tv Helsinki Commission on Russia- Ukraine Tensions CSPAN February 4, 2022 4:47pm-6:57pm EST
instant but media calm was ready. internet tracking sold and we never slowed down. schools and businesses went virtual and we powered a new reality is that media, we are built to keep you ahead. >> media com supports c-span as a public service along with these other television providers giving a front row seat to democracy. >> house and senate members of commission held a hearing on tension between russia and ukraine and how the u.s. and european allies are responding. witnesses included fiona hill, former member of the national security council, retired army lieutenant general bennet and william taylor, former u.s. ambassador to ukraine. this is just over two hours. [inaudible conversations]
witnesses here in person in one with us virtually. as we have this hearing on russia's assault on ukraine and the international order, assessing and fostering the western response. we are starting a few minutes late and i apologize for that. the senate is in a series of votes. the first vote has already taken place but the senators will need to return to the floor sometimes depending on when they take off the first vote. i apologize to our witnesses about the interruptions we will have as a result but we will continue the hearing, chairman will be here, unless you have votes on your side -- we will be able to keep the hearing going. there's a lot unfolding in regards to russia and ukraine.
the biden administration made an announcement i believe today, the movement of troops into romania, they will be at the disposal of nato to our shore nato allies, ourhe commitment to the fence. the national security advisor was in the united states this week and we had a chance to compare notes and it is clear there is unity between the united states andat europe as a relates to what's happening with russia and ukraine. today we gather as europe stands on the precipice of war. the kremlin has amassed an enormous array of troops and heavy weaponry at ukraine's doorstep demanding submission to restore the iron curtain in eastern europe. the remnants threat menaces not only ukraine, our partners in
georgiaur a wider region but alo the long cherished dream andem long-standing bipartisan u.s. policy to work toward this. in contrast to mr. putin's blackmail, the biden administration's responded with sophistication and determination u.s. diplomats happen met with good faith and focused intent to over work. talk to give russia all assurances it needs at want the united states and allies pose no danger to russia if it abides by its own commitment and obligations. the united states stands ready to find areas of common purpose and cooperation with russia if it's really and sincere. this sovereignty of the ukraine and freedom of europe are not things to bargain away. the united states ukraine and europe compete with one voice. we are united. last july along with ranking member wicker, cochair, and
ranking member wilson and other commissioners have the opportunity to travel to estonia, bulgaria and norway. we saw in person the same unity of purpose across nato's frontiers at the baltic sea, the black sea and the arctic. although our shared enterprise is one of peace, the u.s. and allies will not back down in this aggression. we are ready to respond to any threat to peace and liberty of europe. that's why i am proud to be an original cosponsor of the defendant sovereignty act of 2022, it would provide partners and ukraine with the tools and equipment they need to defend themselves, baltic european security, combat disinformation and extent crippling sanctions on russia's finance and energy sectors russian government and military personnel. along with other commissioners including senators shaheen, i currentlyy involved in bipartisn consensus building exercise to
develop a larger bill with wide bipartisan support we hope will be introduced in the coming days. i want to congratulate senator menendez and the relations committee, ranking republican member on their appearance on sundays talkshow and their ability to work together so we have the consensus bill. if the common chooses, it will be a great cost averaging and russian economy. it's not too late the russian government toar pursue peace. as the medic talks continue, russians have the opportunity to consider their place in europe and the world. claimant may elect to make war on europe and international isolation, crushing economic penalties and full defense of power to eastern k europe. to commit itself to diplomacy and obligations under helsinki final act and forge a new future based on mutual respect, cooperation, human rights and democracy.
it's this future russia with no no greater global influence and with a contributor to international stability set up the painter international stability and prosperity. it's pretty helsinki commission to continue this hearing today, with the core tenets of the final act recently threatened reports of those principles in a central role could not be clearer. no other form so well-placed to allow for direct also discussion with european security and principles of human rights, sovereignty and democracy. it's the only multinational organization other than the united nations where russia, ukraine and other members of nato sit together at the same table. whatever russia's grievance about its place in europe and possible need to revisit the state of european security architecture, it's the most appropriate and purpose form for such discussions. i am looking forward to a robust
discussion with our witnesses but let me recognize my colleagues, chair and ranking members starting with chairman kuhn. >> thank you for scheduling this hearing and the most important hearing in the world let alone people here in the united states, thank you to our panelists for helping shed light on this situation, you are all experts on this situation. it's we and the american public need to hear. the fact that we are holding this critically important hearing is unbelievable we are at the stage of a major possible war in europe, something that should be left in the dark ages and not part of the future of mankind with each other. we are confronting a possibility of the largest land of invasion since world war ii.
president putin asking over 100,000 troops, 170,000 they are estimatingng now and military equipment on the border of ukraine and the company is trying to escape the legacy of promote colonialism. putin is threatening neighboring ukraine because they dared to pursue a path of democracy, transit 'integration in the developing democracy, it's not perfectly enforced but developing can only become a better democracy if allowed live and be free. he wants to deny that nation to exercise and wants to stop it before it becomes -- experience with democracy and entrenched. let me be there. his rhetoric about ukraine presenting a security threat to russia is nothing more than a lie being used to force its own will on independent european state. it's almost comical to think when you bring 170,000 troops and all military equipment to
the borders of the country that ilyou say that country is a security threat to russia. moscow fears secrete ukraine's excess body democracy with an open market of ideas and a strong civil society, russia lacks these things and they fear will threaten their own system where they don't have an open society and people end up in prison, they don't have elections, they have prison. putinn fears successful experiment will lead to the command to autocrats like putin and leave office, they want transparency and accountability. that is the only danger ukraine presents and oligarchs, they certainly don't pose a military threat.
let's not forget putin has beenh waging war in crimea and since 2014, the revolution of dignity when ukrainians took to the street in favor of integration over submission of moscow. a her rope. of time for people risk their lives for democracy, many of whom lost their lives and many were injured but they knew they wanted to be free and they put it on the line it succeeded. russia's illegal occupation of ukraine's crimea peninsula's nightmare for those who speak out against russia many ukrainians continue to be persecuted for speaking out, particularly indigenous crimea dictators. thousands of ukrainians lost their lives defending theirrs country andrt hostile russian actions and should not forget their sacrifice as we held the kremlin accountable. claimant has time to begin as this operation, cyber attacks, weaponization of energy, proxy wars.d it argues against others
including the united a states. this is as much about europe and free world as it is about ukraine. we must not forget the lessons of history, it's taught us the dangers of professors, this perception of history and lies. this is about the desire to put oneself in history books along with others, all of whom brought their because of people in the military who lost their lives pursuing land speculation and political accumulation of power with the maniac who wanted to be written in history but once they were put in the ground. my hope is this price can be resolved throughor diplomacy. it will lead to unnecessary lost of lives on both sides, russians don't want to see the judge and come home in body bags and nor do the ukrainians. putin might not care but most
russian people don't want to see it, certainly the parents of the soldiers don't want to see yet and that could lead to additional consequences in the region, both catchable complex and others that may be unforeseeable. either proponent nor advocate for war. ... of security for the whole of europe. he won't stop at ukraine. he wants what peter the great had. he wants what the soviet union used to be. and that brings up our baltic friends, our friends in should stand firm and unified in support in its crucial role. i wish to use this up again to
express solidarity with the people of ukraine and i have visited ukraine on a couple of occasions. i found the peopleal warm and inviting and they don't want to go back under the yoke of an oligarch o. and klokoc received. their spirit will prevail the russians are looking for trouble. even if their tanks when they will lose inevitably they will lose. i look forward to hearing from our witness. >> i now recognize senator wicker. >> thank you very much mr. chairman and our witnesses understand they will eventually get to testify. i do think it's important that we stick, with solidarity here and i want to congratulate congressman cohen and senator cardin for their forceful remarks. we are aware of the circumstances under which weat e
meeting. ukraine is under imminent threat from an invasion. it could happen this week, it could happen any day. these forces threaten not only of kiev.nian capital also because of concerns for france and poland and the baltic states and for the united states. if you are concerned about our status in the world and you are concerned about taiwan concerned about the pacific you are concerned about ukraine today. russia is using cyberattacks in information warfare in against ukraine and we were warned that moscow is likely or may me very well staged provocation and a pretext for military action certainly will not be the first time. such a action in the past as well as those of adolf and the
when they began trying to subjugate large portions of europe. the helsinki commission is uniquely positioned in this conversation. although the commission is passive monitoring commitments made under the helsinki act of 1975 and served as a common foundation for acceptable behavioror of european states ad promoted peace and security and prosperity and i might mention theha helsinki act of 1975 was signed by the leadership of every member country including the leadership of russia at the time who voluntarily entered into this agreement and they should be -- i want to mention the stalwart -- after the invasion of crimea and eastern ukraine in 2014 and leading the resolution on the floor of the parliamentary assembly pointing
out putin's russia had violated every single precept, every single precept of the helsinki final act and that resolution was overwhelmingly adopted by your allies in the parliamentary assembly. i would mention georgia invaded illegally under pretext invented by the russian dictator vladimir putin. putin is now treading on the principles at the heart of the commission's work that was agreed to by mr. putin's predecessors in moscow. my colleagues as you know i traveled to ukraine with a bipartisan group for democrats and three republicans. based on what i heard there i have no doubt the ukrainians
will fight fiercely to suspend their sovereignty and their boundaries. i would say to my colleagues i do not see panic in the voices and the demeanor of a ukrainian friends. i did see resolved but not panic. our response ability here is clear. we must do everything we can to ensure that the tatar putin by making plain to him the cost of the assault on an osce member country. ronald reagan called the soviet union the evil empire and he was advised by diplomats not to say this. it is aal resumption of that evl empire that vladimir putin longs for and strives for and it's the reason he had done what he done and the reason he has done what
he has done in the two provinces he is invaded in the republic of georgia and threatened invasion of a sovereign ukrainian republic. let me close by stressing two things. nobody wants to see an escalation of ukrainian country. if it is escalated it is because 100,000n has brought troops in to the edge of the eastern part of ukraine. it is because he has moved elite russian troops from the far eastern parts of russia to borders very dangerously close to the border of poland and the borderar of ukraine and belarus. what happens in ukraine will not stop ukraine. how this crisis plays out will affect other countries in the
region including our nato partners. emerging powers around the world are watching closely what the united states does and i must make this final point to my colleagues in the house and the senate we have yet to date our lynational defense appropriation bill. there's talk about another continuing resolution. members of the military leadership met with members of the senate jasta this morning coand talked about how inadequae a continuing resolution keeping the appropriations where they were a j year ago, a year and a half ago instead of up rating them as we know we have to do how injurious that is to our national security. i can't think of a better signal than the house and senate to resolve our differences about how much money needs to be
>> on the domestic programs and the defense programs and to get at least the defense portion of our appropriation bill updated ands passed within the next few weeks. that would send to me at a stronger signal to putin's russia as the passage of legislationat which members on both sides of the aisle are working on. i yield back mr. chairman. >> first let me concur with senatorre wicker. i think the strongest message we could send right now on the appropriation bills to do a cr is a bipartisan bill in regards to unity giving this administration all the tools they need to send a clear message tois mr. putin the consequences if he invades further into ukraine. we now recognize the house of
crepresentatives leader. >> thank you for convening this hearing and thank you for yourog bipartisan leadership. as you just indicated how important it is that the world recognize republicans and democrats stand together. it's never been more urgent to understand the threats to ukraine not only militarily. on the humanitarian level. constantly breaking these nations would result in needless and loss of russian and ukrainian life. russian families would suffer again. the world must not repeat the consequences of european cross-border invasion that occurred inof 1939 by hitler ino poland resulting in 27 million dead in the soviet union and 8 million dead in germany and the genocide of over 6 million people. americans appreciate the ambassador to thead united stats isov outspoken for the people of ukraine printers grateful to join a bipartisan delegation of
december 2 get first-hand from the trainings about the situation on the ground and their expectations for the future. the common must pay attention to these meetings. putin should know by now those parties in the u.s. congress are firmly united in support of the people of ukraine and democrats and republicans has so well expressed and not surprisingly by senator roger wilkins being correct again and not only ukraine. any country that has been invaded or occupied such as moldova -- moldova and all those living under threat of putin such as the baltic republic such as lithuania and estonia along with belarus. putin's tyrannical decisions continue to damagege the reputation or the people of russia. there should be no repetition of the 1932 red famine which
started with style and starving million ukrainians along with 1 million in the region as documented. where we stand in ukraine in this decisive moment has serious implications. my visits over the years i've been impressed by the city of kiev with its energize people. western hypocrisies must be bold. i continue to call for sending antitank antiaircraft and anti-ship missilesh to ukraine for maximum defense of their freedom. since the siege of leningrad and world war ii where russian citizens with american equipment successfully stop the nazi invaders this country continues providing military aid to its allies. at the end of the siege of leningrad 800,000 russian lives were lost in the city and that's more than the united states in
and the united kingdom lost in all of world war ii. i was inspired and humbled to lead the american delegation in placing a wreath at the memorial cemetery in st. petersburg in honor of the 500,000 russian who were buried there in their lives taken recognized as the world's largest open cemetery. history cannot be forgotten and putin should recognize the murderous invasion. putin and his cronies should stop silencing populations for personal enrichment. we have already seemed putin's occupation is taken a toll on crimea. all these things would be implemented further into ukraine so putin can capture more territory.pu millions of more lives to be offended in needless deaths including civilians would be inevitable.
let's work to do we can to bolster ukraine's defenses against putin. i've looked forward to hearing from her witnesses on what's happening in the region particularly the american people who continue to support t a trusted partner for people of ukraine in these troubling times and i'm hopeful the russian people will continue to respect international treaties and boundaries. i'm grateful today the russian times published an op-ed why ukraine matters for the american people and the families of germanyy stand clear in israel and india and with this i appreciate the witnesses today and i yield back. >> let me thank all of my colleagues for their comments and i also want to acknowledge senator shaheen representative at her hall who are with us on line we have senator smith representative more and representative gallego.
welcome to our distinguished panel of witnesses. let me introduce her witnesses and i welcome your folks as many which will be part of the record you may proceed issu the wish in your rounds of questions. dr. fioni hill senior foreign-policy -- recently served as deputy assistant to the president anddil senior aren russian affairs at the national security council from 2017 to 2019. from 2006 to 2000 night she served as the national intelligence officer for russia and eurasia and the national intelligence council. she is co-author of putin's operative and clint -- and his research and published extensively on issues related to russia central asia of regional conflicts energy and other issues. we are also joined by lieutenant
general dan hodges joining us virtually i believe fromru germany. he is lieutenant general retired holds the chair and strategic studies at the center for european policy analysis and he joined fifa in february of 2018. a native of quincy florida he graduated from united states military academy and 1980s was commissioned to the infantry. he served in many places including iraq and afghanistan and recently back from ukraine. ambassador retired william taylor is the vice president of russian europe in 2019 and served as surgeon of affairs in the u.s. embassy of kiev and thought support in egypt tunisia libya syria and served as u.s. ambassador to ukraine from 2006
to 2009 and the earlier served on the staff with bill bradley. we always mentioned the most important parts of your resume that you have connections to the united states senate. he graduated from west point harvard university school of government served our nation in vietnam and germany and recently back i believe from ukraine. we will start first with dr. hill. >> thank youed so much chairman cardin cochairmen cohen and members of the commission. it's a privilege and an honor to be with you today especially when you have pointed out what's happening in ukraine. it's very much at the forefront of what thisto commission does o i appreciate you having these hearings e with my colleagues attorney general hodges and ambassador taylor.
cochairmen cohen has pointed out way it was going to begin my remarks. i think for all of us it's difficult to identify specific decisions to build that process to b such an extent all to escalate events in december of last year. ilin many respects the timing by vladimir putin's own perceptions of development rather than by events on the ground in ukraine in the region. i will give a few overview points before hearing more from my colleagues. in terms of understanding the current complex of the crisis there several points that are relevant.
for us to consider during this hearing. first of all moscow has successfully reasserted itself as the dominant force in security private and eurasia. in contrast the other former soviet states have been pressured into it security relations with moscow or mutual international status. just as a couplene of examples u already mentioned moldova and some of the other ones. i will give a couple of key examples from the last couple of years. in georgia for example 14 years after russia's august 2018 invasion they, current governmet is i would say more on the back foot than it has been before treading carefully with russia and its predecessors.
georges former president who was a perennial thorn in moscow side now sits in jailft and two nisi after returning to georgia in 2021. russian officials nonetheless frequently used saakashvili ande a spate as a cautionary tale for the region including ukraine. in the summer of 2020 and armenia the president unneeded another leaders fallen out of a were with moscow saw his position follow. russian forces have -- azerbaijan's military assault to retake territory occupied by a mania for the last three decades is unlikely to been feasible without moscow. russiaar has exploited the war o introduce its military forces
sidelining the m osc group. elsewhere belarusian strong man lukashenko has been forced to the fold by a disastrous presidential election on his part in the last year and in january of 2022 in the last month russia and its regional security alliance the collective security treaty organization. has called in to protest and in a power struggle in kazakhstan. this was the first time the cs t.r. was deployed on a member country. russia feels d emboldened by all of these developments and eurasia. from russia's perspective the united states played no significant role in addressing these upheavals and the united states again from russia's perspective seems grievously weakened at home and abroad. for vladimir putin and again this is his view america's political disarray mayor is a russia's predicament dissolution
of the ussr and offers a rare opportunity. if the united united states is in the state of collapse at home and in retreat abroad as putin in the kremlin assesses putin's view is perhaps he can overturn american dominance in european security and strain ukraine's independence. if we look at europe not just in eurasia moscow sees ample opportunity to take advantage or developments there. the reverberations from brexit hungary's dispute with the eu in moscow meeting with vladimir atputin directly the legacy of four years of rifts between united states and its european allies the departure of long serving chairman chancellor angela merkel from the political scene preparations for presidential elections in france and washington's precipitous withdrawal from afghanistan have exacerbated exacerbated frictions and fractures in nato and the eu that russia thinks he cann exploit.
again from russia's perspective there's an opportunity because european military spending had operational readiness have declined over the last decades relative to united states and russia and despite it up tick in spending and deployment since russia annexed crimea -- crimea two of her most significant military partners uk and france increasing at loggerheads while turkey is preoccupied with syria and the middle east. again from russia's perspective europe's punitive financial tools along with the ability to deploy the map and we can be moscow has moved as they past decade and since its annexation of crimea and 2014 to shore up the russian economy against western sanctions. including paying off debts making strategic direct investments ann's across europe and critical infrastructure energy and also a deepening ties with the private sectors of key european countries even at the height of this crisis to try to
offset any rate tallied tory economic actions that we might take. putin in the kremlin clearly believe that european and american investors will serve as the russian allies and they will push for a reconciliation with russia limiting our government's capacity for confrontation. putin is also as members of the commission p are well aware takg russians position during this crisis will be on eurasia and europe. russia's consolidating relationships with u.s. with a blatantly signal goal of challenging america's global posture. we have seen this with iran by putin and what will soon see vladimir putin sitting alongside president xi at the opening of the beijing olympics and there've been many many other instances where putin has clearly moved out to other phases to signal that russia needs businesst there as well.
putin has been explicit about these moves as well as the ideas of applying new nuclear weapons systems to parts of territory closer to europe or perhaps tont the caribbean under some recent commentary in moscow. the whole goal here seems to be the undermines the current international order or to show an intent to do so as an gambit to get the united states to the negotiating table. as members of the commission havesi already stated russia has long sought a commitment from the united states european union. played clearly defined role lsimposed coldwell european security institutions and decision-making power went developments or events are counted to its edges. russia has expressed frustration to moscow's repeated to request to engage in proposals for new european security order and in other respects putin is pushing this really hard because of his
own timeline. just against something to bear in mind putin is mindful mindful of 2024 not just when we have our presidential election. also when he was theoretically as well as in practice submit himself for re-election at home to gain the presidency perhaps for another six to 12 years depending on how many terms he sees before him at this particular juncture. in many respects time is of the offense -- essence with putin. is public opinion ratings are not with the city for the last ttime putin's pie 30 mckinley was before the annexation of crimea and 2014. at that juncture annexation proved to be popular in russia and putin may hope forr similar list ahead of the rest presidential elections by showing the russian people he can take decisive action against ukraine against the united states. the meantime at home putin is a very good job in russia of
making a the united states and nato look like the aggressors in the perpetration of this crisis. the broad these convince the rest of the world that ukraine is either an internal -- to resolve for the object of a cold war style dust-up in united states. his putin is trying to depict this as a proxy war like vietnam was -- however in recent russian poland half of russians believe the united states and nato were to blame foror the crisis and oy a tiny fraction saw thought russia was itself to blame. more than 70% of ukrainians view russia as a hostile state which is increased from 60% in the spring of 2021. i would offer to the commission and i'd be interested to hear what lieutenant general hodges and ambassador taylor have to say about this after their recent visit to ukraine that this last point about ukrainian
attitudes could claim problematic for putin. the russian president knows his russian history inside-out ideas is on version that is about a shared not only by others. also by ukrainians. the kremlin and putin have long deployed russian values in history's weapons and information warfare especially when it comes to ukraine and putin has asserted that russia and ukraine are inextricably tied together. he posits that they have only been separated by accidents of history the collapse of the soviet union andat in this contt for putin this is why we are in this crisis. the mere prospect of any kind of formal relationship he plain ukrainian nato or ukraine in the eu or the united states is considered a direct threat to russia and also to putin because every aspect of the training conflict is personal for him bun he's talked with his own connections with crimea and every move will be on his
timetable and every russian official and commentator stressed the a ultimate decision-making in ukraine is up to vladimir putin as well as a small group of people who share his own views. putin and russia are set to creates an internal enemy out of its neighboring country to do stable global affairs for years to come especially if ukrainian views that russia is engaged in hostile t acts as they seem to e in the polls. this is where something interesting should be borne in mind and what congressman wilson said in his references to world war ii about the impacts of hostile acts. even putin himself has reflected upon the fight at the beginning of his presidency at acts of aggression against another country to matter what the motivation or whatever the intent have lasting consequences fade when asked by journalists at the beginning of his presidency in 2000 or visit is
the soviet interventions in hungary in 1956 and czechoslovakia in 1968 are in germany in 1953 were big mistakes he said yes they were. they were all big mistakes in my opinion and in eastern europe that was vladimir putin in 2008. in 202222 years exactly two when he made these comments the negative attitudes towards russia and ukraine and elsewhere are the direct result of russian intervention cyber attack senators and on influence operations. in closing and encountering putin on this occasion we have to continue to keep demonstrating to putin that today's actions are a significant mistake just as they were in the 1950s in the 1960s. was to continue to make her to moscow that we are open to negotiation is chairman cardenas said another members have but not understs. the current circumstances. we need to reframe this crisis
for what it is. this is not a proxy conflict or this is not aggression by the united states on nato. this is not a righteous effort to counter some great historical wrongol as president putin says this is an act of revisionism on part of russia. ukraine has been an independent country for more than 30 years and many other countries as you have said chairman cardin and other members have said find themselves in similar predicament today and threatened by territorial assaults from their neighbors are having their sovereignty threatened and we can make this reference before he left and we need to make a clear that any further invasion of ukraine is unacceptable. >> thank you dr. hill. you want too acknowledge that representative sparks has joined us and it's nice to have you here. not a member of the commission that you are always welcome to our hearings. we will now hear from general
hodges who i believe is in germany. >> i've just returned from a short trip to kiev as part of the delegation of five ambassadors including my co-panelist ambassador bill taylor and commander breedlove. our visit included a meeting withan several members of the ukrainian -- ministers and militaryen officials. presidentialal landscape is not confused about the threat. he knows it's very real and the survival of his government and of this country art state. he differs with united states government to the scale of the new russian offense will look like. he has no illusions about the threat. president zielinski same is to
grow in the next three years and he needs financial resources. not asking for any soldiers from any nation. he only asked for the financial resources to lend his own army for weapons andro ammunition and continued diplomatic and economic support from the west. the threat from russia israel. while a new russian official is not imminent i fear it's increasingly like he. there is no sign of de-escalation the president putin appears overconfident. as applying maximum pressure on the west in itself manufactured crisis and hopes ukraine and are nato will make them safe. as chairman foreign minister recently stated it's the entire european -- civilian security aren endangered and putin can enlarge russia's territory without regard for international law existing treaties of failure of deterrence would open the
door to a cyber attack disinformation campaigns aggression in the air and maritime domains assassinations and weaponization of russian controlled energy p resources. tens of thousands of refugees in the u.s. and europe will have destabilizing effects across europe which is one of the intended outcomes of such an attack. i do not believe the large-scale attack towards kiev as likely as it would generate patterns and it'sm. not necessary to achieve the strategic aim. instead i anticipate there'll be a continuation of what they are already doing and a series of limited objective operations that will demonstrate the kremlin is not the turret by nato and two will further weaken the government of ukraine and to frustrate western decision-makers with actions than some threshold of violent
that might make sanctions were difficult. this administration deserves creditor for leading the most conference of diplomatic effort i have seen since the 1995 peace accord. although there significant hdifferences among nations abot how to respond every nato country is agreed to protect the demands. although recent statements by croatia's president -- the administration and nato have transitioned from passive deterrence act of deterrence as evidenced by the heightened alert of the nato response force today's welcome announcement of u.s.er troop performance in eure and other nations with weapons and france's offer to lead in you romania. not all of her allies have been as decisive a we should. germany foremost among them. most of the european union will follow germans elite imposed
diplomatic and economic sanctions and therefore our most important ally has not yet acted decisively regarding nord stream ii. i do know theno chairman government has acknowledged that russia is the aggressor end quote everything is on the table as an option for sanctions to russia. these are partisan steps and i believe leaders of the green party are particularly helpful for the biden administration contains or close to the chairman government to ensure we are unified in our assessment of the russian threat and our response. therefore we need to understand the challenges facing this coalition government seek sources to mitigate the threat. a partnership between germany and theiert united states will w a strong unified effort will give the kremlin the great spas. what else can they buy and do
against -- we need to take the initiative instead of always rap ring. we i have to do this in unity wh her allies. when two relays this is about so much more than ukraine. we need this tragedy and we mut repair the damaged relationship which holds the key. the near-term we should do everything possible to help ukraine defend itself and i'm happy with what administration is sending. we just need to get it there faster especially air defense. we must be prepared to escalate and the kremlin can look in the other direction and focus fully on its operations. such as threateningen the curret russian.th we should encourage turkey to close the dardanelles straight. we should let it be known we are prepared to blockade the russian navy base in syria.
i fully support demonstrations plans to enact sanctions regarding president putin's personal wealth and to remove russia from -- we must continue to -- narrative such as nato is a threat to russia and the west. there things we can do which will not deter ukraine her allies. get president putin in a pretend in a pretended to draw back his forces. we should drill down exercise transparency and reestablished special observer missions which existed during the cold war. nato members can make it joint statement from member states guaranteeing international borders. we have already dumbness and in fact for decades nato has been guaranteeing russia's borders. it seems that lithuania latvia and estonia have guaranteed they
would never invade russia. maybe because it does seem so making a public event out of it might change the narrative of russia being threatened by nato. the alliance should keep communications in every possible format. we must be clear about the nature of it. these are not voiced doubts. these chemical weapons poisoned and murder against their own and they destroy trust in our democratic system. i look forward to your questions inin your testament today. >> general thank youou for your testimony and making yourselfse available. we appreciate it very much. i want to acknowledge the senator tillis is with us vis-à-vismb the internet. we will now hear from ambassador -- >> chairman card and members of the commission it's a great honor for me to join you here
today and it's a great honor for me. the united states and the rest of nato and ukraine face a challenge from the russian federationon that threatens stability and security in europe and the world. if president putin decides to invadero ukraine it will drastically escalate the war that has already killed 14,000 ukrainians and wealth results in the deaths of tens of thousands more. thousands a of russian soldiers. as president putin considers his options he should remember an addition too the cost of sanctions and heavy losses on the battlefield attacking and killing civilians is a war crime. if you have heard from dr. philt and general hodges putin is making demands that he knows the united states and the rest of nato and ukraine will never agree to.
presidents elect him president bidenma have firmly rejected the demands. president zelinsky and biden are not backing down in the face of putin's saber reveling -- the saber rattling and they are not compromising their principles. mr. chairman i believe president putin will -- and i think president biden and zelinsky are staring him down successfully. putin appears for now to be seeking negotiations. the strong measures taken by ukraine nato and the united states appeared to have deterred an invasion, at leastt for now. however until mr. putin withdraws the large military force from ukraine's borders and back to normal we should continue to take strong steps that seem to have deterred an invasion so far.
mr. putin seems to be coming around to the conclusion that negotiations are a better option than invading. the united states nato ukraine and the rest of europe are ready to sit at the negotiating table to discuss ways to improve the security of nato russia and europe. placement of nuclear missiles locations of military exercises confidence-building measuresss n all be discussed. some of these issues have already been discussed in negotiations between the united states and russia since last august. what is not subject to negotiation is the sovereignty heof any nation including and especially ukraine. united states its allies and ukraine have been rock solid on this principle. sticking to that firm stance backeded by credible threat of heavy military and financial cost seems to have worked. why do i think mr. putin has
decided not to invade for now? in a statement yesterday he suggests he wants to negotiate. he has complained about what was not rejected the responses from united states and nato to his demands. his officials have indicated that they are still studying the responses t that further exchans of papers and further conversations can happen. mr. lavrov answer debate questions question about the indivisibility off security. the negotiations in the normandy format among ukraine russia germany and france have started. a strong united stand on ukraine europe and the united states seems to have deterred an invasion for now. they should continue until all russian forces are back in their posts. mr. chairman u.n. members of
this commission today have explained the importance of abiding by the principles of sovereignty that it kept your europe free of major wars for 69 years until russia invaded ukraine in 2014. until russia recommenced to those principles and accepts ukrainian sovereignty and withdraws from a territory europe and the world will not be secure. ukraine matters for another reason. even though it's an old civilization and culture centuries older than russia by the way it is a young democracy of 45 million people. the vast majority of whom seek nothing more than the ability to live a normal life as a normal european country. they want to choose their leaders. they want to choose their trading hardener's, they want to choose their security alliances.
they want to choose their political party. they find themselves on the front lines of the war they didn't start. they are fighting russia on our behalf.f american soldiers and military will fight on behalf of all american citizens. ukraine is fighting russia on behalf of europe and the united states. it is the frontline of the battle between democracy and autocracy. we should supportf them. that support they will prevail and putin will lose. i'd be happy to answer questions. >> i want to thank all three of our witnesses. it's extremely helpful to fill in some of the blanks. i'm going to turn the gavel over to congressman cohen who has indicated earlier had to vote scheduled and i will be returning shortl so at that we
will start a five-minute round and chairman cohen will pass the gavel. >> thank you senator cardin and i think each of the witnesses for their testimony. it's quite enlightening and i will start the questioning myself. dr. phil you have done much of your work on the soviet union. also on putin. to some extent he has already one as he's been on stage and he will be on stage again in beijing. how much do you think he has to win before he goes further and engages in some type of military at 70 and can he accept taking his forces away from ukraine without having been on their land and considered a victory?
>> thank you very much for that question. i'm sure ambassador taylor and attorney general hodges may have views on this as well. from putin's perspective he already has had something of a win because he has her undivided attention and part off the exercise was clearly to get us to focus on him. as i mentioned in my opening remarks in the paper that i sent ahead f of time putin is very frustrated that from their perspective they haven't been able to have a sitdown with united states to in effect go over or perhaps ever read to of european security measurement since the end of the-d cold war. they have made it very clear that the osce is not sufficient for everyy member of security
were the significance of their met with terry and they have been looking for veto power. if you look back to 2008 when vladimir putin was standing behind the soldiers of president medvedev who was the prime minister who stepped aside before coming back again to major medvedev -- dmitri in medvedev requests a wreath thinking and reversion -- refurbishment. in effect what they were looking for was overturning the helsinki act in the osce and looking for something more along the format like we have seen in earlier centuries like specific powers essentially the u.s. and russia sitting down and resolving their
key positions and their forces as well as europe. putin is still looking for that so what ambassadorow taylor was saying that they are still considering this are reviewing the question about the visibility of security to all the member states if the osce they are looking for something here. so putin will be able will be a with a look i've gotten everyone's attention and i've gotten everyone to address this question of security and i've gotten everyone to the negotiating table. i don't suspect it will be sufficient to have responses from all members. putin wants to sit down with presidentth biden just like he d in geneva and in the various telephone for telecommunications
just like in nato and other settings that putin is looking for something to show that his interests have unaddressed in someme fashion. if however he feels they are not and i think this is where ambassador taylor and general hodges focused on he will continue to keep escalating and that's where we may see general hodges. as far as right now it's in the art a of diplomacy and away we n show putin the incredible cost that he is incurred. this is logistically an effort and have paid off in some way.
>> why don't i go forward and general hodges can chime in. i agree with dr. phil. with dr. hill. it has been expensive for him and the right question that you asked and that is what did he get for this and what can he get for this and how can he back down and say to the russian people that he got what he wanted? he clearly is not going to get the court things that he says he wants and that is infringement upon ukraine's sovereignty and the closing of nato's open-door not going to get that, it's very clear however is dr. hill just said he's going to get an opportunity to negotiate with president biden with nato with
the rest of europe and the oce and he will deal the two is dr. hill said look i've been complaining about the west has not taken my security concerns seriously and they haven't taken intot account my concerns. i finally have gotten them to do that he can say to the russian people and they are sitting down with me and having this conversation. mr. chairman i think that's okay. it's fine for him to say that. he didn't get us to violate the principle of sovereignty. he didn't get too close nato's open-door. he got to sit down and talk and that's fine. he can convince the russian people. that is a win. >> is there anything you would
like to add? general hodges do you have anything you would like to add? >> thank you mr. chairman. let me say this. of course putin is now in the g7 has he won and i want to slightly disagree with dr. hill who i have respected for years. what has he achieved? nato is more rigorous today than it has beenth and probably the last 20 to 25 years. their other nations wanting to join nato. finland and sweden are openly talking about it's their right
to decide whether or not they want topl join nato, unthinkable just a couple of years ago. sweden has put troops in the balticth sea. there are bright lights now shining in the london real estate belonging to several oligarchs in russia and more and more nations are increasingly energy independent and looking for ways to get themselves off of dependence of russian gas. i'm not sure he's quite the genius that he is sometimes made out to be and of course the key is how long can they sustain what he is doing? i spoke with ukrainian -- the other day and he said president putin doesn't have to answer to the duma and the way way american presence advantage of the united states congress. he doesn't have to worry about those things and i'm'm not sure- i do believe he can sustain it for a long time. i'm not sure how much longer.
>> thank you general. one of the questions i have gotten there are several, you say dr. phil he may be losing some of his popularity in russia. what difference does it make if we have heard from different people it's not so much who votes. who. counts the votes? and if you get too close to him he put in the gulags. why should he care? >> as strange as it may seem putin cares very much because he is drawingco all of his legitimy for himself alone in the constitution. he has no political party and he is made it clear that the russian duma of theumrl parliamt doesn't matter quite so much and put he has always had as its ratings. to signal to all the people around him who might he interested in this job over the longer term. food has been able to say to a lot of younger guys he might say
well are you really going to stay out until 2036 as president? by that time you'll be 84 years old and you will have an empowered and russia longer than any other contemporary modern leader and we think one of the reasons that he pushed out the possibility of staying for an extra two terms from 2024 when the expiration date in his current presidency was he was worried not only would it be a lame-duck but the people with the maneuvering around him trying to displace him or making a bid for the presidency if they were selected as one of the potentials as a replacement. if he can keep pointing to major support in the ratings andis popularity polls than that helps to boost his legitimacy and his own influence inside that tight circle around him. it is more important than it seems. right now of course his ratings even in current russian polls
don't look that low from our perspective. most american members of congress or president these would look like great ratings that when you push them into stratospheric levels in the 80 percentages after the annexation of crimea the only place he can go is down. the way he handled this and i agree with you lieutenant general the important thing is for himmp to have seem to have e and that's what we are both trying to say here. we have to be able to kind of allow him to have the space of declaring a win because he has to be able to it. he doesn't have the media breathing down his neck that he is the people who have to demonstrate strength and he may be the genius that he wants to be. he has to be atit home. his own own position and away into support depends on m it. >> you may have said it as well
ambassador taylor said we have party than successful in the way that we have dealt with him. when you say we have deterred him i guess you are saying that he hasn't invaded? >> for now. >> sere thought as he would have invaded and why do you think he won't invade? >> he still code could so let's be very clear about this. my message is very careful for now because we are anticipating some action absolutely. we keep saying it's imminent because it could happen every time and this is where ambassador taylor and general hodges could say if we look back at 2014 certainly the russian intent was to push further to push down to the areas around the port cities and further beyond the crimean peninsula and
as far as adjusted to consolidate the hold off a proxy forces that could link up with crimea. very forceful action by the united states with its allies especially after the downing of the malaysian airlines in 2014 could make a strong case that helps stop russial and perhaps deter them and also because there was a strong response from the ukrainian people in opposition to this. i think what we have seen right now and what's very important to listen to general hodges about keeping up this pressure of this unity and the unity you have all displayed obviously here in congress in a bipartisan fashion that may have factored into putin's calculations to be frank. showing we are determined to counter this has given him h pause. >> general hodges let me ask you
this what type of military powers does ukraine have to stop the soviet invasion -- particular from the north where they embed historically prepared because belarus has not been a thread in there and a lot of russian forces there and how long could ukraine resist it an invasion? >> well sir the ukrainian armed forces are significantly improved from 2014. they are not small and you are talking about 200,000 regular soldiers plus reservists and candidly i am not terribly concerned about 70,000 russian troops along the northern border. when you think about the size of ukraine, twice the size of germany and if you think about 100,000 troops that will barely fill up stadium where the
university of tennessee plays football or the university of michigan plays football so it's a lot of people. when you spreadow it out the combat power doesn't look quite as daunting as we see. they don't have forces deployed to capture key up in my view. this would be of life fight for the russians. there is a maritime fleet and their navy andr. airpower and longer range systems and it's going to be led by massive cyber and will make everything difficult and disinformation will cause panic and without a doubt there will be sabotaged and interior forces have rolled out several saboteurs coming
from belarus and from chechnya. that's all going to happen. i don't see this massive assault that's going to run over ukrainian land forces. >> thank you. i have one question in the brief response. when the big issue seems to be sanctions before they invade and sanctions after they invade. ambassador taylor what do you think is more effect of? >> mr. cohen the purpose of sanctions unlike the purpose of movement of military forces is best done after they move and two sentences on that and i know you want a short answer. military forces -- move them before the invasion comes. in order to demonstrate that this is a serious deterrence the
goal is to tour him from invading ukraine. so move those forces like the administration decided to do this morning. the sanctions as congress knows very well can go on in a hurry and off very slowly. that's not a deterrent if you put those on in advance. it's a deterrent if those serious sanctions are promised and detailed and are incredibly coordinated with the europeans so that when he does come across they go on. once they are on if you'd do it in advance they lose their deterrent value. >> you could do in advance would that give putin an opportunity to say the west is done as a way tofu proceed further and we must
be the provocateur in an economic sense? i >> that's the issue. >> thank you and i will yield to mr. wilson. >> thank you very much w chairmn cohen and i want to thank all the witnesses today. think it's been very revealing and truly it's very important and i'm really pleased we have congresswoman victoriave sparksf indiana and i'm not going to pronounce it correctly and if it's not i'm sure she'll let me know -- we have a real live ukrainian american in congress and very articulate on behalf f her love and affection for the people of ukraine and in my home state of south carolina and the former president of newbury college elected statewide mick
zetas. ukrainian americans areme very important and equally important and we appreciate 2.4 million russian americans. they too are going to be insulted and humiliated by any conduct and that's why i was so grateful ambassador you said he didn't feel like there would be and invasion. it would have been catastrophic for the people of russia and then we get to another point and general hodges correctly pointed out that it's had an unintended effect on nato and the eu. in particular having an effect on finland and sweden. here in the room today another consequence is unified republicans and democrats to be
working together and i'm really pleased mr. biden has changed course. in december we were planning on $40 million after an invasion. in the meantime nearly $1 billion is a very important defensive material has been provided to the peopleft of ukraine so this needs to be understood and other countries that are directly affected are poland. to see them so involved and in slovakia at the heart of europe adjacent to ukraine and significant and the sea region with romania uk airbase and the american personnel there and that and we have novo cello in bulgaria with nato forces and the consequence of this it makes it more important than ever that
we develop a -- so over and over again there are indications and withth that dr. hill we are no longer in a closed society andve the people of russia are not in a closed society either. how in the world this is being kept from them and i note state-controlled media and how it is that being kept from the people, the highly educated people of russia and what can we do to get a message to them that would be -- they would be the most victimized by an invasion of ukraine? >> that's an important point congressman wilson. you clearly do we needed all the countries that would be effect did. the second largest ethnic group or not the czechs and the ukrainians.
ukrainian's all over europe over the last several years -- more broadly candidate to the north has a very large population from ukraine and christie realander that foreign minister as well. this is not a contained content and other countries around the world like india and japan as well. this is not a conflict by any means in their many countries around the world india japan who are watching this very anxiously the idea of a confrontation that would be evicted as a proxy war
between russian and the united states and ukraine. we have talked about taiwan and their concerns of having the beijing olympics in the asia pacific region. this is one way in which we need to get this message across to russia and the russian people is by these other channels. it's not so much that information is being kept up with a spin of the information. if you look at russian television what you see is the depiction of the united states as the aggressors. the news is more opinion than it is of news. it also has to be our private sector sending messages. one of the things that i skipped over in my opening remarks the testimony that i put into the record is my concern about the position of the private sector.
we have many american cubbies investeds in russia as well as investment in those states that president putin's investment in europe and european countries not just the prime minister of hungary making the huge -- for his own purposes we saw putin reaching out to heads of italian business because he sees a link here. we have is somehow with your constituents who may be investors in states like texas and congressman veasey in the oil and gas -- it will be disastrous at the human level and all the ties and connections built up will be jeopardized c y this.
ordinary russians have made their bids for business. we have students in universities and all of this is going to be up-ended and that's a way of spreading out misinformation and will make headway in fortune with her own broadcasting into russia. it will have to be for our using these connections of putin uses for his own purposes to send these these messages. >> i want to thank each of the witnesses and chair and cohen thank you for your leadership and senator wicker. the people of europe and the people of ukraine and the people of russia should know we want no loss of life. on her visit to kiev what an incredible country that is. we only have theoretically about
25 minutes to go. representative veasey you are recognized. >> mr. chairman thank you very much. dr. hill want to talk about some of the off-ramps. i think you've heard a couple of off-ramp scenarios mentioned during your testimony here earlier and you have studied putin and you understand his ego and you know what's acceptable to him and what is not. what is in your opinion are except the full off-ramp data been offered and some that are completely out of the question? >> part of the problem and you mentioned ego is a possible win for putin and that's what ambassador taylor and i were trying to sketch out. keep he can say to the russian people and the media and the kremlin can share that in a major way that they have by
threatening europe they have gotten our attention and they have pushed us to the negotiating table that in itself calls for diplomacy and craft something that may be more meaningful which will be tricky however. as we have already stated and is the administration and nato state that nato state that we are going to compromise on the sovereignty of ukraine and we are not going toto compromise on nato's open door policy because for finland and sweden and other countries that potentially are -- are very important and members of nato and members of the alliance doo not want to see the open door for nato closed although they may have hesitancy
about ukraine and georgia and states that might seek to join. if there will be chained that has to be for ukraine to decide not just nato even though there's a consensus organization. that's not on the agenda right now. russia has been pushing for a serious discussion of european security for years and they made a proposal in berlin when mr. medvedev came back. for the members of this commission this could be something important to consider about how we can share and formulate a major discussion about european security that would include confidence-building measures which we have talked about as you have suggested, the disposition of forces. we have the conventional forces in europe since 2015.
i don't think we have had any discussions about this and obviously russia has made a big show of its nuclear weapons and wanting a debate about the future of nuclear missiles both tactical and intermediate. we were on the verge of talking to them about commitment with further missiles in europe. that was all positive discussion we were moving forward and obviously that is brought to a hault now. there are many things we could do. it will have to be framed from putin in such a way that he can credibly go back to just the people around him and the russian public and say -- and part of that we may not want to givelu him. >> absolutely and i alsoo wanted to ask you as well the oligarchs have been mentioned a couple of times and the tremendous amount of money that they have invested
in different places in europe. can they be used and aside from cutting off their money if you are to suspend their visas or make it hard for them to travel throughout europe is there a way to put pressure on them and have it get back to putin and perhaps have them back off since they have money and he's influenced by money and oil? >> i mean look hearing congress and the senate have been discussingng various ways of illicit finance and revelations most recently about the offshore zones including places like south dakota which was a surprise to most people including members of congress from south dakota were being used as places where shell companies k can set themselves p and those are the kinds of insurance that are used by russian oligarchs as a place to
hide money and to safeguard money. also ultimately they have tried to make strategic investments in companies here in the united states. we have to use the process to make sure it's not leverage in any way and they are an lot of things we can do to clean up our own act to when enforcing regulations. with the united states being more forward-leaning on the congressional and senate level as many of her counterparts at done t in europe a lot of it isn the state and local government as well to be frank. the brits are we going -- link in this. the house of commons is about to do a series of hearings on looking at similar legislation which we have here in the united states and trying to figure out how they can how they can also close the loopholes to make it more difficult for russian
oligarchs to use the british legal system as well as the financial system. there's an lot of urdu money and illicit finance and more broadly in europe we have to be working with our european allies in the european union as well to figure out how we can -- there's an lot we can do and there's a large role for congress to set the tone like congress did with the magnitsky bill and to drive our european partner countries. >> thank you very much mr. chairman i yield back. >> senator tillis is with us. he's a proud north carolinians and proud of bojangles. i just wish bojangles could have had a contract to feed all those
troops. senator tillis you are recognized. is he not with those? is beyond? if camera is soft? representative moore are you with us?ye >> yes mr. chairman, thank you so much. thankca you so much and i just want to thank all the commissioners and their staff who would then a tremendous job with all our materials. i could not have done a better briefing on the subject and the witnesses that we have had today. i do have some questions. our strategies are attacked takes differ is for example russia was on the brink of some sort of military action or if we
thought they were calling the bluff as it were of the nato coalition and the section 5 provisions. after all i think dr. hill you have really laid out all of the week links that we are experienced -- experiencing bruit of nato members like hungary and turkey. we have germany concerned about its own fossil fuel resources and france is about to experience an election and of course there are always concerns their. weichert tech fix and strategies strategies -- what tactics and strategies should we focus on to ensure that this alliance is solid and even we as the united states have shown some light at day in terms of our resolve
saying yeah it was a small incursion we will do this or we will do that and we will send troops that the troops are going to do anything. i guess if it's okay to talk tactically about where we should be putting her energies that did shore up the nato alliance or is it to try to put those units on the border's? belarus is right there at the staging ground so ii just wonder strategically what we ought to focus on. thank you. dr. hill and lieutenant general. >> i also think it would be important if ambassador taylor talk about this as well because he works closely with much of this too. this is really an excellent way
of laying this out. of course we do have a difference in would be interesting to hear how that came out in ukraine with some of our european allies and partners and some of our western european partners and a bit of skip this is someone the part of the french for example about whether this is an elaborate bluff and if it is an elaborate bluff it's an expensive left on the part of putin. this is the first time we have seen forces being moved from the russian far east as was mentioned at the very beginning and certainly since the end of the cold war for example to the borders of ukraine and i would like to have general hodges to comment on what we see here. my experience also with boudin is that he usually threatens he attends to act in some fashion and the russians have threatened
military technical actions. notwithstandingg what lieutenant general hodges is said about the a mic ended up being able to do a massive full invasion that would take kiev there are a lot ofud options that putin has for himself including further repetition and the point about another incursion which president of seoul and he said it's no such thing as an incursion when it's your -- there are many things that can do. each time people have thought he was bluffing georgia for example in 2008 we moved in and in syria we weren't sure we would intervene. we have had a firefight he trained paramilitary forces in syria in 2018 when members of the parliamentary -- paramilitaryry group had a firefight with the russians
behind the scenes. we should be very careful about the idea of this being a bluff. i know many of our allies are bit skeptical about what we see happening. in the larger strategic context my colleagues and i have played it out we need to keep our response and taking it absolutely 100% seriously asbecause in past practice he hs done what was thought as a bluff and taken action. doerue says right next to nato country poland. russia has raised questions about a threat to its territory from poland from lithuania because of the exclave of russian intelligence in the baltic sea during world war ii and lithuania and poland. belarus is the main supply
corridor for the baltic sea. this is a very tense situation and their saber rattling going on there and we have to take this 100% seriously. we can see the cyberfront and we have to work hard as ambassador taylor said in thinking the threats are credible along with their allies. this measure points to how do we deal with hungary and some of our other allies that may choose a bilateral route because putin clearly in making this bid for each individual to write on theirr own postcard about individual security is trying to pick countries off. so unity is critical and i like what you said congressman wilson about the unity here in the house and in the senate.
i don't think obviously putin did expect that given some of barb polarization and infighting and i think we surprised him and i think we need to keep on doing that. >> congresswoman moore i i would agree that president putin is probably surprised at the unity as dr. hill just said not just the united states and not just in ukraine. also in europe. i think he's probably surprised that his saber rattling and his movement of all these troops to the borders of ukraine, he's probably surprised that presidents olinskey -- is olinskey has not caved or been intimidated. and he's probably surprised united states has not been intimidated or surprised. this is a strong showing by the
united states and by ukraine together with the europeans and we have to remember the europeans have reauthorized sanctions every six months for the last eight years since the russians invaded. it beats thinking we are running that is a mistaken there is the question that was just raised and that is he bluffing? and we can assume he is bluffing because he has invaded before and he has to pray just -- surprised us before. what we can say if he has been looking at the unity and he's been looking out the possibility of severe sanctions. he's been looking at the additional reinforcements that the united united statess is our descending into eastern europe.
he didn't expect this so that's the bluff that he is worried about. >> thank you mr. chairman and i yield back treated like representative gallego is on and senator cardin will take the chair and closeout after representatives questions. >> am i next's? >> you are not next, you are now. stand oh i am now thank you mr. chairman. thank you for joining us today. i am concerned by russia's behavior on ukrainian border. i saw first-hand as i said
earlier we went to ukraine as part of my chairmanship on the armed services committee. it threatens the sovereignty of ukraine and its people. we cannot forget most importantly russia itself offeredo its own game. we must choose deterrence and cordage with allies and partners. this question is for dr. hill. thank you for your testimony or long-standing courage to speak truth to power. i appreciate the detail in which you allowed in your written testimony a. i want to ask you to describe the flipside. what you see is russia's greatest vulnerabilities and owhere in with nord stream ii s an example how do you think we can do a better job of explaining weaknesses with our allies and our partner's?
>> thank you very much representative gallego. the biggest vulnerabilities are with time with russia so this is one of the reasons why putin is acting now. when you havewe a presidential election and you had a question before from congressman cohen about who putin's popularity and whether this really matters and in fact it does so vulnerability is in the legitimacy of the system because putin in 2020 basically pushed through this amendment to extend his presidential term and there were about the validity from the russian constitutional perspective and all eyes are in him and his inner circle as to whether they can carry out the smooth transition into the next phase of his presidency or if he in fact has a successor want to put in place and we saw it happen in kazakhstan and we have
seen what looks like protest in response to socioeconomic problems there. also a power struggle which often happens when you change over. i think putin are a little bit worried about their version of 2024 and what might happen and also you mentioned energy. time is on russia's side right now for energy v because russia has very effectively continued to dominate the gas sector in a number of european countries including germany and most recently hungary. .. influence and that's why we've all been concerned about stream two and over time russia knows that its dominance and the european energy sector will change. the europeans haven't done a
great job of gas >> therese will be most much les on think of the energy sector" pressures of the european energy companies and the government against the sanctions. so that is long-term the more that we can put in the diversification from your granite success of u.s. administrations, the more that we can also sick true to our own democracy in our own freestyle elections and the russians unfortunately, counterpoint to the weaknesses an excuse for their domestic politics but this is for putin and his reelection of pushing forward. in the russian opposition in jail because putin is finding the opposes andel just like
alexandra - and putin is worried about the russian and on their own feelings about how this might play out their own and this could be distraction from the pandemic in russia has often been so very well covid-19 andy like many other countries, they're not really candlelit they've actually had a backlash to their own propaganda against vaccinations. the vaccine effective is not been as effective for the vaccines being produced here and in europe. propaganda the russians it is convective like them and very little capitol a in russia and o there's all kinds of things that the climate change is also problems in russia's looking at as well that is why putin is ranexa now putting the ball and abilities we can press on with the payment against russian we should want to see a betterow relationship with russia on think there's also
vulnerabilities in the general hodges that he talked with the russian military as well is a big show of it to the weapons and arsenal because russia feels veryst vulnerable and i think a lot of this posturing is russia is of course strong when you look at it from the point of d view of the ukrainian but when you look at the full rate of nato, russia is still disadvantage on the conventional front and so i think that is part of an element of this as well. >> if you talk a little bit about this but i also want to ask you what you described is this the russian way of war and the techniques exerted wind the campaigns explaining this disinformation how would you assess the response russian activities and could take an operating sensually and fighting the great zone.
>> thank you port first of all, the balloon to vote in the vulnerabilities i would like to what was said that two things that they the real vulnerable vulnerabilities in the may help to market a little bit that they do not have allies cleared 29 allies plus real capability will focus for this is the main phone ability that we should be's going to isolate them to make sure that the formation even though they have done a lot to modernize, this still is about any percent in early which means that you have a wide range of capabilities we get caught have in any of these practical groups of italian from the division armory a different kind of capability, should not be
overwhelmed by that in terms of russian way more, we continue to be surprise, this is a collectively, not just theho united states we continue to be surprised on with you because we just can imagine it in the year 2022, that european leader do the things they do, murder and the targeted assassination it and the use of cyber not only to interfere with our elections and to lose the trust in our institution but also to ruin people's lives in the financial institutions and c so on. so this is nonsense, doesn't mean that we have to be in the same frame of mind as far at least recognize date are all of the time of this disinformation and losing the weapons and everything in between and then we can with the current assets and dominate them.
>> mr. chairman doing heirloom time for one more question. >> yes you do the make it brief because we have more members who want to speak. >> thank you and i would ask you about your. , i was there recently and i waa impressed by the military but more to make a deterrent and is there something that you have takeaways that make them more resilient and treat them in the minds of russia. >> thank you congressman, and yes in general hodges and i heard lewinsky answer the question and he said that he wanted to increase the size of his military and he to be able to have a large and he wasn't doable their pay and for both her to do both of those functions, both task, he needs money and financial support and
he has brought the intent and the determination in the military, you saw it as well very glad that you were there last month you saw is what they are determined, they are overmatched ukrainians are less than russians and present landscape wants to begin to address that by hiring pretty were soldiers is the one just today after we saw him, he without a degree to increase the size of the army and so that's what he is intending to do. >> thank you. >> thank you, very briefly, you're being very modest, hunter visit he was so effective in expressing support for the people of ukraine remember the russian on russian television
announced they should be kidnapped and brought too moscow for trial, what a compliment a backhanded compliment. >> thank you. >> enjoying his distinguished list of u.s. congressmen and senators. [laughter] and senator. >> thank you, ambassador taylor, in your opening comments you were talking about how you thought ] the threat of an imminent invasion maybe is reduced there's an interest in negotiation. i'm trying to understand why on earth we would accept any well with data printed and predicate threatened and talkative posture they safely behave agree to something typically, what is a rational basis for us getting in to kind of the hostage like negotiations discussion with them, just does not seem like a good discussion.
>> you are absolutely right, while russia has all of his troops, on the border, it is a threat tapering and is the holding a gun you printed the hostage while the negotiate on these other issues and so in order to have any kind of legitimate conversation, productive conversation, they have to send their troops and forces back to the barracks and back to the home base and so that is number one and number two, if the threat of their nation has gone down and think probably has some degree, we see a lot of or less of imminent rhetoric's that if you don't answer right away, we are going to use multi- technical means to get you to answer that is one of the not talking about first
welcome their sink but we never intended to invade, which we of course don't believe but that is what they would have us believe. but they also now say they are willing to have negotiations and again, as long as the gun goes down to mes printed, we have ths negotiation there are at least two areas that would make sense to negotiate from our standpoint in native standpoint and theyhea are military exercises, and if we had visibility and to their exercise, they say that the troops on the border of the are therefore exercises that if we didn't have some notice that exercise, that would be more credible but it's incredible that this point but that is an area where we could benefit and that is if they were to give us notice of their exercises, and invite our people to observe
them, in return for nato would tell them we're going to have exercises and invite russian officers to observe our exercises and that baby and increases stability and security for both sides the second areas on intermediate arrangements and weapons which again those conversations already started we would be happy to have the conversation a closer areas and again if the gun goes down from the ukrainian side.'d >> thank you and lt. gen. ben hodges, i actually agree with the decision to deploy some of our executive order to poland and germany and you only that increased to foster his lies in the current conditions. >> i do for a couple of one, human it illustrates a real resolve we take our highest
horses and send them over to europe for a certain amount of time, then demonstrate that we are serious about this consent to breezy and also i think it brings along the realities who will follow the american he samples that is importing them and of course, you want to wait until a crisis and then describe the need to have worked troops over there soex i think this isa move by the department is much closer and we can be sure there is a fight that we will not have uncontested passages and fly in their clinic is cyber were kinetic that i was really happy to see this. >> i agree and think it is also that we have the discussion with the investors from the baltic states the diplomatic it representative from poland on the call earlier today and i
think it's also important to reaffirm our commitment tornadoes allies. ms. hill, when think that i am curious about with president kaminski's, kind of toning down the rhetoric coming not helping, on the one hand i can understand that because he's literally ground zero as a hostage but on the other hand, i think that some of this is necessary to a company market people in the global community about the real threat and we thread the needle not make it harder for the president zelensky to do his job and also keep her foot on the accelerator. >> all i think they can speak to this because we put that question in directly to him two of them them met with him just a couple of days ago and i thinkan that the administration and others and try to explain this but as youti said, the public is
probably scratching their heads and wondering what is going on where we sing the united states and the british were saying the same and they're saying no need to panic because something is happening in part, obviously is ait concern about how can people noactually already passing ukrae into the countries because they've already seen what happens when russia invades there been many people displaced and tens of thousands of people have left the region for ukraine itself in some into russia so ukraine already has refugees. and the point is of course the economy and in fact when we think about what putin might have ready gotten out of this, might be ruining it ukraine's chances of turning around and on the verge of a ready getting
this economic situation stabilized more involved been worried about this for a period of timee and finding international funds and ready to get investments and really looked as if getting it back together economically. and just at that moment it starts to appear, you saw looming forces on the border and i think that is also notr coincidental, they're also thinking they might be more successful than they have been previously. in the infighting within ukraine in the business people and kind of in and around the farmer presidents ukraine but also looking more promising international investment so i think that president volodymyr zelensky is mindful of the currency and possibly the economy and perhaps not just putting things on pause out entirely that could be for the
russians and, something else happens there scaring everyone away from investing in ukraine. as a basketcase not working and not worth the investment that ukraine won't succeed so there's not a lot of confidence and thread the needle on that when and how can we can reassure thec market ukraine is a long-term good investment and at a the sae time the train toward everybody the risk of imminent invasion from russia and thank you address this directly with the president volodymyr zelensky correct. >> we did, we asked president volodymyr zelensky, about this apparent difference in perceptions. he is very clear and he understands very well with the forces are any gets the same almost the same breaking from the intelligence as president of
biden does and president volodymyr zelensky said he was very happy with his abiding he said there was an area of improvement message on consistency between the two governments but is very happy with the late that as doctor hilton said, he wants to president volodymyr zelensky want to present a firm posture and affirmed face and stanzas he faces down president putin and he and president biden and president volodymyr zelensky have held firm, they not been or intimidated and they been together on this and president volodymyr zelensky demonstrates call and determination, is very pleased with the results of all of the nato allies were
providing english weapons and issues in their is important role to be played in demonstrate and concerns in order to get the other allies to provide weapons and that is succeeding particular last week. so president volodymyr zelensky wants to project call, concern, he has his military very focused on is no doubt they want to enlarge them and grow that military is indicated so that is his direction. >> thank you. >> 's been a very merry productive hearing and produce a to give get participation from the meeting and speaks to the quality of our witnesses and continuity testimony response to the questions.
lt. gen. ben hodges i want to reinforce the unity among our partners and you mentioned it and the fact that president biden fingertips over as part of nato effort to it clear that the unity and nato rejection of the security alliance, and am concerned that he pointed out, to the presence in moscow, in the image that portrayed more importantly, the conductivity period of time, the questions of his long-term commitment to the nato alliance and so i am concerned about that issue it appears today that with no independent noticeable impact on nato's results i think that in the state, it appears we have a different view on this, please let me know but i do want to give you my own observations, germany has a lot of different interesting we recognize that that is been an area of
disagreement with germany, from the conversation taken places as recently as this week, it appears to be solid commitment by germany to nato's mission as well as unity on additional sanctions against russia, for ekfurther encouragement. i'm pleased to see the unity that we have and i think that message of has not been lost on mr. putin. i think the comment you made doctor hill, but the damage it done already to ukraine is really think that the district, your country control the whole country and you're being threatened by an enemy try to bring them through government that very much affect confidence of investment in your country but to a certain degree the
sanctions imposed against mr. putin and russia likewise affects russia's liability and to further encourage, there will be much more sanctions is mellow including the making issues we have talked about. what really got mr. putin's attention was personal attention and memory prepared for the valleys, to spend the use of the individual sections with russia, this, i know right now, a major effort is avoid further encouragement the russia already has been subject to sanctions there already subject to be 72 additional scientists predict already done i think that needs to be under consideration are immediate when is to try to eliminate the immediate threats so we recognize allhe of that.
i think this testimony is been a friendly helpful i think if 11:00 p.m. final comments, many of my colleagues, i see representativeus falseness,. >> i agree with you so much and again can you imagine that mr. putin is brought republicans and democrats together in such a warm wave in another country affected the need to be appreciated west turkey, the russian occupation forces in georgia besides alexi, great alex pretty which has significant influence in central asia is being affected we appreciate so much 70 year alliance with nato in turkey and thank you. >> if you look at those on the list of russia's interest to make sure that were not invited to the country, you'll find
equal number of democrats and republicans so we are together and that effort. >> i just want to say one last thing i assume that mr. putin make watches or hear about it and i want to make a direct appeal to mr. putin, please pour yourself a vodka get - and have some caviar enjoy the winter reliving's and get your thrills like vicariously watching your athletes perform and hopefully they will win gold medals and i'm sure they will they are gay-rights athletes and russia great athletes when people until. >> is a nice final comment and it gen. ben hodges, said there eoanything further to my think u and i just want to say that we gotta get the investors to vote and it makes it so difficult in our country to carry out our foreign policy when we do not have our diplomats imposed and
in a single process but we are paying a price for now but not having all of our posts filled think you for your support. >> you're absolutely right, i agree there's a lot of things you by the biden administration was not that fast and naming the ambassadors and some key positions and there has been individual senators republican assenators good old just about every nomination which means they have to go through a lengthy process and confirmation which is totally uncalled for but we recognize that we raise that issue many times we do thank you so a national security concern to get confirmed ambassadors and i have to respond because the only senator here. any further comments with doctr hill our investor taylor and thank you all very much we appreciate your n participation
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