tv Breaking the Set RT December 4, 2013 6:29am-7:01am EST
leave me. alone and welcome to crossfire all things considered i'm peter lavelle ukraine deeply divided here of sovereign decision to walk away from an association agreement with brussels has resulted in an explosion of street protests and violence of some western pundits have even called for the overthrow of ukraine's current political order it would seem those who ultimately lost the orange revolution are bent on giving it a second try. to cross out the crisis in ukraine i'm joined by my guest alexander make your wrists in london he is a writer on legal affairs and an analyst in brussels we have gone to how he is the director of the european center of the carnegie endowment for international peace
and in moscow we cross to mark slowly he is a senior lecturer in research or at moscow state university or gentlemen cross-talk rules in effect i mean you can jump in anytime you want if i can go to you in brussels the ukrainian government survived a vote of no confidence today but at the same time there are voices in the european union and some prominent newspapers as well as some prominent european union officials are saying that the government now in ukraine is illegitimate which is rather strange isn't it because two weeks ago they were in negotiations with that so are we experiencing a second orange revolution in ukraine a lot who are going to turn into a second orange revolution. and of course it's likely thirdly as you say to talk about non-legitimate government that's very clear but it also has not been entirely probably under thirteen by the ukrainian government of course to abandon walked out on the wealthy and agreement as you said earlier. you know india and. the signal of
the ukrainian government was one that was of course slightly poor from the outside but was also based on very very you know. in terms of its own survival elite that are standing behind the government and have come to the conclusion that they cannot make the leap of faith the west nile their business model would be in danger so they try to continue the equidistance game that there's they've been trying to play between the west and russia and that's the decision that mr jenner coverage has has been taken and that's where we stand at the moment and what the dynamic on the ground in kiev is going to turn out like whether it's going to be a mobilizing kind of effect again as nine years ago i really don't know that's a very volatile situation i wish that the ukrainian government will be playing it lightly smarter with the demonstrators that's for sure ok alexander would you like to weigh in there i mean we heard outside influence i suppose that means russia anything that goes wrong in ukraine is obviously russia's fault i mean that's a default line for ukrainian politics. well it certainly is and it's what the
europeans have been saying for the ever since this decision was made now i've actually read the association agreement and i have to say i am not really convinced of that my own view is that it is far too ambitious document it requires that ukraine is sensually to convert to all the rules of the european single market within ten years on i don't honestly see how that is practically possible and i think trying to do that would inflict an awful lot of damage on ukrainian industry and on the ukrainian economy what i think probably happened is that what i'm fairly sure happened is that mr as our of who is the prime minister had doubts about this for some time he communicated his doubts to the various industrial groups in the ukraine they came back and told mr young the code which in a meeting about four weeks ago that this is simply not practical and it needs more
time mr young. went to the europeans and they said we need a lot more money if this is going to work the europeans said that money isn't there and so at the very last moment they pulled out that that's my own personal reading of this ok mark if i go to you here in basque i mean you know if you look at western media and some western politicians this is a tussle between the european union and russia but in fact it's about ukraine being divided in what kind of future it wants to have and i would agree with you and there are the unocal which is played this game playing one off against another and you know what he's got he hasn't got much to show for it. well peter i have family in the ukraine my family my wife it was originally from the crimea and so i have family both in some for or in kiev and i can tell you that the way this is presented in the western mainstream media as the ukrainian people rebelling against
their government is entirely. facetious this is a country that is extremely divided almost along the geographic and ethnic lines where you have a russian speaking east and south of the country that does not want this association with the european union certainly not on terms that would mean stripping their relationship with russia which is what the european union has demanded from the very beginning they have from the first point denied that there can be any trilateral negotiations and the ukraine both the government and a large amount of the people don't want to be forced to this bipolar cold war of choice they would prefer to maintain good relations with both which moscow has also suggested the political the politicizing the situation but the european union rather stubbornly refuses and so it's either our way or the highway yawn would you
like to react to that because it looks like it's been. given a zero sum game here and it's mark rightfully pointed out if you go to eastern ukraine you'll feel like you're in russia you know why because they're ethnic russians yeah you know i think there are two things that i would like to react to the first one is that of course there's not a default western kind of position that everything that goes wrong in ukraine is russia told that the very simplified way of putting the most of what was normally and sort of any event it was really bloody on russia and it's very similar holding a threat when he was very very simplistic ok but i just want to point that out ok it's extremely i don't get it i don't hold it simplistic ok go ahead young continue i mean it is about as simplistic as the point and. this is about as simplistic as the points that you've made and for them you know i think we have a wonderful competition here but let's look at the facts for a moment the very clear that of the ukrainian choice but it's interesting that ukraine was willing to initial the agreement and trying to. what happened in
between those who had nothing to do with them all of a sudden realizing that the full daughter robel agreement for them that in that case it really had to do with a very very strong russian influence in that case which is the perfect really legitimate thing for the russians to do but of course in this case one drachma state the fact that the second thing that i would like to react to that question of of a dear old some kind of approach the a full creation agreement for ukraine would not have meant that the trade relations with russia would have been they would have been forced to abandon them or that they would have lost all of their russian kind of investment all of these kinds of things that a very simple mirror what is clear is that if you find in the filthy asian agreement you can't be in another free trade agreement that's a very technical and very you know but basically it's kind of cruel but we're not talking about is the old composition that the europeans have given to the
ukrainians quite to the contrary what they have that many times over is that this is not a zero from thing but this is in the end beneficial for everybody involved and that was made again and again and again the one fourth in the game who started what had to be the role from what russia in this case because it basically told the ukrainians that if they find they'd be punished for finding that and that was exactly not the european position the europeans made an offer and the offer was rejected ok all right you made a right let's get it on to your brother punishing your time that's a very very important difference here wouldn't you be made would you want to react to that yes a number for the first point to say is if you look at the joint statement that mr rompuy and mr burroughs who issued some time some days ago they make it absolutely clear that they blamed russia for the fact that this thing didn't happen now as who was the ukrainians were full of was that they were signing up to. well.
well let's dispute that because i don't actually except that i don't actually think that the initiative did come from russia nor did i think that russia or in fact put the kind of pressure that our our guest in brussels is saying briefly the point to understand is that ukraine and russia actually at the moment effectively are in a free trade zone if the ukraine adopts the entire system of trade regulation of the european union which is what the association agreement is all about and what it requires it to do which means incidentally that it also has to follow to see abide by future rules and regulations the european union makes in accordance with the interpretation of the european court of justice then it is impossible to see how it can remain in a free trade zone at the same time with russia so what the russians said very
simply wild and corrected as well as possible if you want to do it very possible and the technical deal would be in for work then you have the large product like you are a little alexander if it is point alexander finished a point what the russians. what the russians said is we are not in a free trade area with the european union perhaps one day we would like to be but we cannot have a situation where our market is flooded with european goods through the ukraine with which we have a free trade agreement so what the russians basically said was if you go ahead with this is so c.-h. an agreement then your arrangements with us and and that was something that i think the ukrainians woke up to in the autumn on top of the fact that the ukrainian industrialists also work up to the enormous amount of view norma's costs this is going to impose on them if they proceed it may i just make one very final point
about this in response to the things that young has said one has got to understand in talking about the ukraine that russia is there just as eastern ukrainians are there if you are going to make this work if you are going to have some kind of an association with the ukraine and the european union you have to involve russia you can't just wish russia away huge can't just wish eastern europe east ukrainians away you can't just wish the people who run the factories in the east ukraine away you have to deal with these facts and that is precisely what the european union isn't doing and by refusing to do it what it is actually doing which is very dangerous is that it is fanning sectional conflicts within the ukraine it's already gentlemen i have to jump in here gentlemen we're going to get i want to short break and after that short break we'll continue our discussion on ukraine stay with r.t.
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welcome back to cross talk or all things considered i'm peter lavelle to remind you we're discussing the crisis in ukraine. ok and i go back to you in brussels would you like to rebut what alexander had to say before we went to the break. very briefly i think there are two points one is that supposedly there is an incompatibility yes it's true that initially of course you know it looks like the two offering the moscow offering of the free trade zone and the association agreement not compatible but i mean mind you we have a ten year period for adjustment and obviously it was very clear to everybody here in brussels that would include a deal with moscow and that was always very clear throughout the entire negotiations and that leads me to the second point and it's not like it was said earlier on the show that all of the sudden the ukrainians woke up to the conditions
that they could never meet there's been a pro for the last four years though thought the ukrainians both fully aware of what was coming their way of if they considered signing the and to make a u. turn on the in a very short period of a few days really were missed they got no coverage got the reading in moscow i had nothing to do with all of the sudden you know waking up to the negative consequences i think it was the outside players and thirty new negative consequences as i said earlier that's power politics that's the game that's being played and i have respect for the fruit and it was played nevertheless i don't particularly like it and i actually in the end don't think that it's good for russia as well ok mark would you like to jump in there because i think really one of the issues here because no matter what you look at timing wise it was four years or last ten days i mean it's still kind of an issue at the end of the day about ukraine's sovereignty. ok well first i would like to say that john is.
factually incorrect things the european union has made it clear from day one that a free trade area with russia the existing commonwealth of independent states free trade area is completely incompatible with any free trade area that the ukraine might enter into. with the european union so that would mean an absolute ab immediate abrogation of that free trade area and russia is the ukraine's largest trade partner last year the total volume of ukrainian russian trade was bigger than the volume of the every country in the european union's trade with the ukraine so that would be a tremendous blow to the ukrainian economy. second of all this presentation that. there is no question that russia has deployed carrots and sticks cheap gas prices the automatic revokes of the free trade area that must happen in order to
maintain this free trade area with the ukraine which they surely want but the european union has also deployed well i would say sticks and a lash because there really is no carrot involved with this free trade agreement they have threatened to withhold further i.m.f. loans not so a suggestion suggested that it would not be possible to get further i.m.f. loans unless this agreement is signed which is essentially holding an entire international financial institution hostage to their geopolitical designs on the ukraine and secondly they have made it quite clear that they will make things very uncomfortable for president yannick overture in the ukraine and they have done that because we have seen european union officials politicians including the sitting vice president of the european parliament in a flagrant violation of the ukraine saw over duty in the. square cheering on the protesters who are calling for revolution and regime change and
frankly that is such an egregious violation of the u.n. charter and international law i think these officials should at the very least lose their job and something should be taken to the international court of justice ok yon in all fairness if you want to react to that before i go to alexander. yeah i think mark is getting worked up a little bit here on the international law issue and also on the sovereignty issue of course in a free and open society it's always possible for people to demonstrate on whichever side they would like to demonstrate i think there is a profound misperception of what makes madiba refusal to similar country what marks an open society here and yeah i mean that has happened in the past and these are things that you know it is something that is utterly acceptable and in open societies so i'm not quite sure that we're talking about the same notion of sovereignty here the second issue that is very very clear here to me is that i think mark gets the facts wrong on the tracing he put trey's that here as well as
if all of ukraine's business ties with russia were at stake. because of the signing of the association agreement that was not the case the europeans said you can't be part of another free trade organization but ukraine has been fined a formal treaty organization that you say there's a defect or free trade organization with ukraine is a bit of a wishy washy kind of argument here because the europeans have made it clear from the very beginning that this was not supposed to threaten the business ties with ukraine that ukraine has with russia it's very clear that we are not playing this over here as a zero sum game as as the many many association agreement that the us signed with other countries have amply demonstrated this is for us as a perspective kind of that we bring to this here as westerners and large and also as analysts something that will create benefits for all sides involved the ones that were threatened here and felt threatened by the russians because it's very
clear that this undermines their geopolitical business plan in the region and and that is a very very unfortunate kind of thing because as i said earlier we are very interested in having a strong and well developing russia an offer that the west has made many many times and and for some reason russia seems to prefer to look. if they when we must necessarily little ok all right and that's a very very good job of it on the way of looking at it but i think it's a kind of pre-modern bit the european union knows what's best for russia and ukraine alexander would you like to react to that. eleanor that's not what i'm. going to call you to with that i'm for it go ahead alexander the first the first point to make is that of course the people who are protesting. who were protesting on sunday were actually calling for revolution and for the overthrow of the government so when people from outside come along and become involved in all of that well then one does start to become concerned now coming back to the fact about
the free trade agreement with ukraine in effect has with russia the fact is it does have a free credit trade relationship with russia is to say that that's a wishy washy thing simply doesn't look at the actual realities that business people in the ukraine have to deal with now as for the greenland itself to say that the ukrainians drifted into this is absolutely true if you actually look at the agreement it's incredible to me frankly that the ukrainians could ever have agreed so such an extraordinarily unbalanced document but the fact is that they are extremely bad negotiators they made a hash of their ghastly negotiations with the russians when the of when they negotiations were led by tymoshenko and they made it hash of the negotiations with the european union about this now the thing to do is to try to help them out of
this situation and the way to do that is to speak with the other country the are the third party in this matter and it is a third party and it cannot be wished away which is russia saying that you know it's very bad that the russians do these things and they know they shouldn't behave . even this way is all very well it doesn't take you anywhere the russians have legitimate interests in the ukraine entirely legitimate connections with the ukraine they see their business is threatened by this they took action to defend it if you're going to make this work you have to talk to them not over ten years but now ok you know what do you think about that i mean after this fiasco here and there is violence going on and people are being hurt on all sides in ukraine maybe turn a fresh page and have a trilateral agreement sit down all three parties i know the european union doesn't like to do with that way but maybe the situation demands it. the situation demands
of course diplomacy at all levels i think an association agreement between the e.u. and ukraine is as was said earlier a sovereign decision of both sides and doesn't necessarily mean that a third party needs to be involved in a formal way but what is very very clear here is that ukraine needs to sort out its business ties with russia and that it understands and very very clearly understands that the offer that the us making here is something that is not threatening their ties with anybody else in the world as i said earlier the e.u. has many many association agreements and these partners have never complained about the e.u. basically you know cutting them off from the rest of the planet as it is portrayed here that is just a very simplistic way and of course and i must react to this the e.u. does not know what's best for everybody in the world there are some people in the european parliament who like to proselytize and some people here the world are playing their cards as in every political system but by and large the e.u.
can only make an offer it doesn't have any course of powers really it is not going to to to threaten people you know before going into such a treaty and you could see that in the reaction when the end of call which made his decision all the e.u. did was to say the door is still open there was no you know ramifications there were no threats of anything being issued but a very very clear. that the door is still open and i think that's the spirit in which this needs to continue it's very clear that russia is a partner in this but it was said earlier it's very nice you know that we need to talk to russia in order to talk in order to have an association agreement was that was ukraine that's an interesting take on the sovereignty issue maybe then according to that opinion ukraine is not so sovereign after all mark you want to reply to that well of course can go to the ukraine i'm certain artists who have asked for a trilateral negotiations as well as russia so i think it's a matter of your b.p. and union dictating the sovereignty of the ukraine saying that we simply will not
x. . trilateral negotiations with russia when both the ukraine and russia have requested it so i don't quite understand that. we have thirty seconds left to alexander give you the last word of the program go ahead alexander london quickly we're not talking about the association agreements of the european union has with other countries we're talking about vis association agreement if the e.u. e.u. wants an association agreement with you with the ukraine which will work it has to be a workable the grievance and it has to involve russia now this is simply elementary it's practical reality one can get on one's high horse and argue otherwise but if all right we're going to gentlemen we have run out of time fascinating discussion many thanks to my guests today in london and brussels and here in moscow and thanks to our viewers for watching us here dorothy see you next time and remember cross talk rules.
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