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tv   Washington Journal Alina Polyakova  CSPAN  April 2, 2018 5:04pm-5:40pm EDT

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join the discussion. wednesday marks the 50th anniversary of dr. martin luther king jr.'s assassination tomorrow, remarks from historian taylor branch on the king.nd legacy of dr. taylor branch is the author of three books detailing the civil rights era. speaking live tuesday from the national civil rights museum in memphis beginning at eastern on c-span. also tomorrow, c-span's 20-20 road to the white house coverage continues with comments from ohio governor john kasich. new englandaking at college in noorch. that gets underway live tuesday 5:30 p.m. eastern also on c-span. " continues. with alina polyakova is the brookings institution, a foreign policy fellow, native of ukraine. good monday morning. you have been traveling around the world. let me ask about relations with
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russia today. what is the state of relations -- what are the state of relations? guest: certainly with the events last week with the mutual expulsions, russian diplomats from the west and western implements from russia, we are definitely at our lowest point since the end of the cold war. the last time we had such expulsions was 1986 when the reagan administration expelled soviet diplomats. i think now the chance for dialogue on operations have been closed. it is an extent that we did not see during the cold war period. it is a very tense and dangerous situation. tit-for-tat on the expulsions and closing down the consulates? lead,is this all going to
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and why is it happening? we know why, but why is going diplomats? guest: the expulsion of diplomats was a typical tool used during the cold war era by both soviet and american policymakers to send a strong signal to other side when the was something that happened, an offensive measure that was not in line with the rules of the game, so to say. certainly, the poisoning in the u k which led to the retaliation by western countries, was far and beyond what we have seen the russians do or the kremlin do in the past. brazen and needed a retaliatory response, and that is exactly what we got last week with the expulsion. host: is there any doubt in your mind that vladimir putin and the russian government was involved in the use of that nerve agent on the former russian agent in
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salisbury, england? guest: there is no doubt in my mind that the russian government was involved. can we say that putin personally ordered that action? that is much more difficult to say, mainly because in the crib it and -- and the kremlin, is not as clear as what happens in western democracies. it is quite opaque. what we have learned is there is a proxy between putin and various oligarchs. someone is given a general directive, and they have a lot of leeway as to how to follow the directive. certainly, this has all the markings of a russian secret service operation. you are from ukraine, so your family and friends who live there today, how do they view vladimir putin? guest: what is fascinating is that the kremlin's policy in
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ukraine has backfired on russian interest. which is when ukraine had this massive democratic revolution a protests, ukrainians were not hostile. but now russia is very much seen as the aggressor. putin is seen as enemy number one. the people are quite hostile to russia and putin, but that was not the case a few years ago. about relations between president trump and vladimir putin? guest: we have not seen them have an official meeting at. from the conversations and various events on the sidelines, i do not know what president trump does not seem to want to say anything negative about putin or about russian policy. his administration has taken quite a hawkish stance vis-à-vis russia. but why he has been silent and not very vocal, it is hard to
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say. host: we're talking about u.s.-russia relations pretty can give us a call in a moment or send us a tweet, @cspanwj. act imposingcaataa regulations on iran, russia, north korea, pointing to sectors . congress must review ending or changing these regulations. this is in play now. sa legislation is the most expensive, the strongest signal to russia to the kremlin that there will be consequences for its actions. so far, the trump administration has not used all the authorities that caatsa gives us. it almostes
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impossible for the president to unit not early remove sanctions to russia. so obama era sanctions that were put on by executive order, which means a president has unilateral authority on sanctions, it is now called the fight it is codified into law, so the president's hands are tied. and then there is the of 30 to go after dirty money, russian oligarchs. the administration has done a few things. there was the so-called kremlin list that was mandated. it remains to be seen whether or not they will take the step of implementing sanctions against those individuals they identified. they have a lot of leeway, the administration does, but so far they have been quite restrained in using it. host: we will hear from a member of the state department in just a moment. they say this is not
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tit-for-tat. they say it is punishing russia for their actions. of the we four is out u.s.? who are these russian diplomats or spies? guest: according to u.s. government, u.s. intelligence agencies, there are still approximately 40 known russian spies. american intelligence officers, russian intelligence officers, often go undercover to do intelligence-gathering activities. so we do not know the names of your these individuals are and whether they were spies are not. we have to trust the assessment from the u.s. intelligence community that they named the people they thought were most deeply involved in spying on various u.s. government and even private sector institutions. it is significant that the two consulates that the u.s. ordered to be closed where one in san francisco in the heart of silicon valley, and tech is a
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significant concern, and then seattle, near the facilities of boeing. are these connected? hard to say. but it is clear that the message is that you are going to be quite restrained in your ability to get the kind of intelligence, the information you are seeking from the united states, if you keep up this aggressive behavior against western countries. host: here is a member from the state department last week. [video clip] >> the u.s. and many other countries made the decision to take out russian spies. we do not see this as a diplomatic tit-for-tat. washington is responsible for that horrific attack -- russia is responsible for that horrific attack on the british citizen and his daughter. substance they used. we take this matter very seriously. go ahead. to let you finish.
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>> thank you. that normally does not happen. caught me off guard. they do not need to act like a victim. russia should not be acting like a victim. the only victims in this situation are the two victims in the hospital in the u.k. right now. and the people who cannot going to the park, medical workers, first responders who are now having to be treated and watched carefully because they may have come into contact with that substance. that was from the state department last week of your reaction? guest: it was absolutely correct. we have seen the kremlin and whether it is about this poisoning we are discussing or from and even a few years ago in ukraine that was found to be the responsibility of russia proxies operating in ukraine, every time russia denies any involvement and plays the victim.
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i think with the spokesperson said is right, we need to put an end to this kind of narrative, a false narrative. host: you can get more information at mike is the first call from atlanta, republican line. caller: good morning. alina, i have a question for you. you said you are from checklist of ocular -- czechoslovakia. it, and is president trump going there? another question, you look like a russian model. do you have russia blood in you? host: actually, she is from ukraine. guest: i am from ukraine. kiev. it is a fantastic country that i hope president trump will visit. call fromave a hudson, massachusetts. good morning. caller: about 67 months ago, the united states got its missile propulsion technology from the ukraine. is that true? guest: i would have to check on
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the exact missiles you are referring to. story not seen the exact you are talking about, but i think that is something we should look into. host: what changes do you think will come from mike pompeo taking over for rex tillerson? guest: we're seeing a shift in personnel that i think will signal a shift in russia policy. in addition to mike pompeo, who has been nominated to take over the state department from rex tillerson, we also have a new national security advisor coming in, john bolton. they may not agree on everything, but we know they agree on a much stronger stance against russia, much more hawkish policy. i think that means the kremlin will face a lot stronger consequences in the very near future, of course assuming president trouble listen to the supervisors. host: will the president follow
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the recommendation? guest: what is very fascinating and a bit odd is this dual track policy that seems to be emerging. on the one hand, you have a president who is either silent a says positive things about summit with president putin or calling to congratulate him on againsttions or going the advice of his own advisors to not congratulate pugin. -- putin. on the other hand, we have these massive expulsions, the largest in u.s.-russia diplomatic history. and we have the new sanctions associated with that troll factory. so we have a hawkish set of activities, on the when hand, and then a president who seems to be unsure what to make of russia and mr. putin. i do not know of this will continue, but it seems likely to. host: our guest is alina polyakova from the brookings
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institution. to check out her work at let me ask about margaret thatcher and mikael what we're seeing with theresa may and vladimir putin. initialtional -- an relationship with mikael gorged off led to discussions on ending the cold war. now there is a tough stance against vladimir putin. is there a parallel? guest: it is hard to see a parallel, mainly because vladimir putin is so different than gorbachev was. theresa may is in a difficult position. she was minister of interior for many years, and that is when we had the first high-profile poisoning of a former russian agent, and nothing was done in response to that. so now she was forced to act as this was a much more brazen
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attack, meaning it affected british citizens, other citizens that were in the u.k. at the time some of with the release of a chemical weapon on british soil. we see her pushing the community to respond and pushing the united states to respond. a remains to be seen whether that kind of push will actually and a wayto the table that gorbachev came to the table for a conversation with reagan that led to the end of the cold war and these amazing transformations in the international order. i am skeptical because i do not think putin is as open to these kinds of dialogues with the west. host: a call from massachusetts, good morning. caller: good morning. thank you for entertaining the question. i would like to ask your guest a question. to remove himself from crimea and places like that
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and the united states was to traditionally eastern bloc countries from joining nato, do you think we could reach a solution on any of these issues we have? i will take the answer off-line. guest: thank you for the question. first off, we should be clear that nato expansion to the former is bloc countries is not -- former east bloc countries does not justify russia's actions on crimea and the invasion of eastern ukraine. that is a narrative often put out by russian media, but it does not hold true. changes course in ukraine and pulls out weapons and troops from eastern ukraine, returns crimea, i think that would be a significant step that would lead to a compromise the between the west and russia into
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a betterment and relations. host: a tweet asking about ukraine. did the u.s. interfere in the political process in your country of origin? certainly, the united states' democracy promoting programs around the world is not the same as interference. supporting independent media and society, civil society groups carry up their own activities, and they are not told that they should or should not be doing by u.s. state or usaid or an international funder of any kind. it is very different from what withussians have done other countries, including the united states and interference in u.s. elections, france, germany, you name it. is an editorial from "the new york times," a colder war with russia. it says, with tensions rising
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between the u.s. and russia, the cold war channels of communication need to be revised. what are those channels like today, and what changes need to be made? guest: that is an excellent point in that editorial. we were talking earlier about -russiae are in u.s. relationship today, and we're at the lowest point, and i think it war,rse than the cold because we do not have the same diplomatic relationships we had in 2014 with ukraine and crimea. the obama administration really cut those avenues, working in cooperation with diplomats, usaid department, russian foreign industry, and military relations. when i talk to my russian colleagues, this keeps coming up. we need to reestablish the
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military-to-military dialogue, because the u.s. and russia have been involved in syria since 2015. dowe need to make sure we not see accidental attacks happening and then that leading to a greater, more severe conflict. the rules we had during the cold war period that allowed us to keep peace, we do not have a nuclear strike during the cold war, and that is because there were those channels with warnings and can medications. -- communications. now there was an event this past week, and the united states was not informed beforehand. this is why the situation is so much more dangerous than it was. host: our guest is alina polyakova, a graduate of emory university, earned her master's and doctorate from uc berkeley. native of ukraine.
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alexander is our next caller from florida, independent line. caller: good morning, steve, c-span, and ms. polyakova. i was doing a little research and noticed that you have extensive education and sociology, and you speak russian and german. do the people in the ukraine, and i mean all generations, do they still consider what happened during the second world war and in our present time, do they still have a major distrust and fear of russia? thank you for taking my question. host: thanks for the question. guest: thank you for the question. we were talking earlier that russia has invaded ukraine. there is a hot war happening on russia's territory that is fueling and supporting and providing troops and leadership for. that is in eastern ukraine.
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russia also annexed crimea. of course, this has led to a hardening of relations between ukraine and russia. in terms of the public mood, the ukrainian people, i grew up in ukraine and we had relatives in moscow. we really do not see a disconnect between the countries. now those borders feel very hard. i know they lead to many families falling out and not speaking to each other for quite sometime. but thesed joke, geopolitical events have very serious consequences. host: you have been in the u.s. for how many years? guest: since 1991. host: she is also author of "the dark side of european immigration." previously with the wilson center in the atlantic council. rachel in tennessee, republican line. caller: good morning. citizen, as an american
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and, you know, i am absolutely appalled by the state of relations between the u.s. and russia, partly because there seems to be nothing but a of weisan group think need to have russia as an enemy. you know, every single problem that we faced here domestically and every problem internationally, it all leads back to russia and putin for some reason. so i see, on behalf of my government and my leaders, this other discontent -- utter discontent for facts and any sort of interception for the actions we hinges and to undertake as far as increasing tension with russia. we always say russia invaded georgia. actually, no, an attack was
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launched. russia annexed crimea. a violent was due to action supported by the united states, and their naval base was in jeopardy. host: your response? guest: well, the u.s. certainly could have done something better, especially in the 1990's, to better integrate russia into the international community. one thing you have to remember, if the caller or anybody else ever watches russian television, for the greater part of the last decade, it has been on a warmongering path. even if the united states does not see russia as an and me, certainly russia has started to see the u.s. as an enemy. ifhave to ask the question, we are seeking some sort of partition, as the obama administration did him as the
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bush administration did after 9/11, and even as clinton did in the 1990's, there was a good relationship. every single democratic or republican president comes into office thinking they can fix this problem we have with russia. after all of these decades of failure to have better relationship with russia, we have to come to grips with reality. maybe the problem is not the president, not even one party or the other, maybe the problem is kremlin or actually mr. p utin. from the russian point of view, the u.s. is enemy number one. a relationship with a country whose leaders see the united states not as a partner but as an enemy? host: are there 11 time zones and russia? guest: i believe so. host: what is the economy like in the country? guest: there is a misconception many of us have in the west,
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certainly when you see the beautiful gold it domes and moscow are you look at st. major russiane cities that are close to europe do not represent reality for most russians. russia is a very poor country. 1.2% of theis only global economy. we have to take that into some context. russia is also the largest country in the world but contributes very little to the global economy. of about the same as italy. if you go for the east, you have better roads, crumbling infrastructure, dying cities and villages because the local authorities do not take care of their people. we saw some of this play out in a tragic way recently. there was a major fire in a small town in siberia.
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over 60 people, many children, died. it was a shopping mall. they were enjoying the movies, doing a little shopping over the weekend, and the fire could have been prevented. it was some basic safety protocols. the fire doors were not open. the fire alarms did not work. why? this is the question russian people are asking themselves. one answer is that local authorities are constantly skimming money of the top and cut corners when they build new construction and when they build new roads and bridges. this, at some point, will have a profound effect. in the people suffer under the putin regime, the russian people themselves. host: our guest is alina polyakova from brookings. michael is next from hawaii. caller: thank you. i have a few questions. a quick question about putin's
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retaliation on treasonous intelligence operatives, and apparently the u.k. believes that they are reopening massive amounts of investigations on people and the u.s. may need to do that, too. secondarily, if you can give some insight on your percent -- your perspectives on iran and north korea and how the russians are involved in the missile technology, open-source intelligence, that has been exposed. other individuals in the intelligence community who are tracking it separately, but a lot of that will not be revealed publicly. host: guest: thank you for that question. we know for a fact that russian resources, russian scientists
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were very helpful to north korea when they were developing their nuclear program. built a strong relationship with iran. itself it is a highly repressed authoritarian regime. it is incredibly problematic and dangerous for the stability of the middle east. we will see what happens. just to mention, president trump over the weekend announced he wanted to halt 200 million in re-stabilizing -- re-stabilization aid to syria. this would give a path for iran to step in and fill that. host: what would this mean for assad? guest: what russia's role has
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been in syria was to keep assad in power. host: why? guest: from the russian point of view, clinton personally saw the arab spring and the murder of qaddafi as something that could happen to him. he saw this as a u.s. instigated set up protest demonstration regime change. he blamed hillary clinton who was secretary of state personally for libya specifically. from the kremlin's point of view, when you see an uprising someone like see assad about to fall and crumble. the president saying a side has to go, that might happen closer to home. even in moscow. not only as an
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opportunity to reestablish themselves in the middle east as anotherroker but also instance of u.s. regime change. even though that was a false narrative. now russia has one quite a bit on the middle east. they have not targeted isis. civilians. they are targets held by u.s. supported rebel groups. russia is the key powerbroker in the middle east and the way that the u.s. once was. they have reestablished themselves as a great power in the region. they have diminished u.s. options for stabilizing the region. it does not look like assad is going anywhere. host: if we pull out of syria, that is a big if -- it would create a huge vacuum? guest: yes.
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the u.s. presence in syria has declined over the years under president obama. u.s. support is still critical to maintaining some zone in syria. civilianmaintaining territories as small as they may be. at least in fighting isis. that has been the prime u.s. target. not the prime russian or syrian government target. when the u.s. pulls out those oil-rich areas will fall into the hands of assad and into a ron and into russia. host: her work is available at the broo
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>> my own belief is what's happening in facebook today was predictable and inevitable to degree. i think that essentially, you ave a brilliant platform based advertising model that essentially emphasizes precision propaganda. and that precision propaganda an be used for good or for evil. and i think that you had this the opening ost in decade of the internet that information always wants to be free and available. that openness is always good. and i don't think there was a the way king through that one could inject into that evil. stream of and negative behavior. and i think as various forces matured and learned how the products work, they're learning how to take advantage of them to for their own purposes.
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>> watch "the communicators" tonight at 8:00 eastern on c-span 2. here's a look on the our primetime schedule on the c-span networks. at 8:00 p.m. eastern, wells fargo c.e.o. tim sloan ooks at company efforts following the 2017 scandal over customer accounts. n c-span 2 at 8:30 eastern, it's book tv programming with books and authors who have written about future issues economic inequality and climate change. 3, at 8:00 p.m. on c-span it's american history tv with landscape historian jonathan on his book "the white house easter egg roll, a history for all ages." presidents and first families have hosted the annual white house tradition since 1878. "landmark cases" griswold v. connecticut.
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estelle griswold challenged a connecticut law banning the of birth on and use control. supreme court ultimately ruled the statute to be unconstitutional. process, established a right to privacy that is still evolving today. our guest to discuss this case are helen alvare law professor george mason university's antonin scalia law school and for l, associate dean research and law professor at temple university. cases" tonight and join the conversation. ur hashtag is landmark cases and follow us at c-span. and we have resources on our for background on each case. the landmark cases companion to the national constitution centers interactive constitution and the landmark podcast at cases.
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>> c-span's "washington journal" live every day with news and policy issues that impacts you. coming you tuesday morning, foreign policy magazine's abrahimian lan discusses recent military developments in u.s.-china carnegie and then the the future lk about of u.s.-china relations. be sure to watch c-span's at hington journal" live 7:00 eastern tuesday morning. join the discussion. this coming wednesday marks the 50th anniversary of dr. martin assassination.'s and tomorrow, remarks from historian taylor branch on the dr. king.egacy of taylor branch is the author of three books detailing the civil rights era. live tuesday ing from the national civil rights museum in memphis beginning at 1:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. also tomorrow, c-span's 2020 coveragehe white house
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continues with comments from ohio governor john kasich at new england college in new hampshire. that gets under way live tuesday at 5:30 p.m. eastern also on c-span. earlier today, president trump and first lady melania trump easter egg nnual the south lawn of the white house. the president took part in a few of the activities with the children and answered some reporters' questions. this is about 15 minutes.


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