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tv   After Words  CSPAN  February 1, 2014 10:00pm-11:01pm EST

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and proposes a more productive way forward. the program is about an hour. >> host: it is my privilege to talk today to professor angela stent director of the center for russian and eastern european studies at georgetown university he wrote an important book, "the limits of partnership" talking about the u.s. russian relationships. why do we need partnership and this is not an overly provocative question because there are a lot of people in
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government and you are part of the u.s. government who seem to think that it's not that important in to the extent that it's important it is not prepared to be very helpful. do we need partnershpartnersh ip with russia and if so why? >> guest: we certainly do need partnership with russia and russia is still, i mean the united states and russia are the two remaining the rear superpowers in between us we cannot really resolve a number of the worlds major problems if we don't work together. we are seeing that now in terms of syria, in terms of iran, in terms of even issues like terrorism and counterterrorism so russia is not always an easy partner for the united states just as the united states is not an easy partner for russia but we have to work together. we are fated to work together and we have seen that this year when there were plenty of reasons why the relationship deteriorated but in the end we are working together and we will continue to work together and those in the u.s. political
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class who say that russia doesn't count anymore and it's not important, they are flat wrong. it has to be a partner even though as i say in my book it's a -- partnership. >> host: in your book, you make clear that there are two kinds of deals. first what i would call structural deals because of different interests, because of different historical traditions, because of different circumstances. then there are also limits. can we do better than we are doing now? >> guest: first on the structural limits i would just emphasize that the fact that we are the worlds to superpowers means in some ways we are still living in the cold cold war time warp and we focus very much on these if you like 20th century issues. the kind of relationship that we
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don't have that we would have to have were this a better partnership with via much more fully fleshed out economic relationship and we are not natural economic hardener's because russia is mainly a raw materials export and sells oil and gas and sells military hardware. these are not things we need to purchase from russia. we are trying to improve the relationship so structurally this is like a one-sided relationship. but then i would say the limits of partnership also go back to the fact that we do see the world rather differently from the russians. that the russians want to focus on the sovereignty of states. they stressed that russia is a state of power and a look at the united states is a revisionist power largely because they think we are invested in regime change that we want to go around changing governments that we don't like. one of the real limits to this partnership is the u.s. foreign policy in general lucas is on the fact that we believe we
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represent certain values and those values include democratization, free-market, the rule of law and human rights and we believe that we have the right to pursue those issues when we interact with other countries. russia doesn't see the world that way. it now says the u.s. behaves as the old communist did trying to go-round and re-create the world and its image so i think fundamentally one of the limits of the partnership is if you're going to interact with a country like russia a great power, do you focus on the mutual interests and try to pursue them or do you focus on values and on what's happening inside russian society? that's one of the sole points that has been there throughout the 23 years since the soviet union collapsed. >> host: is there a major issue being created because in your view the foreign-policy is a view of henry kissinger. then you can involve them
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partnership with russia. saudi arabia is considered one of america's closest allies. i was born in the soviet union and i remember vividly back in 1959, i was still quite small but i still remember the vice president richard nixon appearing with khrushchev and there was very interesting exchanges between khrushchev and nixon and dixon said to khrushchev at that time mr. prime minister i understand that you believe that americans are going to live under communism. that is what khrushchev stated and he said this is fine as long as we accept that you have your system, we have our system and
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we will not try to change it. so this is 59. in 2013, now sometimes you get the impression that the american position is that in order to have good relations we actually require other countries to move closer to our political system and our beliefs. to what extent is it a problem in the u.s. russian relations in the obama administration with a the focus on national interest in human rights or would you prefer to see it differently? >> guest: this has been a constant issue in u.s. soviet relations and u.s.-russia relations. to your question about saudi arabia and of course the russians will always say that the u.s. pursues double standards that we criticize russia for doing things that we don't criticize china for. the russians have of course said that russia is a european country. there are a number --
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member of the consulate of your been signed off on conventions do agreements where they are supposed to adhere to these norms which of course china hasn't done and saudi arabia hasn't done but it is true that i think the u.s. has in the past not been consistent in the way that it has criticized russia for something should happen to drastically and not criticize some of russia's neighbors in azerbaijan and kazakhstan. you think the obama administration has been pretty skilled at dealing with these issues. when at work and it hasn't worked so well in the last two years differentiated between working with rush on these common interests like arms control, like iran like missile defense, like afghanistan and saying it was it to track policy in the woods separate what was happening domestically and russia.
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it has been fairly quiet and reserved in what is happening domestically. this has changed a little bit in the last year since, or the last couple of years since mr. putin mr. putin -- the kremlin and he has thrown out the united states agency for international development, now the u.s. ngo's. we have had a spat over the magnitsky act and the so-called adoption of russian children. i think what we have to understand is we have to differentiate between the obama administration and the u.s. congress. the obama and i think it's been fairly reserved. the u.s. congress if you look at the entire 23 year. not that i'm looking at has not been a force for promoting better relations with russia. those people in the congress who are adjusted in russia have tended to be people who are highly critical so things like the magnitsky list which freezes
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the assets of russian officials involved in human rights abuses originated in the congress and was not something that the obama administration wanted with this legislation on adoption. so the administration i think understands it but i think we are a pluralistic system and the congress is very important. they take a different approach to dealing with russia. >> host: one very important thing about your idea is in addition to being a leading academic you are -- your book covers a lot of ground. it starts with almost the last days of the soviet union and then of course you were in the clinton administration in the intelligence council and in the bush administration and the state department. tell us if you look back, the
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bush administration and the obama administration who related to russia veteran of course we will start with bush one. you seem to be disposed to what bush and his team were doing and i'm talking about bush 41. >> guest: in my book i discuss for reset since the collapse of the soviet union. i should point out that i was in policy planning for the last 18 months of the clinton administration six months in the bush and then the national intelligence in the bush of administration. both times when i served in government we were already on a downward slide in the u.s. russian relationship. i think the first reset was brief because obviously with president yeltsin for about a year. that was very much the focus and
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of course general scowcroft was the national security adviser. when the focus was on disarmament on arms control issues and the nuclear sing the ukraine, in other words making sure after the collapse of the soviet union that nuclear weapons were safe. there was probably not enough attention given to helping in the period in the attempt to improve relations with the new russia focus on concrete interest particulaparticula rly the arms control and the nuclear issues. when the clinton administration came into office it had a much more ambitious agenda for its own reset. i think clinton himself called it the russian hand and he was interested in russia. i think he and those around him really thought that they had eight years in the maximum to refashion russia to turn it into a democracy and a market society.
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now we know that in retrospect that was clearly overly ambitious. he you can't make remake a society like that in eight years and there were strong forces of russian tradition and history. certainly there was an attempt and there was more financial assistance but an attempt to get russia to buy into the u.s. view of international relations with european security. that is why we have problems with russia only got involved in the war in the balkans. of course that reset ended badly with a possible war. toward the end of the clinton administration mr. yeltsin was quite sick and mr. putin came in so the period that i was actually in government was at period in a relationship and clearly a recognition in the u.s. that it had not been able to achieve what it wanted to do. the reset on the president george w. bush was initiated i
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putin. i do think at the beginning of his time mr. putin was interested in a better relationship within the united states and closer integration with the west and he understood it. obviously after 9/11 he was the first person to call to offer condolences but also to offer support in helping the united states. i think from president putin's point of view that desire was to have as one of my russian colleagues calls it an equal partnership of unequaled. in other words a strategic partnership of the united states and in the beginning the push of was favorably inclined to that. the personal relationships seem to be better and certainly the cooperation in the form of -- the fall of 2001 russia was insure medal in helping the united states in a variety of ways because they knew much more about afghanistan than the u.s. did. that began to fall apart when president bush and particularly
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vice president cheney embrace the freedom agenda. he believed that the u.s. should go around actively promoting democracy and particularly in russia's backyard the ukraine and georgia and of course that ended very badly finally in the russia georgia war in 2008. the obama administration came in again to focus on the issues which russia itself wanted to focus on, arms control very important for president obama. nuclear arms proliferation. this is an area where we are equal with russia and became trapped productively. i think it began to fall apart because to some extent that reset was also based on the personal ties between president obama and president disease. people understood mr. putin who is prime minister was still the most important decision-maker. still the relationship was built
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on the contacts between those two younger presidents. when it became clear that putin would come back to the kremlin and that coincided with the demonstrations in the fall of 2011 against mr. putin and against the elections which they said would multiply that was really a breaking point because mr. putin blamed the united states for aiding and abetting and since then the relationship has been in a downward slide. this course -- this year of course with the episode with mr. snowden so now we are at a point when we are working together and we have to work together with syria but where president obama said we have to -- to how we want this relationship to move forward and president obama has and mr. putin understands that. >> host: a book about
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democracy for motion one problem in my view at least with the russian government and more broadly with the russian political elite american sincerity. it goes back as far as i'm concerned to the clinton period. in the elections of 1996, i remember the meeting with the undersecretary of state and i think you are there where i said i had just come back from moscow and yeltsin was bound to win this election by hook or by crook. a couple of state department officials said immediately what is your evidence? i was taken aback that they were asking this question.
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at that time it was a political senior in moscow. yeltsin was stealing the election and states identified with the yeltsin administration because yeltsin became more agreeable on foreign-policy issues and were willing to support him but the russians got the impression that if you are prepared to walk in lockstep with american foreign policy. >> guest: i don't think you are wrong. i think to the u.s. government's point of view the belief was that the worst is we are communists and we are going to come back into power. after the 96 election the leader of the communist party stood a very good chance. he had been to davos the world economic forum in the beginning of the year and eight a speech where he sounded quite reasonable.
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the u.s. embassy in the state department and the other parts of the government, without yeltsin the system that everyone was working so hard to create in russia would collapse. therefore of course you are right that people in the underground at the embassy in moscow understood what was going on that this wouldn't be a fair and free election and we also now know that they weren't. people who worked for him not yeltsin himself but his daughter and other people around him. the police then was that he had to win at all costs and we know he went from single digits to winning an election which people hadn't forecast before. you can ask the question now would it be so terrible if he would have won the election, the communist would have won? nobody knows to the answer to that in their different views to that in russia but you are correct in saying that from the
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point of view of a lot of russians this created a degree of cynicism about the u.s. commitment to free and fair elections. in fact that was something that in the election campaign in the u.s. in the year 2000 the republicans criticized the clinton administration for. >> host: talking about being fair one thing that is very impressive about your book, in my view you are very fair. one reason you are so informed us that you were not just a scholar, a practitioner but you know a lot of russian. you mentioned in your book. [inaudible] i also know from my personal experience with you that you know quite well many members of
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the russian position. one problem with american scholarship is we have two kinds of people. we have scholars who know the russian government and we have scholars who know the russian tradition. you are one of few people who know both. let me start with putin. could you talk a little bit about that? >> guest: the davos form has been going on for 10 years and was organized by the news agency that is now being dissolved but for tenure should organize this interesting meeting for foreign experts on russia. we have had dinner with mr. putin basically every year since then. and he is a very impressive political leader. he is a man in charge. he will come to these dinners and give three or four hours of his time answering a variety of questions which not too many world leaders that i know would do. he never uses notes. he never talks to any of his
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aides to ask them for help. he is particularly interested in economic data and energy. energy is the subject he is passionate about. and he is respectful. he can be sarcastic sometimes when he wants to be. he can also use his own kind of charm so i think everyone that is met with him on these occasions has been very impressed by the amount of time he is willing to give to this group of foreigners and to answer a variety of questions and sometimes even complains if the questions aren't tough enough. that's not surprising since if you're the leader of a country you are not going to ask tough questions. so one comes away from these meetings i think with a very good sense of the message that he wants to convey to these russia experts into the outside world. and now since i think it's been a very effective forum in these meetings with him. >> host: how would you compare putin not just in terms of his views but how would you compare
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putin as a leader, as a personality, to other world leaders you have observed today? >> guest: i've never had the exposure to any other world leader as i have with putin because i haven't had three-hour dinners for 10 years but he's certainly someone who is a leader. i think that he has become over the 10 years clearly much more condensed of the correct as to what he is doing. i think he believes that he came into office when russia was in a kayak deck -- chaotic state. as he himself said he has restored stability and great economic growth at least until 2008. he has now restored russia's place as a great power so i think that's very visible. and of course unlike a more
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democratic system he is less tied by the separation of power. he is less constrained in what he can do. he obviously is constrained to some extent but not in the same way in a visible way that many western leaders are. in many ways he would come across as being more decisive than leaders who have to listen to the parliament, to the public opinion and things like that. >> host: i read with some leaders of russia have said. it appears that russia today it is almost a sec carrying countro fundamental difference between putin and stalin, that democracy there is a charade and that putin has a kind of a -- and then of course you can see that couldn't sometimes refers to people like stalin.
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putin is a former kgb officer himself. how would you describe putin's democracy and how would you define the russian clinical system today? guest ofer stivale have to go back to the 1990s. again because from what putin writes and says, this is the anathema. we talked about democracy in the 9090s and for many russians the word democracy has connotations with poverty, the lack of order in russia if you like, the perceived chaos. and then i think you have to look at mr. putin's own background. he of course comes from the kgb. he was then east germany when east germany collapsed and i think -- she had experiences there trying to tear down the headquarters of the each -- east german police in trying to defend. then i think you can also see afterwards in the 1990s the
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mayor of st. petersburg anatoly who was defeated in an election. clear the that was also a clean election. his attitude towards democracy one has to look at his past and where he comes from. he is not a democrat in any western sense of the word but rush is not stalinist russia and is not russian at's rush even though some in russia describe it as such. it's not that yet. the internet is pretty free. people can express different views, not on state-run television, no more but putin is not all-powerful in a way that probably stalin was. i don't think any other soviet ruler was all-powerful. he's probably the most powerful individual in this system which is very transparent. the hybrid system and there are groups of different people with whom he interacts and whose
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views he does have to listen to. we can see in some economic transactions he cannot determine everything. so i think the best way to describe it may be managed democracy. there are elections but they are not free and fair in the same way that we believe they are. and it looks as if the tendency is going towards less pluralism then there was and certainly less pluralism under putin then there was under yeltsin but it's very hard. he kneeled patrimonial status how some people describe that it which has to do with a very close relationship with an economic and political elites but it's a hybrid system that i think we have a lot of difficulty in understanding exactly how it works. >> host: in terms of democracy
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saudi arabia, where would you put russia? >> guest: i don't like to go on the scales. [laughter] russia would be somewhere in between the two of them. it's not saudi arabia and it's not the united states. it's more democratic than china. i'm not sure. >> host: it's more democratic than china is? >> guest: i believe it is, yes. >> host: in what way? >> guest: first of all you do have different political parties. the range of views in the duma may not be that wide and there are certainly more internet freedom. there is and rule of law. there may be more rule of law in china in some ways but i think russia and china are rather in different stages of development. >> host: we will take a short rate.
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>> host: when you talked to officials they often would tell you that there is a tendency in the united states and in the west and sometimes without good evidence. you mention in your book a man called let funding for a former agent of the forced kgb and the federal security service who became a defector and lived in england and then was poisoned.
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he was a victim of nuclear terrorism and again the strong assumption is a -- by the russian government. do you agree with that? >> guest: while i think the evidence from what i know and from what i have read is first of all the polonium that he was poisoned with is not something you buy on the internet. it's certainly produced and if you look laboratories and there was clearly evidence that when they tested the plane on which the two gentlemen with which mr. mr. let funding co-was administered they poisoned the radioactive material traces were found on the plane. i don't beginning when disputes the fact that people came, somebody came from moscow carrying this close --
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polonium and met with mr. let funding co-and he died probably it wouldn't have been discovered otherwise he would have died in no one but have none. there are other people who believe that this was a conspiracy manufactured in britain and the now deceased oligarch who fled to england, that he was somehow involved in all of this although it's never been clear how he was. of course what makes it even more difficult is the british government which was conducting an inquiry decided it didn't want to publish the evidence about this particular murder for financial security reasons. the assumption has been that is because it would somehow implicate some part of the russian government but we will
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probably really never know the truth about any of this and of course when mr. berezovsky apparently hanged himself last year there were also those that believe he didn't hang himself. and a lot of these issues it is cloaked in obscurity and i think one will never know the truth. >> host: i'm very interested in this case not because of the case itself that because as you said it's a perfect example of how often we make assumptions. we don't quite know i became familiar with the name litvinenko back in the 1990s where a book by yeltsin's first chief of presidential administration -- and he was telling about provocations against him arrange by some security services. they did not like sergey
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litvinenko was a democrat out to get him and the man who was very much involved was mr. mr. litvinenko. that was long before mr. litvinenko was out of favor and then in 1998 there was a press conference in moscow. mr. litvinenko who had just left the federal security service announces that there was a plot against boris purrs off ski, a plot to -- there was one little problem with that. a man called vladimir putin and only later according to all available evidence the berezovsky testimony, it was
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berezovsky who helped putin to become russian prime minister. he thought that putin was plotting to kill him. the whole press conference was a farce. there were many other things. at obviously polonium killed somebody in london and appear some shin is the russians expected that it would be a kind of discovered then you may say it was a plot but if that is the case it's not clear what was so important about mr. litvinenko to take chances. the russian soldiers use polonium. there were many cheaper and easier ways to get rid of this little kgb hoodlum. so there was a major informational scandal and huge
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uncertainty that the russian government decided to use nuclear material to kill somebody in london. we don't really know. is this correct? >> guest: i think it's correct. the problem is all of these things again are shrouded in obscurity and mr. berezovsky was largely responsible for putting mr. putin in the kremlin. he then fell out of approval when it became clear that mr. putin was going to take charge and mr. berezovsky was not going to be able to do what he was doing before so yes i think nobody really knows. no one will ever know and i think we are in a situation where it it partly has to do with the way that people made their money in the 1990s. you can refer back again to what was going on politically and behind the scenes. nobody really knew so that's it period about which many people have many questions. we do know that once mr. berezovsky was in london he
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and mr. litvinenko were highly critical of what was happening in russia and what mr. putin was doing and mr. putin didn't like that carried the other thing that mr. litvinenko was doing was investigating the murder of the journalist. she was a muckraking journalist. she was assassinated shot in the doorway to her apartment. again it has never been resolved one of the problems here is that there were a number of rather high-profile mergers in russia, most of them in russia in the 1990s and since then of journalists and businesspeople and none of these things wherever results. sometimes they would pick up the actual assassin. i think that adds to this tendency in the west to assume the worst about everything just because they haven't solved so
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many of these high-profile cases. >> host: now i have thought for a long time actually that the russian government could not involved in killing litvinenko. now i'm totally convinced and the reason is the testimony of a man who as you may remember is a former chechen separatist leader who is a very close friend and litvinenko spent the afternoon after he was poisoned with him. he apparently liked him a lot. one of the things that litvinenko was doing was using the russian security services to obtain by other means information.
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against chechen separatists some of them out right islamic terrorists. litvinenko was providing this information to the people. it was an informational way but of course i would say by the standards the russian security service -- but i don't see any other reasons. again this is one of those mysteries where it's a human initiative that they russians are clearly done it in several years later we still don't know. >> guest: obviously it's had a very bad effect on british russian relations but it's you know it hasn't had that much effect on russia's relations with other countries including in the united states. the united states actually with the exception of ilia mob of
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another separatist leader who is the united states we have not really given asylum to that many chechens except for an of course we come back to the boston bombings earlier this year at some formerly lower profile people but it hasn't been such an issue with united states. >> host: litvinenko is an unsolved mystery. you talk in your book about opportunities and the need for partnership. one thing you mention is of course terrorism. when i was thinking about terrorism, i was thinking about about -- in u.s. history. one of september 11 and as you know at that time before september 11, the russian government, putin was not yet
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president were proposing the u.s. government close the cooperation against al qaeda and taliban. it was to miss by the clinton administration because we viewed russia as an imperial power in central asia. it looked almost like a treaty. russia was talking about cooperation against al qaeda and the taliban but in fact wanted the american blessing. i have no idea what would happen if putin was taken seriously. i would be interested in your view and then the boston marathon. the russian security service approached the fbi talking about some questions about the tsarnaev brothers. i don't think there are fishel's here when they talk to security council officials in moscow.
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it's completely unclear what has happened. the russians have provided information but this information was incomplete and insufficient. people here because this information was insufficient did not want to be manipulated by russian security services against people who came as political refugees from russia. the chechens who are escaping russian institutions and the result was the russians were told. it was not taken very seriously. the question is, do you believe that one could save american lives with cooperation on counterterrorism and is it something that's achievable? >> guest: you raise the important question and of course the problem is it goes back to
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chechnya. in the beginning when you have the first war in chechnya president clinton said this is like abraham lincoln trying to save the united states and trying to save the union. then as the war progressed it became more brutal. there was the impression to the united states to take a different stance on was happening in chechnya and locus on the human rights issues and the way the russian army is conducting itself in chechnya. now you are quite right and we also had the incident where it became the number two in al qaeda. he and some others were in dagestan trying to get to chechnya earlier on. the russians picked them up and help them if they didn't have enough evidence about him and i don't think they consulted the u.s. so they let him go to afghanistan and we know what happened on 9/11. putin was warning the united states about these dangers and
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the united states didn't take them seriously enough. obviously from the russian perspective andrew's did this because of russia's own problem with the problems in the north caucasus. the issue again has to be that the united states has been reluctant to classify many of these fundamentalist terrorists in chechnya in the same way that it classifies al qaeda operatives because of these other issues that surround it. now, the counterterrorism cooperation did work in the fall of 2001. they were on the same page and president bush certainly endorsed the russian view and there was a second chechen war obviously that happened shortly after putin became prime minister. but for a rather short period it was enlightenment on this and working together in russia gave us all kinds of information about some of the people who are in afghanistan that enabled the nato effort to succeed at least in the fall of 2001.
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but then the situation i think went back to the status quo where we focused a lot more on what was happening in the north caucasus. we began to believe that when russia talks about terrorism it only focuses on its own problems in the north caucasus and didn't see terrorism in the same way that we do as a global threat with al qaeda and i think that your characterization of what happens with the tsarnaev or others is completely correct too. we did get information from russia and the russians said if you listen to us earlier you would not have given these people asylum. some of this works. it works sometimes. it's a limited partnership and the cooperation on terrorism is limited. i don't know whether we could have prevented 9/11. i think that's a much bigger question that we have been hampered in the counterterrorist cooperation with russia because of these very different views
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about what's happening in the north caucasus and what if you like is a justifiable repression of religious expression in russia itself. >> host: again talking about human diplomacy it's part of their u.s.-russian relationship. iran is one of the central issues of foreign-policy. let's face it syria is a great humanitarian tragedy. this is the kind of localized. it will not lead to major powers. there could be a couple of different scenarios. iran responding may become really very serious. how does russia feel in american policy area and what is it doing and what can we expect them to
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do? >> things have improved very much in the u.s. with a rare russian relationship iran. we had a problem in the 1990s with russia going in and taking over the contract to build the busheir powerplant with uncontrolled elements where yeltsin was in power and doing business with iran. and the russians have always claimed and i have heard this and it's quite convincing. the russian foreign minister is another person we have met over the years and am foreign minister for 10 years in russia. the russian explanation has always been that the iranians have not done anything so hard. they have contravened the agreement they made with the intelligence agency. that was an issue of writer tension. that situation improved when obama came into power and he showed president medvedev
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evidence of a secret -- and russia agreed with the u.s. to tougher sanctions against iran in the u.n. security council. but russia has still always claimed there is no evidence that iran is trying to develop a nuclear weapons capability and i think some cynics have said russia wouldn't mind a u.s. israeli attack on iran because oil prices will go up in this would be good for russia. i don't believe that and there may be some people that think that. i think the russian government does not want to see a military attack on iran because again that would have repercussions in russia's old neighborhood in the north caucasus and would fuel islamist sentiment. and of course it would cause a great deal of unrest in the neighborhood. i think right now the u.s. and russia are a bind because at the moment we have what looks like a relatively promising agreement between the p5+5 powers, the united nations security council,
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the germans and the iranians to walk back on the enrichment facilities and for iran to promise that it won't go increasing that capability. if that agreement works and if we get to the next stage then i would say that the u.s. and russia are cooperating very well in the longer-run if the u.s. really wanted to improve its political relations with iran that would also affect russia's current role as a rain -- iran's greater power and that might not be something that the russians would favor. i think that's relatively far down the road and at the moment i would say this is an area where we are working better together. it is the sanctions worked and the really tough sanctions have brought beer ratings to the table.
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russia did not agree to them. >> host: another area where we don't entirely at re-to put it mildly is ukraine and you talk about the revolution. you could not talk about in your book about what's happening right now. his agreement with president putin. could you talk about the most recent developments? >> guest: yes, the leadership of the ukraine after the orange revolution i describe in my book the russians were obviously very disconcerted by this. we were very hopeful and of course it turned out that it didn't work out the way it leaves the west hoped it would. the leadership, he was the presidential prime minister and they were arguing all the time. you had a relatively free and fair election in 2010. mr. yama co-came to power and the european union was trying to
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entice him through this eastern partnership to sign a free-trade agreement to sign an association agreement which does not renew membership. it should tailor the way society towards a more european north or the european union itself believes it's a postmodern and doesn't like to engage in old-fashioned geopolitics. russia doesn't mind engaging in old-fashioned geopolitics and for russia ukraine is a key country. with the quote unquote loss of ukraine to the west of her work to join the european union would you major historical ship for russia because russia and the ukraine have for centuries been part of the same system if you will. russia does believe that is the right to interest in his backyard tree this is a right that neither the united states or the european union have been
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willing to concede. after was clear that mr. yama co-which appeared to be serious about signing and it rhee which would have meant a shift in ukrainian priorities in the way they organize themselves and put pressure on ukraine. the eastern part of ukraine is very tightly integrated economically with russia. one should point out that the ukraine is in many ways still a divided country. the eastern ukraine that was part of the russian empire does look to russia. it has one view of russia. they used to be part of the austrian hungarian poland in the interwar years and is much more suspicious of russia. russia first of all was reminding ukraine that it could put pressure on it in terms of coming off of. if it signed this agreement with the european union. and then increasingly as we
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neared the date of the signature it was offering carrots to mr. yanikovich. there were quite a few people that believe that mr. yanikovich never plan to sign an agreement that was trying to get the best deal possible. ukrainian it come in me is in very bad shape and will default if it doesn't get economic assistance on alaska of days russia has offered a 15 billion-dollar rescue package if you like to the ukraine that involves making sure that the ukraine doesn't -- and cutting the gas prices from around $400 to 283 but cutting it substantially so ukraine with a much lower prices for russian gas. the european union has taken a step that now. interestingly enough he suddenly had a rash of european politicians, american politicians going to key have been speaking to the thousands and thousands of demonstrators who want the ukraine to sign an
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agreement with the european union whereas you haven't seen russian officials go in there and making speeches. they have quietly been talking to the ukrainians. at this point russia has one. russia is going to bail out ukraine. russia is going to hope in the 2015 election mr. yanikovich gets reelected. if he doesn't then there would be a question about what ukraine would do in the future. i think this underlines the fact that at least for the united states ukraine is a long way away. there's just so much we can do to get involved in the post-soviet state of that there is a limit to that and other foreign-policy priorities. the bush administration at one point ,-com,-com ma the bush administration would it nato membership for the ukraine within the ukraine did that ukraine is an interested anymore. there is maybe more of a reason for them to get involved but the geography does matter and i think you look at the map i
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think everyone has to understand maybe ukraine has to work out something in the future where doesn't have to choose one side or the other but it can somehow work with both sides because otherwise i think it's unrealistic. >> host: them russian foreign minister much maligned by some of the united states in my view often unfairly. he was in brussels talking to the dash union and complained about european and u.s. officials were doing during the demonstrations. he complained that european officials and u.s. assistant secretary of state said nothing about senator john mccain where the anti-government crowd's work creating a strong impression that the united
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states and the european union were in its own government and felt that this was inappropriate that an assumption like that would never be allowed in the united states or in european countries. but the second complaint was that american officials, european union officials are blaming -- ukraine was overwhelmingly in court nation with the european union. he said wait a second, there were hundreds of thousands of old demonstrating against same-sex marriage but the socialist government said wait a second, we are a majority and a legitimately elected parliament and we decide what is in the best interest of the country not the size of the crowd. lavrov said the government was
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legitimately elected in ukraine. why would the size of the crowd protesting the policy be an indication of what the ukrainians -- >> guest: you raise an important and general issue which is when the problems in the u.s. russia relationship is a tendency on the part of the russian government to question the consistency of what the u.s. does, the sincerity of that and to point out that what russia does is absolutely no worse than what the u.s. does so that's the general framework where we get into these arguments. that's part of the reason why this is a concrete relationship. one of the analogies that russian sometimes like to use is i don't know how many, none of the many officials addressed the occupy movement when people were protesting. i think it was certainly featured on television and was certainly some russians i went
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there but not higher officials. i guess the answer to this is that there is no reason why u.s. officials and european officials shouldn't go and addressed the demonstrators if they want but i do think that it's true that it's not completely clear whether the majority of ukrainians want to go in one direction or the other because ukraine is a split society. but i think it's when you get -- in 2004 during the orange revolution you certainly did have russians going to key have been doing similar things. they didn't do it this time. as i said the russian official state in moscow and negotiated with mr. yanikovich but there were people in the united states who questioned why mr. yanikovich was democratically-elected in free and fair election whether leaders should be trying to push ukraine in one direction. the differences we are divided and there's quite a lot of criticism of what happened but i
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think it just shows also russia played this very well this time. >> host: professor stent this is a really important and formative and fair book. congratulations. >> guest: thank you.
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>> he here's a look at some upcoming book fairs and festivals happening around the country.
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spade bringing attention to what women do or how women contributed always returns to the question of the body, so for one thing many people object to bringing women's studies or women's history into a middle school or high school classroom because there's an assumption that women's studies is only about, birth control abortion and actually it's also about women in politics, women in law, women working on farms, queens, prime ministers and my job is to break down the fear many people have. what goes on in a women's studies classroom? ..
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>> as you know, p.j. is a fellow here at cato, here last month talking about his new book, and as it happens, i was amused to see that he was featured in the book as well, and


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