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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  May 2, 2014 10:00am-12:01pm EDT

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[inaudible conversation] >> and once again we are live at the wilson center waiting for comments from chuck hagel talking about the nato alliance as tension heightens between russia and ukraine. russia's military move quote shatter the myth that the end of the cold war meant an end to insecurity at least in europe. speaking in washington he says the european nato members need
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bolster their expense effort because they will test the 28-nation lead alliance. we expect remarks to get underway in just a moment here at the wilson center. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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>> morning. >> good morning. >> morning, everyone and welcome to the wilson center. i am jane harmon the president and ceo. i am delighted to introduce our first event this morning. let me welcome the cochair and former chair and ambassadors from countries and our speakers for the next panel which is going to be introduced later. i have to recognize the former german ambassador who is a scholar at the wilson center. in 1997, my daughter hillary then a princeton senior majoring
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in politics picked nato as her thesis topic. she called her mom, me in my third term of congress, to get my assessment. nato expansion was agreed upon in the 1994 bruisell's decision. they voted to ratify the addition of poland, hungary and the czech republic and now 16 countries have been added since the end of the cold war. but there were people who were not sure. a former wilson scholar wrote on opt-ed quoting his 1994 interview with the then
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94-year-old george kennan. he said i think the russian will react adversely and it will affect their policies. we have signed up to a project countries even though we don't have the resources or the intention. segway to 2014, and the urgent challenge to drop conflict and a measure legislation. nato expansion is being scrutenized again. today's topic couldn't be more timely or fit better with what we do. our institution was founded by the kennan family and has 1400 scholar alumni.
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a hundred are on the ground in ukraine. and our global europe product has hundreds of scholar alumni bordering the conflict zone. we have assembled a program here today. the deputy assistant secretary of nato and wilson center fellow cheryl cross. here to keynote and kick off our conversation is secretary of defense, chuck hagel who was elected to the senate in 1997 and voted for nato expansion. i checked. after his remarks he will take a few questions. he is a close friend and the first enlistt combat veteran to
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lead the department of defense. and serving in government at the highest level is a combat sport. his plate and full with the afghanistan drivedown, the pivot to asia and very touch budget c constraints. the russia-ukraine issue is another file. and as a member of the defense policy board, i grappled with this issue this week. minds far brighter than mine are struggling to figure out what the best answer is. my daughter isn't writing her thesis now luckily or mom would have little advice to give her. i returned with breakfast from the german chancellor and that is a good thing she is here. and no doubt the conversation
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will center on these topics. tough issues. tough guy. educated at the university of nebraska on the gi bill. nebraska's record last season -- football record -- was 9-4. last year, 11-3 but a few touchdowns for u.s. policy would be a good thing right now. so to bring a smile on your face, chuck, as we welcome you here, here is a scarf for the corn huskers. go big red! please welcome chuck hagel. the 24th secretary of defense. [ applause ] >> should i put that on for the
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presentation? jane, thank you. i am always overwhelmed in your presence and now you have outdone yourself. by the way, the corn huskers will have a better season. thank you, jane, and thank you for the wilson center for what you do for our country and world affairs and bringing thoughtful analysis to these tough issues. the world is complicated. it isn't getting any less complicated. nor is it getting any less dangerous. so your continued contributions and leadership as well as this institution are very valuable and important parts to all of your global efforts to find peaceful, wise resolutions to
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these difficult problems. it is good to see my friends on the panel and thanks for your continued contributions as well. and for those here who have been in the analysis and writing and thinking business for many years, thank you, and now is no time to stop. we are going to need everybody now more than every in our lifetime. as the world expands, opportunities expand, but threats expand. technology and unprecedented change all over the world. it is our time and we must not fail the world. as jane noted, i have known jane many years. we worked together in the congress and travelled together. i admire her judgment and sharp
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analysis of issues. i admired and appreciated her directness. those of you that know jane well, and most of you do, you know she is clear in what she believes and says it plainly. and that is not all together bad. if there was ever a time for plain talk in the word, respe respectful of each other and sovereignty and our interest all over the world, but we have to be clear with each other. jane has done that and i think we all appreciate that in our leader. so jane, thank you and thank you for giving me an opportunity to talk about this issue. i know what your theme is this morning. it is particularly timely as well as valuable so thank you.
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the challenges facing nato remind us of the need for this alliance and what we must do to strengthen it. 65 years after a long debate about america's role in the post-war world, 11 people gathered in the whitehouse to witness truman formally accepting and radifying the north atlantic treaty and he broke with prominent voices as has been noted this morning including those of george kean. those voices call for america to relieve ourselves gradually of the basic responsibility for the security of western europe. by 1953, 11 u.s. air force
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wings, five army divisions and 50 warships were in the europe. members of nato nations began working together to integrate north america with plans and forces. america didn't make commitments abroad in search of monsters to detroy. truman joined the treaty because he was convinced nato would shield against aggregation and the fear of aggression and let us get on with the real business of society at home. truman joined the north atlantic treaty that was a simple document and it it was in 1914 and 1939 it would have prevented two world wars. america was committed to nato because nato would help protect american interest by reinforcing
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transatlantic security. nato would protect us here at home. a truth i believe endures to this day. on the memory of the world war one and weeks before the anniversary of landing at normandy, russia's action are reminding nato of its founding purpose. it has presented a clear moment for the transatlantic alliance. nato members must show they are as committed to the alliance as the founding members were who built it. they must align with the heart of the alliance and reinvigorate joint planning and capability that is the life blood. and reafirm from the mediterranean to the baltics
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that allies are allies. nato is ending combat in afghanistan later this year. the longest process in the in history and strengthed the ability the alliance. and we will be in wells this summer to examine how nato members are trained, equipped and structured to meet new and enduring security challenges. after a decade, nato must balance a new influence on territory defense with renewed capability because we have seen threats to the alliance neither stop or start at europe's door step. emerging in technology means fewer and fewer places are of
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range. balancing this will require high end systems for deterants to special operations. allied forces must be ready, deployable and capable of ensuring our safety. we should focus on how much we spend and how we spend. this will require the united states to continue prioritizing capabilities that can operate across the spectrum of conflict against the most sophisticated. it will require nato nations also to prioritize similar investments in their own millitaries. since the end of the cold war,
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america's military spends is not proportionate. today it is smaller than the combined gdp of the 27th allies but america's defense spending is three times combined. this threatens nato's integrity and both european and transatlantic security. many of nato's smaller members have pledged to increase their defense budget. and i thank distonia's defense manager for the commitment and investment in nato. but the alliance can't afford for the larger military armies and the more capable forces not to do the same.
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we must see renewed financial commitments from all nato members. russia's action are making this clear. i know from conversations with defense managers they don't need convincing on this point. talking among ourselves isn't good enough. having participated in the nato defense action and having met with the all of my nato counterparts, i have come away recognizing the challenge is building support for defense investment across our governments. not just in our defense ministry. defense investment must be discussed in the broader context of member nation overall fiscal challen challenges and priorities. i am calling for including senior budget officials at a
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nato member focused on investment. this allows them to receive detailed briefings. and leaders must understand the consequences of reduced defense spending and help will break up the fiscal impass. in meeting its global security commitments, the united states must have strong and committed allies. going forward, the department of defense will not only seek, but increasingly rely on closer integration and collaboration with our allies and in ways that will influence u.s. strategic planning and investments. from the early cold war, american defense allies called on european allies to ramp up their defense and in recent
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years there has been a sense the end of the cold war ushered in an end to insecurity at least in europe. in the end aggregation by the nation's state. but russia's action in ukraine shatter that. a deeply connected europe still lives in a dangerous world. we must build a peaceful order, but there is no post-modern wreckage immune to the threat of military force. and we cannot take for granted that piece is underwritten by military power. the transatlantic alliance has responded to russia with continued results. but over the long term we should expect russia to test us.
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future generations will note whether at this moment of challenge we summoned the will to invest in our alliance. we must not shrink from this challenge. we will be judged harshly by history and future generations if we do. nato should find creative ways to find nations around the world to help them adapt to collective security, to rapidly lely and gg evolving landscape. it is a model for security institutions from around the world from africa to the persian gulf to asia. i say this having called for a
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gulf council administration this year. these institutions bring all of the people, all of the interest and all of the economies closer together serving as an anchor for security and prosparity. as these institutions develop their own unique security plans, they stand to benefit from nato's controlled system. there is no transatlantic prosperity absent securityx but investing in alliance and collective security means more than investing in the millitaries alone. it means the united states and europe must partner together to bolster energy's security and blunt russia's energy policies. by the end of the decade, europe
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is positioned to reduce their natural gas imports from russia by 25%. and export permits have been approved for american gas that add up to mer than half of of europe's gas from russia. deepening tide through trade initiatives like the transatlantic trade and partnership and global leadership in values like human rights and the rule of law. let me conclude by reflecting on decision 20 years ago to move toward nato enlargement which as jane noted is a focus of this country. it is argued that nato expansion brought russian aggression. critics said it was a tragic
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mistake. some still say that. but the historical record speaks for itsself and makes clear that nato has sought partnership with russia and that contributed to stability and security. no one wanted to replace europe's cold war dividing line with a new one. so america and its allies made a good faith effort to convince russia the security was converging. president clinton said the test of russia's measure is whether russia, the big neighbor, can be the good neighbor. despite the reservations of many new members, nato established the partnership for peace and negotiated the russia-nato piece agreement and some went so far
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to see that russia might join the alliance. but we were never blinded to the risk. former secretary of state warned in 1995 that among his words, one of the plans of preparing is that russia will abandoned behavior that characters history particularly during the soviet period. and nato must stand ready to visit the basic principles underlying its relationship with russia. nato enlargement didn't invite russian aggression. it didn't form crisis then or now. instead it settled old disputes and promoted freedom and free mact markets and advanced the
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cause of peace. that is why nato holds the door open for aspiring members. consider the alternative, a world without nato enlargement and not the asurances they provide. it would have risked a precarious environment in which today's central and eastern europe allies would be torn between europe and russia. it would have risked insecurity in the heart of europe and risked a europe more fractured and less free. thanks to american lead weershi and some of the leaders you will hear from today that is not the world we live in.
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yes, the world is dangerous. yes, the world is imperfect. yes, we have challenges. but we must reflect on what we have as we build platforms to take on the new threats. in 1997, i said on the senate floor that america, europe and russia could all benefit if the nations of central and eastern europe are anchored in the security nato can offer. the transatlantic alliance officers security and offers an antadote to the fear of aggression truman warned about. it will endure well in the century and the next century but only if nations on both sides of the atlantic see this clearing
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moment. after the general arrived in paris and assigned as the 34th president of the united states, he was war weary as the american public and people all over the world as well. he had written to his wife and in his words he constantly wondered how civilization can stand war at all. he would lie awake at night, smoking cigarettes, and he acknowledged privately there wasn't one part of his body that didn't pain him. in his first formal address as president, ike consisted that america had to maintain engaged in the world. he said no community can be achieved in isolation but only with cooperation with other
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nations. and he connected america's transatlantic commitment to the vitality of the shipping and trade centers and farms and little businesses and to our rights at home. our rights to produce freely, travel freely, think freely and pray freely. those who doubt america's commitment to abroad should recall that wisdom. the peace we enjoy today was hard won and it is always perisable. without deep engagement in the world, america would face more c conflict, not less. and not on our own terms.
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that is why america's commitment to our allies in europe and around the world isn't a burden or a luxury but a necessity and it must be unwavering. thank you. [ applause ] >> thank you very much, secretary hagel for remarks that mind inspire the corn huskers and the entire world. we will now take a few questions from the audience. please identify yourself and i suggest that you stand up so we know where you are when you are speaking. way in the back? yes.
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>> hi, umd, i agree with congresswoman harman on your inspirational speech. i want to know in light of activity in the balkin do you predict efforts being done similar to the greece dispute that prevents them from joining nato? thank you. >> that is an area of the world that is working through difficult, historical differences. you know, and i think everyone here, knows about those differences. i think the progress being made in those countries as they sort through the differences
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peacefully, it isn't perfect. it is a challenge and a matter of progress and building a functional-free democratic institution and respect people regardless of religion or ethnic backgrounds. i think a lot of progress is being made. we have seen that in the definition of boundaries of new nation states as they continue to work toward democracy and self-government in responsible ways. so i am encouraged by that. i do think, nato, european union, those alliances have helped that. i referenced, generally, not specifically, to the balkins, what i think nato has meant in my comments regarding we have
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fostered nato alliance and european union and that coming together and building on common interest. not our differences. but building platforms of common interest and where we agree and grow from there. that is the whole point behind the coalition of common interest built after world war ii. general agreement on terrorist and trade and all of that was on common interest so we don't go to a third world war which would go a long way to destroy man given the weapons we have. >> how about in the very back? i cannot really see what you are
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wearing so i cannot describe you. >> i have a question about historical relationship between nato and russia. 69 years ago, in may of 1945, our countries together were celebrating great victory. how has this happened now that america changed to russia's country enemy? what happened over the years? thank you. >> well, i think you might want to address that question to others as to what happened. but i would answer your question this way: i said in my speech
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that during the process of nato enlargement and many of the strong arguments that were made, and this is just one example to answer your large question of what happened, all different views about nato enlargement were presented. i was in the senate as i noted at the time and jane was in the house. we spent a lot of time on this issue. those of you who were part of the debate rather in congress or outside know there is a lot of focus on this examining all of the views and the consequences of enlargement and russia's response as has been noted here. in my opinion, the right decisions were made to go forward with enlargement. during that process, there was a reaching out from nato members to russia. i referenced a couple of the
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specific partnerships for peace for the russian-nato meetings and that was done to recognize that russia would, i am sure, show think this was a threat to their security. you don't have to go back too far to get that. i wasn't at the center of everything decision, but i was on the foreign relation committee in the senate and traveled a lot on this. and i know our government at the time and i think our allies did reach out to the russians to reassure them this wasn't about differences but common
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interests. we have had ups and downs in the nato-russia relationship and we have had periods of cooperation as well. we do a lot with the russians. and we have differences. what happened in ukraine, that was not nato aggression that brought those actions on. so we will continue to do what civilalized nations must do: protect their own interest. but find wise, diplomatic smart resolutions to differences. but i think my remarks were pretty clear here on where i think the responsibility lies in this particular case. >> last question in front right here. >> mr. secretary, i am the
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police ambassador to portuguel on the other side of the atlantic. being in lisben we look at the atlantic often. i had a conversation yesterday with a predecessor of yours and we talked about mostly the same you did today. this was a private conversation so i will not get into it. but it was slightly different. for poland, the question of course is nato is one of our maj major accomplishments. the former prime minister from 20 years is agree is present and we remember how it went at the time. this was unbelievable and
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created opportunities for us. was meant to be the guarantee of your security in the international dimension. and until today the public continue the public opinion in poland believed that nato supports and defends us in the case of a situation. however, i believe what has changed is that the very concept of which nato was operating changed. for many years it was a concept of the prisoners game dilima presuming you have two people in jail and rather they would cooperate they would have to resolve it. now i believe one of those entities isn't in the same jail and is acting differently and i believe this is a new concept.
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and my question is how would you address it? [laughing] >> well, that is a very simple question. you deserve a simple answer. i noted in my remarks that we have a nato summit of heads of state coming up in september. this obviously, your question, and everything that revolves around it will be the cent centerpiece of that agenda for obvious reasons. i referenced on a number of occasions in more general terms in my remarks about strategic shifts and allies and commitments and not only financial but other strategic issues and i mentioned
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specifically the relationship with russia. all of this is going to have to be examined. ins ins institutio institutions don't say status quo. yesterday is gone. we each get a day older. institutions must remain relevant to the challenge and that is much of the theme of my point today. relevant to address the challenges that are before us and we anticipate will be in the future. that is constantly reassessment of strategic assets, the strength of alliances and all of the nation's assets. not just their military. you cannot have one without the other. and so, yes, we are going
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through that process. but i think in a world that is so hair triggered as we are loving in where there is very little margin for bad decision, margin of error, it isn't like it was 20 or 40 or 50 rears -- years -- ago. we have to be steady firm and wise in how we employ or powers. thinking not not just about today. but tomorrow. how does this work out? where do we want to end up before we commit anything to anything. and that is going to require more and more alliance relationships. every nation will respond in its own self interest. we know that. that is predictable and no nation should be held captive to an institution they belong to. every nation must protect its own interest but they are wide
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and varied and include mutual influence. and i mentioned our leaders after world war ii understood that. imperfect, flawed and we cannot sever everything but expand the record and where do we go from here? we have not done too badly in 65 years. there hasn't been a world world iii or nuclear exchange. on balance, there are more nations with possibilities for freedom and opportunities and trade. still a lot to do absolutely. but as imperfect and flawed and many mistakes governments and we all make, unbalanced we should not dismiss what has governor right and how we built the right
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things but it is an evaluation of interest. we appreciate what your country is doing and continues to do especially in the nato relationships. frank is a dear friend of mine. i have often said and frank things that have exageerate former senators never do that. if it had not been for frank, i am not sure portugal would have turned out the way it did in 1979. thank you. >> please join me in thanking secretary hagel. [ applause ] >> thank you. thank you very much. >> and the next part of our program begins right now.
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[inaudible conversations]
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>> good morning. i am the director of the cannon institute at the wilson center. we are celebrating our 20th anniversary and in that case i would like to knowledge the presence of diana davis spencer. i hope you will join us for the davis dinner in two weeks. the mission of the institute is to support deep understanding among leader in the united states, russia and around the world.
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that is more urgent now than other. since the 1990's, we have hosted over 500 scholars from russia and united states. most of these have been responsible for shaping the next generation's perception of russia in america and vice v versa. we joined forces to revive and relive the dartmoth conference. it was created at the urging of two people and i am proud to say today's panel only represents a part of what the center has to offer to security. now i will introduce the moderator. margaret is the correspondent
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for the pbs news hour. she has gone to every hot spot in the world. russia, china, egypt, to name a few of the stamps in her passport. before joining the news hour, she was a whitehouse reporter and cheief corspondant. and won an emmy award and shared the george polk award for coverage on terrorism. last year, we reported from ukraine in crimea and saw the issues up close and personal. it is my honor to welcome
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margaret. >> thank you very much and welcome to you who have been here. and we have an overflow room i understand. as jane harman and secretary hagel iterated this morning, i am remind you that we are here to look at really 20 years ago, this decision was taken in january of '94 at a nato summit to offer a partnership of peace to anyone who would like to have a closer relationship with nato. as everyone on the panel knows poland, czech republic and hungerary were hammering to joining. beginning in '97, nato started offering membership to those
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countries and today it is 12 larger than it was at the time. this obviously sticks in the president's craw. in the four hour telethon he talked about it repeatedly saying we were promised after germany's unification nato wouldn't expand eastward but they started expanding and taking warsaw treaty countries. when we said why are you doing this we heard this doesn't concern you nations and countries have the right to chose their own security. and he said that is true. but whether the infrastructure of military blocks or approaches our borders we must take concern steps and no one can deny this. he said nato and leaders lied many times and placed before him
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an accomplished fact and that is what happened with nato expansion. tonight we want to examine whether nato and the expanded nato alliance is reaping the worldwind of the decision in ukraine. we have a panel here of people who were present at the creation in one way or another. the former minister and then -- or first prime minister and then former minister of poland here and i will butcher your name. he was the prim minister in '87 when they were first invited to join. next is the foreign minister at the waning base of the soviet union and 1991-1996 of russia
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and was involved in this drama. wolfgang, i thought it was going to be cheryl there. many of you knew as ambassador to the united states for many years in the 2000's but he was on the policy planning staff in the german foreign office and as i recall during the implementing of nato and deeply involved. cheryl cross, the direct of the st. edwards center in austin. you were at the george marshal studies in germany for years. and on revote, a familiar pace to many of us, jaime shay. he has been at nato, a british
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citizen at nato for many years, in a lot of important discussion including the director of policy planning in '84 but known as an a spokesperson for nato now explaining what nato was doing in the '90s and 2000's to audien audiences. let's go back to the decision in january of '94 to begin the partnership for piece. was it as many critics suggested at the time was it falling or has what happened in ukraine proved it was necessary? >> margaret, thank you for bringing us all together.
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i think this is a wonderful opportunity. my view is that, you know, if one imagined a world in which we had not taken these decisions in '94 and going forward a few years with the first round of nato enlargement with poland was asked to come in and two other countries. if we had not done that, what kind of chaos could exist in europe? we would have continuing or few lines of division in europe. the idea was that how could we resist the interest, the claim, the aspiration of newly independent countries like our immediate neighbor to the east poland, who said can we be part
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of your club? would would have made it legit to say no to that? if we want europe whole and free and united. it was without an alternative the question is did we use the right steps and communicate with the first russian and then soviet. that is a big question. but i can this his a necessary decision. >> how was it seen in russia at the time and how would you answer that question? >> i would answer today as i answered that time. and i would like to answer also the question of one of my
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russi russian's members about have v day because it is time to celebrate v day. we celebrate on russia in may 9th and in the west may 8th. what happened after that? that is a part of the answer to your question. what happened after that is that stalin remained in power and the system which ignited and participated in aggression against poland in 1939 together with hitler. that system in russia and soviet union remained and that was the course of the cold war instead of the united nations in proper
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terms, not in technical terms, of the word. and then what happens today, the main problem is that russia has not yet bothered with this past. stalin is referred to in government approved text books for our children as an able operator and manager. could you believe what happened in germany if hitler was referred to as able manager? ...
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the results of the democraticre. and i haven't seen any of those in the so-called white house when we were standing against the coup in august 19, 1991. but they were quick to privatize actually the cash flow from the oil and gas exports which are still the base of economy, and they mostly moved themselves.
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that's amazing. today is mostly based in the nato summit. had nato fallen, expanded, adjourned me to as a country, russian elite during nato but left a rush into the post so be kind of propaganda. that's what we are facing today. >> let me ask -- >> i'm sorry to say. it's very painful for me to say this. >> at the time in 1994, was poland bitterly disappointed or did you always think this is going to be a backdoor way, this would morph into eventual pathway to nato membership even though at the time it was painted in a different set? >> i will be very frank. that moment we are very
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different. to explain that, let me tell you what was the reason to which we apply to nato membership so that the collapse of soviet union. that happened in december 91, and for the first time members of the polish government began talking about nato membership in february, march of 92. first there were reasons but probably in my opinion, 1981 was we were a threat of potential instability in russia. [inaudible] later on it was contained by the way that political conflict between president yeltsin, reduced thank schelling your we were a threat of weakness and instability in russia. potential conflicts that already erupted in many places in soviet
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union. that is why we were interested in fast joining nato. but yes, i can also say today that, of course, there was a lot of negativity in a way of thinking because we believed that was almost 100% political decisions. we did not understand how much we have to do ourselves to prepare for instance, our army, personnel, et cetera, et cetera. in 94 we had disappointment believing that was offered us instead of nato membership. that was kind of trick, not fair to us. but i can say it was very wise decision. we really had to do a lot, understood. we did our homework pretty well
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and become a credible and reliable ally. >> let me talk to jamie shea because you were there at the time. inside the inner council at nato. was it seen as many americans, political figures portrayed it? secretary hagel did, too, something that would've for quote independence and the bureaucratic identity of the new members, help them solve their various disputes between them and on their borders, and/or was it still aimed at least part of the objective that it would bolster europe's defense against a possibly resurgent russia? >> first of all, thank you very much to the wilson center for allowing me to appear through the magic of tv and the present with you in washington. i'm grateful. the first thing to say is nato did not receive -- [inaudible] as we know happened in 1990 will
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nine several years after the end of the cold war until we put in place a comprehensive old european security system which included russia. for example, we did not try to see nato enlargement as nato expanding eastward pushing itself be stored. -- eastward. very much response to the legitimate aspirations central and eastern european countries at the end of the cold war to be part of the family if it works so well for us for so many years, why would we refuse they be part of the? we did rush into this. as the prime minister refer to. first of all it was the country themselves had to demonstrate the put upon nato membership much as is way of receiving passively protection but they were entailed to share the burdens of membership the
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through a process of reform. for example, by the time nato largely happened, as you nato had become deeply involved in so-called out of area operations will be on the traditional article v collective sense, particularly in bosnia and peacekeeping supporting the united nations. the countries the ones join had to understand it was a two-way street. they not only would receive protection but also had to contribute to nato extending the protection to others because second thing which i think we have to remember is before nato enlarged we had a negotiation with russia. i participated actively in this. the secretary-general negotiated for months with the russian foreign minister on the nature russia finally acted to make it clear that before we enlarged we were not doing this again for russia but we are embracing russia and we saw this not as a
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either or but a way bringing russia closer to nato and giving russia a seat at the table and they voice in all of this. so put together the framework which everybody participated and once this was in place then we could go forward with nato membership the it was all about not repeating the 20th century and even 19th century europe where the small countries had to limit their sovereignty and their foreign policy dependence because they were between two large countries. the geography determine your fate our history was bound to be repeated. for example, one of the reasons why nato came about was because somebody -- some of the earlier ideas of confederation in europe struck people as going back to the very loose legal nation's whole collective security of the 1930s where everybody is responsible for everybody else s security and, therefore, nobody
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is secure. central and eastern european countries there was a natural rebellion politically against that kind of idea of being in a glass or second class citizen zone. the point want to make is, before transparency with russia and bringing russia in as we went along. that has to be remembered. >> sharyl cross, you're observing all this and talking to all of these people. how much thought was given to potential blowback from russia? in other words, was from your observation point, was there really a sincere desire or at least intention that if russia involved in a certain way that could become a part of this community? >> on the part of nato beginning in the first visit of the secretary-general before even the collapse of the soviet union for moscow to reach out in a
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spirit of cooperation and that remains the case i think in terms of nato's approach to russia, to the partnership with russia, the permanent joint council negotiating for them initially and then the nato-russia council. so i think it's sincere in terms of the understanding on the part of nato countries that, in fact, europe's security and many issues and global security required cooperation from the russian federation. they are working at the challenges in that relationship going forward would be important. i'm a proponent of nato enlargement. i just returned from almost a decade on the other side of the atlantic where i've been working, engaging with the new democracies. i can imagine what the circumstances would have been in terms of the practical support in defense transformation, democratic development without institutions of the european union and nato. but at the same time i think we have to recognize that it's
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reasonable on the part of moscow different nato's history to be concerned about nato's movements increasingly to russia's border. no matter how many assurances were offered on the part of western nations over the last period, many just don't accept that and has been consistent opposition first by mikhail gorbachev and the russian leadership to nato's enlargement. i think the challenge remains given the vast common security interests and the importance of that security relationship that we have to anticipate and i think ukraine in many ways the situation was predictable because the russians have talked about consistently, they sort of draw this line and we could go only so far and they are very nervous and concerned about ukraine's ties with the western nations. it's too bad that it's turned into a contest for countries like ukraine and montenegrin and
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other aspiring nations wanted to move closer to the euro atlantic community have to now make a choice when really the best and wisest strategy for the long-term success and democratization and economic will being will be to pursue ties both with russia and the eastern neighbors and in the west. >> you wanted to jump in? >> i would just like to add a german view on why we did what we did in the '90s and how it came about. when some of us in the german government were posed to move forward on nato enlargement by inviting the first group of countries, chancellor helmut hesitated. i remember a meeting where he said don't do anything, i need to talk to my friend boris first. and then he came back and said we will have to do this in a kind of tubular arrangement that
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can be -- to tell the arrangement. the nato pillar but there's got to be an equally substantial pillar that we can call the nato-russia pillar and let's build these simultaneously. let's change the relationship between nato and russia as we invite new members. that's the way to keep everybody maybe not happy but all the rent and to deal with the concerns that you, sharyl, have mentioned and which suddenly were legitimate concerns. second observation, when i looked at the debate we're having today in moscow but also here in the west, we seem to be falling behind, talking about in the mid '90s. during the first clinton administration i recall we had a
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bit of a debate, would it make sense to invite russia to become over time a member of nato? later on as i recall 12, 13 years ago around 2001 that question was raised again. 's obviously the russian response was we are not really interested in being a member of native but we are interested in a changed relationship. rush of course went even further and came back to us more recently with a whole new concept for the relationship between the west and russia, for european security. some of the ideas that were put forward by president medvedev during his tenure as president of russia simply in our view
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were not designed to be acceptable to all in the west. it was just not going to work. so i think to finish, we have reached a point where hopefully once discussed, this awful ukrainian crisis we will need to take a sharp look again at how we can overtime construct a european order, a european security architect, if you'd like to call it. that is, good for us but also okay for russia. >> let me get on trade to weigh in before jumping it what you want to do with ukraine and what we do afterwards. was there a feeling that the west was taking advantage of russia at the time of weakness? in the early 90s with the
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economy, the internal political situation was really quite chaotic. is there still a feeling that the west was moving ahead in a way because they could afford to annoy russia -- ignore russia? >> is difficult to speak for any country as a whole. if you speak republicans and democrats they will probably find many different answers, but it's even much more unfortunately russia, so if you speak of a people democratic and those who are in government like myself on a wave of democratic movement in russia at the beginning of the '90s, that was the window of opportunity for russia to really part with -- it was revolutionary, and it should be revolutionary. because its fundamental change
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from stalin, basically stalin system to a democratic system. and in this window of opportunity, nato was very much in the center of the problem. i cannot agree more with the ambassador that yes, we wanted to use this window of opportunity which closed unfortunately, very soon, not because of nato and western -- it was basically because of the basic tendencies and russia that we, our government, early yeltsin government, we were able to fulfill the promise of democratic change. and the west, not nato, but the west could have helped us with a
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kind of marshall plan. but that required much more political focus and resource to actually sees them and held russia. and i was the one to advocate it. it's absolutely correct, and i was at all those meetings on almost all those meetings with helmut kohl. when yeltsin told him very clearly, yes, we need russia first with the nato to avoid the commotion, to avoid all those difficulties. so that was our concert, russia first. and that's why we were against speedy or hasty, as we called it, expansion or joining by poland of nato. so my formula and the yeltsin forum at that time was yes to
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partnership with nato, fundamental, strategic partnership, and no to hasty enlargement because we were fearful that we would be left alone, you know, left in the cold. so we wanted -- but the problem of russian nato is of course much more difficult with all due respect down the problem of other countries in eastern europe, including ukraine even, and george. the problem is that rush is a nuclear superpower. it was nuclear superpower and it is still nuclear superpower. we are still targeted by russian missiles even as we speak. that's very important point, and
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went -- >> by u.s. missiles? >> when we are speaking now -- >> i am targeted by my own missiles. [laughter] just to be sure. so it sounds funny, but i don't feel it's funny. because i know the missiles, and when you're in the government of russia, you have to take into account, and my constituency, i was at that dumont, i was at those elections when there were elections. and i had 14 containers in movements that you know it's still a naval base for russian strategic fleet. that's where the submarines are. and the missiles on the submarines. so when you, the elections in
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naval base actually, you have to meet the offices of this large army which cannot be member of nato, at least immediately or probably not anytime. and we have china and we have different geography. so it was much more difficult task than just becoming a member. and it's still much more difficult. but i have to agree with president putin a little bit, that in technical terms, in technical terms are is some truth to what he says, like basically it was problem of russia not reforming. enough. but technically the negotiations with nato were largely
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mishandled by our nato partners, because they failed. it took me two years to actually argue with warren christopher who was then my counterpart in the united states, so that he started to concentrate on that problem really that russia, could not do that and probably cannot do it now, even if it is, even if it was an even if it would be today i fully democratic country just because of its geography and everything. so it's much more difficult but it was not addressed. and then he started to address that in 1995. believe it or not it was probably already too late because the domestic -- and if
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you're more interested in that, read my memoirs which -- [laughter] maybe somebody would be interested in publishing and you will know a lot how those negotiations were proceeding. so in technical terms we had a lot of promises, and i tell you, that into promises, both of economic and negotiating, real problems rather than just general discussion. >> let me just jump in here. >> even worse, it's probably empty promises are even worse probably than empty threats. >> let's jump to the present and ukraine, and the kind of challenge that ukraine, the situation represents the nato. mr. prime minister, what would you say, i mean, what kind of a
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challenge is this for nato? what can nato possibly do what's happening in ukraine, if anything? >> i have no doubt this is very serious situation. the threat to peace in europe is back after over two decades when we believed that finally we got to a safe place on the earth. i think that democratic west not reactereacted in a proper way, effective way. and that is a risky tactic because if we do not stop that aggressive policy, at any stage then we can face not only -- rick warren more efforts, more risk, taking more risk, high risk and so on. ambassador ischinger, want after solving the crisis with
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ukrainian crisis, and i asked myself what you mean by solving the ukraine crisis? what does it mean, saving ukrainian crisis? that is one element. i can imagine of course getting sanctions but that is one element of the crisis which will be very difficult to be sold. the space is crimea, the future of crimea. [inaudible] that was stolen illegitimately by an aggressor. if we really believe, if we really are series -- says about international principle and so on we have no other option than just a crimea must be given back, returned to ukraine. i understand of course it seems to be almost unrealistic, but we have to find answers to questions. and that is why, just one
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sentence. of course, nato has to react in the sense that security reality in europe became different. but the most important answer should be given in other area, economy. >> let me bring in jamie shea. i mean, looking at it, covering this, it does appear that other than trying to reassure our article v cover to member states that there's really very little nato as an organization can do or is willing to do to assist ukraine. is that right? >> it's not, margaret. let me make it clear. there were four aspects to dealing with this crisis and they all have to be interrelated and work together.
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firstly, nato as the prime minister said, is doing its utmost successfully to reassure the new member states, not so new of course any longer but if the event in nato for 15 years already, we are serious about article v collective defense reassurance, united states has played his role sending aircraft, sending 600 troops for exercises, increasing visibility in the air, on land and at sea. to make it clear, secretary hagel pointed this out that we take the defensive allies very seriously indeed. and to restore to the extent it needs restoring deterrence. that's never one. alleys we can put limits to how far this crisis can go at least in geographical terms. number two, there's a lot we can do to help ukraine. we can't do it alone. the country is in bad shape economically, politically punitive. it is elections coming up. everybody needs to do their utmost to improve the resilience
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of ukraine to resist the sort approach is that it's under at the moment from russia on a continuous basis. what we can play a role, in terms of helping to revitalize, to reform, to restructure the ukrainian armed forces but it's not going to happen overnight but the work starts. the third we can do is to make it clear to russia and their consequences for the outrageous things have happened. certain russian interlocutors were giving the impression after the annexation of crimea that they would wait two or three weeks let the whole thing blow over and we go back to business as usual because we have too many interests, economic or otherwise and not having business as usual. i think so far the international community, u.s., united nations, everybody has shown remarkable consistency making it clear that the sanctions are not going up and up and up entity the russian economy is starting to feel the
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impact. i was tested by what prime minister cimoszewicz said. not living in russia and longer but i was in london yesterday and i spent a couple of in the bookstore where the entire fourth floor have been taken over by russian books, russian lit which books because there are so many russians that are living in london that this bookstore believes that is economically viable thing to do. there are millions of russians now living outside russia. russia's benefited enormously in terms of living standard and std improvement of peoples lives from being connected to europe and the united states come to the international trading system in a way that crisis, the ruble has lost a 10% outside the russian this year is heading down towards this year pointer to secretary hagel very eloquent address the energy issue. president putin me feel empowered or strengthened but i think it's not going to be longer for the average russian
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start assessing his or her well being of future prospects, the impact of this isolation. the economic factor should not be underestimated. the fourth and final thing is what we are doing in nato peacekeepiniskeeping the door o. so is the european union. we have been canceled the council. we have a torrent up the nato-russia founding act or the rome declaration. russia is to integrate it into europe and this is the thing i want to get across. when russians talk about nato enlargement they talk about something that sort of is excluding them from europe. the russians are in the oecd of the russians are part of the council of your. they have a separate dialogue. before the crisis they were about to join the organization of economic cooperation and development at the russians are very from integrated and we are keeping those mechanisms and corporations what they're going
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to future european security architecture open hoping that sooner or later president putin or the russian government or the russian elite will come to his senses and realize that the path they've chosen may have a short term a thrill and in the long run it's going to see a rush going into severe decline and severe loss of global inclusion. >> let's take a stony, a lot of ethnic russians and some of the baltic states. is that any doubt in the mind of anyone in this gathering that is russia were to invade or even try to destabilize as it's done both in crimea, now in eastern ukraine, one of the nato member states that an article v mutual defense full throated defense would be the reaction from nato? >> i strongly believe that there will be but the problem is that a big part of the public, public
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opinion is not shared the same. >> sheryl? >> yes, i think we need to keep the signals very clear and unambiguous in that respect with moscow that you are right, there's still concern in the public that a think -- >> do you mean -- >> i think rick large across the subject of those countries close to russia's border the other part of this is if you look at the complex for strategy that moscow has employed in crimea and in ukraine, it becomes much less clear what constitutes an invasion or -- [inaudible] >> exactly. these are issues that will have to be discussed and considered, and if it presents certain challenges in working through at what point the response would be employed and in what form.
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>> what about public opinion in countries like the u.s. or germany, ambassador ischinger? does the german public support a military response if russia were to attempt a sort of eastern ukraine kind of destabilization campaign in one of these nato member states? >> no. the clear answer is no. i don't think the u.s. public would support a military response. president obama himself has ruled out a military response. data has not -- >> that's ukraine. on talk about is the same center were to be followed like in estonia. >> i'm sorry. i misunderstood you. of course. of course, there would be a totally different ballgame. we are talking about article v. if we're talking about the members of nato. they were really in serious territory. i think in that case they would be no doubt that we would need
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to come up with determined action, and that moment should not rule out the of and military response. but let me say this. i think as we look at the situation today, it's important to remind ourselves that demonizing president putin as unnecessary and has terrible we may find his decisions, demonizing president putin and imposing sanctions against russia alone does not amount to a strategy. in other words, what we need is a strategy. and one element would take longer time than we have here, but one element, one i ordered item in my view is to understand that our first purpose at this moment ought to be to make sure
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that ukraine can return hopefully over time, it won't happen at the push of a button, from what is essentially a rather dysfunctional state into a functioning state, into a prosperous state come into a stable state. it will require a lot of money. the eu has already devoted 11 billion just now. the united states has made some resources available. we will probably need a whole lot more. we will need to help ukraine politically, economically, and in many other ways, just the military issue. so i think that's important. second observation, i don't need to explain to this audience how many times over the last decade or so we have allowed ourselves, i mean, americans and europeans, germans and americans, to be
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split in the management of crises. remember iraq. remember libya. i believe so far we can actually be quite proud that even though there are different views here and there, both within the eu and between the eu and the u.s., we have managed to keep things together. i believe we would be offering a victory on a silver platter to president putin if he allowed us, within the eu or in the trans-atlantic community, to be divided about our response. and and i think that, quite frankly, i mean that only half seriously, we can say, maybe we should say, thank you, mr. president, putin for reminding
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us that there is a need to have a vibrant and active nato. some people in europe, and msha some people in this country were beginning to think that maybe after afghanistan we don't need this organization that much anymore. thank you, mr. president for reminding us that it is a good idea for europe to look at how best to diversify our energy sources. and thank you, mr. president are also reminding us that it is a totally essential objective for the european union to speak with one voice, not only when things are calm but particularly in times of crises. so i believe it is giving us -- i hope, i was hoping we would not need this but i think it is very useful, he gave us a pretty good wakeup call. >> so the question is what kind of wakeup call is at? secretary hagel said whatever u.s. defense secretary has been
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saying since the end of the cold war, which is if the european countries are to spend more on defense instead of course the opposite is happening and also in this country. do you think there will be any change in that dynamic, sharyl cross? >> i think we'll look at the situation, to me the wakeup call should be that while we were pursuing the pivot for the rebalance towards asia i think the situation is only reinforce how important relationships in your of our or the united states, and that in many ways that can serve as a basis as the foundation for the very turbulent and challenging world that we face. and so i think of this in terms of not only military engagement but equally and perhaps even more important as a political diplomatic level engagement with societies that this has to be a primary resource priority for the united states always. >> is also a military element. >> yes, and everybody's got to
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share in the burden. >> is there any prospect there will be anymore case, we're talking about, among the public for spending more on, defense, on defense that's part of an integrated nato complementary structure that is military. >> to have a chance for that we need to speak about situation as very serious, but in many of the countries it's been neglected. let's not expect that it will be convincing to the public opinion to support more spending, defense spending. that is why i believe, i agree, strategies always need a matter of wisdom, common sense, but we should understand how important is react and very clear, very tough way to what is international law crime.
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it cannot be, and it's not do, you know, demonize mr. putin. it's not to humiliate russia. it's not about that. they did something. what can happen in europe, and that must be called that way. we have to be consistent in the political positions. the only way to convince our people and our countries, yes, unfortunately, unfortunately there's a time when we have again to spend more for defense. >> do you see any prospect that anything the west is doing right now what turned him from his current path in eastern ukraine? >> it's not up -- it's up to west to do these things. because the you know what, its tendency to be very dependent on the west among some like colleagues even from the democratic front. it's up to us to democratic
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forces both in ukraine and in russia to stand up. but to the west, there was always -- [inaudible] the oil price was so low that we could not take any kind of money that they have now in moscow. indeed, promises which we heard during our time were very counterproductive -- >> i'm sorry, but we have to go to audience questions to big tee think there is anything now? >> yes. >> that can be done in -- >> stay away from empty threats. i agree with the prime minister. if you feel there is aggression and you call it that way, so your work should mean something. otherwise it's totally counterproductive. they speak of a legal decision,
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for instance, of russia parliamentary, russian duma and russian parliament. in support of what they call aggression now in the west. yet members of russian parliament, i wouldn't meet in miami when i come back because they are now coming for the spring vacation. so you don't go even to london. you go to miami. you go to new york and you could see those people, members of the parliament. in their own visas, 15 or 20 people are somehow selected under the sessions. i don't share in this. i don't endorse. but what i'm saying there should be, and i agree with prime minister, should be consistent. if you threaten something, you
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do something. if you don't do, if you are not prepared to deprive yourself from the petrodollars which i full understand, of course. i mean, there are billions of dollars in london, in new york, and miami, and french riviera, and people are waiting now in best restaurants for those people to come. i'm not speaking of oligarchs. i'm not speaking of businessmen. i'm not speaking of russians like my humble self, but i don't have millions of dollars. i speaking of people who actually voted. so they should've been told something consistent if they did something wrong, and you want to introduce sanctions, they should feel about. otherwise they come here. they spend spring vacation. they can back and what is the conclusion? the conclusion is that the west is corrupt, as probably as
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corrupt as anything back home. and there is no consistency so they have empty words. in keywords are corruptive, no less than indeed promises and no less than absolute power, right? those three things which corrupt. so i'm not arguing for getting those people to come necessarily, but there would of course be very painful and people next time -- i am asked duma member, next time i would probably think twice whether i should vote for something or i should go to miami to my villa. [laughter] but the choice is not there. you better keep your opinion and you better find different words. rush at least and ukraine today particularly because --
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[inaudible] will be felt more in ukraine, unfortunately it because i solve the yugoslavian drama. it also started step-by-step. but with milosevic -- [inaudible] political sanctions. so unfortunately it will be bloody but ukrainian people like russian people, they deserve at least clear message. if you're not prepared, then stay away from big money from russia, be at least earnest to tell yes, germany -- [inaudible] he has good salary probably. people say it is 250,000 euros. for me, it would be considerable. a russian oligarchs, of course it's nothing.
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so are they prepared to pay him? yes. i mean, there should be some consistency. i agree with ambassador. at least it's a wakeup call to consistency. you know, basically the west and the united states in germany, they are on the right side of history. i have to agree. and it's our problem that we cannot call -- the russian problem. but you might call it tactical terms or day by day terms, there should be more responsibility and consistency in the west. not necessarily do something but if you are not prepared, then don't say you are. >> we have assault the ukraine prop issue but i want to move on
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-- we have not solved. if you want to get to audience questions, what does this mean? is this a really fundamental turn or shift in the relationship of nato with russia? however ukraine turns out. i will ask someone -- i going to be brief. jamie shea, i will start with you. look back and we'll say this is one of those hinge points. [inaudible] of course a lot will depend on what russia does. it takes two to tango. obviously, you can't dictate russian behavio behavior but fre his point of you as i said before we don't want to close doors. we've kept the nato-russia council operational. we still want to cooperate with russia as this weekend when circumstances allow, to do with all of the global challenges like afghanistan or piracy in
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the gulf of aden or counterterrorism where we of corporate a very successful with russia in the past. >> you are talking about -- [inaudible] >> the point ever like to make your is obviously in the short run we have no choice but to face this challenge. yes, the short term, deterrence and reassurance back to if you like article v, that has to be a priority. we are mindful there at nato the world is not going to stop simply because of the ukraine crisis. al-qaeda has gone on vacation. the pirates have not gone into hibernation in the gulf of aden. we don't have if you like any less chaos in syria or problems in the middle east. terrorism spreading across north africa. these things are still with us and yes, we have to deal with this issue of reassurance. on th you then we still have to work with our partners. >> prime minister to what would
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you -- >> prime minister to what would you -- [inaudible] handles o over problems at once. >> what do you think, prime minister, this means in terms of where nato goes from here in dealing with russia? >> i'm afraid that we will not go beyond that relations, that has been taken by nato. there's no good answer without -- what i said before. we cannot simply neglect, we cannot forget about the effect that already took place. this is the unfortunate. i must say that agenda believe in the historical need to work together with russia, that we share a lot of common interests. i believe that the present russian policy is suicidal.
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it's against strategic interest of russia. i would like to overcome that situation, but, unfortunately, there's some conditions that must be fulfilled by been. they have to get out of ukraine. they have to stop interfering with domestic affairs of other countries. you should not forget that we collaborated fir first with the regulations, procedures guaranteeing the rights of minorities, council of europe, so one. russia, it has reasons to complain to go to european institution in defense russian speaking minorities et cetera. but as i said, we cannot accept the factual actual situation in ukraine. i do not know what is the solution for that. because mr. putin announced the historical strategic new doctrine and stepping back of course real means, he has said
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that failures. i will not -- we have to address all united russia to make something to change, chauvinistic -- now shared by vast majority of the population. the west -- [inaudible] they should understand it's always in total catastrophe of the nation's. >> sharyl cross, did you want to jump in? >> i think we have some historical precedents. if you look back between the kitchen between it and russia's most series in former yugoslavia and drink the russian georgia war in 2008 but those rate difficult periods during the war with georgia. there were discussions all over the capitals in europe and united states and russia that we may have returned to a cold war or be returned to another cold war. we managed to move past that
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could because of a vast array of critical shared security interest. ukraine is more serious. this is a more difficult situation. the stakes for russia are much greater in ukrainian. i'm hopeful and when i hear jamie shea say we need to pursue all these discussion opportunities in the nato-russia council to continue to try to engage, work through these problems with russia, russia's position in europe and global security is critical. i think they are a major power and it's important we understand some of the other major strategic issues that are at stake in this relationship. in arms control, in counterterrorism, weapons proliferation, regional conflicts, the future of the circumstances in the middle east and just continued out, from the revolution taking place in that area. and if we have united states, europe and russia working in a
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competitive or any sort of approach in dealing with those situations, i think it could be very grim for the future. it's worth trying but it won't be easy. we should expect setbacks but we have to keep i think a long-term vision and not look at this just in terms of the short term and the medium. i don't think it's in the interest of any of our nation's to see the return of the cold war. >> i not hear anyone use the word containment yet but i'm hearing some albus of that, for instance, that europe should identify -- diversify its energy sources in ways that should be found not to need russia so much. what would you say to that, ambassador ischinger? do think something fundament is happening or is this a just, i say this with the disrespect, another georgia situation where after a year or so we look the other way and move on? >> maybe we didn't take events in georgia seriously enough.
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but that's a question also for historians to take a look at. my own view is that what we are saying is a policy of revisionism. that's what you call that. you know, placing in question what is essentially i learned that there are two kinds of leaders in the world. there's one category of leaders that takes what is advised great a better future. good example of that is singapore, ma built from the swamps to an international hub called singapore. if german leaders postwar had behaved or were behaving out in the way the current russian leadership is behaving we would still be, you know, fighting with poland over -- fighting
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with friends -- france and we would claim that some polls who speak german are actually german and deserve the protection of the german armed forces if something happened in poland that we don't like. this is chaos. this is awful. you know, i'm not one is going to try to minimize the dimensions of the problems that we're facing. but i also totally agree with andrey kozyrev. i hope everybody listens when he speaks but how important consistency is. consistency is very close to credibility, and whatever we say has got to match with what we do. i totally agree with you. i think, you to come in response to question what about nato, well, we are going to need to take a fresh look at how important the core function of
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nato is to our countries. the core function in the collective defense have gotten more or less forgotten a little bit because we thought it was no longer really necessary. we used to say germany was surrounded life friends and that everything is wonderful. well, obviously we need to take a fresh look because poland is our immediate neighbor, part of our club of our union, and if poland has a border with ukraine and there's chaos in ukraine and beyond, it affects our very own security and that of all of nato and of the eu as well. so yes, i think there must be a comprehensive review of our priorities, both in the eu and in nato, but let's not do it, if i may say so, with foaming at the mouth. let's do it, you know, cool and let's do it also always with
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having in mind consistency. >> on that thought we are going to questions from the audience. there are people with roving mike backs. i will start with you here. if you would prefigure name and affiliation and you know the rules, a question not a statement. >> thank you. george washington university. we have talked about george a couple times, particularly in april of 2008, the nato summit decided not to extend to georgia but within foremost georgia was invaded. there's a sense with hindsight wisdom has been spoken in never times today. is it your view the decision in 2008 not to extend membership action plan to ukraine and georgia was unwise? thank you. >> who would like to take that? i'i am sorry. [laughter] and just to get to all the
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questions maybe to someone want to volunteer to take that? we lost jamie shea. i'm sorry. they are replacing the call. well, ambassador ischinger, why don't you -- >> i can take that. >> jamie shea, did you the question? spent i did hear the question, margaret, yes. >> i will ask anyone to give a fairly brief and to because we have a lot of hands up. was it a mistake not to take in georgia and ukraine in 2008? >> well, no. again can you can't take these countries, georgia and ukraine were then and still now, still in preparation for membership. that work continues. what was not done in the wake of the crisis is for small lift the offer to georgia on ultimate nature membership.
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georgia missed the conditions but lumping ukraine and georgia together is what because there's some considerable time already ukraine has made clear it's not seeking nato membership, even under the present crisis. it hasn't renewed requested their membership. sometimes i'm mystified when russians always talk about nato as if it were sor sorted seekino embrace ukraine as a member. that's not the case. we're continuing to work with the georgia but as i say there's a deliberate process that hast to go through. that georgia has to go through. no, i don't let the nato decision was the reason, unless the russians at the time and president putin like when citing nato want to you as some kind of alibi or some kind of justification, some kind smokescreen pick simply getting out reality designs which were already there. it's a very convenient thought into russia. it's a good excuse. ..
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>> perhaps a bit late. >> do you want to comment on

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