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tv   Future of Russia  CSPAN  March 19, 2018 9:47pm-11:22pm EDT

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>> and all presidential candidates understood what kind of a game they were taking part. secondly, what's putin fighting? he was fighting with himself, with his previous popularity. having an approval rating around 80%.
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he could not make 50% of the vote. so he was looking apparently and there was an election in 2004 and 2012 and he could get impression that he has satisfactory victory. 7% that was out against. 64% in 2012. hirdly, is putin getting satisfactory legitimacy? i would say that in the kremlin people we do have people and they do understand that this situation is quite situational and legitimacy is probably short lived. that's why we had absolutely desperate campaign in the end of march when president putin rejected the previous legitimacy and the previous role of gatherer of russian lands and shifted suddenly in march to the
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new role and new function. defender of the russians paid of moreland and terminator ready to kick over the global transport. it was the decision of the last several weeks. and next question, will russia, the elites accept this kind of legitimacy, how long is sustainable and durable this kind of legitimacy could be. i could give you several results at the end of 2017, not now but 17. and here we have the view of russians of what russia should be. first of all, russia should be great power but not a militaryist great power. 59% people were saying that the major goal of the russians, the foreign policy is to guarantee russia's well-being. only 90% considers that russia
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has to become the state that would stop the u.s. aggression and expansion. and only 14% consider that russia should stop expansion in 59%, 56% of and russians say we do not agree that cremea should be paid out of the russian budget. it's quite possible that it could be an idea to be a defender of the moreland and militarism and also playing bully around. the world would be supported by the russian society. i will finish with probably the conclusion. it's quite possible that the new presidential term will be a kind time will be pretty formidable. and i would say pretty self
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conflict between the necessities of putin's revival, between the agenda on the regime, on the one hand and the system of personalless power on their hand. and the system has a level of mechanism of survival. to be inside of the west. of russia from the west. so far putin started to undermine the key principles of the current russian state and survival. i would say that president putin will be presided over his last chapter. this part of, you know, energy on the surface. this year apparently, the political scene that will be changed pretty soon. the older position, they will vanish. the older generation will go to the cemetery.
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and now the kremlin is trying to fill the vacuum with the new people and a lot depends to what extent of russian civil society. they knew russia would try to create new resistance and new alternative to the putin regime and to putin's state. thank you. >> that's really interesting. i would like to ask you one quick follow-up question. then i'll turn to vladimir. you say that he seems to be putting on a course to challenge the current russian system. could you just be a little bit more detailed on that? >> if the reck nism of survival of the personal system after the collapse of the soviet union to use the western finances, to use the western technology, to build together with the west, very powerful, rather cynical. i call it manafort lobbying
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machine in the west. utin by his arrogance, bullishness undermines this prerequisite of the system survival. >> vladimir, you've been heavily engaged in politics. nevali was not permitted to run. you had this call for boycott. how do you look at the results of this election? light of that? >> thank you for the invitation back here at the atlantic council. first of all on the question of terminology. there are many ways to describe what happened in russia yesterday. i would say that election is not one of them or at least if we're insisting on using that word let us put it in quotation marks. it's been said that the sure sign of a real election is when you are certain of the procedures but not certain about the outcome. for years now elections in our country follow the exact opposite model. procedures and rules have been shifted.
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and the date of yesterday's so-called actions is a good illustration of that. it was supposed to be on the 11th of march. especially when the voting day coin sides with the annexation of crimea. so the rules are constantly shifted but the end result is never in doubt. and even the final official figures announced yesterday to what we have been reading about in newspapers for weeks. but not only the name but actually the actual figures were known well in advanced. and yesterday, several opposition groups, several society organization including our own movement and the anti-corruption foundation have been conducting extensive monitoring of the so-called election that they documented the usual plethora of vote-getting methods that putin's regime is known for, ballot stuffing, bloated voter
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roles. carousel, dead people voting. people voting because of threats of being sacked or expeled from universities or many, many other things. and i could speak about that in detail if you want. i think all of these voting day violations frankly are largely irrelevant because this election was rigged long before the first vote was even cast. it's not difficult to win an election when your opponents are not actually on the ballot. and the defining feature of this so-called election yesterday is that there were two major opposition figuring who were planning to run in 2018. one was boris stenzil. nd the other was alexander viney and neither of them were on the ballot yesterday. boris because he was killed two years ago on the bridge in front of the kremlin. and the other because he was barred from running with a trumped up court decision that
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was invalidated. but this has never stopped the kremlin regime. when the head of the regime selects his own opponents, i again, would say that we probably should avoid calling that an election. and actually just a few hours ago in moscow, the head of the o.s.c., we had bjorn present the official findings of the o.s.c. mission. this is the watchdog that is responsible for election observation and has been the gold standard for election observation in europe for decades. and their conclusions are very similar to what i just described to be my own view. he said there was no real competition. there was no real choice. and he actually went as far to say and for an international diplomat, he said the way this election was con ducked,
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deprived its meaning. t has not existed for years. the mission reports going back decades according to them the last time we had something close to a democratic election in russia was in march of 2000, the year mr. putin came to power. even if that is debatable. every election parliamentary or presidential has fallen far short of the democratic standard. so let us keep this in mind. whatever the official figures and percentages announced yesterday, this should not disguise the fact that in those rare cases when russian voters actually have an option of voting for real opposition candidates, they do. let us remember ha in 2013 alexander viley received 80% of the vote. ris actually won an election
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becoming the first nonsystemic russian leader to win a seat in the legislature. this is in 2013. many opponents, and good friends these official figure are very little relevance to the actual situation. they are good at being -- producing impressive figures. 98% in the last election. this percentage is did not help them in any way. friend. a good -- boris is a good friend. thosekeep in mind that figures are actually very different things. there are better indicators of public opinion than what was announced last night.
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there is actually a deep irony. -- kremlin appears to be's be so terrified of the prospect of mass protests on the streets of russia. it didn't to be an absolute nightmare for them. it is leaving its citizens no other way of its acting opposition to the government. videos abouten these elections. we have seen elections of objects being placed that monitor. information accessible? >> absolutely. just like past election cycles. >> not just st. petersburg and moscow?
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also the provinces? >> there are many such cases. ballot stuffing -- you have seen those videos. these election day violations. people are showing videos and talking about them. muchnd not making as resonance as 2011 because this election was rigged long before. this time, this was not the decisive way to alter the election results. pre-selecting the shadow boxes on the ballot. he formulated it best when he the type of regime we have in russia today is a closed model authoritarian regime. what he meant is they are much more creative and intelligent.
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times, when you went to vote, you would receive a ballot which had one name on it. you would take it and put it in a box. there are some countries that do that like china and north korea. --n we received our bomblets ballots yesterday, in reality, , but ins a names reality, it was only the one. is projection of 2% growth. is --ection, mr. pruitt n is in power. it, hetwo arguments for
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has in no way talked about economic reform. -- there is clear no chance of becoming prime minister. essentially, not. not accept the economic reform. what he has put out is a system of controlled state. the state own money through loans. companies sell companies for 1/10 of the market value. in particular, public procurement. , there is a system
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where he and his friends 25 ably take out 20 to year. our late friend -- was still active in the politics. nothing has been done about it. this system goes on. this money goes out of russia. all money that goes out of billion to $50 billion a year. trillion of russian .rivate money this whole system guarantees
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putin's power. he holds the money abroad. it is for the maintenance of his power. he cannot change the system because then the people that were in the bread line would -- i do not see any ability for reform. in 1998 is that financial crisis is bad because then the government disappears. he does not want to see a political destabilization come from financial instability. stability but low economic goals.
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in the last couple years -- instead he talks about the economic stability, low , international results etc. and low unemployment. not about getting higher economical. everybody -- the consensus is 1.5% to 2% growth. it could be worse. what is happening now is that are buying more enterprises. the same is happening with the state corporations. the big state bank.
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that the efficient economy is declining. chain.ne big grocery now, it has decided to sell 29% to hear? for $2.5 billion. then you wonder, can russia really keep growing at the 1.5% a year question mark perhaps -- 1.5% a year? perhaps.
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thank you. we talked about the change in posture to the defender of the homeland. his options to pursue a policy of peace in the ukraine, to put on the table terms that would be reasonable? >> one would like to hope that it will be opening for some climbing down from the posture of confrontation, but i am not so sure it will. what the election showed, it it did not prove a lot given there were no real choices on the ballot. at the same time, they did show some demon popularity of his lineand this nationalistic
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he has been presenting since the invasion of crimea, which was basically the theme of the whole election campaign. even with the residence for that message and pride of the average say that the up to support is pretty shallow. all the efforts they make, using ,oalition and bribery especially fudging of the voting , it was not the most impressive , especially after they ridiculed all the potential candidates. the russian people will be buying this in the short term, but i am not sure they are comfortable at this going forward. certainthe polls show a caution about further ventures and the cost of the ongoing ventures in use -- eastern
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ukraine. particularly casualties, which is still a sensitive issue. in sixay be discomfort with russiaf this as the terminator or the slayer of dragons. putinot sure that understands that yet. not only will he pursed not pursue economical performance because he is determined to maintain control. he is a control freak and wants to maintain the current power structure. foreign policy, i think he will to stand up to the west. it is still a winning strategy in terms of domestic support. it seems to be yielding gains. the west is in disarray.
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he is making roads with his propaganda. --n it comes to the don best it did not happen. you can got their act together and it is kind of a stalemate. the ukraine is fighting with itself. there are elections next year. it gives leverage in terms of destabilization. he is staying where he is, neither escalating or d dcalating when it comes -- e-escalating. cannotend of the day, he afford this arms race.
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-- he is notefense looking for a direct conflict with nato. that does not mean he will not keep this up in the short term. you may believe that the r&d going into the weapon system will have an effect on the rest of the economy. i doubt that. hewill continue on the track is on and continue to boost russia's influence in the middle east. the bigger question is whether at some point during the the pressure of economic stagnation and popular discontent over that will begin to manifest itself in a more coherent way than it has today. do not think anybody believes his campaign promises about improved living standards or
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health care. they have heard that in previous elections. there might be a moment where begins to affect his calculations and he has to pull back with domestic reforms and a more conciliatory approach to the west. i do not see that happening in the near term. the question is whether we can influence that. i think the u.s. and europe working together can maintain sanctions and increased pressure on russia. assassination attempt in -- and continued violence, i think we can make the case to increase the pressure on russia.
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good, givene not that more countries in europe -- are not the most reliable with existing sanctions, let alone adding to the sanctions. we could influence it, but i am skeptical. they need to significantly increase pressure on russia during the next six years. >> you mentioned something that has been very much in the news, the poisoning. that mr. putin continues to have a high tolerance for risk. do you think this provides any insight as to what to expect from him going forward? the fact that he either
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specifically did it or allowed whatever orders to be executed isa seemingly awkward time like a defiance that the west cannot touch me, that the west cannot respond effectively to the challenges i am posing. i think that was the message was sending to the west and russian voters. the russian voters were taken by that. it might have even boosted the turnout. on.s likely to stay that we not try to test him. he should continue to push for peacekeeping. we should continue to propose risk reduction measures and ways to reduce risks.
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he has been oblivious to these proposals the last couple of years area i think he will remain oblivious until we find ways to significantly increase the pressure. that when you refer -- whats the terminator are your thoughts on that operation? agree with the assessment. at the same time, i would buy to highlight one very dramatic moment. he respectively of who ordered ,his kind of attack in the u.k. it is moving back and forth between russia and the west as a warning that says don't you
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dare. we are watching you. we cannot forgive any kind of attempt to be a traitor. treason will be punished. , the u.s.d of context is so active with the sanction regime, trying to influence russia. this is a message to those people who could be influenced by sanctions. our punishment could be much worse than their punishment. this is how it is being viewed now. that willnew element probably influence the behavior of the russian establishments
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and business class. >> interesting. >> to me, it looks like a win-win situation. this is a national mobilization in russia. completelyoks impotent, which is another win for putin. , that russians abroad get scared. >> you have a point. people are debating what kind of response and reaction to these things there should be. we actually know the answer to that.
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the answer that was provided by this country more than five 2012,ago in december of when u.s. became the first country in the world to introduce a groundbreaking a simple, really principle. it was groundbreaking when it came out. that responseipal ability for the abuses of human rights violations should be applied to the people who are perpetrating them. law isnciple behind that , individualsiduals who engage in corruption and human rights abuses will no longer be able allowed -- be -- visas. use be says
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there has been a double standard for years were officials -- where officials want to enjoy democracy for themselves in the west. they keep their kids, wives and mistresses in the west. they want to steal from russia and spend in the west. they have a watered-down amendment that allows the government to freeze the assets, but that is not even close to the law that exists here. there are four countries that have followed. canada and the baltic states. the three most courageous countries in the european union. think those types of sanctions
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-- first of all, they are right on principle. haveof our colleagues advocated for this approach because we do not believe in general sanctions against our own country. it does not make sense to punish an entire country for the actions of a small group. is a more effective approach because they do not care about russia and the country. his propaganda likes to present him as this defender of the motherland. he is nothing of the sort. all he cares about is his own pockets, his wallet. westernthat more democracies will take this sendion and say -- and that clear message that people who violate human rights or engage in corruption will no longer be welcome on their soil
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and in their banks. we hope this process continues. i just came back from scandinavian countries. there is movement in those countries. we are certainly in touch with many members of british parliament with a goal of achieving something of that sort. signsy, how many more does the u.k. need to do something like this? last week, the british government said they will review ofcases of suspicious deaths russian citizens on british soil. where were they before? a british citizen on british with a radioactive substance. it took his widow nine years to go to the judicial system to force the british government to
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make an inquiry about this. the whistleblower in another case. a healthy man who went out to jog dropped dead. there is still an inquiry going on. it is going on very reluctantly. many other such cases. there is also the case of where were cough -- they before? people isity of the that there is no such thing as a former kgb officer. .t is better late than never hopefully we will see some reaction now. >> it is true that we have been looking for that stiff british upper lip without success. yesterday's result was not a surprise.
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where do you see the opposition going now in terms of trying to get their message out? >> nothing changes for us because this was not a real election. this was just a staged show. direction, i can speak for our own movement, will remain unchanged. that is to make preparations for st-putinre po foundation. entrenched is so that he is there forever. it is so ridiculous. they do not think about what will happen afterwards. it is ridiculous not to. if modern russian history shows us or teaches us anything it is that major political shifts and changes in our country can start happening quickly and quicker than expected. 1917, the speech to the young
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byialist democrat ended saying my generation will not live to see this kind of revolution. six weeks later, revolution broke out. regime that has stood for years went down in three years -- three days. the downside is that no one is ever prepared for a change. what we are doing now is trying to make those preparations. we are doing that in two different ways. one way is to actually work on some of the substance of the proposals. we have had several working groups that have produced expert reports in various areas. constitutional reform, energy , and we work in other
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areas as well. the second is as important as the first one is to work with the younger generation. the new generation of democratic activists. people spend their whole lives under vladimir putin. those who turned 18 and came to yesterdaye election were born under the regime of vladimir putin. this is the fourth term for in.of -- put we have a whole generation that grew up under him. they have no other political memories. we do not know what it is like to have a real election in russia. them throughg with various training programs to
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help them learn some of the skills of campaigning and political participation. we feel this is important work because nothing is forever. neither is mr. putin and his regime. we must lay the groundwork. >> there have been a couple news stories suggesting that russian millennials were actually voting for putin. i would appreciate your comment. thoseshould not consider results from yesterday as any kind of a serious indicator. what we do know about millennials is how many of them took to the streets this last year, all across russia to actively protest against putin. to protest against the government in russia is not like protesting against president trump in the u.s.
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there were threats. people were threatened from being fired from their jobs and expelled from universities. 200,000 cities and more. of protests was about a year ago in june. so many of those protesters were in their late teens and early 20's. we do not know how they would have voted in a real election because we do not have a real election. more, we are prepared to go out and show that they have a different vision of russia in mind, not a russia that is governed i a corrupt,
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government.n your first initial remarks, you gave interesting statistics. 59% of the russian people do not want russia to be a greater power. do these indicators suggest where russia policy may go? a small footnote to what he just said. the younger generation, according to the polls, we cannot trust polls. say -- this of them is very important. according to last year and the
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65% before, approximately of young people between 19 and 's years old are putin generation. 7%ng them, between 5% and would probably take activity against anti-systemic activity. regarding the data, on the one hand two thirds of russians consider russia to be surrounded by enemies. and europeanaine union are the worst enemies. at the same time, there is no adrenaline to fight them. the kremlin and the state understand that. startedance, the state
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to outsource. the state understand that russia does not want confrontation. say thatwe have to people are demoralized after nearly 15 to 16 years of this zombie propaganda. people have lost trajectory. the two options we discussed earlier, one is transformation and the other is the unravel and collapse of the system. inre was a third way, russia the way of degradation and demoralization. cognitivee dissonance. on the one hand, they will not
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change. all -- they say we want different change. a radical change. some say we want change from the top. the difference between us and ukraine, ukraine did not wait for change from the top. mentality.ational cognitive dissonance allows the hope that the country is not total -- up. would like to follow we see with regards to shenzhen's -- sanctions that there is one time that he particularly dislikes. it is sanctions that name people , that dropped them from
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entering the western countries, in particular freezes assets. russian private holdings abroad are about one trillion. the estimate goes from 800 billion to $1.3 trillion. you ask three questions. where do you have rule of law? where can you have anonymous companies? and where do you have sufficient financial state of it can put large amounts of money? the money first goes from cyprus to russia and then from british burden islands, then to cayman islands -- virgin islands, then to cayman islands. the u.s. and the u.k. that are the two countries
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meet these criteria. rule of law, anonymous companies allowed on a big scale and significant financial. guess is that 80% -- is in these countries. $300 billion is laundered into this country every year. it is a big estimate, but it is big. this is not only russia. $125 billion is another number. get $20 billion or so from russia coming into
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each of these two countries. then you wonder how much of this is being caught. i would guess about zero because we do not know who owns these companies. they sell companies before they set up new shell companies. taken into real estate. real estate is excluded from the patriot act of 2001. the u.s. banking system is very clean, and the u.s. has cleaned out most of the banking systems in the world. thanks to the patriot act.
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one of the ways into the u.s. is through law firms because money attorneyd by privilege. these are massive amounts of money coming in to the u.s. in this fashion. and in a similar way to britain. if we are serious about doing something after the salisbury poisoning, she should go after anonymous companies. david cameron organized a big international meeting against corruption in britain in may 2016. it turned out there were 29 potentially european countries who do not allow anonymous companies. claimcameron made the that britain should prohibit
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anonymous companies. said inonth later, he the brexit referendum that mrs. may have found new reason not to do anything about it, even now. i'll issue today -- >> interesting. i will give you a chance to make one more comment before we turn to the audience. >> a really dramatic story. a six-year story, five-year story. there are soure many trips that putin has raised for himself. he definitely cannot leave the
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kremlin and we understand why. time, the elite and the society are already tired of him. the major talk of the day in russia is not reform, economy and who will succeed putin? this kind of agenda will shield him into the end. this is still a major trend. to others already created under his guidance and leadership, understand that we need change. change cannot come from the top. the only way for change is from below. russia hates the idea of revolution. our fear and apprehension.
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russian transformation would mean preservation of russia in the current geographical state. could we transform russia and preserve the state? >> vladimir. >> and international aspect of this so-called election that took place yesterday. we are trying to see how many leaders of western democracies called putin to congratulate him. i mentioned earlier, going back to 2003, this was a parliamentary election. , yetthan 15 years now after they make those conclusions comes the leaders of those same countries rush to
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call mr. putin to presumably congratulate him. quite appropriately come this morning, the first bunch of foreign leaders called to congratulate him. all very big names. we were talking before our session began. we have been talking for about an hour. , thee start of this event president of germany and chancellor of germany called to congratulate him. i am very puzzled as to how the make sense. -- that makes sense.
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she had many reasons not to congratulate him. there should be many reasons. when western leaders do that, they are congratulating mr. area on a successful set -- set. he congratulated not only mr. putin but the people of russia. mockeryears either as a -- as a mockery. over here. please identify yourself.
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>> we can hear. >> maybe for the tv. how would you explain the fact that 94% of russian citizens born in not being country voted for vladimir putin --citizens voted for vladimir putin? are you going to ignore it? are you going to use your influence in the west? or are you going to do something about it? what is your opinion on it? it is not propaganda. it is a fact.
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questions -- we take the questions? >> we are not a party, we are a movement. we have people with different views within our ranks. right, liberal, socialist. unfortunately, we are not yet at that stage in our country where we can afford to have those kinds of differences. having a pre-election come which people have not had for a few decades. having a real parliament. these are real issues that we are working on. we do not have defined positions on many things, even domestically in russia, let alone international issues like the one you are mentioning. to have auld be able choice to educate their children
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in the language of their choice, that is my eight -- my opinion. you are right to raise that point. it has been astonishing to see. usually, if you take election results -- i am not talking about these manipulated results. even when we had a real election in russia, if you look at the results of elections and how russian citizens that resided in most european union countries -- and democratic nations, the vast majority would vote for the democracy party. they were specially put together. they would win elections among russian citizens living abroad. one exception. the exception was the three baltic states. if you take election results
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that liveian citizens and vote in the baltic states, they would have huge numbers not but others.in i do not live in the baltic states, so i do not presume to know the reason for this. i think at least one of the long thes that for too baltic states have neglected to mediap the national outlets, certainly television channels in the russian language. by failing to do that, they have left the field open for kremlin propaganda that you can watch the baltic state. this was the only broadcasting available. them,ars, i would say to this is very shortsighted
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because unless you develop media normally, you are ceding the route of this propaganda. this has been happening for years. think i canars, i certainly speak about latvia and estonia. they now have either entire -- it is a national broadcaster in latvia in the russian language. inbe that exists also lithuania. i think of this as a very good sign that in recent years, the baltic states have begun to develop independent media in the russian language to combat the hateful messages spread in the propaganda.
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>> question to everybody else. ambassadorn of hearst about putin's role. was never intended to be used, particularly after the collapse of the soviet union, the russian leadership saw it as an accessory. weapons would provide russia with the right to claim it as a superpower. lately, wevelopments intentionalional -- tensions with the west.
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now we are dealing with a new putin. he is not willing to become friends with west. he is willing to use nuclear weapons, if the worst comes to worst. do you think that is correct? >> very briefly, thank you for your question. apparently, we are going to discuss this very exciting topic . presidentelieve that has-- president putin changed. yes, he is using this clear missile rhetoric, but at the same time, if we look at the developments and rhetoric of the kremlin during the last couple days, he tries to disclaim his narrative. the narrative was used definitely.
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now he wants to step back. he is addressing the west. listen, you do not understand. now we have something important. will not say this missile rhetoric is an instrument to force the west to escalate in order to deescalate. war -- maybe you will correct me. , he is all this rhetoric pretty cautious. the real nuclear people are pretty cautious about preemptive strikes etc. the problem is that putin started to escalate too much without willingness for a bargain. he cannot de-escalate.
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so what will he do if there is no bargain? he, during the last couple of days, tried to calm down and backtrack. maybe you know. >> i would agree with that. i do not think putin is suicidal. i think he wants to maintain a neutral deterrents. deterrence. competing in the middle east, where he sees openings to take advantage of. i think he does believe some of his own propaganda about u.s. intentions about the capacity of the u.s. strategic forces to mount a successful first strike. bs.as sold a lot of
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i think he does have this kind of paranoid nightmare scenario about a preemptive strike was asleep inwhile he is sochi. the situation, i think you may take steps from a paranoid perception. we have to do what we can. it is difficult as we try to keep the movements alive and find a solution to issues. miscalculationnd . he is not suicidal. the main area where we have to cyber warfare,is where he is eating our lunch. i think this is a very
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dangerous situation. numbered two in nuclear power. number six in terms of gdp in the world. now it is number 11. is the third biggest military expenditure after the u.s. and china. it is a declining power. world war i was caused a domain declining power. -- now theh empires balkan war. we could have a danger of war by thinks itwhere putin is not dangerous to fight. respect article five, but
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anddanger is in the balkans former soviet republic, and perhaps in the middle east. accidents can happen. >> i am with the atlantic council. i want to complement you on your dry sense of humor saying that real estate was withheld from the patriot act. i admire your constraints. suppose putin, has more leverage on us and we have on him. suppose he can exploit the american constitutional process, which enable intervention.
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he continues to do that. we have been derelict and not responding. it is inconceivable that he has gotten away with so much. an idea ofink he has going to war with the west. that is absolute nonsense, but he does remember that ronald reagan spent the soviet union into oblivion. quite frankly, you look at russian defense expenditures and ours will be huge if congress gets its act together. us tocould be forcing spend more money than we can afford. he may have some leverage over donald trump. boxine if the folds in the link information that links mueller and his investigation closer to mr. trump.
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there are some weaknesses but i understands.in i wanted your reaction to the hypothesis that perhaps he has more leverage on us than we have on him. if that is the case, what we do about changing that ratio to our favor? >> good question. point about is -- i think there is a risk of that come about we should not be taken in by the wonder weapons beach. -- speech. we are focusing our energies on rebuilding our military to be
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more capable of deterring europe and project power globally by rebuilding our fleets and air force. symmetry.n inherent he can use means with propaganda to use corruption as a tool. if we do not find a better way canefend ourselves, he exploit opportunities in a not -- to our disadvantage. find one unlocked and continue to do this unless he find ways to educate our social media users, get the social media platforms to not let him
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exploit platforms as successfully as he has, but also overcome some of the devices the divisive -- issues in our own politics. it is getting worse, not better. .he problem is us it is not putin. he is an opportunist. >> i would agree. it is the problem of the west. i would say one thing. i am absolutely sure that the kremlin and russia and putin would have never gone to crimea. it would have never happened, despite the fact that the orange -- it to -- if they
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were not sure that the americans based onof action is the deception of the west. it seems to me within the weak andhe west is cynical. must is frightened. the west could be controlled. this perception was based on putin's experience with dealing with the western leaders. apparently, perception became wrong as of 2015. this perception is now one of the key lines of the outdated russian foreign-policy strategy,
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which says the people of the foreign-policy strategy. something brought putin and the kremlin to this conclusion. >> i completely agree on your question. the answer is transparency.. this is the reason why we cannot allow all of these companies. they are a great danger to national security. whatever leverage putin may have on the west, there is a type of leverage that the west has on putin. when the act was passed, in return, the kremlin sanctioned some of the u.s. senators in charge of passing it. senator mccain said, what will
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happen to my vacation plans in sochi? hundreds of billions have this in common. do something about it. the though the u.s. was first country to have -- it is implement it timidly. instruments.er it is this type of personal leverage. people use western countries and treat western countries -- that is the place with which they link their future. that is the leverage they have. >> [inaudible] >> i will try to answer. let me challenge the premise of the first question.
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whatever the kremlin did in connection with our elections, it has not turned out well for them. there is a certain amount of order and that is there one success. thever, they turned democrats into very strong cold wars against the kremlin. they also went up with a president which whatever his own personal point of view may be has pursued a policy that a stronger and better than that of his democratic predecessor. greater knowledge in the democratic class of the danger represented by the kremlin. that was a knowledge to the national security strategy -- acknowledged in the national security strategy. question, ito your
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classthat our political is smarter today on this question than they were two years ago. my sense is we have been working energetically in this space for four years. people understand it much better. that has translated into certain action, like the legislation last summer. the supply of javelins to the ukraine. i think that things are moving in the right direction. the political landscape in the west is more complex. for those of us ever kidding -- advocating a silver policy -- the results are not as dark as this discussion suggests. you can come back to me later. from lithuania.
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a note regarding the vote in baltic staes. 95%,the baltic states has another 83%, another 85%. i am not an expert to comment on i ambut just to knote that old enough to remember when they voted 98% during the soviet times. a short note that my wife is a and 20% of the sales she does is in russian to russian speakers. .t is not a problem [inaudible]
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is regarding this discussion, what is next in -- usually thel kremlin media sends the signals. there were many messages about the results and what does it mean. putin had comments on other politicians. maybe you can elaborate on what these comments are and what kind of messages are sent to the w est. >> i have just been watching it for the last two days. it seems to me that the talk show on the russian-made channels still have this inertia, anti-western,
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anti-u.k., anti-american, but putin is given a much softer line. putin wants unity inside the country. our opponents should join us in our mission to rebuild the country. no domestic revenge or retribution. on the outside world, we will c ut to minimum expenditures. we are not going to an arm's race. we want peace and negotiations with the outside world. some impulses whether he could find some consensus with maybe germany, maybe the united states. i'm not sure what kind of message he is sending to the u.k.. it looks like the russian
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official propaganda views the u.k. as the weakling that can be ignored. thatere was a statement putin would no longer be fuhrernt but leader or , we should say. that it is time to change the constitution. putin also said he would not thege the government on question about the prime minister until after he has been inaugurated.
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he might hang on, or if a younger person -- [inaudible] you can't be weak while changing. >> and why change the constitution? he could stay without changing it forever. >> as he did. >> i saw two hands. we'll get those questions. i am a journalist. for everything that you said. i wonder if, notwithstanding the fact that putin is around for she foreseeable future, there i
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general speculation about a post-putin future and what that might look like, i wonder if we are underestimating him as a student of russian society. he has been remarkably consistent from the beginning. he has constantly ratcheted up his administrative control over russia. he has done it by surprising his opponents. that is why this poisoning is telling. he surprises and changes rules and triumphs in his way. we are also underestimating the value to him of corruption, not only as a tool by which he controlled the ruling elites and enriches himself and the elites, but the entire society. corruption to worse is but it also co-opts. everybody is brought in. in 2012 when many people inside
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and outside of russia wrote him off, we see today that the young russians are just as nationalistic if not more than the rest of society. i will repeat. perhaps underestimating his ability to control society or appoint a chosen successor? -- to respond me to putin. ,egarding corruption, putin apparently having exhausted all previous tricks and instruments, -- he started this struggle with corruption of his own regime. we have corruption of all levels. machines, governors, power
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structures, etc. a wonderful idea that could distract -- for some time. kindness is evident. this cannot exist for a long time and he understands it. he is tired with exception of one thing. he endorsed foreign policy. distraction he a doesn't like. that mr.ntioned putin has been known to surprise very often. although sometimes mr. putin himself is greatly surprised. when there were 100,000 people in the streets of moscow to protest against him. we were surprised too. wouldeone told me that we
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have more than 100,000 people standing across the road from the kremlin, i would not have believed it. they did unexpected on the other side of the long. it happened -- of the wall. it happened. don't underestimate the ability of russian civil society to throw surprises. it is not all about putin and his regime. there are many people in russia. we know there are many people in .ussia who reject this regime even if we forget everything else, the corruption in the abusers who are tired of seeing the same face on tv all the time. people who say putin will be there for a long time if not forever -- i am a historian by education. we try to look at the bigger
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picture. russia ine changes in the last half-century have happened by surprise. underestimate the possibility of surprises in russia, not just the kremlin but russian society. agree that putin has proved himself a tactical politician. all of these choices have led in one direction. the last reform of significance from putin was the pension reform in january 2005. he learned i will not do any more reform.
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what you get when you do that -- [inaudible] in many ways i have the same feeling when i go to moscow. are wary of eternal exile. they realize that the world has become a kind of therapy. you can't do that for a long time because the system becomes too fragile.
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i think putin looks at corruption is a useful tool. when people said, everybody knows how to manage it because he knows how to fix things. [inaudible]eally but it ise very well, different on the margin. people suffer from corruption. we assume it corruption everywhere is very disliked.
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but you don't do that in society. the final argument, why do i think this can't hold? it is the enormous arrangement. what we have seen is the .ormation of a new feudal class there were a lot of pieces within the sector. they got very angry when they saw we were passed by.
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there are too few people who you can say ith is pre-1917 russia. >> i agree that we should not underestimate putin by any means. 19has been in power for years which shows his tactical dexterity. i believe he is ultimately bored with domestic policy and would primarilyke his mark in terms of external policy. i don't think we will see any serious reforms.
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the whole system is built on corruption. part of his ability to control developments on russia's periphery is based on having corrupt links that he can exploit. he has played a we can very skillfully. of the west is beginning to learn some lessons in getting after thatether experience in 2014. but i'm still skeptical that the west is united enough to actually changes calculus on some of the key issues that have caused a breakdown in relations with russia. we should take it with a grain of salt.
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he is certainly interested in negotiation and peace with the west but on russia's terms. him, he willtimate be a tough challenge going forward. the last protest last year were impressive, and the fact that he has left people no alternative but protest to express themselves. reach theat will boiling point in the next few years i'm not so sure. he is delivering just enough to divide and disrupt efforts by the opposition to better organize itself.
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brezhnev.ed will he surpassed stone? -- stalin? >> stalin had an idea about communism. there is no russian without putin. most insultinge thing you can say about our country. but they are saying that openly. >> thank you for coming. [applause] >> the house returns for general
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speeches at 10:00. at noon they take up legislation regarding banks and financial relations. the 10:00 a.m. senators continue work on a bill to stop online sex trafficking and go to a debate calling a resolution calling for the president to remove u.s. armed forces from the conflict in yemen. devos testifies before the house appropriation subcommittee on her budget request. the commander of the air force space command testified on the president's budget for his agency. he was joined by two other defense officials at this house armed services subcommittee hearing. it is 40 minutes. welcome everybody.

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