tv After Words CSPAN February 9, 2014 12:03pm-12:58pm EST
those who say you are just attacking the democrats, i destroy gerald ford in this book here gerald ford as a congressman a member of the warren commission falsified the autopsy records, moving the description from kennedy suffered back to his lower night to accommodate the word in the front of his throat as an exit wound and us expedite the cockamamie single bullet theory. in my next book i'll tell you that sure is. the reason for pardons nixon because if the account is trial in watergate, he was going to go the involvement of the kennedy assassination. you covered it the autopsy for the warren commission in which americans didn't learn until 1996 until asked her nixon was dead. i'm convinced that is another missing piece of history.
have a book in september called nixon's secret, which i think will effeminate what is an 18 and a half minute gap, will explain the pardon and talk about the relationship with watergate to the kennedy assassination and the bay of pigs. this is one thread of history. if you look at it, they have the same participate, the same people involved. ladies and gentlemen, thank you for your questions and for being here. it is time to sign the books. [applause] [inaudible]
be back up next on booktv, himelfarb seven with dimitri simes at the national interest. this week, angela stent and her latest book, "the limits of partnership" u.s.-russia relations in the 21st century. and it, the director georgetown university center for your region in russia and east european debt is cause for a reassessment of attack dixson practices that guide u.s.-russia relations and proposes a more productive way forward. the program is about an hour. >> host: it is my privilege attack today with the angela stent, director of the center for russian and eurasian studies at georgetown university. he wrote an important book. the one of the partnership, talking about the u.s.-russian
relationship. why do we partnership with russia? you know, this is not an overly provocative question because a lot of people in the government seem to think that russia press is not that important in to the extent it is important, it does not prepare to be helpful. doing a partnership with russia and if so why? did not receive the dewdney partnership with russia and the united states and russia, the two remaining nuclear superpowers. between us we cannot really resolve the number of the worlds major problems if we don't work together and we see that winter at syria comment terms of her rant, even issues like terrorism, counterterrorism. so russia is not always an easy partner for the united states, just as the united states is not easy partner for russia. but we have to work together. we've seen that this year when
there were plenty of reasons by the relationship deteriorated. in the end, we are working together and will continue to work together and those in the u.s. political cost to say that russia doesn't count anymore, that is not important, that's wrong. it has to be a part hurt even though come as a say in my book, partnership. >> well, in your book, you made clear there are two kinds. first there are what i was structural limit because of different interests, because of different historical traditions, because of different circumstances. but then there's also minute, which are connected to the policy, to russian policy. what are these limit? committee better than what do we now? be met first on the structural limits, i would emphasize the fact we're the world's two
nuclear superpowers means in some ways we're still living in a cold worktime work and we focus very much on these 20th century issues. the kind of relationship we don't have that we would have to have for this the better partnership would be a much more fully fleshed out economic relationship and we are not natural economic part or as because russia is mainly a role of materials exporter, self military hardware. these things need to need to purchase from russia. structurally, this is a very one sided relationship. but then i would say that limits the partnership also go back to the fact we do see the world rather differently from the russian, that the russians want to focus on the sovereignty of states. they stress that russia is a status quo power. they look at the united states is a revisionist power because they did where invested in regime change, that we want to
go about changing governments we don't like. so one of the real limits to this partnership is u.s. foreign policy in general focuses on the fact we believe we represent certain values and those values in the democratization, free-market, the rule of law and human rights and we believe we have the right to pursue those issues only interact with other countries. russia doesn't see the world that way. it now says the u.s. behaves trying to go around and re-create the world in its image. the fundamentally, one of the limits the partnership if you're going to interact with a country like russia, a great power, do you focus on your mutual interest and try to perceive them or perceive mrd focus on values on what's happening inside russian society and that's one of the points that has been there throughout the 23 years since the soviet union collapsed. >> this is a major issue clearly because if your view of the is
the view of henry kissinger and refer to having a kissinger and scowcroft in your book, you can try to have perhaps the united states certainly does not share -- [inaudible] i was born in the soviet union and i remember vividly in 1959 is still quite small, but i still remember vice president richard nixon -- [inaudible] and there is some very interesting exchanges with nixon. he said at the time, mr. prime minister, i understand you believe that americans are going to these.
that is what khrushchev stated. he said this is fine as long as we accept your system, we have our system will not try to change them. so this is 59. here are sometimes you get an impression that in order to have good relations we actually require other countries to move closer to our political system and the lease. to what extent it is a problem in the u.s.-russian ship in the obama administration has the right mix adventurous and human rights to which you prefer it differently? >> well, this is a constant issue in u.s. soviet relations and u.s.-russian relations. to your question about saudi arabia, let me say of course the russians always say the u.s.
pursues double standards, that we criticize russia for doing things we don't criticize china for, saudi arabia. the russians have of course that russia is a european country. their member of the council of era. they signed up to agreements where they are supposed to adhere to these alien tick marks, which of course china hasn't done to my saudi arabia hasn't done. but the u.s. in the past has not been consistent in the way it is criticize for some things that happened domestically and not criticize some of russia's neighbors. i go into this in the book because there's strategic partners for the united states at least in the war on terror. the obama administration has been pretty scaled at dealing with these issues. the reset when it worked and how that works so well in the last year or two explicitly differentiated between working with russia on common interests like arms control, like her rant, like missile defense, like
afghanistan and he was separated from what was happening domestically and russia. it's been fairly quiet and reserved in what it has said about what is happening domestically. this has changed a little bit in the last year, the last couple of years since mr. reclaimed the kremlin and since he has thrown out the united states agency or international development, other u.s. ngos. they've had this batch over to the ischia act and the so-called adoption of russian children. i think what we have to understand this we have to differentiate between the obama administration and the u.s. congress. the obama administration has been fairly reserved. the u.s. congress if you look at the entire 23 year period that i am lucky not has not been a force for promoting better relations with russia.
those people in the congress are interested have tended to be people who are highly critical. conflict to risk, which bans the says in the assets of russian officials and human rights abuses originated in the congress. it was not sent in the obama administration wanted the russians and retaliated with legislation on adoption. the administration understands that, but we are a pluralistic system in the congress is very and they take a rather different approach to dealing with russia. >> one important thing about your career is in addition to being the leading academic, several administrations. your book covers a lot of ground. it really starts with almost the soviet gang in and then it goes to the current. you were in the nation intelligence council.
the state department administaff. tell us the clinton administration, obama administration. and if you want start with bush one. they kind of be disposed in two but they do not have time. in my book i discuss what i count since the collapse of the soviet union. i should point out as an policy planning last 18 months of the clinton administration for six months of the bush administration and then at the national intelligence the bush administration. at times i said we were on kind of a downward slide in u.s.-russian relationship.
the first reset was brief because obviously president george h. debbie bush only overlap with president yeltsin for about a year. that is very much for the focus and of course general scowcroft was the national security adviser when the focus was on disarmament and arms control issues, deep nuclear rising, ukraine, and otherwise making sure after the collapse of the soviet union at the nuclear weapons was saved. there is probably not enough attention given to helping out the new russian government financially, economically and president nixon himself was in favor of that. that was very much a. when the attempt to improve relations with the new russia focused on interests, the arms control, nuclear issues. when the clinton administration came into office they had a much more ambitious agenda for his own reset. clinton himself as fresh adviser
says clinton was the russia hand. clinton himself was interesting he and those around him thought they had eight years of the maximum to refashion russia to turn it into a democracy and a market society. we know in retrospect that was clearly overly ambitious. you can't remake a society like that. they're a very strong forces of russian tradition and history and they're going to evolve in their own way. but there was an attempt that was more financial assistance, but also an attempt to get russia to buy into the u.s. view of international relations and european. he and that's why we have problems with russia when we got involved in the war in the balkans. and of course, the first reset ended badly with the kosovo war. so towards the end of the clinton administration, mr. yelled and was quite thick. but then mr. putin came in.
when i was in government with a downward. in the relationship and clearly recognition in the u.s. that it had not been able to achieve what it wanted to do. the reset under president george w. bush george w. bush was initiated by a flat near pruden. at the beginning of his time, mr. putin is interested in a better relationship with the united states and close integration with the west as he understood it. obviously after 9/11, he was the first person to call to offer condolences to offer support in the united states establish its bases in central asia. from president putin's point of view, the desire was to have this one of my russian colleagues called that, in equal partnership of funny post. in other words, to have a strategic partnership with the united states. in the beginning, the bush administration is favorably inclined that.
personal relationships seem to be better and certainly cooperation in the fall of 2001 and the war in afghanistan or she was instrumental in helping the united states in a variety of ways because it do much more about afghanistan and the u.s. that began to fall apart when president bush and his people embrace the freedom agenda. they could go around actively promoting democracy and particularly in russia's backyard, ukraine, georgia and of course that ended very badly into destiny. i think the obama administration came in determined to focus on the issues with russia itself five to focus on. arms control, port for president obama. nuclear non-proliferation. this is an area where we are equal with russia and cannot productively. afghanistan, a rand. i think it began to fall apart because to some extent that
reset was also based on the personal ties between president obama. they sold the decision-maker. and when it became clear that mr. putin is going to come back into the kremlin: i did with the demonstrations against mr. putin which were falsified, that it was really breaking point because mr. putin blamed the united states for eating and abetting these demonstrators in instead i think the relationship has been in a downward slide. this year of course we have the episode with mr. snowden. so now we are at a point where we are working together and we have to work together in syria, but where president obama
himself has said we have to take a pot of and how you want this relationship to move forward. president obama surrogate a lame-duck president. >> when we talk about democracy, one problem in my view at least we have that the russian government more broadly with the russian political elite that almost nobody believes in american sincerity. it goes back as far as i'm concerned to the clinton. particularly elections in 1996, i remember vividly meeting with secretary of state and i think you are there where i said they just came back from moscow, that yeltsin was found to win this election. a couple of people and state department officials did not like what they said.
they said what is your evidence? i was taken aback at them asking this question. he late to work the bush administration at that time in moscow and they were reporting objectively how yeltsin with their election. and then stays completely identified with the yeltsin administration because you think to be more agreeable on foreign policy issues and were willing to support him blindly. the russian impression in real democracies were democrats. if you're prepared to walk with american foreign policy. >> guest: i don't think you are wrong. i think from the u.s. government's point of view, the belief was the worst disaster with the communists to come back
but the election. they stated they good chance that the world economic forum at the beginning of the year and he made a speech in the belief in the u.s. embassy at the time without yeltsin this is a macro of the circuit so hard to try and create in russia would collapse and therefore of course you are right that people on the ground at the end understood what was going on and understood that this probably wouldn't be people who work for him point advised and the people around him. so the police then was he had to win at all costs. we know he went from single digits to winning an election, which people have to forecast
before. you can ask the question now, would it have been so terrible if they would've won the election come at the communists won? nobody knows the answer. these different views in russia and here. you are correct in saying from the point of view of russians come in this created a degree of cynicism about the u.s. commitment to free and fair elections and in fact that was sent in matt in the election campaign in the u.s. in 2000 the republicans by this past report criticized the clinton administration for. >> one thing that is very impressive that you are in my view. they are. one reason you are so informed as you are not just a scholar, cracked tichenor, that you mention in your book where you
had many opportunities to interact with yeltsin. perhaps you would tell us about it in a minute. i also know from my personal experience with you that you know quite well the russian opposition regime. now we have two kinds of people. we have scholars who know the russian opposition. you're one of the few people who know both. let me start with putin. he observed many times. could you talk a little bit about that? >> guest: yes, the forum has been going on for about 10 years, an agency dissolved for foreign russia. we had dinner with mr. putin basically every year since then and he is a very impressive theater. he is the man in charge. he will come to these dinners and get three or four hours of
his time answering a variety of questions, which not too many would do. he never used his nose. he now returns to any of his aides to ask questions for help. he is particularly interested in energy. energy is a subject he is passionate about. and he is respectful. he can be sarcastic sometimes when he wants to be. he can also exert his own kind of charm. i think everyone who has met with him on these occasions has been very impressed by the amount of time he's willing to give to this group of foreigners and his willingness to answer a variety of questions and sometimes even complaints the questions are fast enough. that's not surprising since with the leader of the country are not going to ask the tough questions. and so, one comes away from these meetings with a very good and so the message that he wants to come day to these russian experts into the outside world.
in that sense it is also a very effective for a company's needs with him. >> which you compare putin not just his view because obviously his view is russian, but how would you compare putin as a theater? this statement is that they are world leaders you've observed today -- audiovox >> well, never had the exposure to any other world leader in the same i have to put because i haven't had three-hour dinners for 10 years. he is a leader. i think he has become over the tenure is clearly much more convinced of the correctness of what he's doing. i think he believes that he came into office when russia was in a chaotic day. as he himself said, he has restored stability, great economic growth until 2008 and
he is now restored russia's place as a great power. i think that is very visible. his last tie by and he's constrained in what he can do. he is constrained to some extent not in the same way and a visible way that many western leaders are. in many ways, he would come across as a more decisive than leaders who have to listen to that parliaments to public opinion and things like that. >> i read with some leaders of the russian opposition say. it appears the russia today is almost a utilitarian country, that there is no fundamental interest. there is a democracy is a charade and putin has a of course you can see putin
sometimes respectfully is the soviet secret party shushan ski, how would you describe putin's democracy and how would you define the russian political system today? be the first of all, you have to go back to the 1990s again because from what he says, this is the anathema. so we talked about democracy in the 1990s and for many russians, not all of them, the word democracy has connotations with poverty. the lack of or dead in russia at the lake, the perceived chaos. and then i think you have to look at mr. putin's own background. he of course comes from the tbg. he was then east germany went east germany collapsed and i think he also saw a bad experiences they were the
commodity like was trying to tear down the headquarters of the east german police. then i think you can also see afterwards the 1990s he worked for the mayor anatoly subject who has been defeated in an election. i think it was quite clear from what mr. putin saw that that also was a very clean election. so i think his attitude towards democracy and where he comes from. he is not a democrat in every western sense of the word. the stalinist russia and its not brashness russia come even as some people in russia describe it as such. the internet is pretty free. people can express different views. and putin is not all-powerful and a way that probably stalin was. i don't think any other soviet
ruler was all powerful either. he's the most powerful individual the system, which is in very transition. the groups have different people with whom he interacts and whose views he does have to listen to you. we can see in some economic transactions he cannot determine everything. so the best way to describe it may be managed democracy. there are elections, but they are not free and fair the same way we believe they are. it looks as if the tendency of going towards less pluralist and then there was, certainly less pluralism than it was under yelp thing, but it is very hard. ..
it's not saudi arabia, it's not attorney. it's more the democratic and china. i'm not sure that giving it -- >> host: is more democratic than china is frankly i believe it is your you do have different political parties. the range of views in the parties that are in the duma may not be that wide, and they are certainly more internet freedom. there is a really rule of law. there may be more rule of law in china in some ways but russia, i think russia and china are
rather different stages of political development. >> host: we will take a short break. >> on the go? afterwards is available via podcast to itunes and xml. visit booktv.org and click podcast on the upper left side of the page. select which podcast you would like to download and listen to "after words" while you travel. >> host: when you talk to russian officials, they often would tell you there is a tendency in the united states, and more broadly in the west, and sometimes without good evidence. you mentioned in your book a man called -- a man who was a former agent officer of the kgb, the federal security service, who
became a political immigrant, some said effector, lived in england and then was poisoned. and as you describe in your book, a common inception in britain and the united states was that he was a victim of nuclear terrorism and again, the strong assumption is that it was arranged by the russian government. do you agree with that? >> guest: well, i think the evidence from what i know and from what i've read is first of all, the polonium that he was poisoned with, it's not something you can buy on the internet. it's only produced in a few laboratories, and there was clear evidence of it when they tested the plane on which the two gentlemen with them he had met in london and to apparently administered the poison. the plane that they were on, the
rate active ago, the traces were found on the plane. i don't think anyone disputes the fact that people came, somebody came from moscow carrying this polonium and then met with him and subsequently he got very ill and he died. and, of course, public it wouldn't have been discovered because those were discovered at the very last moment that it was polonium otherwise he would've died in the with would've quite have known. there are other people who believe that this was a conspiracy that was manufactured in britain and that the now deceased and oligarch who fled to england, that he was somehow involved in all this, although it's never been clear how he was. so of course what makes it more difficult is that the british government, which was conducting an in class in this has decided doesn't want to publish the evidence that it has about this particular murder for national
security reasons. unspecified. so the assumption has been that's because it would somehow implicate some part of the russian government, who knows what, but we will probably never really know the truth about any of this. and, of course, when mr. berezovsky a parent hanged himself last year, there are also those who believe that he didn't hang himself. so in a lot of these issues, it's cloaked in obscurity and of equal and will never know the truth. >> i'm very interested in this case, not because of the case itself but because as you said it's a perfect example for how often we make assumptions. but we don't quite know. i became familiar with the name list via nay back in the 1990s. where a book by boris yeltsin's first chief of presidential administration, a man of real democratic integrity.
he was telling about provocations against him. arranged by some particular services they did not like. the man who was very much involved was litvinenko. been 1998 there is a press conference in moscow. litvinenko who just had left the federal security service announces that there was a plot against boris, a plot to murder him. there was a press conference but one little problem with it. the director -- [inaudible] on the later of according to all
evidence and including mr. berezovsky testimony in many different forms, he helped putin become russian prime minister. now, he was plotting to kill him. the whole press conference was a farce. there were many other things. obviously polonium, somebody with polonium in london. now if your assumption is that the russians expected that it would be a kind of discovered, then you may say well, this was a dramatic plot of dissension. but if that is the case it's not quite clear what was so important about him to take chances. the russian soldiers, they would not be caught. why would they use polonium? there were many cheaper and easy ways to get rid of this little kgb hoodlum.
so there was a major informational scandal, it was a huge uncertainty that the russian government decided to use a nuclear material to kill someone in london. now we are saying 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. you yourself said mr. berezovsky was largely responsible for putting mr. putin in the kremlin. he then fell out with mr. putin when he 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. and no one will ever know. and i think that we are in this situation where it's 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 a period about which many people have many questions. we do know that once mr. berezovsky was in london, he 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. the other thing that mr. litvinenko was doing was investigating the murder of a journalist. she died, again shot into one of our apartment to begin it severely been resolve. i think one of the problems here is that there were a number of rather high profile murders in russia, most of them in russia in the 1990s and since it, particularly the 1990s a journalist, of businesspeople and none of these things were ever results. sometimes they would pick up somewhat, at one point was yeltsin's minister of nationality and i think that
adds to this tendency in the west to assume the worst about everything. just because they have insulted many of these high profile cas cases. >> i thought for a long time actually that the russians, the russian government could not be involved in the killing of litvinenkno because i could not see sufficiently good reason. now i'm totally agnostic on this and the reason is the testimony of the man who you may remember is a former chechen separatist leader who is a very old friend of litvinenkno and he spent the afternoon after he was poisoned with them. he apparently liked him a lot. one of the things that litvinenkno was doing, using the
russian security federalist, was to buy or obtained by other means information about russian -- against chechen separatists, some of them outright islamic terrorist. and litvinenkno was providing this information to the people, to chechen terrorist. it was kind of an information away, he is not passing judgment but, of course, something like that was going on, i would say that by the standards of the russians duty service could decide to go off. but i don't see of the reasons. this is one of those mysteries where it's a human initiative that we know the answer and decide the russians are clearly done it and then several years later we still do not know. >> guest: i think so. it's had a very bad effect on british russian relations, but
because i don't have that much effect on russia's relations with other countries. including the united states because the united states actually -- with exception of another chechen separatist leaders in the united states, we haven't really given asylum to that many chechens, except for and, of course, we come back to the boston bombings earlier this year, some formerly lower profile people but it has been such an issue with the united states. >> host: the reason ask you about that in addition to the issue of unsolved mysteries is because you talk in your book about opportunities and the need for partnership. and one thing you mention is of course counterterrorism. and when i was thinking about terrorism, i was thinking about -- to dramatic results in u.s. history. one is september 11 and as you
know, at that time, before september 11 happened, the russian government specifically prime is a boon it was not yet president, were proposing the u.s. government close the cooperation against al qaeda and taliban. it was dismissed by the clinton administration because we already viewed russia as an imperial power. they wanted to reestablish their influence in central asia. it looked almost like a treaty. russia was talking about cooperation against al qaeda and taliban, but, in fact, wanted american blessing to become more relevant in central asia. i have no idea what would happen if putin at that time was taken was usually. i would be interested in your view. and in the boston marathon. the russians a duty service approached the fbi, talking
about the tsarnaev brothers and questions about the tsarnaev brothers. they talk to security council officials in moscow. it is pretty clear to me what has happened. the russians have provided some information, but this information was incomplete and insufficient. people here, because this information was incomplete and insufficient, did not want to be manipulated by russians duty services against people who came as political refugees from russia. the chechens who were escaping russian institutions, and as a result was the russians were told. it was not taken very safely. the question is, do you believe that we could save american lives by having a closer cooperation on counterterrorism? and is it something that is
achievable in the current u.s. or russian environment? >> guest: you raise the important questions that, of course, the problem of counterterrorism cooperation goes back to chechnya. so any beginning when you have the first war in chechnya, the clinton administration, remember, president clinton said this is like abraham lincoln trying to save the united states, trying to save the union. and then as the war progressed, it became more brutal, there was much more pressure in the united states to take a different stance on what was happening in chechnya and focus on human rights issues and the way that the russian army was conducting itself in chechnya. now, you are quite right and we also had the incident where the man who then became the number two in al qaeda, possibly, he and some others were in dagestan trying to get to chechnya earlier on. and the russians picked them up and they held them but then they didn't have enough evidence about him that i don't think
they consulted the u.s. about this and so they let him go. he then went back to afghanistan and we know what happened on 9/11. that putin was warning the united states about these dangers and the united states didn't take them scarcely enough. and, obviously, from the russian perspective they understood this because of russia's own problem in 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. we were on the same page and president bush certainly endorsed the russian view, we are now talking there was a second chechen war obviously that happened shortly after putin became prime minister. but for a rather short period we were certainly in alignment on
this and working together and russia gives all kinds of information about some of the people who were in afghanistan that enabled the nato effort to succeed, at least in the fall of 2001. but in a situation i think went back to the status quo where we focus a lot more on what was happening in the north caucasus. we begin to believe that when russia talks about terrorism, it really only focuses on its own problems in a north caucasus and didn't see terrorism in the same way we do as a global threat with al qaeda. at a fake that has indeed. i think your characterization of what happened with the tsarnaev brothers is completely correct. we did get some information from russia. afterwards we did try to share more. the russian sites if you listen to his earlier maybe you wouldn't have given these people china. so there is -- some of his 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, but we had been hampered in a counterterrorist cooperation with russia because of the very different views 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, you have a section in the book, the role. iran is one of the central issues of u.s. foreign policy. we are preoccupied today with syria but let's face it, city is a great humanitarian tragedy. but once this is the kind of local allies, it will not lead to enrollment of major powers. it's not something the fundamental effects americans to give a. usually -- [inaudible] you become the u.s. and israeli attack on iran to iran respond and a whole lot of ways. it may become really very
serious. how does russia deal in american policy area? what are they doing? what do we expect them to do? >> guest: things have improved very much in u.s. with russian relationship on iran. we had a profit in the 1990s with russia going in and taking over the contract to build the bushehr nuclear power plant which i was and control elements when yeltsin was in power. doing business with iran. and the russians have always claimed and that the this comment is quite convincing them the russian foreign minister. another person that we've met over the years, their impressive and professional. is been foreign minister for 10 years now and russia. the russian expedition has always been that the iranians have not been anything so far. accounting secrets it made with the international atomic energy agency. and so that was an issue, great
attention between u.s. and russia. that situation improved when obama came into power and he showed president medvedev evidence of a secret enrichment facility in iran, and russia didn't agreed with the u.s. to tougher sanctions against iran and the u.n. security council. but russia has still always claimed that there's no evidence that iran is time to develop a nuclear weapons capability, and i think some cynics have said russia would mind if the u.s.-israeli attack on iran because oil prices would go up and this would be good for russia. i don't believe that. there maybe some people think they. i think the russian government doesn't want to see a military attack on iran because again that would have repercussions in russia's own neighborhood in the north caucasus. it would fuel islamist sentiment. it would cause unrest and a great deal of unrest in the neighborhood. i think right now the u.s. and
russia are outlined because at the moment we have what looks like a relatively promising agreement between the p5+1 powers, the u.n. security council, the germans, the iranians to walk back on the enrichment facilities and for iran to promise that it won't go down increasing the capability. if that agreement works and if we get to the next stage, then i would say the u.s. and russia are one operating very well on iran. in the longer one, if the u.s. really worked to improve its political relationship with iran, u.s. businesses were to go back, u.s. energy compass, that would also affect russia's current role as iran's greater power and that might not be something that the russians would favor but i think that's relatively far down the road. at the moment i would say this is an area where we are working better together because the
sanctions work. because the really tough sanctions i think a force the iranians to the table. >> host: another area where we don't entirely agree to put it mildly is ukraine. and you talk about russian attitude toward ukraine, orange revolution. orange revolution. you did not write a new book about what is happening right now in kiev. a recent visit by president you kind of pitch to moscow. kenny chuckled about that the most recent elements? >> yes. the leadership of ukraine after the orange revolution i described in my book, the russians were disconcerted by this. we are very hopeful but, of course, it turned out that it didn't work out the way, at least the west it would. solution county was the president, the premise it, arguing all the time. you had a relatively free and
fair elections in 2010. mr. yanukovych came to power, and the european union was trying to entice him through this eastern partnership to sign a deep free trade agreement which does not mean membership. no one is promising uk membership but it should give it away towards more european nor. the european union itself doesn't believe in it believes it's a postmodern grouping to get 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. i mean, a quote unquote loss of ukraine to the west if it really were to join the european union, it would be a major historical shift for russia because russia and the uk and have for centuries been part of the same system, if you like.
and russia does believe that it has the right to interest in its backyard. this is a right that neither the united states nor the european union have been willing to concede. so as to became clear that mr. yanukovych appeared to be serious about signing an agreement with the european union, which would have, would've meant a shift in ukrainian priorities and in the way they organize themselves. in the eastern part of ukraine is very tightly integrated economically with russia. one should point out that ukraine is in many ways still a divided country. the eastern part of ukraine that westerners are part of the russian empire does look to russia. it has won the of russia. the western part, used to be part of the austria-hungary empire, part of polling in the interwar yours looks much more to europe and is much were suspicious of russia and speak ukrainian.
so russia, first of all reminding ukraine that if it put pressure on it, in terms of cutting off trade, if it signs this group with european union. and then increasingly as we neared the date of the signature it was offering carrots to mr. yanukovych. there were quite a few people who believe that mr. yanukovych never intend to sign agreement with the opinion but he was trying to get the best deal possible. ukrainian economy is in very patchy. ukraine is going to default if it doesn't get economic assistance. and so in the last couple days russia has offered $15 billion rescue package if you like to ukraine that involves buying bombs, making sure ukraine doesn't default and then cutting the gas prices from around $400, two to 83 but anyway cutting is substantially so that ukraine would be paying much lower prices for russian gas. and the european union has sort of taken a step back now. interestingly enough, you
suddenly had a rash of european politicians, american politicians going to give and speaking to the thousands and thousands of demonstrators who want to ukraine to sign an agreement with european union support in this square were as you haven't seen russian officials going there and making speeches. have quietly been talking to the ukrainians. clarity at this point russia has one. russia is going to bail out ukraine. russia's going to hope that in the 2015 election, mr. yanukovych gets reelected. if he doesn't then it would be a question about what ukraine would do in the future. i think this underlines the fact that lisa for the united states, ukraine is a long way away. there is just so much we can do to get involved in the post-soviet state and russia's neighbors but there's a limit to that because many other foreign policy priorities and in the bush administration at one point, the bush administration wanted nato membership for