tv Charlie Rose Bloomberg September 30, 2015 9:00pm-10:01pm EDT
woman snoring take the roar out of snore. yet another innovation only at a sleep number store. announcer: from our studios in new york city, this is "charlie rose." charlie: tonight, part two of our conversation with vladimir putin. we talked of many things, he gave us an opportunity to have an engaging conversation about him and how he sees russia and russia's role in the world. he also gave us an opportunity to have a further conversation after the interview when he invited us in for appetizers, which turned into dinner. that was a further consideration
of all the topics we have been talking about. now, the conversation, followed by an analysis of his visit to the united states. charlie: are people in russia fearful of you? pres. putin: i think not. i proceeded from the fact that most people trust me if they vote for me at the election. this is the most important thing. it places enormous responsibility on me, colossal. i'm grateful to people for this trust. at the same time, i feel this huge burden of responsibility for doing what i do and the results of my work. charlie: you're much talked about in america. there's much conversation. more so than any -- pres. putin: maybe they have nothing else to do in america but to talk about me. charlie: no, no, or maybe they're curious people. or maybe you're an interesting character. maybe that's what it is.
they see a strong leader who presents himself in a strong way. they know of a former kgb agent who came back and got into politics in st. petersburg and became deputy mayor and then came to moscow. and the interesting thing is they see these images of you bare-chested on a horse. and they say, there is a man who carefully cultivates his image of strength. i'm asking -- pres. putin: you know, i'm convinced that a person who occupies my post must provide a positive example to people. and those areas where he can do this, he must do this. in our country, we had a very severe situation with the social
security system was destroyed a , lot of problems emerged that we still cannot effectively resolve fully. in the sphere of health care, a healthy lifestyle is extremely important. it is the foundation of the resolution of many crucial problems, including the health of the nation. it is impossible to solve the health care problem with millions of people only by using pills. people need to have the habits or the passion, their ease and has to be -- there even has to be a fashion of our lifestyle. i believe this is the right thing, when not only i, but other colleagues, asked today, for example, they participate in the marathon races.
when they attempt soccer matches, when they participate in sports competitions themselves, so this is where the love of millions of people of sports comes from. i think it is extremely important. charlie: i hear you. that is important. may i suggest also that you do like the image that you present, bare-chested on horseback, as a strong leader. that is who you want to be seen as. for your people and for the world. pres. putin: i want everybody to know that russia and the leadership of russia are something effective and properly functioning.
that altogether, russia, healthy people, confident people, ready to cooperate with our partners, wherever they are. weather in the field of sports, politics, or cooperation against a threat. i think there is only positive in this. charlie: it is appropriate to alieve that you believe and strong leader, because you believe in a strong central government and you have suggested what happens when you don't have that. are you curious about america? more than simply another nation that you have to deal with? because they are curious about you. are you watching the republican political debates?
pres. putin: i would not say i watch them daily, no. of course, we are curious about what is going on in the u.s. it is a major world power, and economic and military leader, so of course america exerts great influence on the situation in the world in general and we are interested in what is going on. and we keep a close watch, but i do not watch the internal political saga on an everyday basis. more likely, no. charlie: donald trump says -- you know who he is. he said he would like to meet you because he thinks the two of you would get along. donald trump. pres. putin: i heard that. i heard that. we will be glad to have any contact with the next president of the united states.
any person who gains the trust of the american people can count on the fact that we will work with them. charlie: marco rubio is running for the republican nomination and he said some terrible things about you. this is political debate, and the political campaign, understand. he said you were a gangster. he was attacking you because -- pres. putin: how can i be a gangster if i worked for the kgb? that has no basis in reality. charlie: what do you admire most about america? pres. putin: i like the creativity. charlie: creativity? pres. putin: creativity when it comes to your tackling problems.
their openness, it allows them to unleash the inner potential of their people. thanks to that, america has attained such great results in developing their country. charlie: russia had sputnik. you were there before the united states. russia has extraordinary astrophysicists and leaders in medicine and science and physics. do you hope that what you can do is restore that leadership and create the same kind of innovation that you just admired america for? and how will you do that? pres. putin: we should not lose what was created in the previous decades.
we should create the very conditions for showing the potential of our people because we are a very talented people. we have a very good basis. you said that you love russian culture. i think that is a great basis for internal development. you have just mentioned are achievements in science and many other areas. we must support that. we must create conditions for people to develop freely, for them to feel confident they are able to realize their potential. i am confident that we will have an effect on the consistent development of science, high-tech technologies, and the economy in the country overall. charlie: in america, the supreme court -- there has been some controversy here about gay rights. in america the supreme court
, declared it a constitutional right for same-sex marriage. do you applaud america? for doing that? do you think that it is a good idea to make it a constitutional right for same-sex marriage? pres. putin: you know, i think that is not a homogeneous group of people. some representatives of the nontraditional sexual orientation speak out against the adoption of children by such couples. they themselves are against it. lesse these people democratic than other this gayatives of community that supports child adoption by gay couples? most likely not. the problem of sexual minorities in russia has been deliberately exaggerated by the outside for political reasons.
i believe without any good reason. we don't have any such problems. charlie: help us understand. pres. putin: i will explain it. it is well known that in four states in america, homosexual orientation is a crime, whether that is good or bad is not the issue. we know there is a ruling of the supreme court, but this problem has not disappeared. it is not completely removed from american legislation. we do not have that. charlie: so you would condemn that? pres. putin: yes, i condemn that. i believe that there should not be any criminal prosecution or any other prosecution or infringement on people's rights on the basis of religion, race ethnicity, or sexual , orientation. that should be excluded in the modern world. we do not have that.
if my memory does not fail me, we had article 120 of the criminal code which had prosecutions on the basis of homosexuality. we have abolished all of that. we have no persecution at all. people of nontraditional sexual orientation live in peace, they work, they get promoted. they get state of words for their achievements in science and the arts and other areas. they receive medals. i personally have awarded them medals. but this is what the question was a ban on propaganda on , homosexuality among minors. i do not see anything undemocratic in this legal act. i only proceed from the fact that we should leave children in peace, give them a chance to grow and to decide for themselves, who is this person? what does he consider himself to be, a man or woman? do they want to live in a normal, natural marriage or a nontraditional one?
that is all. i simply don't observe here in the rightsement on of people of nontraditional sexual orientation. i believe this has been a deliberate exaggeration with the purpose of making the group of people from russia for the purpose of making an enemy of russia for political consideration. i believe this is one of the lines of attack against russia. charlie: from where? pres. putin: from the side of those who do that. look and see who does this. charlie: as far as you are concerned, there is as much of a recognition of gay rights and gay marriage as there is in the united states? that is your position. pres. putin: we do not only recognize, but we ensure their rights. in russia equal rights are , guaranteed for everyone. including for people of nontraditional sexual
orientation. charlie: ukraine, you and i have talked about ukraine before. many believe that as a result of what happened in ukraine and crimea, the united states imposed sanctions and those sanctions have hurt russia and that you believe by reemerging and trying to be a positive force around the world and in syria, that it might somehow lessen the focus on ukraine. pres. putin: do you mean that will help distract the attention from the ukrainian crisis? charlie: yes. >> our actions in syria are meant in distracting? is that what you mean? no, ukraine is a separate issue
force. syria is a different issue. i told you why. we do not want the disintegration of syria. ofdo not want the return terrorists and those who engage in warfare coming back to russia. there is a whole complexity of problems. when it comes to ukraine, that is a separate issue. it is our closest neighbor. we have always said it is our brother country. slavs,t only the our languages are very similar. we have common history, common culture, common religion. we have many things in common. what i believe is absolutely inadmissible is the resolution of internal political issues in the former ussr republic through color revolutions, through coup d'état, through unconstitutional removal of power. that is totally unacceptable.
our partners in the united states have supported those who ousted yanukovich. charlie: you believe the united states had something to do with the ousting of yanukovich? he had to flee to russia. >> i know that for sure. i know those people who live in ukraine. we have thousands of contacts with them. we know where, win, and who met with someone, and who worked ith those two outs him -- oust kim. him. we know everything and our american partners do not try to conceal that.
they said, yes, we did train them and we spent that much money and it now amounts to $5 , billion. there is no secret about it. charlie: you are suggesting -- pres. putin: nobody is even arguing against that. charlie: do you respect the sovereignty of ukraine? >> sure, but we want other countries to respect the sovereignty of other countries. ukraine in particular. respect for sovereignty means to not allow unconstitutional actions and coup d'état, the removal of legitimate power. that is something that should not be -- charlie: how will the renewal of legitimate power take place, in your judgment? how will that come about and what role will russia play?
pres. putin: russia is not going to take part in any action removing the legitimate government. what i'm saying is that if somebody does that, it is very difficult to deal with. in libya, we have seen the disintegration of the state. in iraq, the territory has been filled with terrorists. in syria, the situation is unfolding the same way. in afghanistan, you very well know what the situation looks like. what happened in ukraine? the coup d'état led to a civil war. many citizens of the country did not have trust in you college, but they should have -- have trust in yanukovych, but they
should have gone to the elections. have elected a new leader. as for the coup d'état, somebody supported that. but somebody did not. charlie: i repeat, what are you prepared to do? >> let me tell you. if your question is about that, i believe russia and other international actors, those who are more actively engaged in the resolution of the ukrainian crisis, germany and france, with the active engagement of the united states, and in that direction, we have intensified our dialogue. we all should strive for full and unconditional implementation of the minsk agreement. the minsk agreements must be fulfilled.
charlie: that is exactly what john kerry said yesterday coming out of a meeting with the british prime minister. he mentioned after syria, ukraine. he said that we have to have a full implementation of the minsk agreements. you and john kerry are just like this, you agree. implement the minsk agreements. >> in full. could you please have enough patience and not interrupt me for two minutes? i ask you, please present this without cuts. can you do this? do you have enough power to do this? to present it without cuts. charlie: yes. pres. putin: the implementation of the agreements means there are several articles. i will speak about the main
points so the situation in ukraine changes fundamentally. there should be political reform, that is first. there should be constitutional changes. that is what is set forth in the minsk agreements. then most important, the minsk agreements state they should be done in coordination. and that is a matter of principle. in ukraine, there are reforms introduced in the constitution, but there has been no coordination with donetsk at all. and no one intends to coordinate anything with them. is .1. .2, it is stated in the minsk agreements that there should be the implementation of the law. the law was already past in
-- passed in ukraine of the special self-governance status of those territories. they have adopted this law, it's implementation has been postponed. that means that the minsk agreements are not fulfilled on this point. third, there should have been amnesty law. how can one engage in a dialogue with people from these regions if they are all being prosecuted? they are all being brought legal charges against them. that is why the minsk agreements say that a law on amnesty must be adopted, but it has not been adopted. there are other points as well. for example, conducting local elections. it has been written to adopt a
law on local elections upon coordination. ukraine has adopted the law on local elections. the representatives sent to -- their proposals on this law three times, but nobody will even talk to them. therefore, the minsk agreements say with coordination. that is why i respect and love mr. kerry. he is an extremely experienced diplomat. was againsthat he star wars back in the past and , it was the right thing to do because maybe if he was the one abmo adopted decisions on we probably would not have any , conflicts over abm right now. if one side says, we have complied with the minsk agreements, it is not true. all of these points must be implemented in coordination.
there has been no coordination so far. as for the implementation of the already adopted law on the special self-governance of these territories, within 30 days, nothing has been done. it has postponed. the entering into force into -- of this law has been postponed. that is why we advocate full and unconditional implementation of the minsk agreements. not as interpreted by one of the sides. as written down in the minsk agreements. charlie: you really believe that? pres. putin: there is nothing to believe actually. it is written on paper. you just need to read it. it is written in coordination with the regions. read the document for yourself. i am telling you there has been no coordination at all. it was written to adopt the law on the special status within 30 days, but the law has not been enforced.
who is not implementing the minsk agreements? charlie: the secretary of state also said it is important to not only implement the minsk agreement, but also for separatists to give up the idea of independent elections. john kerry said that yesterday. pres. putin: yes, i know the position of our u.s. friend. here's what i want to say in this regard. i just mentioned this. i see that i am forced to repeat it. the minsk agreements say a law on local elections must be passed in coordination with the two regions. so what happened in reality? -- key of authorities kiev authorities did adopt the law on their own without any negotiations there was no dialogue at all.
there was no dialogue at all. they have adopted this on their own without any consultation in these territories, there will not be elections at all. how are we to understand this? in fact, they themselves have provoked the representatives of the regions to schedule their own elections. that is all there is to it. are ready together with mr. kerry to discuss all of this, but we need to prod both sides to implement rather than to pass off as something good what they have done on their own initiative. charlie: i hear you, but i wanted to repeat that. secretary kerry emphasized separatist elections. i did hear you. pres. putin: he is being cunning. as secretary of state and a diplomat, he is being cunning. it is quite normal for his profession and for his work. all diplomats are quite cunning. so is he. charlie: you would never do that, would you?
charlie: you also have said that the worst thing that happened in the last century was the collapse of the soviet empire. there are those who look at ukraine, especially ukraine and georgia, and they believe you do not want to re-create the soviet empire, but you do want to re-create a sphere of influence, which you think russia deserves because of the relationship that has existed. why are you smiling? pres. putin: you are making me happy because we are always suspected of some ambition and they always try to distort something or hint at something. i indeed said that i believe the collapse of the ussr was a huge tragedy of the 20th century. you know why? first of all, in a single instant, 25 million russian
people found themselves beyond the borders of the russian federation. here they had been living within the borders of the unified traditionallyays the soviet union had been called russia, soviet russia. well this was greater russia. ,then all of a sudden, the ussr collapsed, overnight, in fact, right? it has turned out that in former soviet republics, there were russian people numbering 25 million. they had been living in a single country, and all of a sudden, they turned out to be abroad. you can imagine how many problems arose. first of all, there were everyday problems, economic problems, social problems, the separation of families. you cannot list them all. do you think it is normal that 25 million russian people were
abroad all of a sudden? russians turned out to be the largest divided nation in the world today. is that not a problem? well, not for you, but it is for me. charlie: what do you intend to do about it? pres. putin: we want to preserve at least at a minimum the common humanitarian space. to make it so that these borders do not get in the way, so that people can communicate freely among themselves, so we can develop our economies jointly. we want to take advantage of those benefits of the former ussr. what are these benefits? joint infrastructure, unified railroad system, unified highway system, unified energy system, and finally, if i daresay it the , great russian language which unites all former republics of the soviet union and which gives
us competitive advantages when promoting various integration projects in the territory of the post-soviet space. you probably heard we first established the customs union. then we have transformed it into the eurasian economic union. so when people can communicate freely, move freely, when workforces, services and capital move freely, there are no state lines when we have legal regulation in the social sphere. this is quite enough. people must feel free. charlie: do you have to use a show military force to accomplish that objective? pres. putin: no, of course not. charlie: you have a military presence on the border of ukraine.
some have argued that there have been russian troops in ukraine. pres. putin: well, you have a military presence in europe. the tactical nuclear weapons of the united states are in europe, let's not forget that. what does that mean? does it mean that you have occupied germany or you renounce the occupation of germany after world war ii and you have only transformed the occupation forces into nato forces? one could put it that way, but we are not putting it that way. if we have our military forces on our border, on our territory, you believe this is a crime? charlie: i did not say a crime. pres. putin: well, in order to run these activities i have told you about, this economic, humanitarian, social integration, military force would not be needed at all. we built our union not with the use of force, but through
seeking a compromise. this is a complicated process, a difficult, long-standing process. with the exception that we would create for our people and our economies, more advantages in world markets and in the international arena. charlie: tell me about the baltic states and your intentions towards the baltic states. pres. putin: we would like to build friendly relations with them, there are a lot of russian people living there who remained after the soviet union. they are violated there. their rights have been violated. you know that in many baltic states, they have invented some
new thing, and international law. this has been the case up until now regarding citizenship. a citizen, a foreigner, a person without citizenship, people with dual citizenship. the baltic states have invented something totally new. you know what they call them? they call them noncitizens. they call people who have been living for decades in the territory of the baltic states and who have been deprived of a whole number of political rights they cannot participate , in elections. their political and social rights have been restricted. everyone keeps silent about this as if this is the way it is supposed to be. of course, this cannot help but provoke an appropriate response.
i proceed from the fact that our colleagues in the u.s. and the european union will base on today's principles of humanitarian law and will ensure modern principles of humanitarian law and ensure the political liberties and rights for all people. including for those people who are living in the territory of baltic states after the collapse of the ussr. when it comes to economic ties, we have stable, very developed with these countries. contracts with these countries. there are some things -- how can i put this more delicately? they bother me and make me sad. we are all talking about the need to have a rapprochement and bring our positions closer, so as for the baltic states, we
have a single energy system. the baltic states were naturally part of this system of the soviet union. now what are they doing? everyone is talking about rapprochement, russia, and the european union. what actually happens in practice now is they plan to remove the baltic states from this unified energy system of the former soviet union and hook them up to the european system. so what does that mean for us? ,it means that among some of our regions in the russian federation, there will be some zones where there will be no electric power lines. the balticent to
countries, so it means that once again spending billions of u.s. dollars, the system must be built from scratch, just as our european partners will have to spend billions of dollars to hook the baltic states to their energy grids. why? why when we are striving for some sort of integration, not in , words, but in practice, why do this? this is what is happening along many lines. they say one thing, but they do something quite different. i think this comes from growing pains. i believe that common sense will finally prevail. if not here, then on other issues. we are all interested in developing openly without any prejudice, the baltic states above all. this is more important for them than russia itself. take one of the countries, lithuania. in the soviet era, do you know what the population was? 3.4 million people. and now?
i checked the latest references 1.4 million. , where did the people go? in that country, over half the citizens left the country. can you imagine what would happen if half the american population left the united states? it would be a disaster. what does that tell us? that tells us the links that were lost above all in the economy have a negative impact and on russia as well. that is why i am convinced we should abandon the phobias of the past. we should look ahead and act based on the international law to build good neighborly relations on an equal footing. charlie: and eliminate sanctions. pres. putin: if someone likes to work so much through using sanctions, go ahead, you can do that. it is harmful and it goes against international law.
secondly tell me where the , policy of imposing sanctions has been effective? nowhere. especially with regard to a country like russia. charlie: i have two more questions. >> of course. you have the floor. charlie: you have been president, prime minister, president. how long do you want to serve? what do you want to be your legacy? one question. pres. putin: how long, that depends on two things. first of all, unquestionably there are regulations provided for by the constitution, and they will never be violated by me for certain. i am not sure i should exercise all of these constitutional rights. that will depend on the specific situation in the country and the world.
charlie: what do you want your legacy to be? pres. putin: russia should be effective, competitive, should have a sustainable economy with a developed social and political system that is flexible in regard to changes within and around the country. charlie: and should play a major role in the world. pres. putin: it should be competitive, as i said. it should be in a position to defend its own interests and to influence those processes. charlie: many say you are all-powerful here in russia. many say you are all-powerful. and they believe you can have anything you want. anything. what do you want? tell america, tell the world, what vladimir putin wants.
charlie: that was part two of our conversation with president putin. we now talk about what happened at the united nations general assembly. president obama and president putin spoke on monday. they met afterwards in their first formal meeting in two years. resident putin called their discussion surprisingly very frank. our guest is the author of the new book "the new czar." from cbs, margaret brennan. here in new york, carol lee. also in new york, niall ferguson, a professor of history at harvard. i am pleased to have all of them here. his biography of henry kissinger has just been published.
carol, you have been following the story. exactly what happened? carol: they saw each other at a lunch. putin made a grand entrance. he sat at the table where the president was an clinked champagne glasses, then went into a private meeting which , lasted 90 minutes. you know, i have covered this president for six years and i have covered other meetings and this was the first time the u.s. officials came out of the meeting and felt like they were not arguing about the terms of what the problem is. they were more arguing about how to approach the problem. charlie: margaret, what can you add to what we may know?
margaret: putin was only in the country for about seven hours. it was very much, i am here, i am making a statement, and i am leaving. officials,k u.s. their favorite tagline is, it is hard to get inside putin's head. that really sums up what this meeting was about. this meeting went on far longer than many expected and it has stalled u.s. policy in many ways up to this point because people wanted to see, what is putin going to put on the table? from what i am hearing, he did not put much concrete offer on the table, not the way expectations were raised in terms of hearing his vision for what to do in syria. he raised the concept, but not a proposal. charlie: how do you see the way putin played this? niall: astonishingly well. russia is the broker of peace in syria. that is an extraordinary turn of
events. it is a sign of how clever putin is that he is able to do this from a position of extreme economic weakness. the oil prices have hit russia hard. he has come to new york the powerbroker and i find that an amazing achievement. charlie: stephen, what do you think his objectives are? steven: a lot of people have looked at this at some sort of brinkmanship that putin has achieved a victory over obama. there is no question that he has put russia into the center of the discussion. it is way too soon to say he has achieved anything by that. if you look at what they are doing in syria right now, they are very concerned about the fate of their biggest ally in the region. they have been involved in syria from the very beginning of this war. there is a reason why you are seeing the buildup of military involvement. it is a sign of not strength,
but of fear and weakness. the bashar al-assad government is in danger of falling. the reaction has been to help that out. charlie: they have changed. margaret, help me understand where john kerry is on the question of bashar al-assad. he has had a long relationship with him. >> he has. he has negotiated with bashar al-assad directly. he is the one who has this assignment of figuring out what to do put on his desk and has been pushed hard to get more done. a lot of what is being done here in new york can be called small ball. limiting some of the instruments of death, so to speak, that bashar al-assad uses, specifically barrel bombs.
they are not at the place of talking bashar al-assad out of power. in fact the united states has , been sitting down with the saudi foreign minister and the russian foreign minister. when they say transition, they are not talking about him exiting on day one. in fact, you have heard some say that bashar al-assad would not exist until isis is defeated. as you know, we are years off possibly from that happening. niall: i have been an outspoken critic to vladimir putin. if this had been a debating contest, he would have won it hands-down. what did president obama say? spent his speech criticizing iran and criticizing russia. by saying,pleted could they please help him to sort out syria.
even more extraordinary, he said at we left a power vacuum in one point libya. then he concluded his speech by saying that we need to get rid of bashar al-assad in syria. the holes in the arguments are enormous. putin's position was a simpler one. we allowed states to disintegrate and this has had desperate consequences. you can't really argue with him about that. charlie: from the standpoint of whether there is room for these two countries to find someplace to attack isis. the other question on the table, for me, has the assad regime had any success in fighting isis? have they been focused on fighting isis? carol: the white house's hope in terms of whether they can reach an agreement with russia is vladimir putin is not wedded to
assad the person, but to the regime. they can negotiate some kind of agreement where he steps down in several years. that is increasingly the way they are explaining it. charlie: everybody is prepared to accept that idea? he can be in power for as much as two or three years as long as we're making progress in getting rid of isis. >> the hope is that they can structure it in a way that outlines a plan that sends a message that he is on the way out. the interesting thing about all of this is that what russia's intervention has done is that you have this president deal with the fight against the islamic state and the civil war in syria and white house , officials have described that as parallel tracks. what you're seeing now is what 's intervention has forced
them to bring this under one umbrella. this is what the president's critics have been calling for him to do for quite some time. charlie: this comes as the administration is acknowledging huge failures. >> they have had huge failures in their approach to the islamic state and failures in their approach to handling the civil war. now he is looking for a way out. every president has a major crisis that hangs over them and this is barack obama's and he only has a year and change left. it is unclear whether he can really change the dynamics on the ground there. charlie: tell us who he is. >> even before the collapse of the soviet union there were , suggestions he understood the essential corruption of the system, the stagnation of the system. but he wants very much to restore the greatness of the state, at least the russian state on the level he knew , growing up as a young man.
that gives him this incredible devotion and loyalty to the state power. it is in his blood from his service in the kgb, his understanding of what makes the -- a country powerful, especially a country like russia, is the central security of the state and the strength of the institutions of it. to him, that is much more important than freedom of speech or democracy. when you look at the experience russia went through after the collapse of the soviet union, he considers it his greatest meant --ct accomplishment that he has been able to restore the stability of the state. when he sees what the united states has done, it is in his mind having replaced the bipolar world of the cold war with the unilateral power, and he talked
about that quite strikingly during his remarks in new york. i think he is trying to say the world needs to go back to the order that recognizes the great powers like russia, like china, and not just the single superpower. when he looks at the events in iraq under president bush and continuing today, the invasion of afghanistan he sees the , americans throwing their weight around the world and that has led to chaos because they have not respected russia's importance in these discussions. charlie: thank you very much. thank you for taking time for us. thank you for taking time for us. margaret: thank you, charlie. this makes john kerry's job this much harder to keep any anti-isis coalition together.
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