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tv   Eastern European Ambassadors Testify on Russian Policies Toward Europe  CSPAN  March 10, 2017 1:27am-3:27am EST

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pavlo. next on c-span3, the senate appropriations committee on russia's influence in europe, then a look at alternative tax policy plans. after that, an update on the situation in afghanistan. and later, republican governors discuss conservativism. next, ambassadors from eastern european countries on russian policies toward their nations. the testimony came before the senate subcommittees on state and foreign relations programs. this is two hours.
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the committee will come to
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order. i want to thank senator leahy for being such a good partner in this endeavor. our hearing today is on russia's policies on specific european nations. one thing we have in common with all these countries, they are young struggling democracies and friends of the united states. out of respect for your family, i will not pronounce any of your names. i will try to get your country right. and you have an opportunity when you speak to tell us who you are. anyway, we have the foreign minister from the ukraine, ambassador from poland, ambassador from georgia, ambassador from lithuania and ambassador from estonia. i have met most of you on my travels. i can't thank you enough for coming today and sharing with the committee and really the american people what is going on in your backyard because you
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live in a very difficult neighborhood. i would like to welcome to the committee senators rubio and van holland. hopefully we can do things together good for the country. and i will make a short opening statement followed by senator leahy and we will have five-minute rounds and again to each of you, thank you very much for coming. very briefly, everybody talks about what happened in our election in 2016. and let me tell you my views. the russians tried to interfere in our election. i don't believe they changed the outcome but the russians hacked into the democratic national committee. the russians compromised podesta's e-mails. in my view the russians provided information to wikileaks in an effort to interfere with our election. it is my belief we forgive and forget regarding our own election. we will invite future aggression
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by other countries that the republican party and democratic party should be one when it is coming to foreign interference. an attack on one party should be considered an attack on all. i want this subcommittee to lead the way in terms of uniting our country, starting with the subcommittee that it is now time to push back against russia's interference in democracy at home and abroad. the goal is to find out from these countries what it's like to live in the shadow of russia. what kind of interference they face on their daily lives and what are the efforts the tool and tool box of russia to undermine their democracies and for us to counter russia account. a soft power account. this committee has jurisdiction over foreign operations and i would like to try to convince most americans that it is in our interest to put money aside to help these emerging democracies. because at the end of the day, democracy, should be a goal of
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all of us simply because democracies tend not to go to war. i want to be sure we can do whatever we can within reason. money is tight, but i think it would be a good investment to have a counter russia account to put money aside and maybe a cybersecurity assistance maybe a straight assistance, whatever it is that we can help you withstand this assault on your democracies by russia. that is the goal. to understand what is going on, to do something about it. to each of you, thank you for coming to the subcommittee. i think if we can come together and produce a product, history will judge us well. senator leahy. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'm glad you're having this hearing. i want to mention that it is always helpful to be given a phonetic pronunciation. i was told to mix it up with -- i think the fact that we have representatives of estonia and lithuania, latvia, georgia,
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poland, ukraine, places that many of us have visited. i know you have. senator durbin has. we know the stakes involved are the second congressional hearing we had about russia since the beginning of the new administration. i suspect we will have a lot more. especially to have the representatives of the countries that have experienced russia's military aggression and economic and political interference for many years. we understand the interference you've had. we now count ourselves among those facing the same kind of interference. we have learned the russian government interfered in our elections to further its own interest. and the new president said virtually nothing about it.
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he made no secret of his admiration for president putin. he and other white house officials have disparaged the american news media. if they had been critical of putin, he's calling them enny. calling the american news media the enemy of the people. as someone who might expect of president putin but not of the president of the united states. i feel we should have an independent investigation into russia's interference on election. find out exactly what happened and we can take appropriate action. but at the same time, i think we have to have hearings like chairman graham has called here so the american public would know what happened in other parts of the world and what we face. it is one thing when we see our leaders attack an american media.
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i happen to disagree with that. but i disagree even more when nothing is said about vladimir putin's ruthless campaign to silence his critics, especially to silence the russian press. we have not heard any criticism from our president about russia's invasion of ukraine, annexation of crimea. russian's occupation of georgian territory. atrocities committed by russian forces in syria. their support for the assad regime. russia's efforts undermines civility and democracy across europe. i think -- i want you to know that not everybody in this country is praising vladamir putin. i don't. the chairman doesn't. i think supporting independence for our friends and allies, when
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they are under a threat or attack is in the united states national interest. i will continue to work with senator graham. i want to insure that u.s. assistance is made available for our partners in eastern europe and the parts of the former soviet union. but it's tough seeking confrontation with russia because we recognize the importance of insuring partners can maintain their sovereignty, provide for their people. do i believe with the president saying we should have a constructive relationship with russia rather than adversarial? yes, if that's possible. but we cannot ignore the significance of the russian government's malignant activities towards us and our partners if bewant to protect our own national interest. that's what we have to do first. then we will talk about where to
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go diplomatically from there. i thank you for having this very important line-up of witnesses. i thank all of you for taking the time. >> thank you, senator leahy. we will start with the foreign minister of the ukraine. whose name is -- >> chairman graham, ranking member le hey and members of the subcommittee, thank you for giving me this opportunity to testify before you today. and of course it is great to sit here with friends in front of the subcommittee. back in 1994, still as a young diplomat, i was involved in the process of strategic nuclear development. while working on budapest memorandum, i have questioned its effectiveness and feasibility to ensure security of ukraine. still, and i have to say it, it
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was beyond my imagination that in 20 years one guarantor, a permanent u.n. security council, will invade ukraine and occupy parts of its territory. why did it happen? here's the key to understand what is the root cause of russia policies and intentions towards european countries. particularly ukraine. for putin, the call-up of the soviet union was the greatest cat traffic of the 20th century. catastrophe of the 20th century. from the beginning he was obsessed with restoring russian former greatest. of course it could be done in two ways. one way was to invest in building a strong democratic state with a rule of law and competitive market. honoring the international
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principles and order. but it was not the russian choice. instead, kremlin resulted to aggressive and gross violations with international law in different i do mentions. breaking the u.n. charter and undermining arms control and possibly violating the inf and treaties. and energy pressure in contradiction to wto principles. and of course blatantly violating the human race. kremlin has developed the concept of hybrid warfare and launched it with annexation of crimea and dominance. it is a highly sophisticated strategy which mixes conventi conventional aggression with economy and economic pressure with propaganda and
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misinformation as well as direct interference in the internal affairs for the country. it gains peaceful countries to undermine, disrupt and descend. it is spear-headed across the globe by the insidious television channel, rt, which seeks not to promote any particular narrative, but you undermine that of the -- in real terms, this hybrid war against ukraine integrates a shocking number of russian weaponry and to occupy donbass and crimea. >> it is now about 2,400 regular troops and up to 40,000 militants. it is about more than 400 tanks and 800 armored vehicles. it is up to thousand artillery systems and over 200 multiple rocket launchers.
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around 23,000 troops that occupy crimea. just a few hours ago, the russian agent of the international code of justice made completely ridiculous statement that russian-backed militants actually discovered all those weaponry being hidden in the old saw mill coal mines. it is a case, just today, can anyone believe it? kremlin's word against my country over the last three years led to over 7% of ukraine being occupied, almost 10,000 of my fellow ukrainians born military and civilians loses their lives, and 20,000 being injured. just in the last six weeks, russians launched a fierce
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attacks against our troops and civilian population. russia recognized passports and documents and illegal immigrants in donbas and also completed the introduction of the russian ruble has currency in occupied territory. furthermore, russia has also ordered the legal expropriation of the key enterprises in occupied territory. all this is nothing but the clear breach of each and every part of the minsk disagreement. the only way to negotiate with russia is from a position of strength and international solidarity. and no new agreements should be made with russia until such time as they have delivered on their provisions and commitments. so let me thank all of you for the support with the united states has given to ukraine.
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in particular over the last three years in our fight against russia, and all the signals from the new year's administration give us great hope that the united states support for ukraine will continue and increased. as this continued support is not just in the interest of ukraine, it is in the interest of the united states and the freedom and stability of the wider transatlantic alliance. so i'm asking the subcommittee for explicit support in a number of areas. defensive weapons supplied by the u.s. and continued military and technical support would make a powerful statement of the kremlin and to prove significantly ukraine's ability to defend its territory against the russian army. this support has already shown its effectiveness.
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the brigade trained by the u.s. instruction was one of the most effective in repelling russian attacks. the units prepared by the u.s. instructors appear to be very effective on the front line. this is why we believe this kind of support and training is very important and should be continued. so i would like to ask you to support the appropriation for security assistance to ukraine in 2017. please support the preparation of funds for assistance to ukraine in the u.s. fiscal year 2017 budget and of course forthcoming 2018 budget. ukraine also needs a long-term security arrangement for global partnership on defense and security. the moment of the united states will be key to any such arrangement.
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of course we need u.s. support in relaunching negotiations of the signatory of the budapest memorandum. the united states should play hero in negotiation and also on donbass and crimea. finally, until russia gets off ukrainian land, there must be no easing up of sanctions if anything they should be increased. dear senators, ukraine is on the front line and currently the only country fighting to hold off russia and ukraine does not simply ask for support. we currently spend 6.6% of our gdp on defense. at the same time it is obvious we need the u.s. and transatlantic solidarity with ukraine and ukrainian people. a strong, stable and
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democratic ukraine, able to defend its waters against russia expansion is a crucial ally for the united states in the regional and global. thank you. >> thank you. very much. if you could, please keep your statements to five minutes. we will have questions where you can tell us anything on your mind but time is of the essence in the senate. thank you very much. mr. ambassador? >> mr. chairman, members of the subcommittee, thank you for inviting me to testify before the senate subcommittee. it is an honor to be here and i'm pleased to be able to provide the view of poland's government on russia's policing europe and the challenging originating from it. the kremlin has achieved strategical objective, restored super power status lost after the fall of communism. the way to achieve the goal seems straight forward, altering security architecture in europe, keeping soviet countries from integrating with the euro atlantic community.
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first the current situation. while pursuing foreign policy objectives, moscow largely relies on force, intimidation and economic extortions, trying to impose on other countries an autocratic and oligarchic. government. it medaled in conflict and violated international law by annexing crimea. finally, the kremlin mastermi masterminded and keeps fueling the conflict in eastern ukraine. although moscow signed cease-fire agreements, minsk 1 and 2 it did not withdraw the part of the region to achieve the political solution. even worse, during the last w k weeks we have seen increasing military clashes in the donbas. second, russia is a growing military threat.
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president putin embarked russia on the large scale of armed forces. the introduction of new types of equipment was coupled with the reform of the military doctrine. the threshold for the usage of nuclear weapons has been lowered. bordering poland and lithuania became the most militarized area in europe. russia equipped the exclave with anti-access military denial capabilities. this bubble aims at limiting nato's freedom of maneuver and action on allied territory. it covers an area spanning from northeastern poland to the baltic states. moreover, kaliningrad has systems nuclear capable missiles able of hitting targets in estonia, latvia, poland and even eastern parts of germany. moscow conducts large scale snap
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exercises with openly aggressive scenarios. we also observe an unprecedented number of military incidents provoked by russia. but the most alarming issue is russia's ability to take prompt and deceptive actions. we saw that in crimea. third, the hybrid dimension. the challenges posed by russia's actions go beyond the conventional military realm. we see them in the cyber informational and energy bank domains. russia deliberately employs hybrid means to act below this threshold of military conflict. moscow often acts by exploiting national vulnerabilities and sensitivities. this might involve actions in the cyber domain. frequently backed by a fierce propaganda effort. ukraine is the case in point. while countries in central europe try to diversify their import roots, russia promotes
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the north stream 2 pipeline, creating divisions among eu member states. should this project go ahead, russia could effectively hinder the diversification efforts of the whole region. increased gas supplies from russia would inevitably effect the economic viability of lng projects in central and eastern europe. fourth, our response. two words. uncertainty and insecurity best describe the current security situation we operate in. such conditions and challenges call for an adequate answer. nato is the best platform to provide it. it is a unique force multiplier. determining those threats and challenges requires a swift and full implementation of decisions taken in warsaw in 2016. furthermore, my government believes that special meeting of
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heads of states and governments should be an important milestone in the process of adapting the alliances defense and deterrence posture. as challenges we face are here to stay, they enhance forward presence of allied troops on the eastern flank of the alliance should have long-term character. poland is very grateful for those actions. it will be impossible to achieve the warsaw summit decisions without american leadership. in this context i would also like to thank you for the deployment of your troops to our region under the nato flag. a long term american commitment to the efp is absolutely essential. i would like to add that the presence of american soldiers in poland as part of operation atlantic resolve is of equal and paramount importance. further congressional support
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for the european reassurance initiative would be greatly appreciated. mr. chairman, distinguished members of the subcommittee, a fair burden sharing among allies is a must. poland meets the 2% spending targets along nato guidelines. more than 20% of our 2017 military budget will be spent on military equipment. our soldiers serve in missions in afghanistan and kosovo. poland contributes to collective defense. the polish tank company has been deployed to latvia under the framework of the efp. our vessel commands the standing nay no maritime 2 operating on the edgerrin sea. poland has always been ready to deal with a terrorist threat. polish and american soldiers were brothers in arms during the missions in the iraq and afghanistan. all together more than 40,000 polish troops took part in both operations.
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nowadays poland is an active member of the global coalition against daesh. our efforts go beyond the military domain. last year saw the opening of an import lng terminal in poland. it could become a gateway for lng destined for client in central europe. delivering gas supplies to ukraine via poland would send powerful political message while providing business opportunities for american firms. moscow orchestrated the in conflict in ukraine and moscow has all the means to end. moscow signed cease-fire agreements minsk 1 and minsk 2 but does not respect the provisions. moreover russia decided to recognize documents produced by so-called donbass republics. to sum up taking into account russia's actions, we see no grounds to ease the sanctions or
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to change our policy vis-a-vis moscow. congressional support for maintaining transatlantic unity and solidarity on this issue is indispensable. a couple weeks ago general james mattis sat at nato headquarters that europe and north america need to work together stronger than ever in times of turmoil and unpredictability. i firmly believe that the political and military engagement of the u.s. is necessary for preserving peace and stability in europe. let me stress that we remain open to dialogue with russia. however, such dialogue needs to be conditional on russia, changing its current policies and its stance towards international law. thank you again for the opportunity to testify today and i look forward to taking your questions. >> thank you. and it those who stick to five minutes, your chance of assistance goes up. thank you very, very much. [ laughter ] ambassador from georgia.
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>> mr. chairman. ladies and gentlemen, i'm here today to remind you that before ukraine, georgia was invaded in 2008 will and 20% of our country remains under russian occupation, despite ongoing russian aggression with the support of the united states, georgia made tremendous strides in strengthen democratic institutions forcing economy of development to solidify an irreversible path to towards european and your rolantic integration. i'm also here to tell you that we need a stronger america in georgia and the region. the conflict which started in early '90 reached its peak in 2008 with russian invasion of georgia and occupation of our territories. as international community failed to effectively respond to early warning signs, russian
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continues with 10,000 military security and guard personnel. the russian occupation forces have no legal mandate and are in stark violation of international law and august 12, 2008 cease-fire agreement. in 2009, russia began installing razor wire fences and other artificial obstacles along the occupation line. the total length of trenches across both occupational lines is more than 62 miles. we greatly appreciate the interest of congress and its bodies and representatives who are frequently visiting occupational line. in further violation of cease-fire agreement moscow signed so-called treaties with occupational regimes. those documents present a step towards annexation of georgia's occupied regions as they provide foundation for fully integration into social, economic administrative and most importantly military and security institutions of the russian federation.
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georgia is pursuing an engagement in reconciliation process with people in occupied territories. we make all benefits available for georgia citizens also accessible for compatriots residing on the other side of the line. free health care, educational, cultural, scientific, the european path. since regaining independence to undermine georgia sovereignty and territorial integrity, georgia has been subject to different forms of unconventional warfare. russian propaganda in georgia in addition to the economic embargo in 2006, energy cuts, cyber attacks in 2008, seeks to challenge the aspirations. it builds on fears that exist in different societies, creating myths and communicating through
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different forms of media. a recent example is false information that the well- deserved visa-free travel decision for georgia citizens to europe came at expense of building refugee camps in georgia. the georgian government has been effective in strategy communication efforts through coordinated approach, dismantling myths, but also countering by bringing tangible results to the georgia citizens like free trade agreement, association agreement with europe, and liberalization. as a result, we have managed to maintain strong support to georgia's eu and nato aspiration within 70 to 75 percent. overall despite russia's vicious efforts for small nation georgia makes outsize contribution in international security efforts. locating more than 2% of our gdp for defense spendings. we are a committed partner in fight against terrorists and we
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are one of the largest contributors to the resolute support mission in afghanistan with one of the highest numbers of 870 servicemen. georgian soldiers are proudly standing with shoulder to shoulder with allies in the most dangerous parts of the world. we have made progress if building strong and effective state institutions. ensuring democracy and rule of law because we believe that our political and economic progress will ultimately serve as an important antidote to russia's expansion. for the last decade georgia is the most reliable and democratic ally of the u.s. in very tough region has been a great example of american taxpayers money wisely spent. therefore i want to invite the members and staff of this committee to visit and see firsthand the transformation of power of u.s. assistance. last year we have signed memorandum on deepening security
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and defense partnership between our two nations. and we successfully launched georgia defense readiness program. further improvement of these programs and elevation of our security partnership is of vital importance as we believe georgia remains an essential part of atlantic security architecture. when the cold war ended and soviet union dissolved, united states and its allies sought to build europe, whole, free and at peace. today, one of the basic foundations of security and peace respectful national border violated, new transatlantic partnership is needed to fortify and enlaunch alliance. we believe a comprehensive long-term engagement strategy of new administration will include the strengthening of georgia's territorial integrity and sovereignty. including supporting democratic choice of georgian people to integrate with euro atlantic institutions.
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all these measures will make georgia stronger and more a resilient. that is important because stronger georgia is in the united states' interest as much as stronger america is in georgia's interest. thank you. >> thank, mr. ambassador. ambassador from latvia. >> chairman graham, ranking member leahy and members of the committee, thank you very much for inviting me to speak before this very honorable committee. latvia and u.s. have a hundred years history of relations and very close partnership. during this partnership, latvia safeguarded independence and this partnership facilitated latvia's integration back into the euro atlantic community. we have to admit today that the world has become less secure and less stable of the past decade.
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causes are various and geography of the threats is diverse. to continue u.s. global leadership is extremely important. to safeguard an international rules based order -- best answer for today's security risks since 2003, latvian troops have stood shoulder to shoulder, stood with the u.s. in the fight against terrorism in iraq and afghanistan. both made sacrifices and latvia remains committed to fighting terrorism with interglobal terrorism against isil. we can do more. we are ready to do more. in 2017, latvia will fight against terrorism in the form of financial assistance. threats of the region are more complex and harder to find and identify and pinpoint.
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russian actions show disturbing and worsening trend that we have to reckon with. what happened in ukraine, russia military buildup as well as intensive military maneuvers is proximity of nato borders like symbolic and in 2017, this year, they have caused a significant deterioration in europe's strategic security environment and challenging the european international security order. this has direct impact on national security of latvia, europe and nato. to respond, we need a strong nato as a source of stability and reliability. we need prosperous and resilient european union. we need effective osc capable of sol solving, not freezing conflict. thanks to historical decision of
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the nato summit, on the deployment of four multinational battle groups to atlantic eastern flank including canadian-led enhanced forward battle group in latvia, we are all more secure. and we assured this is practical application from our allies and strong signal to russia and security is thanks to strong support to the european initiative and atlantic resolve mission and falling military financing program for which we are very grateful. taking into account the challenges to our region are of long-term nature. we are looking forward to continuation of european reassurance initiative and the funding level of 3$3.4 billion r higher, likewise we have
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military financing, funding will be maintained at or enhanced. continuing commitment to nato is essential to preserve ir versability of these decis n decisions. latvia appreciates a very clear and resolute statement by u.s. defense secretary james mattis of the nato and in brussels last month thus reconfirming the u.s. strong support to alliance. the meeting of the presidents of three baltic states and the vice president of the u.s. in munich in mid-february reassured us even further in this respect. but with also stepping up and pulling more weight. latvia is among the best examples when it comes to raising a nation's own defense capabilities. in case of military aggression. our own forces will be the first responders. we are defendable. in case of -- we are well aware the challenge -- we are well
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aware of the challenge therefore latvia spent the last two years boosting its military capacity and improving its coordination. currently we are spending 1.7% and next year, only a few months ago, we will spend 2% of gdp for our defense. since joining nato, latvia has been a recipient and provider of security and in proportion to population of 2 million, we count among the top contributors in missions afghanistan, iraq, central african, balkans, we mali, republic or somalia. europe and u.s. should help efforts to help ukraine, georgia and moldova, and including information warfare. latvia has been active in
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providing support to eastern partners and strengthen ind media. i would like to mention two examples a practical approach and support of partnership countries. first, baltic center for media excellence recently completed a study of skills and training needs to independent media in eastern partnership countries. certainly latvia is interested in the success of creative content support fund. that is being established with support of european endowment for democracy and the british government. this fund will strengthen the capacity of independent media to offer russia language audiences strong alternative to kremlin-controlled media. encourage u.s. support this important initiatives. in pivotal times of history, the alliance has always proven to be effective, credible and
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united. solidarity here is a key word. i believe the spirit of solidarity will bring us to wise future decision. thank you very much. >> thank you. ambassador from lithuania. >> chairman graham, is it on? >> yes. >> ranking member leahy, the ranking member of the sub committee, thank you for the opportunity to pair -- appear before you today to assess this threat, to our democracy to explain what lithuania is doing to counter threats and explore cooperation between lithuania and u.s. first of all, let me name the threats we face. russia never stopped using political economical propaganda and other open and undercover tools to make small democratic countries more vul nenable to present day challenges.
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attack on georgia, illegal annexation on crimea and eastern ukraine are considering considerable implications and so on national security. russia is increasing capability on lithuania border. most militarized zone in europe. large scale military exercises of an offensive nature on our borders taking place regularly. russia is extremely active in the information field using pro-russian media, propaganda, disinformation, fake news, and leaks to confuse public opinion and influence decision making. russia's international media channels spread its views on this information on the insensitive topics such as migration, terrorism, ethnic relations, deployment of nato troops in eastern europe. in my written testimony you will find various examples of russia's separations against lithuania. d another threat is the nuclear plan is under exploration in belarus. it could be another chernobyl. how we fight back these threats. in 2018 lithuania will spend
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over 2% on gdp in defense and go beyond that benchmark in the future. we are modernizeding our military by spending 31% of the budget for new weapon systems. the terminal independence is one of the best investments into our security. as its name suggests it ensures energy supplies and uses one of its manipulation tools. the senators using this opportunity allow me to thank you for your personal and united states support to our security. we greatly appreciate the strengthening of the u.s. military presence in europe and implementation of european deterrence initiative. we believe the only way to achieve regional stability is to place u.s. and nato troops on baltic states on a permanent basis. it is to have military plans. when it comes to practical areas of defense, lithuania and united
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states have been inengaged in close dialogue and our part we are ready to move forward with time lines and identified financial resources on both sides. pre-projects can include establishment on baltic air defense capability and capacities among others. while bring attention to defense issues, close cooperation in hybrids threats is necessary. to count threats posed by this information, lithuania allows a national system project to analyze information and preclude possible and friendly actions. the possibility to access some u.s. services and tools would make the system more efficient. brooding to lithuania almost 10 hours a day in russia and belarus launches. we see the need to improve the signal quality for listeners in
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russia, belarus and ukraine. we should extend the program for 24 hours. we should also work together in creating attractive positive narrative about western societies for radio and tv seen in the region. there is a great need to tell true facts of history to society influenced by russian propaganda. finally, we need to strengthen border security. with support with lithuania launching new so-called raid system project and lithuania plans to build a situation that would integrate border at times situation pictures. u.s. experience and assistance would be greatly appreciated. once again thank you for this opportunity to tell you our part of the story today. we must rally our strategic partisanship with the u.s. and we continue to be your reliable ally and hoping to work with u.s. congress very closely. thank you. i'm pleased to be on the mark first. >> thank you. that's the model for the rest of
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us. you nailed it. lithuania is doing well. >> get out the checkbook. >> thank you. i'm ambassador of estonia. members of the committee, thank you for the invitation to testify before the united states senate, appropriates subcommittee and related programs. it is an honor to be here. first, let me emphasize the u.s. support for freedom in estonia has been. we are mindful of the role the u.s. has played in supporting and assisting us. as russia's immediate neighbor, estonia would like nothing more than having go relations with democratic russia and have everyday operations at all levels of society. but the commitment to the core
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values human rights and rule of law are indispensable pillars. for good neighborly relations. we shouldn't be guided by wishful thinking but by real facts. examples of russian mall line activities in europe to name but a few including the russia-georgia war and war in eastern ukraine. provocative activities by the russian military and interference in western democratic processes including elections. we have learned that inadequate responses to such behavior can only feed through indiscretion. i would like to stress that the russian activity is not the only concern to nato's eastern flank or countries represented at this hearing but influencing all of our allies in the west. therefore it is essential not to regionalize the russian threat of eastern european countries but to clearly recognize that threat of russian subversive methods expanded far beyond the eastern flank of europe include the united states.
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we as neighbors to russia are just a bit more used to witnessing such behavior. upcoming elections in the netherlands, france and germany are perfect for this information warriors. the goal of the influence of activity in europe is to create tension and sew confusion between european member states and individual states. by doing so the kremlin hopes to influence decision-making process and steer the narrative and outcomes towards its own interest. the illegal annexation of crimea succeeded largely because of a successful information war that allowed russia to avoid a military confrontation. it can be expected that russia will use the tactic, extensive manipulation of information to support its military goals in towards achieve strategic advantage in the future as well. this forces the adversary to doubt the underlying facts, thus delaying its response.
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the unity of the west joins action and decision to stay the course towards russia has been the strongest message in response to russian action so far. to be credible, we need to stand by our values and be consistent in our policies. we need to take into account that russia sees itself being in confrontational error with the west for a long time. we the west need to address the subversive actions in a systematic and a way within the european union and nato but also in cooperation between the two organizations. this should be done in very cooperation between two nations. we need to share more intelligence to decode the pl playbook. we can do it by exposing covered
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support seemingly or economic leverage gained through connections. regulation and anti-corruption measures can and should be strengthened. the kremlin make -- constant is not enough and can be counter effective. the quality and the formation of our own messages need to be improved. the affect of this information can be diminished by reading skills within the audience. the best medicine is an open and free high quality and plural issic media offering values and opinions. i brief this can play a role. to full under the u.s.
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department, the national endowment for democracy to mention the few, it build capability in or the to achieve -- thank you for provide me with my thoughts and i'm -- i look forward to answering your questions. >> thank you for coming and forming the subcommittee in which you face and parade of horribles when it comes to rush why. lithuania, there was a -- i have been informed that as soon as the soldiers arrived there was allegation that one of the soldiers raped a woman. are you familiar with that? >> yes.
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russia -- >> you may have broken the -- >> okay. >> yes, it didn't take long, senator. because right after german troops -- because of the decisions for deployment and german troops are leading the battalion, it's like the second day or the next day after they arrival, there was news spread that teenager girl was raped by u.s. troop. it was fake news. as you know, the fake news, they are not all people we're listening to the denouncement of this, if it's not true. >> did it come from the russian outlet, the news? >> yes, that's what we suspect.
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because the next day it's clear that neither did that. >> have you experienced uptick in russian bombings since president drew the line or has it been the same the whole time? did that affect russia involvement or is that about the same? >> i wouldn't say that there have not been some significant changes. we are experiencing russian warfare, we have been more resilient but it has not stopped. and certain narratives are not changing and certain methods are being used and in this sense, very much has been disclosed by journalist itself, where the
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fake military -- intensity has changed in the course of last year it has not diminished. >> has it been constant, russia's interference in your country, is it on the rise? >> yes, it has been constant. we have experienced this for the past 25 years. i think what opened our eyes was 2007 cyber attacks against estonia that was politically motivated and even today cyber remains one of the most important sort of areas and we really need to put move emphasis on this issue as well.
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>> what kind of effect do you think that would have on russia, ambassador from ukraine, foreign minister? >> russia has developed a systemic rate on how to use all kind of un -- >> my question is what would the effect be if united states did not react in the interference in our elections, would it involve russia? >> otherwise the russians are always good in exploiting weaknesses.
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>> ambassador from poland do you agree with that? >> it's difficult to make comments on what americans should do or should not or what would happen if americans didn't do something. i think -- it can be not covered it should be investigated, every case. >> to continue with when my colleague from poland said, as i have mentioned, within the international response on invasion and occupation of georgia was insufficient that may have lead to the federation towards ukraine, et cetera, i think that response is necessary in the violation of the international laws. >> thank you. you'll have a chance to tell the
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subcommittee what we can do. senator leahy. >> thank you. this has been very instructive and -- and mr. klimkin, am i pronouncing that correctly? in 2014 after russia annexation of crimea, united states supported ukrainian government against separatist. during the past campaign, mr. trump said during the campaign, withdraw u.s. support as a deal with vladimir putin. and he would also look into the
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russian's into recognizing and i proving of russia annexation of crimea. have you met with the president trump or secretary tillerson to discuss their policy toward ukraine? >> i have just met with the secretary teller son a couple of hours ago. >> good. >> and it was a strong message of support. for ukraine and any kind of trade offs are not possible and our president had phone conversation with the president trump and it was the same message. >> did they say anything about crimea? >> no compromise about crimea, and crimea is issue about truce and international law.
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>> how important is our aid to ukraine? >> the u.s. support and assistance and reform related assistance -- in the sense of our ability -- in the sense of us creating democratic and ukraine. >> thank you. ambassador wilczek, your country of poland is uniquely positioned. you have always been uniquely positioned between conflict between russia and ukraine. it eu and nato interest.
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russia's deployment missiles, i assume that creates significant challenges for you, am i correct on that? >> as i have just said, the deployment of these missiles is very essential for our security is a kind of -- i think it was a kind of break through moment because it strengthens this feeling of insecurity and uncertainly and it's not only about poland, it's about flexibility of nato in this region and it's about also about the baltic countries and our countries. so this area of this region is especially sensitive area, as i said, the most militaryized in
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the whole of europe i think. >> are you getting -- do you get support from nato do you feel that nato spoupport is strong? >> yes, we feel it is from nato and the united states and i think the whole project of deployment and deterrence imprei implemented right now is essential for our security and important. >> i look at all of the areas in the baltic area, lithuania, estonia, so on. do you feel any greater or less
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concern about russian invasion since the elections here in the united states? anybody want to start with that? >> i think we all concern since 2014 or even before since 2008, since georgia or ukraine, we are concerned because we see that international rules based order is being challenged. that's a concern for the whole europe and nato. and here we are considering that the most important principle is indisvisibility of nato can be challenged. is this sense assurances of
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nato, the presence of nato battalion, international battalion on baltic shores and reassuran reassurance given by u.s. that gives a strong sense of strong response to an anybody who wants to challenge nato as the strongest military organization. that's only in response we can expect from nato. that's a response that is understandab understandable and that gives us a good sense of assurance about our security safety and stability for the future. >> i take it -- does anybody disagree with that? you agree with -- >> i may add, senator, i think what we have seen in the past two and a half years two nato
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summits made important decisions and decision and it's important to implement those decisions -- this is my answer to the question, if there's change after the elections in the united states, we don't see that happening. >> thank you for joining us. as we make decisions about spending money, taxpayer dollars, what would you highlight for me as the priorities we should have in the financial aid that we provide your countries? is there a consensus? i'm happy to have one or a few of you to respond in what's the highest priority? >> if i may, probably the programs that have been already
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mentioned today, european reassurance initiative that has already started and financing is assured partly. this program will be financed fully and higher as well foreign military financing received by baltic states is crucial points of improving our resillance, our capabilities. and the third i would mention is the programs devoted to counter warfare and this can be in different shapes, strengthening of free media, or counter propaganda or counter attacks, all of these are doing relevant work to increase resilience.
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>> do you wish to add or subtract? >> it would be different one for ukraine. in our case, it's about upgrading ukraine defense sector. it's about coming in control. it's about training. and it's two-way road because we understand now sense of hybrid warfare, it's about exchanges and weapons supply especially with defensive weapons supply. >> do you have other thoughts if it you get that to the committee. if you provide that answer in writing i would appreciate it. there's some eu members that are chafing at imposition of sanctions against russia. in your estimatation what do we
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need to do to keep eu unified in the support of those sanctions and how significant is it that the united states continue in that effort? >> as long as we keep to the principle of minsk agreement there will be unity on both sides. this is a clear message we should send to russia that minsk is the basic agreement fulfilled by both parties, as long as this is not done the sanctions could continue irj continue. >> if i may, as long as u.s. is strong on sanctions, in our tool
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box, that would united -- >> u.s. relationship matters. >> yes. >> there's a rand cooperation study that indicates estonia, poland are among the eu members vulnerable to a problem with energy if russia would take certain action. there's a 2014 european commission study that says there are cooperative measures among the eu that could reduce the impact of onny short term cutoff of supplies and energies. are those measures in place that are thought to reduce the implications of an energy cutoff. is your eu taking the steps necessary to mitigate the damage? >> i would say that building a
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legitimate with poland changes the situation substantially. we are able to get gas from anywhere from united states what i do expect to see in the future, so it's no longer possible for russia to blackmail us on the gas. on the electricity, we still have a big project to come. it will take time. that will be the last straw in our independence that would make baltic states independent in this regard. for the other kincountries it cd be different. >> thank you. let combine with first question
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with regard to georgia providing road for energy supply for europe which is not independent on russia. we have two pipe lines, the third line is under construction and the importance of strengthen stability in georgia is one of the alternative to pathway to supplying energy sources is critical and one of the main from united states we expect in the energy sector. thank you. >> as far as national cooperation is concerned, we believe it should be based on mutual benefits, it should be beneficial for those who cooperate. this lng poland, is a very
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important part of this project of -- there's project with denmark and norway, and there's important issue of north stream two forced by russia and this is a project which divides european partners. now it's suspended for some time. but it's interesting as far as energy is concerned the european union should be, if it's not energy juunion, there's no unio. so we think about diversification and cooperation with the united states especially as far as lng is
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concerned, it's important for central europe. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to thank you chairman graham and leahy. i'm encouraged by your call that we create a counter russian account to strengthen our allies democracy. this week is 150 anniversary of this committee. something that shows the wisdom in the founders in having a strong hand nor the senate in the shaping of our investment overseas. i joins my colleague on the floor of congress about the importance of countering russian
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aggression. we reviewed means of the issues raised by the witnesses based on trips we have taken from your countries to hear from you about ongoing conflicts, about the importance of our standing in solidarity with our allies. the real challenges that georgia has faced since it was force to be legally invaded, i want to mention two bills. the counter acting hostiles acts has -- illegal annexation of crimea, for the ongoing violence
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in ukraine. the other bill led by senator graham would make certain that congress has to weigh in before sanctions can be waived. we continue to believe that the transatlantic is important to maintain world order. there's been a rumor proposal to cut 37% state department which is essential for the funding of the programs we have been talking about. what would the absence of american leadership in this area mean for your country. would you feel safer in the face of aggressive russia. if we were to cut back on the programs, that support your
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governan governan governance and -- can you speak to that question. >> we would not feel safer when the budget for such projects l be cut. so we hope it's kind of deliberation kind of tweeting not a decision because this sounds dangerous but we hope it can be changed and people who think this way will change their minds. because american leadership in this region is essential and you know this very well. there's a great support for american leadership in this part of europe maybe more than in other parts of europe, so we
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really rely on firm american leadership and support. >> i heard several visits by colleagues and i visit i talk about the importance of strengthening our investments. you referenced, mr. ambassador the broadcasting from for voiceamerica and radio liberty. tell me how russian propaganda operations are effecting your country and how we may strengthen our -- that would be more effective? >> to give show times we are learned concerned about russia today because russia today is about programs of russia today
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are being broadcasted in english. their major tv channels, the democratic country is putting barriers to free speech, to spree broadcasting, at the same time we are aware of the content of these programs and what is to give an alternative to different sources to reliable sources and give alternative of broadcasting in russia to be understandable but to be objective, reliable and different from those major tv channels broadcasted from russia. >> one last question, ambassador from georgia. i understand that opec helped make possible significant
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programs in georgia in modernizing industries and agriculture. can you comment on value of opec helping make that possible? >> there are several programs that have implemented in georgia which is really productive not only for developing georgia modernizing potential, but beneficial for both decides, i can provide in more detailed way, written way, more information. >> thank you. senator. >> thank you, mr. chairman. ambassador bakradze, in your testimony you talked about
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russian creating borders, can you talk about the closing of two of these controlled crossing points and the impacts it has had for georgia territory. >> thank you for that question. very recently two days ago, russia controlled forces in the occupied region have closed two check check point. that is affecting free movement of people. this is affecting free movement of school children over occupation line and we are appreciative of a strong statement that state department has made with regards to these developments. also recent development was the initiation two weeks ago by the
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de facto region authorities to hold a referendum about renaming this region into the one associated with one of the russian's atomous republicans. we appreciate the statement that was made bit u.s. department of state with this regard. these kind of developments continue but we believe in a peaceful resolution of this problem. we believe in the geneva discussion where they are actively contributing. >> you are pleased with the american response? >> yes, there was a strong statement made yesterday made by the state department about the closure of those two check points, explaining what kind of humanitarian difficulties it will create for those people residing to the occupation line.
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>> let me all all of you or whoever wants to jump in, which u.s. administratored programs seem to have the most impact and are there ways to improve them? what's working? what programs do you like the most and how can we make them better? >> thank you, very much. we really appreciate you. we are celebrating 25 years of our diplomatic relations this year. and we believe that the u.s. assistance were essential for the survival for transformation that georgia has been through. for creating democratic institutions, civil society and making new opportunities for our people. these are assistance that comes through u.s. id and mmf for
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supporting georgia and it comes to u.s. aid and support. security coming through economic means. thank you. >> i would say that the support to give europe and liberty and delivering their content and strengthening their capacity to reach longer distances that will matter a lot. so that's the most important. i myself i'm old enough to remember when my father was listening to radio of europe.
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there were people listening to. the more word you spread through region, the more it would be it would destroy the monopoly on news. >> thank you. i would emphasize in the estonian case, the most efficient funding coming foreign military fund and ie, so most of the taxpayer money has gone to the capabilities but also infrastructure build up. we received $75 billion from the funding in recent two years. and we have spent that money on the infrastructure but also on
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the anti-tanks weapons. also fmf money, hopeful it will be increased, goes to capability development. thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. if i can add to what my colleague said. the european initiative is important for us and can we would like to thank you for this great increase in this program from 1 to $3 billion. it's essential. but also, what my colleague mentioned as well, all kind of exchange of people, all kind of programs. we do not -- we do need radiosfs for europe but not such a extend
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under commonism. i think support for food bright is important, just people going both ways and learning about each other. and i think for strengthen support of american citizens and taxpayers, it's important they see our country and see them thanks for exchange programs which are underestimated. >> thank you. >> thank you -- >> my support in what has been said of ei -- above our own national program it really gives a focus strengthen of our capabilities. >> thank you. >> thank you for being here.
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each of you is welcome to come back to and visit chicago which i'm honored to represent. you will find many great restaurants. estonia, i'm not sure. but for the rest, we welcome you. because i knew there was anxiety and concern about the future of nato and the future relationship between united states and you're countries and it was good visit. there were mean i came home with. having met with many leaders in poland and other countries. but i remember one comment in particular, the man's name -- he
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works for the -- he asked a question, he said. we are wondering if the united states does not take the russian invasion into your election seriously, which you take russian invasion into poland seriously. i thought about that question and i want to salute the chairman who has been one who has been stepping out about the outrage of the cyberattack. the starting point to our creditability whether it come to our relationship with russia and i think for what you said early. i can go can through a lit nany and i won't, of my concerns on the security side. the russia are planning to put
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100,000 russian on the border of lithuania, poland and ukraine and there's concern about what they may do next. we have seen what they could do with these troops on the border for the so-called military exercise. we are concerned about the hybrid war. my question, mr. chairman, that when we commit nato force and our allies, germany, lithuania, uk and canada, into eston ia, would have an comment -- it's not a negative thing in terms of their capability, but it's a
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symbol that united states is committed to every one of these deployment. i would hope in ukraine, your president said what do you need. he said we gave up a thousand missiles, can you give us a thousand anti-tanks missile. they need that for. but the point i want to get to, mr. chairman, that is we have to learn what they have experienced. we have learn what the russians have done to you. you have been three these experiences. now we are being threaten with the same thing. we can teach you many things about the military, you can teach us about the aspect of hybrid war and prepare us so the
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next election is not a victim of russian aggression. i know you talk ed about this. but i thank you for coming. we value this alliance. it is strong bipartisan strong in congress. thank you. >> quickly. >> if i can respond to senator durbin. you correctly mentioned that there would be forced presence of nato. as we speak, they are moving into estonia with 1,000 men. what i want to emphasize is the american president in the baltic states should remain.
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we have a company size unit and we would like to see them in that battalion. >> i want supporting 100% by my colleague but i want to thank senator durbin for visits. those visits are important so it's a part of showing our partnership to the world that we are strong together. i thank all visitors who have visited our countries. >> on that note, senator blunt. >> thank you, chairman. i have been in five of your six countries. i was in estonia, a year ago in september when we had a reserved
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8-10 unit and they were back again for a more extended period of time. following up on what senator durbin said was the question i wanted to pursue, we clearly understand russian improper involvement in our elections. why believe that they are currently involved in both the up comeening german and upcoming french elections. but you have experienced with this as well and i wondered if you want to share may be one at at time some sense of what you saw through rt or through man na n -- manipulation where you feel the russians were improperly involved where everybody
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understand improper violation in elections. if you can share that that would be helpful. if we can start with ambassador marmei, with you. >> thank you, senator. i think one of the clear operations of influence that i mentioned earlier was the cyber attacks in 2007, we see those cyber hackings on a daily basis. i think it's also important to point out that their kremlin backed russian language tv and media channels are trying to influence the russian speaking population in estonia and other
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countries. it's not specifically a estonia issue. we have to deal with this. it's everywhere. we opened two years ago an estonia broadcasting company to counter that propaganda. i think what we see is a lot of intimidation when it comes to the security of our borders, air space, the violation of air and maritime laws. we have to deal with this as well. we have to deal with the support of -- the influence of the ngos in our countries as well and academic. >> russian influence on the
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ngo's. >> yes. >> the one or two days i was there, they were practicing invading the -- it was clear that was the purpose of that exercise. >> i would say, senator, it's difficult to influence election in lithuania. even though i would say there r trials. with lithuania it's 80%. what we see, we see the efforts by media outlets that put out on nato relevance, anything can be
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exploited to, fake news which show to lithuanian public that america are looking the other ways, the fake news are similar nature would be the ones in lithuania trying to in general of the people believing in the government, believing the nato. trying to push for example, nato let's be neutral. it seems like the message is not against nato, but why are we not neutral. that's kind of news probably more exploited in lithuania. >> ambassador krisciunas. >> three we are facing is
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russian tv channels broadcasting in russian. the narrative linked, european collapsing, the other way how to get back to prosperity and welfare to come back to russian and russia economy. another way is financing of ngo, while the person are not numerous and each of them are working in several ngo's financed by russian organizations, protection of human rights or european
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research and they are pretending to fight for russia. probably the third i would mention is rather strong work in social media as spreading out different fake news, trolling, like we saw quite recently -- that's another indication probably where the news is important for this warfare just when operation atlantaic started and they started its move from
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poland to germany. headlines appeared on sites that nato tanks rolling towards border. that was printed out in the news line and social media. >> the point is well-taken. there's a lot to be learned by looking at here. thank you for letting me use a little extra time. >> as a matter of fact, that's one of the question -- the one who didn't comment, examples of interference in your elections because that's important. >> senator homan. i want to join our colleagues on
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a bipartisan basis for thanking you for your leadership. because russian interference is not a democratic, or republicans issue, it's a problem across the world as you are testifying to today. you have had this experience over many, many years with both the military challenges and threats but also the intimidation through various means of propaganda. the propaganda invasion is new to the united states in tirpermf our elections. we are seeing it in the upcoming elections. if we do not respond, we will allow those actions to be encouraged. if they can do this interference with impunity, they will do it
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again and again and again. so i support the legislation that require consent. i support the legislation that we go forward. we need to impose sanctions on bipartisan basis to send the signal you're talking about. because if we don't do it, we'll encourage this kind of behavior going forward. i appreciate -- i look forward to get the written observations from others. obviously, we need to strengthen our cyber border. my state of maryland is the home of u.s. cyber command. i know estonia takes the lead
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with respect to cybersecurity. we have a good relationship between maryland national guard and look forward to strengthening those ties. i would like for each of you to grade what you think are current capabilities and whether you think this is area we need to put more resources and how vulnerable are we today. we know the russians are involved every day in trying to penetrate our systems and i would -- starting with you, ambassador moarmei, if you can give us assessment of where you think we are. >> we have good news and bad news or bad news and good news.
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thank you for the good cooperation that estonia/maryland have envojoyedn the past several years. your 175th air wing have been to estonia. this is excellent and also the cooperation with your cyber defense unit is developing fast. now, it's clear as you pointed out cyber is new warfare. but, a lot remains to be done in this area. we have to be all our countries
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individually have to put more e resources into that and we should collectively tedeal with the issue. with nato, as you know estonia host the cyber of excellence, when you talk about the countering hybrid warfare to put to that center as well, and to have more people in nato head quarter to deal with this issue. it would not fade issue. this issue will be with us for the good part of the century. so we have to really put more emphasis in this. thank you.
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>> everyone else can in writing respond. because we're running out of time. there's a vote being called any minute. briefly, what have i learn? there's been a system to undermine democracy your systems with russia. >> let the record reflect an affirmative answer. affirmative answer. without american leadership nothing will work. affirmative answer. all right. who do we have? we have two members on the way. if senator, if you want to continue until they come. >> i think -- this is discussion
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for members of congress, i do believe, that we need to come to together across party lines to respond and we need to learn from your on experiences the kind of measures that we need to be on the look out for and we need to be focused on what we're doing. i want to ask you this, if the united states does not take any affirmative action beyond what president obama did with respect to the russian interference in our elections, do you believe that would embolden russia to take the actions on a larger scale your countries and other democracies around the world? >> for the record, you can
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answer that. it's a good question. i want to make sure everybody can ask questions. i. >> i think this is important to show unity and resolve. to do it individually on a by lateral basis between our countries but also through nato and european union which is an important organization for us. a lot remains to be done. otherwise what you describe will become true. >> senator dane, i have been told the vote is on. we have seven or eight minutes. >> welcome. thank you for being here.
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united states value a strong relationships and alliance and can strengthening the ties can help improve availability across eastern europe. it's critical that nato remains strong and continues to receive support in light of ongoing aggression and threatens our inability security. this information campaign seeking to discredit alliance such as nato, substantial attack and raising influence have occurred far too frequently.
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mr. ambassador wilczek, what threats do you view as the most imminent? >> which threats i -- >> which threats do you view from the kremlin as most imminent, most urgent whether to poland, nato or, the region as a whole? >> i think it's to the to the w western world or transatlantic alliance i would say, both europe and the united states. now during the, you know, the cyber war is going on every day, all the time, and it's a threat for everyone because it doesn't depend on how far you are from kremlin, you know. you can be 500 miles job you can be 5,000 miles. and so you can be, you know, a
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dictator ship or a democracy. you know, there are various ways of using this hybrid war and first of all cyber war. so i think that everyone is vulnerable and what is essential for our countries to be in our message for nato and the united states and other countries to be unambiguous. what is the most dangerous thing, i think especially as far as the war against ukraine is concerned, that many messages from various countries are -- it's not unanimous. it's not, you know, clear-cut that this is the war. i think that this should be stated openly, not that there is -- there is crimea. no. there is a war against ukraine. and i think there is also a cyber war against so many other
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countries. >> so in light of that, what in your view would be the very best and most effective response to putin's hybrid efforts to advance his goals, whether it's energy, informational or cyber? >> well it's both energy and information and cyber. i think that first of all the corporation on energy and the position were for example, of the european union should be unambiguous. because otherwise it's dividing the union when various countries have various opinions about corporation. so this i think about this region should be stringent as far as energy is concerned. and i think until today, i just returned from a conference on cybersecurity organize by poland, slovakia, czech republic
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and hungary. we are still not aware how important this new kind of war is conducted today. i think cyber should be the most and most essential way of cooperation. >> you brought up the issue of energy as well as cyber. i want to switch gears here. as you know or may not know, my home state of montana is one of the leading energy producing states in the united states. we have more recoverable coal than any state in the united states. montanans understand the access to reliable and affordable source of energy and so do historians. how dependent is your country on russia for its energy needs and what concerns does that raise? >> thank you, senator, for this question. i think acetone ya enjoins a
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rather different situation in the region is that we are not reliant on russian energy. the only energy that use or import from russia is gas, but it only forms about 7% of the total energy consumption. they're rely i can't on oil shale which we generate to produce electricity. so in that sense we are not really dependent on russia. but there is a bigger issue here, which is that as long as the region, the baltic region is still considered as an island inside the european union, then it's not a matter of how dependent acetos stone ya is. >> would the region be more
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secure if that dependence was on the united states instead of russia? >> well the united states plays a big role here, especially in the export to europe. i understand the issuing of licensing and this is clearly what lithuania is looking forward, to get more to europe, to lithuania. also it's important to mention that acetone ya actually exports and it's only 8% from russia. senator rubio is in a classified meeting and cannot make it by 4 sln 15 which is the time that we can all leave.
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i'll make sure he can ask you questions in writing. to all of you, thanks for coming. it's been eye opening to me. my goal is to inform the american people of the risks that you have being in the back yard of russia as a democracy, that they're coming after us, france and germany until somebody stops them and we're going to try to give you more tools in your toolbox to fight back because the safer you are, the safer we will be. and to all of you, thank you very much. you've been very brave to come here today. and to our friends in the ukraine, keep your chin up. we need to get ukraine right before anything else will happen. and every effort to stop russia in the past is clearly not working. and my goal is to come up with something that will work. i want a better relationship with russia but that never will be achieved until russia changes its practice of trying to ground
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democracy into the ground. i can understand why putin is afraid of democracy. i can't understand why america and others will not defend it. i just met with president trump. i think you're going to have a good ally with president trump. that the ukraine will be helped more, not less and that we will push back against all russian aggression. i look forward to working with him and my democratic and republican colleagues to give you some hope in the region that america is back and that this subcommittee is just the beginning of what i think will be a long journey. our next hearing is march 29th and we'll look at civil society's policy. to all of you thank you very much. your country is in ourp thoughts and prayers. i want you to see in america a more reliable ally in the future. thank you. hearing is adjourned.
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♪ c-span's washington journal live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up friday morning, republican congressman scott taylor from virginia on president trump's revised travel order and other homeland security initiatives. then democratic congresswoman val demmings of florida will be on to talking about the trump administration's law and order agenda, effort to employ law enforcement in its crackdown of ill liam immigrants, live at 7:00 a.m. eastern friday morning. join the discussion.
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friday a hearing on marine corps readiness and modernization efforts. a house arms service committee hears from lieutenant jean garry thomas, live 9:00 a.m. eastern on c-span 2. and later representatives from indigenous and tribal groups gather in washington, d.c. for a rally in response to the dakota access pipeline and the keystone xl project. that's live also on c-span 2. sunday night on afterwords. richa richard haas examines his book. >> the thesis that you primarily
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put forward, you said there was continuity in how the world worked during this period. describe that. >> a lot of the structure was based on this idea of sovereignty, the idea that borders were significant, that they defined nation states, countries, and that there was a deal out there, that we won't try to change your borders by force if you don't try to change ours. >> sunday night at 9:00 p.m. eastern on afterwords. now a group of tax policy analysts discuss alternative corporate tax plans. this panel was part of an event hosted by the urban brookings tax policy institute. it's just over an hour.

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