tv Discussion on Ukraine Election Results CSPAN April 26, 2019 10:07am-11:31am EDT
that subject, that's like paragraph 75. that's the president. in the middle of the speech the president will be reading the speech and he goes, that's not right. who wrote this? that's not what i think. i i mean, who does that? only one. that's the president. the president is the most unique president in the history of this country, because it happens at a unique time. the direction of this country needed a shockwave. it needed a disruptor. someone who did not think the status quo was the right direction. and the president is not status quo. he is a disruptor battling a very bureaucratic government which we become. and that bureaucratic government has --
>> we are leaving this to take you live to the carnegie endowment for international peace for discussion on ukrainian presidential election results. a comedian with a a tv show about being president won the runoff election against the incumbent president with over 70% of the vote. >> -- to talk about the shockwaves that are emanating from ukraine as a result of sunday's election. to my right is professor shehii plokhii who is a professor of history at harvard, the director of the partner ukraine research institute. next to him is matthew kaminski, editor in chief of politico and previous incarnations has been a correspondent in soviet union and central europe come for the financial times, the "wall street journal" and editorial writer for the "wall street journal" and then was an audio editor of political europe. and then on the very far into the table is balazs jarabk who is carnegie endowment scholar,
has spent the past two decades in and out of ukraine and grace and of the parts of four former soviet union asserted an incubator for civil society groups and as a very i think independent voice of reason about development in ukraine. the first person who i encountered who was telling me at the beginning of this year that zielinski was for real and published in politico words to that effect. so nice interaction and collaboration with political. i'm going to set the scene of it and then post some questions to colleagues, and then will come to the audience and ask folks to join in as well. let me start with serhii who a spokesman know is probably the premier historian and the united states for ukraine, has written ibis books about the collapse of the soviet union, about the chernobyl if it does answer
today is a 33rd anniversary of the chernobyl nuclear disaster. so will talk about that in a minute, and the copies in the hallway, i should mention, of his recent book about the chernobyl disaster for purchase if you want to pick them up on the way out. but someone told me yesterday and i think was a very vivid illustration, situation in ukraine that if you were, there's a graphic the people emailing each other and if you were to plot over the last since 1991 the leaders in the region and i think those like a timeline what was rush was on top, belarus, ukraine. if you were to look at the left to right the lead in russia has not changed. the leader in belarus of a system change. it was a little clip and the timeline where putin is standing on the shoulders. every five years the leader of ukraine changes. if there's a pattern i i've is here of a people -- upheaval.
is that we experience another moment of structure fits in a bigger pattern of a ukraine as a society and a political entity organized itself? is that what we're witnessing? or is it what the newspaper accounts portray, which is a reality tv and the tv star and a very charismatic figure who came out of the tv screen as an interesting and very charismatic figure that average people all got to know as a tv character, and then what he said either the way, i want to be your president for real, it was the easy for people to sort of say we are somewhat unhappy, we will take anything over the current government in which is not delivered prosperity, which is not resolve the conflict with russia. so it's easy to kind of vote for something that looks and smells
like a protest. i'm curious, what have witness in the last couple of days? >> thanks. excellent question. if you compare ukraine to russia and belarus, this is, ukraine is the only country in which democracy survives the 1990s. and ukrainians turn out to be much better at sending the politicians packing than electing the politicians they can trust. so it looks like that democracy works better, but the emphasis on the idea of really getting rid of someone who didn't, didn't meet the expectations of the electorate. so you have to start somewhere, if that's what is happening in ukraine. generally, when you look at the
presidents since 1991, two of been it and actually survived until the end of their term. mr. yanukovych had to leave. only one of them was there for two terms, and again the second term really ended in a major scandal and mass protests. so we have now the second in poroshenko, the second person to actually serve the full term and didn't leave in disgrace. so that's, put that into the context. and regarding mr. zelenskiy, again, most of the observers look at that vote actually a protest vote. what is interesting from the
historical perspective, if you look at this history between chernobyl which was just mentioned to here, chernobyl is also the start of the ukrainian politics. that's when the first political party was made. that mobilization starts and movement towards independence. so there sort of a clinical history of contemporary ukraine since april of 1986. if you look at this recent history, we have the presidential elections. since 91, until 2010 when the country was divided, there was east and west one way or another, and the division was more or less in the middle. this is the second presidential elections where if you look at the map and they have a map there that -- the presidential
elections -- [inaudible] round two is on the left. we see that the country actually was pretty much united already during the first round, despite the fact there were dozens, dozens of people, contenders. and this reminds us about the map to the right and not to the left. to the left, this is president xi elections of 2010, and you see the red and dark red, the originals who voted for mr. poroshenko. to the right the originals that voted for mr. yanukovych. that was more list the story in the elections in 2004. the elections of 2014 when
poroshenko was elected. again we get ukraine more or less united. and this is the comparison of, on the left of the electoral map that brought mr. poroshenko to power your enter the right electoral map of ukraine that brought mr. zelenskiy now to power. so loss of premier, actually made ukraine much more homogenous than ever before. going back and forth because poroshenko didn't get some areas in east, and zelenskiy didn't get some areas in the west. so the tendency is very same but the spread is very different. this is again looking from the perspective of ukrainian politics over the last 30 years.
we now can talk really about maybe emerging tendency were ukrainians are united in electing the person are rejecting the person of politics. i think this is one of the most consequential results of the elections. >> thanks, serhii. let me turn to you, balazs. as someone who spotted this phenomenon early, what is it about zelenskiy himself and the character he plays on television that created this opening? that somebody literally avoided defining a political agenda of any kind didn't state is use accept assistance horrible and we're mad as hell about what is running our country and people running our country. how do something like this happen that a person could have such a totally no political
experience, no team, no international exposure, that he could basically run away with the election like 70% landslide on sunday? >> you know, first of all he has the team. it's his own production. he has become a millionaire poking fun of politics and politicians. he's a political satirist which gives him a lot of good insights. on busy he's a successful one. like he's making money on politics and his team has been extremely creative. if you want the servant of the people, i think can keep a good example, particularly i recommend anyone to watch the third circuit the first suit is a bit too long. the third of his three episodes and you can get a lot of insight even what's can happen next. even the language of today's ago is there. for example, and a couple of other things as well. he has a very -- he doesn't have
tim burchett -- which is a political experience which i think we can kind of come it all boils down now to what they're going to do is the political experience. but i would like to emphasize what political experience also meets in ukraine. it means corruption. that's what people refuse. we don't need a political come somebody who has been politics directly because that means the person is ultimately going to be corrupt. like if you look at the polls, which i base my projection based on the polls as well as my own discussion with people. and i've been warned over the summer to watch zelenskiy because he has been reaching out to a lot of people i know, and these are experts, ngos, various people who are around politics, foreign policy for a couple of other issues. he has been recruiting. he is been reaching out turkey is been listening to a lot of people are ready for a lot of years. this is not an accident.
i think what's also important, the timing. he was actively campaign only three or four months. look at poroshenko who is been leaving for long and then his campaign went down, simply because it's it is way too, ova year and she could bring anything. the folks are saying 66% of voters voted against poroshenko and system he represented. i think it's very telling. at the same time, like 1995 has been running, they've been zelenskiy was nowhere to be seen in kiev. they have been very smart campaign and is not only the movie but particularly the concerts they gave in every place a lot of places, i don't know in three months, to concerts every day, one for free for those who are in need and one who paid concert for those better off. they even make money on the campaign.
there's also like he has been extremely successful attracting earned media. it's a bit like connected to trump. whatever he did, the media was dying for it because the leaders wanted to kind of learn what zelenskiy is about. the less he was telling about the campaign, about the program, about his income the more interesting and intriguing it is the. my media journalist friends were telling there were three types of media campaigns now, poroshenko who are the so-called heated advertisement, and playing everything black, meaning cash in all this. everything white and normal advertisement, everything legal and zelenskiy doesn't have anything but we're running after them because easily one of the readers are interested in. these kinds of things -- last point, voters, poroshenko
writing was up to 69%. poroshenko strategy was to get to the second round which was successful. you get into the second round but he's -- was simply to either weblogs and the secular and had a chance win, and zelenskiy we shall already december and november in the polls that in the second round if he gets to the second half he beats a look including district that's what significant a significant into second round he will win, and it was clear he is going to be a fresh face. that's with the people wanted, fresh face, no political extremes. i think it was how to say not a rocket scientist a lot of people, particularly in european union, where campaign simply for poroshenko. they wanted to the status quo. they did not understand how, the ukrainians refusing poroshenko, what poroshenko represent. and what poroshenko represent a very quick was mostly about very bad, how to say, very modest
economic results. the ukrainian economy returned to grow but people didn't see too much of it. at the same time as people with this and see was eight times increase the gas price and the criminal payment. name the account which survives eight times payment increase in any democracy. i don't think there's anything that happen. at the same time poroshenko adopted every song national building agent, the army, the language. the people about these things at these certain level of people but not without they, and not without better, better economy and better living standards. the key data is here, according to dina ukraine has become the poorest country of europe now ahead of moldova in 2019. so that culminated with the election and i simply think poroshenko reps and have literally no chance and that's what we have seen now.
>> i'm sort of restraining myself from the urge to say that everyone should watch the show on netflix called servant of the people giving more media exposure but it is really a remarkable show and the production values are very high and the level of political touch. it's a remarkable show. i apologize if i'm giving mr. zelenskiy -- vet, but returned to to you as sort of both child of the region was born in poland and who with professional media figure in the west. what are we witnessing about our politics, both in europe and other parts of the world, that creates this dynamic and creates so much of an opening? it happened in italy with five-star movement. it happened in discussion with the rise of donald trump. what is it that drives voters
now cannot really trust the traditional political establishment and to be willing to basically just throw caution to the wind? or is that not the norm? we have seen a lot of outsiders which a basic come out of nowhere and totally turned political or upside down. >> i'm glad you mentioned macron because he's, he was the same age, never ran for anything in his life, created a movement outside the party structures which is similar to servant of the people and is now zelenskiy is facing the same tactical choice, how defiant parliament relation we don't have a party, don't base which of a lot of momentum? this may drive zelenskiy to think about calling early elections within two much parliamentary elections in france, the parties that didn't exist to you before, want full
control of the parliament. to your question, i think what it shows ukraine's always been -- throughout the post-cold war era and we're seeing it now. there was a long ukrainian history of sort of distrust of central power where there was polish, russian and more recently their own. i do think this event kind of one constant, and in that way zelenskiy fits a pattern of ukrainians are fairly -- a trait but there are three things about him that i think are quite unique, and one, he is of course a member of a new generation to take power in ukraine since brezhnev. i figured brezhnev and then you have -- what if his name was,
the guy in the '80s, and then you had the same more or less generation. poroshenko was livid at the tail end of the, tanf of late, late baby boomers but they were all from people who were born essentially born and raised in the soviet world. zelenskiy was 50 years old -- no, he was younger. now i'm in a spot, sorry. he was a teen, maybe even younger. so he was not raised in the soviet system. he was raised and oppose soviet system which is not radically different but his formative years were already in a kind of free, freewheeling dysfunctional but a very different world than the provincial soviet ukraine characterized by just --
[inaudible] also the first one doesn't come out of that host soviet industrial economic -- or political elite but that's the same thing. i soviet nuclear missile factory boss. zelenskiy is from that same area but he was not a factory manager, and to get to yanukovych. seen as a modern man but it's also pretty much a political figure ahead of the central bank all the way through poroshenko who by the way is both an oligarch having to his credit create a real business but poroshenko have been in bed with every single little party in ukraine. he had been with yanukovych. he was not exactly a new and so this is other thing, but
zelenskiy is really quite striking from you. the third thing is yes his experience. yes, he doesn't have access to actually being experienced as a clear positive. probably not corrupt at least not crept in the same way the whole elite has been corrupt. but his experienced and deeply expansion of a very good at what i would say is the most important thing in a politician in the modern world at least in a modern free world which is his he is a great communicator at that something that trump as shown to us, it's something macron has shown, , that because we now live in a world where the old mediators, my sector include, the media, with the ones who will filter for you who is serious, was not come this sort of party boss. obama is another example. if you are great communicator and it opens up the sort of field to mayor pete in this country, someone you never heard of six months ago, a democratic
candidate. i guess the last thing i would say is having been on the maidan for months when it was personal and professional moving experiences, sort of reminded of two things. one, ukraine is got the best civic society in the former soviet space and i would argue even in all of europe in terms of actively engage sort of mobilized. also at the worst, the worst lyrical class i've ever seen in any country. i can't imagine of a more mediocre vino shortsighted, just awful, awful political class that includes are doing. so finally this great civil society has got some of who at least projects some sort of hope into being at least a break from awfulness of their political class. there are a lot of applications and caveats to this but let me stop there. >> let me come back to the awful political class which is very vivid image and its tossed
around a lot and is clear state capture has been -- since 91, powerful and vested interest of dominate the state to the own benefit and kept it and i think balazs writes about this, to keep the state we can't allow themselves as much authority and ability to capture the rinse of controlling various assets and various schemes. that structure is not going up overnight. it has grown up over decades. it seems unlikely to me, and this is just fiction, that an outsider can walk in tomorrow and fully dismantle it, let alone understand what really a country -- and how governance -- [inaudible] is that too negative and assessment of what zelenskiy faces? and other forces so entrenched, you entrenched,
you know, france it's hard enough for macron it is not getting with the same kind of level of state capture obviousl obviously. >> i think it's very realistic assessment of what is going on. and the previous tour of residence of ukraine, it wasn't just about the capture of the state by different groups. both of them were oligarchs, oligarchs in the making. so yanukovych was oligarch in the making. poroshenko has been an oligarch. so just one oligarch rule, and what you see is that there would be rumple on certain level of the oligarchs against yanukovych. this is important part of maidan and events of maidan --
[inaudible] the tv support for mr. zelenskiy, from a number of oligarchs, it's also very strong indication they were not happy with what was happening with mr. poroshenko. with mr. zelenskiy what we have now is it's well-documented fact that he's a business partner of one of those oligarchs. it's also change a a pattern tt for the first time the previous two president were oligarchs in their own right, this one is actually not an oligarch. there is reason to believe the money he made were made in the context of you can conditions of ukraine are very transparent and honest way. what that means is that most likely we have return to the model that was under -- in the 1990s with the president
becomes to be an arbiter, to be someone who was involved different oligarch groups and tries to make their interest somehow work together for the benefit of the state. the big question is whether someone who has no political experience really can manage that. but that's the biggest challenge that not only mr. zelenskiy but also ukraine faces at this point. there is also talk that while -- something probably mr. zelenskiy will be a a weak president, the is a chance for reforming of ukrainian political institutions and turning ukraine from residential elementary election, republic into parliamentary presidential with parliament
becoming really center of power and authority. the map that i showed elections of 2010, i don't think that was possible for that would be a good idea with the country so divided. but with the country to be united in terms of what the electorate likes and doesn't like, and mr. zelenskiy is not offering radically new vision either for relations with russia or europe. maybe parliamentary election,, parliamentary republic is something that has a chance. >> so we spent a lot of time talking about ukraine as a country, as a political system and about zelenskiy as a unique figure. we haven't talked at all about the war. and if you walk around washington and you pulled audiences and you said what's
really the core issue of ukraine people would center on that. we haven't really talked about it. in the last 24-48 hours we've seen how raw this issue is in terms of both the russian very provocative move the day before yesterday, to expedite processing citizenship applications from residents of donbass, which is a move that has been used in other parts of the former soviet union where these frozen conflict situations avail. so in some ways the russian strategy and response to zelenskiy is to turn up the heat. a part of what is a dangerous about the situation is that western policy is heavily reactive in the russians retain a lot of levers and a lot of control to bring the temperature up or down.
can zelenskiy have any impact on that dynamic? and i'm going to turn the balazs first. how does he manage around a situation that is that difficult and were ukraine is operating a pretty serious disadvantage militarily and geopolitically i would argue, , given the traditional partners of ukraine since the war started are distracted or have de- prioritize ukraine? if you ask donald trump or any member of his team to tick takf the big things are doing to support ukraine, it's a thin list, you know, political commitment that was a visible after 2014 on western leaders. i'm curious, can you talk a little bit about zelenskiy strategy for managing the comfort and help delicate situation looks? >> first, like i think it will be very important for zelenskiy
to distinguish come , to show te distinguish himself from poroshenko. the war in donbass has been a decisive issue in these issues as well because remember, like this looks like a great big victory. on the one victory is bigger than this. that's poroshenko five years ago. cousy 154% in the first round, right? here zelenskiy won 30% in the first round. the reason why or a shake of he promised peace and then before the election he said i apologize for the promise, but war is what we're going to get because it is rush and there's nothing to can do about it. ukrainians ultimately, they are tired of the war because they connect the what with the state of the economy, logically. why there is no investments? one of the reason is there is war, right? at the same time ukrainians are tired of the war but they're not necessarily, as though consensus over the compromise. what exactly the solution for donbass is? and i've been talking to
transfer people as well about this, and how to say, i don't think there is a plan. i don't think there is a strategy or master plan. zelenskiy has come again zelenskiy is a master of disruption as well as improvisation. this is what he does as a political satirist and comedian. but exiting i think he will try to freeze the conflict. it's possible to do certain steps what could improve the situation and, therefore, distinguish himself from what has been happening what he can do, stop the advance of ukrainian army in the gray zone. we don't really talk about it but this is happening and it's one of the reason why the cease-fire violations by the way, quite remarkable torso casualties of the election days. neither in the first round know and the secretary also quite remarkable that half of the army supported zelenskiy. in the segment it was the difference of 400 votes for poroshenko. in the cigarette it was 1.5%.
so in zelenskiy is and stop shooting, he can change the attitude or the ukrainian army. second, improve crossing start media campaign or information campaign to the other side, recognized that are ukrainians on the other side compared to the current rhetoric this is everything russia. for example, build a bridge which ukrainian side is blocking with the notion the russian tanks were conveyed ukraine, with that which. at the same time -- died this year that it would across the bridge. they have to go through the river and its awful conditions, you can watch radio free europe reports about that. if he can change the attitude over this, back to make steps over freezing the conflict. why the priest of the conflict is important? because it can reduce resources for the war. ukraine spent $7.5 billion a
year on defense. that's over 6% of of the budget. that's not for the country such come with such a poverty and poor country can afford. so put the resource of gun something else. and i think they will try to do the. here of course, i'm finishing you, what russia will do. it's remarkable to see that the kremlin immediately step up the pressure. they banned the call and oil exports to ukraine -- coal dust which is not create an energy crisis that if you want to come to this in the winter and 11 full-fledged energy crisis in ukraine. the second sign, and interesting, it's raising the stakes although yesterday the pension fund, russian pension fund issued a declaration that only those from donbass can actually get pension were moving to russia. so those who are staying are not entitled to get russian pension which i think it's an important clarification. so it's very instream that
currently zelenskiy is from double pressure from the kremlin and ukrainian nationalists at home. >> so matt, let me ask you to step back as an observer of u.s. politics and of european politics, and talk a little bit about ukraine's team. after the war started, after the revolution, i don't think there was a politician in europe or the united states who was not really impressed by both how incredible the fight was of ukrainians, defending the country, of throwing out political leader who had obviously done horrible things and telling people in downtown kiev, and we were all shocked at what russia debt done and basiy destroying the post cold war european security order. and then your flash forward just two years to the sum of 2016 and your donald donald trump as a candidate, and very flagrant and flamboyant ways saying i think
the people of crimea would be happier as part of russia. that's what i've been told. we see in the mueller report even last week in private he talks the same way. he just doesn't care about ukraine. and you would has his eye on some new relationship with russia, for whatever reason, some of it is still very inexplicable. but people are not as engaged and not as supportive of helping ukraine manage through this horrible set of crises, which would a flattened most of the countries in europe, frankly. amazing ukraine has consolidated its nationhood and stood in the face of this kind of aggression. and basically thought the russians to a standstill in a lot of ways. can you talk about the political calculus of why the west is sort of not really fully inside of the bargain? we are willing to write checks. with a very ambitious imf program the ukraine hezbollah out of complaints of the with all sort of technical and other
assistance programs that pours resources into ukraine, but the political level commitment has adequate to make. >> i play off your last point. this is all about russia. it's a practical point in terms of its that what kiev does, not what happened in the nest itself. it's what the kremlin thinks -- dansk. they may test this guy mr. casey them as a russian speaker that made is something about also is kind of dangerous he speaks directly to russians through instagram. the same thing he did in ukraine. you worry about that. the kremlin i would always argue it is priority one through five, 210 is by the confidence made about russian self interest economic but it's about machine survival. who's been apart for almost 20 years?
that is remarkable, and president. it can't last. how because is probably on his mind all the time. and i guess the west is also thinking it's really just about russia, it's about our relationship with russia, how can we manage putin's aggression? that was the driving impetus behind the interesting ukraine in 2014, but it was also about how do we got provoke anything that would lead to world war iii? the obama administration, that's why they decide not to give the ukraine's any arms because we will lose, russia has more, more at stake in ukraine that we ever will, although there's a feeling that it ukraine falls, some of in the sort of post cold war order we helped create also falls with it because it becomes part of some sort of russian sphere. for me it's interesting having
been in brussels for years and having back in washington for a couple of years, you don't hear much about ukraine. [inaudible] -- policy conversation. despite that and this is this paradox of the trump era. trump probably articulates more powerfully what an italian prime minister thinks, what i would suggest what most of the german cabinet thinks, and what most of european elites think, which is we really care more about russia and ukraine. we have to find ways to get along with it. this administration has armed ukraine. what's remarkable saying kind of where the trains were terrified of trump when he came in, are actually i don't know if polling has been done is but a bit alyce among the elite trump as much higher stint standard that obad because trump is seen as having come to put them in a a way tht obama never did. on the european side, i think as long as you have merkel in
place, you are keeping together fairly fragile consensus around the need to not take sanctions down. but there is certainly no support for doing anything more aggressive. not really any new round of sanctions in five years. we're in this kind of unhappy status quo, and neither side -- doesn't want to provoke anything in either direction, neither towards a solution which a solution which make anyone happy, that's impossible, nor towards a real confrontation. because in the short term this is great for putin, having the east a little sliver there, kind of festering, i get a healthy foot but there's a big list on your little pinky. that's been the russian sergey and caucuses and moldova 4/20 five years now.
-- 25 years never we're in this no man's land on policy. >> i'm going to ask serhii when less crash i double open things up. with microphones and we will get folks directly involved in this conversation. as someone who grew up in ukraine, serhii, there is a remarkable story of ability to write a separate national identity after 2142 great volunteer unit that went and fought and supplied themselves that look at their leaders with a lot of suspicion even on the front lines -- [inaudible] stuffed in pockets but are still willing to fight for the country. we've seen the recent decision to create an autocephalous, ukrainian orthodox church at the center of poroshenko campaign which regardless of the fact he lost is still i think a very
powerful set of messages about army, by which a paper where the language law which -- [inaudible] voted on just this week. can you talk about how important and impactful across the very diverse country those themes are and what the resident is everything they will matter in the future? >> this is an excellent question, and i use it also to advertise the project that we have at the institute which is called -- [inaudible] and what a mapping the change in attitudes of ukrainian population from maidan and the war -- [inaudible] and hopefully this year as well. and what we noted there was the
issue that was central for poroshenko's campaign, and they were army, language, religion. they were really quite high on the societal agenda as a whole in 2015, immediately after the war. people were scared. they did tell what was going on, a spike in number of people who self reporting that they're using ukrainian language at home and so and so forth. then after 2015, 2016, 2070 it goes down more or less what it was before, before those events. so it looks like poroshenko was late by a couple of years that message. and my guess is the reason why he was late, because he couldn't really run on the platform of which he was running back in
2014. so the war and peace were there without much movement. his presidency of ukrainian government under the pressure from imf in particular, they raised the utility payments and she got a situation where the economy is growing but people are really poor than it were. previous government do that was a political suicide and it didn't do that. they were right. so poroshenko did that. so he could run really on the economy. he couldn't run on a piece agenda, so it went for identity politics. he lost and lost big. it's also very interesting that in this election, like in the
elections of 2014, we don't don't really see the ukrainian nationalism doing well at all, either money for the president -- a national candidate got summer, a little bit more than 1% of the vote. back in 2015 the main nationalist party never got to the parliament. we don't know whether it will get there. today, so we are seeing a situation in which there is a continuing formation of the civic nation in ukraine. against poroshenko and for zelinsky with ukraine speakers and russian speakers, actually there are some differences but no dramatic difference in terms of support, is one more indication of that. the war is very creating a ukrainian nation more unified than it was before.
again we can see that from -- [inaudible] so in short and medium-term, ukraine is really trapped, as matthew was saying, as happening in donbass. that and the longer term as s2 and it seems to me i recognize his major shift in change that is there to stay. >> did you want to follow up? >> it's so critical. in 2013-2014, russian propaganda kept crazy anti-semites nationalist for in maidan. it was a mean that was picked up by the western media and what do we have now? we have a ukrainian jew who speaks russian come has now been elected by 75% of the country to be president. i think what i misunderstand ukraine that i come i come across all the time, it is language is not an issue except maybe sort of in part of the
west. it's a place you can speak ukrainian and russian freely. it's one of the most kind of country that is at ease with diversity both religious, cultural and linguistic. that's always been a disservice to ukraine that i partly blame on my sort of industry, but i think it's we could see a small but important point that is worth emphasizing. >> and also make you feel bad for russian propaganda so we like to find a new set of talking points. >> right. >> rapid rapid change. were going to open things up. microphones will come around. please identify yourself and then whatever you say please make it a question so that there's a question at the end and make it brief. i'll start over here with john. >> thank you. i'd like to ask the panelists to drill all of it more deeply into the room or an lack of room for
economic policy. seems to me there's a bit of a damned if you do, damned if you don't quality to the picture you have given. on the one hand, he is a a new fight, he doesn't have a program, he's got lots of vested interest surrounding maybe even supporting him. on the other if he doesn't create growth, he's a dead duck, politically. so what do you expect? what you see as the possibilities? >> obviously i'm not an economist and i'm just here, so even nervous. but -- [laughing] the first thing what he needs to do something about the gas price. meaning the criminal payment. what he can do is -- [inaudible] which is by the way it's remarkable like how much ukraine oligarchy has been changing, purely legal scheme, right? it is approved by the regulator
and obviously certain calculations i have seen $2 billion in the past two years. huge money and that's all paid by ukrainian people, , right? that's number one, what they can do. and the former minister of economy who is now one of zelenskiy's advisor yesterday stated they would start with the -- committee as well as the energy regulator which i think it is key, like that will be key nominations to do that. the second is the gas price. and the good is for zelenskiy that the gas price is going to go do something because the crude the past six months, they are going to buy cheaper gastric that's number one. number two, there's also a solution which the arbitration court already requires ukraine to buy gas from russia, which would reduce the gas price why, what, 20%? because it wouldn't both as a premium from your, but the
question is whether he can do this politically at home. i don't think so until the parliamentary elections which adelphi will be early elections. i think will be in october. he can afford that. but these can issues are going to be in steps, going to be crucial. i also think a few weeks ago there was, his chief of staff as well as -- the former head of -- i think will play a role, although they deny. but these issues are going be crucial. again it's a question of what russia will do, right? but here i think europeans can help tremendously with connecting the transit as well as the gas price, i mean, -- [inaudible] number three here is increasing like as one of the things which i heard and i'm not an expert on that, is selling the gas which ukraine extracted ukraine is producing gas. it could be possible because the imf -- based on again the
russian gas with ukraine ukraine pays the highest gas price in europe because it adds a premium. when it comes to overall economy i think based on talks, i think they keep issue is going to be mobilize domestic resources, right? what he can do there, i only mention reducing the cost of the war, right? that is alone a few billion dollars. second, customs. according to come which is one of the biggest rinse seeking schemes -- rent seeking schemes are icing 80% of the cousins are not going to the state. imagine if he can is able to reduce that like like is goingt surplus. so, and the third one is what it is his plan is to tax amnesty, which raises the question what is credited with the oligarchs and i agree with serhii, like he can be an arbiter moseyed oligarchs are already supporting him and have been supporting him. the question is what kind of
relationship he can work out. the oligarchs who did not support him remain -- [inaudible] from the regulator. it's like thank you so much for his support. like mobilizing domestic resources increase increased fe sample to make an agreement, ataxic with the oligarchs, what is fdi in ukraine? mosley it is repatriated oligarch capital. not all of them but mostly. overinvestment of the country if not the oligarchs first that's going to be one of the indicators what he's going to do. i think his tax plan his sinker the question what he can can yt or not. my last point, is he able to mobilize his resources and get my into the budget, tax cost, war and so on, then you can put this behind the key sector reforms, healthcare, education, social systems. if he can pull this together and that is a huge if, then i think
we'll see certain changes and improvements. >> were going to turn to the ambassador is one of the people living u.s. policy on this region until fairly recently. >> thanks very much. general question for everybody. you all touched on nationalism in building the bridge and i don't reintegration is in some sense a dirty word in terms of dealing with the people in east is a time come is an opportunity now for the new government in kiev to focus on the hearts and minds of the people in east not just the territory and the boards and aggression? i must say we change our policies but is it time to fix the birth certificates and build the bridge and fix the pensions and fix, and end the blockade and do some of that stuff to try to deal with the people part of the equation? ..
to integrate those regimes. "it lists quote understanding. it was not said publicly, but there is no particular plan or vision coming from anywhere. it adjusts to the new political map and knows how to play this field and the area will come with problems, economic problems, all electoral problems so i don't see any politician and institution really seriously thinking about that.
it was a while ago. the outlet conference and cave that i asked a panel what are the plans for the integration phase that really happens. the only group that had a plan and knew what to say to them. for them this is an issue they are thinking about whether it is realistic or not but i still have to see just one political force, one thing that would have a plan on how to do it. >> could you jump in? there is a side of me that heard what senator hayes is talking about which they can't say publicly because that will sacrifice their image and suggest willingness to cut a deal where it doesn't come back to ukraine but there is anger about tyanakovic era?
>> i would love to but i will. we don't like to talk about it but that is the case. the linsky may bring change, he me is launching an information campaign which doesn't blame them being russian but recognizes they are ukrainians as will and the step-by-step the most important thing would be stopping the shooting and make sure that would reduce the cost and allow greater improvement. for me it was remarkable the incident a few months ago, the two military ships and russian
reaction, the europeans reacted money flow is isolated from the rest of ukraine. that was five years. there has been no investment into this. the potential was to rebalance ukraine as the map shows and bringing more investment to the southeast and convince people with a better economy or investment, more money, it doesn't mean integration is possible because it is making a u-turn. any u-turn is dangerous. it creates potential for radicalization. what is popping up? in ukraine? they feel abandoned. now they are the ones who feel abandoned. anything must be step-by-step and there is a huge question who will pay for integration,
ukraine, people feel they cannot afford to integrate. a totally devastated industry or heartland. not talking reconstruction of housing but what kind of jobs. there are plans, the appearance of people. they want to attract the old but for that you need to be sold the conflict of the current. who is going to pay for it is the question. i think here the role of the west and particularly russia, and i think this is exactly what yanakovsky is what he meant, what are you going to ask? the territories and compensation. i don't think russians are like that. it is not what they want to spend money on. maybe continuing the current status call.
to pay for their integration. >> thank you for the discussion and i like the positive undertone about democratic change. we have a problem about transition and i would like to ask how you see that problem to be mitigated, how sensible it is in france that the president can get a new parliament, parliamentary elections on 27 october, there will only be a new government in the center and the old institution for
zelinsliy or judgment on enrichment, the prosecutor general taking the most honest people around parish and go and prosecuting them in the government position in that regard, and internationalization, the language law and every day we are seeing harmful decisions against zelinskiy. what can zelinskiy do realistically to stop this? >> it is a hard question. all questions about future policies of zelinskiy are hard questions because he never laid out his vision so we have to rely on other things.
what his character does is getting to the parliament and shoots people there. >> you are not advocating. >> this is an indication what we might expect, not literally but discourse of the in ukraine and the next few months, elections are taking place so the elections in the fall, in october. what happens or doesn't happen in ukraine will depend on who will be in the parliament and what kind of coalition will be there. zelinskiy's class survived his popularity to stay high until that. go of time and my guess is he doesn't have much in terms of options but during
this game in your face, i am here to do what you elected me to do. let me look at the parliament. it is a political assassination. that is one possibility. i have difficulty predicting the future. that is a challenge. >> and he impeached in the third season? in jail? >> i'm not as advanced. >> the good marks ukraine gets for democracy, 27, 28 years, terrible marks on statecraft
and building institutions to make and function with problems in the east where there was absence of a state that was so easy for russia -- that creates a situation we have with free-speech and chaotic debate where parliament is the most fun place if you want to watch a daily spectacle in the korean parliament, compete for the most boxing you are likely to see in a legislature but what happens with this situation is it is very chaotic and you have people whose interests are able to defend them effectively in a situation of horsetrading or open warfare or open parliamentary warfare. you and i, you were there in the 90s. it was hard enough in the 90s to push ukraine toward economic transition on a polish model
and harder now because a lot of systems and interests are more entrenched, there's more to lose from change and that is one of the great challenges. i kind of wonder about the gas queen, the businesswoman who was a korean nationalist and dissident and now she is a political operator. she came in third, this is a blow to her in the prudential election. i knew zelinskiy but i didn't know her. she was always the most talented political operator in ukraine. i wonder if she does emerge as a prime minister or critical figure in that parliament. what role will she play and how is the president able to strike a deal with the people? the parliamentary election
becomes a real contest going forward. i will not understate how difficult it is because we used to call it shock therapy in the 90s. we get a cleaner property run backed by strong states. that is not easy and it is a lot harder than it was. >> could you talk about the role of civil society? the past four years most of what happened was a result of pressure from civil society that created a cancer on the government where supporters of ukraine worked together to box in the government and force change. are we likely to see that kind of tagteam approach to civil society? the same clout going forward? >> civil society is divided.
most of the ngos, there is a distinguish between civil societies and the ngos. most are backing poroshenko is happy with him, particularly the mind of ngos. if you look at the map, valencia and downtown kiev, which explains this is where ngos are. that bubble has been not allowing particularly the europeans to see what is going on in the country unfortunately. let's not forget backing zelinskiy, number 50, activist has been attacked, five of them died, never had such a year in ukraine. a lot of this clearly connected to poroshenko people in the region.
the nationbuilding, still a lot of civil society people backing poroshenko. that is division, will that stay? the position will be marred or attempted to be marred as much as possible which is very good news for zelinskiy. >> time for one more question. >> very good news for yanakovsky. he's going to win because of it. the parliament election is a landslide. if he wins because of this, because of the obstruction, then we have a situation that one person will control the presidency and the government as well. and then for example i want to see not as much, who is going to be -- it will be oligarch or new people or single monday district which usually these are oligarchs.
they did what poroshenko did which was co-option of these people so these are the key questions the next 5 months but he will be silent, acting on videos and making sure is essentially taking the benefit out of this resistance and obstruction. >> american foreign policy council. very good panel and i want to end by soliciting comments from the panel about people who supported zelinskiy in the new government. realistically expecting or unrealistically expecting from the united states because as we noted, washington was comfortable, expected poroshenko to be reelected. washington did not want poroshenko. what they did get has surprised them and they are evaluating that. as andrew noted we have a president who couldn't care less about ukraine, congress
who manifestly cares about ukraine mostly in an anti-russian sense, has adopted sanctions that are effectively permanent. and challenged if they can do some kind of deal which is quite optimistic. my question is, in an american context that is so split on to ends of pennsylvania avenue and going into an intense political environment, what realistically do people want? i was one of a small group that had dinner with zelinskiy's chief of staff when he was in washington. he made a very good impression but had very little sense of an understanding of the dynamics of this city. he was more in listening mode then speaking mode. but what do you think people who are going to be on
zelinskiy's team really think washington should, could, or will deliver on behalf not over anti-russian agenda but pro-ukrainian agenda? >> speaking to that, as i mentioned, poroshenko cornered trump at national prayer breakfast and in 5 minutes did charm him into getting the us to support arms deliveries to ukraine which was not a big step but certainly symbolically was important to reassure people that america does support ukraine and trump isn't about to sell them out. within this administration nothing is what it seems and don't quite know what is going on and you have statement by the president or something and
then you see fiona hill, the senior director in that part of the world, no pushover on russia. john bolton is also not someone who would have been doing politics in the 1970s. there's an interesting dynamic that we don't fully understand but i don't sense that there is kind of any chorus that says we should back off on this. and the helsinki summit last summer. the mueller report is not helping and you don't hear trump saying the same things. that said there isn't really american ukrainian strategy. kurt volcker seems able to
break a job of talking, a special representative for ukraine, and if they would come to the table and keep europeans on the side and limiting any rollback or damage, what i'm not seeing is any sort of strategy going forward. >> could you talk a little bit about what you have been picking up? >> i didn't think there was a distinguished difference between how the europeans and eu treated the election. my understanding the us conceded he was going to win and moving to emphasizing democracy. and going their overall, do not
do anything which would harm ukrainian democracy. very important, was a key signal. it shows the us is ready to leverage and you see that zelinskiy had a chance and potential but the eu did not. they woke up in downtown kiev and what happened in the country but what are the expectations from the zelinskiy team? i don't think there are any. they are here to get the sense of what would be possible to do and i don't get any strategic kind of thought here to do with the current ukraine, what exactly this is but if there is
policy change in ukraine it has potential to bring changes. it will be extremely difficult, very slow simply because not even russia is so far as we discussed interested in having that but if there is a change in ukraine, a meaningful one it will be interesting to watch. the us and eu's interest to support zelinskiy if his intention is to return to the ideals of state reform and let's not forget we haven't had the impression of ukraine, not really. touring up -- shoring up, ukraine has to spend $30 million investment. that is huge.
it would be very necessary to support the domestic research mobilization and making sure the anticorruption site in this that zelinskiy succeeds because i think his intentions are right but it will be a challenge. >> if you had a formula you could sit down and present what the three or four, trying to call the honeymoon period, what should they be? what does ukraine need most from this administration? >> i don't have a formula. my understanding when it comes to the zelinskiy electoral rhetoric, the poroshenko and his administration was not able to deliver on that promise.
the criticism was that poroshenko didn't do enough to be involved to engage the united states. that remains, electoral expectations for parliamentary elections, within the zelinskiy team. and i think the best strategy that can be adopted in that situation, to stay involved, stay engaged, the democracy, and parliamentary elections and then see who comes to power.
>> the latest social security trustees report says the fund for retirement and survivor benefits will run out of money in 2035 unless congress takes action. however, disability benefits last through 2052. the committee for responsible federal budget is going to talk about why that is. we have live coverage at 12:30 p.m. eastern on c-span2, online and listen on the c-span radio apps. booktv will be primetime tonight with discussions on artificial intelligence and robotics. we will begin with john brockman and his book possible minds. then amy webb on the big nine. it starts tonight at 8:00 eastern on c-span2.
>> before we move on to the supreme court, can i say the ten topics that you really need to know and here we go, write them down. foundations, federalism, public opinion, participation, political parties, interest groups, campaigns and elections, congress, president, and courts. those are the big ten. the entire test covers those ten topics. >> are you a student repairing for the advanced placement united states government and politics exam could you be a part of washington journal's cram for the exam program on saturday, may 4th at 9:00 am eastern for a live discussion with high school government teachers from and lie stevenson high school in illinois. >> our question is significant. >> logrolling is one of those words our students struggle with. it is a concept of votes that if you're trying to get a good
bill passed, a lot of times it helps to have some quid pro quo, this for that. this rider, this court project, these earmarks or that earmark, you get more supportive votes. that is logrolling. >> reporter: watch cram for the exam on saturday, may 4th at 9:00 eastern on c-span. >> julie rogner continue the conversation about medicare for all of the affordable care act, the status of it, what may be ahead for the affordable care act. folks a little bit on medicare for all, why do you think it continues to be top of the democrats agenda going into 2020? >> it is the top of the public's agenda going into 2020