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tv   Ali Velshi on Target  Al Jazeera  April 6, 2016 9:00pm-9:31pm EDT

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is. >> i'm "ali velshi on target" tonight, america's new cold war with russia. i take you to the frozen north where america's allies are lacked in a huge standoff over deposits of oil and gas. i'll give you a firsthand look at how arctic melting has fueled old tensions between enemies. all week long al jazeera america is showcasing a selection of your stories. they are some of the most important news events we've covered on this channel for you and one of them has been the new cold war between russia and the west. the tensions now extend from the battlefields of syria to the sea
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lanes of the arctic but the bad blood started in 2014 with the war in ukraine. two years on russia still backs separatist rebels fighting the ukraine government. tonight i'm taking you on the front line with russia, poland, roromania, bulgaria, and competg for special natural resources with new urgency. let's again the journey now with a special report. it's 10 a.m. on an autumn morning in stra tran sylvania. it is a routine nato exercise in military readiness. >> one minute! >> but demonstrations of force like this have taken on a influence urgency for the west. here beside the carpathian mountains in romania these
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soldiers are training for battle. just a seven hour drive from ukraine where russian backed separatists set off the worst confrontation between moscow and the west since the end of the cold war. roromanians and others who worry about past aggressions, worried about stopping an emboldened vladimir putin. >> cold war is a reality, now we live in a new cold war but it's a danger for the real war. >> not everyone slairs the share former romanian president's fears that u.s. and the russian he are bound for conflict but little room for error. in october, nato scrambled tozs dozens of f-16s.
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when russian launched aircraft near nato air space. swooping over the tort sea, the black sea the gulf of finland and the baltic sea. that intercept was captured here on never before seen video recently declassified by the norwegian military. it shows the su 34, which can travel more than 2500 miles carrying a payload of eight tons of precision guided weapons. eerchlts like this happen more than 100 -- events like this happen more than 100 times in 2014, three times more than in 2013. >> essentially what it is is the cat and mouse game at a was played during the original cold war where each side probes the defenses of the other in order to see how they'll react. >> that game is putting more pressure on nato outposts like this outpost in buda where nor
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norwegian forces recently cooperated with their russian neighbors. nato uses its command center and f-16s to be eyes and ears in the sky whether it comes to russia. norway runs that operation from its military headquarters which it recently moved 600 miles north to buda, only country with a military headquarters inside arctic circle. one reason, to keep tabs on russia. very deep inside an arctic mountain, nor weej answe norwegn an era that has come back to life. brinksmanship has's existed between nato and russia.
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but redefining be moscow's relationship with the west. >> pushing the russia-west relationship over the cliff and qualitatively different from most of the cold war period. >> in a speech that putin gave to russia parliament announcing the annexation of crimea, he outlined a new purpose for russia. >> there was one part in which he warned russia's western colleague if you compress a spring all the way to its limit at some point it will spring back hard. that's the new foreign policy of russia. it's springing back against perceived slights and encroachments by the west. in november former soviet president mick highly gorbachev.
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>> the stakes of this new cold war are about more than just territory and influence. they are also about money. here on the top of the world the battle is being fought over energy. the arctic is home to 13% of the world's undiscovered oil, and a third of its natural gas. eight nations lay claim to this fast melting landscape including russia, canada and the united states. they, alongside china, are all pursuing huge reserves of oil, gas and coal. >> reporter: russia's resurgence has been fueled by hydrocarbons that come from the subarctic and if they are to stay powerful they need more from the arctic. russia staked its claim to
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billions in oil and gas deposits. planting a russian flag on the ocean floor under the north poll. canada and the u.s. scoffed, the move underscores the growing importance of the region. to get a firsthand look i headed north, way north to the northern most town in the world on an island in the high arctic called spalvar. many facings including russia are eyeing this once sleepy coal mining settlement as a strategic base in this arctic frontier. i'm here in norway, much closer to the north pole than to oslo. this is frequented by polar bares. bare bears. they were trying to find a reservoir to put it underground and they came upon natural gas.
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finds like these have whet the appetites of energy prospectors. it is about who controls the high seas. which are increasingly accessible because of global warming. new shipping lanes created by the melting of ice in the arctic could save a lot of money. for example a cargo ship traveling between western europe and asia, typically sails through suez canal. this root shortens by 30%. what russia needs now are arctic ports and lines of communication. it's a big reason why moscow recently unveiled an ambitious plan to build 13 new bases and radar stations in former soviet outposts across the arctic. >> it would be tremendously
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beneficial for russia strategically in the sense russia would control a key shipping artery for the global economy. >> spalbard, under norwegian control, increasingly interested in the high north. >> that's because of the placement that we have with more activity in the polish sea and we're placed in the officer of that. >> driving down one o of only to roads, it's become a key living center and research, where 50% of the ice has melted away since 1979. melting ice in the arctic. a freeze that's steadily putting old cold warren miss on a path to new battles whose end game is
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less about ideology and more about economic control and financial supremacy. russia has more than a large military to throw its weight around in the world. coming up, russia's soft power in the era of the new cold war. >> every monday night. >> i lived that character. >> go one on one with america's movers and shakers. >> we will be able to see change. >> gripping... inspiring... entertaining. no topic off limits. >> 'cause i'm like, "dad, there are hookers in this house". >> exclusive conversations you won't find anywhere else. >> these are very vivid, human stories. >> if you have an agenda with people, you sometimes don't see the truth. >> "talk to al jazeera". monday, 6:00 eastern. only on al jazeera america.
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>> a huge challenge facing countries if eastern europe is how they define their relationship with russia. after the soviet union collapsed large numbers of ethnic russians ended up living outside russia's borders but inside countries that have since joined the faighnatoalliance. as a result the u.s. has to contest with the soft power. of states like estonia and bulgaria. this is the style of soviet styled monuments everywhere. cemeteries honoring red army soldiers offer a glimpse of into a shared history and legacy with moscow. in fact, russia has ties to
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nearly every part of eastern europe. thanks to energy economics and a die as bra pra of russia prasdi, vladimir putin could use pro-russia groups to destabilize the region. it is in enclaves like these where putin wields an unbe even influence. >> translator: without any intention of what happened in crimea. >> adrian vasalev is like many in bul gai bulgaria who oppose s on russia. >> translator: in my opinion
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the west won the cold war. and has since been trying to put russia in the corner. >> russia in the 1990s was a very weak and in many respects humiliated country that was not able to project force. was not able to defend its interests as it saw them at the time. so when large numbers of former soviet satellites joined nato or joined the eu, the russians viewed this as a slight. >> today, sentiment here over russia is deeply divided even at the top echelons of government. here in poland, that kind of ambiguity towards moscow is alarming particularly in the wake of the ukraine crisis. many poles who are under the cloak of soviet control sees the kremlin's new policy towards the old eastern block as particularly dangerous.
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those feelings are evident, where in this gadansk shipyard. russia believes it has the right to protect ethnic russian communities. they think that russia's incursion into ukraine may be a part of a broader muscle-flexing and those feelings run particularly high against older poles who know all too well what it's like to live under russia's shadow. >> translator: a little scared that the conflict with russia will escalate. keeping my fingers crossed for peace. >> the former be secretary donald rumsfeld, rudd isn't the onlrussia isn'tthe only power fs
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muscle in the arctic, china wants power there too. coming up next. grade depression. >> first hand accounts from the people who are there. >> your opinion was shocking. >> ...that i am president of the united states and i can't make anything happen. >> he stood up and said, "that's it, i'm finished."
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>> these people have decided that today they will be arrested. >> i know that i'm being surveilled. >> people are not getting the care that they need. >> this is a crime against humanity. >> hands up... >> hands up.... >> don't shoot. >> what do we want? >> justice. >> when do we want it? >> now. >> explosions going on... we're not quite sure - >> is that an i.e.d.?
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>> al jazeera america brings you independent reporting without spin. >> not everybody is asking the questions you're asking me today. >> we give you more perspectives >> the separatists took control a few days ago. >> and a global view. >> now everybody in this country can hear them. >> getting the story first-hand. >> they have travelled for weeks, sometimes months. >> what's your message then? >> we need help now. >> you're watching al jazeera america. >> as the new cold war heats up between russia and the west, the russians along with their occasional allies the chinese are expanding in the arctic. russia is developing at least 13 new military bases there all
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built on former soviet outposts and china, the world's second economy after the united states is also staking its claim. a chinese business tycoon with deep pockets, honed in a property, along the spoaft to be a private investment, the move is sparking concerns about chinese ambitions in the north. have a look. three factors matter most in both real estate and geopolitics. location, location, location. and for those interested in waterfront property with breathtaking views, plenty of wildlife, and the potential for future riches, this island could be a hidden gem. up here in the high norwegian arctic, it seems there is lots of land, but very little is for
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sale. except for a piece on an island, you can't see it but for fog. a chinese businessman wants to buy that land. there is very little economic value of buying real estate up here today so one wonders if it's of greater strategic value. local officials say chinese real estate tycoon recently visited this mountain in svalbard, halfway between the north pole and norway. over the next three years, one of china's richest men says he plans to put in additional bids in scandanavia in both denmark and sweden. his investment group did not respond to questions regarding svalbard. but he has sparked alarm against
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chinese arctic ambitions on their land. melting arctic ice is unlocking new shipping routes and potentially billions of dollars of oil and natural gas. and many here see his real estate interests as a back door for china to get into the north. >> any kind of discussion about a potential way of getting your foot into the arctic, it's interesting for a lot of states and we've seen it here especially and especially in these discussions. >> reflecting local sentiment, a column called him a straw man for chinese communist party. but this isn't the only place here in svalbard that's attracting interest. as tensions ramp up between russia and the west an old soviet outpost is also gaining attention. find out why we jumped in a boat and headed there by way of the
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berents sea because there are no roads that connect the settlements on svalbard. here in this russian coal settlement the hallmarks of a bygone soviet era are present. >> our goal is not communism, just a memory for that period of russia. >> but like those old soviet days this settlement still receives supplies and food imports from moscow. that's despite the fact that the amount of coal produced here has declined dramatically over the years but that doesn't mean berentsburg isn't valuable. >> the soviet kind of demographic policy puts settlements all over the soviet union that are very difficult to sustain without tremendous subsidies. but if some of those settlements particularly in the far north some of those base can acquire a
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strategic significance so much the better from russia's perspective. >> with 13% of the world's undiscovered oil and a third of its natural gas located in the arctic, many here in svalbard are thinking russia is holding on to the area because of its location. >> the being here is very important to them. >> that means supporting legacy settlements even if only a few people live there. >> if there's a settlement that from russia's perspective could be a flag in the snow then that's something russia would seek to exploit. >> only about 400 are left. new tensions are eplernlging even hear. local officials fear fist fights could break out between russians and ukrainians deep inside these
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mines. >> it's difficult for me because my parents stay in in ukraine. that's why it's very difficult. >> this new cold war is putting strains on those like constantine, who came here after learning he could make four times what he could earn back in ukraine. like china's business tycoons and russia's energy prospectors, he made list way to a battle battleground of a new cold war. russia and china can still work together during search and rescue missions. neither side can afford to go it alone in an emergency regardless of their political disputes. have a look. as tensions sim are between russia and the west, a new confrontation is brewing in the high north. with plans for 13 new arctic
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military base he, russis, russis sending bombers and fighter jets like these on applications high above the frozen tundra. the u.s. and canada, meanwhile are dusting off their own military plans. norway even moved its military headquarters 600 miles north inside the arctic circle to keep annal eyan eye on russia. the reason, exploration could be especially lucrative. melting ice caps are unlocking vast rimps oil an riches of oil. they are opening up new shipping routes on top of the world. but the arctic is still an untamed wilderness and the extreme weather could pose
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mortal threats to both shippers and explorers. that means despite recent sanctions over ukraine, russia and the west still rely on each other to keep their people safe. i sat down with the man in charge ever coordinating norway's search and rescue efforts with russia. these days most everybody is complaining about russia and you actually have one of the better riches with russia. >> yeah, in search and rescue we still have a very good cooperation with russia. we need to help each other because the distribution in the area we don't have that many rescue efforts so we need the assist each other. >> that help will be needed more than ever in coming years. as the ice melts, the arctic offers commercial cargo ships a faster route between europe and asia. it's an often dangerous passageway subject to extreme weather conditions and the traffic is growing.
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russia's ministry of transparent says the amount of cargo transiting the northern sea route will skyrocket from 1.3 million tons to 64 million tons by the end of the decade. >> there are more people that you have to look after, than in the past. what does that mean? >> planning ahead because we expect more incidents to happen. >> today around 5,000 people work in the berents sea. and they often need help. over 200 times over the last five years. to get a firsthand look at those extreme conditions i left the norwegian mainland and traveled north across the berents sea to an outpost known as svalbard, a central logistics hub between
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russia and the u.s. the logistics required for emergency rescues, that's becoming more of a consideration these days because as the ice melts up here, you're seeing more energy workers, more fishermen and more tourists, despite the low price of oil, energy companies like royal dutch shem are scheduled to resume arctic exploration operations later this year. even tourist companies like crystal cruises. you enjoy the idea that people are coming to discover this part of the world but tourism does present problems for you. >> cruise ships with 5,000 people on board, that is a challenge for us. what shall we do the they get in distress, evacuate 5,000 people. >> if relations between russia and the u.s. continue to
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devolve, those who live and work here could bear the consequences. and that's our show for today. i'm ali velshi. thank you for joining us. our government are doing what they need to do in order to protect their citizens. i don't think this state is going to take this and appropriate manner until we're dragging dead bodies out of buildings good evening. thanks for joining us. this special edition of america tonight. just off the coast

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