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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  March 7, 2014 10:00am-12:01pm EST

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international community and identifies reality of the facts on the ground calling on the russian federation to end its support for separatist and paramilitary forces in crimea and i yield back. >> thank you, we go now to mr. sherman. >> just a brief comment. the meadows amendment does call on the president not to attend the g eight or -- g8 or g7. i support that but with the hope that russia will respect the territorial integrity of the ukraine and nothing would make me happier than for russia to do the right thing and the president to enjoy his trip to sochi but i don't want to offer an amendment on this. i think it is understood that we're calling for this boycott on the assumption that the russians don't get the message between now and then. >> thank you. we go now to mr. holding, north carolina. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
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mr. chairman as we heard during our hearing in both the immediate an long term ukraine is going to require a wide range of assistance from the united states and our international partners. my amendment adds resolve clause to the resolution that expresses the support of the house to work with our partners in ukraine to improve transparency, combat corruption and protect individual rights through independent judiciary and strong rule of law. making improvements in these areas will be crucial to long-term stability in ukraine and they are also the foundation which strong democratic governance is built. i ask members to support my amendment and support the package. i yield back. >> thank the gentleman. mr. kissinger, from illinois. cheryl: thank you. >> thank you for excepting my amendment, strength inches the underlying bill impose sanctions
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on russian federation officials but also on russian and ukrainian ollie garth and others complicit in russian intervention and interference. the steps russia has taken violate ukraine's territorial and sovereignty. moving implementing towards tough sanctions and would hope our friends in the e.u. would consider long term implications weakness towards russia will mean. i would also like to add my support for mr. keating's amendment. i've been concerned in what i've seen in terms of our allies, the french, having a naval contract with the russians and it's a naval contract to sell ships to the russians actually beneficial in controlling the black seacoast line and one of the difficulties russia had in their illegal war with georgia was their inability to control the black seacoast line. this contract with french, with french ship builders would
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actually give them that ability. so i hope our eu partners look at mill to mill relationship with russia and consider doing the right thing on behalf of freedom-secking people all over the globe. thank you, mr. chairman. >> mr. meadows, were you seeking recognition on your amendment? so recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and i'll be very brief. the amendment i appreciate the chairman's consideration of this en blanc, basically calling on a boycott joining with the president and asking other democratic states to boycott the g8 summit in sochi. to convene a g7 summit someplace outside of russia. i appreciate my colleague from california pointing out, mr. sherman, his support of the amendment. and certainly all of us want to recognize the fact that if, if
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mr. putin decides to go a different direction and reverse this course he's on, we will gladly look at restoring relationships. i also want to say, in spite of what may have been heard here today, i want the ukrainian people to recognize that democrats and republicans, the administration and congress are joining together to make sure that we stand alongside the freedom-loving people of the ukraine and we'll stand up for them in this particular venture so i would urge the support of this amendment. i thank the chairman and yield back. . .
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double in order to ensure ultimate success. in that vein, with the economic sanctions that we are seeking, i am inquiring of the members what our next move is depending on what russia does. what we, the victim from the g-8, and we become a part of the g-7 or if we do impose significant economic sanctions, what might russia's responding
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move be by way of example? how do we react if russia's next move is to say we are no longer going to allow you to hitch a ride to the international space station? what does america do under those circumstances in as much as we are years from having human space flight capability given the president's unilateral termination of the constellation program years ago and the president's decision to not only mothball our space shuttles but to put them in museums rather than have them available as a contingency such as what has arisen? what do we do if russia's next move is to say to the united launch alliance as was evidenced by i hearings this week in the senate, that russia is no longer going to deliver engines to the united launch alliance which in
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turn supplies our capabilities of launching satellites into space. many of those satellite the military in nature, highly classified, so my query to mr. meadows, mr. keating, the chairman or any other members is what is our next move if russia decides their next move is to deny us access to manned space flight, to the international space station or deny us the rockets that we need to put our satellites in space? don't get me wrong with my query. i intend to support this resolution because to a large degree i see it as authorizing the executive branch to determine what economic sanctions are appropriate and i personally believe that is the executive branch's responsibility and duty and i
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hope they will play chess rather than marbles but if anyone has any suggestions in particular on how we are going to resume our manned space flight capabilities in a short period of time i would like to hear it. >> will the gentleman yield? it is interesting a cosmonaut and astronauts are coming back together if it hasn't happened already is happening in the next few days even during the cold war we have great relationships in terms of some of that. that was the soyuz u.s. mission or something that happened. i do wonder if vladimir putin when he makes a decision to go into ukraine or georgia or terrorized his neighbors if he sits around and wonders all these questions and decides he doesn't want to do anything because he is afraid might hurt our space alliance ms. i humbly say to my friend i think reacting from a position of strength on the united states, the best thing we can do against this incursion into ukraine and
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while i think what is the next step is a worthy question to have i don't think our adversaries wonder was quite the question might adversary is asking. >> i know you did not answer my question. if anyone has any it as to how we are going to engage man spaceflight if russia does tit-for-tat i am anxious to hear. if anyone has any suggestions how we are going to lunch hour satellites given our reliance on russian engines i am anxious to hear. the alternative i would hope that members of this committee would significantly increase funding for nasa so we can very quickly resume those launch capabilities and return america the preeminent position in space the we held for decades. >> i will yield myself such time as i might consume. the point you raise is the very reason why we need to use the
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leverage we have at our disposal right now in order to get russia to recognize that it cannot continue to escalate this crisis in eastern ukraine. if we were to wait and not take action, it is probable that russia would be emboldened to believe there were no consequences for its actions and at that point it might move or attempt to move its agents, city hall by city hall across the eastern part of the country, encouraging them to lift the russian flag, creating a division within each of those provincess, each of those towns and this really magnifying what could end up being a civil war within ukraine and the east but if we take action now and show that there is economic consequences and if europe
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stands with us and russia is isolated internationally so that the vote at the united nations has only one vote in operation, the rest of the international community all calling for the world of international law, it is quite probable that with that type of leverage we can be escalate this conduct on the part of vladimir putin and get us back to the point of cooperation but at this point if we do not take decisive action is far more likely that the escalation will:-- eclipse the joint cooperation programs such as the when you are most concerned about right here. in that context i would suggest this is the most responsible action we can take in order to weigh in and have russia considers the considerable downside affects should they escalate the crisis. >> mr. chairman, i will yield.
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>> i just want to respond to the gentleman from alabama's comments about an amendment i plan to offer in a few minutes. i want to remind everyone suspending military cooperation, that was already one of the first acts our -- that is done. to reach out to those other countries, our allies in central europe and our nato members to do the same as we are doing. just to clarify that, mr. chairman, i want that clarified. >> hearing no further requests for recognition the question occurs on a bipartisan amendment, all those in favor say aye. all those opposed say no. the eyes have it. the tom block amendment is
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agreed to. does mr. william keating have an amendment on the desk? >> the clerk will report the amendment. >> 499 offered by mr. keating of massachusetts on page 5 between the eighth and ninth results clauss insert the following new paragraph. >> the amendment is considered read. the chair recognizes mr. king from massachusetts to explain the amendment. >> nato secretary general rasmussen announced nato was suspending most of the alliance with russia and was reviewing the entire range of nato/russia cooperation. the baltic states, poland and other allies in central europe have called on nato members in the e.u. to impose an arms embargo. the uk is reviewing arms exports to russia. however, other nato members have said an arms embargo would be
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premature. the key reason of course is concern about possible revenue losses. this amendment calls one european allies to suspend export of military equipment that could be used to support russian aggression in the region. this is an obvious step for allies to take a response to an unprovoked act of military aggression in their own neighborhood. i ask support of this amendment and with that i yield back. >> do any other members seek recognition? any further debate on this amendment? hearing no further requests for time we will go to the vote on the amendment. all those in favor of mr. keating's amendment please say aye. all those opposed no. the chair, the ayes have it and the amendment is agreed to. are there any other amendments?
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the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas. >> the clerk will report the amendment. >> amendment offered by mr. poehl of texas, page 6 line 9, page 6 after line -- >> without objection the amendment will be considered read. the chair recognizes the author to explain his amendment. >> i think the chairman. mark twain once said history doesn't repeat itself but it does rhyme. first, the russians moved in to mao dubya in 1992, moved into georgia in 2008, i was in georgia two weeks after the tanks came rolling and now we are doing the same thing with the ukraine. this is not the first time the russians have shown economic political weapon of natural gas
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against the ukrainians, they turned off the gas twice before and once again i had to be in the ukraine when they turned off the gas in winter and was told. it was for political reasons but it was an economic weapon the russians used against the ukrainian people. as we look at the ukrainian situation, it is the situation that is bigger than the ukraine. it is the russian influence on the region and holding that region hostage with the use of energy, primarily natural-gas. this past weekend the russians wore ukraine's discount on natural gas was in jeopardy but there is something we can do not only to help the ukrainians but help stability in the area and help the united states as well and that is by selling american natural gas to the ukrainians, the former soviet republics, even western europe.
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there is the demand and the american supply is overwhelming. we have more natural gas than we can use in the united states. our current reserves are roughly 97 times what the u.s. consumed in all of 2011. there is so much natural gas in north dakota that there are 15 flare-ups now which would be equivalent to eating over a million homes. that is gas they are burning off. we have abundant natural gas in this country primarily in texas. there is an ice-cream company in texas, blue bell, the best in the world, that says there is a commercial, each all we can and sell the rest. that should be our policy with natural gas, we use all we can and sell the rest and here is an opportunity we could buttress the economic, political weapon the russians are using against the former soviet republics to
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bring them back and that is the use of natural gas and this legislation would simply ask, but part of this bill, requirement that the united states have a policy of moving forward with exporting natural gas to the ukraine and other countries according to the new york times, the obama administration is pushing the idea ahead of the bureau of energy resources, carlos pascal is a former ukrainian ambassador to ukraine, gas pumps influence will be weakened as american supplies are shipped to the global market. the team is working to help the ukraine and other countries break away from the dependence of russian natural gas and american exports which send a signal the global gas market is changing in the united states as a player but also the russian influence economically and politically is diminishing costs for the government and natural gas exports to ukraine, former soviet republic and european
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countries. >> will the gentleman yield? i would like to correct the record, i agree with everything the gentleman said except the greatest ice-cream in the world is made in cincinnati. i yield back. >> export it. >> everybody loves it. >> mr. chairman of california. >> i rise in opposition, reluctant opposition to my colleagues's amendment. i think it is important that we have a resolution that passes overwhelmingly on the floor of the house, under suspension, the way to do that is to focus on where we are unified which is our foreign policy toward the ukraine. this house is not all that unified on energy policy. we just had votes on the floor
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of the house where there was substantial opposition to a bill dealing with energy policy. we have another energy policy vote which will not pass on a suspension. the issue of exporting natural gas is controversial as a domestic issue. consumerists in the united states and especially manufacturers in the united states enjoy the fact that natural gas prices are substantially more than on the world market. exporting natural gas would then cause americans and others to pay the world price. in addition, we have some environmentalists in our caucus that do not want to see an increase in fracking and increase in natural gas production.
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regardless where any member stands here on whether we should export natural gas, whether federal land should be open to more exploration. i would call upon every one who is a member of the foreign affairs committee to say let's bring foreign affairs resolution to the floor of the house rather than there will be pressure on democrats to vote against on these domestic energy issues. we had one series of votes on controversial energy issues this morning. we have another one this afternoon. we don't have to turn this foreign affairs resolution into a third partisan divide, can't pass on suspension, maybe can't pass on suspension controversial vote, the chair of our tnt trade subcommittee and i have had
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hearings on this issue. i see merits on both sides, whether we should export natural gas. what i don't see is a reason to put it in the ukrainian resolution. >> point of order, mr. chairman. >> the gentleman is recognized for a point of order. >> does this committee have jurisdiction over the export of natural gas? >> we would have jurisdiction over exports, and export promotion and on top of that in the resolution itself, it makes reference to ukrainian energy independence. very clearly it would be germane. objectively it would be germane. >> parliamentary inquiry. if this language was added to the resolution, will the energy and commerce committee command jurisdiction? >> i don't think so. >> recognize the parliamentarians.
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>> that would depend on an intervening decision by that committee to seek a sequential referral with the house parliamentarian's and we can't prejudge that. >> i would just join my colleague, the great concern that that potential claim of jurisdiction could slow down the statement the house foreign affairs committee and the congress should put forward immediately. there is no time for delay. >> mr. chairman. >> recognize the gentleman from arizona. >> mr. chairman, we have had hearings on this issue as well and spoken to numerous folks in the industry and analysts on wall street. the fact is the current law exists for the administration, the department of energy to grab these permits, doesn't require a new law. all this is doing is encouraging
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them to use the laws that are already on the books to do that. i don't see where there would be any jurisdictional issues personally that go back to the energy and commerce committee. additionally, the economists i have spoken to about whether or not prices would rise in the united states if we export lng or c n g have been debunked. in fact, if they listen to the gentleman explain, they are burning off access right now. and so many of the folks that are going to deploy new gas resources are not doing it because right now the price of natural gas, it is actually hurting us. third, this isn't a foreign policy issue. most people would agree that russia has undue influence over
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this country over ukraine because of the energies a supply. so it is a foreign policy issue. and i would argue and speak out in strong favor of the gentleman's amendment. >> mr. chairman? >> further to my parliamentary inquiry, just to clarify, i appreciate my friend's believe that the energy and commerce committee would not have jurisdiction but to confirm, the position of staff of this committee would have the ability to claim jurisdiction. >> that is not an inquiry. first of all. let me respond to the overall point. given the desire on the part of the institution to move this legislation i do not believe for one moment that they would request referral on this initiative from the foreign
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affairs committee. let me just take a moment here to to explain mark udall of colorado is making this case for natural gas exports given the ukraine crisis. i understand there might be some various perspectives on the committee on this issue but i would also ask the members to remember this is a non-binding resolution. non-binding resolution that comes in the face of mr. udall's call for action and the actions for others in order to do something to remove or at least signal, think this through, members, signal to the ukrainian government and to europe that right now, very much under the thumb of russia, that there is a
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way forward should the gas be cut off, there is the hope that gas could be exported from the united states into their markets, thus relieving the pressure that russia might otherwise bring into play. i think the wider issues that have been made here, the economic benefits of exporting liquefied natural gas, the fact that the department of energy did look at this long and hard, the administration looked at this, the dod decided it outweighs the cost, the department of energy has found that america can produce more than enough natural gas to make domestic demand affordably, also supporting export markets and the report concludes the net benefits of exports applied to consumers as well as the overall economy and these benefits increase along with the level of
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exports in other studies, might take away from this is because it is non-binding, because it is sent as a message to russia in the middle of russia's attempt to use this as a weapon, at the end of the day although there might be a divided vote on the amendment i would suggest in the general scheme of things, this is not a final vote on the house floor which would occur on something out of the department of energy for enactment of the final decision on such a provision. to put that in context for everyone's consideration. >> i think mr. meadows was requesting time. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i would like to make sure we set the record straight with regard to natural gas exports and speak in favor of this amendment and
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would share with some of my colleagues opposite, the fact that we have met many of the greenhouse gas emissions standards and have met the kyoto levels without passing that is a direct response to our energy solution in the united states using much more natural gas. quite frankly the greenhouse gas emissions have been lower according to the epa, by over 5% as a reduction that comes directly from the use of natural gas so some of the concerns we might have with regards to greenhouse gas emissions would be addressed with regards to exporting natural gas instead of oil or other fossil fuels. also like to add that by most estimates, by many estimates we have well over a 200 years supply of natural gas so the amount that ukraine would use
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for any consumption that might be used as a result of supplanting at this particular flow from russia would certainly be offset by at the years and years of research that we have now and so i would just urge my colleagues to support this resolution and do all that we can to provide relief for the freedom loving people of ukraine and i yield. ..
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she signed a deal with both well ill dutch shell which placed as much as $10 billion of adequate supplies. ukraine has more than 40 trillion cubic feet of technically recoverable natural gas. this would allow ukraine to have energy independence and less than some dependent on the country sitting on their doorstep right now. it doesn't set policy for the country other than encourages taking the surplus we've got in this country and helping a friend, helping someone that is pursuing the liberty that we enjoy. we appreciate the gentleman from texas and i think it's the right thing and appreciate the gentleman yielding time and i will yield back.
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>> thank you mr. chairman. i want to go back to what mr. sherman indicated. the message that we also want to show is that we are altogether that there is no division in the united states congress in the beliefs on shale gas etc. and what this amendment could cause his division because some individuals wouldn't be able to vote for the resolution because they have a different opinion. and i think that has to be taken into consideration. i haven't made a decision on shale gas or whether i am for selling it abroad or not. that is a decision that still has to be made but i don't want to make that decision because the language that we utilize is important. it's important and it is going to be read by others, and so for
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the sake of unity in my estimation we should try to make sure we come up with a resolution that we can all 100% say that we are standby and not cause any divisions that shows there is any wrangle between us because that is something the russians would love to exploit and say we are not 100% together and i think the idea of us as the united states congress saying that we are altogether on this resolution says that by far the stronger message to russia and the dating back and forth having someone voted no because they are not for the selling of shale gas or exporting shale gas. >> mr. kissinger? >> this is a tough one. i've been out there agreeing that the best way to counter the russians in the next decade or two is the export of natural gas to make the allies relying and what's important in the reliance on us and i'm 100% supportive of
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it. that said, mr. chairman, i am not sure if this is the place to put a resolution. i'm not sure how i'm going to vote on this because i think right now the most important thing we can do as a united states congress is to show you an inanity on this issue to show the people of ukraine that we are behind them and i don't know if this is the place to engage on a debate that is very divisive while i'm on one side coming and i'm very passionately on one side of this i understand there are people that disagree with me coming and i think and i'm afraid with respect i'm afraid that if the addition of this amendment will create a division that will be as was said by my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to be perceived by the russians and even the media as a congress that's not united on support of the ukrainian people. while i also understand i am probably in a big-time minority on my site for doing this i am
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leading towards opposing the amendment not because of my disagreement that's in it but because my belief that it's extremely important for us to present a united front on this issue and with that i will yield back. >> we will go to mr. connolly of virginia. >> i actually support what the judge is trying to do here. i think it actually is important from a foreign policy point of view to be very clear with respect to the putin administration that we are prepared to even substitute ourselves as a natural gas supplier in the event that they continue down the road they've chosen. but i want to echo what mr. meeks and mr. kissinger both said. i think at this moment it is essential congress speaks with one voice. it is essential that we not divide this resolution today so
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there is no misconstruing. the act of aggression against crimea. i think the risks are something very important in terms of our resolve and our ability to speak with one voice at this time in crisis. and i would urge my friend from texas to consider that. i would urge the chairman to consider that as we proceed and with that i would yield back. >> i would like to recognize mr. grayson on the underlining amendment, and also for a second agreement. let me just recognize mr. grayson at this time. >> i reserve the right shortly if that's okay with the
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chairman. >> it is in terms of my support. >> thank you very much. my 13-year-old daughter would like to see increased exports of natural gas in the united states to ukraine and my 13-year-old daughter would also like a pony. with that in mind i would like to ask you a few questions. this resolution is about russian military intervention in ukraine. are the russians blocking the u.s. export of natural gas? >> this resolution expedites the policy of the united states to be disappointed russians with -- or supply the ukrainians with a natural gas. as you know, this whole intervention by the russians in the region is based upon trying to control their energy. so, we are leading the russians know as the administration has already said that to supply them if we have the capability to supply them with natural gas. >> that is a little too
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complicated for me to understand. aren't we already exporting all of the natura natural gas weekeo other countries in the region are they preventing us from giving that? >> we are not. there are flareups in north dakota as we sit here today that are burning off enough natural gas to heat a million homes. we are not exporting all weekend. >> what makes you think that it's russian military intervention in ukraine that is causing the gas producers to burn off that excess? >> because, as they have done in the past, the russians use their economic stranglehold on the former soviet republics by holding them hostage with natural gas. the ukrainians get 60% of their natural gas from russia. and if they do not toe the line, they turn off the gas which they have done twice. so that's one of the reasons why the russians moved in in my opinion to the areas because
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they can come to the economically. now they want to control them politically. >> what is your plan for delivering natural gas from north dakota to ukraine instead of having the flareups are you proposing a pipeline under the atlantic ocean? >> anand there would have to be- of course the infrastructure to do so and if we had the infrastructure already, we could have done it if we don't have that infrastructure as you know. but then they set up the policy of the united states long-term to the russians that people in eastern europe and former republics are now going to have an option to get natural gas and they aren't going to have to get it only from the russians. it is a policy as the administration has already said to export natural gas so that they have other options. >> you are calling on the united states to increase exports to reduce the russian control of
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energy exports. are you saying that the russians are now in control of american energy exports? >> i didn't say that at all. >> that's what the words say. >> read it again. russians do not control american exports. we don't allow them to produce the natural gas because of other reasons we can discuss if you want to. all this does is set up a policy saying that our answer moving into other people's countries we are going to fight back politically and economically with energy and this is the answer that i think we should tell the russians. we should be a singular voice on this you aren't going to be able to hold the country' countries e any longer over the issue of energy and that is what is
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taking place in ukraine. 60% of the natural gas comes from russia. why don't we give them an option. >> your amendment calls on the united states to do what you are describing here. where is it in the constitution of the united states that says that the u.s. house of representatives committee representatives of the people of the united states has any authority to call on the united states as a whole to do anything. can you point to the part of the constitution where it says that? >> we require federal approval for export facilities for liquefied natural gas. there are those in the republican party who think that the obama administration has been reluctant to issue those permits. there are those in the community that think that we have already issued too many.
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but i think it is reasonable to say this is an issue that we need to confront, and our committee substantial church diction in the area. but it is not russia that is preventing the export of the liquefied natural gas. it's the economic policy in the environment policy that the administration has a substantial control over. >> that is exactly my point. i know nonsense when i see it and this is poorly written nonsense with all due respect to the gentleman from texas i yield the rest of my time. >> mr. chairman? >> mr. meadows lacks >> i strike the words from mr. grayson. we are adding personalities here to this and so i would ask that we would strike that. >> lets me do this. let me just admonish all members direct your questions to the
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chair and let's try to follow the original rules of the the speed 11. does anybody want to be recognized for an amendment? spin everything that we have a copy at the desk. >> i would ask if we have a copy of the amendment at the desk. the gentleman is recognized. >> is this coming in the form of a secondary amendment? >> that is correct. the clerk will lead the amendment. >> second amendment offered by mr. grayson of florida strikes the amendment and substitute page six strike line one through four and insert the following.
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15 calls on ukraine and european countries and former soviet republicin former sovietrepubliy diversification initiatives to produce the russian control of energy exports including by promoting energy-efficient heat and from western europe. >> the gentleman is recognized on his amendment to bridge the gap here today for the initiative to help people in ukraine resists the soviet russian intervention militarily to stand up for that we can do so unanimously. i understand the geopolitical issue involved here. i do understand that one way to help the people of ukraine is in fact to help them to be energy independent so it would help the people of america if we were all energy independent. with that in mind i've introduced this amendment to
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call on ukraine and the european country and the soviet republic to support the energy diversification to reduce the russian control of the energy exports including by promoting energy efficiency and gas flow from western europe. i want to point out that the chair has discussed a potential amendment to this language which i certainly think could be constructed to reach some conclusion that the chair wants to discuss after this if i understand correctly language to the effect of calling on the united states the increased experts and promote energy efficiency. i understand is the third order amendments are out of order, so i don't think we will be able to reach a conclusion on this given the timeframe that is contemplated. i offer my amendment with the recommendation in mind. i yield the rest of my time.
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>> i will yield myself so much time as i might consider. currently the secondary degree amendment to mr. poe's amendment would read the calls on ukraine to european countries and former soviet republics to support energy diversification initiatives to reduce the russian control of energy exports including by promoting energy efficiency and reverse from western europe. i would suggest that if he withdraws this amendment we would offer an amendment and i would ask unanimous consent to do so which seeks to achieve exactly that language in the first paragraph and calls on the united states to promote increased gas exports on energy efficiency. i think that that language would satisfy our desire collectively
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to send the message to russia that there would be long-range consequences should this continue to escalate. at the same time i suspect that language would satisfy mr. poe and mr. grayson. with that suggestion, maybe i could open this up for debate. >> mr. chairman, i would like to agree with what you just said. i think that this strikes a good balance. if talks about reducing russian control of energy exports, and at the same time, it is likely not to get any negativity on the house floor. i do agree with our colleagues who have said that what we should aim for is the maximum number of votes on the house floor to send a message to the russians that this congress is
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united in opposing what they are doing. i am sympathetic to some of the points that mr. poe has raised and i think this does strike a happy medium, and i support it and i think it is a good compromise. >> i think the gentleman. now, again, reclaiming my time i'm going to ask unanimous consent to add to the end o it f the grayson amendment the following language and calls on the united states to promote increased gas exports and energy efficiency. afterwards, there will be a vote on the grayson amendment. those that wish to vote in opposition -- by the way, is there any objection? hearing none, afterwards there will be a vote on the grayson amendment as amended. without objection. and following that, following that the poe amendment by the grayson amendment. so i hope is that we'll satisfy
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the members of this committee and the final language i think should be one that sends a strong message to russia. members seeking to be recognized? >> could you please repeat exactly the words you want to add? >> yes. the addition before the final period in other words, reduce the gas flows from western europe and calls on the united states to promote increased gas export and energy efficiency
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>> mr. perry had a question. >> thank you mr. chairman. i am curious about the gas flow from western europe. is this essentially -- i mean how do you take changes and so on and so forth, but it takes a market that draws the gas to the customer. it doesn't take us for saying so. does this mean that we are going to advocate to russia? >> know ino it does not but i wo recognize mr. grayson for an explanation of the amendment. >> the status quo these days is that western europe imports of gas from russia and there is a perception on the part of many that could create a certain dependency on the part of western europe to russia because they could turn off in the same end that russia has turned off the tap to some of the former soviet republics. so, they reversed gas flow and essence energy independence, energy independence from western europe so that russia and europe
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is now the main dependence upon russian gas to the extent that it already may be. >> mr. kennedy, did you seek recognition? >> thank you. >> okay. other members seeking recognition? >> mr. castro, yes. >> i would just say since the following soviet union in 1991, we essentially were encouraging russia to become a capitalist critic nation. and we encouraged their economic entanglements now it seems like. not only with the united states, but also with europe. they are now in a position to use those and then laments as leverage in the situation in which we all now find ourselves. so, i think there is a question now going forward once this is resolved what our strategy is with respect to russia and whether, you know, the society of nations including the united states and europe is going to
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include further economic development with russia or not. i support along the lines where the congressman poe is going, i do think that we need to be a supplier of energy to many of the nations that russia now has a large share of the supply for. i also think that we cannot pretend as though what ha what s developed is only the product of what russia has done. for many years we have encouraged except now instead of, you know, essentially doing what we had hoped, they have taken a turn towards materialism and back towards the soviet action. and that is a situation in which we find ourselves. >> the question is on the amendment -- i have a quick question. i tend to agree if we adopt the language on the flow of things that europe is going to sell to russia and i wish we could verify that language but i yield
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back. >> i thank the gentleman for yielding back. mr. grayson, would you like to elaborate any further on your amendment? >> sure. russia has the largest carbon reserves in the world. it seems unlikely russia would be importing natural gas anytime soon. that's the language. well, actually what we are doing is talking about reversed gas flows from western europe that could be from czechoslovakia or to ukraine. that could be to any number of locations at the energy port and russia itself is enormously energy rich. >> that is a much better position than russia selling gas to europe.
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to become that energy proficient is he promoting fracking over western europe i had a question for him. >> reclaiming my time i think the question before us is on the amendment as modified. all of those in favor of the grayson amendment please signify by saying aye. all of those opposed? in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. hearing no further request for recognition, the question occurs on the poe amendment. all those in favor say aye. opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it and the amendment is agreed to. are there any other amendment? thank you mr. chairman.
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i will be vry brief. the clerk will read that amendment. on page three i of the last clauses of the preamble after the last insert regarding civil and political -. >> would you explain the amendment? >> the amendment on page three directly relates to adding regarding civil and political rights so that as we look at the role of the international monitors and calling for them that they are not only looking at the direct threat of an escalating military tension that they are also looking at the underlining tensions that existed in the civil and political arena. the second amendment on page five seat to address the need as
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we provide assistance to ukraine to get to that end state of stability on all levels whether it be economic or other areas that we also encourage the reforms needed to address corruption which has played a direct role in the states that we are seeing. thank you mr. chairman. >> the measures which you have added to the base. all of those in favor say aye. opposed, no. the amendment is agreed to any other amendment, members seeking
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recognition. hearing no further amendments to the manager of the question occurs. occurs. house resolution 499 as amended. all of those in favor signify out by saying aye. all of those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair the ayes has it and be amendment is agreed to. without objection hr 499 as amended in order to favorably reported and will be reported as a single amendment and the nature of the substitute staff was directed to make any technical and conforming changes and that concludes our business for today. and again i want to thank the ranking member from new york and all the committee members for their contribution and assistance today. the committee stands adjourned
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] a closer look at the situation in ukraine. the heritage foundation
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the policy really isn't health policy at all. it is eventually budget policy, and for the congress just on so many on the big issues and puts together something in the parliament of washington might be called a patch maybe it is an extension may be excluded stopgap and it has the big issues that repeatedly ducks the big issues. there is a real cost attached with that.
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to move beyond this on budgeting, one thing i wonderins sound budget policy. indicated that the structural kind of issues and move beyond this sort of lurch from one kind of budget limited to the other and come up with a budget poli policy. we are live from the heritage foundation in washington, d.c. where young professionals from ukraine will lead a discussion on recent events in their
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country. they will give their perspectives of the protest there. the russian intervention in crimea and the decision to hold a referendum to join the russian federation. president obama yesterday at the white house criticizing that decision personally criticizing it. the "washington post" writing about the pro- russian lawmakers who took control of the crimea parliament last month had already called for the march 30 referendum on the region's future. "the wall street journal" reports this morning that russia's upper house of parliament .-full-stop or crimea in its bid to join russia and award the black sea peninsula before power as any other russian region. the speaker of russia's upper house said today the highest confirmation yet that crimea could soon become a part of russia. >> good afternoon. welcome to the heritage foundation and the louis lehrman auditorium. we of course welcome those that join us on the heritage.org
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website on all of these occasions and those joining on c-span and other network coverage. of course, we reminded the internet and online viewers you are welcome to send questions and comments simply e-mailing them to us at speaker@heritage.org. we will post the program soon after words for your future reference and of course please doublecheck that cell phones have been turned off as we all start the program. hosting the discussion today is helle dale douglas and sarah allen center for foreign and national security policy. many know her quite well from the weekly foreign affairs and national security issues. she's also a media fellow at the hoover institution and serves on the board of visitors at the institute of political journalism and the center for freedom at hanover college in indiana. please join me in welcoming helle dale. [applause] >> welcome to the heritage
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foundation. today's panel is convened to discuss a foreign-policy issue that is raising. the shock to wake up to the news last week that russian troops had invaded ukraine. after three months of mass demonstrations, the ukrainian people have succeeded in ousting their president yanukovych. russia reacted to this development on february 29. sorry, 28th. this is not a leap year. by violating ukraine's territorial integrity, occupying important sites across the caribbean peninsula -- crimean peninsula. the deployment of russian troops into crimea is a disregard for ukraine's national sovereignty. the international community has reacted with condemnation. but so far, little serious action. we are extremely fortunate to
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have with us today three young professional ukrainians who are visiting and working here in washington at this critical time. they will share with us their personal experiences of ukraine's national trauma and analyze for us to political and economic consequences. our first speaker will be nicolai robiof, who is the editor of the euro patrol and investigative website. he has reported from the barricades and kiev and other cities since the uprising can. he has also covered elections in moscow, georgia and egypt, and his blog, correspondent.net was shot down when the former president yanukovych. the next speaker will be maxum
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bagnosic at ncsj. he received a degree from the university and holds a bachelor and a special degree in international law from kiev national university. he's worked at the renewable energy center in kiev where he focused on the renewable energy market in ukraine. and he's also been associated with the oxford institute for energy studies and the un development program in ukraine. and finally, the heritage foundation's over the visiting fellow, erina who is a core fellow here at the heritage foundation where she serves as the senior visiting senior policy analyst for economic freedom in europe and central asia. erina previously worked as a kiev-based consultant for the
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institute for economic research and policy. she holds a ba and an m.a. degree in sociology from the national university of kiev. i've asked each of them to speak for roughly ten minutes. i know we had a powerpoint presentation, and i'm hoping to get some personal insight as well as some analysis from the speakers. over to you, nicolai. >> thanks for your introduction. into the heritage foundation, of course, for the invitation. i am nicolai, a journalist. i came to washington, d.c. three weeks ago. so, i just operate with a lot of information of what is going on inside of ukraine, and my colleagues in kiev and also crimea.
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i've been working since 2009 after receiving my masters masts degree in ukraine national university. actually i have a presentation that i want to focus on more practical things. the problem here in the united states i think is like for journalists which come to ukraine to cover the situation is because they are not -- most of them despite their profession of course -- they come to ukraine just for a couple of weeks and do brief coverage of the situation. so, the situation here is to make more stories. i hope so. so, i would like to have a brief history about the situation in ukraine and first three weeks i
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went to the american society about what is going on in ukraine and several things here. so the ukrainian people went to sign the agreement of association and to be a member of the european union. it's not true because people started -- may be the beginning was because of this situation agreement. and because the president decided to refuse to sign it. but the main idea is because of their freedom, rights and liberties. it's like for western rebels because our system, our political system is corrupt. our judges are also corrupt and so on. so people stay there for
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freedom. it's not about the membership on a piece of paper. the second is the membership. we are not talking about ukraine to participate in the european union. for now, it is impossible. the second part, there are a lot of support -- now eastern ukraine come front western ukraine. that is also not true because a part of this during the revolution we had a lot of supporters on the party regions. the president was a leader but now it isn't confirmed between east and west. it's between people and criminals. suck on our government, as i mentioned, it was like completely corrupt, and completely criminal, people from
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-- isn't about the confrontation between the two parts of ukraine. ukraine is united for now. and for sure. and south ukraine as well. and as the short russian supporters in crimea it is also not true because the problem is the lack of information as it has never been abroad maybe 25 or 30% of the pension who are over 60. they could be manipulated first of all by the russian media. because of the lack of information. but i took to my friends in crimea, and they do not want to have that russian troops.
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talking about crimea, people are interested in getting the profits. they want to get profits and when they see what happens in crimea nobody will go there. 70% of the population believe because of the profits. some statistics to understand the situation it's not very good, so just 30% of ukrainians
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are below the poverty line. that's why the population is really poor. the average pension is like up to $300 per month. then a lot of young people like [inaudible] the second is the opposition experiencing international and it is also not good because we felt like we share the same position and transparency at least in some african countries and iran. and the freedom of speech. during the last hour, the president yanukovych --
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education has decreased dramatically. so, the pressure on journalists and the brutality towards journalists. and you can see during the evolution of 2008 there was an 87 position and when the president yanukovych had power is like 2010. a lot of journalists during the rallies and maybe we will discuss this later but during the rallies the journalists were injured. i will explain what happened. when a lot of the foreign media came to ukraine if they were experiencing this. we've been in iraq and afghanistan. we've covered the situation. so, we have experienced enough.
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but then the term that it isn't good especially during the crisis, it wasn't a good idea because when they started to use -- they were shot first. so i don't know the freedom of press. it's also from the presentation. actually, all of them are wonders. these are the people who are concerned for people and responsible of massacres and the former prime investor and former minister of affairs and the head
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of the administration. the second was the main oligarch that supported the region. we are concerned that people are guilty and should be finished because of the massacres. another minute or two -- the questions here in the united states in the revolutionary camps it was for two weeks. it's still lasting. so we have determined several
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points. you can find it here. november 22 is the first. i want to emphasize the people that went because the president here signed this -- she refused to sign this agreement. it was not -- it wasn't more than 300 officers. thethen, november 30 when the police brutally beat people and most of them they were students that established so then on the next day we had out and nobody left after this. there are some pictures. and another point is december of
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94 when the famous journalist was kidnapped and brutally beaten. nobody knows their name but because of the investigation on the luxury of the former president yanukovych. here are some pictures. here are you can see january 22, yet it is significant and another is armenian.
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they are from western ukraine. for example, he was not killed or he was kidnapped and brutally beaten, but according to their official statement of the interior ministry they say that he died not because he was brutally beaten but because he was frozen. it was very cool outside. he was kidnapped. he'he is a very popular activisn ukraine and when he disappeared, a lot of media started to look for him. it is one of the reasons he was released. he could survive.
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he is a minister of -- very open-minded. he was also kidnapped and tortured and he was the head of the movement so people take their cars [inaudible] international reaction. and some units are also interesting for you because after, then in afghanistan self-defense like a lot of people that were killed were for self-defense.
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so one of them -- as far as we know there were no ukrainian troops in afghanistan during the soviet invasion in 1979, 1989. so it's like people, soldiers were experienced. it's very popular in ukraine now. it's mainstream from what happened right now. >> what was that called again? >> [inaudible] unfortunately it has grown. >> i hate to enter a few but we need to make sure that your colleagues --
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>> [inaudible] the national guard and the medical volunteers that are brave young men and women and they just help injured people and because for the injured to get them to hospitals. at the same time the police welcome and could put them in jail right from the hospital despite their injury. so a few hospitals were established and created on the land and the volunteers contributed to make it possible. just coming back to the current situation, so as far as it's changing all the time, our conclusion on the following
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despite putin, the military from eastern ukrainian border, they increased the number of troops in crimea out of 30,000 soldiers. now another tipping point for us would be the next referendum. i think that my colleagues will go more about the referendum which is scheduled. he will give his [inaudible] the referendum in crimea and then the people continue to protest. not only to change the phrase. it could also be interesting one might ask we have 12 positional
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leaders before he was released the head [inaudible] and a former heavyweight boxer. the support, the explanation why people went to maidan only 5% of maidan were there because of politicians. so, people stand there because they arrived because of ukrainians union but not politicians. so only 5%. some weakness points of now [inaudible] the size of the evolution or something. so despite that our former
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president the system remains the same. so now we hear the changes of phrases, and if mr. yanukovych was the godfather of some oligarchs [inaudible] because they made this the same business. this is why people demanded new leaders and politicians who've never been in the parliament. the second is nobody despite the massacres on maidan nobody was punished among the people. so these people are not in jail. >> i hate to do this but we must make sure that we get to everyone. thank you. >> we can leave it for discussion.
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>> over to you. >> thanks to the heritage foundation for giving me this opportunity to share some of my opinions on the current situation in ukraine, and i will try to be as brief as possible so that you can ask us some questions, so first of all i would like to say that the current situation is the outcome of 20 years of continuous corruption and power in ukraine that was aimed at the ukrainian people which led to the current situation that we have come and which led to this maidan phenomenon. so it happened -- i would like to say that this is due to the fact that ukraine has two make it civilizational choice because we are in a very fragile area between europe and russia, so we
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have to make a choice. we cannot be neutral. and we have to decide for ourselves which way should we go. and it is critically important to do it as soon as possible and to take all of the possible steps to do that because last events over the last three months have proven that our national security and defense cannot be based on this neutrality status, and we have really to take all of the necessary steps to do something about this. and i will talk about it in my discussion about the situation. so, i think that maidan happened not only because of the civilization of most people to pursue the new integration but also because it has become a revolution of dignity and after
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people were beaten and the other set of events people started to fight for themselves and against the government that occupied the country and used people as a means to benefit from them and to leave the ukrainian people without any means of living. so in the current set of circumstances i think that because of the situation with crania we should take the following steps -- crimea we should take the following steps with regards to ensure that the information, security because of the inflow of information that comes from the russian federation distorts all of the facts and everything that has happened in ukraine. that is why we need to do something about it, and maybe to
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create some institutional border that will help add that we can contain and the political experts and information specialists that could help to prevent this distorted information lack that comes from russia and to ensure our informational security. it's very important. second, we need to stop this inflow of people that come from the neighboring territories and to create instability in eastern and south ukraine. we need to do a -- we also need to in order to prevent the finance by russia and to create the stabilization and eastern and south ukraine.
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we need to finally proceed with signing the association agreement and a secure the financial aid from the imf. and i think it was a couple of days ago when they made a statement that they were ready to give $15 billion in the next couple of years and it would help us to stabilize our economic and financial situation. but at the same time, i think that what we should also do is to proceed with activating the activities with regards to the nato. not right away but step by step we should send a message to russia because of the noncompliance with all the documents to be signed within come a bilateral agreement in 1997 with a personal memorandum that was violated many times by
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then and we have to sen had to a message that we will proceed with this euro atlantic integration and because it will only be a possible way to ensure the territorial integrity and sovereignty. .. by the way, secretary-general of nato a couple days ago, he
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stated that nato is ready to proceed, talking about improving the operation and was declared in 2008, is still ready. to see ukraine won the as a nato member. right now proceed with working on membership because all of us know that in 2006, yanukovych, he went to brussels and refused to sign it. 2013 he refused to sign the association agreement. he is the person that's really destroyed the dream of ukrainian people of becoming part of the western world. i think it's important for ukrainians to make choice and to something about their future. and i don't see the future of ukraine as a neutral state but a
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state integrated in the eurasian union. i see a future in the. and also we, in the short to midterm perspective, we should work on fixing ally security. we should activate this implementation of this reverse flow arrangements that were agreed by the ukrainian -- by the ukrainian side and slovakian aside, slovakiaslovakia n government, they expressed their readiness to proceed with this, with allowing gas to be transferred to ukraine. and 5 billion we agreed to put 5 billion cubic meters of gas with the german company. so it's like $15 billion. so in order to achieve that we have also to take necessary steps to modernize our gas
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transport system and ensure the flow of gas back to ukraine. because russia uses all available means to put the economic and energy pressure on ukraine and everyone knows we are dependent on russian energy. so we have to do something about, increase energy efficiency, engage with our european and american colleagues on conducting energy efficient and energy savings, technologies and ukraine. and also work on securing this reverse flow of gas. and also working on a developing renewable energy sources. we have had some good -- we've made some substantial progress and we should work more in this direction. and i'll set a couple words about crimea. i think that we should set i
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think the previous speaker said that we should send some international organization experts in their to monitor the situation, and also -- [inaudible] keep our eye on everything what's happened in there so that the world could see what happened. russia violated territorial integrity of ukraine. despite all the agreements that were in place, despite the u.n. charter and despite of other things. and the facts and arguments that they use controversial, do not reflect real state of things. and the whole international community on the side of ukraine and not on the side of the russian federation. so in my opinion, we should not resort to use of force. we should be careful to not provoke because i think that russian tries to persuade with
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this type of provocation so they can begin this large-scale military operation and occupation of ukraine. and there is no evidence that they actually scaling back their troops, as was stated but putin hasn't been down, still have been blocked and taken by russian side. and they are not self-defense units. it's obvious. now all we have to do now is send a clear message that we will not let that happen. ukrainian state, ukrainian territory, and this referendum that they declared is completely inappropriate and in violation of the constitution of ukraine that says, well, the territory, ukrainian territory integrity is
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viable and nobody can change territory of ukraine, and only an overall ukrainian referendum can be conducted on changes so the territory of ukraine, so crimea has no right to do that. it's in direct violation of the constitution of ukraine and other laws of ukraine. so it has to be made clear to all the people that are interested in taking ukraine -- cry me a way that this is not going to happen. and hope that our western colleagues will help us in preventing russia from withdrawing their troops from ukraine. thanks. >> thanks very much. handed over to you. >> thanks everybody for coming. i was thinking the project to begin three months ago took by surprise. i have been here for two months
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and when all this started i was still in kiev working in a think tank, and i remember walking back from an ngo conference and our office in downtown kiev, -- people there know all the news, and when we're coming back they told me and my colleagues that our government refused to sign this agreement with the soviet union. was the same day when all this started. what took me by surprise was not why people started protesting outcome but actually why they didn't do it before. because any way you look at economics and human rights, the political system, you find many reasons for people to protest, to express their discontent. for example, violations of human rights, there were political prisoners, crimes made by
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police, and went and punish. secondly, we had corruption and misconduct of the top officials when they were shady schemes of public procurement. voting in the parliament was rigged, and the elections of the parliamentary members were falsified. and also if you look at the index of economic freedoms that is published by the heritage foundation you can see that ukraine is on the 155th position from the top, and it puts it in -- [inaudible] and also where the last part, the last country in europe on the 43rd position according to index of economic freedom. so the economy is a press because of all this corruption, for property rights and bad investment climate. but this is problems hasn't been voice actually -- you could see
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some local progress, ngo's talking about it around the table, but it hasn't been right after the national issue. so everybody kind of knew about it, but nothing happened that could just start up this discussion, start up this process of people are discontent with the current state of situation and to could somehow protest against it. when the governmental decision happens, it's possible this protest, they also saw some really, social problem in ukraine society, but were just become clear when people went out to the protest. for example, it was a level of social connection, of social capital. i wrote my thesis paper of a
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social couple, and it is the more people are connected, the more cooperative with each other. the more power they have to change the political influence, to cooperate and to influence their lives. but in ukraine, according to a recent general national poll, only 5% of people took part in any ngo our political party. it showed not much people are integrated or engage in all this public life. and wednesday -- made a poll at the beginning of december, of the people who are here in downtown kiev are protesting, the polls showed 92% of them, almost all of them, came there by themselves. so they were not joined by a political party, some movement our ngo. they would just individuals who came there and who decided to
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join this movement. and so what it means for the process, that a little organization and cooperation skills. because when you're an ngo member, we have connection to people, you know how to do it better, you know how to organize and how to go to people. and for most of them it was maybe the first case when they were a part of immunity doing something. they were together moving towards some goal. and also lack of vision, because when you have someone case, some opposition from innings you have some goal, something that you think that should happen later. they have a demand like the resignation of the president, freedom from oppression and justice for those who are in this class but what lacked the most, the division on the
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future, what do we want instead, like what do we do when the government resigns? and still it could be even now that we have a new government, but still its agenda still under discussion and it's only now happening, the thought is our new constitution, our new laws are just drafted and everything is just beginning to be discussed. and the second moment that became clear in the protest, that we elect political leadership. because there have been three political parties that were in a position to form a president, but i couldn't say that they were the leaders of it. said they were going to separate from the people. they were present at this protest, but they were not considered to be the ones who talk to the people. so the lack of meat leadership
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-- the lack of leadership meant there was lack of cooperation between civil society and political leaders and then now when i look back, i think that maybe if there was more cooperation, more trust, more experience of politicians and people working together, then maybe those protests could be succeed faster, could somehow maybe there weren't losses of life are tragic events. so this process begin, people who are not normally political and active, but they were not guided by any political force. so on the other hand, it gave him this independent opportunity, as it was said people didn't come there to support political speaker. they came there for their own goals, their own agenda. you asked what should be
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mentioned, -- [inaudible] effective communication. it was somehow influenced by the censorship on tv channels when you could find only maybe one or two towns from the protest combat other channels that were controlled by the oligarchs who were close to the former president, they aired sitcoms and tv shows when there were people killed on the streets in tf. so people -- in kiev. people international scale, they didn't have access to information. there's also one thing that you can see only when you go abroad, i always thought when i came here that there is lack of information in english. you can communicate internationally.
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i in ukraine so i follow ukraine news and social media but what comes to english speakers and to international community, they have been getting this information. i could say like second have method, from other people, from some political journals like this. they did not have access to social people. just news as soon as they emerge. now the situation has become better maybe -- [inaudible] and on the other hand, because of the work of volunteers, but at the beginning somehow distorted image of ukrainian process. today we are seeing like people gather to enter the european union, and first they feel like some their group of people just fighting for power. while by the time, by this time
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people have been actually wanting political change and the process going on in kiev and other cities in ukraine, from student to the middle class and workers. but what also surprised me positively, people prove to be very efficient in their cooperation and organizations. universe but all these groups of volunteers, medical groups and self-defense groups. it started as accommodation of food for protesters, people started bringing warm clothes and medical supplies. and eventually it evolves to this whole system of informational hotline, makeshift hospitals when you couldn't go to the, hospital.
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self-defense groups, because there was no police defending people, and if there was a was actually attacking people instead of defending. there were headquarters of the political parties and there's also the public console, also the head. people open university and church in prayer attend right there on the square. so you could say that it was a kind of country within the country. so on institutions that are normally run by the government like defense, medical, political leadership, information, they have their own, all these institutions where they like parallel structures. and for people, seems like to me that it was a good experience to see how the country works, how actually the state works. because once when usually you pay your taxes and then you have no idea what are they used for, where they go, they collect money, they have the funds
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raised and then a published report and people could actually see where the money goes. so it was a good experience just to be sure that defense groups asked to defend the doctors help and the money that you pay are actually spent on something that you need, something needed for people. but now going to this, i would like to finish with -- russian occupation of a part of the third harry ukraine. i could also talk much about how it could be maybe prevented or what we could do better, but what we're doing in this process, the better the situation is at the beginning, the more easily it is to solve
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the problem. for example, one of my colleagues in my ngo in kiev, he was arrested and beaten by the police and then arrested. he was under the threat of 18 years in prison for participating in the protest. and then they put them into prison and they wait for the court, but then again, by this time we had our public nonprofit groups of lawyers who help people investigations. and they contacted lawyers and they managed to change his arrest for house arrest. so was a little bit improvement in his situation. so for me it was, now he is completely free but for me this was the case. the more opportunities you have by the start, the better it is to solve the situation and help the people. but as our protests show that it
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is never too late to start, even if you're not a part of the ngo, if you're not connected to some committee. you always come and begin by volunteering by joining people in their action. and so eventually it helps build up the community that effectively cooperate and coordinates and give the revolution going. so now for me it seems like maybe there have been problems in crimea, social, political, maybe also economical, but it's never late to start doing something about it. now we have a new government. we want to build our new country and we don't want to fight. we want to keep our country peaceful and together. and so i hope that this positive protest experience of working together, of engaging international community and engaging other people in ukraine will help us solve the situation. thank you. [applause]
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>> thanks very much. fascinating and much broader picture than the one we usually receive here where we are so focused on movements on russian troops. may be mentioned some of the really important to governments that are going on within the ukraine society itself. we're going to open it up to questions from the audience. we have a couple of roving microphones, so question right in the middle here. identify yourself, please, by name and affiliation. >> so, my name is -- [inaudible] i am using researcher at georgetown but in poland i celebrate with one of the biggest names in ukraine. also very loyal ally of united states. for reasons buried think tank, in poland we fully support your
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fight, you know? we know this is not only about the future of -- but it is about value. i would like to ask something about the weakness of the euro revolution. [inaudible] the right sector. especially the right sector. this is anti-freedom, and human rights power. because they're also anti-european, anti-poland. site like to ask your comment about different powers. thank you very much. >> well, thanks for your question. i am concerned that it's not the worst, yeah. well, about right sector,
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russian media like to use it. i don't, well, let's see. every country, for every city, and even poland, is critical everywhere. everywhere in poland, even in greece and germany, everywhere. i don't know, or their apologists? but political parties, but it's not as worse as we can see on russian news. some of, even like here in d.c., some kinds of anti-semitism are something. but during the whole -- even now, there was no even one
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location for somebody who was beaten before he is like come because of his nationality or because color of skin or because of his political views. of course, there are political disagreements but most of them like 18 years old. on the other hand, a lot of dramatics, they want their country and they were killed and injured. so if you go there to right sector you can say i am a jew or un-american, or just -- i'm sure they won't beat you or do something. that's true. that's my own expense. so i don't advocate them. [inaudible] maybe it's not good for european
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audience, but it happens everywhere. we can say like maybe it's peaceful, yet. it's not so. >> do you want to add anything? >> i would just say that the groups, they are not mainstream political parties in ukraine -- [inaudible] and i don't see many -- [inaudible] because when you have revolution, when you have this danger association, it's been -- something to protect you, who were going to be good in clashes with riot police.
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but when the peaceful times finally, hopefully, i don't think that they will evolve to some kind of my mainstream political party. >> i remember warsaw, it was the year 2012 and the clashes also died -- also don't like russians. [inaudible] >> i mean, of course. we certainly see those reports are, to. to get you further information on motivations and input for these groups. have a question over here on the left. >> thank you for coming to d.c. and we appreciate your time here. my question is about your former leader, should we say, yanukovych. is there no action or initiative from the ukrainian people to
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file the case against him regarding all of his corruption that he is done to the country? and also the mass murder of -- [inaudible] >> actually, yeah, if you go to the website of the minister of ukraine and you type his name, you'll see his on the most wanted list now. and his picture is there. ukrainian side also filed this case, to the international police, interpol. and i think that if he is in russia they will have to extradite him back to ukraine because due to our intergovernmental agreement, extradition of such people. and i hope you will be sent back and will be punished for crimes that he did with all of these
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people. yes, so he is on the run but he is like, he is wanted person. the charges are there. >> i want cash back over here. [inaudible] >> they are in the process. >> you said it was former -- [inaudible] the former prosecutor? >> of ukraine. said the work has been very slow. they had to accelerate the efforts. >> doesn't seem to be in much of
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the cooperative mood. we have a question back here from voice of america. >> mykola, i was one if you talk more about expense of a blogger about getting your blog shot down by your president. if you just toggle bit more about your experience and that. thanks. >> okay, i will be brief. probably coming of this website, their owner of lease media holding, a former holder, he felt, he sold this media holding which include a few radio station and a few newspapers. he sold it to another is this man. on this website there was --
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[inaudible] so you can see it on their main page. after this new owner took office, they even establish some kind of, like fellowship department. so now they just shut down, i mean, they just shut it down just right there. it's impossible to find work for me. maybe still exist but nobody will read it. and nowadays it's probably -- [inaudible] the famous magazine, it's like maybe for middle-class. now nobody just reads it. that's the story. >> what was your role there? >> i was blogger, one of the bloggersth

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