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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  February 3, 2014 12:30pm-2:01pm EST

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over the next several years. .. is at this point. and then finally, is someone
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calling from moscow already. and finally both countries are preoccupied, what i would call as a rather painful reassessesment or the roles in an world of increasing turbulence. and these differences in world views, differences in interpretation of values, different geopolitical interests and this preoccupation with one's own role is not really a recipe for success in the overall u.s.-russian relationship some what we have at that point i would argue is an amalgam of legacy issues and current crises. there is nothing on the agenda, nothing in the relationship that is particularly forward-looking. literally geared toward the change taking place in the world and how the two countries are going to cope with them. without that, without the forward-looking element, we find that the relationship is one onf
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a mix of competition, cooperation and indifference and without this forward-looking element i would also argue what we're seeing in this relationship is not necessarily the downside of this cycle of great expectations and profound disappointment but a new norm in u.s.-russian relations. this is the way it is going to be for some time. that is not a tragedy. it is not a tragedy because u.s.-russian relations don't define the international order the way they did during the cold war. it is not a tragedy because i think it is indeed true that the fate of each country does not really hinge on the other, even if it is a factor in that fate. what this means i think in broad terms, and i will end on this note, is that this period of great hopes for this relationship, the one that we have worked on for the past 20 years has really come to an end
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and this is just another marker that the post-cold war world for which we had such great hopes and expect tankses -- expectations 20 years ago has also come to an end, that we're facing a new period in international relation that is will require new thought, new ideas, new creativity for each country but more importantly for the overall relationship. >> thank you very much. it was most optimistic presentation to put it mildly and very informative and maybe have the advantage of being true we'll see. one other things, chris? >> thank you, dimytry. >> i don't know anything about russia, let me say sig about terrorism. every olympic games had to contend with the risk of terrorist attack. in some cases it is greater than others. in others it is more controlled but has been perennial present.
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i think the reason fairly straightforward. i don't have to tell you what it is. we should go back to the person responsible for this preoccupation, someone named shmali, leader of the palestinian fatah movement and one of the architects of the 1972 olympics games. sorry, one of the architects on the 1972 olympic games. afterwards when he was asked why his terrorist organization specifically targeted the munich olympics, he gave two explanations. both of which still hold true and may in fact be more true. the first he said was an ideal opportunity to puncture the national pride of the host nation and certainly the palestinians set out to do that in 1972. the new germany erasing an ugly past by putting, by putting on what was hoped to be very peaceful and enjoyable, spectacular olympiad, spoiled by the barricade and hostage
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situation that claimed the lives of 13 israeli athletes. that is one reason. obviously a reason that i will describe in a second that is present with the sochi event. secondly, and just as importantly, is the immense publicity that terrorists can be confident will accrue from in essence hijacking a global audience tuned in to watch the olympic games. 42 years ago in an era long best network communication that is exist today, according to one estimate, a quarter of the world's population had tuned in in one fashion or in one form or another to the watch the 1972 munich olympic games. there was some 6,000 journalists present at those games. i would argue today both those numbers are exponentially larger in terms of the potential global audience and also in the attention that the media will devote for these events. right there off the bat you have two reasons why every olympics has to be especially concerned about security.
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why though sochi attracted this much attention and i have to say at least in the 40 years i've been studying terrorism, this is almost remarkable. this is the second event in a week that i've spoken at that deal with the sochi olympics. at least to my knowledge, i don't claim to know of every such event in the washington but at least the fourth or fifth in the past two weeks this is an olympics for a number of reasons that has received extraordinary attention because of the threat of terrorism i think the reasons are obvious and why the threat has to be taken seriously. first of course, sochi's geographic proximity to the northern caucuses for the last century 1/2 have been source of recurrent violence, separate tim and resistance to central government. secondly, perhaps at least in the history of the olympics for the past 80 or 90 years there has been few events that been
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this closely associated with a national leader. of course, president putin who apparently has a house near sochi. the fact that his personality has been so caught up with the success of these games is another profound reason why it is such a stunningly attractive target for terrorists to attempt to embarass the president and disrupt the gains not then just the perennial interests in disrupting national pride and publicity. putting aside anything president putin may be responsible for in the caucuses or russia or surrounding countries the fact he remains one of syrian president bashir assad's most closest unrepentant allies attracts unparalleled animus toward him and additional incentive on the part of those that seek to embarass him or reap the publicity. the track record of the
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potential spoilers of this olympics, in case the caucuses emirate that on three occasions since the end of october have been able to stage successful, increasingly more bloody violent terrorist acts not in sochi and nearby volgograd. this is one of the main problem any olympic faces, in the united states we faced the same problem in atlanta in 1996. the games themselves were buttoned down and enormously secure but of course the problem is securing the periphery, and periphery in ever widening concentric circles. the bombing claimed lives of one person and strategically injured three others in atlanta in 1996 did not occur at an olympic venue or within the olympic village but just outside. that is enormous problem russian security forces face not the least that terrorists struck at a nearby large city.
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of the terrorism is the more theater. the olympic games in my analysis is second act which is troubling its own the first act we've already seen. we're participants in it here today. the first act was drawing enormous attention to the potential of terrorism to disrupt those games and i think that has really been quite exceptional in this olympics. the fact that there is so much concern, so much attention being focused on the potentiality of the games being disrupted by terrorism has already showered on the persons responsible for those attacks in volgograd and who want to use the threat of terrorism as a lever for publicity, i would say they have already succeeded but their investments by the way we responded to the threat has started to pay off. i would say also the social think games is the second act because of course it is not the only major international event that will occur in sochi in the near future. there will be the paraolympic
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games in march. the 2018, there will be the fifa world cup. so the disruption of the olympics today at least in the terrorists perspective could have enormous knock-on effects as well that will only further embarass the, embarass the president. geographic elements -- >> russian president. >> what did i say? >> the russian president. >> the russian president, sorry. geographically as well, sochi, beautiful place, but of course there is a high-speed rail link. there are limited roads. so it provides lots of opportunities to cut those communication, to create enormous disruption, becomes another reason for the attack. then sort of winding down the list, i don't think my news is any better than tom's was i have to say in terms why terrorists would be attracted to sochi. multiplicity of potential very zareries and groups. not just the caucussus emirate
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or dagestan, you have nearby like-minded uzbekistan groups. iju. you have groups that not only would seek to target the games because of president putin's policies or to embarass russia but also they buy into the ideology of global jihad where the caucuses do figure prominently. one of the iconic figures in the jihadi movement is a saudi who in the late 1980s, mid-1980s went off to afghanistan to fight against the russians, in the late 1980s and early 19 '90s he migrated to caucususes where he ended up being killed. katab is always a leading figure and someone portrayed as desires russ of emulation and imitation. and then, finally, two more things. you also have, i think the
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potential of many chechens who have already gone to fight in syria and may make their way back but i think just as worrisome you have the potential of westerners, persons with clean passports as the media might call clean skins have also gone to syria to fight. unfortunately the numbers from your roop creeps up into the thousands. even in the united states we have not been immune, recent estimates from the fbi put it 50 americans that have gone to fight in syria and these people would find potentially the sochi olympics attractive and might migrate there to carry out attacks. finally if the purpose of terrorism is puncture national pride and generate publicity, one of the third preeminent characteristics or intentions of terrorism is not just to embarass or generate publicity but hopefully provoke a response in one's enemies that the
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terrorists will feel somehow counselter productive that that country or that government and helpful to the terrorist cause. when one sees the russian response, for example, in 2002 to the seizure again by caucus separatists of the moskow theater, and, efforts in beslan in 20004 to rescue the cool children and family that were seized there, you see these provoke very harsh, dramatic responses. that may also be in the terrorist motivation to try to compel the russians to do something that might produce a result that similarly bloody as both the moscow theater and beslan but the terrorists would hope would further embarass the putin regime further, undermine russia's success in the games and hopefully in their view have knock off own other effects held in russia in the future. >> u. >> thank you very much. obviously ukraine is a very important and complex subject
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but it particularly interesting for us to hear what do you think about the impact of ukrainian crisis on u.s.-russian relations? >> thank you, thank thank you vy much dimitri and paul, and chuck in the center. somehow per flexing did you did not find room between henry kissinger and senator paul to say comforting rooms. everyone around the table, is testament to the value of what you all do and i'm very perplexed that i have qualified to be on this panel but grateful. let me say -- >> don't be perplexed. i was not smart enough to ask you to speak at our anniversary. [laughter] >> i acceded the idea. so not only did, i did this fellowship, it was under a program called title 8 embassy policy specialist and i worked
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for the u.s. embassy in kiev doing research on corporate rating which is enormously important topic in ukraine a multibillion-dollar problem for ukraine and western companies, i want you to know that program has been canceled. title 8 was canceled by the state department. most people who know are on the report say that is a mistake and a mistake at a time like this should be very obvious. we also have a institute office in kiev. it is not in the midan area but in the other part of the city but we have 100 alumni in the country. for that reason we've been able to stay very plugged in to what is going on. we're grateful to our alumni who are could not tantly spending us blog pieces and what is going on. we managed to organize direct things with them and literally feet away and they tell us what is going on and we may do another one soon so stay tuned. what i want to tell you guys
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before turning to impact on the u.s.-russian relationship is little bit of my understanding how on earth we got here because if you would ask me two months ago and those who did may disagree with dimitri about the value of my commentary, i would never, never have imagined that events would be in the extreme situation they're in today in ukraine. so let me sketch out for you i think the four phases of this movement that we have seen. the first was of course from the 23rd of november when the government indicated that it was going to step off the e.u. association track that it would not sign until the 29th of november. that was really the part of this that i would call the euro midan. that is when people essentially went out into the streets to say we disagree with this decision. this is something that should be done. ian cove vich -- yanocikh signed the agreement. most of the character was not so
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much politically. it was not geopolitical that it was against anyone or even particularly for the e.u. or the united states t was simply about this agreement. it was a promise that had been made and people demanding would be fulfilled. had nothing further happened, that process would very likely and this is what i said at the time, had basically fizzled. people would have most likely gone off the holidays and we have another tent encampment hollow protest. there has been a tent camp on the main street in kiev for three years that no one pays any attention to. that could have been the fate of the euro midna. what happened on the night of november 30th the riot police beat up group of young people who were protesting in the center of the city and demand transformed overnight so that the protests the next day and social media commentary were entirely about that episode and the broader violence of police.
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this goes back for many years, but includes, for example an event that took place last june where a woman was kidnapped and raped and beaten by police and that they basically went unpunished for almost a month and it enraged people. this became a protest about the abusive use of force by the government and that really ran all the way through the holidays until the middle of last month that was on january 16th, when the rada adopted this set of so-called undemocrattic act, 20 new legislative acts which limit ad whole host of basic freedoms, everything from the right to drive in a convoy of more than five cars to the right to gather outside of somebody's house, to the right to simply be on the street dressed in a certain way without permits. all things that in a certain context certainly in the west, we also require all kind of permitting and put constraints on but in the context of ukraine this was taken to be an incredible mark of disrespect to the people who were in the street, a slap in the face and
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very much yanokovich turn towards autocracy. the demand of the crowd, the balance shifted toian cove vich must resigned. everything what hale told, some kind of revenge and just tis, some kind of accountability for all of this abuse needed to be imposed. and then from the end towards the end of last month around the 24th until now we've been in yet what i would call yet a fourth phase. that was where i think to their credit, the government finally responded with something, perhaps inadequate but an offer of concessions in exchange for a cease-fire, a willingness to engage in at least serious negotiations with the opposition leadership. and there is a whole lot to say about the relationship of the opposition leadership and particularly individuals to
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folks out on the street, by no means one-on-one but the bottom line the government is willing to talk and make certain kinds of offers and ultimately the prime minister and with him the entire government underneath president yanukovich have resigned. we're clearly in what i hope will be a final phase. this is endgame negotiation phase but by no means simple and the issues on the table are quite enormous. whether there will be a through row-going amnesty for those already clearly been identified as forefront participants in the protest movement, many of whom committed violent acts which are clearly criminal and could be prosecuted. whether amnesty will extend to figures on the government side who will form the government. what happens personally to president yanukovich. let's not forget the precedent has been set when out of power you're vulnerable to prosecution and imprisonment. whether there will be bailout of outside of ukraine. whether the russian offer will
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come back on the table. whether funds that have been promised will continue or whether there is a new offer from the west. these are very huge issues but we're at least in a phase of negotiation where violence has declined to some did he agree. let me say something about russian interests, what i perceive to be them, what i perceive to be western and u.s. interests and where i think we might be able to go as a result with this relationship. i won't give you a historical lech you are about russia and ukraine's relations. i teach two classes on that subject and could certainly fill an entire semester but the bottom line from russia's perspective is that there is a historical question on the line here and it is legitimacy of russia's place in ukraine. the idea that ukraine did not suddenly reinvent itself as a new, different, entirely separate entity after 1991. in fact not only are there lots of russian people in ukraine and have there been historically but in fact the legitimacy of the narrative about who we are, the
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ruse, stems have from a very large degree from events and concepts rooted in ukraine and these two things can not be artificially severed by geopolitical or political choices. of course there are church and language and media, family ties all of which are enormously important. in a very genuine way to the russians, there is plenty of manipulation on the question of church property, the moscow patriarchy controls very valuable property and they are constantly trying to manuever around one another to claim more. there are real financial interests. russia as we learned from mr. putin not long ago accounts for more than a third of ukraine's export and import. so putin's position was quite powerful and perceived as quite threatening particularly in the west but had the virtue of being true. he said to the ukrainians, if you sign a free-trade agreement with the european union and we continue free trade with you it will be tantamount to opening our market to competition from
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europe that will damage our economy. why would we do that? instead we will erect trade barriers and here is what will happen to you. that was the part that was taken to be a threat because it was indeed a correct statement what would have happened to ukraine would have been economically very difficult and ukraine would have needed to be bailed out or protected from that and ukrainians did not get what they wanted in order to protect them in terms of the offer from brussels. and then of course we have the energy relationship. ukraine is currently working on a an energy independence strategy. it may pan out. it may not pan out. i would suggest more like it will pan out but at a date much farther in the future than the ukrainians would like to imagine. and what that means is there will be mutual dependence going forward between russia and ukraine. russia will continue to depend on ukrainian energy transit and ukrainians will conley depend for very substantial portion of national power of russian gas. the russian gas discount offered in december is quite significant. it goes from $400 pure thousand
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cubic meters to 26per thousand cubic meters and carries the implicit promise gazprom will not call in the billions of dollars in unpaid debts. then of course there is geopolitical interests. that can't be denied. ukraine's not moving forward with the european association agreement is appowerful statement that the entire region will not become the kind of political property of brussels. and this i think for russia which of continues to play the role as an alternate power center, an alternate geopolitical actor, one of several great powers that needs to be consulted would certainly strengthen russia's hand although i don't want to oversell that point. lastly there is domestic politics. here i think the events in ukraine the last two months underscore a point putin has been making for many years, that is given the choice between perhaps a kind of democratic pluralism that comes with chaos and more vertical political system that comes with
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predictability, what would you choose? and the same question can be presented to ordinary people as to oligarchs and business leaders and i think the choice across the board in russia would be likely more vertical system, less pluralism and much more order and predictability. every day that the disorder and chaos in ukraine goes on serves to underscore that argument which is enormously important in russian politics. u.s. and western interests. there is humidity human interest but -- humanitarian interest. the president announce ad red line in syria that has to do with chemical weapons. do we have discrete red line in ukraine or are we generally perturbed? i don't think there is answer to that question. we have to remember ukraine is an enormously and large important, european country and it should be a priority for every country that people in that part of the world that are on the border of the most developed world region should not be living in a basket case. quite frankly that's where they
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are right now. there is a geopolitical component to that i think it would be extremely damaging to american interests to see any kind of movement towards dissolution of the ukrainian state. at the same time a kind of contagion effect. think about arab spring here. the idea if you can change the outcomes politically, if you can undo the results of the 2010 election in ukraine, if you can change the composition of power, if you can change ukraine's geopolitical question by turning a million people out in the street, 1/45 of ukraine's population what message does that send to belarus, russia, central asia, hungary, greece or perhaps turkey? all areas where you ask the question, can you generate that kind of public outrage? can you turn people out into the streets if they want something badly enough? i would suggest the answer is probably yes. so it's a dangerous precedent. economically i think the biggest reason that the united states is thinking seriously about backing a bailout package for ukraine right now is very logical reason
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which is if ukraine accepts that money and follows through on the conditions that come with it in terms of reform, the economic relationship holds enormous promise for the united states and for our european trading partners. you're talking about an extremely large market. talking about very effective labor which is relatively quite cheap and close. lastly there is a geopolitical argument here and think this is different quite frankly for the united states and for europe. in particular for poland, for the czech republic, for lithuania, for other new europe, central europe countries. there the argument is about space. it is about gaining distance from russia. it is about bringing ukraine into a fold or into a defensive posture. it is not about nato per se but about bringing ukraine into kind of a sphere that helps to protect them from what they still consider to be a threat. i think from the american perspective it's a little different. it is more abstract. it is the idea we ought to
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expand a broader space of stability and democracy in europe and moving eastward along the continent and southeastward makes some sense to some extent. sending a message to other countries that reform is possible but i would note again to my previous point the message is losing credibility in the countries where it needs to have it most. i think the types of people who are likely at this point to jump on the message and say, boy, this seems like a really good scenario are not necessarily people we would be pleased to have as our allies. so finally, what is to be done? look a lot of people, i think that the loudest call right now is for sanctions from the west against ukrainian leaders. set offing awe side all the arguments i think group knows very well about why sanctions seldom work as a general as a general premise. i argue several sings sanctions are likely more useful when we don't talk about them than when
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we talk about them endlessly and pass them. we want to use them in a targeted tool in your discussions with ukrainian leaders but we need to talk to them in the first place. if you look at the track record of sanctions in the reason it is tended to be counterproductive. belarus is a good example of that. i think there is reason that the sanctions backfire in the immediate short term. if this scenario goes forward in the area we don't want to see where the state of emergency is declared, the government sends troops out, then sanctions will be perceived as loyalty litmus test. anybody who has not been sanctioned can not be trusted. and unfortunately those are the only people that we are going to be able to talk to, we in the west. so i think imposing a kind of sanctions calculus on the ukrainian leadership is likely to be dangerous. a much smarter play, focus on the upcoming elections, whether they're coming up before february of 2015 or not until february. they have got to be clean. that is the one inflection point at which the west clearly has a role in either blessing and
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anointing those elections and their victor or not doing so, withholding recognition. that is something even yanukovich will need and that gives us a chance to insist on clean elections. making the pathway as appealing as possible ands government and europeans since munich moving in that direction, coming up with a actual financial support package with the right anticorruption and reform conditions attached to it. this one astonishes me how difficult it seems to be but opening the doors to ukrainian student work tourists and other visas, right. almost done. and the simple message here, is ordinary people need to understand much more substantively what is it that they're losing? what is the opportunity they're missing by not engaging in a more serious reform process. they need to see it in action in western societies and statistic on ukraine are still unbelievably anemic in terms of
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tiny numbers of people who travel to the west. finally this is my last plea to echo what tom said, we have to talk to the people who hold the cards. that doesn't just mean having kind of empty interactions with yanukovich and his emissaries. we have to talk to the oligarchs and our russian counterparts. let me put it this way we are far more likely to run out of attention for this region long before those players run out of resources because it is infinitely more important for them than it is us for our political process. we have to be realistic about that. so i will stop there. . .
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actually if you set aside the united states and the west, it looks like that may well have been a very good investment. russia's ambassador is president of putin's top aide has said 60 heads of state or government are coming to socchi, taking into account, that there are only 85
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countries that are participating in the winter olympics. 60 out of 85 is actually a lot for triet and what i think is really highlights is a gap of perhaps in how the united states and the west look at russia and how many other countries around the world look at russia. and the kinds of attention that the united states and western countries give to russia, and the kind of attention that russia gets elsewhere. my mandate on this panel is to talk specifically about human rights of. and i think it is very clear that russia's human-rights practices get much more attention in the united states and the west than they do
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elsewhere. in the case of this particular olympic games, the issue of gay rights has gotten enormous attention in the united states and the western media, and i think it starkly illustrates some of these differences. and i want to talk about that for a few minutes. i don't approve of russia's so-called gay propaganda law, and i have a lot of other reservations about russia's human rights practices. that being said, you know, when you look at russian public opinion, you know, the attitudes of people in the russian society on these issues, it should hardly be surprising that the political system would produce the laws that it's produced.
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82% of people in russia are opposed to regular gay pride parades' in their cities. 77% of people in russia are opposed to same-sex marriage. 40% of people in russia believe that gays and lesbians should have fewer rights than others. 22% would support criminal prosecution. so it's that environment in which this legislation comes forward. and if you look at law it has been very broadly supported in russia and actually i think has managed to capture the 80% plus share of the russian population, who i guess are happy watching
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parades of tanks less happy watching gay pride parades'. with that, on the other hand, reversing russia's post-soviet to decriminalization of homosexual conduct. and remembering that that is criminal conduct in a very large part of the world. including in india, which we frequently talk about as the world's largest democracy. now, if you look -- let me actually step in the interest of time talking specifically about the law we can talk if people have questions about that. certainly, though, when you look at public opinion, and also at legislation, you know, you find that russia falls actually somewhere in between the united
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states and the west on the one hand, and in the middle east and africa on the other hand in terms of public attitudes. and again, i don't think it's too surprising that russia's legislation should follow russia's public opinion. but i think is an interesting question at least for me is a very interesting question is why when we look at russia and we look at other countries in the world why we focus on these issues in different ways. celeste is here and what it tell us that this is a major priority for the administration and is one that is universally applied. and i expect from a certain
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perspective that that is true. but when you look at the very large number of relationships around the world that the united states has, this is an issue that has particularly come to the floor in the case of russia certainly not on the part of the administration and on the part of the media. i think for me it gets back to an issue that tom raised about our uncertainty about where russia fits. is russia part of the west and part of the western civilization, or isn't it? and there is a very strong temptation on some issues to see
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russia as outside of the west and other areas a strong temptation to see russia inside the west the and when we look at russia and see the russia that we want to be inside of the western civilization, and then we see the conduct by the government of human rights practices and other things that don't line up, i think it's especially frustrating for many people. it's like an itch that you just need to keep scratching. that is the best that i've been able to come up with in a long reflection on that particular issue. now, looking concrete lee at the olympics, the climate that has emerged around this set of issues and certainly the very widespread concern about russia 's treatment of its gay
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and lesbian citizens about the law certainly seems it likely that some people in sochi may try to express their views on that issue, whether they be athletes or spectators or others now athletes are in a very particular situation, and i think it is going to be challenging for them to express their views openly first and foremost because of the charter which prohibits athletes from taking part in demonstrations or other political let of these during the olympics. actually a modification that was introduced from the charter as i understand is strong initiative of the united states during the cold war period.
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but spectators also will be in a somewhat challenging situation in expressing their views and disconnects a little bit what bruce was talking about. here you have sochi inside this ring of steel with tens of belsen of armed security officers and distributed trying to protect everyone very importantly from a real risk of terrorism. and it's this force that has been assembled and trained for that purpose going to be the best possible force in dealing with protests and that may come up. i think that is certainly
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something to be concerned about as the games go on. we will have to see what happens. certainly, the russian government and sure is trying its very best not only to avoid terrorism, but also to create an environment in the spirit of the attention that is coming to russia that's going to create the best image for russia. i am sure they will try to ensure that everything goes off without a hitch and without major incident. but it's a very complicated mix of pressures that will be brought to bear at these olympic venues. and something for us again to watch very closely in the weeks ahead. >> i was listening to these presentations which suggested were not found excessively optimistic. i actually felt that perhaps we
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were still locked domestic and if they would go to the point made by tom gramm at the beginning that what is happening now between russia and the united states may be you know. the basic question is can you sit still on the bicycle? can you sit still on the bicycle in definitely? particularly in the situation where there are so many pressures to move in some direction. and graham ellis and who had a piece in the national interest where she talked about the history of the great power of relations where you would have won power and one rising power and they looked during the last
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5500 years and came to the conclusion that out of this case, he levin have resulted in the war. i have decided to do something different. i have tried to look to the best of my ability in their relations between the major powers starting with ancient greece. and i looked at the pieces where you would have power, which however in fact is not a status quo power but is in reality a revolutionary power. and another revolutionary vision power in my analysis on these cases without a single exception that have resulted in the war. and as we were talking about
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ukraine, i think it's difficult to claim that the u.s. and the european union conducted is the conduct of the status quo power. and that is not the way it is being seen in moscow. and as you said a quite correctly that without ukraine, russia cannot be an empire. i think that few russians however, would be thinking in those terms. i think that they would probably say what peter said when there was a swedish invasion of ukraine with a real possibility because some decided to support the swedes and he said that if we allow ukraine to go to be
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intimidated by another foreign power, he says that would be the end of russia itself. that is all the mistakes have been received by russia. and i think since it is 2014 where we are 100 years away from world war i, we have to be very careful not to assume, nothing is going to happen, and my concern is not about russia per say because russia has a super power it used to be and president putin is the first to acknowledge that. i will be simplistic because we don't have a lot of time and we have a lot of things to discuss. let me just say let's imagine
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that china today is germany. clearly a pricing power with considerable ambition. and let's imagine that russia -- weigel i do not want to offend my russian friends, russia is a little bit like an empire. not quite obviously because it is not in the decline and because it has nuclear weapons and because it can consider the economic success during the recent years, not recently, but still. russia feels insecure on its periphery after the hungarian empire was in the balkans. and when you have a power like russia which i don't think anybody questions that russia remains a serious power, when they feel secure and they
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believe that people think that they can do what ever without russia being able to disclose that creates a very dangerous dynamic, particularly when you have another great power like china, which also seems to feel that is being subject to the containment. i think we have to be aware of the general context when we are thinking about the u.s. and russia relationship it doesn't happen. it happens in the situation where there are many forces of the world that are working against american interest. and i think that we have to be very careful in in defining american priorities and in deciding which geopolitical venture we should be prepared to
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resume and we should try to do something not just ask what we are entitled to because inherently more on the right but we should ask where we are going to be and if the other side would respond [inaudible] to make a brief comment. >> i have heard a couple of planes. i do not have time to respond to each and every one. >> please don't. >> there are several things that are disappointing like the rest in russia in this country i am witnessing participating.
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it's very much on the mind of people and we will start a wonderful event and it's going to be successful. spectral three characteristics that are interesting on the subject. >> what about the american sporting team? phill whole olympics is about the american intent to do russia, the way you want. it's about the kids. they are going to compete who
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enjoy living together and enjoy partnerships and friendships there and be here each and every day listening to the same debates and in america seems to have lost the memory of what the olympics is all about. give me evidence of the corruption. putin and medvedev have raised this many times. the only argument that i have heard is that it is expensive. yes, it's expensive, but you know why. something that they never cared to look into, but for us it is not just where a lot of visitors
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are welcome. for us, the olympics is pretty unique an opportunity to encourage investment into the region that have been fantastically attractive in terms of its geographics and its climate environment but didn't see a lot of investment. russia does not ensure too many areas within its own territory with access. sochi 700 kilometers. that's about it. because in the soviet union it was much larger and included georgia. we wanted russians to have a chance to go to enjoy sports and see within the parameters of its own country. we also want the russian olympic
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national teams to have a training ground that sometimes also is not available. it's not a secret that sometimes a sportsman would go to austria or elsewhere to train for competition. secondly, i would say that the olympics is going to be a big event and in two weeks it is going to be over, but all the infrastructure that has been created is going to stay. it is going to stay for our people to enjoy. and i would also add on to all of the money that is invested in the whole project. the rest of it is business and as they understand they have to recover money. they have built an additional thousand rooms capacity hotel. all of this is going to be available for people who want to join the place.
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and i've never heard of anybody looking into this on top of that we enjoy leadership now in russia that all of them are good sportsman. and my president is one of them and he wanted to use the olympics in order to generate more interest in russia, in sports. and it's a more important even internally. you all seem to have discussed the importance in terms of russia making the case about its importance. it's much more for less than just the power play or the positioning on the world arena. second, i've been listening to
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the the debate. if people think we don't understand, we certainly do. we understood from the number one. and i think those that have wanted russia to have the olympics from day one as well. and we are absolutely organized. we have invested a lot in ensuring that it is safe games and that any terrorist attack or threat to have it is going to be thwarted and we will deny any chance to them. i'm absolutely certain about how it's been organized. but the majority of the discussion from this issue here in this country sounds like it's only in sochi that is happening.
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and in the world it's almost nonexistent. look at the preparations of the super bowl the other day. if you can't remember law enforcement protecting and air force covering in terms of the number of people they were protecting most importantly the intensity was even higher. why? because the united states are concerned about possible threat of terrorism in these countries. and we understand that. but you didn't decide to cancel the super bowl because it is an event for people to enjoy sports and it is a popular event and it's wonderful that you take measures to deny the chance for terrorists to undermine that. we do the same and we are going to succeed.
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something that i'm listening and very much disappointed because it's kind of an nonissue because nobody is going to be discriminated against on any basis including compensation orientation. the russians do not prohibit any type. the only thing that is prohibited is to try to teach a different life style to the minors that haven't yet grown to their own well-informed decisions. and that is it. in terms of the behavior of the sportsmen, i think that some of the rights were suggesting that the olympic charter basically prohibits i think any propaganda and there is an explanation as to what might be the olympic
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punishment. it's not russia, it is olympic charter. also what is important to remember is olympics go to a place, to a country, they also need to respect the law of the country and those who live there. so i'm pretty relaxed about this issue, because to me is almost a non-issue that has been blown out of proportion. and i enjoyed the reading yesterday. something that i had been telling my american friends all along that if we are teaching these laws, we will look at the legislation on the american stage especially in the south. you will see that it is so mild compared with stores in this case that there is a political question as to why this country or some others tried to teach us something that they cannot accept on a universal basis in
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the country. in terms of the russian-american relations -- and i understand i am taking too much of your time and i will finish -- in terms of that, most preferably the characteristics that we have lost interest in each other. i cannot agree with that to the full extent, but i would agree that we've lost interest in each other as an existential threat. whether that kind of sentiment or not, i don't. and there is a kind of vacuum in a way in trying to define what is the content. there is a very easy tendency to define the russian-american relationship in terms of disagreements over the regional crisis or something else.
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but apart from the international crisis is that we work together and we do not agree on the best outcome. we have better relations. nobody would remember. and they are not yet developed to the extent as far as i am concerned we could have. we would have wanted not only on the international agenda we all play a role, but strictly on the bilateral relations. the trade between the two of us is to miniscule. the context between the legislation's are almost nonexistent. the dialogue between the society's are very, very limited. however, i am certain on this there is no basis on the cold
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war and it's something on the cold war i do not miss. but we are yet to establish a positive agenda that will bring our country together. not only working on the crisis, but in terms of the bilateral relations. the presidents, both presidents, wanted this to develop. they want economic relations to become more prominent in part of the relation and i hope that we will see some steps by the two governments in order to promote it. so, what i am suggesting is that the relations are changing, and suddenly long run and i'm not sure that they are changing for the worst. they could be changing to the better. but i shouldn't expend the of relations to change positively overnight. we will have to work on it.
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but we will be working more and more on the positive agenda than on the things that were related to the mutual threat. >> thank you for the very informative presentation. but the particular point of optimism around this table, which was the press today. [inaudible] >> i would be inclined to say i would rather hear the discussions because i am ducking as i say less than 60 seconds worth of comment. and thank you to the panelists for a great conversation and for laying out so many points from his perspective. a really is helpful and interesting and important. and i'm going to mostly disagree on two points with, or clarify or correct to points that i
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think are in part-time. number one is on syria and iran. actually, i think it is the exact opposite of you posed the problem, which is it's not that the united states and russia disagree on the outcome. we actually agree on the outcomes in each of the cases. where we disagree are the challenges in both cases where how you get to those outcomes. and that is where the diplomacy and the negotiations in the meetings are focused. we agree in iran without the nuclear weapons program, and a nuclear come a peaceful nuclear program that is under the appropriate international law and monitoring. we agree on that we just have different views on how to get to that, but we have worked out a common approach that we are not implementing. and on syria, similarly we agree that we want syria with a government that is accountable to its own people. we agree that that can only be reached ultimately through the political process through the
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negotiations in the political process. and we agree that we do not want syria to be in an environment in which it extremism is threatening not only the people of syria but also syria's neighbors. where we struggle this finding a common approach to get there. but right now we are in a place where we are finding those ways partly because we have that responsibility with the international community. ukraine, i take the point about u.s. and russia talking to get there because we need to find -- i think also we haven't talked about it, we maybe have more common interest right now apparent on what we don't want which is a violent breakdown in the country, the loss of the capability of the political institution in the ukrainian state to be able to function and a complete meltdown of the ukrainian economy. and so i think the changes from, and i won't speak but for russia, probably the common interest in ukraine can we find a way to words of those and the last point that i would make to
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clarify is that while maybe some commentators who are in a civil society and the media think tanks might want russia to have a less than successful sochi olympics, there is absolutely no question whatsoever that what president obama wants is for a successful, safe, a wonderful display of the best of what the olympic spirit is about coming and we have offered whatever help we can offer to the russian government which is responsible itself to the conduct of the olympics and that we have worked very hard. and i could come to lunch today. i want to clarify. estimate for the security prestige was the u.s. government able to get the american personnel?
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>> i will repeat the host country is always responsible for the security for the olympics and we respect that russia is responsible. we have received the kind of accreditations, the extra accreditations and extra presence for the u.s. liaison officers and on the ground support and close contact with russian security officials. so the coordination is going quite well, and it is within what you expect from the host country offering to a best country participating in the olympics. >> thank you. we know how busy you are particularly with the olympics and we are grateful he found the time. the situation is particularly appreciative that you are willing to come. now the floor is open for presentation. and particularly because we have c-span here, please remember that while we know each other
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very well at least, most of us know each other very well, that is not necessarily always to the c-span audience, so please tell us briefly but clearly. william mary, the american foreign policy council. sochi is not just a venue for athletic events that early june it will be the site of the g8 summit under the russian g8 presidency that began in january. i would like to hear if any members of the panel have thoughts as to how the g8 mechanism and particularly the fact that it is this year under a russian presidency might contribute to the topic of today's discussion, which is the improvement of the bilateral relationship between russia and the united states. >> well, first of all, we have a summit this time and obviously -- if we do that, it should be
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bilateral between the two presidents, which gives them an opportunity to go over what the agenda should be in the u.s.-russian relations in both areas in which we are cooperating and of what we are looking forward to on the deeper cooperation and into words certain goals and then there are problems in the relationship that have to be dealt with. i think that's sort of obvious to me. there will be -- as you know -- as we approach the g8 summit and again, questions particularly coming after the discussions that we have had in this country over the past several months on whether russia should be in fact a part of the g8 and how we are going to deal with this, that and the other thing. now, just on some clarification. obviously there is a difference between the way that the american political establishment deals with russia and the way they talk about russia and the
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way the administration won. i have no doubt that the administration has a reasonable working relationship with their russian counterparts. but they operate in a political environment that puts constraints on what they can do in this relationship and more broadly speaking. the other point i would make is that when we are talking about the bilateral relationship, i think we speak to easily in the idea that we have a shared interest. that we have agreed vision on what the endgame and syria is supposed to look like and the endgame in iran is supposed to look like. the tactics determine outcomes and if we cannot agree on the tactics to get someplace i would agree part of the reason is that we do not agree on the place we are supposed to end up. so there is a lot of work that needs to be done on this relationship. we cannot do that relationship without high level interaction between the two presidents and the people below them that are in power to deal on the president's agenda. so, looking forward to sochi, the g8, i would hope that our priority would be not only with
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what the g8 does as an institution, but with the united states and russia are going to put on the bilateral agenda with the sochi meeting. >> just a brief i promise. one thing that seems obvious to me from the start is to talk about you have all the right parties involved in the g8 to talk about free trade and the integration and what should be the underpinning principles to avoid the scenario that we are in right now, where the united states is negotiating free trade agreements from one in the, the atlantic and russia is building a free trade zone, which basically we perceive to be threatening and europe proceeds to be threatening and things come to the head and around for example ukraine and around the potential countries in central asia. so what is the underpinning principal and hauer is this going to interact in the wto and can we underpin to not let the
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tail wagging the dog into a conflict geopolitically? >> jacob? >> jay gup -- jacob. the issue that seems to be crystallizing in washington at least by the new republic and the piece by jackson deal this morning is that president putin has reached his power already and is headed downward. not because of the slice of dissidents were intelligentsia in moscow, but because the russian economy is stumbling. does anyone on the panel agree or disagree with this analysis? >> why don't you say something and then we will let -- >> you know, you could make an argument that putin has reached
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the zenith of his power. the question then would be how far do you think he is going to fall from that zenith. the argument is that it is going to be a major fall. i think that is far from obvious at this point. obviously, there are a host of problems that russia faces going forward economically among them, but there are questions about how you build a political system that is capable of dealing with multiple stresses, whether they be what we call the so-called urban of liberal middle class of some sort. you have got the socio-economic discontent that has to be dealt with, and i think you have a major problem that hasn't received nearly as much focus in this country as it should, and as a whole question of the national identity. something that put and i think have been coping with for the past couple of years in particular. and in part because of the
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decline in economic growth. i think more importantly, because he does understand that this country needs some sort of a secular identity going forward if it is going to hold again and is going to manage to get through some of these difficult economic periods that are inevitable in the lifetime of any country. if you look at the projections for the economy, it is the next year and the year after the daughter difficult. you go out a few more years and the potential for the more robust is possible not on the seven or 8% of the first decade in power, but three or four per cent would be respectable in our terms and whether that is efficient in the russian context i think is something that we need to discuss. the short answer to your question is yes he has probably reached the peak but it's far from obvious that he's going to fall off the cliff in the next couple of years.
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>> i agree with tom. i think that putin was quite successful in the foreign policy. not always but if you understand the limitations, but putin was able to accomplish was an impressive. he was not successful in terms of reforming the russian economy, and he was totally unsuccessful dealing with russian corruption, which is so perilous i don't think you could cover the economic reform unless something is done and out the corruption. i'm looking at ukraine, for instance, something talked about. russia has. russia could metal much more than it did so far. russia could encourage the separatists in ukraine. they were very restrains. one explanation we usually don't understand is that if you start
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a civil war in ukraine, you have no idea where it is going to end. it is not any separation. it is like it's so mixed together. but the second thing is that when putin is probably thinking about his options, he has to say to himself well, the united states is against us, the european union is against us, we have a major confrontation with the united states and european union and when the economy is not completely a basket case but close to that and the russian economic predicament in poses very severe limits on what putin is able to do in terms of foreign policy. >> can you introduce yourself? >> with of the u.s.-russian business council, thank you to the panel for the presentations. i want to underscore -- don't
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have a question -- just want to underscore the importance of the economic relationship in the sense that yes, there are -- i think we are seeing a lot of cooperation on the geopolitical issues, but i think it's important not to lose focus on the economic initiatives because, you know, we talked about a lot of the focus on the geopolitical but on the economic side, he had a very successful visit to washington in december. we had mr. elliott coming at the end of february. and although we don't have any big exciting headline catching initiatives on the economic agenda, the wto is behind us and we are looking at implementation issues now. we have put a lot of our members consider to be important as we were doing wto, which is a bilateral investment treaty and that is front and center of the new initiatives going forward and i think by strengthening the economic agenda and keeping that
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in our engaged continually that is important moving forward the obviously strengthens the relationship and moves it forward. so i just wanted to share that. >> marvin kalb with the political center and crisis reporting. there have been many interesting points that have been raised, and two of them appealed to me particularly because it brought me back to the time i was studying russian history, and that is direction of russia whether it is a western country coming easter or some hybrid form, and tom's comment about russia's search for the national identity. i regard those questions and answers to both of those questions as rather fundamental to our understanding where russia is today and may be going. and i'm wondering if in moscow
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as the russian experts go there and visit and talk is that a subject of conversation at all? and i will ask a question of celeste do you think that is a question about to be addressed? >> [inaudible] >> i will defer. >> look i had that discussion about this over many, many years of being in moscow and the question now when we are talking about, particularly now of putin trying to define a very conservative view of what i would argue are the european values, to put it in that context talking of the eurasian values. whether you are talking about how they are going to develop an economy and how they are going
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to develop on the political system, that the undertone of this is all about what is russia, where are we headed, what is our relationship with europe and the united states in the western terms where we fit. and so i think it is front and center in all of the political discussions in moscow and certainly it is an undertone of any conversations that you have now about to keep up with a call and economic issues. >> on the question asked i think it's important for all of us to think about. we are having a very active debate about our identity as a country, both domestically in terms of the composition of our society and what our values are.
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but also internationally and in an international system where as dmitri mentioned we have a super power who some people think may eventually have an economy larger than our own, and what does that mean about our role in the world, and if you look at the polling data it is clearly something that the american people are thinking about and actually quite worried about. certainly russia has been having a very wrenching internal discussion since the collapse of the soviet union about what it means to be a russian citizen and russia's lead role in the world, but i don't think it is unique to that. >> talking about the russian identity and what is happening in this region i think that few
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people are more qualified to talk about the neighbors from kazakhstan that are successful in maintaining their dependence and avoiding the need to make a choice between russia. thank you for joining us. >> actually, i agree that we lack optimism here and we have quite a picture of what is happening in the bilateral relations. i would turn this around and say why don't we think in a positive way why don't we have positive ideas to work on and cooperate on because just take the example of kazakhstan i remember the first years of the independence where the experts are saying
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that kazakhstan is the least of the country for the former soviet union we have a very diverse and ethnic composition of the country and was kazakhstan would not survive as a country. 20 years down the road, today we can say that we survived, but today we are one of the last countries in the area and we have quite a good economic is relevant and we are looking forward. we are not living in the world safe and secure, and it's quite unfortunate that we have quite a different environment. and of course if we listen to all of the pictures of terrorism and separatism, organized crime, drug trafficking, anything, we should not do any event in the
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region until it gets better but we are not doing this. we just live in the real world, and we do a lot of different events. as for the olympics i think of course the terrorism threat is quite high. and we understand that. and i very much like the words of the ambassador saying that they are quite aware of the situation, but they are still trying to do this as a friendship and the rest of the things. and i understand them because we have the same situation, and we do a lot of e event. we would like the countries to come to the region to look at where we are going, what we are doing with others and quite recently the president of kazakhstan proclaimed the strategy 2050. that is a long vision of how we
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are going and where we would like to be among the 30 developed countries. they are ambitious, but still it is a very good point for us to go, and we have tried to accomplish things against any problems, any issues we have in that particular area. so i hear just to tell the audience -- of course i understand the experts should look at the negative side of things that we need to change the progress. let us think about the positive things, not kind of forgetting about the negative ones but let's give this priority to positive thinking. because in our region in central where they are sensitive to what is happening between the u.s. and russia. we do not want to choose as
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dmitri said it in russia, the u.s.. we would like to see the area of cooperation rather than confrontation because that makes the life of all of the different countries in the area much more difficult. why should we be in a situation where we have to choose? why can't we be in the situation where we all get together and think how can we make the world safer and more secure fax a i refer to the words of the ambassador when he said russia and the u.s. think about doing something, they achieve the results and when they do not operated as a failure. so i think that let us think about a more cooperative agenda. and i would like the think tanks here in washington to look at the long-term strategy of how we make the relationship positive. and that will help to all of
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these other countries. because we are still a country of of course today the panel discusses more u.s.-russian relations but we are as well. so i would like you also to kind of be aware that it's not only u.s. russia, but all the rest of the countries, which are to think and look very attentively at what is going on. >> thank you. >> what is good about the optimism is that it is based on the 20 years of success in that region. kazakhstan is a remarkable place in the country and obviously the resources put delicately it helps. but also demonstrated how it is a very serious situation with several superpowers competing in the region and how kazakhstan was able to maintain its
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identity and basically to be able to work with everyone. that is not easy, but i think that it is not impossible. on that note i am happy to conclude. [applause] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] >> a reminder that the sochi games began friday and if you missed this you can see it on our web site, >> i wrote about this extensively in my book, and the whole time i was in the hospital not injured, i had a cut on my leg and my ankle and i was praying that the other person in the car would be okay. and the other person in the car was one of my best friends,
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which i didn't know. i didn't really recognize that at the site of the crash. and i think because i prayed over and over for him to be okay and he wasn't. you know, i thought nobody listened. god wasn't listening. my prayer was answered. so i went through a very long time of not believing, and not believing that prayer could be answered. and it did need a lot of time and growing to come back to faith. watch our recent issue at the presidential center in dallas at 10:30. the senate is about to gavel and for the week. today a bill considers a farm bill that passed in the house last week. a vote to limit the measure is
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expected at 5:30 eastern and if the vote meets the 60 vote requirement a vote on the final passage is likely to occur tomorrow. now we are going live to the senate floor. the presiding officer: the senate will come to order. the chaplain dr. barry black will lead the senate in prayer. the chaplain: let us pray. god of our salvation, whose ear is always open to hear the cries of contrite hearts, consecrate our lawrs


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