tv CSIS Discussion on Russian Influence in the U.K. Europe CSPAN July 22, 2020 6:14pm-7:04pm EDT
event. today we are going to be talking about russian influence in the united kingdom. this conversation is actually part of a broader recording that csis just produced that looks at how to counter the russian and chinese influence. so last thursday we held a conversation with former australian prime minister malcolm turn ball that looked at chinese influence in
australia, part of the report examined japan and australia and how chinese influence works there. today's conversation is to look at how russian influence works in the united kingdom as part of that broader work, we also looked at germany. the reason that malcolm was so important was because we used his framing of influence activity. we looked at covert, coercive and corrupted influence factors. many reports have certainly examined the supply of influence activities, but very few look at the demand side. how democracy's use and except these influence activities. so i record and focus much more on the demand, how democrats in the government in societies influence that activity. this report was made possible by the u.s. state department's global engagement center during the information access find and
administered by the institute and we are grateful, of course, for their support of these views. of course, the authors and not the state department if i may, let me briefly go over some of the key findings from this report. russia and china certainly have different objectives in how they use their influence activities but they share one commonality. they both try to divide the united states from its most important allies and certainly the united kingdom is americas and most essential, one of the most essential allies. they do this by using their influence activities to look at how democracies, how they divide society. so we looked at societal cohesion. we looked at the use of the community. we looked at the economic interconnectedness. that was a big key. how does money corrupt or capture and then of course we looked at the media. how social media was
interacting and regulating the types of influence activities that russia was perpetuating within the united kingdom the spoke of this report fell outside the coronavirus pandemic but of course near the end of our recording, we saw more disturbing trend, that was china emulating russia's tactics whereas russia tries to divide society and basically degrade democracy and faith and democratic institutions. china attempts to coerce and try to suppress any criticism but all of a sudden, we are starting to see china take on the appearances of more russian influence activities. so those are the overriding key findings of the report we invite you to take a look at the final report. so now let's dive deep into the uk we could not have put together a more fantastic group of colleagues to speak about russian influence activities in the united kingdom. let me first introduced dame karen pierce, british
ambassador to the united kingdom and she arrived earlier in the spring and, of course, we went into lockdown but we welcome you to washington, ambassador pierce, formerly british ambassador to the united nations and former uk special representative to afghanistan. we also have with us luke harding, he is senior international correspondent for the guardian and author of a new book entitled "shadow state: murder, mayhem and russia's remaking of the west." it is now out and we thank luke for joining us from london. and then of course we have our very own rachel ellehuus, deputy director of the europe program at csis and senior fellow, and lead author for the support and no one is better at helping moderate this conversation. they say timing is everything
and i believe this conversation couldn't be more well-timed because we are told tomorrow the intelligence and security committee, committee of the uk parliament, will be releasing its much-anticipated report on russian interference in the uk, press we can use this conversation as a good framing for when that report is released tomorrow. so with that, thank you to our colleagues. please read the report. again, i am heather conley from csis, and we're grateful you are here. rachel, over to you. >> thank you, heather. i will offer some brief remarks about what we saw in the uk case study and turn it over to ambassador pierce into the discussion. when we looked at the uk case study we saw two russian objectives in particular.
the first was to weaken uk and totally. so this was magnified in things like accentuating existing divisions between leave and remain, rural and urban divides, even those in scotland who preferred to separate from the united kingdom. the second was the related objectives and that was to diminish the uk's place in the world. sp the influence activities that fell into this bucket were related to nato, the european union and the relationship with the united states. clearly russia recognize the uk is made even stronger by its membership in nato and until recently the european union and its uniquely close relationship with the united states. those were targets of influence activities as well. what we found at look in the study was it wasn't so much the objective or tactic in either the russia or china case that meet the real difference in terms of influence and impact.
rather, it was what happened on the receiving end. how resilient was the society or the country that was on the receiving end of these tactics and objectives. in many ways the uk was very resilient. the government was accountable, it's highly transparent. there's a good balance among the different branches of government. your medial landscape is very resilient. i was impressed to see that 50% of uk citizens are getting the majority of their news from the bbc. and the diaspora community which can often be a vulnerability was relatively well integrated and well-off, and did not present as a vulnerability in the uk case. however, we did find two vulnerability that were particular uk case by the help we can dive into a bit. the first was regulatory. in particular, the campaign-finance law created some the polls that possibly lead to more foreign money
coming into the campaign. of course we've got no proof of that but that is essentially where some of the trails lead us. the uk also is a very interesting structure with the crown dependencies and some of the overseas territories. so even when these regulatory gaps were fixed in the uk proper, they manifested themselves and the legislation was implemented later in those incidences. the second vulnerability were societal vulnerabilities which i i lived in the beginning. a polarization, whether it is political or ideological that we see across the united states and europe but certainly those were the two that jumped at the uk case and smartly i think in the uk response they tried to address those vulnerabilities through changes in the campaign-finance law, for example. through efforts to increase media literacy or the ability
to identify disinformation and misinformation. so while i think we are on a very positive track, certainly the tactics continue to change and so the response has to evolve. and with that i think i would like to turn the floor over to ambassador pierce to give us your impressions of essentially went to the uk become a target of russia? why did they become a target of russia? what are you generally seeing both with regard to influence activities in the uk as well as the uk's experience watching influence activities overseas? >> great. thank you very much, heather. thank you, rachel, and thank you for inviting me to join the study interesting discussion. i think the first thing to say is that uk and russian action of a very long history. we've had very good relations.
one goes back over 300 years, and that was a state of the relationship, that for those times was very productive. very productive, we admire the russian people, and we recognize the enormous sacrifices that the russian people made in the second world war. and we appreciate the fact that that second world war was one with soviet assistance and the soviet union ally at that time. and we have always made it clear that we want to protected load bearing relationship with the russian government including the current russian government and when i went with boris johnson johnson when he was foreign secretary to moscow, to deliver that last message, which seemed at the time to be
appreciated by our russian powers however, at three month months after that, saws gru insults berry and the case, and eventually led to more than 150 russian diplomats being expelled across europe in the united states and its partners so i think the fundamental question has to be why does russia reject these overtures that countries like the uk but there are others, make in terms of the load bearing relationship. we are never going to always agree with russia, we are often not going to agree on a huge number of subjects, but we are both permanent members at the security council. and we do have certain interests in global stability.
and that ought to be a good foundation for some productive evening conversations. but we don't see russia behaving. we see russia doing all the things you just described in more in georgia and other countries besides the uk. we also see them condoning if not abetting the use of chemical weapons in syria. chemical weapons are a universal universally prohibited weapon, so why does a permanent five member want to allow one of its clients states to use such an awful weapon? and i think the russia of the cold war soviet union would have seen as worth crossing a
line in search of stability so i think this comes, rachel to how long this is been going on, and i'm not in the story and i haven't looked into it in detail, but i think that anecdotally, all of these things we are seeing are synonymous with the rise of president putin. and there's something important and that i think, that something about this mantra that the russians have at the end of the west, the out show the western values that count anymore and the western approach to trade this account anymore the western approach to international treaties and international laws and standards doesn't count. any more. and they are putting a lot of effort into undermining that and then as you say we come to the united kingdom and all the things that you have described. we try in the united kingdom to
be resilient against that. -- we've set up a number of programs like pending democracy and countering this information, to make us more resilient and use all the part of british institutions. but as you also say some of these arguments of these arguments by the russians and we all know how they affect opinion polls. i come back to my first point, why does russia want to behave like this? why not just have a more productive relationship with the west? the west is no threat to russia. so why not take a different euro-atlantic view, as in the late 1990s it seemed possible that russia might do. i think that's an important question which we should keep confronting russian representatives with. i think the second point of russia-china, i think these are very interesting and
intriguing. i doubt very much it's the partnership of two equals. at the same time i do wonder if the russians more manipulative with the chinese and perhaps the chinese let on. i think the whole disinformation thing where as you say we've seen the chinese copying russian practices of disinformation, increasing vis-a-vis uk -- [inaudible] that's an interesting area to explore. i will stop there so you can ask questions or move on to luke, but very happy to elaborate on any of that. >> thank you. i think that's very insightful about your analysis that russia feels it has more to gain from being disruptive than from engaging in trying to think about why that might be the case.
certainly there are certain rules and norms that are viable but i think god that there is scope for thinking about how we change that calculus. russia is not alone in that. a number of other countries, heather and i just looked closely at turkey and turkey is making the same calculation in its region that it has more to gain from acting unilaterally or pushing its agenda rather than engaging with eu and nato partners for a more collective instead. i think that's a very sharp observation. before turning over to luke, maybe one more question to keep the flow going. russia really has doubled down on these efforts that fall below the threshold of armed conflict. we looked at the brexit referendum, the scottish independence referendum and possibly the uk elections. when you observe these in retrospect, do you think these efforts have that impact? we struggled with this in the study very much. we could see influence but we
really couldn't necessarily say because there was this point of influence or involvement, and led to this outcome. in your experience maybe even looking at the uk's engagement in central europe you think these efforts have impact? >> i think that's a really good question. i use it it's quite -- may be we are all too close to it to know of its impact. if one wanted to look at impact, the east europeans have more experience of the russian government, if you like, then anyone else. they certainly worry about the cumulative effect as well as individual decisions. so there may be some things quite important in russian attempts to destabilize over time, that we can't quite discern yet. i do think it was well said of
the russian government that they took the saber in until they hit steel. and always have spoken in the u.n. that the russians have good chess players, police two strategies for any given venture. one, if you like is incremental and the other is much more dynamic. depending on circumstances. they're very adept at jumping from circumstance to circumstance, advancing their agenda as fast as the circumstances allow. the consequence of that or the implication of that is that to hold them, they have to hit that steel with the saber early on. i think that's where sometimes collectively the west is not always forceful with russia as we might be. and i do think a bigger conversation russian tactics in this regard would be helpful picky as i think it we are to
learn from the russian strategy, we end up we inadvertently let something happen that man has consequences that we weren't expecting. that is definitely worth conversation and in many ways, i would like to have these conversations because that's where collective security resides. but, on the whole, i think the british public is pretty resilient. as you say, people get their news from all's all sorts of objective an independent but we'll renowned outlets like the bbc and the national press. there is a healthy skepticism i think, in the british public, which is useful on these occasions. and i think the russian message is obviously under anti democratic, that it goes
against a lot of traditions, so people again, are skeptical. i think it is interesting, going back to the first point, the russians obviously can't get their message across by democratic means. that ought to tell them something, they are rational, clever people, but in terms of actual impact versus influence, i come back to the point, i think we're just a bit too close to it to know if that would be the case. >> thank you. luke, you have looked at a lot of these issues of impact and vulnerabilities and what makes an influence activity more or less successful, in quotes, if you will. what in your experience should we be studying? how can we reduce the likelihood that we will see these influence activities occurring in the future, and if they do, how do we go about
making sure that the impact or the influence is reduced? >> thank you, rachel. congratulations on a terrific report. it's been a pleasure to read in very timely. just listening to the ambassador, i was put in mind of the conversation i had with a british diplomat soon after i got kicked out of moscow for years there as the correspondent 2000. leaven it was a pretty discouraging experience which followed break-ins by the secret police in our apartments and a series of harassments. the diplomat said the problems with the russians is they don't think the way we think they should think. and that really goes to the heart of it, to your question. putin, in my view, ultimately unfortunately is not interested in mutually beneficial solutions. he is a classic zero some guy who rather have kind of
lose-lose then win-win. in addition to that he really sees the world, he sees geopolitics, he sees international alliances through a kind of kgb prison. even though the soviet union is gone and communism is gone, he's thinking almost genetically is very kgb. in this world view which is paranoid conspiratorial, sees russia as a besieged fortress surrounded by nato and of the hostile enemies, the united states is the main adversary. the uk is a kind of lesser, kind of band together. what putin has done, with some success in recent years, it's to take this old soviet playbook up disruption of undermining the enemy, of taking advantage of weaknesses in western society and he's
sort of shined it up for our age of facebook and twitter on social media. i think it's important that we don't exaggerate how powerful vladimir putin is. i mean he isn't, he's not a villain sitting in a cave pressing buttons and making things happen in d.c. or in london or in berlin or wherever. what i would argue is that he is a set of classic kgb adventurous and opportunist. well and he tries to have, sometimes it doesn't, the problems that his two most successful operations, i would say, took place in 2016 and they're both related. one was the push by spy agencies to sort of sweep the operations help donald trump when the white house. the other was to actually
launch a set of comparable pretty multifaceted operations to support the league campaign in the 2016 u.s. random and to some degree the scottish independence referendum as well. so it's very hard to say. i wouldn't argue that putin called for these results. there were numerous other factors. the point is we have a very narrowly contested result. a sort of 50/50 scenario and you have a trial operation by social media sitting in st. petersburg. you have sort of russian intelligence offices based in london running around with senior figures in the lead campaign. you also have the unanswered question of financing. all sides denied wrongdoing but the genuine question raised by mps, but mps and others about the funding of the leave campaign, it was a pretty potent combination. i will just say one other thing, which is my frustration as an
investigative journalist is, i mean, the ambassador is right, that is perhaps too early to tell how much inference there has been. but in britain at least we have not had a kind of proper reckoning. we haven't had a full interrogation of what happened in 2016 we're expecting with great curiosity this russian report tomorrow from the security committee, but to be honest the way i see it is to see this been kind of denialism from a lot of politicians but particularly the current government, which really brexit is their project and they are pretty reluctant to recognize the russians anything around brexit. even to say if it is small and unimportant. i would just say, the thing about putin's influence operations, whether it is
hackers or trolls or whatever, is he's an equal opportunity meddler. the factor in communist times was follow parties, communist parties, so on, now his preferred part myth -- partner on the european stages of far-right. if you are a politician of whatever stripe, you have to acknowledge that what may benefit you today may hinder you tomorrow. so it's everybody's problem and we all need to address it. >> thank you, look. i think it's an important point that you've made. when you we look at the german kaye, certainly one of the parties that the russians were courting were are update and dealing on the other side and what they were essentially trying to do is to play on those margins, to gain influence. in the german case, at least, the problem was, you know, there may have been influenced but the people who they try to influence didn't hold seats at parliament so it never really
carried over. it's important to follow those chains of influence of logic. i also appreciated your point of not thinking that russia's under every rock because certainly one of the objectives of influence activities is to undermine as an credible our media and judiciary. so in many ways i am hopeful the report will shine a light on what is or is not russian influence activities. if i may ask a question to the ambassador, briefly. you made an important point about the importance of -- the fact that russia pushes until it hits steel and then it backs off. in your experience, have we seen examples in the uk where there is been a response that has been forceful enough to make russia think twice? and how can we leverage those best practices in the future if
we do see another incident? >> that's a tricky question to answer on--in an open environment. not least because it might alert the russians to the way we go about these things, but let me try and answer. i think they were surprised by the strength of the response. not just from uk but also from other countries, as i say over 150 russian diplomats were expelled across a number of countries. sanctions were put on russia, the u.s. in particular increased its sanctions. i don't think the russians expected the hard time they got at the un and security council. of course i was involved in that. they didn't expect to be exposed to the stevie of data later.
that something we and the dutch uncovered. and they didn't expect to lose the subsequent about in the chemical weapons organization about future investigations. so i think all of those have caused a little bit of a retreat. i mean it's only buying time, i think. they are very good at regrouping as luke was explaining in using lots of different tools. as you know, we've just announced that we believe russian actors, that doesn't mean the russian state, were involved in the last general election campaign. we believe they are responsible for leaking the papers on the free trade agreement with the united states and we have attributed to the russian intelligence services the work they were doing to try and
steal vaccines information. so i'm hoping that all of those will have set them back. i fear, but this is speculation, that they will divert their attention to other countries whose internal systems might not be quite so robust. it was well said of the russian intelligence services that they'd rather steal the weather report of the newscasters desk then wait two minutes until it was broadcast to the world. there is something in their psyche about the bookings of secrets. hopefully, with all these things and with much greater airing of the problem, including sessions like this, hopefully that provides some counter to their ability to have any successes what. >> thank you ambassador. luke, do you want to pick up on
that because as an investigative journalist i'm sure you have been an astute observer of what works in terms of pushback but also in terms of anticipation? i think going forward that that is something that the uk government has tried to be better at, is anticipating what the next event may be, but could you share your observations with us? >> yeah, it's fascinating. i mean it's interesting because london is kind of uniquely placed to do something about russian behavior. and the reason is that there's a tremendous amount of a leak to moscow money which is either here in the uk or incorporated in british companies or stuffed in crown dependencies or the british virgin islands as you think about maligned russian behavior, it's too easy to fall into the trap that these are
kind of far away bad people, not so much. the problem is the crux is on her doorstep and is one of the local contentions -- which is some of the evidence which was submitted by a well-known american and british financier. he complained to this committee about what he called western network. by that he meant very rich russians quite often with kremlin the connections who are pr people, who are relisted people, lawyers, information agency and essentially are able to steal, to call it how it is, and moscow. and then really kind of launder this money through financial networks in london and launder the reputations as well. it's been a problem that has affected all governments, he didn't begin last year, it has been going on for sometime and i think this regime of vladimir putin --
if you are a politburo bureaucrat, back in the late 1970s, you had an apartment in moscow with a slightly higher ceiling. you had a chef driven car and you went on holiday on the black sea and that's it. the people around putin are all multibillionaire. they have yachts, they go to court sucker they have a wine collection in switzerland. their kids are starting in london. and i would personally welcome the foreign secretary with the magnitsky list with the city human rights abusers falling on the example of u.s. congress. but i think we can go so much further. and we kind of need to recognize that russian influence isn't necessarily done by generals wearing military uniforms with epilepsy. it's done by rather charming people who speak fluent english were oligarchies, who are businessman who read the same novels that you and i read and
it is deceptive. the goal is the same and so i think london could do an awful lot more and just lastly i would say, i worked on a lot of quite important investigations where the new york times and other international partners i did the panama papers, we found so many people in putin circle who had offshore structures, but being helped by british professionals, who set them up, and if we are serious about stopping to carry rogue criminal behavior, then actually conventional diplomatic response doesn't a saline answer. it's a good four step, but the thing they really care about, despite their hyper patriotism at home with a talk about crime here in all the rest of, it is their offshore bank accounts. once you target those, that is the steel that ambassador pierce is talking about. >> that's a wonderful response.
at the risk of plugging another csis report, heather and colleagues did do a compliments of comprehensive report doing called the kremlin playbook and there was a second version, and the second version look specifically at enablers countries that enable russian money, how would boost you to go into real estate purchases, companies that were incorporated under sort of show ownership arrangements. certainly that existed not only in the uk but across europe, i'm reassured that the uk is on to this particularly with the unexplained wealth report incidents that it's trying to issue, ask the question, how did you come by all these chalets and houses across the world? and so i think the uk is going on the right track. madam ambassador, did you want to respond to that? then i think we will turn to questions from the audience because we have quite a few. >> thank, you. rachel just. quickly i think luke is
absolutely right. we've done a number of things. we switched the burden of proof in the unexplained orders so they have to explain how they got the money. we've got these human rights sanctions that also allow for visas in travel bans. it's much harder now to launder money through things like property, precious stones. we've got a special economic crime center within our national client agency, which looks at things like this. we are trying to do more on transparency of overseas ownership, and we have helped crown dependencies and overseas territories to get the registered legislation in order. it's a huge task for the reasons luke was explaining, but we are trying very much to get on top of that and share good practice with other countries. i think it's also a case of ceaseless vigilance. we can't let up on doing any of
this. >> thank you. i think that highlights where we were at the beginning and we have a lot of good initiatives but quite a lot to go. turning to some questions from the audience. i'm trying to group them as we talk into different categories, and there is a lot of interest in what the uk and other democracies can do to help spread, stop the spread of russian influence in the balkans, in ukraine and a couple of questions asking specifically about influence in bosnia, montenegro and north macedonia. in your experience ambassador, are there things that the uk has done or should continue doing to curtail that influence, and then luke, maybe if you have looked at this from a european angle, are there things that the european union could be doing to address this influence in third countries? i'm very concerned about this idea of a back door, that if you meet resistance in the uk
or germany, you would just try another nato ally or you member state. over to you ambassador, luke pick up quickly from there. >> great, thanks. yes, i think the russians are researching the balkans, notably in serbia. they tried this coup in montenegro that failed. they have tried messing in macedonia, that failed. and that's all good. and you have seen both the eu and nato move to help those countries be more resilient, including through expanding their own programs in a route to membership for them. serbia, i think, because of its history and its links to the soviet union, is generally quite ambivalent about russia versus the west. this is a matte massive generalization but in general terms. bosnia, i think is very vulnerable. and that's because of the fragility of the state in so many ways, that we are familiar
with. but how do we counter it? i think we've got to keep strengthening eu and nato and osce ties with those countries. we have got to help them be very transparent and their own legislation, in the ways they tackle the money laundering and the interference. that means i think, giving them more military training, more security training, more economic training. and probably more governance support, so that they find it easier to resist some things that the russians. do i think it also means us all calling it out when we see. it if you remember, the coup and multi grow, the failed coup in montenegro got a lot of publicity and i think that's an important deterrence. and then i think there is something about sharing best practices and making sure we all come together to talk about
these issues behind closed doors, so that we can map out what sorts of measures might help countries be more resilient. and then i would like to add to talking to the russians themselves about this, that they are very hard to have conversations with at the moment. >> i would just add two quick points. one is that the playbook, whether it's in montenegro or bosnia or wherever, tends to be the same in terms of kind of russian ingress into countries. and what newspapers, and you flip them to cut by strategic industries which are in trouble and then you try to make inroads into the political class. that is been happening all over the place, i think in an investment we need to be cautious of sometimes. the other thing i think is that i would just echo the
ambassador's point about the gru. it's a very secretive organization behind the ship's poisoning. it exists in the shadows, or at least it did. i think it's been very stung by recent revelations and by some wonderful reporting by the open source investigative outfit. but what we now know is pretty distressing. we know since souls berry, there's been an undercover gru diversity unit based in the french up traveling all over europe, going to swiss and into the balkan centers and to bulgaria, going to the uk for professionals. essence and the more we can reveal their activities, the greater, one would hope that they would think twice before doing something like that again. thanks luke, i recognize we are coming to the end of our time but if we could just take one more question, and maybe end on
an optimistic note. and i put this to both of you, we have noted that right now russia's calculation is that it has more to gain from this disruptive behavior maintaining this zero summit tally. but are there certain prerequisites for the confliction? are there certain steps you could take on either side to start to get the relationship back on a more productive path, whereby russia doesn't feel the need to take these covert steps? >> do you want me to go first, rachel? >> yes, please. i should've directed that. >> apologies to. luke well, you say russia doesn't feel the need to take these covert actions my contention would be that she doesn't need to take them. there's enough going on in the world and in all these world leaders, that we could get back
to a much more constructive path if the russians wanted to take it. i fear, reinforced by what luke has been saying, that president putin just doesn't want to take it for the reasons luke gave, but i think permanent five membership is a very good reform. i would like to see us all do even more in the pete five space, i think it's very difficult at the moment and it's not a panacea, but i do think it is a very good forum for >> discreet discussion of some very serious issues. those issues include nuclear. it's no coincidence that the p% p5 are the world's permitted nuclear powers under the and p.t. but it does enable us to have discussions about fundamental other things going on in the world, syria and libya.
and cyber. i do worry, as i said, that the russians might just not want to come into that discussion but i think we should be able to discuss things like chemical weapons and hopefully use that in a sensible way, and then i think it would be nice to think that there would be more people to people exchanges. there are a number of those but i think at the moment when we think about seeing the russian state get itself into all these illegal activities, i suspect that might be a hard. one but i think global health as ever is quite a good issues as with the chinese, to put scientists and experts in direct touch with each other, so you are trying to take government out of the equation. we try and reduce the temptation. and we've all got some very
serious global health problems to think about, in addition to covid. there are things like antimicrobial resistance. so i think, again, if the russians wanted to come into those discussions, we would be pleased to see them. >> i would just say very briefly, i will say the depressing thing and then the slightly more uplifting. think the depressing thing i think, is despite the ambassadors optimism, which is perfectly kind of reasonable, i don't see putin changing anytime soon. and more than that, we now know, following this constitutional reform referendum, that essentially what always looked to me like a dictatorship has become a dictatorship and putin will stay in power potentially until 2036, well into his early eighties. i imagine that donald trump and boris johnson may have left the stage by then it putin will be the last man standing, the last person standing.
and, therefore, i think we have to go back to 1947. we have to go back to george can and, we have to go back to containment or neo-containment where if russia is not going to be irrational actor on the world stage, that i'm afraid it's going to be pragmatic containment until things improve. i mean, my positive is that we do have to separate to these particular regime of 65 year old or 65 60 something kgb men who have become very, very rich from the russian people. russia is a great country with a wonderful theatrical, literary, artistic, intellectual tradition and actually the big victims from all this are not americans are brits. they are the russians themselves. and there are very many young russians who want something different. they want something more clear, more democratic, more modern.
and i suspect that they will come. putin may wish to rule forever, but he won't and he can't, and at some stage, there may be intrinsically russian russia but more reasonable and productive partner down the road. >> well, luke and madam ambassador, i think that's a fantastic note to end on, recognizing that we do have difficult times here in monitoring and responding to influence activities, but that behind these are real people just trying to live out their daily lives, so it's upon us to be discerning in calling out those influence activities, to be honest about our own vulnerabilities and to work together to pushback when lines are crossed. so i just wanted to thank you both for your time and heather for the opportunity to work on this report. it has been really fascinating to look not only at the
transatlantic space but in asia pacific and to compare what's going on in those two regions to come up with some real meaningful essence. i take away from this conversation that we are only at the beginning in that we have a lot of work to do to get better at responding to activities in the space. so with that, thank you both so much for your time and everybody please check out our report, and let us know what you think.
the american enterprise institute tell the discussion on the impact of the coronavirus on the european union economy. here's a look at various policy measures member of eu states have taken. >> welcome everyone. thank you for joining us. welcome to the american enterprise interest toots, i am delighted to host a conversation today with martin huawei who was the director general of economic and financial affairs of the european commission, he is -- since february 2020. our conversation today will be about the economy of the european union and about the european union's economic policy response