tv Charlie Rose PBS June 3, 2011 12:00am-1:00am PDT
>> rose: welcome to our program. today mitt romney entered the race for the republican nomination for president and we'll have analysis from al hunt of bloomberg and john harris of politico. >> the republican establishment has been waiting for a white knight and usually they talk about jesh bush or chris christie or paul ryan, en. that's not going to happen. i... and i doubt that huckabe will get back in. i think sarah palin is gigantic tease and i don't know a thing because nody else knows a thing. only sarah palin knows. i think michele bachmann will get in. i think john huntsman is very lily tget in and, charlie, to my great surprise i keep aring that giuliani is shopping for a house in new hampshire because he wants to move up there. i must tell you i didn't expect that. >> i can't think-- maybe al has some other examples-- i can't think of somebody coming in to this stage of the nomination process seeming so tired and
eliciting so little ehusiasm among the very sort of core partisan voters who he needs to excite to win a nomination. so there's a real disconnect. >> rose: we continue within a conversation about serbia with its foreign minister, vuk jeremic. >> establishing the full truth about what took place in the '90s is a a sin qau nonfor the lasting reconciliation, peace and stability in the balkans. i believe the serbian government has done its parent in that sense, nowhe time has come for other people to do the same. >> rose: we conclude with the russian perspective and a conversation with the ambassor the united nations, vitaly churkin. >> by pporng the rebels, by saying that this person has to go, this person has to stay, bringing somebody in announcing some person is legitimate and the other is n you have to adopt the country, just ahead and adopthe country. do anoth iraq.
but i don't think anybody's prepared for that. >> rose: a political notebook, the serbian foreign minister, and russia's u.n.mbassador when we continue. we can all root for. a hero who beats the odds and comes out on top. but this isn't just a hollywood storyline. it's happening every day, all across america. every time a storefront opens. or the midnight oil is burned. or when someone chases a dream, not just a dollar. they are small business owners. so if you wanna root for a real hero, support small business. shop small.
captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> rose: we begin this evening with the 2012 presidential race. we will come back many, many times, today former massachuses governor mitt romney formally declared his candidacy in the battleground ate of new hampshire. he went hard at president obama and his onomic policies. >> when bara obama came to office we wished him well and hoped for the best. now in thehird year o his four-year term we have more than slogans and promises to judge him by. barack obama has failed america. (cheers and applause) now, we're going to return the responsibility and authority to the states for dozens of government programs. and that will begin with a complete repeal of obamacare.
(cheers and applause) from my first day in office, my number-one job will be to see that america once again is number one in job creation. >> rose: mitt romney already has a strong fund-raising apparatus and campaign operation but he faces tough questions fr his party out the health care plan he passed as governor of massachusetts. meanwhile, sarah palin and rudy giuliani also made stops in the granite state today. neither have announced whether they will run. joining me now from washington, hunt, executive editor of bloomberg news and john harris, editor-in-chief of politico. i am pleased to have both of them here. how is mitt romney in 2012 differt from tt romney in 2008? >> he's goods that have been on the shelf a pretty long time. that can be an asset in republican politics, but so-called pry mow general tour theory in which republicans have looked to their nominee to somebody who's seen as it's his turn. often somebody who's run before
and is seen as now ready. i think mitt romney might benefit from that phenomenon. certainly hopes to benefit from the that phenomenon. but i can't think-- maybe al has some other examples-- of somebody coming in to this stage of the nomination process seeming so tired and eliciting so little enthusiasm among the very sort of core partisan voters who he needs to excite win a nomination. so there's a real disconnect. it is his turn and yet a lot of people still seem to be looking around, casting their days, who else is at this party that i would rather talk to. >> rose: albert? >> charlie, i agree with john. the surface he is not only a front-runner but a formidable front-runner. he does well in the polls, he's been battle-tested, he's been there before, he's a great fund-raiser, he looks like a million bucks. charlie, if you and i hadn't done all that partying and drinking maybe we would have looked that good in our 60s. and he's very versed in the central issue of the day. and once you go through all that ohn ss, everyone says "but." there's that huge "but" every
time you bring up romney's name. he doesn't scare off anyone. i think one thing thats really different in 2008... than 2008 and an albross he can't escape is his health care bill in massachusetts. that really wasn't that much of an issue in 2008 because an individual mandate with private insurance companies used to be the republican position. and then once obamacare was enacted, it now has become the devil incarnate for republicans. and it's just a huge albatross he carries. >> rose:s his mormon religion a factor, john? >> it's really hard to gauge. in 2007 and 2008 it clearly seemed to be a factor, something that made some primary voters uncomfortable but they typically didn't give voice to that. we've now got two more likely in this race this time with john huntsman. and i think we'll get a clearer test of it. there's no question it's a
below-the-surface issue for some voters, i believe. >> rose: some say his strategy is that he has a kind of beneath-the-radar strategy. is that ? that he wants to...e's been spending more of his time raising money, building up an organization than he has been out thereto in a sense of developing publiattention to what he was doing. >> nobody runs for president of the united states these days below the radar, charlie, and mi romney particurly is a front-runner as s not going to be able to do that. he does have a difficult relationship with the press which i think is going to cause him some problems but even though the conventional mainstream media isn't what it used to be. he's a favorite target for the right-wing blogs, t, he can't st below the rar screen. i think theoughest decision mitt romney faces right now-- two tough decisions-- one if he can come up with a better explanation for romneycare but the other is does he contest iowa really fully?
because he has to win new hampshire. he has a home up there, he finished sond last time. he has to win it. if he doesn', i don't see how he gets the nomination but does he then roll the dice and try to wrap it up by winning in iowa, too, which may be difficult. i don't think he's made that decision yet. >> but he has been-- in as much as you can be running for president-- somewhat below the radar yuchlt ear right, charlie, he did not accept the first debate hosted by fox news down in south carolina hhas been trying to get into this race on his own schedule and his own terms and i think he feels like, look, there may be a big spectacle going on about sarah palin's intentions. we went through our trump flirtation a few weeks ago. but for all of that, he's busy plotting away. he's raised $40 million, that's the only republican so far that can say... make a credible claim that i'm seriously able to compete with the enormous financial resources that barack obama will have. so i think he has done a pretty good job and given some of his
liabilities, i think it's a smarttrategy to not necessarily try to hog the attention at this stage of the race. kind of slow and steady. >> john, you're the sponsor of the debate september 7 and i guarantee you mitt romney will be there. >> oh, no question and the race will be fully engaged by then. >> and then he'll be above the radar screen. >> but he's rig not to take every piece of bait put before him because he's not a terribly effective at the kind of day in day out jousting on the campaign trl so i think he's right not to chase every camera or try to get in every headline. >> rose: what's happening within the potential candidates now that daniels is out and now that it's beginning to look like there is no one who is the obvious favorite of the people who will elect the republican nominee? >> well, the republican establishment has been waing for a white knight. they talked about jeb bush or chris christie or paul ryan,
even. that's not going to happen. and i doubt that huckabee will get back in. i think sarah palin is a gigantic tease. and i n't know a thing because nobody else knows a ing. only sarah palin knows. i think michel bachmann will get in. i think john huntsman is very likely to get in. and, charlie, to my great surprise i keep hearing that rudy giuliani is shopping far house up in new hampshe. rose: (laughs) >> because he wants to move up there. i must tl you, i didn't expect that. >> rose: yes, yes. so what about... what about governor christie? he has repeatedly said he will not run. al? >> i don't think he'll run. >> rose: you don't think he'll run? >> on the other hand, he has scheduled a trip to iowa. it seems to me he's clearly enjoying the publicity and the ability to attract enormous attention by having a flirtation. it seems to me that rick perry down in xas who's reconsidering, said he's reconsidering whether to get in the race. jim demint in south carolina, the senator who's very much a
leader of the tea party movement has said he's thinking about it, praying upon it. all these people know that even if the likely answer at the end of this is that they won't run, they can really increase their profile, really increase their leverage. and so it's the easiest thing in the world to kind of have a half a striptease in this. that doesn't mean they'll end up taking it all off. >> rose: how do you see this campaign as it moves from primary to general eleion taking shape? >> well, in the primary, obviously, and in the general, too, the economy, jobs, spending will be a huge issue. as of today it's not mh of a differentiating issue between the various candidates. they all are for less spending, they're for tax cuts, they're for less government regulation, some kd of a cap or ceiling on spending ultimately. those... there may be some differences that emerge. in the primary, i think as long as romney is the front-runner thathe other... his opponents will try to make obamacare a huge issue in order to get at romney for romneycare.
and i'm sure some social issues will emerge also. for the general election, barring some kind of unforeseen crisis abroad i think it will be about jobs and the economy. >> i think inhe republican-nominated contest, charlie, there's going to be two issues are somewhat in tension with each other. someone who can give the sort of most full-throated attack, one that's really going to resonate with conservative primary voters, the most full-throated attack on barack obama and his vision of governance. who's the purest on saying no, i'm willing to shut down the government if necessy. i'm willing to take drastic steps in really dramatic times to reduce the role of government. that's really going to resonate. but i think lurking behind that is who is going to be the most credible person standing up there on the stage in the fall of 2012? that actually has a decent chance of beating barack obama. there's a widespread recognition certainly among kind of operatives but i think it's seeping down to the activist
level, that this is going to be a really hard election for republicans to win. anthey aren't goin to do it with a novelty candidate. they aren't going to do it with somebody who cannot stand on the stage and convey seriousness. so that actually sometimes points to the more mature more reasoned more moderate voice. and so all thecandidates are going to have a sort of two ropepulling on them. on the one hand, who can sound the most vitriolic in attacking barack obama and yet who can also convey that sense of the presidential aura and that sense of plausibility and electability. >> rose: but some say that in the end that barack obama's biggest issue is not a republican candidate but, in fa, whether unemployment will be below 8% or not. >> i think it's highly unlikely unemployment will be below 8% in october of 2012. i they's important is in which direction is itmovi and how credible his republican opposition is.
i don't think the economy is going to be a great plus for oba, it's just whether he can avoid it being a real drag. certainly at this stage you'd have to say for a whole variety of reasons that barack oma looks in fairly good shape even though the economy doesn't. but if the economy gets worse and if any of the.o.p. candidates can pass that balancing act that john was just talking about, those odds change sharply. >> rose: i read to you as we talk about this a headline and i'll let you go. "wl street journal" "economic outlook darkens marts stumble as facries hiring slow down. biggest drop in stocks in a year." the "financial times" "fears over recovery boost treasury." so it a big issue. thank you very much, al. thank you very much, john. >> rose: vuk jeremic is re, he is the foreign minister of serbia, he was 31 when he took that job. before that he was a senior advise or to boris tadic, the president of serb serbia. he studied theoretical physics
at the university of cambridge and international development at the kennedy school at harvard. the world's attention turned to verb with the arrest of ratko mladic. mladic has been extradited to the hague where he faces 11 charges for war crimes. he's expected to appear in court tomorrow. i am very pleased to have vuk jeremic at this table for the first time to talk about jaesh and the region that he knows so well. even though... welcome. even though you left to go to london with yr family and therefore eventually went to cambridge and... for your education. >> well, that was a very difficult time. i was part of this generation that left exyugoslavia. i come from a mixed family. >> rose: mixed i what way? >> my father i serb my mother is boss knee yak. there wereundreds of thousands
of mixed families at the time and my family left the beginning of the war. i was a part of the democracy vement, the resistance movement to the dictatorship of slobodan milosevic and my return back home was related to the instigation of democracy in serbia. >> rose: but tell me today what of the... how is that remembered that awful period in the history with the breakup of yugoslavia, the conflict thaok place. what are the vestiges of it? >> i think probably the decade of the 12990s was one of the most tragic decades in the enre history of the ball balkans, which was a long history of of bloody conflicts. the breakup of yugoslavia and the war that cocolored, if you will, that decade, was one of
the most decades. ... tragic decades. >> rose: the wounds were so deep it will take decades for them to be... >> it will take decades to heal but i would say that in the last few years gretrides have been made towards reconciliation in the balkans and i think it is it no exaggeration to say that right now relations in the balkans have never been better. >> rose: relations between? >> between thearious now sovereign states of the balkans have not been better since the war of yugoslav succession, the war of the 1990s. this is the result of the leadership ofof the balkans, in particular serbia, croatia, ex-yugoslav republics and the beat that they have made togethering in the last few years. >> rose: the united states-- i was going to talk about this later but i'll talk about it now since we're here... you as a
young foreign minister at 31, now the six-oldest serbian foreign minuter? the world. >> i'm no longer 31. i'm already like 35. i've been doing this for four years now. >> rose: you went around the world trying to make the case against kosovo becoming separate nation. >> indeed. >> rose: the united states supported it. britain supported it. powerful countries. what case did you try to make? >> well, first of all, we're here talking aboutnilateral attempt at succession from an internationally recognized state in peacetime. it has not haened since 1945. since we have the international order based on the u.n. charter. i can ha a long argument about this, but i'm not going to do it because we don't enough time here. but i'm going to give you an anecdote.
my conversation with a foreign minister of a major world power right before kosovo declared independence and i talked to the minister, i tried to explain to the minister why i think recognition of such unilateral act of secession would be bad. and after this long discussion, the minister told me "listen, mr. jeremic, i hear you, i understand your arguments, but you need to understand that kosovo is a unique case." i said "well, pardon me, what is so unique about kosovo?" and the minister told me "you have a very brutal dictatorship that was oppressing an ethnic minority to the point of extreme. it brought about international intervention and although the dictator is dead and you are democracy right now, 99% of these people want to break away from your country so there's nothing you can do, mr. minister." so i said to my interlocutor, i said "well, are you talking
about iraq?" and the minister took a step back and said "what?" i said "it was a dictatorship, not oppressing but actually gassing an ethnic minority,. >> rose: the shiites >> iraqi... iraq is a decracy, saddam isead and 99% of kurds want to break free from iraq. i want t say to them because of the deceased saddam hussein now iraq should be broken up? and the answer was silence. the point is you cannot forcefully change orders of a sovereign independent democratic state in 21st century. the change of border cans only come... can only come about through negotiations and consensus between the parties. >> rose: but you wonder what there is to negotiate, but you have described kosovo as your jerusalem. >> well, kosovo has a very, very particular history to the
serbian nation. this is the place where the first serbian capita was formed. this was the place where serbs took christianity centuries is ago as their religion of the nation. so there is a very, very long and special history. the most... the liest shrines of the serbian people are cated in kosovo. but re i don't really want to talk about history. i want to talk about a future. i want to talk about whether or not in the balkans you can determine the borders unilaterally. well, this government of serbia-- which is a democratic government-- it has been building democracy for the past ten years and that has put reconciliation between the nations of the balkans as its jut most priority. well, we believe that it is only through dialogue and compromise and consensus that you can arrive at solutions for 21st
century. >> rose: tell me about, as foreign minister, the relationship between serbia today and the united states. >> you know, i think that this government of serbi has made a great effort to maintain good relations with the united states despite the fact that the united states just today the mn sponsor of separatists in kosovo. and i think that today with the exception of this admittedly significant gap on that issue of kosovo, serbia and united states ar building good relations, relations of trust, mutual support. >> rose: and the united states is supportive your admission to the european union? >> indeed. >> rose: and there's nothing more important to serbia today than admission to the united... >> it would have been even more important if the united states were an e. member but the united states is not. even if the european union were
to disappear tomorrow, reconciliation between the natis of the balkans would have stayed the priority of the government of serbia. >> rose: the relationship o those countries of the former yugoslavia remains, was, is, and will be the highest priority of the serbian government? >> well, ithink that relations with neighbors is something that is the highest priority of everyone in the world. you need to have good relations with your neighbors in order to have, like, a prosperous... >> rose: economic future. what's the economic future of serbia? >> well, that i believe the future, including the economic future, of the entire region of the balkans is in the european union. i think it makes geographical sense, it makes historical sense it makes cultura sense. it makes good political sense. and this is why the european future is a central strategic... building a european socie and
achieving a european future is a priority for the government of serbia. despite all the difficulties at are under way. and the unresolved status of kosovo is, of course, one of the big ings that was in the way. >> rose: what ll be a compromise solution acceptable to your government? >> well, previous attempts at finding a compromise solution failed because governments in advance were voicing doubt of what has to be the outcome. so now that we have again, by the way, two months ago we have started negotiations between berade and pristina, and i'm not going to say i advance as to what has to be the outcome, but i need to say that without an outcome that can be endorsed by both belgrade and pristina, there's going toe no lasting stability in the balkans. >> rose: what does that mean "no lasting stability"? does that mean that there will always be the possibility of a destabilizing relationship that
could lead to another conflict? >> rose: my belief-- and this is the belief of my government-- is that in order to close theook of conflict in the balkans we need to come to a solution to all outstanding issues. and one of them-- i would stay most important of them-- is the future status of the territory of kosovo. so we need to find an agreement on this. it's no good to haveone party supported by the big powers-- including the united states, the biggest power in the world-- to say "well, this is what is going to be thsolution and now we're going to impose it on you." it's not going to work. it has never worked in the history the balkans, it's not going to work this time. so one big thing, one big diffence that the situation makes if you compare it with history is that this is the first time in the history of the baans that nobody went to war with anybody over an issue of this gravity. kosovo unilaterally declaring
secession in the face of the rbian democratically elected government, serbia did not go to war. this was the first time in history that the war hasn't broken up. it hasn't broke out over an issue of this significance in the balkans. so i think that we have all matured. i think that we're moving in the right direction despite the profound differences that we have over the issue of the status. i think that we are now trying to resolve this issue using exclusively the... >> rose: you actually believe you can reverse the direction it has been going? >> we believe that a solution is possible. >> rose: let me turn to the mladic case. there has been much speculation that elements of your government had to know, had to have seen photographs of where he was as he was in hiding but he had supporters who protected him.
it is said that even serbian army, certain elements of the serbian army, had to know. >> well, this government got in fice in julyf 2008. and i can assure you... i mean, i speak on behalf of this government. this government of serbia has never donenything of that kind this has been always a very, very high priority. cooperation with the hague tribunal has always been a very, very high priority of this government. but now mladic is in the hague and this process is going to reveal the truth about everything. about the allegations for committing war crimes as well as the period leading up to his arrest. so i'd ratr... >> rose: based on what you know as a wise man, do you think there were atrocities committed under his leadership? >> well... >> rose: atrocities committed under his leadership, not war
crimes, which is the legal definition. atrocities committed under his leadership. >> we have a process now in the court. we have committed ourselves to make him available to justi in the u.n. court. the process in front of the court is going to establish the truth. >> rose: is it a divisive issue in serbia? how much support is the there for him? >> i think it's no longer as divisive as it used tobe in the past. and i think reaction in serbia if you compare it to the reactionn some other countries that have also had to deliver their war crimes, in chair son with those countries our reaction was mute, was pretty much mute. i think that there is... i can't really talk about a consensus but there is a strong majority in serbia that wants to move forward. >> rose: there was a feeling that serbia could never in a sense realize the full potential of its membership in the community of nations until it
dealt with this issue. do you agree that? >> well, you know, establishing the full truth about what took place in the '90s is a condition sine qua non for the lasting reconciliation, peace and stability in the balkans. that i believe the serbian government has done its part in thatense. now, the time has come for other people to do the same. to make sure that other war crimes that have been committed in the balkans are also adequately investigated and tried. >> rose: you clearly have something in mind when you say that. at is it? >> well, there is one big thing that has not been investigated. this is the war crimes of kosovo albanian leadership. and we are talking about some of the mos gruesome allegations for war crimes ever committed in the history of warfare. we're talng about trafficking of human organ
we're talking about... >> rose:yhom? >> by the leadership, the current leadership, the sitting leadership of kosovo albanians. >> rose: the government of... the leadership and the government of the... >> the sitting prime minister of kosovo is directly accused... >> rose: by? >> by the council of europe. the council of europe parliamentary assembly this january adopted a report on abducting, kidnapping of hundreds of serb civilians during the 1999 conflict. >> rose: and? >> where it says that those hundreds of civilians were kidnapped, their organs-- human organs-- taken out then allowed to die. and then those organs being sold in the international black market. the report of the council of europe... >> rose: this was what year tha these allege actions took
place? >> in 1999, during the conflict in kosovo. during the bombing of kosovo. and the report ss that the group that organized these ferocious acts was the kosovo lib united nations army under the leadership of tach chi, the sitting prime minister of kosovo. now, what serbia is asking for is international u.n. mandated investigation to take place. we're not saying it's true. we have our take on this. we believe it is true. but we d't want to say it is true. we are just asking now that the international criminal investigation takes place. and unfortunately, this has not happened yet. >> rose: you think the allegations th you just made or suggested you believe is true... >> i personally do believe they are true. because we have contributed. >> rose: how would you compare those to what happened at srebrenica? >> well, you know, i don't think that we have ever had in the history of warfare a situation
in which at a massive scale people were taken their organs, hearts, kidneys,ivers taken out and then sold on the black market. >> rose: on the other hand, it is said thatt took place in srebrenica, it was the largest act of genocid nce world r ii. that's t allegation. that's why a man is now sitting in the hague. >> and that's why he's going to go to the trial. serbian government made him available for the trial. >> rose: you could not have withstood the presse of the international community if you did not make him available for trial. >> well, the thing is, even if it were not for the preure the international community we would haveone it. srebrenica is something very, very heavy in ourlands. i n't know if you know ts, but last year serbian government
pushed a resolution in the serbian parliament, a resolution ofpology for what took place in srebrenica. >> rose: to all it will victims in? >> to all the victims of srebrenica and this was adopted, this resolution. this means that the serbian rliament, the first parliament in the history of europe to have passed an apology over anything and as you know the history of europe is a history which is full of things that need some kind of contrition. serbian parliament was the first parliament to apology. we took a stance, we took a stance. now, theull truth needs to be established by judicial process in the hague. >> rose: tell me whether mlac could have been brought to justicearlier and should have been brought to justice earlier. and why it took so long whe erybody believed he was being protected by th serbian elements of the serbian army and the national securityorces. >> ithe year 28 we took
over... >> rose: i understand that. but you came back to your country after the war was over, your parents came back to the country, you've been involved in it, at 31 years old you were the foreign minister. so you were advisor. you have access information that most don't. >> well,... >> rose: tell us what you know about... 45 out of 46 indicted war criminals have been found, apprehended and sent to the hague by the successor of serbian governments. we're talking about ex-presidents, prime ministers, general sdaf, top leaders. so the serbian governments since 2001 have been through their cooperation with the hague making sure... we've been making sure these people are made available to international justice. when it comes do where mladic has been hiding, we acted as a government. wected upon the first piece of
information leading to his arrest. >> rose: i hear you saying the following as i sum this up, that the great interest that the serbian government has in its relationship wh its neighbors to its strong resistance to coroversy and separatist state for kosovo and, three, a sense of its interest, its wanting to eliminate anything that would prevent it becoming a member of the european union. >> well... >> rose: what am i missing? >> well, i think you're encapsulating it right. i think that making sure entire balkans in the european union a strategic framework within which we can trynd find solutions to the issues, the most difficult onof which is kosovo for sure. and 95% of people in serbia
expect us to fight for kosovo and we will. now, the difference is the government has decided to use exclusively peaceful and diplomatic means. we're not going to go to war. we have not applied the course of... not even sanctions. >> rose: but you're going to seek every court of opinion that you can find to raise your case? >> and i will do that for the next hundred years if need be. >> rose: thank you,r. foreign minister. >> thank youcharlie. thank you very much. >> rose: vitaly churkin is here, he is russia's ambassador to the united nations. russia's role in the security council an increasingly critical one fothe ited states and for the united nations. last year russia voted for a fourth round of sanctions from iran. this march it abstained the vote authorizing the nato led opposition to libya. it's been opposed to imposing u.n. sanctiongss on theyrian vernment. i'm pleaseto have ambassador churkin back at this table. what's wrong with some
condemnation of the syrian government? >> well, there has been. there was a resolution passed by the human rights council in govern and we also had some strong words which we communicated to the syrian leadership? our contacts with them. but the thing is that we need to think about the stability and peacefultransformation and peaceful reforms in syria and by b mindful of the fact that we have stability in the region. >> rose: some have said he's crossed the rubicon in the way he has treated his own people. >> well, some of the reports are extremely disturbing but when all that... there are some destructive elements of the opposition as well who started out by attacking the syrian government forces, et cetera, et cetera. so one needs to keep that in mind as well. >> rose: what could change russia's mind? >> wl, it's hard to speak theoretically. what we know for sure is that they have announced some important reforms. they have circulated amendments to the constitution.
they have announced amnesty and, in fact, let some pitical prisoners go. they have announced they're going to investigate that horrible story about a boy who was allegedly tortured, et cetera. >> rose: what do we kw about that? >> we know there a reports of a 13-year-old boy who participated in the protest was detained and tortured in detention and now this is being investigated by t syrian government. there was a huge outcry about it but we believe that there is still a chance of peaceful transformation d that the initiatives of president assad of the syrian government must be given an opportunity to work >> rose: how is he different, bashar assad, from colonel qaddafi? >> it's a ry good question. of course the setup is completely different. they have their own political history and... so i'm not going to go into that.
but i think that this comparison is something which needs to be kept in mind because the attitude of russia and a numb ber of security council members is that we don't want the libyan scenario to be repeated. because it will be too much for the international community to get into the regime change mode in syria with the current trouble in t mide ea. >> rose: so you are opposed to... back to libya, you're opposed to what the nato forces have done there? >> well, we believe that the security council resolutions must be implemented and implemented strictly. resolution 1973 was the second and most important resolution on libya was rst of all about protection of civilians, that was purpose of the resolution. and the first paragraph of the resolution demanded an immediate cease-fire. so that was something which was supposed to have happened and it never did because immediately after the resolution was adopted we're told about the people in
benghazi are not accepting cease-fire with qaddafi still in tripoli. what, in fact, needs to happen is the removal of colonel qaddafi which is chang the game all togher and it's not that we have a special attachment to the regime of colonel qaafi. but if the goal is to be regime change-- which, incidentally, members of the security council were repeatedly assured was not the case when the resolution was discussed-- then that means that the conflict is going to be prolonged and civilians ultimately are going to suffer. >> rose: but the resolution it would seem to me was widely... rather than tightly-worded it was loosely-worded. >> that was one of our complaints. >> rose: one of russia's complaints? >> russia's complaints and some other members of the council. five of us. five members of the council abstained, as you know. so we set out very clearly our understanding of the resolution when i spoke after the vote and we warned against successive use
of force and called for stricter implementation. >> rose: what is your government's opinion orall of the arab spring, what happened in tunisia? what happened in egypt. what happened in bahrain. what happed in libya and what's happening in syria. >> well, change is welcome. >> rose: change is welcome? >> change is welcome and if more democratic, more progressive, if you will, regimes which are more responsive to the will of the people are going to come... are gog toe the result of ose processes and those countries th i think the world will benefit. and the arab countries, the arab world will benefit as well. >> rose: but it's okay with the russian government if qaddafi remains in power. it's okay with the russian government if bashar assad remains in power. notwithstanding whatever deeds they have done. >> well, first of all, it's not for moscow, paris, or washington to determine who is going to stay in power, who is legitimate or not legitimate. we do not believe that colonel qaddafi has a long-term
political future in libya. that change seems to be in a train which eventually would produce a political system where colonel qaddafi will not be part of that political system. >> rose: should she to leave the country? >> it's up to him, to the libyans to decide what he's going to do and where... >> rose: but surely the russian government doesn't want to stand aside when there are the kinds of death being produced by these governments. >> well, first of all we ved for first resolution on libya, 1970, when civilians were mistreated by colonel qaddafi. sent the issue to the inrnational criminal cou. that was atrong indication of condemnation of violence against peaceful demonstrators. but we don't believe that, as i was trying to say, that as foreign capitals can determine who is going to ld the country d what is going to happen there. there s to be a political process.
so our idea is that that there must be a cease-fire as quickly as possible because it can produce a situation where civilians are not going to suffer any longer. and then there can be a political process. in fact, we are playing an important role to try to put this political process in train. as you know, our foreign minister had conversations in moscow with both parties and talked on the phone recently with the libyan prime minister, our special representative was going to benghazi to continue that. and there are indications that a dialoguean start which will produce a genuine libyan political process. if you simply keep dictating things from the outde then... >> rose: dictating things to the outse by supporting the rebels? >> by supportg the rebels, by saying that this person has to go; this person has to stay. bringing somebody in, announcing that somebody particular individual is legitimate, the other is not legitimate. then you have to adopt the country. just go ahead and adopt the country. do another iraq in libya. but i don't think anybody's preparedor that.
>> rose: do you believe th both the assad government in syria and the qaddafi government in libya are prepared for a cease-fire? >>his what they say. they say that they're prepared for the cease-fire and at this point it was the transitional council in benghazi who was saying that the conditions for the cease-fire as far as they were concerned was qaddafi to sit down. and i mentioned the efforts of the government in syria, i think syria's efforts for reforms and that the opposition should pay careful attention to the opportunities which that effort is opening up for them. >>ose: do you have any sense of what's happening in egypt in terms of the transition that ought to be taking place? >> it's turning out to be, i think, more difficult than initially was hopedor. but, well, let's hope for the better that an election is going to take place which will bring about a political system and
government which is going to be internationally cooperate and respsive to the will of the egyptian people. >> rose: what role did president medvedev articulate for russia and the g-8 summit? >> he was responsive tothe sessions, as far as i know, which were made by president obama and president sarkozy and some others that russia could play a more active mediating role, if you will, which we have been doing in support of the african union initiative. we believe that the african union effort is sothing which has a great chance of producing more results and the visit of president zuma to south africa to tripoli, we're supportive of that. >> rose: it wasn't very successful. >> it wasn't. but i think it w an important and useful step in our common effort to achieve a polical outcome. >> rose: what worries people is that there's a lot of talk going on, at the same time a lot of people are being killed. >> because war is ctinuing. because tripoli and benghazi are fighting out for control of oil facilities. this is what has been going on over there, you know. they have been fighting for the
ability to export oil. >> rose: so we judge these things as civil wars, in your judgment? >> many people do. definitions are murky sometimes. many people believe that it is a civil war. it has many features of a civil war. but it's political analysts or historians who will come up with a definitive name for what is going on >> rose: has the relationship been reset? and if so, what's the definition of "reset"? >> (laughs) i'm not a linguist... a professor of linguistics. >> rose:ut you'r at the cutting edge of russian foreign policy at the united nations. >> well, i'm prepared to try to respond to this question. there's a completely different mood in our relatns compare to the administration of george bush. i think there's a much gater willingness to listen to each other, to take io account the interest of each other to cooperate on various issues and we have had some successes to prove that things have been reset. of course the new strategic arms treaty is the most important
example of that. >> rose: what would russia most likely to see happen to improve the relationship? >> i'm not se about one particular thing, but, of course our agenda has not bn exhausted. i think an important political cision needs to be made in washington in order to finally successfully conclude the negotiations of russian accession to w.t.o. because it has been, i think, over ten years or re that we've been negotiating about it. >> rose: while china's gotten in. >> many other countries got in quite quickly and new technical details keep coming up and i believe that at some point a line nds to be drawn. and russia needs to be accepted, allowed to come into w.t.o. >> rose: and how would you characterize the action with the united states government about the admission of russia to the w.t.o.? >> we'll be notiating but it's my personal opinion. i think that still this political decision which needs to be made, that enough is
enough. we have talked the hell out of it. let's make a deal. let's have russia join w.t.o.. at has not happened yet. >> rose: is it your impression that the obama administration is lessobsessed by eanding nato than the bush administrion? >> yes. >> rose: and thatpleases you greatly. >> i think this is a reonable urse of action and a much re... a reasonle attitude towards the security problems in europe. >> rose: and at do they get in exchange far? >> we are not an oriental bazaar. >> rose: you're saying you don't negotiate? diplomats don't negotiate? >> well, listen, i think that not having rusa irritated by unwise moves vis-a-vis nato is already a very good policy for the united states. so it creates a much better atmosphere for our bilateral relations and for the european security. >> rose: it would help a lot if
russia and the united states could cooperate on iran, wouldn't it? >> we are cooperating on iran. we have been working... well, you mentioned four resolutions, in fact there were six of them, including four sanctions resolutions and i think even more iortantly we'veeen constructive and imaginative, russia and other members of the six in trying to develop a negotiating track in order to resolve the iranian nuclear issue. so i think the cooperation has been quite goo unfortunately, it has not yet brought about tangible results but we need to keep trying. >> rose: tell me about your trip. >> it was a mission of the security council. the security council periodicly goes on various missions every year. we go to one to africa. this was particularly interesting. it includ fo stops in addis for a meeting with the peace and security council of the african union. w quite heated discussions about libya. then we went on to khartoum and jew be. >> rose: didn't the african union want to west to respond to
libya? didn't they invite them respond? >> they... it was the arab league. it was the arab league. so the african union never got involved? i thought they said something. you would know better than i would. >> well, the african union after the rolution was adopted, the latest resolution, 1973, they tried to develop a diplomatic initiative. unfortunately they were snubbed, in the diplomatic initiative because that initiative did not include the immediate stepping down of colonel qaddafi. so there is a certain degree of unhappiness in the african union about that and there are some complaints about the way this resolution of the security council has not been strictly complied with. but in khartoum and jew be, incidentally, one feature of our cooperation, for the first time this leg of... sudan leg of the trip was co-led by russia and thunited states. jub be. and the pleasure of co-leading that effort together with ambassador susan rice.
and... that particular moment turned out to be quite dramatic because nortrn troops moved into this ar of contention, oil-reach, allegedly, area of contention between the north and south and then we were in nairobi for a very interesting meeting where the entire political leadership of somalia because we couldn't make it to mogadishu for security reasons. but president, prime minister, and speaker of parliament of somalia were there at a very crucial moment, we believe, in the developments in somalia and we sent a very strong message for them that they need to put their act together and work together in order to keep improving the situation. >> rose: if the united states... if the united states can find ways to work with russia and russia can find a way to work with the united states, that offers enormous opportunity, doesn't it? >> yes, it does. and, you know, i think we're beyond trying to find a way. >> rose: where's the greatest conflict? >> greatest conflict. really i cannot think of any
particular area of conflict, not in the security council. the latest conflict, if you wil inhe security council was when the united states vetoed that resolution on settlements when all the rest of us voted for that resolution. >> rose: you're not surprised by that, are you? >> we were not really surprised. we were hoping for an absteion but other than that, this particular case i don't think there is much of a friction or contention or control in our work. >> rose: how close is russia to israel? >> we're very close to israel and i think a trd of their population speaks russian. we have excellent bilateral relationships. we have our religious sites there in jerusalem. so the relationsh is extremely close. and we are trying to help israel and the palestinians to move towards peace in the region. >> rose: how do you think russia will vote in the general assembly if there's a palestinian statehood vote?
>> i don't have instructions yet but i can tell you this resolution will get huge support in the general assembly. huge support. >> rose: is it wise for that vote to take place, in your judgment? >> if there is no... it's wise or not wise, probably this is not the issue. there is no progress. a stalemate of the kind we have now in the talks, inevitably it's going to happen. >> rose: it's now june 2011, the vote will take place in september 2011 if there's no talks. it will take place at the time that all the foreign ministers and heads of state come here? >> it's for the palestinians. they haven't told us yet. >> rose: i can't imagine your country wouldn't support the palestinians in this case, can you? >> i cannot imagine anybody not supporti with the exception of one country, and the marshall islands who sometimes vote together with the unit states. but, no, it's... and not just to walk into the united nations, to pal panly get the sense of frustration about a number of things and that produces a
certain vote which i incidentally should not be rerded as anti-israeli votes. on that settlement resolution where the real situation where i think over 130 members sponsored... co-sponsored that resolution. not just voted for it but subscribed as co-authors of that resolution. incidentally, russia was not one of them but simply voted for that resolution. so i think it simply reflects the frustration of the international community which should not be viewed as meaning some kind of anti-israeli feelings because, of course, all those latin american countries, those are not countries which do not recognize israel or do not want to have close relations with israel. >> rose: since you're an expert on russian politics, do you think the next presidential election might see a contest between the prime minister and the? >> it might but i'm not an expert on russian politics. i've been living in t united states now and working for over five years. >> rose: it's a possibility, though, isn't it? >> it is possibility, of