tv After Words CSPAN February 17, 2014 7:00pm-8:01pm EST
want to include england and not. the third factor is a free-market economy and i think we all agree the united states ready much has had a capitalistic free market economy but the fourth factor is not exactly the same thing. that is why we want to include it as different. it's private property rights with titles and deeds and the reason we think those are so important as there are lots of countries in africa that he will have stuff. they have houses. they have cars but they can't prove it. they can't register it with the government in many cases. a guy named hernando desoto had called mr. capital and it did a study of poorer nations and what he found was in egypt just as one example it took 14 years and 150 separate bureaucratic steps to obtain a license to build on desert land. let me underline desert.
i went seven years ago my wife and i bought a new house and sold their existing house. we went to a title agency. they had about 1000 documents laid out. initial here, sign here, sacrifice a chicken over here and that we were done. it took one hour for us to sell our property, by new property, one step, 150 steps, 14 years, one hour, one step and desoto's point is if you can't prove you own it you don't own it. it is absolutely true that a piece of paper is not a final guaranteed against the government taking your land or your property or whatever but it is a guarantee. it is one more step that someone has to overcome. it's one more impediment to government taking what you have. what desoto concluded and what we believe is a private property rights are essential but that they have to be guaranteed with titles and deeds.
those are the four pillars of american exceptionalism and i think why the late 20th century you can say that really only england and america have all four of those in england is fading fast. >> when you say england that would include -- correct? >> therethere is a country out ? >> yeah. that would include canada, absolutely. although canada remember the cause of québec, civil law. they have that tension between civil law and common law. >> to you end up with a positive positive -- do you end up with a positive domestication for the country or are you kind of pessimistic? >> i will quote yoda. always in motion is the future. always in motion is the future.
it remains to be seen and what is interesting is that dave is much more of a pessimist than i am. and i think i ended up pulling him a little bit toward the optimistic side and keep hold me a lot toward the pessimistic side and a lot has happened just once -- since we started writing the book. obamacare that would lead you to think we have big problems out there. >> the i was having a conversation with a woman today and she said i don't have children but on the other hand the american people will fight for this country but i think we have an awful lot of really bad stuff to go through through. >> if i could quote from my own book here i love our last line. everything i write is an great but occasionally i believe i hit it out of the park. i hope the united states does not get its wish referring to
the wish of the israelites give us a king and it will be like every other nation out there. let's hope the u.s. does not get its wish for a shining city on the hill sees its light dimmed or all mankind will pay the price and we were talking about the lights going out in europe. at the beginning of world war i. believe me folks at this like us up -- goes out you will see a dark ages like you have never seen before. it's going to be bad. anyone else? any other comments or questions? concerns? [inaudible] >> by 10 copies each. you know there is a time to meditate. i mean children of israel were in the wilderness for 40 years and part of that was that they were supposed to learn something. we have gone through dark
periods in our history. other countries have gone through dark. then sometimes you just need to write it out for a little while. don't jump to hasty conclusions. don't do anything absolutely crazy. don't go in your bunker. i will help you when it's time to go in your bunker and get out the canned food. it's not time yet. so watch. i think the bible phrase is watch and pray. all right, thanks for coming out. i will be signing some books here so thank you all for coming out. [applause] up next next on booktv, "after words" with guest host dimitri simes from the center from the national interest. this week angela stent and her latest book "the limits of
partnership" u.s.-russian relations in the 21st century. and if the director of georgetown university center for eurasian russian and eastern european studies calls for a reassessment of the tech hicks and 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 to talk today to professor angela stent professor at the center for russian and eurasian and eastern european studies at georgetown university. you wrote an important book, "the limits of partnership" talking about the u.s. russian relationship and the question is why do we need a partnership with russia? in other words this is not an overly provocative question because there are a lot of people in the u.s. government who seem to think that russia is
not that important and to the extent that it is important it is not prepared to be very helpful. do we need partnership with russia and it's so quite? >> guest: we certainly do need partnership with russia and russia is still, the united states and russia are the two remaining nuclear superpowers in between us we can't resolve a number of the worlds major problems if we don't work together and we are seeing that now in terms of syria ,-com,-com ma in terms of i ran and in terms of issues like terrorism and counterterrorism. 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 at this year where there were plenty of reasons why the relationship deteriorated. in the end we are working together and we will continue to work together and those in the u.s. political class who say that russia doesn't count anymore and that 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 leaders. first there are what i would say structural leaders because of different interests, because of different historical traditions, because of different circumstances. there are also limits which are connected to u.s. policy. to russian policy. can we do better than we are doing now? >> guest: first on the structural limits i would emphasize that the fact that we are the worlds to superpowers means in some ways we are still living in the cold wartime warp and the focus very much on these if you like 20th century issues. the kind of relationship that we don't have that we would have to have were this a better partnership would be a much more
fully fleshed out economic relationship and we are not natural economic partners to cause pressure is mainly a raw materials exporter. it sells oil and gas and military hardware. these are not things we need to purchase from russia. we are trying to improve the relationship so structurally this is a very one-sided relationship. but then i would say the limits of partnership also go back to the fact that we do see the world weather differently from the russians. that the russians want to focus on the sovereignty of states and they stress that rush is a status quo power. they look at the united states is a revisionist power largely because they think we are invested in regime change and we want to go around changing governments that we don't like so one of the partnerships is the u.s. foreign policy in general focuses on the fact that we believe we 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 that the u.s. behaves as the old communist did trying to go around to re-create the world in its image so fundamentally one of the risk of the partnership is if you are going to interact with the country like russia do you focus on you and mutual interests and try to pursue them or do you focus on values on what's happening inside russian society that is one of the sore points that have been true throughout 23 years since the soviet union collapsed. >> host: if your view of foreign-policy is the view of henry kissinger and brent -- he referred to henry kissinger and brent scowcroft in your book then perhaps a more bold
partnership with russia. after all the united states certainly does not share the views of saudi arabia but saudi arabia is considered one of america's closest allies. i was warned in the soviet union and i remembered vividly in 1959 i was still quite small but i remember on russian tv i saw vice president richard nixon appearing with nikita khrushchev the soviet leader at the first american exhibition in moscow and there were very interesting exchanges between khrushchev and nixon. nixon said to khrushchev at that time he said mr. prime minister i understand that you believe that americans are going to live under communism and that is what khrushchev had stated. he said this is fine as long as you accept that you have your system, we have our system and we don't have a right to change them by force of coercion.
you are aware and 2013 sometimes you get an impression that the american position is that they are not under good relations. it would actually require other countries to move closer to our political system and believes. to what extent is it a problem in u.s.-russian relations and do you think the obama administration is the right mix of the focus on national interest and human rights or would you prefer to see it differently? >> guest: this has been a constant issue in u.s. soviet relations in u.s.-russian relations. to your russians 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 we don't criticize china for saudi arabia. the russians have of course said that rush is a european country. they are a member of the council of europe. they have signed onto conventions into agreements
where they are supposed to adhere to the atlantic norms which of course china hasn't done in saudi arabia hasn't done that it is true that i think the u.s. has in the past not been consistent in the way that it has criticize russia for some things that happened domestically and not criticize some of russia's neighbors. i go into this in the book azerbaijan because they are strategic partners for the united states released in the war on terror. i think the obama administration has been pretty skilled at dealing with these issues. the reset when it worked and it hasn't worked so well and the last year or two explicitly differentiated between working with russia on these common interests like arms control them like i ran like missile defense like afghanistan and saying it was a two track policy and it was separated from what was happening domestically and russia. and it has been fairly quiet and reserved in what it is said
about what's happening to drastically. this has changed a little bit in the last year for the last couple of years since mr. putin reframed the kremlin and he has thrown out the united states agency for international development, and u.s. ngo's. we have had the spot over the magnitsky at and the so-called adoption ban of adoption children by americans. i think we have to differentiate between the obama administration in the u.s. policy. the obama and his ration has 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 aren't just in russia have tended to be people who are highly critical so things like that magnitsky list which bans visas and assets of russian officials and human rights
abuses originated in the congress. it was not something that the obama administration wanted the russians retaliating with this legislation on adoption. the administration understands that we are a pluralistic system and the congress is very important. they take a rather different approach to dealing with russia. >> host: one important thing about your career is in addition to being the leading academic you of course were in several administrations. her book covers a lot of ground. it's almost the last days of the soviet union and then it goes to the current period. you worked in the clinton administration information intelligence council. you worked in the bush administration at the state department. tell us if you look back the
clinton administration, the bush administration, obama administration if you will start with rusch one because you talk about policy and you seem to be favorably disposed to what bush and you were doing at that time. i'm talking about bush won. >> guest: in my book i discuss for recess that we have had since the collapse of the soviet union. i was in policy planning in the last 18 months of the clinton administration for six months in the bush evisceration and then the national intelligence council and the bush administration. and both times i served in government we are on a downward slide in u.s.-russia relationships. first reset was brief because obviously president h.w. bush overlapped with president yeltsin for about a year but that was very much when the focus general scowcroft was the national security adviser when
the focus was on disarmament on arms control issues and denuclearizing the ukraine in other words making sure that after the collapse of the soviet union nuclear weapons were safe. there were probably not enough attention given to helping out the new russian government financially economically and i know president nixon himself was in favor of that but that was very much a period when we intended to improve relations focused on concrete issues particularly 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 as the russian adviser says that clinton was the russia hand. clinton was interested in russia and i think he and those around him really thought that 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 in eight years and there were strong forces of russian tradition and history and day of fall than their own way. there was certainly an attempt, more financial assistance but there was also an attempt to get russia to buy into the u.s. view of international relations and european security and that is why we had problems with russia when we got involved in the war in the balkans. of course that ended badly with the kosovo war so toward the end of the clinton administration mr. yeltsin was quite sick and mr. putin came in so the period that i was in government was at period, a downward period and clearly a recognition in the u.s. that it had not been able to achieve what it wanted to do. now that reset under president
george w. bush was initiated by putin and i do think at the beginning of his time at the kremlin mr. putin was entrusted in a better relationsrelations hip with the united states and closer integration with the west as 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 then establish its bases in central asia. i think from president putin's point of view the desire was to have as one of my russian colleagues call it an e. whole partnership of an equals another worst of the strategic partnership with united states and in the beginning to push a administration was favorably inclined to that. the personal relationships seem to be better and certainly the cooperation in the fall of 2001 in the war in afghanistan. russia was incheon mental and helping the united states in a variety of ways because it knew much more about afghanistan than the u.s. did. that began to fall apart when
president bush and particularly vice president cheney embrace the freedom agenda the belief that the u.s. should go around actively promoting democracy and particularly in russia's backyard the ukraine and georgia and those -- of course that ended very badly in the russo georgian award of 2008. i think that the obama administration came in again determined to focus on the issues which russia itself wanted to focus on, arms control very important for president obama nuclear nonproliferation. this is an area where we are equal with russia and where we can interact. afghanistan, i ran but 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 medvedev even if people understood that mr. putin who is prime minister was still the most important decision-maker, still the relationship is built on the
compacts between those two younger presidents. when it became clear that mr. putin was going to come back to the kremlin and that coincided with a demonstration in the fall of 2011 against mr. putin and against the dumas elections that they said were falsified that was a breaking point because mr. putin blamed the united states are aiding and abetting. and since then i think the relationship has been a downward slide. this year of course we had the episode with mr. snowden so now we are at it 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 pause and reconsider how we want this relationship to move forward. president obama as -- and mr. putin understands that. >> host: when we talk about democracy promotion one problem
in my view at least is the russian government and more broadly with the political and business elite that almost nobody believes an american sincerity and it goes back as far as i'm concerned to the -- period and particularly the elections of 1996. i remember vividly meeting with the under secretary of state and i think you were there, where i said -- i had just come back from moscow and yeltsin was bound to lose the election by hook or by crook a couple of people in the meeting with state department officials, they did not like what they heard. they immediately said what is the evidence and i was taken aback to this question because we had and it excellent ambassador pickering who later worked in the bush of
administration but at that time was -- in moscow. very objectively how yeltsin was scheming the election. the united states completely identified with the yeltsin administration because yeltsin seemed to be more of readable on foreign-policy issues and we were willing to support him blindly. the russians got the impression that the american view of democracy is you are a democrat. if you are prepared to walk in lockstep with american phone policy. where am i wrong? >> guest: from the u.s. government's point of view the belief was that the worst disaster that could the fall were show show was at the communist were going to come back to power and don't forget in the 1996 election it looked as if mr. xu, f. the leader of the party stood a good chance. he had been to davos at the world economic forum at the beginning of the year and he
made a speech where he sounded quite reasonable but the belief in the u.s. embassy in the state department and other parts of the government at that time was that without yeltsin and the system that everyone was working so hard to try and create in russia would collapse and therefore of course you are right, people on the ground at the embassy in moscow understood what was going on and understood that this probably wouldn't be as fair and free election. we also know now that dick morris and people who worked for him advised not yeltsin himself but his daughter and other people around him so the belief then was that he had to win at all costs. we know that he went from single digits to winning an election which people had him forecast before. you can ask the question now, would it have been so terrible if he would have won the election in the communist would have won? nobody knows the answer to that and to that in their different views in russia and here but you
are correct in saying that from the point of view of a lot of russians this created a degree of cynicism about the u.s. commitment to free and fair elections and in fact that was something that in the election campaign in the u.s. in the year 2000 republicans in fact criticized the clinton administration for. >> host: one thing that is very impressive about your book is that you are in my view very fair and informed way. one reason you are so important is that you were not just a scholar, a practitioner yet you know a lot of russians. you mission -- mention in your book you had your contact with yeltsin. i also know from my present experience with you that you know quite well many members of the russian position. one problem with american
scholarship is normally we have two kinds of people. we have scholars who know the russian position. you are one of the few people who know both. let me start with putin. can you talk a little bit about that? >> guest: the forum has been going on for 10 years and was organized by the news agency that is now being dissolved but for 10 years and organize this interesting meeting for foreign experts on russia. we have had dinner with mr. putin basically every year since then. he is a very impressive political leaders. he is the 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 turns to any of his aides to ask them questions for help.
he is particularly interested in economic data and energy a subject that he is passionate about. and he is respectful. he can be sarcastic sometimes when he wants to be. he can also exude his own kind of charm so everyone who has met with him on these occasions have 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 complains the questions aren't tough enough but that is not surprising because if you are the leader of the country you are not going to ask very tough questions. one comes away from these meetings i think with a very good sense of the message he wants to convey to these russian experts and the outside world and in that sense it's also been an effective form in these meetings with him. >> how would you compare putin not just in terms of his views with russia but how would you compare putin as a leader, as a
personality to other world leaders you have observed today? >> guest: i've never had the -- any other world leader that i have with putin. he is certainly someone, he is a leader. i think he has become over the 10 years much more convinced of the correctnecorrectne ss of what he is doing. i think he believes that he came into office when russia was in a chaotic state. it was in a very bad state and as he himself said he has restored stability and great economic growth at least until 2008 and he has now were stored russia's place is as a great power. so i think that is very visible. and of course but unlike a more democratic system he is less
tied, there is no 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 and not any visible way that many western leaders are so in many ways he would come across as being more decisive than leaders have to listen to their parliaments in our her public opinion and things like that. >> host: i read what some leaders of russia have said. it appears that russia has always been at totalitarian country and there's no difference difference between putin and stalin and democracy democracy -- and putin has a kind of a despotic role and then of course you can see that putin sometimes refers to people like stalin. putin is a former kgb agent himself create how would you
explain the russian political system today? >> guest: first of all you have to go back to the 1990s again because from what putin writes this is the anathema. we talked about democracy in the 1990s and for many russians the word democracy has connotations with poverty and 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 he also saw, we have experiences there where the mob if you like is trying to tear down the headquarters of the east german secret police trying to defend papers. then i think you can also see afterwards in the 1990s he worked for the st. petersburg mayor who was defeated in an
election. i think it was quite clear from what mr. putin saw that also wasn't a very clean election. i think his attitude towards democracy one has to look at his past and where he comes from. he is not a democrat and many western sense of the word but stalinist russia and not resinous's russia even though some people in russia describe it as such but it's not that yet the internet is pretty free. people can express different views. not on state run television, no more and putin is not all-powerful in a way that probably stalin was. i don't think any soviet ruler was all powerful either. probably single most powerful leader in the system which is in very transparent. it's a hybrid system and there are groups of different people with whom he interacts and whose
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 or fair in the same way that we believe they are. and it looks as if this tendency is going towards less pluralism. there was certainly less pluralism under putin then there was under yeltsin but it's very hard, neo-patrimonial state is the way some people explain it which is scholarly terms that has to do with the close relationship with economic and political elites but it's a hybrid system that i think we still have a lot of difficulty understanding exactly how it works. >> host: let me ask you a simplistic question in terms of democracy. let me arbitrarily give the united states and saudi arabia,
where would you put russia? >> guest: of kauai don't like to go on those scales. i think russia would be somewhere between the two of them. i don't know if i would give it a five. it's not saudi arabia and it's not the united states. it's more democratic than china is. >> host: it is more democratic than china is? >> guest: i believe it is. post go in what way? >> guest: first of all we do have different political parties. the range of the parties in the duma and there are certainly more intimate freedom. there may be more rule of law in china in some ways but i think russia and china are at rather different stages politically. >> host: we will take a short break. >> guest: okay.
post go when you talk to russian officials they often will tell you there is a tendency in the united states and more broadly in the west, the west of russia and sometimes without good evidence. you mentioned in your look and man called that then into. the man who was a former agent of the forced kgb the federal security service who became a political some say defectors lived in england and then was poisoned by political polonium. as you described in your look a
common perception by the united states was that he was a victim of nuclear terrorism and again a strong assumption 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 have read this first of all the polonium that he was poisoned with is not something you can buy on the internet. it's only reduce in a few laboratories and there was clearly evidence of it when they tested the plane on which the two gentlemen with whom mr. litvinenko had met inland in an apparently administered the poison. the plane that they were on the radioactive material traces were found on the plane so i don't think anyone disputes the fact that people came, somebody came from moscow carrying this polonium and that they met with mr. litvinenko and subsequently
he got very ill and he died. probably wouldn't have been discovered. it was only discovered at the very last moment that was polonium otherwise he would have just died and no one would have known. there are other people who believe that this was a conspiracy manufactured in britain and boris bear soft sea sea -- boris berezovsky who fled to england that he was somehow involved in all of this although it's never been clear how he was. what makes it even more difficult is the british government which was conducting an inquest was deciding it did want to publish the evidence it has about this particular murder for national security reasons, unspecified -- a unspecified. the assumption is that is because it was somehow implicates some part of the russian government. who knows what? one will know --
never know the truth and when mr. berezovsky apparently hanged himself last year there are also those that leave he didn't hang himself so with a lot of these issues its cloak to and obscurity and i think one will never know the truth. post go i am very interested in this case not because of the case itself because as you said it's a perfect example of how often we make assumptions. but 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 the presidential administration. [inaudible] he was talking about provocations against him. the man who was very much
involved was mr. litvinenko. this was long before mr. litvinenko was out of favor. then in 1998 there was a press conference in moscow with litvinenko who had just left the federal security service, announces there was a plot against boris berezovsky, a plot arranged by the k. s. g.. there was one little problem. the director of the k. s.b. was a man called putin. according to all available evidence including berezovsky's testimony that he gave in many different forms it was berezovsky who helped putin to become russian prime minister.
he thought putin was plotting to kill him. berezovsky had to be plotting putin so apparently the whole press conference was a farce and there were many other things. obviously polonium would kill someone in london. if your assumption is that the russians expected that it would be a kind of discovery than you may say it was the dramatic plot of the century but if that is the case of not quite clear what was so important about mr. litvinenko to take chances. if the russians thought that they would not be caught why would they use polonium. that were never -- many cheaper and easier ways to get rid of the civil kgb hoodlum when there was a major international scandal it was viewed with certainty that the
russian government and putin decided to use nuclear material to kill someone 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 as you yourself said. mr. berezovsky was largely responsible for putting mr. putin in the kremlin. he then fell out with mr. putin when it became clear that mr. putin was going to take charge and mr. berezovsky wouldn't be able to do what he was doing before so yes nobody really knows and no one will ever know. i think we are in a situation where it partly has to do with the way that people made money in the 1990s. you can refer back again to what was going on politically behind-thbehind-th e-scenes. nobody really knew. that is it period of which many people have many questions. we do know that miss her -- once mr. berezovsky was in london he and mr. litvinenko
were highly critical of what's happening in russia in and what mr. putin was doing and mr. mr. putin didn't like that and the other thing that mr. mr. litvinenko was doing with investigating the murder of a journalist. she was a muckraking journalist. she was assassinated in the doorway to her apartment. again it has never been resolved. i think 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 but particularly the 1990s of businesspeople and none of these things were ever resolved. sometimes they would pick up the actual assassin. at one point yeltsin's minister of nationalities and i think that adds to this tendency in the west to assume the worst about everything just because they have installed so many of these high-profile cases.
>> host: i thought for a long time actually that the russian government could not be in balked with litvinenko because i could not see a sufficiently good reason and now i'm totally agnostic of that. a man called ahmed zakias who was the former chechen separatist leader who was a very close friend of litvinenko and london and he spent the afternoon after he was poisoned with zakias. zakias testified that one of the things let the name cho was doing was using his russian security services obtained by other means of information. against chechen separatists some of them outright islamic terrorists.
litvinenko was providing this information to these people to the chechen terrorists. now zakias was describing it in an informational way. he is not passing judgment -- judgment but i would say by the standards the russian security service could decide but i don't see any other reasons. again this is one of those mysteries where we are kind of assuming that we know the answer and the russians clearly have done it in several years later we still don't know. >> guest: i think so and it's obviously had a very bad effect on the british russian relations but it's you know it hasn't really had that much effect on russia's relations with other countries including the united states. the united states actually with the exception of ilio sock mod off another separatist leader in the united states we haven't
given asylum to that many chechens except for and of course we come back to the boston bombings earlier this year of some formerly lower profile people but it hasn't been such an issue with united states. >> host: litvinenko in addition to the issue of -- because you talk about in your book opportunities and one thing you mentioned is counterterrorism. when i was thinking about terrorism i was thinking about the dramatic results. one is september 11 and as you know at that time before september 11 happened the russian government specifically try minister putin, he was not yet president for proposing to the u.s. government to close the
dash against al-qaeda and the taliban. it was dismissed by the administration because we are defeated fresh as an imperial power and they wanted to establish influence in central asia. it looked almost like a -- russia was talking about cooperation with al-qaeda and the taliban but in fact wanted the american blessing. i have no idea what would happen if putin was taken more seriously. i would be interested in your view and in the boston marathon. the fsb russian secret service approached talking about the tsarnaev druthers. i talked to officials here and i talked to security council and it's pretty clear what has happened. the russians have provided some
information but this information was incomplete and insufficient. the people here because this information was insufficient did not want to be manipulated by russian security services against the people who became political refugees and the chechens escaping russian persecution and as a result the russians were told it was not taken very seriously. the question is, do you believe that we could save american lives by having a closer -- on counterterrorism and this is something that is really achievable in the russian environment? >> guest: you raise an important question and of course the problem of counterterrorism cooperation as it goes back to chechnya. from the beginning when you have the first war in chechnya the clinton administration remember
president clinton said this is like abraham lincoln trying to say 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 towards what was happening in chechnya and focus on the 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 number two and al-qaeda zawahiri he and others were in dagestan trying to get to chechnya earlier on and the russians picked him up and they help him but they didn't have enough evidence about him and i don't think they consulted the u.s. about this so they let him go back to afghanistan and we know what happened on 9/11. putin was warning the united states about these dangers in the united states didn't take them seriously.
obviously from the russian perspective they understood this because of russia's own problem in the north caucasus. the issue again has been that the united states has been reluctant to classify many of these fundamentalists 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. then we were on the same page and president bush certainly endorsed the russian view. there was a second chechen war that obviously happened shortly after putin became prime minister but for a rather short period we were certainly an alignment of working together in russia gave us all kinds of information about some of the people in afghanistan that enabled the nato effort to succeed at least in the fall of 2001. but then the situation i think went back to the status quo
where we focused a lot more on while this happening in the north caucasus. we began to believe that when russia talks about terror summit really only focuses on its own problems in the north caucasus and didn't see terrorism in the same way we do as a global threat with al-qaeda. i think that is definitely continued. i think your characterization of what happened with the tsarnaev or others is completely correct. we did have information on russia. the russian side said if you had listened to us earlier maybe wouldn't he wouldn't have given these people asylum. so there is, some of this work 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 counterterrorism cooperation with wretch of -- russia because of these views about what's happening in the north caucasus and what if you
like as a justifiable repression of religious expression in russia itself. >> host: again talking about partnership you have a section on i ran the role of i ran and the u.s. russian relationship. i ran is one of her central -- but let's face it ceria is a great human tragedy. this is a kind of localized enrollment of major powers. it's not something that fundamentally affects american security. you get a couple of scenarios. if it will come to an israeli attack on i ran responding in a whole variety of ways it may be, real -- how does russia feel in american policy and what are they doing and what can we expect them to do? >> guest: things have improved very much in the u.s. russian
relationship i ran. we had a problem in the 1990s with russia going in and taking over the contracted till the busheir nuclear power plant with uncontrolled elements when yeltsin was in power doing business with i ran. the russians have always claimed and i have heard mr. lavrov say this and is quite convincing. sergey lavrov is the foreign minister another person we have met over the years very impressive professional. he has been the foreign minister for 10 years in russia and the russian explanation has always been that the iranians have not done anything so far that contravenes the agreements made with the atomic energy agency. so that was an issue of great attention to train the u.s. and russia. that situation improved when obama came into power and he showed president medvedev evidence of a secret enrichment facility in i ran and fresher
than agreed with the west to tougher sanctions against i ran in the u.n. security council. but russia is still always claimed that there is no evidence that i ran is trying to develop a nuclear weapons capability and some cynics have said oh russian wouldn't mind an attack on i ran because oil prices would go up and this would be good for russia. there may be some people that think that. i think the russian government does not want to see a military attack on i ran because that would have repercussions in russians old neighborhood. it would fuel islamist sentiments. and of course it would cause a great deal of unrest in the neighborhood. right now the u.s. and russia are aligned because at the moment we have what looks like a relatively promising agreement between the p5+1 powers, the united nations security council, the chairman and the iranians to
walk back on the enrichment facilities and for i ran to promise that it won't go increasing that capability. if that agreement works and if we get to the next stage than i would say the u.s. and russia are cooperating very well on i ran. now in the longer-run if the u.s. really work to improve its political relationship with i ran u.s. businesses were to go back and u.s. energy companies that would affect russia's current role as iran's major great power and that might not actually be something that the russians would favor. but i think that is 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. the really tough sanctions forced the iranians to the table. >> host: most of them came from the united states. another area where we don't
entirely agree to put it mildly is ukraine and you talk about russia and the ukraine and you could not write in your book about what's happening right now his agreement with president putin. can you talk a little bit about the most recent developments? >> guest: the leadership of the ukraine after the orange revolution i describe it in my book, the russians were obviously very disconcerted by this. we were very hopeful and of course it turned out that it did work out the way that the west hoped it would for the leadership under yushchenko. they were arguing all the time and so you had a relatively free and fair election in 2010. mr. icahn johan a cold came to power and the european union was trying to entice him through
this eastern partnership to sign a free-trade agreement to sign an associatiassociati on agreement which does not mean membership. it should tailor the way it -- the european union in itself believes that it's a postmodern grouping. it doesn't like to engage in old-fashioned geopolitics. russia doesn't mind engaging in old-fashioned geopolitics of russia, ukraine is a new country. if it really were to join the european union you would be a major historical shift for russia because russia and ukraine have been part of the same system if you like. russia does believe that has to write to its interest in its backyard. this is a right that neither of the united states or european union have been willing to concede. as it became clear that
mr. yanukovych appeared to be serious about signing an agreement with the european union which would have come that would have meant a shift in ukrainian priorities and in the way they organize themselves russia put pressure on ukraine. the eastern part of the 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 was part of russia it has one view of russia. the western part that used to be part of the hungarian empire and independent in the interwar years looks much more to europe and is much more suspicious of russia and is not -- so russia was first of all reminding ukraine that it could put pressure on it in terms of cutting off trade if it's signed this agreement with the 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 that believe that mr. yanukovych never intended to sign the agreement but he was trying to get the best deal possible. the ukrainian economy is in very bad shape. ukraine is going to the going to default if it doesn't give economic assistance so in the last couple of days russia has offered a 15 billion-dollar rescue package to the ukraine involving buying bonds in making sure the ukraine does not default and cutting gas prices from $400 to 283 but anyway cutting it substantially so ukraine would be paying lower prices for russian gas. the european union has sort of taken a step back down. interestingly enough you saw, you suddenly had a rash of european politicians, american politicians go into kias and speaking to the thousands of demonstrators who wanted the ukraine to sign an agreement with the european union whereas
you haven't seen russian officials going there in making speeches trade they'll quietly been talking to the ukrainians. early at this point russia has one. russia is going to bail out ukraine. russia is 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 at least for the united states ukraine is a long way away. there's just so much that we can do to get involved in the post-soviet states and russia's neighbors but there's a limit to that. we have many other foreign-policy priorities and in the bush administration at one point the bush administration wanted nato membership for the ukraine more than ukraine did. ukraine is in interested anymore. europeans are closer. there is maybe more for a reason for them to get involved in ukraine but geography does matter and when you look at the map i think everyone has to
understand that maybe ukraine has to work out something in the future where it 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: the russian foreign minister much-maligned by some communicators with united states in my view often unfairly. he was in brussels talking to the european union. he has complained about european and u.s. officials were doing and demonstrations. he complained about two things. he complained that european officials and the u.s. assistant secretary of state to say nothing about insulting john mccain pleaded to the anti-government crowd's and were creating a strong impression that the united states and the european union were resentment
of its own government traded they felt this was inappropriate and subsequently they would never be allowed into the united states or in the european union. the second complaint was that american officials european union officials were blaming -- claiming ukraine was overwhelmingly for the european union because of the size of the -- there were hundreds of thousands of people demonstrating against same-sex marriage but the socialist government said wait a second. we have won the election and we have the majority of the legitimately elected parliament. we decide what is in the best interest of the country not the size of the crowd. ..