tv Worlds Apart RT November 21, 2018 11:30pm-12:00am EST
for russia mr hill it's good to talk to you thank you very much for coming on thank you for having me now you recently published a book no place for russia and what's striking to me about that book is that fundamentally you agree with the russians that it was a chronic problem that accumulated over time rather than the a sudden rupture provoked by russia's me his behavior i'm sure running a risk of being labeled as a if not a crime and sympathizer done if least of the crime in the paula just. by i hope not my aim in writing the book was to answer the question we all americans and russians began the post cold war era nine hundred eighty nine one thousand nine hundred ninety one with very high hopes that russia would become part of a larger euro atlantic european community europe whole and free from vancouver to vladivostok yet twenty five years later after the war in ukraine started we're
again divided in europe and the relationship is very hostile suspicious. neither side no one wanted this and the book is an attempt to answer how this happened now correct me if i'm wrong but the main argument of this book is that what happened in ukraine in two thousand and fourteen and what transpired since was essentially the result of russia not having a meaningful place within the european security institutions i wonder if it's a bit larger not just russia's place within the security institutions but generally russia's place in the world and the disagreements that both sides have with regards to that question of what place should russia take in the world when i think i focused on europe and there may be issues and complaints having to do with other regions the world but europe i think has been and the near abroad vision is a little bit or has been most important to russia since one thousand nine hundred ninety and remains one of russia's key interests if i read the foreign policy
concept correctly. the point is that structurally indeed it would to a large part as nato and the e.u. expanded and more and more decisions were taken in nato in the e.u. russia had less opportunity to participate in the formulation or the taking of key decisions. and in that sense i recognized that russia had had a complaint that needed to be addressed since sometime in the last complaint i think according to you it's a series of complaints that have been voiced repeatedly and repeatedly ignored or dismissed well by some they've been ignored and dismissed i if i could put it very oversimplified because the history i believe this is complex is complicated but i think in this case this is a case i look and i say i can understand the complaints from moscow but i think the
means chosen to express those complaints were unfortunate and counterproductive let's talk about some of those means in the. russian thinking that idea of place russia's place in the world is very tightly linked today space the space russia occupies and crimea in this regard was a very peculiar case because territorially it wasn't russian in two thousand and thirteen and two thousand and fourteen but geopolitically it was russian as a seat of the russian fleet for several centuries when you look at the crimean case from that perspective wasn't it an accident waiting to happen regardless of whatever security arrangements you have in europe well i think it was more a problem that we thought we had solved but apparently came back again there was a question when the soviet union dissolved in one thousand nine hundred one should crimea stay with russia with ukraine or go to russia because not everyone was happy
with khrushchev action in one nine hundred fifty four transferring crimea from. there were votes in crimea moreover there is there was a long negotiation within the c.e. that i remember that resulted in an autonomy agreement for crimea within ukraine by the late one nine hundred ninety s. the ukrainians were so happy with this that they were showing it to foreign diplomats like me as an example for or elsewhere by two thousand we thought we knew there were some discontented people but the question seemed resolved apparently it was not well i think one of the reasons it wasn't result because those agreements that you mentioned address the territorial status of crimea but they did not address the geopolitical status of crimea the military status of crimea would it be possible under any circumstances for you to imagine that russia would simply say that from now on we do not want to have access to the black sea
russia investigated moving the headquarters of the black sea fleet. and that the conditions at novara sisco were not ideal for this they signed a. lease agreement with the ukraine and extended it in a rather controversial action in the ukrainian parliament in two thousand and ten more controversial among the ukrainians and so indeed there was a legal arrangement and legal status for the russian fleet and russian military presence inside ukraine in crimea that was in place well before two thousand and thirteen two thousand and fourteen and was recognized by the rest of the world it was moving ukraine territorial and i think that a lot of westerners had a real problem with as you mentioned for many in the west. russia's takeover of crimea was pure annex ation but i'm sure you know that many in russia it wasn't
just the land grap it was to some extent. the only means of diverting a major strategic loss it was either a gain of a territory or a loss of a major strategic capacity of the status quo by that time was no longer an option do you think the western decision making makers at the time and distant the kind of conundrum that russia and the kremlin faced and that to some extent i would argue that western decision makers pushed on russia well i think your your question presupposes what the new provisional ukrainian government was going to do in the state and where very away there. there were statements they they weren't necessarily official statements decisions and not been taken look i understand the fears that some in russia had after the events of february of two thousand and fourteen but understanding does not mean agreement or approval and the consequences
of it for what many western leaders or leaders of other countries in europe central. east and west fought about this and what they perceived of possible future for them i think was very counterproductive for european security as a whole for you in russia to judge whether it was productive or counterproductive for russia the question of whether it was counterproductive or productive i mean i think everybody would agree that it was very detrimental to russia itself on the public relations on foreign policy front but on this strategic front i think many in russia would argue that there was no other solution and the best way of averting something like that would just be not putting russia in the situation when it had to choose make a very quick decision about why they'd want to lose an access to the black sea or whether it wants to play by the western rules and stay in good graces of western policy while i can agree with you that there were several points in two thousand
and thirteen where i think negotiating and including russia in talks of some sort about what an association agreement for ukraine with the european union would mean for russian interests that ensued from november of two thousand and thirteen on. putin at valda and two thousand and thirteen gave a fairly clear statement to romano prodi russia's issue interests involved here. unfortunately i don't think this warning was sufficiently considered but once you get to the events that followed it you know i can't i find it very unfortunate and find it hard to agree with the course chosen now you argue in your book that this new rig division of your of that we are now observing has been largely unintended it's the result of many misguided decisions on both or perhaps even more sides and the brother danica here in strategy and i think many in russia would find
it hard to accept even if there weren't any explicit r.c. kill a good policy to do. advantage russia wasn't that's still an implicit bias that's what's shaping the west in decision making well no i don't think i know there were individuals you can find but you can find individuals i met them in russia in the ninety's and the two thousand and who didn't want to have anything to do with us as americans even know there were there was a policy of cooperation with us in many fields so. i think we tried to make it work and i think there were bad decision for the i think there were also decisions taken that we simply did not expect some of the effects the that came from them and put us on a path that it was hard to move off of the it ended up somewhere where we really did not wish to go if there is a point where disagreements became sharper and more difficult for russia was as the
e.u. and nato expanded and got into the near abroad and became more active in the near abroad from the very beginning the near abroad was especially important place for russia in the ninety's when this found more acceptance in the west the western countries actually. accepted and cooperated with the russian peacekeeping operation for example enough. after two thousand and three two thousand and four you don't find this in the attitudes of nato e.u. countries towards russian involvement and up to see shit so there's a change on on both parts russia become sharper and more defensive as the e.u. and nato become closer and more involved in this area and i think from my perspective of having worked there with this this was the single greatest point or region of disagreement between russia and the united states and its allies i often
hear from your american and european colleagues how russia hates the liberal democratic order and i personally find it extremely perfect indistinct because what russia hates is not so much the people democracy but divac lists and sometimes very bloody foreign policy that the west allows itself on dead the banner of a liberal democracy do you think that may have figured in russia's decision making and russia over nato moving ever closer to its borders and nato having. discussions with neighborhood countries not the democratic factor not the night eligible factor but the simple security factor russia fearing nader and fearing that it will bring the same logic. and leave that to be partially saw in afghanistan closer to russia there may have been some concern on that and certainly nato geographic reach and expeditionary military capabilities
were not there in one nine hundred ninety but by two thousand and ten were considerable so there was a big transformation in nato. many westerners are not as conscious of but then again what was nato a threat to russia russia cooperated with nato and i remember putin after being elected to his third term went to the duma and defended offering. an airbase in russia and then the trend that we're going to see you know you have this saying in russian keep your friends close but keep your enemies even close well i don't think putin referred to us as an enemy of money you know like you always are very serious and then i thought i know but i know i mean the cooperation of russia with the united states on afghanistan listed a long time into a period where and i've myself was visiting the ministry of defense here in two thousand and eleven and asked military colleagues from russia if they perceived any
military threat from europe and their answer was no but i mean i think when you talk about these from the like that you know you're talking about nato as an institution but i think what russia has also observed is western countries sometimes acting extremely approach mystically because i mean and put inside that on a number of occasions they didn't have to push what happened in ukraine so much there were elections coming anyway yannick office would have loved those elections but there's a perception i think in the kremlin that whenever an opportunity arises the west just cannot how. regimes that it doesn't like for the sake of a bigger kaos well i think there's also a perception among some in the kremlin that the west prompted the demonstrators to come out and i don't believe that's true we did support and american politicians individually and some by policy supported the demonstrators and in this sense be
became partisan in that but you know they they are there are there have been other support put in support of young a call bichon two thousand and four i remember him campaigning for unocal that so you know that this this this is a complicated question i think in general some colleagues in moscow over emphasize western involvement and under emphasize the ability of local populations to mount protests themselves just as some in the west may overestimate moscow's hand in something or i underestimate the westons ability for not their very thoughtful policy let's put it this way mr hill we have to take a very short break now but they've all been back in just a few moments states and. join
me every thursday on the alex salmond show and i'll be speaking to guest of the world of politics school business i'm showbusiness i'll see you then. amazon already has a significant portion of all u.s. commerce something approaching twenty percent i guess their goal is to get fifty percent of all commerce in america it would be amazon commerce and. need artificial intelligence to do that an artificial intelligence needs data to run effectively so jeff bezos but the call out to all the cities and they said we may come to your town just give us all the data all the people living in your town and will dump it into our computers and our ai systems and by the way you don't get any.
welcome back to worlds apart with william hill global fellow at the wilson center and the author all no place for russia mr hill in your book you claimed what happened in crimea and what transpired later on in the ukraine in two thousand and fourteen and later changed the post cold war security order that existed in europe for two decades and the new order is still undefined what are some of the forces some of the trends some of the factors that may shape the evolution of this new order the questions remain first of all what is russia's relationship with the european countries and the united states going to be i mean that's the chief one muddle along with that given events that have occurred twenty fifteen and since then what is the future of the european union just what what will
a merge from breck said from the refugee issue and from the european discussions of their internal governance and finally after the election of president trump what is the u.s. is future what are its intentions about its presence in europe which has been there since one nine hundred forty five i have and we don't know the answer to any of those questions and the others will pursue some of those questions. you mention in your book that the. russians on a number of occasions proposed the creation of the european security council the idea that was dismissed at the time but more recently were heard from the chancellor of germany angela merkel a similar idea the security council for the e.u. a framework that will still exclude russia but do you think that is something that could lead us. to the right direction well i think we need some forum.
we meaning all of us the united states europe and russia some forum in which representatives can gather and have a full voice in order to debate questions of european security and take decisions with which all of the participants are going to be content in which they will observe the question is what will this be do we reform leo aceee do we start from the beginning and build some new party new new organization should this be done in the context of the u.n. all of us see in the early one nine hundred ninety s. was structured in the un context this is something that i think european countries and the united states and canada need to get together and discuss because the system we can we started to construct in one nine hundred eighty nine ninety ninety one is no longer working and we're back to a divided europe so we need to look at ways that we can get out of this and that
division line i would argue exists not only bits of in russia and western europe but to some extent it's already being built it's been the e.u. and the united states european pronouncements for more security out ptolemy for a european army i think they're clearly triggered by the change in the white house but the quick my question to you is whether you think the europeans are still hoping to kind of way donald trump out or should we take them as a real substantive change in the european security pose i don't think the. europeans have made a decision on what how long or what sort of direction the trump administration is going to continue in and what they want to do with this what what i see from my perspective i participated in some very sharp negotiations with our european allies in particular french at the beginning of the one nine hundred ninety s. where there was deep disagreement over whether european europe should have
a separate security organization and military force or whether this should be done in the context of nato it took over fifteen years to resolve this question finally resolved with the berlin plus and then with the lisbon treaty in two thousand and nine which has a formal relationship between nato and the european union but it seems what's happened over the last couple of years may have open discussion or a successor question to this opened it up again you mentioned this tension between the united states and france and i've heard some people say that. we may see another episode of that coming mr trump reacts very angrily. pronouncements for an independent european army and i think on some level it's pretty understandable because if that idea were to be realized france as a major arms supplier as the only nuclear power of remaining within the e.u.
would be the main benefactor of that it would not only be the bad drop of that new army but also the main supplier which may disadvantage the united states economically do you think. we can see that rivalry for the rights to provide security for europe emerged it's been the united states and france i don't know where the personal dynamics between presidents trump and mccrone is going to go and . i'm not sure that this is what i do know from having worked closely i've had french students every year for several years and. work closely with the french over a long time the french have been close allies we don't always see eye to eye but this is because the french are very self-reliant they're very capable and they have their own strong views at times and sometimes we have to settle differences between us we've always been able to do this but part of the french worry has been from the
end of the cold war that the united states this is oversimplifying but the united states may not always stay in europe and europe needs to be able to defend itself so it should have a capability that it can draw on and the french have been the strongest in this train of thought. and this may be now coming up again in europe as some pronouncements of the trumpet ministration have raised doubt about the u.s. the devotion of the u.s. to nato i should say this is now all still at the level of statements because the actions are still nato new u.s. and nato allies are still acting very much together but it comes out of it's been a constant argument since the end of the cold war and i suppose it'll always be there because is it natural for the united states to be in europe forever well i mean on some level it's very beneficial economically and. if you go to much of welcomed it. because of conditions at the time and eventually some time
whether it's a century or two centuries a thousand years in the future it will change but it hasn't right now and that so we're dealing with. and an argument and a tendency and a worry but it hasn't gone much beyond that in my perception now for us russians it's very hard to figure out what's going on and it made it because in the one had to be going to witness this. the americans and the europeans bickering over a nato expenses but on the other hand you they have. intensified their exercises alongside the russian border used to work for an aide to write or advised me i've been yes words i didn't in the context not formally in nato stuff but yes definitely from your understanding who is calling the shots at nato right now it's not it's no longer trump the trumpet ministration right when nato. i mean nato operates by consensus. and it's very it is still it is the influence is
a complicated to explain how the u.s. has great influence in nato but when you talk about the us official you're not talking about the white house or is it some other. day i was a large bureaucracy and there are ministers from the u.s. and nato staff from the u.s. to speak also because large portions of u.s. policy are supportive of nato. in the trump administration many official senior officials in the trumpet ministration are supportive of nato we in the u.s. have always complained about europeans not paying enough i have a very close friend who sat behind junior diplomat larry eagleburger who later became secretary of state who complained to the europeans in one nine hundred seventy one that they weren't paying enough have been present when we have told the europeans they should pay more and we're still telling them that. you know.
different americans evaluate this differently personally i think for us nato is a bargain now since the events in ukraine russia's security post for hass changed dramatically partially because of its intervention in syria partially because of the development of a new generation of weapons i think russia feels far less insecurities of the nato now than it was let's say five six years ago do you think the russians just. thousand and eighteen presents the same problem for nader as it was let's say in two thousand and fourteen maybe the russia prison presents a different problem because i don't think we are fully sure of russia's intentions i'm not terribly worried by all of the capabilities although i have colleagues who might denounce me for that russia was always right the russian military
deteriorated terribly at the end of the soviet union and russia was always going to rebuild its military because a country the size of russia needs a competent military you have an enormous border you need to provide for its defense this is natural the question is how can we the united states and russia construct a relationship where we are both confident of the intentions or more confident of the intentions of the other so that we're not worried right now i mean i think the situation is still although it's it's not good at all it's still not anywhere near as bad as it was during the cold war when the level of military confrontation was much higher but we need to start talking with each other about the systems we're building where we put them how we operate them to create transparency and confidence it's not that we shouldn't have weaponry but it we should make sure that
our counterparts understand why we have it and when and where we would use it and that that's something that we need to work on. starting right now would not be too early well mr hale and very forward looking. let's leave it here i really appreciate you coming into the studio and sharing some of your insights thanks very much for having me i encourage our viewers to keep this conversation going in our social media pages and hope to see you again same place same time here on all of the part.
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