tv Global Questions BBC News June 25, 2022 1:30pm-2:01pm BST
have had been humour. yes, he might have had been given a medal. he did raise a lot of money and won a lot of awards. he won several royal television society awards but i don't think it changed him tall. he was the same person and he was a tremendous broadcaster and, honestly, i mean, people who are watching who, i mean, you take retirement and less than two years later this happens. it is heartbreaking. absolutely heartbreaking. absolutely heartbreaking for anyone that this happens to. i heartbreaking for anyone that this happens ta— heartbreaking for anyone that this ha ens to. , ., . happens to. i remember watching him as a kid when — happens to. i remember watching him as a kid when i — happens to. i remember watching him as a kid when i lived _ happens to. i remember watching him as a kid when i lived in _ happens to. i remember watching him as a kid when i lived in the _ happens to. i remember watching him as a kid when i lived in the area. - as a kid when i lived in the area. thank you so much. thank you. a small world, isn't it?— small world, isn't it? that is a bit of a shock- _ small world, isn't it? that is a bit of a shock. thank _ small world, isn't it? that is a bit of a shock. thank you _ small world, isn't it? that is a bit of a shock. thank you very - small world, isn't it? that is a bit of a shock. thank you very much. small world, isn't it? that is a bit. of a shock. thank you very much. i went to school _ of a shock. thank you very much. i went to school there _ of a shock. thank you very much. i went to school there as _ of a shock. thank you very much. i went to school there as well. - of a shock. thank you very much. i | went to school there as well. thank you very much indeed. thank you very much indeed. lauren laverne has pulled out of the bbc�*s glastonbury coverage following the death of her mother. the bbc 6 music presenter shared the news on her instagram account. paying tribute to her mother, celia, lauren laverne wrote
that she was the "kindest, most compassionate and most tenacious person i have ever met". now it's time for a look at the weather with matt taylor. hello. a fine afternoon for the north of scotland and eastern england but even in central and western parts of the uk there will be dry weather around. the breeze is bringing passing showers. they will move quite quickly but the odd heavier one is possible. they are more frequent the further west you are. close to an area of low pressure off the coast of ireland and it is here across ireland, particularly western ireland, that we will see persistent areas of rain. 22 in northern ireland and eastern parts of england. only about 16 or 17 in the west. where the breeze continues to freshen for the night, cloud and longer spells of rain across ireland and south—west scotland, north—west england, north—west wales by the end of the night. elsewhere, rain clears and clear
skies to take us into start to sunday and some southern and eastern areas. not faring badly through sunday once again but generally speaking, here and across the south—east of england it is going to be a dry day with some sunshine for top isolated showers. more cloud in the west and some longer spells of rain at times but still a bit brightness to come, too. bye for now. hello, this is bbc news with lukwesa burak. the headlines: borisjohnson says policy is more important than personality as he faces renewed calls to quit from conservative backbenchers after the party lost two by—elections police in norway say they're treating a shooting at a gay nightclub as an act of extreme islamist terrorism. america wakes up to inflamed divisions over abortion after the supreme court overturns a woman's constitutional right to the procedure.
welcome to this edition of global question from tbilisi, the capital of georgia. there is a lot of concern here that moscow's invasion of ukraine could trigger putin's ambition is to try to control other parts of the former soviet union like georgia. after all, just north of here are two russian backed separatist enclaves in georgia. in this programme we will be looking at what it's like to live in moscow's shadow and ask how real is putin's dream of a new imperialist russia?
independent republics and is believed to keep thousands of troops there. much like the pro—russian territory in moldova. these are among europe's frozen conflicts. and there are fears that as long as the work continues in ukraine, especially in the breakaway republics, there will be a risk of escalation. as president putin trying to build a new iron curtain? and, if so, he wants to be behind it and she will resist? so we've set the scene there and clearly there's plenty to discuss. let me introduce you to my panel. a member of parliament from the ruling georgian dream party. he's also the deputy chair of the government's foreign relations committee. an mp from moldova's ruling action and solidarity party, and he's chair of the parliamentary committee on the economy, budget and finance, and he's a strong supporter of moldova's integration
with the west. tyrone zlatko is a russian journalist who's editor in chief of tv rain, one of the last independent stations in russia. and last year he left the country when the station was accused by the authorities of being anti—moscow. and dr sonia chivas is director of the heinrich boll foundation, a german state funded independent think tank. she currently advises the german government on conflict prevention and was a senior adviser on eastern europe to the german parliament. that is our panel. welcome to you all. and remember, you, too, can join the conversation. its #bbcglobalquestions. let's get down to our first question and it is from nicholas. your question, please. hello. my question is to all our panelists, what do you think, given _
the situation in ukraine and what we see is that. russian forces are bogged down in this campaign— and they have a very slow advance and success on ukrainian soil, do we think that moscow- still will be planning invasion to georgia? what is your opinion? i think you kick off with that one as a georgian mp. that is a big question. and then i would say that we live like at the foot of a volcano. we never know when that volcano erupts and which way it goes. a few months ago, it erupted and the lava went down to the to ukraine side. it can any any time erupt in completely unpredictable ways. and the truth is that we have been... tragically we got used to living at at the foot of that volcano. so any moment we are ready for a repeated invasion. and the invasions happened
in �*91, �*92, 2008. but are you more worried now after the war that putin could suddenly think, hmm, i'd like to have all of georgia? that is a possibility with any territory. a serious possibility. except for the those under the umbrella of nato. this is what putin would never trespass at his own peril. do you think that president putin would really consider going into georgia? in putin's world, georgia, of course, is russian territory. so i don't know whether russia will try to to do it, but i think that russia will. .. that russia will... and by russia, i mean kremlin, will be very happy to do it. the question is whether kremlin will be able to do it because it is struggling in ukraine now. of course, georgia is much smaller than ukraine, but still, russia is is suffering there in ukraine. but it would be very easy, wouldn't it, for the russians to come into georgia? it's got a very small
army, about 30—35,000. with all due respect, it will be much more easier here than in ukraine. but russia now is fighting in several wars. so that's why it's it could be different to russia. but answering the question, yes, of course, that's the dream of the kremlin — rebuild the soviet union. dr sonia, do you think president putin would try to recreate the old soviet union? and think, "georgia is going to be an easy take for me"? yeah, i think a lot depends on how the war in ukrainel will progress and whether western support will pick up more. - and only then putin can be stopped. and we will have to see also how long the russian economy - will be able to survive in the wake of the sanctions and what internalj dynamics will develop in russia. but if putin could, then- he would certainly try to recreate
the soviet union. the nato chief, jens stoltenberg, and i quote, says, "as long as the war continues in ukraine, there will be a risk of escalation beyond ukraine." your prime minister saod in may, "i see no immediate threat of russia's war with ukraine spreading to moldova." so you don't share these fears? you have no border with russia. let me say that, of course. russia's plan was pretty clear for the last decade. also, russia's plan was to occupy kyiv in two days and to have to be met with flowers, their tanks and so on. it's about these plans keep failing and this is what we are expecting. we were and the entire country was much more anxious on the 24th of february when the war started. and then as the progress
in the battlefield was quite visible to to the entire world, also the population in moldova and specifically in transnistria, the moods calmed down. so we do not see, at the moment, an immediate risk of escalation. everything depends on how the the progress evolves. just want to come back quickly to nicholas. you asked the question, what's your answer to it? will russia invade georgia? actually, it's very difficult to predict what will- be doing — in one week, one month. actually, we live in an era -
which which is very, very different from era which which we had a five or ten years ago. - and now we can't predict. what will happen tomorrow. and this because you have - a neighbour which is called russia. georgia is perceived as giving mixed messages to the world _ on their support of ukraine. i so my question is this — what isl the government's formal position and do they publicly condemn all aspects of this invasion? l can ijust give a bit of context, georgia? of course. i'm going to come to you first on that particular question. but your prime minister said publicly, georgia does not support western sanctions, although i know in practice you kind of do adhere to the financial sanctions and so on. and yet tbilisi backs all the un resolutions condemning russian aggression. so you do have these mixed messages? we don't have mixed messages.
i don't recall the prime minister saying we don't join western sanctions, we are not imposing bilateral sanctions on russia, but by default we have been part of western sanctions on russia ever since 2014 when they were first imposed because of the crimea and also because of luhansk and donetsk and all that. and we are part of that and we are duly executing these. the point here is that georgia is, to go back to the earlier conversation, the most vulnerable country to russian invasion. in the first place, we have had history of that invasion. second, they are very close to our capital. you know, they are military forces. thirdly, we are joining nato. this is our aspiration, which we repeat at every corner. but nobody�*s saying you're going to join nato just yet. you want to. and meanwhile, we are not members of any security alliance yet. and most importantly, putin, as i think you said, still thinks of georgia as part of its imperial ambition, whether it's restoration of the soviet union, it's a sphere of influence. it's a warsaw pact—like union, but it's still some kind of sphere of influence.
so georgia is very vulnerable. and even though it's very difficult from this point to be brave, we wholeheartedly supported ukraine. president zelensky of ukraine has publicly stated that he does not believe that ukraine is getting sufficient support publicly from the georgian government. he's saying that. what we see continuously from the ukrainian government is demand for more and more and more help, which is very natural and they should be getting all this help, although, despite what we tried to do at our earliest, which was humanitarian aid, which was international support and which was harboring also 30,000 ukrainian refugees on top of ourour300,000... but no military assistance, just humanitarian assistance. i don't think georgia is in a position to extend... why do you think zelensky is saying that you are not sufficiently supportive? 0h, we were very puzzled, actually, about that. your question, please.
i would like to ask you, do you consider georgia, moldova, ukraine as one region with the common policy of nato integration? well, moldova, unlike, for example, georgia or ukraine, has a neutrality enshrined in its constitution and we were really hoping that this would be enough, but what happened in ukraine, what happened on the 24th of february, what we feel is quite a rapid change of the sentiment in the society. until now, moldova has never really expressed willingness or its wish to join nato's or any other military alliance. we feel in the society more support for for nato. does does russia see georgia, moldova and ukraine as a kind of one region and it
treats them the same when it comes to wanting to join nato, whether they do or not? i don't think nato is the most important thing here. the most important thing for the kremlin here is not to let them decide what they want, not to let moldova decide whether moldova wants to join nato or does not want tojoin nato, doesn't let georgia decide whether georgia wants to be part of the european union or to be the part of nato. the most important thing is that russia considers all these three countries and more of them all the ex—soviet union republics as a part of its influence and russia — again, kremlin — does not want does not want them to choose their life. kremlin is still living in the in the system it used to be before 1991,
when the life of moldovan republic, georgian, etc, etc, is being decided in kremlin. how would you answer this question? well, i think i disagree with you. i think nato is quintessentially i the most difficult and bitter point for putin personally. and georgian government's position on nato is crystal clear— and has been crystal clear for the last 20 years — - we want to join the alliance . and thisjoining of the alliance is not a transactional policyl that we want to get security and then do whatever we would like to do. i it is in the first place what we call the value—based alliance and value based - friendship with nato. and we see ourselves as part. of the entire region, you know, the european union and nato as one euro—atlantic space. _ every eight or nine georgians out of ten believe very firmly, - we have to become members of the european union, -
we have to become - members of of the nato, and no single government can change that in this country. _ but we've got a question about the eu again here in the audience. thank you for this interesting discussion. so my question is, what does georgia's application to join european union mean from president putin? you answer that. well, president putin, he said that he does not care about it, that he, as mentioned, he does not care about nato and he does not care about european union. but i don't think that he's telling the truth sometimes. he's lying. of course, for putin, georgian and ukrainian and moldovan applications for the european union are yet another reason to to be stronger on them,
because it is another reason for him that they are trying to go away from from the kremlin influence. and i think that in kremlin, people are looking very, very with a huge attention to what is happening with the application of georgia and ukraine and moldova. thanks. what do you think georgia and, for that matter, moldova's application to join the european union means for president putin? i do think that president putin would perceive it as a threat, because we have seen that the russian government has increasingly opposed not only nato's accession of countries in the region, but also eu integration processes. and this has been very visible, actually, during the first invasion of ukraine and just after the maidan protests. so i do think that he doesn't like more and more countries
in his neighbourhood strengthening their ties with the european union and also embarking on the path of democracy, because that's what threatens his own regime, because russians watch what is happening in the neighborhood and they see that a better life is possible and i do think that he is concerned about it. you can answer that question, but also we had another one on social media which says it would be interesting to hear your assessment of how the eu's decision on granting the candidate status is being seen in moldova. what's important is that we have to follow the interests of our people. we have to go there, where the best interests of our people and of our country, where our future is, and this is what it means. this signal that moldova has got from from the european commission is very encouraging because our people deserve it.
and this is not the result ofjust one day. this is not the result ofjust one government. it's true — we've had ups and downs. we've had corrupt governments that were promoting... well, you still have to do something on corruption. absolutely. we still have a lot to do onjustice, on corruption, on the rule of law, on democracy, on freedom, because it is important, whatever happens, it's important to keep moldova part of the free world. this is the absolute most important thing that we have to do for the future of our country. ukraine and moldova kind of got the green light with conditions on their candidate status. you perhaps were given an amber light with a lot of conditions as well. a lot to talk about there about your application to join the european union and the questions we've had from the floor about how putin will react to it and so on, so just given an answer to all thatjumble of questions
there. we have been building democracy at gunpoint for three decades now and this is our usual experience, so in that in that case, we are not afraid of any intimidation or any pressure. we have been living with this for three decades. as for the candidate status thing, you know, we see it as a... it's a big thing, actually. for the first time in the last 30 years that we have been independent, europe has recognised that georgia can become member of the european union. you were given this slightly odd phrase, "european perspective". this is what european perspective that six months ago, if anybody asked us whether we would get it and we would be happy about it, we would be ecstatic about it because this is a formal recognition by the european union. georgia is part of europe and one day it will become a memberof europe. whether it's a candidate status with a long list of conditionality, that is a bump on the road. this is how we see it.
i mean, it has happened to other countries as well, but i'm sure that we will be there sooner than later. and i know you asked the question, what do you think about what the panel have said? i agree that mr putin would become more like angry about this, ouri application to the european union, and i think he would like make fun of us for great ambitions, too. - 0k. thank you. let's go to our next question now. what do you want to ask our panel? i have lived in russia. i am a native russian speaker and i'm ethnically armenian. so i witnessed russian propaganda first—hand. while this is by no means a phenomenon endemic to russia, there's a certain very specific flair to the way that the russian public not only accepts but embraces and parrots the government's propaganda. do you believe that russia can ever become a good neighbor, even after putin? rain tv. well, the simple answer is yes. of course, it only depends on the government in russia.
if the government in russia is focused on russia and not on united states, the european union, georgia, armenia, whatever else, then the answer is yes. and it's not the question of the propaganda. propaganda is only helping russian government tell this idea to the people. the problem is the government, the government which does not accept the fact that soviet union collapsed 30 years ago, it's done. the young generation in russia does not want to live in the idea of how it was good 30 years ago because the young generation was not born yet 30 years ago. the young generation wants to live in a free, democratic country with a normal relations with the west and the region, so, again, the answer is yes, but it depends on when the situation
in russia will change and the new government will come. do you believe russia can ever become good neighbors? i believe yes, but i believe it is, first of all, the choice of the russian people. it is the choice of the russian people to demand whatever fate they foresee for themselves in the future. and i know it is not easy, i know it is hard. you could say if i come from the street straight into the parliament, we've been... and . know— moldova is not russia and i know it is even more difficult to ask and to demand freedom in a country like russia, but i also know that it can be done and we have so many other examples of systems that at some point have changed from within, from the will of the people, but it is, again, the choice of the russian people to keep their government
accountable. i agree with, basically, in that i also believe that russia can become a good neighbor- and that it primarily depends on the russian government, | but reconciliation will take a very long time. but reconciliation - will take a very long time. and actually, as a german, - when i think about how germany not so long ago was a very bad neighbor as well, i it actually didn't take so long until we managed to get - into good neighbourly - relations with the countries that germany was was occupying, was terribly conquering. - but, of course, the big difference between germany and russia - is that germany suffered a big. military defeat and was occupied by western allies, which invested
massively in re—education, - and i don't think that's what we're going to see in russia. _ well, if past is any indicator for the future, georgians would be skeptical about it because in the 1990s, you had russia, which was historically the most democratic that it had ever been. and nonetheless, from our perspective, looking from tbilisi, that is not easier for us than the 2000s or 2010s or today, because that is when first russian invasion by proxy happened in georgia. that said, i believe that any people can liberate themselves if they really want to. and this is what i believe, because such a great nation with such culture, if allowed to truly democratically rule themselves, should be able to liberate their country from any kind
of imposed dictatorship. what do you think? after a while, there is a way to purge such kind of propaganda—based authoritarian rule. the question for me will be, when is this? because as our panelists said, historically, not a lot of hope there. all right. thank you very much. got to leave it there. that's all from this edition of global questions from the garden hall in tbilisi, the capital of georgia. i hope we've given you a bit of a sense of the mood in the region, following putin's invasion of ukraine. remember, we are the programme that brings you the trend lines behind the headlines. thank you to my panel. thank you to my audience and, of course, to you wherever you're watching or listening to this programme. until the next time from me and the rest of the global questions team. goodbye.
hello. eastern parts england, but even in central and western parts of the uk there will be dry weather around. the breeze is bringing passing showers. they will move quite quickly, but the odd heavier one is possible. they are more frequent the further west you are. close to an area of low pressure off the coast of ireland and it is here across ireland, particularly western ireland, that we will see persistent areas of rain. 22 in northern ireland and eastern parts of england. only about 16 or 17 in the west. where the breeze continues to freshen overnight, cloud and longer spells of rain across ireland and south—west scotland, north—west england, north—west wales by the end of the night. elsewhere, clear skies to take us into sunday and some southern and eastern areas. not faring badly through sunday once again but generally speaking, here and across the south—east of england it is going to be a dry
day with some sunshine, isolated showers. more cloud in the west and some longer spells of rain at times, but still a bit brightness to come, too. this is bbc news, i'm frankie mccamley with the latest headlines. borisjohnson says policy is more important than personality — as he faces renewed calls to quit from conservative backbenchers after the party lost two by—elections. if you're saying you want you want me to undergo some sort of psychological transformation, you know, i think that our listeners would know that that is not going to happen. police in norway say they're treating a shooting at a gay nightclub as an act of extreme islamist terrorism. america wakes up to inflamed divisions over abortion after the supreme court overturns a woman's constitutional right to the procedure. i just think that is a terrible overturning of health care that
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