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tv   Global Questions  BBC News  January 22, 2022 5:30pm-6:01pm GMT

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hello this is bbc news. the headlines... police will meet a conservative mp who's accused government whips of trying to "blackmail" politicians who've tried to oust borisjohnson. the first shipment of american military aid to ukraine arrives there — after talks over russia's troop build—up on the border. the un has condemned an air strike on a yemen detention centre that has killed more than 80 people a week after tonga was devastated by a volcanic eruption and tsunami, humanitarian aid begins to reach the tens of thousands of people affected. the actor arnold schwarzenegger is involved in a multi—vehicle crash in los angeles — one person is in hospital, but it's not thought their injuries are life threatening now on bbc news — with the latest
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on the growing crisis in ukraine asrussian troops mass on the border and f— its time for global questions. with zeinab badawi in the ukrainian capital kyiv. hello, i'm zeinab badawi. welcome to global questions from kyiv, the capital of ukraine. the build—up of russian troops near its border with ukraine has raised fears that moscow wants to extend its influence in former soviet states, such as ukraine. in this second edition of global questions from kyiv, we ask what is putin's game in his backyard? applause. hello and welcome to the mystetskyi arsenal cultural centre here in kyiv. let me tell you who is on my panel,
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who will be taking questions from our audience here. deputy prime minister of ukraine is olha stefanishyna. she has been very much the international face of the ukrainian government during this current crisis. kristina kvien is the charge d?affaires, that's the acting d'affaires, that's the acting ambassador for washington, here in kyiv. carl bildt is a former swedish prime minister and one of europe's leading statesmen, and professor sergey radchenko is a russian—born political scientist based in europe. that is our panel. welcome to you all. give them a round of applause. applause. and remember you too can join the conversation, it's #bbcglobalquestions. now, we're going to take a couple of questions to kick off with. first from olha. is the build—up of russian troops on the ukrainian borders, - in your opinion, an attempt to get the world's attention _ or is there a real danger behind it?
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and a similar sort of question? yes, indeed. my question is, why should the west care so much about ukraine - and what russia may do to it? deputy prime minister of ukraine olha stefanishyna take that one first. why should the west care about ukraine? well, i think the answer is as simple as it is because ukraine is part of the west. ukraine is at the west so whenever the west cares about any other borders, apart eastern borders, it should care the same about ukraine because ukraine cares about europe, ukraine is one of the largest trading partners and exporters, ukraine bares a huge territory and basically on the forefront, on the black sea security border, includes many of the other western countries and basically, if we're talking about democracy, democracy is about people and you should care not
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about ukraine, you should care about ukrainian people who have chosen the west and that is what we should stand for and if we stand for ukrainian people, we stand for their values and if we do not, then we have double standards. kristina kvien acting ambassador for washington, here in ukraine, why should the us care about ukraine? first of all, we want a europe that's whole—free and at peace, and we've wanted that for a long time. it is in the us interest, it is in europe's interest, and it is in the global interest. i think that ukraine, any country has the right to choose its own path. ukraine has made very clear that its path is western integration. eu, nato and western integration and no other country outside of ukraine should be able to make that decision for them. carl bildt, maybe take olha's point — what do you think is the point of the build—up of the russian troops? is it a real danger orjust a way of getting attention from the world? well both, absolutely. putin is clearly building up a lot
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of military forces and he has presented political demands that are impossible, i mean, very, very far—reaching, and he knows that. and he hopes that by sort oflots of military pressure he can gain some advantage. if he does not get that, which he won't, then he might continue with the military means. so they are not contradictory. and why do we care about this? it is fairly simple. if we want to have some sort of world order, you are simply not allowed to invade your neighbours. because if you allow one country, which considers itself big, to invade another country, well, another country might start invading another country and russia might start invading another countries as well, so it is an absolutely fundamental principle of international order that is at stake. so it's far more than ukraine. we care about ukraine but it is far more than ukraine that is at stake. sergey radchenko, you are russian—born and you can —
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obviously don't speak for the russian government — but you can give us some insights perhaps into the russian�*s perspective on this. what do you read into the russian build—up of troops? is itjust posturing, trying to blackmail the west or is there real danger there, do you think? i mean, i think putin is not adversed to brinkmanship. i think he does engage in brinkmanship. but i would not say that he is bluffing. you've got a massive build—up of military sources and it's like anton chekhov said, "if in act one, you have a gun on the stage, in act three, it is bound to go off" so i would not underestimate what we're seeing now with russia but that said, i would say that putin has not made up his mind. i do not think he has made up his mind. i think he is shopping for various possibilities. he is trying to see whether concessions may be made, whether he may be able to get his way somewhere so i think that actually allows opportunity
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to engage in diplomacy and we should be engaging in diplomacy and we should try diplomacy until the very, very end. both sides should do that because the stakes are high. i just want to pick up on what you said there. not made up his mind to do what? and what concessions might he want? briefly on those two things you've just raised. not made up his mind to invade ukraine. in what shape or form? well, we do not know. i do not have a direct connection to putin's mind, nobody does, nobody knows what goes through his head except for putin himself. what we do know is that there is a lot of uncertainty to this situation. it could go in any way. i do not think we should be set on conflict. the russians have shown over the years that they want to see themselves as partners of the west, they want to be recognised by the west, whether they are part of the west or not it is another question, but i do not think
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that they are set on conflict. what concessions does he want? what concessions? well, putin thinks in 19th century terms. he wants influence. i do not think that he is trying to rebuild the soviet union — i don't think he is trying to do that — but i think he is trying to extend his interests, extend his influence into areas that are immediately bordering russia. if i canjump in. while i fully agree with everything which was said, let me add a bit of pragmatism and sergey has partially mentioned it. when we're talking about putin, we're not only talking about putin talking to foreign leaders, he's also a president of a country and he talks to his population and he needs to be supported. and basically, war rhetorics is not very much supported by russian population so far. but like it was back in 2014 when he annexed crimea, just ahead of the elections, his rating was going higher, really. now it is not the case but now
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he's been subjectivized by the international leaders. he has been invited to nato, to the oec bilateral talks and summits, as it was back in the 805, with the us. that brings additional pluses to his narrative and to his support inside moscow, inside russia, so if he goes with a military invasion, it will leave him no room for additional points to be gained by internal narrative so this is something that could restrain him but we should also take into account that it is not only about global talks and implications on ukraine, it is something which perfectly well serves his internal interests as a president who wants to be elected until the very last day of his life. alright thanks. please, carl bildt. to add very, very briefly, there are issues, where they should be possible to talk with him
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and make agreements. i mean there are arm control issues in europe, that we from the west, if i might say that, have an interest in talking to russians, and where russians should have and interest talking to us. so the best possible scenario is if this crisis is de—escalated and we go into a more constructive discussion with the russians. it does not seem to be what is happening at the moment but we should not give up hope. that leads to our next question. why doesn't russia not - want to co—operate with ukraine on a liberal democratic basis? sergey, why doesn't it go down that path then? why does russia not want to co—operate with ukraine on a liberal democratic basis? i would say there is a good answer to this. this is because putin is not a liberal democrat. putin thinks in 19th century terms, he is a 19th century statesmen and he wants a sphere of influence. and he is a realist. he is a hard—core realist and reality may be unpalatable
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but it has the singular advantage of being the only thing that's real. alright, but the spirit behind that question is also, look, he talks about brotherly love for the nation of ukraine, we have a common history, common roots, our languages are similar and so on — why doesn't he take that approach with ukraine, to try to bring them a bit closer and have good neighbourly relations? he does, he does. he keeps talking about ukraine being a brother nation. we have a disconnection of narratives. we have the russian narrative about ukraine which sees ukraine as far right country that is trying to suppress russian ethnic rights et cetera et cetera, and then we have the ukrainian narrative which sees russia as an imperialist aggressor that is trying to swallow ukraine et cetera. what we have is a complete disconnection of the two narratives. the two sides are talking at each other, and not with one another. is that right, olha? absolutely right and your question brought me back to the recent press
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conferences by putin, for the last year, and if you listen to him, you see that this is the president having no vision. he does not produce any vision of how he sees russian, how he sees the development of global policies. he keeps on recollecting the historical events he wants to restore as a new form. so now he's bringing us back to the post—second world war period and trying to rearrange the european security and to undermine everything we face. he never produces vision, he only brings us back to the historical elements he loved and he enjoyed. so he is incapable of co—operating with you on a liberal democratic basis. kristina kvien, from america's point of view, do you want to see russia cooperate with the ukraine on a democratic basis? absolutely. i think it would be great if russia would cooperate with ukraine
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on a democratic basis. i think the problem — i agree with sergey and olha completely — that russia is not a liberal democracy and ukraine is. ukraine is getting closer and closer to the liberal democratic ideal of western europe, and russia does not like it so russia is trying to pull it back into its model which is not a liberal democracy. but if russia did engage with ukraine on a liberal democratic basis, what role would that leave for the united states? they would be vying with you for leadership of the free world, wouldn't they? we are perfectly happy to have russia deal with ukraine in a liberal democratic basis. we would welcome it. carl bildt? the tragic thing at the moment is that putin is dealing far more with the past of russia than with the future of russia. as sergey said, he is a 19th—century thinker and he wants to recreate sort of a great russian dominate
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slavic empire with ukraine, russia, belarus — it is the 19th century recreated and then he wants to have sort of the role that that particular russia had in europe, very reactionary intervening — that's where he is. but he is a realist. he's a realist. well, that is not the way the modern world is. the 19th century was the 19th century and we are now in the 21st century. what about the athenian generals, "the strong exact what they can, the weak grant what they must." i think putin still lives by those rules. he is there but we are more in an interdependent world, where we should be cooperating more across borders. if we descend back into the 19th century, battle between nations over everything, i think we all go backwards. and russia might be sort of a big place, needless to say — 11 times or whatever it is — but it is a small place in this particular world. it is dependant on what is happening
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in the rest of the world and he isolates russia to the rest of the world to the detriment of the russian people. he cannot recreate the history. he must build the future and that does not seem to be his priority at the moment. let's look at the future with our next question. you want to look at what is going on in the 21st century and pull russia out of this 19th century prism? what future is waiting for us? this global instability goes by, us—western—russian rivalry —| is it here for a long time? does it mean more conflicts in post—soviet countries, i new tensions and an escalation of old problems? _ kristina kvien, why don't you kick off on that one. sure, i guess i wouldn't necessarily agree with the premise. i don't think the problem we face right now is caused by us—russian rivalry, at least from our perspective.
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we are trying to integrate more with europe. we already are in an incredibly strong alliance with nato, we work in the osce together, and we also work closely, especially on trade and environmental regulation, with the eu. so we are, we want to be allies, we want to be together. and i wouldn't say that we — and we would like ukraine to join us, by the way. and if russia chose tojoin it, fine, russia canjoin too. but i would say we are not trying to make it about us and them, we want it to be europe and the us, and russia is the one trying to pull that away and break up the alliance. and do you see it, as olha is asking there, that this global instability has been with us for a long time and may continue for a long time? that's up to russia. i think, if i can step in, there is a huge gap between, we're not about talking eu or nato or us, orjust any other,
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it is something where the collective west has got the extremely good experience of building the consensus. and now in a global world, where you cannot take decisions only on your own, on behalf your country — when it comes to covid, to energy crisis, even to military force. we have learned how to make the consensus, and how to make collectively the decisions. but what putin hadn't learned is to be part of some consensus. broader consensus. and until he understands that he should be a player together with everybody, this could change the situation... you say putin is not part of a consensus, but he has got friends, hasn't he? we have just seen russian troops go in as part of the collective security treaty organisation, into kazakhstan to help president tokayev there, sent a couple of thousand troops. he gets on very well with alexader lucashenko in belarus — this is not somebody without friends
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in the region. so maybe sergey and carl can pick up on that. looking at post—soviet countries and conflicts there, are there some aspects to putin's policy where he actually acts as a stabilising force, as he has in kazakhstan? i would argue yes. in terms of kazakhstan — i personally think kazakhstan has been a hideous dictatorship, and — but, you know, they had chaos. the russians went in, when they went in, the international expert community exploded with commentaries to the effect that russia was annexing almost kazakhstan, and restoring the ussr. a few days later they seemed to be on the way out. so that shows that putin is not set on absolutely creating a great empire, he is trying to sustain friends and clients in central asia, he is certainly doing it with lukashenko in belarus,
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he knows his limitations, and the fact that the russians pulled out of kazakhstan quickly i think shows that. olha's question about instability in former post—soviet countries, we have seen russia been a real destabilising force in georgia for instance, where it backed the breakaway separatists there in south ossetia, abkhazia, the same in moldova, with transnistria, where a couple of thousand russian troops are based there. so how far do you think olha's question is relevant in terms of russia being a destabilising force? well there's...putin wants to stabilise the region in his own interest. after the kazakhstan intervention, he had a summit meeting with all the relevant states around him and made a speech, and said "i need to go in in order to prevent maidans," which is of course the democratic revolutions, or revolution of dignity in ukraine. he does not want that sort of development.
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kazakhstan may not have been that, but he clearly presented it as way of having the autocratic stability of the near abroad of russia guaranteed my military means. his argument is that it is either that or chaos. true, that is what he said. but he says there are islamists, extremists, to use the word, the terrorists as they say... that is what he said, and that is what he believes. and i think that is fundamentally wrong. because if you build up these autocratic states, they collapse sooner or later. autocracy is not stable. democracy may be messy, but it is stable. the only way you can bring long—term stability to this part is to have open liberals... crosstalk. carl, that leads into our next question very well, so hold your thoughts there, because we are going to go to tamuz. my question, so what will happen
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after the change orfall of the other autocratic regimes in post—soviet countries? let's go to you then, olha. i think it is very simple, and very much resonating to what carl has just put very simply. we will become stable, free, and independent of the... of the cult of a leader. so it is a great dream of many ukrainians not to know the name of a minister, or a prime minister, because they are changing, but the country and the principles are remaining, and that is what democracy is. and that world is the expectation of the stability and that peace in europe, to make sure that there is a freedom of choice, that there is stability and we are not waiting for a father or a "batka" to come, as lukashenko is supposed to be called in belarus, to say how does he want to spend his day to day? it is like, us who decided, so it is about the freedom and stability and peace.
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so do you think it is inevitable then, that these autocratic regimes like... crosstalk. if i can recollect in my memory, just speaking about the russia and understanding, back in 2013, until the war started, we were about to sign the association agreement, the large trade agreement with the eu — putin, he didn't care about the agreement, he didn't care about the trade, and basically it wasn't ukrainians who were thinking that we had to choose between the russia and the european union. we have never been thinking this way, when we were negotiating this agreement. but it is putin, who is putting us in front of the choice — you choose europe or you choose russia _ and we were shocked that we were put in front of this choice, because we were not thinking this way. we were thinking about the democratic relations with, and friendship with russia, but it is them who has put us in front of that. so sergey, is it inevitable that these autocratic regimes will fall, and what happens?
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look, i am very pessimistic. because autocrats have fallen, and they were replaced by new autocrats. look at post—soviet history, we have had 30 years. and some countries like the baltics are notably stable and democratic and wonderful. you look at some of the central asian countries, we had dictators being replaced by other dictators. or we had, for example in kyrgyzstan, coups and revolutions, and revolutions and coups, and just instability and instability. so the fundamental question here is not about some of those other countries, it is about russia, because it sets the tone across the region. when putin goes, i don't know when this will happen, somebody else will come. there will be an opportunity that we should not lose to engage with russia, to try to anchor russia in europe. because we missed our chance in 1989, we missed our chance in 1999, we should not allow this opportunity... the breakdown of the soviet union. carl, what happens when these
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regimes fall, as our questioner has asked? of course, and then we should humbly say that building democracy and rule of law is not that easy. it takes time. culture, education, tradition, whatever. we have seen that in those post—soviet or post—yugoslav states, to take another part of europe — it is not easy, is not straightforward, it requires time, patience, but it is worth it. because the alternative is far worse. the alternative is to descend into chaos and dictatorship. building democracy, messy, difficult, back—and—forth — ukraine is not a perfect place, by the way, but it is on its way. and i think that lesson needs to be learned by everybody. quite, thanks for that carl. tamuz, ijust want to come back to you, do you want to comment on what you heard our panel say about this? i want to be an optimist. you want to be an optimist, we like that here. let me just get a couple
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of comments from our audience here on what they have heard our panel say today. anybody want to make a comment? russia became a successor state of the soviet union, _ they took over their seat in the security council —| but did they change? right, thank you very much. another comment please from our audience? the proposal to include ukraine . as a "nato plus" member will give the possibility to the usa to foster and enlarge the american - arms sales to ukraine. that looks to me as a great adventure commercial- possibility for the usa, _ but in conrtrast there are far fewer possibilities for ukraine compared to the full nato membership. - "nato plus" seems like a weak compromise in the current - discussions with the russian federation _ all right, thanks very much indeed. a clear voice there in support of ukraine joining nato as a full member. that's all we have got time for from this edition of global questions.
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we have been looking at what putin's grand strategy is in former soviet states such as ukraine, and we've heard a range of views. remember, we are the programme that gives you the trendlines behind the headlines. for now, from me, zeinab badawi, and the rest of the global questions team, thank you to my panel, thank you to my audience here, and to you wherever you're watching this programme. til next time, goodbye. hello there. might make extensive cloud trapped underneath this area of high pressure. the high stays with us into tonight into tomorrow. keeping things largely dry but often quite
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cloudy. large amounts of cloud in the sky as we had through tonight. where there are breaks in the cloud, they could well fill in with some patches of mist and fog and where winds are light down towards the south we do have link spells ahead, it will be dependent upon the cloud cover and certainly not as cold up towards the north where we will keep a brisk wind. that wind will continue to blow across northern and western parts of scotland tomorrow with the odds but of drizzle. for most, a dry day with a lot of cloud. some breaks for southwest england and wales. eastern scotland looks quite well favoured to see some sunshine and some shelter from the south westerly wind. the brisk wind in the north, light winds further south and temperatures generally between 5—9 celsius may be getting up between 5—9 celsius may be getting up to 10 celsius in the north of scotland. now, through sunday night and into monday, our area of high pressure shows signs of declining. that would allow a frontal system to start to push in from the northwest.
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that will bring some outbreaks of rain on monday, chiefly across the western side of scotland, northern ireland, some of that rain may be getting into parts of cumbria by the very end of the afternoon. 0ther very end of the afternoon. other areas largely dry, perhaps a slightly better chance of seeing some sunshine. light winds are pretty much all of us and temperatures between 6—9 celsius. looking ahead to tuesday, more of the same, really, lots of dry weather. could be some fog patches around at first, some areas of cloud, but some decent spousal sunshine and temperatures, you guessed it, again, between 6—9 celsius in most places. then as we had deeper into the week, well, we do see something of a change with more frontal system starting to push in from the northwest. this time having a bit more life about them. could see some slightly heavier and more widespread rain sweeping through as we had through wednesday and into the first part of thursday. most of the rainy thing through the coming week will be across northern areas, not much of it getting down to the south. temperature 6—10
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this is bbc news, i'm ben brown. the headlines at six: the first shipment of american military aid to ukraine arrives there, amid warnings a russian invasion could be imminent. police will meet a conservative mp who's accused government whips of trying to "blackmail" politicians who've tried to oust borisjohnson. a man appears in court charged with the murder of an elderly woman and the attempted murder of her husband. the port of dover admits new customs checks have contributed to big queues on the roads. and at 6.30pm, a roundup of today's premier league of today's premier league action in sportsday.


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