tv Politics and Public Policy Today CSPAN June 27, 2016 6:25pm-7:01pm EDT
issues in georgia. we've got an invasion that occurred. and sovereignty territory being possessioned in violation of a 1972 agreement with russia. we're talking about all this other stuff at the same level of the invasion issue. i'm sorry to take issue with that but i really think. >> no question, we cannot blame the victim. we have to strengthen these countries so that they can resist economically, politically and security terms. >> sorry, thank you. >> soon coons. >> assistant secretary new land, i had an opportunity to meet with the russian ambassador to the united nations earlier this year. you mentioned the difficult balance between cooperating the russians on a number of important areas, some of our bilateral treaties containing iran's aggressive nuclear weapons program and other areas where we have strongly discordant interests and working to strengthen our allies whether this baltics or ukraine ornate toe in the face of russian
aggression. i came away from a meeting with ambassador turken convinced they'll do everything they can to protect iran and their ballistic missile launches from action by the security council. aim wronging? what leverage do we have to sustain russian engagement in a concerted effort to put pressure on iran toston some of its activities outside the jcpoa that really are destructive to iran's intentions or expressed desire to rejoin the community of nations? >> senator, i think you're not wrong in your assessment that russia has only joined us in joint work against a nuclear threat from iran. having worked with russia over many decades to try to encourage them to understand that that nuclear threat was a threat to russia too, i would say that that is the number one trajectory we have to work with regard to the missile threat now the that russia shouldn't be so secure in its confidence that it couldn't be on the other end of
said missiles and therefore, it has an interest in limiting or stopping iran's missile program. that's where we have to work and we're continuing to try. >> i'd be interested dr. carper in hearing whether in your view the european reashushs initiative is genuinely working and whether our allies in the baltics are confidence in our commitment to their security and what else you think we here in the congress should be doing to provide support across a whole range of areas of endangerment as the senator mentioned. there are frozen conflicts in georgia animal doe va and for the time being in the ukraine. it's my hope that our eu allies will be continuing sanctions and continuing to engage with us. what more can and should we do to strengthen our baltic allies? >> well, thank you for that question, senator. i think the eri is working well and i think when we begin to implement the 2017 requested portions of eri, we will be
dramatically increasing our force posture on the eastern flank of the alliance which will have a significant deterrent impact on russia and at the same time assure our allies that we have force posture that we have genuine high quality high end war fighting equipment in place as necessary in the event of a crisis. i think the other piece to in that we cannot neglect is working with our nato allies to insure that those allies also have skin in the game and so as we talking about augmenting nato's presence in these countries a lot of what we're doing under eri is bilaterally with each of those allies in the east. as we talk about increasing nato's footprint, think we'll be in a better place to other allies with skin in the game as i said and with additional assets they can bring to bear which they possess because of their proximity to some of these countries that will greatly aid in deterring russia in case of it thinks about potential
aggressive action. >> assistant secretary new land, my last question, have we done everything we need to to brace up and shore up and fully engage our nato allies to provide that deterrent impact so that we then have a chance at meaningful diplomacy? and how do you assess putin's willingness to engage in rationale diplomacy around the ukraine conflict? >> two big questions. just to add to what dr. carpenter has said on the baltic states, two pieces here as i said in the opening, we over the past two years have had sort of an ad hoc approach to put a patchwork together of land, sea and air presence in the baltic. what you'll see at the warsaw summit is asus attained approach so that these ally can be confident that threwal have regular persistent support and to make that much more routine and normal to create joint headquarters in all of these
countries and to ensure we can get there. the other piece on the baltics that deserves highlighting is that we've worked on the spectrum of their reel resilience. not just hard military but also border security, integrated communications across domestic agencies, et cetera. we've had our homeland security folks out there and made pretty good progress but we need other allies to be as vigorous and rigorous in their support and we are working on that as we head towards warsaw. with regard to russia's readiness, willingness to negotiate with regard to ukraine, there is as agreement on the table as you know, the minsk agreements which calleders for a full cease fire access for the osce across eastern ukraine. then a political package of decentralization for the people of dom boss and the withdrawal of weapons. so the french and germans have taken the lead in trying to see that implemented.
we have in the last month and a half greatly increased the role the u.s. is playing in parallel working with both kiev and moscow. our concern is whereas we are making some progress now on the political package for the dom borks we have not made the kind of progress we need to see on the security piece and we're going to have to do a lot more to push russia and the separatists to end the violence to allow the osce fully in. >> mr. karmer, thank you for your willingness to testify here today. >> >> senator ba ras. >> he secretary new land, good to see you again. i wanted to talk about the interimmediate range treaties. it was finally made official and public in 2014. in response questioning on the matter, the administration said they're exploring "their economic counter measures" in response to the violation. in the president's speech in
april of 2009 in prague, he committed to ridding the world of nuclear weapons and said in order for nonproliferation regime to work he said violations must be punished and he said words must mean some things president obama. this administration has now said for years that they're considering economic sanctions against russia for its violation after the inf treaty. is russia still in violation of that treaty and when is the administration finally going to get around to punishing this violation in the treaty. >> thank you, scenario, barrasso. dr. barrasso as i like to call you. as you have said, we have found russian violation over the last two years pop we are engaged in discussions, negotiations with russia to try to bring them back in compliance and working with allies to bring pressure to bear on russia with regard to the violations. we're also working intensively, to ensure that flat toes' own
deterrent including its nuclear deterrent is update and strong. we are and this is about all i can say at this point in an open hearing. we are reviewing and working on a full range of options, a full range of options to make sure that russia cannot gain any significant military advantage from any system that they might develop outside of the treaty. and we are also investing in u.s. technologies that are designed to deter and defeat any russian provocations but i think going further than that, we'd have to be in another setting. > just in that line of thought what we could do, the open skies treaty according to state department reports on arms control compliance, russia failsing to meet its obligations the open skies can treaty, it's restricting access to some of its territories. it's shown a repeated pattern of violating its arms control obligations including the
intermediate range nuclear forces so it's now asking that the open skies consultive commission for permission to use more powerful collection capabilities on flights over the united states. you know, to me it says that u.s. shouldn't be approving such a request for these upcoming, there's a requested sensors, at least make it contingent upon russia first coming into compliance with the open skies treaty and the imf treaty. i would be interested in your thoughts on that. >> you're not wrong, russia has been restricting some overflights. there is a list of place, ca linen grad, low altitude over moscow its where they've been restricting open skies fleiss. they had been restricting flights over chechnya in the last couple of weeks. they have reopened that territory in part due to the pressure we've been able to bring to bear from other open skies treaty partners particularly the european who's highly value this.
i think you know that the first round of russian requests for hirl definition cameras were within the con strantz of the treaty. and so from that perspective, were we to unilaterally restrict those flights, we could just expect they would do the same to us. and that would make us less capable ourselves. with regard to their more recent requests for really potent visuals we are still reviewing that internally. i don't know if dr. carpenter has anything to add on that. we can brief in a closed setting on that, as well. >> doctor? >> i would just add that to answer your question, senator, that yes, russia is in violation of its inf treaty requirements not to produce, deploy or ground test a cruise missile with a range between 5,500 kilometers. we are looking at a range of,
we're looking at this more broadly in the context of russia's aggressive behavior. we're taking a number you have steps that are being taken in that broader context to include expanding and modifying air defense systems together with our allies and also looking at investments together with our allies and partners in advance capabilities that will allow us to defend against complex cruise missile threats. on the open skies issue, i would just associate myself with everything assistant secretary new land has said. treaty process already provides a way forward for certification of the electrooptical camera now being use films go out of business essentially. so our ability to use this same sensor down the road is impacted by the decisions that we take today. >> that's fo in terms of security rick, you had said you wanted to take additional
security ricks for their country on there. are there additional security risks if these new types you have sensors are allowed on open skies aircraft for us? >> senator, i'm comfortable with the decisions we've already made. we're reviewing exactly the set of issues as we look at the next set of requests from russia into thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you very much. senator menendez. >> madame secretary, for some of context to my question, let me summarize the current events as i see it. as russia's september 18th primary parliamentary election draws close to the kremlin's preparing the groundwork for another victory of putin's united russia party. the current duma itself a product of a fraudulent 2011 election has rubber stamped a slate of new laws targeting the electoral process from campaigning, and authorization to authorizing police forces to open fire on protesters. the state sponsored ballot
stuffing that sparked those protests in 2011 has now evolved. kremlin and duma are instead barring opposition from registering now. pro government vigilantes have set up attacks on opposition. putin himself is repeatedly implicated in political assassinations and assassination attempts as was boris nim sof shot outside the kremlin then outside of the kremlin or mr. kara-murza who is a witness here who was poisoned here to death. with flames of nationalism are burning as bright as putin's imperial adventures seem to be part of a campaign to make russia great again. whether in ukraine where with the exception of congressional sanctions that i and others have offered and passed through this committee and the congress passed in 2014, the administration has done relatively little to hold russian accountable in meaningful material ways.
or in syria where we have been maneuvered in having to coordinate with russian forces who neither share common interests nor pursue common goals while hundreds of thousands have died or millions displaced or at the u.n. where they resist sanctions on iran for missile violations in violation of u.n. security council regulars which they supported or their violation of the inf treaty for which two years we've had discussions but no consequences. so i worry that the message that putin must be taking from our responses is that his limit testing, aggression and opportunityism is the right approach, it particularly when there are relatively fleggible consequences at the end of the day for all of the things that i've listed among others. and this is certainly a cry run for the presidential 2018 presidential elections in russia
where we would certainly expect putin to continue to take advantage of the opportunities that he sees whether that's the arbitrary violation of international borders treaties, human rights compacts or whatever he decides that suits his personal interests at the time. so i'm trying to get a grasp of we push the ukrainians can really hard to meet their four pillars very hard but on the security side and the minsk agreement we're failing dramatically but we keep pushing the ukrainians. we don't even talk about crimea anymore. that's i guess gone. we have this violation of the inf treaty, yet there are no consequences two years later despite whatever engagement in conversations are to bring them back. why aren't we more aggressively engaging in tools of diplomat sit that can help us hopefully have russia understand that there are consequences? why aren't we using the osce
which is clearly they are a signatory to and have clear violations. why aren't we looking at more visa denials and more frozen accounts? why aren't we looking at more listings? i don't get it. i heard your testimony and i read it before i came and i wanted to liston it again, is still leaving you in the place that we're at, why is it we don't seem to step up towards the challenge that we have? >> scenario, i would not take issue with anything that you have said here with regard to the con strange of space inside of russia and ramp up to the elections and russian external behavior. i would take issue, whether russia is paying a price for this. . we talked about the economic sanctions that this committee has supported over the last two years. i think russia has paid a steep price not simply through sanctions but through its
overdependence on oil. we now have russians 13.4% of russians living below the poverty line. we have gdp contraction of 3.7% in russia in 2015. >> i have 18 seconds. answer my core question. why not more visa denials, why not more mag in its ski listings, more refusal to u.s. banks an as we'll hear a witness who says don't let his ill gotten gains of his cronies end up in the united states. why aren't we pursuing all of those osce? >> we are working on all of those things. the mag in its ski legislation is containing and has to go to that particular case. but we have denied a number of visas in the context of russian and syrian sanctions and continuing to look more at what we can and should do. >> senator gardner. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank both of you for being here today.
i want to follow up on senator menendez and that's consequences of bad behavior. this past week, a number of us had the opportunity to visit southeast asia where we visited with ministers from singapore, government leaders in myanmar to new leadership in taiwan. participated in the shangri-la dialogue where we visited with leaders from around the world who participated in that defense dialogue including our own secretary of defense ashton carter. when meeting with foreign governments, when meeting with leaders they talk about u.s. leadership. and they talk about the positions that we are trying to secure positions that we are fighting for like the south china seas. when we are asking them to take a tough line perhaps on something like the south china sea, they see our lack of consequences in other circumstances and question whether or not they should take a hard line position against a powerful nation or a situation such as their neighbor china. and so we can't look at things in isolation as how we are
responding to russia, because it affects what's happening and what's on people's minds in southeast asia, in singapore. people around the globe are looking at our lack of response and lack of consequence and deciding whether or not the u.s. is somebody that they should hitch their wagon too so to speak or not. i think that's the great challenge. whether it's crimea, ukraine, inf is, syria, georgia, they don't see the consequences. when we asked them to take a tough position, they don't see the reason why they should because they know the united states isn't going to follow through. and that's hurting our leadership around the globe. and it's hurting our ability to rally our allies to our side and to create the kind of rules-based order that we need to in order to counter the behavior of china, the behavior of russia. and so i guess a couple questions. if your testimony you state that "we have worked with russia to remove syria's declared chemical
weapons to prevent iran from acquiring nuclear weapons to contain the threat eptnating from north korea and to negotiate and implement the new s.t.a.r.t. treaty. obviously, i think you would agree the nuclear they're the in north korea has not been contained. is that correct. >> it has not. >> what it is it that we're getting russia 0 to accomplish? are they following through are the resolutions 2270, the sanctions bill against north korea? >> as you know in, the context of this latest round of sanctions we had difficult conversations with russia but we were able to get russian to join a deeper regime against north korea than we have had in the past. we will you know and they had particular interests that they wanted to manage there. but we did better than some expected because of the pressure from the asian allies. >> are they completely implementing 2270? >> i frankly don't have the details. my understanding is that in the broad strokes they are.
whether they are in detail, i'd have to do more work. >> what is their position on thad in south korea? dr. carpenter, if that's more appropriate to you. >> russia has traditionally opposed the advanced air defense capabilities that we provide to al blis both in europe as well as in east asia. >> and what is their position, let's just say if they're teaming up with china on thad and our efforts to contain the nuclear tret from north korea, what are they doing in other areas? are they teaming up with china in the freedom of navigation operations, as well and opposing our efforts to provide rules-based governance according to international law? >> senator, i don't see them teaming up with china on freedom of navigation although clearly the chinese and other great powers are watching to see what russia is able to get away with
respect to georgia. >> supported our operations in the south china sea, have they. >> has russia supported our. >> correct. >> no. >> so they're taking the same position on china then on freedom of navigation operations. >> senator, i would characterize it as they have not taken a vocal position one way or the other. they have largely remained in the background on this. >> and so to dr. carpenter, i guess i would follow up. we can have that conversation, as well in terms of what we're pushing russia to agree to a true commitment to a nuclear-free peninsula. i want to talk about a report that came out several months ago. i'm sure you're familiar with it. this is the rand report looking at an article that says russian invasion could overrun nato in 60 hours. i'm sure you're familiar with there report. has this assessment changed in your mind since this report was first published?
>> senator, i would -- i would say that russia clearly possessions a time/distance advantage if it were to decide to be an agreser in the baltic states and that that poses certain limitations that we would very to overcome in terms of our ability to defend our nato allies. we are making the investments through eri and otherwise precisely to have forces prepositioned along with war fighting equipment so that we are better able to deter russian aggression in the first place. >> has there assessment changed substantively since the report came out in february? >> senator, we have done number of our own internal exercises and reviewed our plans and we've looked very carefully at the geography of the baltic basin and that advantage that russia possesses and we're taking steps to try to mitigate. >> what you're saying is basically nothing has changed since this report substantively.
are you saying your reports agree with the assessment of the rand report? >> senator, i would say that by the end of 2017, when we implement all of the eri funding that is coming online, that we will be much better poised to address the challenges and much better poised to deter russian aggression in that region than we are now. i don't know that we've made -- >> 2017 till we are better poised to deter the russian threat? >> well, senator, we're prepositioning equipment on a sort of on going basis. i don't know that we're significantly more advanced now than when the rand report came out. but i'm confident by the end of 2017 when we have an additional armor brigade combat team worth of force posture on the eastern flank of the alliance that we will be. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. senator shah seen in thank you, mr. chairman. thank you both for being here and for your on going efforts. part of russia's campaign in
eastern europe and the baltics and ukraine has been to produce disinformation. they're spending a lot of money on television and lots of other ways to get their message out. into parts of eastern europe. can you talk a little bit more about what we're doing to respond to that propaganda? i don't know which one of you wants to address that. >> thanks, senator. well, as you know, this has been a line of effort that we have been working on very hard with members of the congress and the senate. since 2014. the total appropriation now, state department, usaid, bbg, broadcast board of governors, on the u.s. side is about $100 million. to counter russian propaganda. that money, as you know, goes for a number of things, from clean, honest russian language programming that bbg is now
putting out every day. the expansion of radio-free europe, to about $88 million we use in the state department and a.i. d. money to support journalist training, including outside russia for those russian journalists who have fled. we're also doing quite a bit to bolster programming inside russia to the extent that we can. but this pales in comparison to the $400 million at least that russia is spending. and frankly, to the levels that we spent during the cold war on these kinds of things which were over a billion dollars a year in the days of old usia. >> can you talk more about the substance of what we're doing and who we're engaging and working with us on the content. is it journalists who are reporters who have fled russia who are helping us look at what kind of messages we're using?
are there others who are engaged in that effort with us? >> i will be 30,000 feet, if you'll allow me to protect those who participate in these programs, many of whom depend on that protection. >> right. >> but we can draw training programs at various locations in europe for journalists who have either fled or who have come out to get training and are planning to go back in. we support a number of russian language news organizations in the baltic states and in other periphery countries that are designed either to address russian speaking populations in those home countries and counter russian propaganda or to beam back in, we support russian-language programming in the ukraine, which has some impact, also in russia as well. and then this good portion of that goes to bbg and voa programming, which is u.s. government free news content.
we also do quite a bit to pull together efforts of the eu, uk, baltic states, central europeans, through consultation, through sharing of programming, et cetera. >> thank you. you raised ukraine, and obviously, there have been a number of questions around what's happening in ukraine and russia's failure to comply with minsk and there was a period where there were some countries in europe that didn't seem to appreciate the extent to which this was a failure on russia's part and viewed it more as a failure of ukraine. i wonder if you can talk about where we are with respect to how the eu is viewing minsk, too, at this point. and what more we can do to put pressure on russia to comply. >> as i said in my opening, senator, i think we are cautiously optimistic that the eu countries will again roll
over sanctions at the end of june because they see what we see, mainly that minsk is far from being implemented on, in any of its components. we have intensified our own diplomacy after the president's meeting in hanover with president ohaund and chancellor merkel to support what those countries are doing to try to get minsk fully complied with. they are pushing on two fronts, both to negotiate a fair political decentralization deal, which does not cross over the line of creating a cap or a permanent enclave of russia in the ukraine. at the same time, we are trying to get the commitments that russia and done baas made to the osce for full access, pullback of weapons implemented. at one point, this is this security package that is not being implemented well.
we have had a sharp spike in attacks over the last six weeks in particular. and we have had a kaunconscious blinding, shoot down of cameras, of sepriaratisseparatists, in b advocacy at every level, the president, the secretaries, my work with the president putin's adviser on this work. we are calling this out. so we're working on it very hard. i think the point is for ukraine to fulfill its obligations and then we test whether russia was ever serious about these agreements. >> my time is up. >> senator rubio. >> thank you, mr. chairman. secretary nuland, let me read you a quote here from the same individual, the general. he said russia has chosen to be an adversary and poses a long-term threat to the united states and our european partners. russia doesn't just want to
challenge the agreed roles of the order, it wants to rewrite them. is that your assessment of the state of russia today under vladimir putin as far as their role in the international scene. >> senator, i don't have a problem with that characterization at all. >> then let me ask about ukraine. roman sohn, he wrote about minsk ii. he said he called it a farce. here's his quote, while russia does nothing to iml. the agreement, the u.s. is forcing it down the thoet of kiev and it's much easier for them to put pressure on ukraine to accept bad terms than to keep the pressure including sanctions on russia, end quote. i seem to share those views given the fact it appears russia is perfectly comfortable with what they view as a frozen conflict in the region. some of what they're doing in syria is distracting attention. we don't talk about ukraine as much as we once did. everyone is focused on the role
they're playing in syria. it is in fact a frozen situation, and i walked in late when senator menendez was asking about this. but why is he wrong when he characterizes it as a farce? why is he wrong when he characterizes it as a situation where no one is pressuring russia to comply, but they know that the west and our european partners are pressuring kiev, especially the germans, to comply? >> senator, i think the largest piece of leverage that we have on russia is the sustainment over two years of deep and comprehensive sanctions across the u.s. and the eu countries, japan, canada, et cetera. so again, this is why we're advocating, because minsk has not been implemented, the sanctions have to be rolls over again. we are continuing to press, as i said, in response to senator shaheen's point, that ukraine cannot be asked to vote on the political decentralization
pieces of minsk until the prior actions that are demanded in minsk real cease-fire, real access throughout for osce can comment the heavy weapons has been implemented. that's the frame we're using. that's the frame germany and france are using. i think ukraine does itself a service by being ready with text on an election law, being ready with special status to implement when those agreed conditions are met, but russia has not either itself or with its clients gotten the security conditions met. >> so when you talk about rollover, you mean the extension of the existing framework? why not increase sanctions? these are now violations of an agreement they reached and they have not complied with. am i right in guessing or in stating that your argument is going to be that we can -- we don't want to go any further than our partners in europe are willing to go and they're not willing to do additional
sanctions? >> i would say i was quite gratified when the g7 nations that met in japan just a couple weeks ago made clear that we are ready to increase sanctions if we need to. the united states, as you know, not only maintains the sanctions but does regular maintenance to them, to insure that they can't be circumvented. we have done that on two occasions and we're prepared to do that again. >> could there an argument be made that this pain threshold is something putin is willing to accept? it clearly has not imp pacted his behavior, or do you argue the sanctions have impacted his behavior? >> well, all i can tell you is we have deterred further land grabs in ukraine, and that was a real risk when we first started with sanctions, that they would try to run all the way to kiev and to hark eve, i will tell you that russians are openly talking now about the pain of sanctions, included when we work with them on the minsk thing, so they know what it's going to take to get
these sanctions rolled back, and it's their choice whether they want to do what's necessary. >> what about crimea? how come we no longer hear crimea mentioned? is it something that we accepted as reality or does that continue to be a part of our conversation, that crimea should be returned rightfully? >> i mentioned crimea here in my opening. the secretary mentioned every time he speaks publicly in russia. we will maintain the sanctions which are significant, both u.s. and eu. >> when they took over crimea, there was a sense, and i thought it would be a boondoggle for the russian government. it would cost a lot of money to maintain the area. has it turned out, other than the geo strategic advantage, do we have a sense as to how many resources tie have to put in to maintain this as part of their national territory. >> it's our estimate that russia is spending billions of ruples trying to maintain its