, and there has been little mill tarism coming out of ukraine. how does ukraine move forward. is there a chance that there'll be direct dealings with putin and his regime. an analyst said the best hope is for yulia tymoschenko to deal with vladimir putin directly. is that a possibility? >> i think all the negotiations possibility should be used. on the other hand we have a legitimate government in ukraine, recognised by all the key international players and institutions, and i see no reason for moscow.
kremlin, russia not to communicate with the garment. the next step in crimea is clear. we should pull the troops back from the region. if the cremia wants more autonomy, it can be discussed. he's ready to give much power as possible, and finally we need to understand how we can guarantee peace in the future. always this lies through demill tarisation. >> are there any talks, is there any conversation between moscow and kiev? >> very limited. most limited to unofficial private talks. russia pretends it doesn't see the ukrainian interim president, and the ukrainian cabinet ministers. moreover, we remember that viktor yanukovych, ex ukrainian
president is in russian territory. russia has a letter from viktor yanukovych, where he invites the troops to go into ukraine. it's a double reality. i think russia loses the sense of what has happened here in ukraine. it's very sad. >> andriy shevchenko, a member of ukraine's parliament, thank you for joining us. >> for more on the situation in ukraine, i'm chined by nina khruscheva, an associate professor in the graduate program, of the new school and alexander motyl, a professor at rutgers university, and you are a ukrainian american, alexander of the good to have you here. i want to start with the threats from the soviet troops - threaten to attack the ukrainian ships and troops, then they deny it. is it a war of words by russia
>>. >> it's a war of nerves. it's been going on for three or four days, before that, where threats have been made, rescinded and denied. they are trying to unnerve the forces in crimea. with respect to the black sea fleet, the ukrainian units, the russians probably want to avoid armed conflict. this is one way of persuading them to surrender. or perhaps leave altogether. >> do you agree they will avoid armed conflict? >> i agree they don't want to avoid armed conflict and soviet troops, which was interesting. russian troops. the behaviour was reminiscent of what we knew of the soviet union. they want to avoid armed conflict, but they want to make sure that everywhere understands how powerful russian troops are, how powerful vladimir putin is, the russian president and back off and let him do what he need
to do in terms of crimea and ukraine at large. >> what do you make, alexander, of the reception that nick schifrin reported about, that the russian troops seem to be welcomed and there's a lot of people that are pro-russia in crimea. >> that's part of the image that much of the russian media is creating >> this is american media there, too. >> this is true. >> there's a lot of russian citizens in crimea, are they a majority? >> there was a public opinion survey down a few weeks ago, and of the total population of crimea, 41% expressed a desire to be annexed with russia. roughly 55%, and the others are equally divided among ukrainians and tatars. only about 70% of the russian population wants annexation.
the feeling is more fixed. of course, the bottom line for vladimir putin is although 40% might welcome the troops, it means 60% do not. and what do you do with the 60%, especially when you consider 15-20% of the total population consists of crimean tatars, who made it clear they have no intention of being part of a russian federation. >> the two of you will stick around for the rest of the show. we'll talk to others and continue to get your reactions. coming up, what is it like to be at the center of power and facing russian aggression. two-time president mikheil saakashvili lived it in 2008 and joins us next.
>> this is not the first time in recent years that russian troops have been deployed to a soviet state. in 2008 a war broke out between russia and the former soef et union state of georgia. and the justification was the same we hear now, the need to protect russian citizens. i'm joined from kiev by mikheil saakashvili, who served two
terms as president of georgia between 2004 and 2013. good of you to join us. russia went to war with your country when you were president over two break away rangeons, abkhazia, and south ossetia. do you think it's repeating again, and do you think vladimir putin was involved in what happened in georgia six years ago, is he emboldened? >> for me it's a feeling of deja vu. exactly the same thing happened. when what happened really was that there was preparation for this, that russia was acting with proxies. they were later coming in with the pretext of targetting
minorities. so they could claim they had title to russian citizens. in both cases they have military training and in both cases they conducted war propaganda. in both cases, i think georgia was like maydan, it's the same in ukraine. he wants crimea, take over that area. it's not just my guess. they are there in power. it's not a realistic goal. it exists in the ukrainian government. >> you said that, that you thing that what he wants is chaos, he wants to ball cannise ukraine, spirit it all and the chaos will
serve his goals. >> totally, but i think he overplayed his hand because it's bigger population than georgia, and i think he's emboldened by the fact that there was not much of a punishment in the invasion of georgia. there was some western interest and experts, i would say some useful idiots to use lenin 's words. for russia, it's not important, but what russia wants - they are trying to send ukraine, people are saying well, maybe they have valid concerns.
some are saying it is escalating. it's not about the escalation. they are occupying an independent country. the escalation is there. this is a very important crisis, a grave crisis in european history, and actually the longer it lasts, the bigger it gets. this time western powers will not be able to, even if some of them attempt so. it's at their doorstep, as dangling at their doors. they cannot ignore it. it's going to get into their existence. they have to deal with it. >> what happened in georgia, there were very little consequences for russia for what it did then, and south ossetia and abkhazia are not under
georgian influence. when we listen to president obama warning russia that it is looking at steps that can damage russia. you have met with vladimir putin many times. what effect does it have on the thinking or will it not have any effect if he doesn't fear what the west will do. >> i met vladimir putin, and i remember he said, "your friends in the west promise you lots of nice things, but they never deliver, while i don't promise you nice things, but i deliver." that's his thinking that the west is talking. having said that, i think that, you know, i have deja vu because western powers - after a while this crisis is not going
anywhere. vladimir putin is desperate. despite there is no opposition of the crackdowns, he had to do something dramatic. i still think in this time he will not be able to, you know, overcome the crisis. basically he - there's no way he can carry through. ukraine is too big. europe and america have experience, the western powers are not going to tolerate this behaviour from a country that doesn't have adequate resources. i think this time it will signify the end. it will be messy. i'm afraid it will not be nice.
>> crimea is not that big. you have said that western governments are more leverage than they realise to move russia, they need to apply it. what is the leverage, do you think they will apply it. >> simple things. last time i was in florida, it's full of bits of russian government officials, oligarchs. they have houses there, the lifestyle, they buy houses in europe. basically most of them - they are there. i am sure vladimir putin has a big amount of cash than anyone has controlled. it is in western banks. the west has sent tanks to russia, became they can send peaceful agents to their banks, shut off the oligarchs and the family members. i don't think the west will go
war. hopefully it can be avoided. we are faces protracted crisis. there's lots of lefrages that the west can use. it's not as stable as people think. one power can never be stable, in a country where people are well educated. this house of cards will fall apart. west usually underestimates its power and vladimir putin overestimates. in the end, i think, the western powers may have to do something. even if they were reluctant to do it for all their own local interests. collections, but i think it's not going. >> we'll talk to someone later
questioning western willingness to do some of those financial sanctions into place, and we'll discuss that a little more later. it's great of you to join us, former georgian president mikheil saakashvili. here again are nina khruscheva, professor of international affairs at the new school and member of the council on the former relation, and an author of the book "the lost khrushcev: a journey into the gulag of the russian mind," coming out later this year. and professor alexander motyl. a professor of political scientist at rutgers university, and a specialist at ukraine. i saw you nodding with the president when he talked about ukraine being too big. will it settle for crimea, and not try to put troops into the eastern part of ukraine, where there are a lot of russians. >> he may put troops into either parts of ukraine, but i think
that he will settle for crimea. it is somewhat his grandiose russian delusional goal to bring crimea back, the jewel of the soviet empire, to bring it back under the russian control from ukraine. i agree with the georgian president. that he may settle for that. >> do you agree that the west has leverage that it can really apply, and force putin to behave? >> well, the west clearly has leverage, but it has not been working so far. vladimir putin has not been behaving. i agree with the president that anyone using other terms than he used, but i think russia or vladimir putin will choke on ukraine. he has done more than he can swallow. it will not last long. all the foreign accounts that
russians have, that can be great leverage as the president mentioned. if you restrict access of russians to travel to western europe or the united states, vladimir putin will be popular with the grandy owes ideas, russia coming back to the former glory. if i cannot travel abroad probably no good. >> things have changed a lot. >> they have changed a bit. >> mikheil saakashvili also said we are seeing the 21st century. vladimir putin talks about the tragedy of the 20th century, the breaking up of the soviet union. and something he said about syria and the u.s. of force:
>> i guess he's placed himself outside the law in this case from his own words. >> that's exactly what happened. of course, according to the twisted rationale employed by russi russi russi russian diplomats, they are going in for the russian population. one or two days ago puttin's own council or human rights issued a statement saying as far as they could tell there's about no violations, threats, damage. it's a fabrication, but the convenient fabrication, namely we are going in to help the citizens desperately calling for our assistance. >> let's listen to sergei
lavrov, the foreign minister. let's listen to what samantha power had to say in response to sergei lavrov. >> military action cannot be justified on the basis of threats that haven't been made or carried out. what is happening today is a dangerous military inveption in ukraine -- invention in ukraine. it's an act of aggression and must stop. >> does he want to ball cannise ukraine and split it up? >> i don't think that's his goal. his goal is - vladimir putin is a great tunist, a great political opportune. >>. there was a government in kiev where they announced the terrorist government, and there's other arguments. they saw the opportunity. he went into crimea, he wanted to go into crimea, but couldn't.
the other argument is that he's protecting something that alexander said, and the black fleet, which belongs to the russians. there's a military interest that they are protecting. for him, that's an argument. the major argument - crimea today for vladimir putin is what the doctrine was. he's protecting his territory. his territory he believes. >> for that whole area. i want to talk about other countries in the area that may feel threatened. let's move on to what impact will russia's international game of chicken have on the u.s. that story is up next.
. >> we are back with the continuing coverage of the standoff in ukraine. the russia's take over of crimea is having an impact internationally. what does it mean for the u.s. brigad kevin ryan is a former defense attache in moscow. and director for defense at the belfer center for science and international affairs at harford university, and william taylor, former ambassador to ukraine in 2006 and 2009. he's working at the university any of peace. >> russians are a significant player in hot spots around the world, syria, iran and
afghanistan. geopolitically we need russia's collaboration. what does the worsening collaboration mean for the u.s.? >> i question whether we need russia's collaboration. it's not clear they've been helpful in afghanistan, or they've done anything extraordinary on the iranian negotiations or anything helpful in syria - if anything, the opposite. we don't have to worry that much about offending russia. we should focus on ukraine. the russians have a direct threat. we have interests there, that's the reason we should be focussed. russia's obinstructionism caused us to have little progress. don't we need them to improve matters? >> i don't think we have to sacrifice ukraine to change their behaviour, which is not helpful under the current
circumstances, no. the russians are demonstrating that they are not helpful in this area and other areas as well. >> in no way did i mean to imply that we should sacrifice ukraine for a better relationship with russia. what can we do, what can n.a.t.o. do to help. we know how little willingness there is to get into military involvement in the world these days. >> sure, there's no willingness to do it. nobody wants to go to war or enter a conflict. there's a real lack of resources at this point, you know. the decade and a half of wars from the united states, sequestration, reduction in troop numbers, budget cuts, et cetera. the reality is this is not just in the united states, buts across n.a.t.o. for the last 24 years, we've been telling russia that n.a.t.o. is not there to threaten russia or
balance or counter russia, and they are true. n.a.t.o. and the united states are unable to do anything substantive militarily. i'm not lobbying for that military action, i'm stating it as a fact. anything we might do militarily is about building for the longer term shift in our strategy towards russia. we, for a long time, have been saying we want to be partners with russia, cooperate with russia, russia has been talking about balancing. deterring and i think vladimir putin put the argument to bed and the united states and n.a.t.o. will be about balancing. >> illinois senator dick durbin talked about what action we might be able to take on the international stage. let's listen to that. >> in terms of a g8 summit, it could be a g7 summit.
it's supposed to take place in russia - it can take place somewhere else. vladimir putin cannot be part of a family of civilized nation and act in an uncivilized way. >> talk of expelling russia from the g8, cancelling the summit in sochi. what can we do? >> we can absolutely do those things. there's no reason russia should be a g8. it should be a g7. they are not a rich democracy. they are neither rich nor a democracy. they should not be in the g8. there are sanctions that can be imposed on decision makers in russia, who violate international law. the sanctions on travel, financial holdings, property, those are serious and will affect them. i could suggest that there are some things militarily we can do, not with troops, but there
are some things that we can do to help support the new ukrainian government that we have been doing over the many years with the ukrainian military, and we can continue doing that. >> can we do something militarily to protect the smaller countries surrounding them. >> the ambassador is right. there are things we can do. we can supply materials, training, raise the readiness level and n.a.t.o. partners specifically smaller countries in the region, like we are referring to moldova. we have a history of helping mohl dofa. that's a pros and conflict area too. we can continue the help, expand it, and absolutely those countries are nervous, they are looking at what is happening in ukraine and know that they have
large russian populations, minorities within their borders, and problems between the minorities and the local population. we need to do all of those things. basically we really need to shift how we have been thinking about russia, in a strategic way. >> john mccain blasted president obama at the american-israeli public affairs committee today. let's lisp listen to that. >> this is the ultimate result of an ineffect mfiforeign policy. the president of the united states believes the cold war is over. that's fine, it is over, but vladimir putin doesn't believe it's over. >> does he have a point? >> no, he doesn't have a point. what he should do is the united states needs to have a specific, very clear, very forceful message for the rest of the world, and in particular for the russians, and all of the senators and all the congress men should join in and we should have a clear, well-backed up
>> continuing our coverage of the crisis in ukraine we turp to what is happening inside russia. thousands march in moscow in support of the the moves in crimea. opponents demonstrated, but some were dragged away by the police. the russian economy is taking it on the chip, the stock market plungingment russia lost almost 60 billion, more than the cost of the sochi winter olympics, practically overnight. we are joined by al jazeera correspondent rory challands were moscow. good to have you with us. how are people in moscow reacting. how strong is public support for the military action in ukraine. >> finding trustworthy
independent polls is difficult. they are not done och, so it's a fairly difficult task to gauge accurately who public opinion generally is. anebbing totally, speaking to people, engaging views myself, it does seem to be that russians in the main sympathise with their government actions in ukraine. the main reason for that is russians sympathise with fellow russian speakers particularly in crimea. they see them as kip, than they are ethnic brothers and sisters. that essentially they are being persecuted. the message that you get flicking through the tv channels, and if you read the newspapers, is that russian speakers, ethnic russians in ukraine are on the receiving end of a nasty campaign of factorism
that has been stoked and provoked by the west, funded by the west, and acted through the new government in kiev, the new government in kiev is passing all sorts of laws about language and things like this. that is the view that russians have, and, therefore, they believe to go in there and protect their brothers and sisters is a legitimate thing to do. >> they made ukrainian the ou initial language of the country, shunting aside russian. what about the economic situation. the russian stock market plummeteded. the ruble is at a low. don't you think people will react to that, if that continues. >> they probably will in the long term, but it will take a little while for the full
consequences to be felt. russia is used to economic cole amounties. it happens when the soviet union fell apart. it happened in 1998 and for the financial crisis in 2008. russia accepts in life, at times, you lose everything, and are more accepting of the fact than people in the west might be. having said that, it's not clear whether it will affect public sentiment or mood. at the moment it's too soon to say. the ruble is sliding against the dollar, the stock market took a hit. it's only once the purchasing power, when their life savings are hit that we'll be able to tell the full implications and impact of that.
>> thank you rory challands, for joining us. >> angela merkel told president obama monday that russian president vladimir putin is living in another world. what are the russians thinking and do threats of west hold sway over vladimir putin's next move in ukraine. ben judah, the author of "fragile empire: how russia fell in and out of love with vladimir putin." how russia fell in and out of love with vladimir putin. he's a fellowes, and his latest peace why russia no longer fears the west. it's good you have you to join us. the point of what you write is that the west shouldn't be stunned. they don't feel the west, despite they have massive investments in europe and the u.s. you are pretty much writing that the reason they don't fear us is because they have all the investments here. every year in russia, billions and billions of dollars are stolen. they are shipped out of the
country, it doesn't go to china, to dubai, it doesn't go to russia adds allies, it comes to western europe. who is laundering this money? who is bringing it in to london in particular, into switzerland? it's british bankers, french bankers, german accountant apts, british lawyers. over the years, through the parcel experience with dealing with western elite, russia's rulers and owners have seen that these people care more about money than human rights. vladimir putin was fearful five to 10 years ago that the russian elite with so much funny in the west, that an asset freezes by the european union or others would cut the elite off at the
legs, from their fortunes and their powers, facing time and time and time again that western elite. in fact, what vladimir putin believes is that western european elite have the morality of hedge funds to make money and move it off sure. vladimir putin looks at britain. he sees london, the center of which the capital is sold, a stock exchange in which vast billions are in the pockets of major russian states, companies, and he sees britain's empire of tax havens over which the sun never sets. this is why vladimir putin believes that the western elite is, in fact, corrupt. there has been start lipping news from london, a -- startling news from london, a leak to the
"guardian" newspaper that britain's government issued an internal position paper saying that britain wants to stop american sanctions from hurting the interests of the city of london. that means ta britain is talking in conversations with n.a.t.o. allies that it doesn't want sanctions that can hit vladimir putin where it hurts. >> you're reporting that you believe they are considering in london some sort of legislation that would prevent american sanctions affecting the city of london, the financial sector in london. >> there was a leak to a british newspaper, an internal position paper of what the government should argue for over the next few days within the west, and that is a point >> that indicates there's no willingness on the british side to go forward with significant sanctions against russia. >> exactly. the only sanctions that could
hurt vladimir putin and make him stop is restrictions on russian companies to the west. banking restrictions on russian officials, access to all of their investments in britain, and what that statement means is this is exactly what the british government does not want to see. it wants to have empty statements about european security, it wants to have theatrical military manoeuvres that anything that could harm the money-making interests of britain's elite, no. >> in the old days vladimir putin feared sanctions that if the money was frozen, if they weren't allowed to leave russia to enjoy townhouses in london and chateaus in france worried him. if it were to happen, if there was an agreement among the e.u. and the united states to actually do that, to freeze
those accounts, to not let the russians travel around and enjoy whatever money they have taken out of russia, don't you think that would be effective? >> i think if the european union would collectively decide to restrict the access of the state company which russia's budget depends on to the european financial sector, if the european union decided a ban, russian officials, responsible for the invasion of ukraine, the vladimir putin regime may collapse within the next 18 months, because the secret of the vladimir putin regime is these people believe they can conquer in the east and keep the corrupt winnings in the west. >> the moment it's broken, it forces them to live and put their money in this ram shackle corrupt world that they have built. >> the issue of the money behind
this crisis. ben judah, good you have you to join us to talk about it. >> thank you. >> joined again from nina khruscheva, and alexander motyl. you listened to ben talking about the possible european sanctions. he is not optimistic that europe will go through with them. are you? if they do, how much of an effect will it have? >> i'm not entirely sure that any sanctions wouldn't work. the consistency of sanctions could work, and we have talked about it already. the bank accounts, the - you know, from high to low. the visa restrictions. all the things would have great effect. >> given on how much money flows through england and west germany, will they do it? >> yes, they do flow through england. but in the other segment what
the general or ambassador was saying, we shouldn't sacrifice to for the ukrainian future. it wouldn't be all the way ben judah was talking about, but some sanctions will be appropriate and accepted. for example, if we talk about germany, it receives a lot of russian gas. would germans agree to block... >> at the risk of doubt date. >> exactly. i am sure, and we keep talking about it, the consistency about the ambassador saying consistency of approach is important. not john mccain screaming against president obama, but all western leaders getting together to decide how they are going to cut off the power. i agree with ben judah, that if russian government or vladimir putin would be forced to bring money back to russia to have issues with travel, to have
issues with international legitimacy, his regime will collapse. >> it's a house of cards. >> i keep saying, he will choke on ukraine. he will get what he created. >> alexander motyl, ukraine, what is happening there is creating fears in other parts of that area. probably nowhere more that in the small baltic republics of latvia, estonia and lithuania. which are members of n.a.t.o. if vladimir putin gets involved because of ukraine to go in further, those are worries. >> absolutely, and the reason for that is because vladimir putin has arrogated to himself the light, formally, legally, not just to put his troops in crimea, but essentially to send the troops on the territory of ukraine in defense of the rights of russian citizens by
extension, what that means is he could go into any territory or sovereign state where he believes russians rites are violated. as you know, there has been a tussle for the last 23 years, between the esownians, latvians and the russian state. estonia has 35% russians, close to 45%. they are fearful and they have expressed the fears and estonia has been voke am because there's an existential threat. it may be theoretic cam, but they have reasons to be fearful. >> we'll be back with final words in a minute from both of you, in a
there's a significant russian population in belarus, mohled obviousa and kazakhstan. one of the interesting things that has happened in the last two days is neither belarus nor kazakhstan have come out in favour of the invasion. the reason for that, i am sure, is that they know they might be next. >> you had a clarification about the language situation. >> yes, an important point. ukrainian has been the official state language of ukraine since independence in 1992. at the same time ukraine has gotten its tolerance vis-a-vis other languages and cultures right. there's no restrictions on russians in the east or south-west or other places. >> two years ago the viktor yanukovych regime introduced a new language law imposing restrictions on ukraine.
what happened last week was that the new government actuality the parliament wanted to rescind the law. there was an outcry, and then the acting president vetoed that particular motion. so we are back where we were two years ago. >> nina, final words, is it a new cold war. what happened to the reset of relations during the first term of the administration. >> that didn't happen, clearly. it was a different president, so russia has an excuse. it was president med ved ef, warming the chair for vladimir putin to come back in 2012. the cold war was between two superpowers. russia can act important. it's not that important. i think you mentioned it earlier. it's a spoiling of international affairs rather than a great acting. i don't think the cold war is. problems certainly continue.
>> thank you both for hanging out with us for the hour. we'll stay on the story for a while to come. >> the show may be over, the conversation continues on the website aljazeera.com/consider-this. you can also find us on twitter. see you next time. >> good evening everyone. welcome to al jazeera america. i'm john siegenthaler in new york. power may from putin and president obama as the ukraine crisis turns into a diplomatic showdown. >> i think the strong condemnation that it's received from countries around the world, indicates the degree to which russia is on the wrong side of history on this. >> senator john mccain tells al jazeera america why president obama's diac