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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  March 9, 2014 5:49pm-6:46pm EDT

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catholic university. here is his most recent book. >> visit booktv.org to watch any of the programs you see here online. you can also share anything uc easily by clicking share and selecting the format. book tv streams live on line for 48 hours every weekend with top nonfiction books and authors. booktv.org. >> book tv has covered several books on modern russian and u.s. -russian relations. in light of the current conflict between russia and ukraine and the u.s. involvement in the situation book tv presents portions of author talks on russian leaders and foreign relations.
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in the next hour you will see a journalist edward lucas, author of the new cold war, politics professor, columnist and government and foreign service professor. >> and it is certainly true that russia is not at every stage. we talk seriously with the russians about north korea and we sometimes talk about a run and the middle east.
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it is true. russia is engaged. but there are two reasons. i don't need to remind him how disgusting some of this stuff is. you can find it on the russian media. if you have not done it, i implore you, look at some of those propaganda videos. the images, the idea of the siege fortress. it is poisonous. it is poisoning russian public opinion. every opinion poll shows the same veteran towards anti westernism to be where i am feeling optimistic, the whole thing, all this stuff is just
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played up in order to fool the russian people. in fact, all that want to do is to steal billions and billions and billions of dollars. i am not that optimistic. that is what is really scary. it is changing russian public opinion. it is not confined to russia. it leads to central europe and countries that we thought firmly anchored.
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backed by dirty russian money. they would come back. this is scary stuff. i would like to say it is part. i cannot. not just countries that people have never heard of it does either way. told an audience the stimulation of serving german chancellor his final weeks in off in office noy commercially preposterous but
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that directly threatens the security of eastern allies. prepared the equivalent. but in that same german leader, that same german leader within reeks of leaving it would then take a negative position. u.s. called security and said the man is meant to be this doesn't happen. this is the last. the western accounting, first of all, would take on emptied dodgy russian companies and say they are all. and then when the russian companies became less stodgy would then reap perhaps the benefits. but then when those same companies came under pressure.
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a big ones that say we said in our audience for 2000-2001-2002 the accounts were in order. has come to my notice that people have been lying. you have seen an extraordinary push of russian money into what we regard as the citizens of the western political islamic. if i turned up with the suitcase of stolen faberge eggs and said i need a bank, aware command of the arthur, will pay you richly, people would call the police. you would turn up. $17 billion worth of shareholders' money to stalin in broad daylight is captains of
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finance to do the ipo and spend it and make it. and that is one cannot just trying to stay more available, push the russians back into that theater, it is happening right here, happening in the city. they would comment, you had to be pretty soft and had a pretty stupid. attractive and you had to be in particular the cold war. the secret police. now they check. the belief that only money matters. so on that cheerful not have
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much more to say. >> i kept thinking about the pretty common view that there is a cultural aversion and an affinity for a strong hand at the top that is run through russian history and transcends the governments of style of the moment from the czars and recovery is. to what extent do you think that is a factor in what has happened ? >> well, i'm always cautious about extrapolating from history into the present. you can make all sorts of arguments which the institutions
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that make government work. there really offer a pathway to the european union. if we can make success, not only war prosperity, more security. it undermines that great argument for russian exception was the ex-communist kutcher. you can't bring democracy. we did. you can't bring democracy did we
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did. okay. if we can make the ukraine work big slavic countries whose names begin with our. in that was in that argument. but i do think, you know, the history is digesting. it's really difficult. of chapter in this book about. the undigested history. we have perhaps underestimated. over and done with. >> book tv look at russian leaders and foreign relations continues with alan lynch, international relations professor at the university of virginia and former director of the university's center for russian and east european studies.
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mr. lynch, author of vladimir 210 and russian statecraft, explains how russia's president is be by much of the country's population. >> now joining us here at the university of virginia is the author of this book. politics professor alan lynch. would you describe russia as a democracy? >> it is certainly not a political democracy. ..
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speed is and why did he get elected and why is he popular? >> in 2007 and 2008, ted was reaching the second term in office. that was the end according to the constitution to terms in a row. most russians built into the lead and society were genuinely concerned had i to obey the terms of the constitution and stepped out because they solved no credible alternative leader at that point. in fact ten as we know arranged for his own succession by placing his protége as president and the pig became prime minister that remained at the center of the russian political system into the great relief of most russians and the elite society. you may read shortly thereafter we at the world economic crisis.
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it is the one or two producer in the world with saudi arabia almost every year. they collapsed from $145 a barrel to $33 a barrel. this was a majo major exit schee crisis for the economy. to attend had been able over the last five or six years in the crisis to have enough of the money away and massive corruption that he had a shock absorbers of money, finances and reserve to be able to weather the storm and the russian economy didn't collapse and the order did not implod implode by comparison to the other history. 198 when it collapsed $10 a barrel the russian government under the predecessor default on his twist again for an obligation and by 70% almost overnight and under gorbachev to
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about $10 a barrel it meant that gorbachev had no financial shock absorber in order to weather the storm into the economic reforms. to that previous leaders boast adult russians know that her coat very well or her were raised by people in chaos and collapse very well and they credit him to a large extent but weathering the storm and providing over a period of relative prosperity in russia remember most russians viewed by the comparison to the situation he inherited in 1999 when russia was virtually a state. the economy suffered depression twice as deep a as badly divided states suffered in the 1930s. the new stage of the border with chechnya secession threat had to integrity and had risen up. this is why he was appointed to the minister. nato expansion was proceeding with no limits in space and
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time. russia was a failed state. putin was able to restore an element of water out of the chaos and prosperity out of misery and an element of international respect out of humiliation. this isn't the whole picture. he presides over the very corrupt political machine. it is marketed and on the oil and natural resource revenue than before. citibank for instance thinks that it has to be at about $150 a barrel. it's about 110 or 15 for that government. given how much of the state and economy depend upon the rather as is the fact that the political secession still remains a matter of politics and the institutionalized rules and procedures they look past the procedural elements and they see where they came from in the '90s and delete gorbachev period and yeltsin and it was a
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different take than we do here when we compare him as we tend to do to the ideals of the parliamentary democracy. so by those standards he falls very far short of that unless we take into account the predominant frame by which most russians we don't understand how he certainly did get a majority in the elections on march 4 perhaps that is a 63 or 64% but a little bit over 50% and the independent rating out of 1060% approval. >> has the political institutions in developed enough that they can, quote, survive vladimir putin not being in office? >> this is a major concern looking at the system and it also has to be a major concern of putin. remember to tragic plane crash in russia that wiped out the polish leadership in the
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military about any leader at the highest level and get polling to continue to function and institutionalized the political mockery of the. russia is the only country in post-soviet europe executive power hasn't changed hands. the truly free and fair election has been a matter of structured elections and of the executive structured secession after that term in office. it's very likely one set of elites for the vast natural resource space and mineral base that makes russia the largest resource base in the world. most russians knew at the eu leaf level and social level to some extent the absence of alternatives is the consequence of the authoritarian politics that he has frozen out
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opposition and isn't a lot genuine opposition to build so the system which is temporarily stable and can remain so in the high price of oil nevertheless is fragile because it is not institutionalized. it is very much a one-man system of power. >> did you have the chance to interview vladimir putin? >> i didn't have the chance to interview vladimir putin. i talked to several russians and we had confidential conversations that each reviewed the text in the book. one of them is acknowledged in the preface because these issues are somewhat critical. although as you just heard i tried to put putin in the context of which most tend to see him and i also say a number of critical things in the office and you do have to be careful. i did manage to show to several
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people close to the circle i was grateful for their comments positive and critical before publication. >> would you be -- could this be published in russia? >> i think it could be. >> there are offers of interest that will be published in chinese right away. by the way. still the communist country politically that the country that has very strong abiding interest in the russian affairs. i think it could be published. the majority of the books i used were published in russia so there was a fairly wide range of opinion in russia outside of the televised political news. the government controls all five television stations that reach 98% of the audience. most russians get their political news from tv.
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however, outside of that. the popular books there is enough of them out of there so that you can check information against the other and read other sources. german, french, italian visito visitors. it is a paradoxical situation. what are we comparing two clicks are we comparing him to the jeffersonian democracy idea or are we comparing him to wear the soviet union was in 1985? it's in 1985 you were to say here is the vision of the russian society that i propose the putin system is built how much would the united states have pai paid to get the systemn 1985? we would have paid a loss of it all comes down to the perspective that we establish our criteria of the evaluation.
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>> the author of in potion the end of russia and what it means for america. the vice president of the american foreign policy council opines on the future and how it will affecwill affect the u.s. foreign-policy efforts towards the country. >> of the state of vladimir putin and his followers have built over the last dozen years or so is built for the here and now, not as a long-term national enterprise. so, what putin does a broad -- and by the way i think all of you remember the political song that when you have problems abroad you go home. so think about the grandstanding on serious and iran if may not only be the reflection of russian strength but also of the internal weakness because the state that he has built simply has not dealt with these trends in a very serious fashion. part of the reason is that it isn't wired that way.
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the government is more than anything else they used it a few years ago they would talk about it being a form of managed democracy. they don't even talk about that anymore. it is more than anything else the personality that is built around a vladimir putin and his close circle of followers that is kept in place by massive corruption and contracts into this doesn't mean that it is total wall listeners but it is that attracting the real serious sustained international investment fdi and other things that are required to turn the demographic trend lines around would require the dismantling of athletes vladimir putin's state and that is not going to happen. so, the russian government is caught in a cul-de-sac of its own political making. but that doesn't mean that it's going to go quietly into that. it doesn't mean it's going to dissolve and disappear into collapse. what it could mean as as we look
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into the future -- and i want you to understand that we are not talking about trendlines in the next couple of years it's going to be what you get that as you look a decade from now they are going to begin to have a poll on how russia behaves so for example you could expect them to enhance russia's imperial impulse. we know that russia still has territory that is a part of the soviet union. territory that was stripped away as a result of history and as a result of political accident. vladimir putin himself talked about the collapse of the soviet union in the largest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century this leaning to reclaim the lost land to be given a shot in the arm by the land elsewhere as it begins to lose its eastern periphery to
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expand westward is going to be reinforced and if not still become simply unquenchable. you're going to see this sooner is it's very likely as you see the rise of the insurgent strain in places and the widening of the conflict between the russian state and the forces that they can't control. we are not talking about one chechnya we are talking about many. and this is what sounds like an overstatement. if you didn't watch the emergence of the conflict and its maturity its maturation over time took and has taken on a conflict of far larger proportions than was originally
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envisioned, and what im saying g is that trendlines you are seeing at least have the potential to do the same. they may not but they have the potential if they are not dealt with. and the third trend line and then i will stop there and you can imagine as russia comports internally from these ideological and religious tensions and begins to press westward for demographics and economic reasons there's going to be heightened tensions with europe and the nato bloc. we americans tend to see russia as face value. when vladimir putin strives very large on the world stage and creates a geopolitical coup in serious and his relationship with iran we tend to assume what you see is what you get. russia has to be dealt with or
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accommodated to make progress on world affairs. what i'm telling you is that that might not be so simple. the challenge for the united states in 20 years may not be from russia is strength but from the weakness but that should inform serious policy thinking about russia and approach to it into the reset of the relations be obama administration attempted in the last four years is not as healthy as it could be. we do know that it has been a failure and we know now that the white house is at least beginning to think about what comes next so what this is intended to do is give them a little bit of food for thought about where russia is heading because knowing where russia is figuring out what the policy towards it should be. i will stop there.
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>> we will take questions if you will wait until the microphone is passed and we would appreciate if you state your name and affiliation as a courtesy to our guest. i'm going to take the prerogative of reading one of the questions we've received online. how can the u.s. or could the u.s. effectively support positive transformation in russia without creating the perception of the foreign interference which only aggravates the anti-eric and feeling and also we target liberty issues in that country. >> i think that is a great que question. one of the reasons it is so uncooperative on the middle-aged policy and for example spent two and a half years supporting the regime against the opposition is because it has seen the movie
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before. russia witnessed on its periphery what we call the revolutions in kyrgyzstan and elsewhere and russia was pictured by then and now that those trendlines will take hold in russia because here's a dirty little secret vladimir putin isn't all that popular. the last credible polling i saw came out in the spring and it suggested that respondents that voted for and participated in the vote for the election only 34% said that they would vote for vladimir putin. in the democratic society that is catastrophic. even an authoritarian one it is deeply troubling which is why what you have seen over the last year has been a deepening of the anti-democratic left so the dilemma for the policymakers is how to square that circle and
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invest in democratic institutions and infrastructure without having its proxies. as the national democratic institute blacklisted as foreign agents sort of kicked out of the country. i think that is a very difficult needle to thread and that's the reason why the obama administration spen spent such e time thinking about this because there are things we can work on with regards to russia. we can even work on counterterrorism, but i think one of the most fruitful conversations you can have moving forward and it may be bee start but wilthat start but wilo something larger is a discussion about economic opportunity for the minorities because russia and the united states on a number of issues with radical
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islam are wired to listen when we talk so we could start a dialogue on security and migrate into a larger conversation about not using blunt force to deal with your sort of discrepancies in the minority and have had become a larger conversation but it's not an easy conversation to have. >> the offer mac of u.s. russian relations in the 21st century. the director of the center for the east european studies at georgetown university examines the current revision should between the united states and russia. remarks on how the past administrations have fared counting with our counterparts and presents thoughts on russian president vladimir putin and the country's political structure.
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she appeared on "after words" where she spoke with the president of the center for the national interest. >> host: do we need a partnership with russia? >> guest: we certainly do. the united states and russia are the remaining superpowers and between us we cannot resolve a number of the world's major problems if we don't work together and we see that now in terms of serious and iran and issues like terrorism. it isn't always an easy partner for the united states but we have to work together. we have seen that for this year when there were plenty of reasons why the relationship deteriorated. but in the end we are working together and we will continue to and those in the u.s. political class who say that russia doesn't counter anymore and it's not important that's wrong it
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has to be a partner even though as i say in my book it is a cranky partnership. >> host: you made clear first but i would say worse structural limits because of different interests and because of different historical traditions, because of different circumstances. but then there were also limits, which are connect it to the u.s. policy. the russian policy. can we do better than we are doing now? >> guest: the fact that we are the superpower means we are still living in a cold war and we focus very much on the 20th century issues. it's the kind of relationship we don't have work is a better partnership would be a fully
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fleshed out economic relationship and we are not natural economic part is because the self military hardware these are not things we need to purchase from russia. we are trying to improve that relationship so if you like this is a very one-sided relationsh relationship. but then i would say it also goes back to the fact that we see at differently. they want to focus on the sovereignty of states and it is a state of power and they look at the united states as a revisionist power because they think we are invested in the regime change we want to go around changing the government that we don't like so one of the limits to the partnership is the u.s. foreign policy focuses on the fact that we represent certain values and those include the democratization, the human
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rights. and we be leave that we have the rights to pursue those issues when we interact with other countries. it's now says the u.s. behaves as the old communist to create the world and its image. so fundamentally one of the limits of the partnership is if you are going to interact with the country do you focus on your mutual interest and try to person within or do you focus on the values on what is happening inside of the russian society and that is one of the points that has been there throughout the 23 years since the collapse. >> host: you refer to henry kissinger and brent scowcroft in your book and then you have the more general the partnership in
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the united states it certainly doesn't share the value of saudi arabia but it's considered one of life. and i remember very vividly it was still quite small but still remember the vice president richard nixon appearing with the soviet leader and there were interesting exchanges. mr. prime minister, i understand that you believe that americans are going to live under what khrushchev stated and he said this is fine as long as we accept the system and we will not write to change them so this is 59 and here we are in 2013
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and now sometimes you get the impression that require other countries to move closer towards our political system and beliefs. to what extent it is a problem in the relationship and that this administration had the right mix of the interest in human rights or would you prefer to hear differently? >> host: this has been in the relations. to the question of saudi arabia let me say of course they would always say that there are double standards that we criticize russia for doing things we don't criticize china or saudi arabia. of course they have said it's a european country and they are a member of the council of europe and they signed on to the conventions and they are
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proposed to adhere to the atlantic norms which china and saudi arabia hasn't done but the u.s. in the past hasn't been consistent in the way that it's criticized russia for things that happened domestically. the very important partners for the united states at least one in terror. the administration has been pretty skilled ealing with these issues. it's differentiated on the common interests like arms control and missile defense, like afghanistan and is saying it is a two track policy happening in russia and it's been fairly quiet and reserved in what it has said about what's
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happening domestically. this has changed a little bit in the last year were the last couple of years since mr. putin maintained the kremlin and that he has thrown out the united states agency for international development and ngos. the act and of those so-called adoption of russian children and i think i americans what we have to understand is that we have to differentiate between the obama administration and congress. the administration has been fairly reserved. if you look at the end hired 23 year perco that i'm looking at it hasn't been promoting better relations with russia. of those people that are interested have tended to be people that are highly critical. so the lift that bans the russians officials in the human rights abuses, that originated
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and wasn't something be obama administration wanted retaliated with on the adoption. so the administration i think understands it but we are a pluralistic system and it's very important and they take a rather different approach. >> host: one thing about your career is in addition to being an academic you were in the several administrations and your book covers a lot of ground and starts with a lot of the soviet union and then it goes to the current period. you were in the clinton administration and intelligence council and obama administrati administration. tell us if you look back on the
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clinton administration, obama and it may start with bush i. >> host: in my book i discuss since the collapse of the soviet union i should point out i was in policy planning in the last 18 months of the administration and then at the national intelligence in the bush administration. both times when i served in government we were already on a downward slide in the relationship. so i think the first was briefed because president george h. w. bush and with president yeltsin for a year was on the focus and oof course general scowcroft was the national advisor when the
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focus was on disarmament on the controls into deep nuclear rising say ukraine and making sure after the collapse of the soviet union to nuclear weapons was safe there was 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 perco where the intent to renew focused on the concrete interests particularly the arms control and the nuclear issues at the clinton administration came to office and had a much more ambitious agenda. i think that clinton himself said clinton was the russian hand and he and those around him thought they had eight years and a maximum two fashion to turn it into a democracy in the market
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society. and the market society. now we know that enrich or respect that was overly ambitious. you can't remake the society like that and there are strong forces of tradition and history but there was an attempt and more financial assistance but there was also an attempt to get russia to buy into the relations in the european security and that's why we had problems when we got involved in the war in the balkans, and of course that ended badly in the coso though more. towards the end of the administration he was quite sick so when i was in government was a downward a perco in the percoe relationship and recognition in the u.s. that it hadn't been able to achieve what it wanted to do. now it was initiated via
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vladimir putin and the beginning of his time in the kremlin he was interested in a better relationship with the united states in cooperation with the west as he understood. to offer condolences and support and helping the united states establish its bases in central asia and i think from the point of view the desire was to have as one of my russian colleagues call it an equal partnership the bush administration is very favorably inclined to that. in the war in afghanistan russia was instrumental in helping the united states and other it of ways because it knew much more about afghanistan and the u.s..
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when president bush and his people in particular vice vice president cheney embraced the freedom agenda. particularly in russia is back yard and of course that ended very badly fine only in the rest of the george war. i think that it's came into focus on the issues which russia itself wanted to focus on arms control. nuclear nonproliferation again this is an area equal where we can interact productively. afghanistan, iran. but i think it began to fall apart because to some it stand that was also based on the personal ties between president obama and medvedev even if people understood that the then pray minister was the most important decisio decision-makel the relationship was also the context between the two younger
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presidents. and when it became clear he was going to come back into the kremlin and the fact coincided with the demonstrations in the fall of 2011 against mr. putin which they said would falsify, that was a breaking point because they blamed the united states for aiding and abetting. and since then the relationship has been in a downward slide and this year we have the episode with mr. snowden so we have to work together and are working together with serious but president abbas that we have to take a pause and reconsider how we want a relationship to move forward in a president obama is already a lame duck president. >> host: when we talk about
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the democracy promotion, one problem in my view at least more broadly with the political almost nobody leaves in the american society. and it goes back as far as i am concerned to the clinton perc pd and the elections of 96 and the undersecretary of state where i said they just came back from moscow and yeltsin was bound to win this election and a couple of people didn't like what i saisaid is that they immediately said what is your evidence. somebody else in your book tom graham that worked on the bush
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administration was objective how yeltsin was stealing the election. they are willing to support him blindly. it looks like the american foreign-policy -- >> host: i think from the u.s. government point of view is that the worst disaster is that the communists were going to come back to power and it looked as if the leader of the communist party stood a very good chance. he heade had been to the world economic forum and he made a speech where he sounded quite
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reasonable that the belief in the embassy and other parts of the government at the time was that without yeltsin the system everyone was trying to create in russia would collapse and therefore you are right that people on the ground at the embassy in moscow understood what was going on and this probably wouldn't be a fair and free election and people that worked for him went and advised so the belief is we know they went from single digits which people have been forecast befo before. you can ask what it has been terrible if the communists would have won? nobody knows the answer to that but you are correct this created
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a degree of cynicism about the commitment to free and fair elections and then facto in facs something in the campaign in the u.s. and in the year 2,000 republicans criticized the clinton administration. >> host: one thing and presidents about your book is you are fair in a kind of informed way and one reason that you are so informed is that you were not just a scholar. you mentioned where you had opportunities to interact but i also know from personal experience than any members of the opposition but the one
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problem in the scholarship is normally we have to kind of peoples, the scholars that no government and the opposition. you are one of the few people that know both. >> guest: before him has been going on for ten years and was organized by the news agency that is now being dissolved but for ten years that organized interesting meetings on russia and we had dinner with mr. putin basically every year since then and he's a very impressive political theater. he will come to the generous ane three or four hours of his time answering a variety of questions not many readers i know what to do. he never uses notes or turns to his aides to ask for help.
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he's interested in the energy subject he's passionate about and he can be sarcastic sometimes when he wants to be but he also has his own kind of charm so i think everyone that has met with him on these occasions has been very impressed by the ounce of time he's willing to give him his willingness to answer questions and sometimes even complains the questions are not tough enough but that isn't surprising if you are the leader of a country you are not going to ask the tough questions. and so, one comes away with these meetings with a good sense to convey to the russian experts and outside world and in that sense i think it is also being an effective form. >> host: how would you compare putin not just in terms of his views but how would you compare him as a leader and a
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personality and a basic credible statement to other world leaders that you have observed today is it directly? >> host: i have never had a three-hour dinners for ten years, but he certainly is a theater i think that he has become much more convinced of the correctness of what he is doing. i think that he came into office when russia was in a chaotic state. it was in a very bad state and as he said he has restored stability, great economic growth at least until 2008 and he has now restored russia's place as the great poweragreat power so . but unlike the leaders in a democratic system he's left by
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no separation of power. he is left constraint on what he can do and he is constrained to some extent it's not in the same way many western leaders are so in many ways he would come across as being more decisive than the leaders that have to listen to the parliament public opinion and things like that. >> host: i read with some leaders of the opposition say. it appears that russia today is almost an authoritarian country. that there is no fundamental difference between putin and stalin. the democracy is a charade and then of course you can see people like stalin how would you
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describe the attitude to democracy. >> guest: first you have to go back to the 1990s because from what putin says this is the msm us we talk about democracy in 90s has connotations with the poverty and the lack of order if you like and the chaos and then i think you have to look at their own background that comes from the kgb. he was in east germany when east germany collapsed, and i think that he also saw he had experiences bear with the mob if you lik like of trying to tear n the headquarters of the east german. he was trying to defend papers and then i think that you can also see afterwards in the 19 '90s he worked for the mayor of st. petersburg and was then
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defeated in the election and i think it was quite clear from what mr. putin saw that also wasn't a very clean the election. so his attitude towards democracy one has to look at the path and where he comes from. he is not a democrat in any sense of the word but russia is also not stalinist russia and it is not british and a half's russia even though some people in russia describe it as such area that it's not that yet. the internet is free. you people can express different views not on the state run statn television, no more, but putin is not all powerful in the way that probably stalin was. he's probably the single most powerful individual in the system which isn't very transparent. it's a hybrid system and there are groups of different people with whom he interacts and whose
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views he has to listen to and we can see economic transactions he cannot determine everything so the best way to describe it may be managed democracy that they are not free and fair in the same way that we believe they are. and it looks as if the tendency is going to words the left pluralism then there was under yeltsin but it's very hard. if the state has some people describe it as a rather scholarly term that has to do with the close relationship between economic and political defeats but it is a hybrid system that i still think we have a difficulty in understanding exactly how it works. >> you can watch all of the programs featured over the last hour or numerous other programs on the foreign affairs on our website, bootv

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