tv Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak Discusses U.S.- Russia Relations CSPAN October 11, 2016 4:30pm-6:01pm EDT
the net could afternoon i am the dean from international studies will come to a discussion on the relations between united states and russia. is part of the series on foreign policy and global security. we are honored today with our ambassador sergey kislyak who currently serves as the ambassador to the russian federation to denied the state's. we'll afford to hearing is perspective to the issues facing these two countries and with the engagement and diplomacy i can think of no one better than him to have pressing those issues today.
ambassador kislyak previously served as a deputy minister of foreign affairs 2003 through 2008. prior to that simultaneously the russian federation ambassador to belgium and the permanent representative of fresh shot. he graduated from moscow engineering physics institutes as well as the academy of foreign trade. also thanks to our foreign policy is to end our moderator to the global security forum. to conduct the of conversation. solo me to invite both be ambassador kislyak and ambassador to the podium. [applause]
>> good afternoon. thanks for joining students and faculty the dean and others with this important subject of russia up. i also have a rather large audience here today that signals the interest of this important subject. please turn off your cellular phone. that would be grateful if you could silence them.
or perhaps it to you or especially to you we do not want moscow to call. [laughter] >> but i could give them the advice from moscow. >> host: do you want to make a few remarks on the complicated relationship? serving three presidents of the national security council i remember going to the welcoming ceremony in 87 in december. that is the transformation of this relationship to be substantially different. since then i have been in the two administrations each
one expects he will be better bet your perspective is crucial. however you want to address that. >> first in for most thanks for inviting me to this wonderful opportunity to explain russia is a and what it is not that is especially important nowadays. second, i was thinking how to start the discussion because the american tradition starts with a joke promised trying to find a joke about united states sanders russia and i lost my sense of humor. [laughter] is very unfortunate and to
have the chance to dwell upon that but not in the best fashion but probably for the united states with the american relations and it is also deplorable and we missed a lot of opportunities. i would also like to say that we are watching very carefully and we will not comment on this. we do not interfere with the internal affairs of the united states. and that is important to wonder stand. -- understand. but now we are looking to appear to relations that is different from 87 and i
remember mr. gorbachev i was working here at the embassy during arms control. i remember that high expectations what we can do together if one day it ceased to exist, what to be due for killed together? there is no cold war. not even today. no ideological divide. no basis for the cold for. unfortunately they come together in a way of five for 10 years ago to come in the wrong direction. if you want to me to characterize where we are
today i will try to summarize the events in the same fashion. we have a commission between those working groups on a number of issues that was supposed to help build relations. from science and technology, aerospace if you name it to we had it. it is:. at was not our decision. and i am trying to be polite , of including sections and there were ways
to exert pressure and calls even recent calls so i believe that isolated pressure will not work. we are very much disappointed that instead of trying to build and capitalized on how russia in united states can help to gather we are locked into our locked into the friendly discussion we think it is a waterfall opportunity.
-- wonderful opportunity. but the result is where we are. even before those current disagreements with the ukraine you may remember as the offense to russia and the russians with the edward stoughton affairs just by the events happening without our participation and after words when he was stuck in the russian airport and we had no the goal or moral reasons to give them snowden
to the government of united states we did have been an agreement for mutual extradition. then we saw the relations as the president of united states chose to cancel the summit and we have a number of other things of that situation in the ukraine with the forceful overthrow of the legitimate government we had huge disagreements to build the government of national unity we saw
pressure that we could not accept. with disagreements over crimea and we're still locked in sections against russia. of with late to save from the outset that of pressure does not work including economic fronts. but it is important to understand how things are developing. having said that to comment
on the u.s. elections we can make one small exception w. very disappointed about the rhetoric about russia that is embedded in these discussions and this seems to be another collateral damage of the political debate. the with that fast approval we are keeping all of the doors open. working with those issues but and then to restore a and little bit of normalcy.
russia up. and with the government of syria to help to fight terrorist. nothing more, nothing less. the emir there on a fully one illegal -- a legal basis that are there on the ground. of the legitimate government. returning to the crisis in syria even the latest disagreement did not change that. and what is important is the
of political solution ha ha that sometimes when i speak to my american colleagues everybody speaks in a way that is serious but it is not. to be dutifully elected. and with those different sectors of religion. and we need to understand and to will eliminate the source of terrorists. and with the united nations to improve the security council resolution.
and for all kinds up. -- and from the syrians to the top negotiators because they can tell the syrian people how they want to be in the future. there is to process that we have tried to harmonize. and to some degree we feel we are almost there. when became to an agreement on the united states of the very recent decision to establish the regime but to
provide those terms. we have agreed that the syrian government that are living free and also was publishing checkpoints that the humanitarian assistance that come to western not carry weapons. had one checkpoint of the opposition so what we saw after words there was an attempt. but it is very telling for who we are.
of this . they attacked the government of syria. within one week. and also those forces of those humanitarian convoys. the opposition tries to take over the territory. but even as we speak. and you have to remember there are several parts. because it is under control of the government forces is each and every day.
there were 26 people who were shot by al qaeda we need to understand what is happening. end of its people of several civilians to be attacked by the government forces. we've never attacked civilians. or to go up against those forces of al qaeda sometimes have denounced a government where it is al qaeda and where is the opposition? you keep telling us it is not al qaeda. but we have a specific response on this issue to
help deal with these and more precise fashion. but it is not peaceful serious. it is huge with those discussions. we go after al qaeda and daily spot in hill country which i thought that they remember or who would understand? so with that syrian government of the continued violations of the region decided enough is enough. what resaw as a result put pressure on be opposition
days promised us they would make sure that they would cleave al qaeda and be separated and that has been promised since probably march but it has never been done. and ms you focus on what is right that you cannot find what you call constructive cooperation. but if you find agreements that you want me to address address, it is a different story. >> host: actually i wanted to ask one of the things things, other statement that he said it was the result of actions by the u.s.. precisely which ones quick. >> first i have to explain
optimized for the kind of functions. so we told him that we will build a reactor, the so-called breeder reactor. that will be very well designed in order to make efficient the presence of elimination of plutonium. we have to build a facility to create -- they can be fitted, something that you as a government was insisting to do 12 or even more years ago. we didn't want to do it at the time because we didn't feel it was reasonable enough. it was enormously expensive. we were at that time promised a lot of financial help from the
western countries. the help never came. so what happened? the u.s. government has been building your own multifuel facility. and in the middle of the process, you are somewhere in the middle, you simply decide to move to another direction. the one we have discussed and the united states was insisting wasn't reliable because it's reversible. and we have completed the plant. it's operational. we have completed a new very good reactor that is well posed to burn these plutonium, just to learn that the united states reconsidered. this was an agreement that was created in different
circumstances. it was a part of steps we're taking, you and us, in order to reduce the threat of nuclear materials in all the forms, including melted plutonium. there were a number of circumstances that made it possible at the time. first and foremost, you didn't do what you promised us. secondly, the circumstances have changed, and the treaty -- if circumstances crucially changed. and the circumstances did change. we see a very hostile pressure on russia on the economic side. we see moving towards neighbor. we see ballistic missile defense
been deployed, and certainly opposed to change in the long-term, in the long run the nuclear stability for most for the future. we see the so-called global strike to develop in the united states that would allow you to act militarily anytime, anywhere very soon. all of these, changing the strategic changing rattle before us. so we have to reconsider our participation in a formal, in a formal agreement. having said so, i would like to underline that having been in the treaty, we are not planning to use this plutonium for any military purposes. >> i have to go back to the --
sort of finish off something i was going to ask. there is a lot of opposition to the government, and we can talk about 50% or 80%, or whatever. even without the isis-taliban component. but how do you see this ending? how do you see some kind of normalcy to perhaps optimistic word at this moment? you know reports from everybody else about the conditions that prevail, how do you see it even, in the context of a non-collaborative u.s.-russian effort? where does it go? >> first, non-collaborative your we haven't shut the door. we said even with the decision of the united states announced
that they're not going to talk to us. the agreement of september 9 is still there. we are willing to work even when the united states starts working, we'll use the old formula constructively. first of all, secondly, i think that during the seven months of tough negotiations in multiple, bilateral, multilateral, we have discussed almost any possible avenue to pursue. so what is important, the forces that are acting on the ground, plus those who are, one has to be owners. is in the of countries are very much involved, including by supporting, we arming and
financing the armed forces acting against the government. so what is missing is political will to start doing things that already are there as many relations that can help. as far as we are concerned, what is important to stop the fighting, but it includes certainly their position, to make diminish and between opposition, it's an american term, the position that is been held, train and sometimes armed by united states. and the al-qaeda and isil because it's, i think common understanding even today between us and the united states that al-qaeda is a threat that needs to be dealt with. militarily. the security council resolution specifically, specifically
points to al-qaeda, al-nusra in syria, in isil as the organization that needs to be exterminated. and for the rest we need to start building an environment and a format to start negotiating. we have tried. initially on the first step towards the process of seeking a formula for peaceful negotiations. we even invited the opposition to moscow several times, and the goal was not to make them negotiate. the goal was to help them to learn that they can talk to each other, that they can think about syria that is their country, the syria that they share, they will
leave for their kids and grandkids. and bit by bit we saw moment towards, i would say better understanding that negotiations are possible. then we had a couple of attempts to start negotiations, but currently we see that the group of the opposition, that is adamantly insisting on the conditions before any negotiations, further participation in negotiations, has been blogging for almost a month and a half any further negotiations. but i think, i think we need to continue. we can achieve negotiating process. if we can't achieve that come it's not going to be easy. it's not going to be short. it's going to be painful. there will be bumps on the road. >> russian will remain in syria end its rather large presence? >> it's not all that large but
we are -- the agreement -- we are there as long as the situation requires. >> i have some very, i think interesting questions that five students, there will be others will be asking so i would like to take a moment. one of them is sort of on the arms control forces side, so let me do that would first. and that is, is there any expectation that russia will -- the conventional forces in europe treaty in the near future? or is the suspension expected to last? if so, what would it take for russia to recede? what actions by the u.s. and nato invasion as part of that? that's just to let you know details to let you know details of that student is. is. >> .com that they could question. the only problem is come it takes so much explain what we
suspended. >> sure, sure. >> i will try to be brief. we have an agreement on convention forces in europe. the agreement had been negotiated during the cold war between warsaw pact on the one side, and nato on the other. it has created a chemically of -- quarters and everything that was designed to present -- prevent offensive operation of either side, unexpected. warsaw pact ceased to exist, but the treaty continued. what was happening, you remember
when germany was reuniting when soviet union ceased to the system we promised nato wouldn't be expanding. but in reality what was happening was absolutely different. nato was expanding. and nato started kind of -- the quarters of the countries of warsaw pact, suggesting that they are now members of the south and west allies. and so the quotas will be wrote in two different, back of limitations. so imbalances as a result of it towards us were only increasing. so we have raised this issue in
vienna, and we convinced our american and west european friends to negotiate what was called an amendment to the treaty. so the initial agreement, plus amendments, constituted an immense for a new treaty. what happened? after we have signed the amendments, the u.s. and nato -- the source we concerned have nothing to do with the substance of the issue. they refused to ratify the amendment treaty. so legally speaking what we have left and what allegedly united states and others continue to implement is that old treaty that was supposed to regulate
relations between nato and warsaw pact. however, the situation on the ground is absolutely different. currently nato forces are already training next to our borders, 150 kilometers from st. petersburg. so do you expect us to return to that kind of treaty? of course not. the question is what does it take us to return. being honest and serious, i do not expect the united states and the west been willing in creating such a condition. because that's one of the problems that i wanted to discuss, and you probably to the issue. give me a few minutes with your permission. >> sure. >> thank you, ambassador. what was happening after the
cold war? it was a new space in europe in terms of security and landscape. a number of countries of nato, 15 of them, plus russia, former members of the warsaw pact, and we all wanted to design how to build a security environment that most it was called all-inclusive in bringing everybody together. and we did believe that it was sincere and possible. we did present a proposal on comprehensive formal security landscape, that would be favoring all the countries, including russia. and what happened, our western
friends and american colleagues included, even didn't allow to start serious negotiations on this issue. we did propose several versions of it. i do not claim that it was kind of truth, ultimate truth in our papers. it was subtle ideas that we invited our russian partners to develop together in order to great secured a system that could favor security of everybody. but it never happened. and during this 25 years what we saw happening, nato been an issue 15, became 18, 21, currently is what, 28. nato has been moving as an infrastructure forces closer to our border. and they can hardly, it can be
called a kind of security system that favors security of everybody. what happened during this 25 years, try to some extent, succeeded in taking on by itself the security space in bigger part of europe. but nato is an alliance for the members of the alliance and also the others, and that creates new dividing lines that are close to our borders, and it's something that is very, very serious problem in our relations, and most probably one of the a very, very long consequences. >> thank you. i'm going to just as you kind of a general question and in a very specific, then opened it up for
the audience in a minute. but based on all the things you have seen and participated in and the state of things today, do you think america and russia natural allies or natural adversaries? what are some of the overlaps of commonalities, and where d.c. the major divides? we don't have to go chec decadeo the future but you say next for the life of which ever candidate wins and the next four years, let's say. >> let's start with our longer history. went over -- we are close neighbors. people sometimes forget that russia is the closest neighbor
of the united states except for mexico and canada. it's only four kilometers between us. we have a history where we were hoping you sometimes. [inaudible] and i love to go there because not only it's not only beautiful place, but what it means to be most, there's a museum and it is a fort, a russian court and there are cannons and rifles their. at the curators tell me that during the whole history of russian presidents there, not a single cannon, not a single rifle was used or hostile sessions. they were used only to salute
guests. to me it's very symbolic. russians and americans, they are not only very similar, we have many, many interests. and on some issues we've been able to work even in the worst plans of the cold war. we did so much to get, and if it weren't for us, we probably would have today the nonproliferation treaties extended for eternity. if it weren't for us, there wouldn't be a number of arrangements that reduces the sensitive nuclear materials. we cooperate on space.
remember, there is an irritant where russians and americans, they risk their lives together. they rely on each other to survive. they do scientific nations together in a very particular environment, and in whatever shuttle programs went down, your astronauts are reliably flying on a russian rocket boosters. and i have spoken to russian and american cosmonauts so many times, that it's mind-boggling to speak with him as opposed to us speaking here in washington. because they have different psychology. they work together and they believe in what they do togeth together. anso whether we can work togeth, my answer is yes. whether we can expand the areas will begin work together, my answer is yes.
arctica being one of the areas for future cooperation. that might be very useful, and many others. we have been able even to work together in a very tense moments, recent moments. just try to remember the issue of chemical weapons in syria when the u.s. government was considering to get involved. we proposed a solution that was absolutely different. and it worked. why? because decided it's your interest, both countries to work together. and we have been able to remove nuclear chemical weapons from syria. a time of war in a very --
situation. i know what it took to remove chemical weapons almost on the border, and we did it together. interesting symbolic moments where your cargo ship was carrying the stuff, and russian and i think chinese also military, navy were protecting the ship. it's amazing what can be done if we and you feel that we want and can work together. but a little life is simplicity. and, unfortunately, we bump into problems that shouldn't be standing in our way, but they do. the current state of affairs between us is certainly very unfortunate in this respect. >> i was going to raise china but maybe it will come up in the queue and a, but the specific i
want to do my part of it, the dialogue year appear, was from one of our student experts and they see how d.c. u.s.-russian relations differing depend on which candidate, hillary clinton or donald trump, wins the u.s. presidential election? i'm trying to get around you. i do want to say anything. [laughter] thank you. i'm going to open it up to the audience. i would request students first to the first cut before we turn to others. i know there's interest and kind of keep the question brief and identify yourself. >> student? please. wait for the microphone, please.
[speaking russian] >> johns hopkins university. my family is from ukraine and so the question is close to home. the question i have for you is, what is the russian federation currently doing to ensure the protection of minority rights i specifically, the crimean partners in crimea during the current temporary national situation -. >> i don't see any temporary about the situation in crimea. one has to be serious. that was a decision by people who live in crimea. to leave the country that kind was stolen from them by the army to. and the government that came their just try to remember, you probably know as well as i do, the very first draft a proposed
for the vote was two prevent russian language. the nationalists context occur there was a very strong. and certainly for crimea were predominantly not only russian speaker because everybody like you speaks in ukraine, perfect russian. but they also think russian. and they didn't feel comfortable to live in a country that has taken away from the government that is taken away from them. ability to preserve the identity to leave no apart as russian and next in ukraine. so the was decision made by them, and one has to remember, made by them that we embraced
immediately your when it comes to minorities, i think as ukrainian are connected with ukraine, yourself, you might compare the conditions in which all the minority can exercise their national identity in crimea with that, that existed in the ukrainian time, including those that were created for this, including the equality of the languages to be used in crimea. there are three russian ukrainian and tatars. so i think that the rights of those who live there are protected significantly better than anything that they had no prior to that. what is the most important, same right as anybody in russian federation.
>> yes. please wait for the mic make. >> thank you, mr. ambassador. my name is chris barnes. i've actually just started studying the russian language for the first time, but i can't say anything yet with confidence. [laughter] >> your next visit. >> earlier this year former chairman of the senate armed services committee sam nunn gave a lecture in which he declared that with the recent deterioration of u.s.-russian relations, the risk of a nuclear confrontation of potentially catastrophic proportions is now at its highest level since at least the end of the cold war. from your perspective or that of the russian government, do you agree with that assessment? and if so, what concrete steps the believe can and must be taken by the u.s. and russian governments either individually or cooperatively to lessons
about threat? >> -- to lessen that threat? >> with great respect to senator nunn who is certainly a colossal thinker, especially in the area of nuclear issues, i came to respect him enormously, i do not share the view that the risk of nuclear war today is high because even with the current differences, i think we have enough reasonable people on both sides not to allow one. having said so i also would underline that the quality of the relations currently between us in general is certainly the lowest point since the end of the cold war. i agree with this. the risks of miscalculations have increased.
i agree with that. especially with your forces being deployed, nato forces being deployed next to our border sometimes in a very -- how shall i put it in a polite way? a way to show up the strength of the united states, beating the chest say 100m on the checkpoint on estonia and russia border at 150 kilometers from st. petersburg. ..
is the security in europe and to start with scratch from nato how lead to organize security in europe but. >> as the question suggests i cannot agree with that. we have well-defined targets with groups of terrorists. but you cannot bomb hospitals. will we see on the screens are pictures that are very painful to watch but i do not except the notion that we're bombing and more over
economic space. because you cannot solve all the issues between the states only by regulating what is important. and to understand what the others are and what they are not. the especially knowing these internet. and that's something similar of those spaces economic and others. and to change the situation.
and that territory talk about august 2008. so with us the time line and what followed after words about why rush said did so? can i respond? there are two issues. that they were never allowed with the amendment because it was in force. because we are still progressing with the membership. but the other issue that is correlated but you portray
>> mr. ambassador thanks for your presentation end to post does obviously u.s.-russian relations are tense. one factor contributing to that is ukraine. ukraine is an independent country with its independent culture, language, history culture, language, history, and national identity and world view and their reason there is tension over ukraine it does not want to recognize it as a separate culture and people and sovereign states. they claim that even though moscow did not even exist so moscow walls goal is hegemony over ukraine and of course, we saw that demonstrated by the ukrainian people themselves. >> you have a question?
>> my question is to douse the people have been killed mason slips for. >> by every. >> including russian soldiers and acquaintances of mine who of left existence and other cities to defend their homeland. when will brush up pull the troops out of ukraine? >> by second question. >> no no no. >> second question is at the beginning you said we do not interfere in the international affairs of the u.s. that is important for people to understand. obamacare confirmed the kremlin was behind that hacking of the cigna began
u.s. institutions. some smart people was suggesting we had intelligence to lead a - - to late groundwork can i please have your reaction? >> one by one. ukraine. reconsider ukraine to be a sovereign state and degradation. whenever nationalists say i consider them my own brothers. there are so many families in the ukraine. so many families in russia. my father was born in ukraine. and i have spent some time
and i understand pretty well what we can expect ukraine as a country about what we want to see happen is they stop bombing their own people. in that will help and not is something because they speak russian. when it comes to the statement i have told you and i repeated that is not correct. when it comes to the implication that is not something i am planning to discuss.
with our colleagues of american intelligence that isn't exactly true by the history. and of the security council and resold statements that one week ago of the syrian troops based on the false intelligence but after several days. >> we hope this is of process that we will continue and you can come back. sometimes contentious but it
and live that 9:00 p.m. the green party candidate zero lots of the c-span networks you can check the networks and c-span and radio. we will have the president for you but in the meantime we will have the "washington journal" program from this morning. >> talk from media matters of america serving as president. good morning tell us about your organization. >> 12 organization founded 2004 progressive media watchdog the primary mission is to correct information within the media wherever it exists. we get there of 5:00 in the morning we read of local and national newspapers and news and broadcast and on-line the mistake of fact checking perspective from a progressive point of view.
>> now media is larger than it has ever been people are consuming information from face book and internet and that can travel quickly so we think it is important we have a fact filled media redo around-the-clock in realtime. >> host: how did they apply that to the campaign 2016. >> unprecedented. everyone agrees this brings a lot of first as donald trump has bought a number of challenges to the media and leave the trying to hold unaccountable. and fox news as we monitor primarily created the candidacy. may 2015 through may 2016 will look at the amount of coverage was of the candidates and that they covered donald trump 50 hours that is double everyone else.
i think his candidacy was promoted by the right wing media, fox news and mainstream allowed him to grow to such an area where now he is the nominee. >> host: there is an intensity of scrutiny but compare that to hillary clinton. >> i would not agree. secretary clinton has faced a barrage of media scrutiny over the last year's was a candidate even earlier than donald trump. with first bank gauzy for time . there was the new inkling of something that happened it was the tragedy but also a fact less media environment. to say adenauer the president was or there were secret e-mail's they were a myth. the second was the male controversy which she apologized for very earthy but every time there is some
new information or it would dominate the news coverage. then the clinton foundation which the trump foundation was under investigation and this had problems with their donations. the clinton foundation is a global charity braided five-star is but we saw a lot more coverage of the clinton foundation than the trump foundation and that is a tragedy. >> host: so then from conservative media or overall? >> all fronts. mainstream of course, conservative that is a campaign cycle that originated with the albright movement and that is leading donald trump's campaign now. but to decide very early to give hillary clinton a more thorough vetting in 2008 to focus on what on very
little. >> host: talk about 2016 i am coverage. -- campaign coverage. so now talk about the new information you would not agree with that? >> i do think at again over the last two years we have various minute e-mail's that we treat as big moments and that is a false equivalency and it is not always accurate. donald trump people were offended he apologized he had the front page of the
wall street journal today paul o'brien says he wants to run away but look at the tapes and what was on the of compared to a few e-mail's and to 20 that afford actors tries to influence the election should not be treated as equal but that should be based on the set of facts and with trump is very astonishing. >> undecided voter you are on with our guest. >> caller: i really wanted to speak to the previous guy but ironclad to speak to you. we had an issue on super tuesday in idaho with ted cruz his minister that led the prayer at his rally there was an attempted assassination and next day in the church parking lot.
we watched that on the local news and on monday local dues but it was not on national news until thursday that be. and i personally phoned the breaking news hotline ms in b.c., nbc, cnn and it was crickets. i talked to a family on the west side of the state's 72 hours later they were tied into social internet and in news they don't miss anything and i ask what they thought of the ted cruise minister shooting and idaho and they work less. >> i know very little or nothing about the issue but with the media environment and general but more than
five years ago is through social media every day things can be called to alert and that is important we need to have the top down approach with the grass roots involvement and if you read your twitter feed you call their attention to what is happening. so we get the information from a larger variety of sources. >> host: safety harbor florida supporter of donald trump. >> caller: i have to take issue initially you showed your hand you said you look from a progressive viewpoint there is no viewpoint to look at news rather than the of objective reporting of the truth. just by glossing over the facts of hillary clinton
what you haven't done is you mentioned her e-mail's. you did not mention she had her staff destroyed with a hammer the personal devices. if these honestly were e-mail's recorded in the fashion that you claim they are harmless, why with a debt? number to your own organization media matters' founded by george soros with of $1 million donation i would implore everybody who was watching to look at george soros stated goals for america and decide for yourself. number three talked-about the rate the victim look into that little more because you want to talk about donald trump. >> host: you put three