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tv   British Polish Ambassadors Discuss Russia- Ukraine War  CSPAN  May 20, 2022 9:37am-10:53am EDT

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[inaudible conversations] (applause) >> good morning everybody and welcome to true con 2022, local action, global impacts. we're delighted to have you. i am really thrilled to be here with all of you today in this room, in in beautiful space and with all of you joining us virtually from across the country and around the world. we are really delighted to have you.
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as always, it's an honor to bring together the truman community those old and new faces as well as friends of truman to show gratitude for the extraordinary year we've had so far and to delve into crucial issues of national security. years ago i asked my son to bring in the mail one day, as he came into the dining room table with an arm full magazines, the atlantic and so on, and one filled with an ominous cover after another, the journalists here know, the end of the century, the climate crisis and war, and i heard him say to his sister, i really hope mom's magazines are fiction. and we know in all of these things, things are far too real. the former president of the then center for national policy, the late, great secretary madeline albright was
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very fond of saying, i'm an optimist who worries a lot. and so, for as much as we all do worry and worry we should, i'm also filled with optimism because i have the great honor of leading a community of smart and creative people who were bringing fresh thinking to our greatest challenges and with it, solutions. and that's why we're here today. and so, i want to start by thanking those who made this possible for us to be here, our sponsors, that thanks to amazon web services, meta, google, bae systems, beacon global strategies, blue star strategies and online, thank you for your support. >> (applause) >> your r without your support it would not be possible. your support of truman, and
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media partner, fox, breaking news and delving into what's behind the headlines, we are looking forward to the live podcast later today. and extend a warm welcome to our special guests, ukrainian members of parliament here with us today here in washington to share if i rememberhand their experience of war and we thank you for being here with us and for your courage. thank you. [applause]. here at truman we envision an inclusive foreign policy, one that makes american lives better because it advances democracy, human rights, prosperity, and security at home and abroad. and like all of you, for the last three months, we've watched in horror as russian forces stormed ukraine, causing utter destruction and terror,
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leaves homes and demolished, families torn apart and clinging for safety. and yet amid these atrocities, we've seen this toward the people of ukraine as we've marvelled at their resistance and strength. communities here and across the world have rally together to raise awareness, supply vital aid and welcome families in their homes. president putin may have thought the divisions within america could distract us from the brutality of his war, but it's been a rallying cry for democracies and renewal of alliances. they've captivated american's attention not just here in d.c., but across the countries and in communities like san diego, dallas, chicago, as people open their doors and hearts to the people of ukraine. you know, at truman we know better than most that national security conversations are also domestic policy ones. that what happens overseas has
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a direct impact on what happens here at home. and that the most effective way to find solutions to global issues is to empower our local and state level leaders. it's why members of the truman national security project who reside in states all across the country have been able to make such significant impact in the world. consider last year when their efforts led to the evacuation of over a thousand vulnerable afghans and we had the folks that did that work together with us today. and we continue to support much needed resettlement efforts for afghan refugees. today, you'll hear three lightning talks from our members about their work, that will provide you with just a taste of their incredible achievements. it's also why we were thrilled to launch our formidable city and state diplomacy task force in february. but why city and state diplomacy? i'll tell you. america is facing increasingly
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aggressive global competitors and a host of trans national challenges from climate change to covid. and these complex threats don't stop at national borders and the solutions to the challenges required shared innovation and collective focus and action. the biden-harris administration deserves credit for rebuilding trust and working with allies and partners to confront the threats, but there remains another largely untapped resource in the country. city and state governments are investing in diplomacy, engained engaged globally and these relationships are often grounded in economic interest in international trade to investment and tourism, but they're also increasingly focused on advocacy and practical steps to address climate change, migration, gender equity, democratic
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resilience and the response and recover from the pandemic. and with more mechanisms for communication and collaboration, between federal, state, and city governments at all levels of government. together we can have a more robust and inclusive policy. it's time to think about diplomacy like we think about weapons systems, we need to build them in all 50 states. you hear a lot about foreign policies starting at home and it does. but to truly imbue that with meaning, we must invest. connecting city and state diplomacy with u.s. foreign policy objectives is that investment. it's a massive opportunity and increasingly an urgent imperative. city and state governments in other parts of the world, they're growing their international engagement, including through subnational networks and within the u.n. systems, in many respects,
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we're behind. most cities and states in the u.s. aren't keeping pace and they lack the resources and knowledge to support a dedicated international diplomacy team and strategy. we need a lot of folks to work on this to close the gap and the state department in particular needs much more to understand and support this effort. and truman has some recommendations just how to get them to start that effort. we've launched a powerhouse task force on this, includes michigan secretary of state jocelyn benson, atlanta mayor, who i see here, mr. andre dick nls. dickens, welcome back. the deputy mayor of los angeles and representative ted lieu and senator chris murphy. we're delighted so many are here today. our reports on the issue provides clear and actionable recommendations and there are qr codes around the space today
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on your tables and on our website that provide a link to our executive summary. i want to thank the task force and intrepid visiting fellow for leading this effort. you'll hear more about all of this later today. but first, our conversation will start in europe with a discussion on what russia's war in ukraine means for the future of the world order. i'd like to thank and welcome the united kingdom's ambassador, and poland's ambassador, professor of international politics at tuft the university dr. dan crestner and founder at fox news julia yossi and we look forward to hearing from the senior foreign writer who will moderate. we would be remiss not to discuss national technology and with that some of the best mind
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to talk about cyber threats and how to work together to address the challenges. and joining us, the deputy assistant secretary for defense. and stephanie hill, rotary and emissions systems, and a director from the white house. of course, senator angus king. and the security correspondent will also lead this important conversation. later this afternoon, u.s. ambassador to the united nations, the wonderful linda thomas greenfield will be presented with truman's award for exceptional courage in public leadership. if you don't know her, if you haven't met her, you're really in for a treat. thank you, madam ambassador for bringing the diplomacy to the world. i don't need to tell this room what's at stakes, channels lie
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ahead for the democracy, whether it the climate crisis, rising nuclear tensions, china, a complex disinformation environment where the intense political polarization here at home. you get it. and you appreciate the complexity of our moment calls upon us to offer fresh thinking and new perspectives. washington talks diversity, but truman walks diversity. we're the nation's most diverse national security membership organization so when we bring our talent to the tables to solve today's tough challenges, we do so through a range of lenses of experience and the end result is dynamic, relevant and real. truman has long been at the center of long driving conversations. here we are. others may share our ideals, but it's how truman drives that change that makes us unique. there's a lot of talk in washington about how to get outside of the beltway and
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truman has long had that answer. turns out, you just keep driving. you drive west, and you drive north, and you drive south, which is where the majority of truman's membership is. no other national security organization can make that claim. when it comes to solving those tough problems with fresh thinking, that's the difference, folks, and indeed, it the truman difference and only truman has that agile capability to solve complex problems facing our nation in these new ways. you know, today we're dedicating this conference to secretary albright because of her indellble mark on our world, her ceaseless dedication and commitment to truman, and to her optimism. with worry, yes, but also the dogged adherence to the notion that we can realize a brighter future together. so, please, go to truman
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center.org, support our great work, buckle up and join me in thanking our tremendous staff and members for a great conference ahead. welcome. [applause] ♪♪ >> please welcome senior correspondent writer at fox media, jonathan dwyer. [applause] #
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(inaudible) >> he can teach us a few tricks. daniel dressner, professional of international relations at
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tufts, one of the foremost experts on sanctions before we were talking about sanctions all the time and writes a terrific column for the post. and julia yossi, a lot of us are turning to russia now. julia has been thinking of russia more than 15 years and she's a founder and writer. and it's with great respect i say i'm going to interrupt you guys, i might cajole, nag, turn the conversation around only with the best intentions of staying on message. what are we going to cover today? there's a lot. we're going to start talking about the transatlantic partnership, part of that's n.a.t.o., part of that is u.s., and europe and we're going to touch on sanctions how they're changing our world economically and maybe the hardest part the
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spillover, unintended consequences to keeps us up at night. i want to set a little context going beyond this immediate crisis. we can all agree that putin's assault on ukraine is criminal. the effects of heinous. there's real human effects, but today we're speaking about the implications for the world order and as jenna just mentioned we're having this conversation as the climate crisis is going to make our world unlivable. there's unprecedented heatwaves in south asia, droughts, wildfires globally, famine conditions that are going to be worse in this bread basket. but europe weaning off the russian gas is going back to drilling, going back to dirty coal. the u.s. is getting back into the dirty fossil fuels in a way that we need to use this international cooperation, this moment, this unity that's
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coming out of ukraine to also say, hey, there's a climate crisis happening, it's not enough to stop putin's aggression. so as we kind of fall into these bad consumption habits. i just want to help us think further down the road today and kind of push that conversation, because there is a war happening. everyone here wants to talk about ukraine, but we're also talking about what this means for the globe and the unintended consequences. so with that, madam ambassador, we're going to let each ambassador give an opening remark, so, madam ambassador, please. >> well, thank you so much, everybody. thanks today. i know you want to have a good debate, so i'll be brief. i'm going echo the u.n. secretary-general, the world is running hot, it's running hot figuratively because of
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ukraine and hot and it's reasonable to think there will need to be a fuel transition so what most countries in the west are engaged in at the moment is working out what that fuel transition is, but ultimately, we ought to be able to turn this to advantage. the other thing i would like to say about europe, there's a lot of angst in the u.n. that the crisis around the world have been forgotten because of ukraine and that's perfectly understandable. i do personally believe that war in europe has a quality all of its own given history and two world wars. but also, that what russia has done, in an area of the world that has-- is over lawyered up, if you like on security agreements, if it can happen in that environment, it can happen anywhere and that's why i think it's very worthy that we put a
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lot of energy into solving this. >> thank you. mr. ambassador, would you like to make some opening comments? >> thank you so much for having me. also, a few sleepless weeks, only had three coffees this morning, so, forgive me if i'm not lucid enough for your taste. ladies and gentlemen, a few days ago, a deputy of the russian duma proposed to reinstate the flag of the new russia federation and i have to confess admittedly, i had mixed feelings upon reading this report because on the one hand, i said to myself, well, finally all masks off. we now no for sure we're dealing with fuhrer and another thought came to my mind, hammer and sickle because that banner, as you perfectly know is adored with hammer and sickle.
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these two symbols have been symbols of destruction at least to us central europeans. so at first glance, i thought, how fitting to have that decoration on paper and in plain view. on the other hand, how disturbing and how terrifying to see russian politicians coming up with this kind of proposals. so hammer and sickle, as symbols of destruction, the same destruction we can see now and find in the ukraine. russian troops targeting civilians, destroying ukrainian infrastructure indescriminately. destroying ukrainian crops and culture, and legacy, and trying to erase the ukrainian identity. and again when i heard that report about the soviet flag, i
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said to myself, well, this is what the soviets were doing for decades in europe and beyond. we saw those unthinkable atrocities already in afghanistan, in the '80 the, then in chechnya and most recently in syria. now, we can see those crimes also in ukraine. i'm lucky to have lived on the globe -- i was born under communism, i'm not going to tell you how many years ago, very many. then i had the opportunity to get a taste of capitalism and democracy. and so, i know something about soviet mentality and i can detect pretty easily the vestiges of soviet mentality in contemporary russia. when russian troops kill, loot, and rape, i'm appalled, as
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anybody else, but i'm not surprised. i'm not surprised. the question is, on the final note, when we are talking about hammer sickle, the western europe, how significant that is for the western society. not for us western europeans, it's unacceptable and abhorrent to think about using this symbol as a normal country, in this case russia. it's unacceptable for us. it's as unacceptable as the nazi swastika, so that particular remark, that proposal didn't cause much controversy in the west. are we ready to accept hammer and sickle as the new symbols
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of the russian federation? are we ready to accept those horrendous images that we see on a daily basis in ukraine? are we ready and willing to surrender, not to russia, to hammer and sickle? ... there's been a mobilization. nato is really hot. this kind of vehicle that was kind of out of fashion and constantly knocked by president trump is now totally invigorated. invigorated. can you give us a little flavor
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of how this conflict has changed how you are thinking about the international order? >> i mean, i guess the way i would put it is it's worth remembering that even in the run-up to the actual invasion where the biden administration was very forthcoming in terms of talk about intelligence say this is going to happen, this is going to have this way. we see this is a plan, this is the rooms they will use to try to justify. two preferably the british were also roughly saying the same thing but you had the german chancellor, the french president, not completely disagree but disputing somewhat this really was going to happen. in some ways you can tell the order has changed based on the first week when they said no, there's enough of this, we were wrong and we now need increase our defense. i think the sort of core purpose of nato, talk about bring the
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hammer and the cycle, one of the core purposes of nato and its founding was to contain russia and to prevent russia from threatening europe. guess what, the purpose has suddenly been revived and no one is going to dispute the idea that is necessary. indeed this is where the russian rhetoric in the doom of really honestly makes very little sense to me before policy perspective because they keep talking about threatening finland for threatening the baltics are threatening moldova. and to be blunt, what army at this point? the threats similar more hollow than they used to. one of the paradox of nato right now is it's never been stronger and weirdly russia has never been weaker because of the war in ukraine, they might be able to wrestle territory but it's the losses that are mounting in terms of what they're being able to do is ever increasing. the question is going to be how
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russian reconstitutes itself. the other issue in terms of global order that would be fascinating point forward is i'm going to push back on something you said at the outset, which is the world is unified against -- >> definitely want to get into this. >> i don't think the world is unified. it's not that countries like china are absolute, we sorely support this, but it would be more accurate to say the west writ large is unified, and the global south this were looking to see if things are going to break. >> this is the exact question because i read this fascinating article by a senior south african diplomat who said we are not neutral. we are not aligned. a real call back to a different era. i'm curious juliet juliae view from russia? you have been reporting there. you have friends and family there. you also wrote in puck this is europe's 9/11 moment to what dan
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is saying it has united europe, it has united the west of what is the view from the inside of russia on this renewed transatlantic cooperation? >> do you mean more at official levels or -- >> from the people we don't get to hear from as much. >> i think it's really hard to say. i was speaking to a relative yesterday who lives in the crimea by the way, and this relative was saying that everybody around them supports the war, that people, this relative feels that they were zomba fight and the propaganda machine has been very effective. and like other friends and family who are still there a lot have fled the first weeks of the war. like others this model to was very scared to speak openly, to speak to me via messenger because as this relative reminded me people even before
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this war were getting sent to jail for reposting somebody else's post on facebook, for liking somebody else's post on facebook. so this climate of fear and kind of foaming at the mouth nationalism makes a it reallyd for those who disagree to speak of. what is interesting as i spoke to a prominent russian military analyst last week and he was saying this is great because everyone who supports the war has left and those who are left are too scared to same thing. that's great for us. it does seem like there is a lot of support for the war. i think even among the elites felt at first like this is
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horrible, we can't leave our country is doing this. but now there's a sense of the west is ganging up on us. why are we getting sanctioned at putin made this decision? these are like more neutral people. vendors i think a lot of people in russia were asking the question okay, why didn't the u.s. get all these sanctions when they invaded iraq in 2003? why do we get slammed with sanctions for doing this? it's not really fair. there's a lot of bitterness, hurt feelings, and like a rally around the flag of fact that is a think in part motivated by propaganda, by fear and just when you country is attacked people rallied around the flag and the president, unfortunately. >> i really want to make this a composition of what i'd want to be talking to one another but madam ambassador i would ask you, we all probably think of brexit when we think of the uk
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and united kingdom moving away from europe, but now the united kingdom is can a movie in lockstep with europe. how do you see that change and what's it going to look like going forward? >> i don't think it's a change. i think was always what we envisioned. it is been very good from the transatlantic perspective that the u.s., the uk and eu say of the first, the third and the fifth largest economies in the world have been able to sit down and all face support to ukraine, both military and economic. that was always how we had envisioned it working, so that's good. and i think brexit, it's now a different situation. it's a different situation because of what's happened in ukraine. i am very interested in what dan was saying about what other countries think.
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i think in the past few years, maybe ten years there's been a move away from collective security much more towards beggar my neighbor you security picky set in space in c with the turkish policy, russian policy, everyone else's policy. you see it in libya. you have many more new actors and new powers come into the equation. i do generally believe that ten years ago it would have been unthinkable to have invaded your neighbor in the weather russia has invaded ukraine, and countries without that. they don't think that anymore. for all sorts recent do with the west might have bloody nose to they are not sure russians going to lose and they want to be on the winning side to being preoccupied with other things. i think it is different from iraq, one for you could say i would say that. but i say it because iraq was an
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international problem that there were international mechanisms the try to deal with, both cry me the invasion of ukraine the russians could've caught about legitimate grievances, any legitimate grievances. they could've used all those mechanisms that event and placed in europe since the helsinki final act in 1975. so i would just say i do think it's different. >> i also want to ask you to put a a finer point on what i think everyone has been saying, which is there's definitely been a conversation among the west, among native countries, among europe, pretty unified against russia. what are we we in a bubble? are we having conversation amongst ourselves and not paying attention to india, south africa, even israel has been a little bit of a fence sitter on this war. >> i would like to add just a
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brief remark to what dan said about the apparently not so unified world and is covered dish with russian and what julia said about the effectiveness of russian propaganda. i leave and i felt countless conversation here in america with my american interlocutors in with my colleagues about how efficient the russian protagonists are today, persuading the world that they are right, that they are fighting for a noble cause. and many of my friends are saying it's absurd, it's so weird they're using always the same talks trying to convince us that are right and they are carrying out military operation. that propaganda is not aimed at western europe. it is aimed at the russian society. it is purely internal. and also it's an effort to convince latin american countries, african countries,
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asia that russia is on the right side of history. it's not for us. so when you hear all those remarks about the disquieting character of the russian propaganda and how absurd it is, it looks like a lunatic when you watch. it's completely insane. but again it's not for us to swallow that -- >> julie has to jump in. she's a pro other. >> i agree with you. i think the stuff being shown on russian tv is deadly for a domestic audience and it especially affected now because in the lead up to the war and then and the first two weeks of the war the russian government killed off everything that was left to russian civil society and russian independent press. the little that was left is gone and anybody who wants any real
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information on the war has to use a vpn, has to jump through all sorts of hoops to find which meeting with people getting real information of the ones who are rich don't leave the propaganda machine and are going looking for it. where as the more passive population is just kind of ambulate absorbing this. i agree with you, ambassador, a lot of this is also especially like this beaches, things on russian today are into latin america, africa, asia. some of it is aimed at the west, at people who would be on the far right and the far left who might be isolationists, who might sympathize with russia because it is anti-american sympathize with russia because they have some anachronistic idea that it is a leftist society, pixel sympathize because they see it as a white christian f no national state -- f f no national.
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it does help drive division in the west and i think it is very much intended to. >> i would just add there are two wars being fought. there's the war on the battlefield in ukraine and that is one where i think would be safe to say ukraine has exceeded all the prewar expectations russia has underperformed almost expectations, and that an important western intelligence played a crucial role in it. the second war is the war over the narratives of what is the meaning of this conflict? and this is where this sort of russian propaganda is a necessary just domestic. did you want to spend the story of hey you want to know what your food prices are going up in africa or latin america? do you want to know what energy is so expensive? i will play why. we just wanted to reabsorb a country that wasn't all that independent and the west has opposed this. >> and because nato was
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threatening us. >> but the point is we seen this before and this connects to the sanctions issue. one of the proms when you impose economic sanctions is a very often the targeted active is really good at shifting the narrative in terms of blame of who's who is to blame for the sanctions. go back all the way to like the iraq sanctions spit the cubans very good at it. >> the cubans, saddam hussein was good at it. there was a disastrous interview where it's worth a million iraqis children dying. she admitted that was not the right thing to say. in some way, because of the war they are leading to the spillover effects that are causing real problems for day-to-day lives if you're living in cairo or johannesburg. so the question becomes what is the narrative the west can put out to say these are problems, and by the way, this is because
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russia invaded ukraine cepi because ukraine existed. because ukraine was a democracy that put the light of the notion that you need to have an autocracy in russia for anything to function. what i am worried about a little bit is one of you in the west seems obvious when you want to support ukraine, it is not manifestly obvious to large swaths of the population, and that is a war that i think can be one but i'm not sure it will be one. >> i also think this is going to be even more effective the longer the war drags out, and it looks like it's going to go on for months, not years, and as attention drifts, you know, it's already drifted what people are not as glued to their phones,, who don't have like a pre-existing natural interest in this, professional interest in this area but food prices are going to say hi. energy prices are going to stay high. and i worry that putin's
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strategy of splitting the west, you know, like italy being can we have some carveouts for us for the sanctions? are people in the u.s. in the midterm saying like that's great for ukraine over can't find it on a map and i am paying six dollars a gallon at the pump and it's really not worth it. i don't care about ukraine. and i think the longer this goes on the more this narrative matters, and the more it is incumbent on leaders, political leaders in the west to keep explaining to their constituents why this matters, why the pain at the pump come for example, at the supermarket is worth it. >> so we have i think today, it is $40 billion of u.s. aid to ukraine, 24 being dollars of that more or less the security assistance -- $24 billion. that's a lot of weapons, javelin
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missiles, that is a lot of souders and such, but what about the food aid? is the west going to step up and do a similar package for countries in the global south that are suffering because of energy prices, because of food prices? i i want to bring in our ambassadors. is are going to be a mass mobilization to think beyond the cold hard security considerations of ukraine but to think about we are losing, the world is losing a whole lot of support or a conflict as a result of all these undetected knock on effect? >> i think that is what dan was saying. it's become a problem. this is a problem wholly created by putin and russia, and yet here we all are trying to do with it. because we haven't come i i completely agree with you, we have been successful in explaining to all these countries there's only one reason, that's because russia has invaded ukraine and blocked
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the black sea. that said, you are quite right about the humanitarian reasons to help, this is being looked at right now, fundamentally there are two ways you can get the green out. you can take it through -- the rented to problems when you hit western europe or you can take it up to the black sea which runs into problems. but one way or the other we ought to be able to solve those two things. i'm not an expert in commodity prices but i don't think it's as easy as saying we can unleash. that is also being looked at and then another piece of work international is going ahead and make sure we don't taste the situation can come so what extent can you stockpile for emergencies certain types of commodities? yes, all the work is being done but it would want to describe to it julie and dan were saying
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about we are not good as explaining why all this works. >> just want to bring in mr. ambassador and then we will bring it back. >> we are definitely on the verge of a major global food crisis. working hard to facilitate green for the world. but i will tell you what is best in my view, the best method would be to sort it out. my extent is the americans are planning on sending anti-ship missile, long range at the ship miles to ukraine exactly try to break that blockade on the black sea. so as i've said on multiple occasions in various interviews here the military solution to this conflict is the best one. secondly, just picking up on what daniel said about blame game. my understanding is that maybe we are to ethical in comparison
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to what the russians are doing. this particular fear in terms of disinformation campaign. do we this inform, i was ready to counter the russian narrative using tools which are not maybe so legitimate and so acceptable in the west? that of us also for example, the cyber warfare. couldn't we paralyze moscow for 72 hours? we won't do it. >> on the show we need to go to the dark arts on this one, in the sense -- i understand your question but i guess it would be two things i would say. the first is this is a battle over narrative that it do think the west can win. it's not that -- made a little more optimistic and julia was. i don't think rush is winning this narrative. i think they are bothering to
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try to put it out at a don't think the west has been good in a response. there's an excellent story to tell here why russia, again, also by the way there's a chine element which is part of the reason food prices have gone so is china decided they were not going to export any fertilizer which is a bit of a thing. there's two sides to this. the first is the blame game but the second part of this and this is where i think the west should be discussed at a question of district what of solutions? what can we do to ameliorate the problem? what i do fear is the replayable we saw during the pandemic where the west developed these miraculous mrna vaccines, really effective against covid-19. russia did develop a vaccine was recently effective against covid and they had the brilliance nothing like 20,000 samples of
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the vaccine to various capitals in the global south. it was a pittance in terms of tackling the pandemic but didn't help in the sketches? absolutely. that's great to forms on the part and that's like the needs to be a lesson learned from that i just. >> it helped that no russians wanted to take their own countries vaccine because russians are like we know kind of vaccine our government is going to make. i do think ukraine, i mean, it helps that zelensky who is a former actor, entertainer, but he has like in this way he's kind of like trump in that is good at messaging, and marketing. he's a tv star so he has been i think he has helped the ukrainians shape this narrative and lead the way and not as do it for them. i wanted to pick up on what ambassador pierce was saying. just yesterday your old
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colleague in the u.n. was saying why is there a food crisis? because ukraine isn't letting out its it's a grain, whichs incredibly rich, right? right in some ways it reminds me of what happened in 2015 when russia and into syria, and it weaponized refugee flows, use them to destabilize europe. in some ways is one of the reasons why they got brexit, no offense, but it like led to cracks in europe at a lot of tension, a lot of chaos, a lot of ugliness in eastern europe. >> and they did it again. >> that's right, exactly. russia is really good at being extremely cynical and weaponizing human misery because they don't care, like they don't even come it's not that they don't value ukrainian life or latin american life or african.
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they don't value russian life. they're just throwing bodies into the meat grinder at this point. they don't value their own people. of course they're going to exploit and recognize the suffering of others around the world. >> i think not so nicely but nicely brings us to the crux of our conversation which is the spillover effects, unintended consequences we're talking about immigration, migration flows, refugees. kerry is your perspective, mr. ambassador, because as you alluded to an incredible generosity of your country in welcoming ukrainian refugees, and i think this questions about why hasn't that happen to the same extent with middle east refugees of afghan refugees and other scenarios? >> the circumstances are completely different. also the legal background. i would like to go into detail but would you talk about -- one
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of the main reasons why there was refugees all economic migrants who are treated differently because this is the main difference, main gap between these groups of people. we have absorbed which have been quite a remarkable achievement and also huge burden for society both socially and politically, admittedly where doing remarkably well. by the way it's a perfect example of cooperation between state authorities and ngos and hundreds of thousands of volunteers. a few weeks ago the british parliament passed a law which essentially facilitates the integration of ukrainian refugees into the polish society come into the polish labor market. for example, they can apply for
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polish id which doesn't make them automatically polish citizens. they can set up their own businesses. they can send their children to polish schools. they are, for political come health insurance. it is immense effort on the part of the polish society to absorb those refugees, and finally we had for tower ground for absorption because before the war we had approximately 1.5 million ukrainians living and working polen, economic migrants mostly. no incidents whatsoever, there were isolated cases, unlike in other european countries which have been coping arduously with the migration crisis. it's very interesting model i would say to follow other
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european countries how effectively and how smoothly we have been able to absorb those migrants. and on a final note, talking about refugees or migrants of a different faith. after the chechen war in the '90s we admitted more than 60,000 refugees from chechnya. 60,000 people. very few people remember that, but we also made huge effort at the time. >> can't i just issue on the syria question? why was poland not accepting of refugees from syria who are at a certain point fling russian bombs and saint russian tactics that we are now seeing being used against speedy very few of them. we did admit some of those suing her views on a legal and that was principal issue we had to cope with because first of all
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many of those people -- [inaudible] secondly the opponent after polly was not the first country they were entitled to seek asylum in. so speaking of international law we did everything according to some very specific regulations which stipulate how eu countries should treat effigies or migrants. >> i want to jump in with the question for you, madam ambassador, which is your country hosted the cop26 climate conference. climate is front and center. kind of bring a little where i started this conversation, how are you thinking about the unity within europe and addressing the climate crisis? can we use this unity that is developing in nato and other european fora? and or are we backsliding? is there too much drilling in
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coal and messy old fossil fuels that are causing trouble? >> i think that's quite a lot to unpack a period had ukraine not happen that would've been by and large the trajectory of people, countries increasingly meeting lascaux and other commitments -- glasgow there was always need for your to divest itself of its reliance on russian hydrocarbons and did a geopolitical or geostrategic analysis shows this was all vulnerability. and as you know it was a vulnerability particularly for germany but not only germany. if you like there's long been an understanding that was direction of travel. there's no action to that end. various european countries have already started to divest themselves of the reliance on russian hydrocarbons.
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the eu has brought forward measures some countries have asked for delegation because they have acute problems. the uk is that one of them. we have a very, very low rate of russian hydrocarbons. it's about 3%, so we are not caught by this in the same way as colleagues are. and the g7 and other groupings are trying to look at how we can do this in a way that provides temporary relief and assistance to those countries that need a particular helping hand, whether that's money, whether it is release of strategic oil reserves, whether it is liquid lng, uk and spain are taking shipments from the u.s. and sending them by pipeline into europe. because europe,. [inaudible] it takes a very long time for the upper section but if you
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like we're on it. but because it takes a long time and with regret it will be necessary, it will be necessary to rely on fossil fuels longer than we ever expected to do so when we signed, when everyone signed that commitment. but that doesn't mean we are not constantly trying, constantly trying to reduce that dependency and find ways of turning it to our advantage over all. but i think it's one of those curves that goes down before it goes up because of the situation. the other thing i would like to put on the table in the auto context is the government. i do think there are many more ways that some of the gulf countries could be helpful to the world fuel supplies. >> mr. ambassador? >> there's one country in europe which will actually become entirely independent of russian gas, namely polen. we made a bold decision many
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years ago to render our country independent of imports of raw materials. one hand, and so many grasshoppers around us, we've been pretty adamant deliver absolutely necessary for europe wean off, to wean itself off this addiction. i'm not going to be in any other country in europe because i'm trying to be as dramatic as possible, but -- >> you are doing a fantastic job. [laughing] >> nobody has listen. now, by october we are going to come our long-term contract with gazprom expires and the new, the so-called baltic pipeline which would deliver gas from norwegian continental shelf via denmark to the gusher will become operational and potable be independent metal politically but also economically.
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and this is quite an accomplishment. >> dan, julia, will you jump in? >> so congratulations to poland and god knows i think what you'll political reasons this is something that europe wants to do. that said we also to be realistic about this. just because europe doesn't rely on russian energy doesn't mean that russia is in an important provider of global energy markets. this is a global market we're talking and if you try to take russia out of that equation, and some else is going to have to step up. there's a market contrast between what's happening in versus what happened to 2014 and 2015 when the gulf oil producers, the biggest shock two russian 2014 wasn't the sanctions the west impose. it was oil suddenly collapsing in value. one of the interesting questions to ask out there is what is the goal now siding much more so with russia than they did in 2014? this doesn't lead to one of these conficker questions about
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trade-offs in terms of what are you trying to deal with. if you the biden administration is a word that the patching relations with venezuela or trying to patch up relations with the uae in order to get energy in order to produce more energy at least in the short term. the second question which the ambassador referenced, trying to change things for mike fossil fuels or trying to shift global supply chains, these require massive multiyear high risk investments and there was a reason why the private sector was going to do this for the last ten years. even during the height of covid what you had people banging on about how we need to rely less on china, rely less on china. companies like apple and others stoutly rescinds this because of the economics of it. one of the interesting questions reporters to what extent not just states but private sector actors now think we can minute
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this is not going away anytime soon. china keeps having to shut and everything because zero covid policies russia keeps invading its neighbors. at what point is a worth of high risk investments to reorient those supply chains? >> i want to bring in julie and then will hear from you all so here questions will have about 12 minutes of q&a. julia. >> real quick, i don't have to be diplomatic like the ambassador so i will say it. i think germany really messed up. why do they continue building nord stream ii after 2014? russia already invaded ukraine once and he was eight years ago. i think germany made a mistake in turning away from nuclear power after fukushima. in general europe i think missed the boat on this. like that's what it was time to start, there were eight years of runway where europe could've really made bigger strides in
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getting away from come to be on russia of the other thing i wanted to say it's not the west are europe depends on russia for energy. russia depends on europe. it is, getting almost a billion dollars a day at these current prices, getting almost a billion dollars a day for its oil and gas. like, and the people who are buying its oil like india are buying it at a steep discount because nobody else wants to touch it. because of that interconnectedness i think there's also that's a way to hit rush as well. it's not just about heating europe. >> with that, do we have a microphone? who has a question? please make it a long, winding rant that doesn't have a question. no, please make it a very tight question because we're short on time and want to hear from as many from you as possible.
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we have someone in the front here. >> can you hear me? >> yes. >> i'm jessica. my question slightly off on a tangent maybe, i have seen over the past few weeks art galleries and orchestras across the western world and in the u.s. essentially canceling russian musicians anarchists, and i'm really fascinated in the cultural piece of this. is there a culture of work? is it an inevitable? is it appropriate? i i put that to everyone but jut i really noticed recently how culture is really playing out in this war. should russian artists be canceled? i'm fascinated to hear people's comments on that. >> i think it depends. what we saw earlier on where
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people were so freaked out and trying to do anything to show solidarity with ukraine against russia, people make dumb decisions like deciding not to play the music of the composer that it also been persecuted by the government and moscow. that said, when we talk about, for example, athletes, right? i don't agree they are being canceled. russian athletes of for example. they are owned by the russian state. they are trained and spotted by the russian state. we're not like american athletes have to go out and seek private sponsorships to get into the olympics or to whatever, the u.s. open and wimbledon or whatever. these are like wholly owned subsidiaries of the state and they are being used by the state because putin is such a soviet minded person. they are being used by the state to come is basically as
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propaganda and as ways to -- russian power abroad. some of them come out with sleeves on their jerseys, right? i don't think those people are being unfairly punished or unfairly canceled. it really depends and i think it is incumbent on -- or the classical musicians were also like very tight with the state and exist in russia because they just feed at the trough of the kremlin. so i don't think that is unfair. i think it is because of what the country is doing i think it behooves russian artists and russian athletes and russian cultural figures to make it clear where they stand. it is a moral imperative. i think this whining about we are being canceled is frankly. bullshit. your country just invaded its neighbor. it is committing war crimes. why don't you tell us where you
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stand on that and then we can figure out whether we want you to perform or not. >> i was referring from such a long time from using the g word. [laughing] >> you're welcome. >> i couldn't agree more with julia. there are two areas, those people, artist, composers, painters and directors who are blatantly supporting the fall, and on the other side -- who is long dead if i'm not mistaken. on the contrary, we should now -- to understand contemporary russia better. so canceling russian culture is absurd if we look at the russian culture from this perspective. poland has been long branded as you know and particularly and western europe which is --
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[inaudible] i love the russian literature. i love the russian ballet. i understand rush and i don't speak that but we are a slavic nation so the cultural interconnection is pretty robust. robust. but again when we talk about all those athletes anarchists who supported the war in ukraine, it's absolutely unquestionable they should be treated just like that. >> where our questions? let's take three of them. you will gather them together. i can't see you guys over here. we will do this side next. >> thank you. i am christie. i work, my day job is in the development and humanitarian response space, which is the nature of my question. when we talk about the second order and packs that coming out of this crisis, one of the issues i just wanted to raise particularly for our ambassadors
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is the impact, both your countries and many countries in western and central europe are absorbing an extraordinary number of refugees. and that is having a second order and back as is provided for in the eu legal structure on your oda commitments in how your current budget years and your future budget years will be reflected in other of the on the climate space commitments to for assistance and development and community in response and other places. that's understandable but speedy can we get to the question? >> how do you see this playing out as we see a commitment to for assistance and development changing as a result of this conflict? >> let's take these two questions are really quickly. just want to make sure we can hear from everybody because you have sat through so patiently.
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go ahead. >> stacey clawson, professor of international affairs. i wanted to know about what you thought about the resiliency of russia. if you think about 98, 2008, 14, now. there's a big debate as to where russia comes out on the other side of this. and i would just like to your comments on that. are we in danger of overestimating our ability to weaken russia and overestimating russia's ability to be resilient through this? >> yes. and then one more question. >> my question is very related to that. and that is after world war i we realized we treated germany badly and become world war ii. after the first cold war, frankly things didn't work out for the russians and went back where we started. what are we going to do to change frankly the nation at the nature of russia on the other
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side of this thing? >> great questions. >> very quickly, i think we do overestimate both your questions or i think it's important to understand rush is a a huge country. it spans 11 time zones. we in general have overestimated our ability to affect what happens inside russia and the internal political and social and economic processes happening inside russia. and i do think there were some missed opportunities after 1991. 1991. but i think a lot of those missed opportunities were on the parts of russians themselves. there was no illustration. there was no dealing with her own history, and their governments crimes. economic reforms and away the government implemented them, yes, they had some western advisers et cetera at those were mostly and permitted by russians russians. and i think yes, it's important
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to recognize our role in this but i think russians have agency and they want agency and they themselves are torn, they are like a teenager toward unlike its all your fault, leaving a look, i want to do everything myself. i think a lot of it is up to russians themselves. >> we only have a few minutes literally everyone they had to jump in. >> just one of the known unknowns going for it which is how does this work and and what to sanctions look like after the war? legitimately we don't know because this isn't part of the function about the war ends. the war ends what we basically have ukraine reasonably whole and free where let's say your back to 2014 borders. i'll be somewhat counterintuitive as it just you do want to open up to rush again actually because one of the problems with sanctions as aa binges consistently by the united states is really, really good at imposing sanctions and we suck at lifting them. there is no other way to put this. and for sanctions to actually be
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a credible tool of course a stick cratchit to make commitments, just to commit to sanction a country if it crosses red light and the get to commit at the country makes recessions you up and lift the sanctions. part of the problem in terms of dealing with russia going forward is their perspective is we will always be under sanction. so why should we bother? there is a degree to which i do want to be very clear i'm not talking about the golden bridge rhetoric you will occasionally hear about, away that russia should end the worker that is a different conversation but you do want have a conversation of what does the postwar global order look like and can russia be viewed as much is spent in it? or do you wind up with a hammer and sickle again? if you do that then you are essentially ceding the victim mentality within russian society. that will not necessarily be good if the one of the interesting things i do think
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going for an overly risky here and disagree with julia about russia, but one of the interesting questions is going to be the extent to which russians actually have grown accustomed to the comforts of western consumers. because as time passes you are not going to be able to fly the planes. they will not be able to enjoy consumer-electronics. there are other things that are not kicked in yet but are going to over the next couple of months. one of the interesting questions, how do the russians react to settle having to drive? >> i have to stop you there. i'm sorry to our friends on the side of the room we didn't get to you. it's really tight our. >> a reference about the migration crisis. the fundamental question is whether migrants or refugees if you will want or do not want to integrate into the society of the host country. i have read hundreds of stories
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of refugees fleeing war from the homeland and there's one recurring theme, if you will, many of those women because 94% of the refugees are women and children, and overwhelming, over one majority of those women, the very first question to ask upon arrival in poland, you have a job for me? i want a job. i don't want an allowance. this is so important and that's why they are integrating so impeccably into the polish society nowadays. >> madam ambassador, one to give you the last minute if you want to us sum up respond to some of the questions. >> thanks very much. fantastic opportunity gets it an interesting debate, so thank you. on the russian point it is up to russians themselves. in 1990 -- can remember, we let them into the g8. they squandered that opportunity
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notably over georgia and crimea. they didn't have to do that. but i also think they could do that were not for china. there's something very important here in the china-russia relationship, which if you like some sort of assurance to russia that xi jinping can take risks, go into that anymore but i do think that's an important factor. factor. i also think it's relevant that putin, perhaps not the soviet union notwithstanding a hammer and sickle, he set out to re-create the russian empire to which he has an emotional attachment. when he succeeded in doing, as stance that come was reestablishing the soviet economy. at one point to the russian people come to think that's not a good trade-off? i don't know the answer to that but that's a a question. getting information into russia is absolutely critical. on the oda side i think i would use this platform fma to save in
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my personal views, this is not british government policy, we need to take a jolly good look at some of the rules and work out whether there really are fit for purpose in the world that is very different from when the schools were created about how we use official development assistance. >> i'm sorry to have to stop you all there. we could keep going for another hour but we are really grateful that you are all participating. i hope you learn something and do some of these publications, the conversations you have today about ukraine, russia, u.s. and will i think it's interesting i swear to thank jenna and john, they decided it wanted u.s. official here. they wanted european officials. they wanted made experts and scholars. i hope you all stay informed for this war. thank you so much. [applause] >> officials from the internal revenue service and government
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