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tv   State Department Officials Testify on Russia Before Senate Foreign Relations  CSPAN  December 9, 2019 3:05am-5:26am EST

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nancy pelosi begin drafting articles of impeachment on president trump and ukraine, the house judiciary committee needs today on evidence. with the findings presented on the inquiry. listen with the free c-span radio app. >> on tuesday, president trump heads to pennsylvania for a keep america great campaign rally in hershey. at 7:00have that live p.m. eastern on c-span two. state department officials testifying on u.s. policy towards russia in front of the senate foreign relations answering questions. including the effect of sanctions. this is just over two hours.
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d if they are working.y are this is about two hours 20 minutes. 's. [inaudible conversations] >> the committee will come to order. thank you, all for coming today and thank you to our witnesses for joining us today as we examine the current relationship with russia. to assess our relationship with russia as we
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have recently celebrated the 30th anniversary of events that led to the collapse of the soviet union, the fall of the berlin wall, the election victory of solidarity in poland. among others. many former soviet states have become prosperous democracies with memberships in nato and the eu. mr. vladimir putin has taken russia down a darker pass. any russians suffered today. tosia rates its elections make sure that only kremlin approved politicians make the cut. the russian people are inhumanely imprisoned and tortured for daring to disagree with the government. not only does the russia federation make life at home painful for the average russian, but vladimir putin is making
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life hard for people around the world. he has propped up the murderous regime of the syrian president, president assad. in venezuela, the president continues to hang onto power thanks in large part to russian assistance. we all know about the invasions of georgia and ukraine over the years and about the poisoning of russian people in london. on sovereign soil. moreorld today is dangerous unless free because of the russian federation. the relationship of the u.s. with russia is at its low point. during the cold war, our leaders had a lifeline to make sure that neither state made a disastrous calculation. risk of a growing strategic miscalculation on the ground or in the skies.
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to be clear, our problems are with vladimir putin and his cronies. our allies have been pretty tough on his regime. we have imposed dozens of sanctions on many russian companies and nationals involved in the takeover of crimea, the war in ukraine, as well as human rights abuses in russia. in 2018, after russia used chemical weapons on a nato ally, we helped coordinate. the u.s. rotates troops through poland and the enhanced forward presence that nato has stationed troops in the baltics. america has provided lethal and nonlethal weapons. each of these sanctions is important. awever, they do not form cohesive u.s. strategy.
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to successfully determine future aggression, america including congress must think strategically about russia now and in the future. these witnesses to discuss the administration's current strategy towards russia and what it is intended to accomplish. i must also urge caution to the administration and congress about focusing our strategies on sanctions. sanctions are not a strategy for dealing with russia. they are simply eight will. all u.s. financial preeminence makes it an easier to will, i have serious concern about the consequences. more sanctions do not necessarily make us tougher on russia. i'm concerned about the absence this was a well targeted sanctions bill.
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more general sanctions actions were not connected to specific goals and they can be counterproductive. and sanctions not done in coordination with our european closer to are far russia is a dangerous action that can undermine our alliances. cases, when insufficiently vetted sanctions have helped vladimir putin. these cannot be the outcomes that we want. wessume these are outcomes oppose. with that, i yield to senator mendoza. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for calling this hearing. thank you for joining us today to talk about the administration's policies with respect to the russian federation. before we hear from our
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witnesses come i would like to outline five essential elements i believe should be comprised in our policy. -- we must make clear that so many elements of kremlin aggression are unacceptable and cannot become the norm in international affairs. the invasion of ukraine, the legal opposite -- occupation of crimea and the attempted assassination of political opponents on foreign soil, were crimes in syria -- these are just some. russia is not a country that belongs in the g7 despite whatever president trump might believe. it is still mystifying that president trump refuses to stand up to this behavior. says of thecome he kremlin attack on our election that it was a hoax. repeating lies of kremlin propaganda coming he said it was actually ukraine. during the cold war, those that unwittingly broadcast soviet
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propaganda work called "useless idiots." -- useful idiots." call them today, they do a lot of damage. second, we must implement a come -- a clear sanctions regime. sanctions on russia have not had the desired effect. why? several mandatory provisions today still go ignored. i won't go through the list although i could other than to point out the most egregious example. it is been 144 days since turkey took delivery of the russian air defense system. 80 significant transaction. turkeyt last week, tested the system against an american produced at 16.
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an american produced of 16. enough is enough. sanctions must be imposed without further delay. any new russian sanction legislation must make clear our policy goals and what kind of behavior we are trying to change as well as how sanctions can be lifted in the event that behavioral change takes place. if we are going to increase pressure on moscow, we have to be honest that could -- that it could have spillover effects. american investors may no longer benefit from the russian sovereign debt market. the energy market may be impacted as could the banking sector. we seek to minimize the effects but our ultimate measure must always be how continued kremlin aggression impacts our national security. that is the ultimate measure that matters.
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third, arms control. the negative consequences for the united states of abandoning new start when russia is in compliance with the treaty and is seeking to extend it would be grave in the short and long-term. without new start in place, russia would be able to upload many new weapons. this rapid expansion of russia's strategic nuclear arsenal would place the united states at a strategic disadvantage. i look forward to hearing your views on this. theth, we need to remember plight of the russian people who continue to live under endemic corruption and relentless propaganda. process, human rights and universal values. this must be at the center of u.s. policy especially with respect to russia. fifth, we need to support our friends in europe. especially those on the front
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line of russian aggression. recently, the administration decided to redirect money to the presidents border wall. instead of mexico paying for the wall as the president promised, our closest allies in europe will air the cost. what a deal. i want to close on a note regarding the american citizen that has been just -- that has been detained in russia. i am skeptical that evidence exists. him go.uld let in closing, i am under no lotion that presidentn trump shares my view. he simply is not interested or compromised. oureed to step up to defend security and our institutions. didhank you, senator mendon
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-- senator menendez. first, we will hear from david hale. he was deputy assistant secretary of state for israel, egypt, and love aunt. -- and levant. he has been a member of the foreign service since 1984. ambassador hale, please. thank you, very much and good morning. the opportunity to be here today with a assistant secretary ford. under president trump, the has takentes
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consistent actions against moscow's attempts to undermine us and our allies. we will continue to use all appropriate tools including diplomacy to address and determine further threatening actions from moscow. as articulated in the presidents national security strategy, america is in a competition and we must start sure our policies accordingly. russia is a determined competitor with the united states. it does also have weaknesses which hinders -- which hinder its ambitions. we do not seek an adversarial relationship with russia. this administration will protect our national security and that of our allies when moscow threatens to attack them. this must be backed by military
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power. increasedstration has the defense budget. and it has prioritized infrastructure. weakness istemic reflected and vladimir putin's aggressive foreign-policy. this all of regime relies on oppression to stifle public discontent. the russian people increasingly realize that the corrupt regime is either incapable of addressing their problems or is in many cases the sources of them. russia seeks to dominate its immediate neighborhood. we are encouraged by the positive steps that the ukrainian president has taken. the threat from russia is not just an external or military
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one. technologiesigital to target us and our democratic allies from within. it includes election meddling and influenced operations directed by the highest levels of the russian government the very heart of the western world. we provided significant foreign assistance in europe and eurasia, almost all of which supports building resilience to an increasing pressure on russian malign influence in accordance with the fine. the department has increased his -- its support for the global engagement center through additional funding and tapping. we have degraded prudence ability by imposing costs. the administration a section 321 russia-related individuals and entities in january 2017. these sanctions and related action serve as a warning to the russian government that we will not tolerate inactivity aimed at undermining or manipulating our 2020 election. i confronted deputy foreign minister on russian interference in our elections in july and have raise the matter with russian ambassador several
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times. we likewise have taken firm action against russia's diplomatic presence. we closed four russian facilities when russia attacked u.k. citizen with a military grade nerve agent, we closed russian facilities in seattle and expelled 48 russian intelligence officials from the russian embassy. our diplomats and other regions including the middle east south america, africa were russia's actions exacerbate instability and undermine u.s. interest. in syria, russian military support to the assad regime has exacerbated the humanitarian crisis. in venezuela, we're pressing russia to withdraw its diplomatic and military and economic support the former maduro regime. in africa, we have called out russia's destabilizing policies including support for mercenaries. russia's serial disregard for its international security and arms controlled commitment represents another significant challenge for our policy. the president has charged us to pursue a new era of arms control
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agreements. we know congress has a critical role to play providing the tools and resources to implement a russian strategy and we are committed to working with you in this regard. mr. chairman, thank you for inviting me today. i look forward to the questions of the committee. >> thank you, ambassador. we have now have christopher ford. he has been delegated the authority's and functions of the undersecretary for arms control and international security. dr. ford previously served as senior director for weapons of mass destruction and cut proliferation at the national security council. he began his public service in 1996 as assistant counsel for the intelligence oversight board and then served on several staffs and served as principal deputy assistant secretary the state department's bureau verification and compliance and u.s. special representative for nuclear nonproliferation. from 2008 to 2013, he was a
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senior fellow at the hudson institute. a native of cincinnati, he is the author of three books and holds a doctorate and a law degree. dr. ford, welcome. the floor is yours. >> thank you. in his remarks, undersecretary hale has summarized the broad sweep of our strategy to approach the challenge that russia presents us with today. in my own testimony i would like to address these questions from their respective where i am. i will abbreviate my remarks for oral delivery and request the full version be entered into the record. thank you, sir. from the perspective of arms control and the ongoing challenges of managing our relationship and strategic sense with moscow, i think it is important to remember we come to all of these tasks out of a long background not just of tensions and problems, but also notable successes over time. the changes in the strategic
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environment that were occasions by the waning and ending of the cold war made possible -- strategic arms reduction that has seen both countries nuclear arsenals come down to small fractions of what they once were. i mention this because i think it is important to remember this background. it reminds us it is possible to make progress in reducing nuclear tensions in our standoff with moscow when the circumstances of the security environment are conducive to such movement. we hope to get back to such an environment. our policies are designed to help make this possible as well as protect the security of the american people and that of our allies until that point. for now, however, the security environment is challenging. russia is developing extraordinary new nuclear delivery systems for which there are no u.s. counterparts and most of which seem likely to fall outside existing arms control frameworks. russia also has a large arsenal of nonstrategic arsenal weapons. it is projected to expand this
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number of weapons considerably over the next decade. most observers will be familiar with the russian ground launched cruise missile postproduction and deployment of that system placed russia in material breach of the inf treaty in russia unwillingness to change course in that regard forced us into the unhappy position of having to withdraw from the treaty in the wake of those russian violations. but that missile is only one a broad range new russian ground, sea, and air based nuclear or dual capable systems. these systems have longer ranges and lower yields than before and they're coming online in support of a russian nuclear doctrine and strategy that emphasizes and demonstrates periodically both coercive and military uses of nuclear weaponry. we assess russia does remain in
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compliance with the new start obligations, but it's behavior in connection with most other arms-control agreements and not merely the ill-fated inf is nothing short of appalling. there is also the problem of chemical weapons where russia condones and seeks to ensure impunity for continued violations of the chemical weapons convention by its syrian client staples of further alarming russia has itself used chemical weapons in violation of the chemical weapons convention by developing and using a so-called military grade nerve agent on the territory as the chairman indicated of a nato ally, the united kingdom, in 2018. moscow is up to no good in new and emerging domains of actual or potential future conflict such as cyberspace and outer space. it has been developing capabilities in these respects and even as it is been trying to
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promote hollow and disingenuous proposals that went on address the challenges russia itself is working hard to create. this track record is a miserable one. i would are free to buy written statement for some of the details of how our responses are being directed. i would stress we are working to address these challenges on multiple fronts. they are robust and they are extensive. these efforts in the department of state are being approached increasingly and systematically is recording them into an integrated strategy for pushing back against russian mischief. the u.s. national security strategy makes clear it is our duty to take great competition seriously and we are doing so. if this resolution and focus in the face of national security threats i think we very much need and can be our ticket to getting through this phase of geopolitical competition. we need to stay on course, maintaining our deterrent strategy, completing our own military modernization and reassure our allies not just of our capacity, but our enduring willingness to side with them
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against intimidation and aggression and keeping these initiatives on track while still seeking good faith negotiation to advanced shared interests where it is possible. i think we can stabilize and turn things around and that is what our policy is devoted to. thank you, mr. chairman. >> i'm going to ask a question to start with and we will do a five minute round. mr. ford, give me your thoughts, if you would, i was one of the strong opponents of new start. new start has been in place as long as it has an we can't talk
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about in the setting the absolute compliance by the russians, but from a general standpoint, i think we can say they're substantially more in compliance with the new start, the major weapons, than they ever were with the more intermediate weapons that were covered by the inf. why the disparity? why were they so far out of whack on inf and totally would ignore us as far as the pressing we did to get them to comply? why the difference between the two treaties and the two agreements and the difference in the weaponry systems? >> mr. chairman, i would hesitate to get into mr. putin's head, but they clearly made a decision they felt they wanted to have the capabilities that the i never treaty did not allow them to have. they seem to have assumed we would remain compliant with the treaty even if we found out -- >> they were right in that regard. >> they were correct. we were scrupulously compliant for the entirety of our period in the treating. that certainly is something we are now working to try to
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address the challenge of meeting those russian threats with the development of new conventionally armed intermediate range systems such as the ground launched cruise missile. they assumed we would remain in compliance and they were correct for a while that they would be able to get away with not just testing by developing and deploying a treaty prohibited system and the hope we would not respond to it. why they did not do something like that with new start is something i would not be in a position to hazard a guess about, but they don't seem to have decided they needed to. i would point out that russia is developing today and openly brags about the development of new strategic delivery systems, most of which it is difficult to imagine would ever be brought within the new start arms-control framework. we have seen president putin rag about his developing of a new super heavy icbm, a development of a nuclear power, nuclear armed underwater drone. we are now all familiar with this sort of flying chernobyl disaster of their cruise missle that had such a criticality up
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in the white sea area just last august. there developing a whole range of systems including an air launch ballistic missile. most of these are not likely to fall within new start and things russians are working very hard today. that is leaving aside the issue of the development of nonstrategic weapons. they already have a large arsenal and it is projected to grow dramatically over the next decade or so as well. these are things russia is already deciding to do and moving out upon outside the framework of current arms-control, and that is something we need to make sure our policy is in a position to address. >> thank you, dr. ford. >> secretary hale, did russia interfere in the 2016 election in favor of donald trump?
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could you put your microphone on, please? >> the intelligence community assessed vladimir putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 and our presidential election. >> was the kremlin interference a hoax? >> no. >> are you aware of any evidence ukraine interfered in the 2016 u.s. election? >> i am not. >> i appreciate dr. fiona hill's testimony before the house, who say that theory is a fictional narrative that is being perpetrated and propagated by the russian security services themselves. do you have any reason to disagree with dr. hill? >> i do not. >> in february 2017, at a press conference with the hungarian
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prime minister orban, president putin himself suggested ukraine interfered and the 2016 u.s. election. did he not? >> i don't recall it, but i don't doubt it. >> he said "as we all know during the presidential campaign in the united states, the ukrainian government adopted a unilateral position in favor of one candidate. more than that, certain oligarchs with the approval of the political leadership funded this candidate or female candidate to be more precise." has this been a regular russian propaganda point since then? >> i have not followed that it has been a regular point, but i don't follow that on a day-to-day basis. >> would it be in putin's
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interest to push such a narrative? >> possibly. >> possibly. well, let me ask you, you're the undersecretary here, how is it that on something as critical as russia vis-à-vis the united states and our national security interest, you would think it would only possibly be in putin's interest to push a narrative. what would be the other possibilities? >> i will say yes to your question. close to president putin make this point to president trump when they met in helsinki last year in any other conversations? >> i don't know. >> that is a problem. neither do we. it is a problem with the president needs along with putin even confiscates the notes of his interpreter. but it is curious ukrainian interference in the 2016 election does not appear to be
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in the position of senior diplomats like yourself or any intelligence official, yet this lie makes it somehow into the president's talking points. is our national security made stronger or weaker when members of the administration or members of congress insist on repeating debunked russian lies? >> that does not serve our interest. >> let me turn to sanctions. does the administration have authority under section 232 to impose sanctions against russian
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pipelines? >> i don't know we have that exact authority. i'm not an expert when it comes to pipelines. >> let me offer to you, the answer is yes. as one of the authors, the administration has the authority under section 232 of caatsa to impose sanctions against, among other things, russian pipelines. why does the administration not imposed sanctions on worst dream to? the president talked about this pipeline but the administration has lifted -- has not lifted a finger to prevent the construction. this committee passed
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legislation to require north stream 2 sanctions, likely included in the ndaa of a senator shaheen, senator cruz, but every day that takes by is one more where another pipe is laid. you could act today. have any idea why you've not acted in this regard? >> i will say we are opposed to the nord stream 2pipeline and we have made -- >> you oppose it? you have the power to do something. is our policy reason why you have not actively pursue this sanctionable authority you have under the law to be able to stop what the administration imposes? >> so far we've been trying to use other tools to stop the nord stream 2 pipeline from going forward but working with our allies in the eu in particular in that regard. >> the most powerful opportunity would be to create a huge problem for the companies involved that would lay the pipeline knowing it would be sanctioned and that would be the most powerful tool. you have it and you have not used it. then he asked the secretary ford, are ctsa sanctions mandatory? >> pins on which section you're referring to, but i think if you're talking about 231,
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senator, that is a yes. >> what is the trigger for 231 sanctions? >> it is a determination by the secretary of state that a significant transaction has occurred with someone on the list of specified persons relating to the russian -- >> did turkey begin to take to deliver the s 400 system on july 12, 2019? >> that sounds correct. >> they took possession. >> i believe so. >> did turkey pay for the system? >> to my knowledge. >> public reports anywhere up to $2.5 billion. transaction took place, russia deliver the system and turkey paid for it. >> i believe that is correct. >> does the presence have an impact on u.s. acute interest? >> we believe it does. that is why we have been unwinding turkey from the participation -- >> doesn't challenge nato? >> that is why the secretaries have made clear the f-35 and s 400 cannot coexist. >> you have sanctioned china for purchasing the s 400 from russia, which i applied, but you sanctioned china for the very exact system that is clearly a significant transaction but turkey, 100 and four days later, with delivery, payment, and just
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recently, tested it against an f-16, which i'm sure major negotiations a helluva lot better to try to get to the conclusion you want and we still have not sanctioned them. so you send a global message that in fact we are not serious about uniformly enforcing the sanctions the congress passed 98-2 and are mandatory. and that is a challenge because other countries closely, well, turkey got a pass, why can't i? and the consequences of that undermine the very essence of one of the major sanctions against russia which is to undermine its military procurement sales throughout the world. this needs to be -- i appreciate the chairman soon having a markup to try to move forward, but when you don't ultimately pursue mandatory sanctions, then the discretion that you seek and other administrations have sought, but the discretion you seek is very tough for some of us to accept because if you don't do it when you are mandatory to, how are we going to believe when you have discretionary won't consistently use the discretion? this is a problem. >> thank you. you are quite right regarding the issue with turkey, nato ally, by law, but you're going to have the opportunity and we will all have the opportunity to speak this next week and help out the administration in that regard. we do intend to a markup next
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week on the turkey bill. with that, senator johnson? >> let me follow up on that and give you the opportunity, what is the reluctance to impose a mandatory sanctions on a nato ally? >> secretary pompeo has made clear he will comply or we will comply with the caatsa law. this is a process still underway. ranking member menendez, we did sanctioned china. they took possession in january 2018 and it was approximately eight months later in september we issued our sanctioned determination with respect to the chinese procurement entity known as edd as well as its director. as the nature of these things go, that was a deliberative process we needed to work
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through in order to make sure we understood the implications and had done our homework with regard to the sanctions we did impose upon the chinese procurement entity. that is the precedent here. it took about eight months to do
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that, rather younger than 144 days. with respect to turkey, the process is still underway. >> undersecretary hill, i want to talk about broadcast board of governors and the capability that has been appropriated before but has not been particularly used to try to circumvent the firewalls in and around the internet. into countries like russia, china, iran. they have not use the appropriations and seem reluctant to do so. we have the confirmation hearing of the nominee to be director for governor, seems to be a little snag. hopefully we can get that individual confirmed. is it administration policy to
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aggressively pursue those types of technologies that can circumvent the internet firewalls imposed a countries like russia and china and iran?
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>> yes, it is. >> can you expand? why haven't we done it? there seems to be a reluctance and spend more money of their broadcast board of governors, voice of america, those types of things, on broadcast programs as opposed to technology that opens up their free internet to repress citizens. >> i agree with the thrust of your concern. unfortunately, that is not an area by direct responsibility so i will have to get back some answers for you on this. >> but that makes sense to you? >> yes. >> hopefully, this committee can pass -- recommend his confirmation to the senate as soon as possible. mr. hale, i would like to get your evaluation of russia's current relationship with -- oley two minutes, so pick and choose -- i would like to understand china's thinking or rushes thinking right now the relationship to china to iran and to turkey. >> i think in general, russian
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behavior is characterized by opportunism was that they look for opportunities in order to deflect attention to their internal problems and they use aggressive tactics to try to undermine u.s. interest and those of our allies in the west. i think in that context and the context of great power competition, russia and china find some congruence is of interest. both want to subvert our values and harm our economies, interfere with our democratic practices. i would put that in that context. there are differences of interest between china and russia but we need to watch
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closely what is happening between those two countries. when it comes to turkey, i would characterize it as opportunism. turkey is seeking to promote its own interest in various ways at times incongruence with us and at times we've had to work out our differences. i think russia seeks to exploit those openings when they can. with iran, russia probably plays a less prominent role in iran today than in other periods of history. we continue to consult with russia on all of these topics. we would like to find areas where we can find commonalities of interest, but it has been difficult to do that. when it comes to north korea, syria, iran, ukraine, libya, arms control issues, counterterrorism, we do have dialogues to try to find common ground. >> back to my original question,
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deliberative process is part of the concern that imposing those we're going to basically push turkey right into the welcoming arms of russia? >> we are not interested in doing that but we want to make sure that turkey is anchored fully in nato as it is today step we are trying in addition to the points of the assistant secretary made, we are in discussions with the turks on the disposition of the s 400 in a manner that will protect u.s. national security interests and counter russia's malign influence. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> let me thank both of our witnesses and the chairman. secretary, i want to follow up on the questions on the meddling in the elections by russia. you have indicated you have had conversations with the russians
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about the interference in the coming election. administer wray, fbi director wray testified in july before the senate judiciary committee that russia absolutely intends on trying to interfere with our elections. so have we just didn't ineffective with our relationship with russia to prevent them from trying again in 2020 elections? has diplomacy fail? have the sanctions not been used effectively? is the messaging of this administration not been effective? or do you disagree with director wray? >> i agree that the russians are seeking to influence the 2020 elections. of course, russian behavior is not just about influencing elections, they also use social media and other cyber tools to try to sow division on a whole host of issues. we have to have continual focus on this problem. another concern is the deniability element, that the russians hide behind. >> your conversations with the russians -- you say you have conversations, but according to director wray, we have not been successful in stopping them from trying to interfere in 2020, at least as of july this year. >> i've been in frequent engagement with the russian ambassador my counterpart to expose the formation we have they demonstrates russian interference to warn them of the potential consequences if they repeat that performance in 2020. >> that is our strategy. are we taking any other steps to prevent russia's interference? >> we also have a government approach to defend and deter our nation from this kind of
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interference. >> you mentioned misinformation. in fy 17 budget, congress appropriated $625 million to counter russia's influence fund. can you tell us how effective that was used in trying to counter the propaganda that you're talking about? >> i don't have measurable data with me today, but we are very pleased to have that kind of support so we can on a global basis work with our allies and directly to counter russia's propaganda. they are not just trying to influence our elections, they have been trying to influence elections all along their border, within the eu -- particularly those countries relatively new democracies. >> the administration held up the use of that money for a period of time, additional congressional pressure was exerted, bipartisan, to utilize that money -- you're saying it was helpful. is there a strategy in this administration to seek additional resources and order to counter russia's propaganda influence? >> yes. for example, the global engagement centers budget last year for the first two years was $30 million. we were -- we are asking for $76.5 million. >> congress gave you $600 dollars that you did not ask for and did not spend, at least initially. >> from where i said, that kind of support is very helpful. >> i want to get to the chairman's point about strategy. our foreign policy is best when it is wrapped within the values of america, what we stand for. we talked about sanctions
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working, being strategic. those specifically involved in human rights violations, the 10th anniversary in november of his death. we know russia has upped its activity against ngos, against those defenders of human rights. imprisoning the people who dissent with putin. what is our strategy to make sure they know they have the support of america and what they're trying to do in reforming their own country? do we have a strategy to up the game against russia in regards to these imprisonments. >> the most powerful thing we can do is speak out and we do so. i hope we will have an ambassador and moscow and i'm grateful for the work of this committee to move that nomination board because the people on the ground in russia are hard-working and hard-pressed team at the embassy in moscow, the first line for speaking out a meeting with an engaging -- >> are you aware there's been a bipartisan letter sent by that the members of this committee and authored by senator rubio myself suggesting you look at the sanctions in regard -- >> yes, i'm aware of that. >> what is the status of that? >> i would have to look into it. we have not responded yet, but we intend to. >> the letter was sent in july so it is been a while. the people protesting are still being imprisoned. i appreciate your words. actions speak louder than words. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. senator romney.
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>> i applaud the fact the president looked at china and said, look, we have been asleep at the switch for too long. while i think there's a lot more to be done in developing a strategy that pushes back against china, i applied the fact we finally recognize we have not been aware of or recognized the malevolent intent. i wonder whether the same is occurring today with regard to russia on the part of the administration. i say that because what you have described is a series of actions by russia that are really extraordinarily alarming. they're investing aggressively in the middle east with military personnel, in north africa, and latin america, supporting some of the world's worst actors. they are violating or did violate the inf. mr. ford, you indicated they are about to make a massive investment in increasing the number of new very missiles of intermediate range. they are making or have made a major investment, upgraded their nuclear arsenal, developing new technologies, new weaponry. of course, the invasions of georgia and ukraine. they are interfering in elections around the world, particularly here in the united states. i wonder, what is there ambition? what is their strategy? what are they hoping to achieve? why are they doing these things -- a country that has a declining population, a weak industrial base cover ought to be focusing domestically, given our perspectives, there would be trying to find ways to help
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their people to improve their economy but instead there investing massively in weapon systems, interference around the world. what is their objective? from the standpoint of our state department, what is russia's strategy? what is their objective? i will let either of you or both responded that. >> i can start, sir. thank you for the question. i agree with so much of what you said about russian behavior. that is why we have to impose
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cost. we appreciate the support of senate and helping us get the legislation right so we can do that. as part of a broader strategy with intelligence pieces, law enforcement pieces, financial pieces, and military elements as well. you ask about the motivations. russia seems to be striking out in order to distract attention from its internal problems. russia seems to want to dominate states around it as some kind of a buffer. and then look for opportunities in order to try to demonstrate that america is weak so they seek openings and places where there are conflicts and states may not be as strong as they could be. >> those are tactics. i recognize those tactics. but what is there ambition? is it to reestablish the russian empire? is it to become a superpower on par with the united states? are they looking to invade other neighbors? are they looking to grab population from other former soviet states to rebuild their population and become more of an
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industrial power, economic power? what are they hoping to accomplish? >> i think they want to restore their self image and global image is a superpower. >> mr. ford? >> i certainly don't disagree with that at all. i think it is quite significant the national security strategy of this administration expressly calls out both china and russia as revisionist powers who are engaged in a great competition with the u.s., that it is our obligation as stewards of the national security interest of the american people to pursue and make sure we protect those interests. you are right in a shift in china policy, senator. i think the same thing can be done about russia that our national security strategy and all we have been doing since its issuance i think speaks to. it turns out unfortunately the end of the cold war did not usher in a benign security
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environment in which we got to relax and worry about other things. it turns out during the great period in which we took a somewhat complacent approach, moscow and beijing were working very hard at their own strategies to build their influence, as we described them to take a revisionist approach to the current system of global order. it is now our challenge to make up for that time and adopt policies that will help stabilize a deteriorating security environment try to turn that around so we can find a stable and safe and mutually prosperous way to coexist with them after putting all of these acting's back in line. >> i would suggest the goal of having a collaborative coexistence with russia is not something that they are pursuing. and they have very different intent. and we need to be very clear right about what their intent is
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and make sure we develop a conference of strategy as opposed to ad hoc sanctions here and there against individuals or various actions they take. we need to have a dramatic strategy, go back to the canon strategy and the cold war -- i'm not suggesting we go back to the cold war, but develop a strategy that gets them on course. their continuing an activity that is extraordinarily maligned and that gives me great concern. >> senator murphy? >> thank you to both of you for your tremendous public service. there is no way to unwind our policy toward russia with our policy toward ukraine. we are going have plenty of opportunity in the house and senate to litigate what our policy has been in the past toward ukraine. i thought it might be appropriate to level set just clarify what our policy is
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currently toward ukraine. ambassador hale, just a few quick questions. is it currently our policy with respect to ukraine to request investigations into an entity called crowdstrike? >> no. >> is it currently our policy toward ukraine to request investigations into the connection between the former vice president's family and a company called burisma? >> not that i'm aware of. >> is rudy giuliani involved today in any diplomatic conversations with ukraine? >> not that i'm aware of, sir. >> i think it is important to acknowledge those facts because part of the defense of the president's actions will be that those request were in fact appropriate. i think it is relevant since the uncovering of those demands have
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been made they are no longer part of official u.s. policy query, whether or not if those actions were appropriate, they would have been dropped after these investigations began. on another topic,, one of the sort of ways to talk about our competition with russia is through a prism of what is called asymmetric warfare. they have capabilities that we don't have. it has always struck me that is a choice. it is not an inevitability. there are some things they're willing to do that we are not willing to do from a moral standpoint, from a standpoint of conscience. but there are capabilities they have that we choose not to utilize. in particular, the way in which they use their energy resources to bully nations around them and win friends and influence adversaries. we have chosen not to use our energy resources in the same way, but there are appropriate means by which we could provide more direct assistance to countries in and around russia's periphery to make them energy
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independent. a bunch of us -- senator johnson, senator rubio, myself, and others have a piece of legislation that was set up a billion-dollar financing capacity to help finance energy independence projects in and around the russia periphery. it strikes me as a way to sort of close this gap that exists without having our private sector comedies to throw their weight around in a way that is completely integrated with your security interest. do you agree there are ways in which we could increase the support that we give countries around russia to try to end this asymmetry that exists today and with a leverage their energy resources and we leverage hours? >> yes, i agree very much with the thrust of your comments. part of that is making sure our allies have alternate sources of energy.
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that is been a major thrust of our strategy because we don't want germany and others in europe to be even more dependent on russian energy sources. i myself have had multiple conversations in my travels in i myself have had multiple conversations in my travels in ukraine and belarus and eastern europe on the private sector would have to be, hopefully, prominent partner in that enterprise. >> if i might add to that, the undersecretary is quite right and you're right about the importance of manipulated energy relationships in russia's strategic policy and one thing we are also doing to try to meet this challenge is through not just promoting any particular type of energy alternative but also focusing upon civil nuclear cooperation. just promoting any type of particular energy alternative but we are working very hard to promote relationships with our partners around the globe
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to provide alternative free nuclear energy which serves our strategic interest with the russian and chinese relationships which is too good to be true i'm not familiar with your particular bill but in principle to offer financing alternatives would be very hopeful. >> i think it is important on both sides of this committee. thank you mister chairman my time is up. >> let me start by thinking both of you for your service i
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will start with you because you are from cincinnati but ukraine. after 2014 i had to see what was going on it was incredible russia chose to take it another direction to encourage political freedom and we needed to stand by them and we did that we refused to give them what they needed to defend themselves against russian aggression with also 3000 ukrainian soldiers have been killed and they needed the opportunity to defend themselves but in 2017 the trump administration did that and that should be noted. . .
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. . >> senator, i would add not only am i a cincinnatian, i grew up in your old house district. >> even better. who did you vote for? [laughter] >> that doesn't get me past the question, does it? i'm not in a position to speak to the specific operational needs. we have gone to enormous trouble as you correctly point out to help them in a very difficult situation russian aggression is
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-- has put them in. i believe we have given something on the order of $1.6 billion or so in various state and dod assistance for their armed forces that does include the javelin antitank systems. i believe there are more javelins in the pipeline. i think congress has been notified of an additional move in that respect. i'm not in a position to speak to precisely what they need next but i can certainly -- >> one thing and details of the committee. if you could give us a list of what has been provided because there's been some information that i think hasn't been accurate. if you could, in talking to the appropriate people, give us a sense of what is needed. secretary hale, in talking about ukraine, as you know, president zelensky has chosen to take the initiative in terms of a peaceful settlement of what is going on on the eastern border of ukraine in crimea. there is a meeting of the so-called normandy format which
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is france, germany, russia, not us, in paris shortly coming up -- next week, as i understand it. what is our position? what is the u.s. government position on his initiative to try to resolve the issues on the eastern border in ukraine? hale: we strongly support him. secretary of state put out a statement i think last night in this regard. i'm looking forward to the normandy meeting. we think he has done some considerable steps that have helped move toward a resolution of the problems. we've seen a reinforced truce. the war is still hot. we've seen an exchange of prisoners, which is welcome. the russians return a vessel they had seized from the straits last year. they repaired a bridge, pedestrian bridge that is important for local communications. we strongly support this. we deftly back the president and the people of ukraine in this regard.
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portman: should we be part of this group? hale: i don't have an answer. we are very closely lashed up with the germans and the french in this regard. we also talked to the u.k. we will be very present during this process. there are discussions about trying to expand it. we will keep you posted. sen. portman i would hope that : could happen. you mentioned earlier in response to question from senator cardin that your supportive. you look at your proposal, you are saying you're looking for additional funding. i think that is important. i know senator murphy agrees. we have worked on this over the years to ensure we have the ability to push back on the disinformation, the propaganda. could you tell us a little bit about it? you have a new leader. i have met with her several times. i think she is taking the center in the right direction. what kind of capabilities do we need that we don't have and why are you asking for additional funding?
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>> thank you for the vote of support for her. we are impressed by her leadership. i understand it provides a coordination role. while $75 million is a lot of money, there's even more were even more resources across our government come across our agencies to promote this messaging strategy. if you look at each of those budgets you will see components of it which the gap will be responsible for helping to corneille to make sure we're doing everything we can to counter russia's propaganda. senator portman: my time has expired. this is largely countries like the countries in the baltics under enormous pressure. we are helping some of her allies. >> the new start treaty with russia is due to expire in just over one year. fortunately, president trump and putin can extend the treaty by an additional five years by mutual agreement. russia has recently said new
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start will additionally cover russia's only two new strategic new their systems that are reported to be deployable prior to 2026. hypersonic glide vehicle and a new heavy icbm. secretary ford, why would we not extend a treaty with which russia is complying and which will continue to cap existing new type of strategic forces. i haven't said we wouldn't. that is a decision that had not been made. it is under consideration. as you indicated, there may be some systems the russians are developing now that will or could be brought under new start. depending upon whether into what degree it is extended, i would qualify your statement slightly in the sense it can be extended by agreement between the two powers for up to five years but could be extended for a shorter period of time as well. what we are doing in approaching this extension as a policy question is to look at it through the prism of our broader objectives on arms-control and
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in particular the president's objective of some kind of a trilateral framework that will help us nip in the bud the potentially emerging arms race that is being triggered by not just russian, but chinese nuclear development. china being in addition to the problems i mention with russia, china being on track to at least double the size of its arsenal over the next decade or so. our hope is to find a framework that will provide enduring feature for the arms in the future and we are approaching new start through the prism of how we can most effectively contribute to that broader long-term. fraction of the warheads and the strategic delivery systems which the united states and russia have. and we have an existing agreement which can be extended, which would then serve as a basis to enter and begin to negotiate with the chinese. but if we cannot realistically bring china within an extension
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of start within a year, doesn't -- does it really make any sense for us to give up on the start extension so that we lose the benefits? sec. ford: as i indicated, i'm not suggesting we are or would necessarily give up on new start extension. the question is how we can best approach these questions -- >> are you saying flat out you will not extend start if the chinese are not included? sec. ford: a decision on these questions has not yet been made, sir. what we're trying to do is find a way to bring both russia and china into some kinds of an arms-control framework that meets the challenges that are presented by their ongoing modernization and build up other -- of their nuclear forces as well as the pressures the conventional military buildup and regional adventurism placing in a proliferate -- >> i appreciate that. it is just highly unlikely as a time energy, logistical matter that we are going to be able to
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bring in the chinese during that period of time. if new start expires, will u.s. inspectors be able to conduct on the ground inspections of russian deployed and nondeployed strategic systems and will they have access to thousands of notifications on the movement of such systems? >> i would think of new start -- if new start were to expire, with it would go the verification protocols and on-site inspection procedures. >> we would lose that, which is a huge breakthrough which was made in terms of on the ground inspections. russian deployed and nondeployed strategic systems. i don't think that would be a step that would be advancing our national security. if new start expires, will u.s. strategic command be able to as easily predict the future shape and size of russian strategic forces to inform how the united
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states configures its own nuclear force posture? >> our hope is that it would be possible to put some kind of arms-control placements not just on chinese, but russian forces, designs to cover some of the things they're building that are not likely to be covered by new start such as -- >> i'm talking about if we don't reach an agreement to extend. if we don't reach an agreement to extend, will we lose our ability to see what is going on inside of russia and as a result not be able to as accurately anticipate the shape and size of the russia's strategic force so that our own research development and ultimate deployment reflects what they could be posting? -- posing? sec. ford: there is visibility into russian posture that is fortified the treaty. when it goes away or whether it's extended or not we would lose. what we are also interested in trying to keep our eyes upon is
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a long game of what happens to be on those five years. in some sense for the future of this potential emerging arms race that russian and chinese actions on the verge of triggering, more important questions about what happens after those years. we are on track and our modernization program to cover those next five years and more. what is in some sense more important for the future of arms-control and the future of the strategic relationship between these powers is what happens after that, whether into year's time or six years time. >> my concern amongst other things is if we mishandle this to the point a nuclear arms race could cause -- cost us trillions of unnecessary dollars, because we have missed the opportunity to have a negotiated resolution of the issue which is something if weinese deal with and , i't take that opportunity
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just think we will wind up with a deficit that is going to be ballooning because of a nuclear arms race at this point. thank you mr. chairman. >> secretary ford i was a lead , republican on some legislation drawn up with senator van hollen earlier this year that would earlier this year that would ensure they made every effort to engage in the negotiations and whatever limitations were reached through those negotiations were adequate. we did address the issue that i will get to momentarily in the think i just heard you which is consistent with everything i have read that indicates russia is currently in compliance with the new start. >> they are with the central treaty limits. >> is there enough time to
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negotiate a renewal that's starting to become a concern because we are at the 15 month mark from when it will expire and we are running out of time, so do you feel the same sense the words renewal? >> i think there's plenty of time to extend if the decision were taken. it isn't going to be particularly negotiated because it could be extended on its own terms and that could be done very quickly. >> but it sounds as though there are some reservations to the extension on account of the dynamic which i think is fair and why senator van hollen and i included that in our resolution so among other things, the legislation that we have put forth would require them to assess the impact that the removal or the extension would have on the actions whether we
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stay in or out, what might china do and what would the likelihood of chinese compliance with the parameters, what would the likelihood of that be so we would want to consider the dynamic under this legislation. i hope this is something that the administration will study and report back to members of congress, irrespective of whether the legislation passes. is this something tha that someg studied right now? >> it's how the relationships between moscow and washington how they affect chinese behavior and vice versa. i think one of the challenges that we have trying to build future for th the arms-control enterprise and make it serve our interest and that national security is precisely to figure out how these dynamics work. we have templates from the cold
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war that our bilateral and those don't make sense. >> you are mindful of it. our you conducting a formal assessment of chinese response to an extension or a renewal? >> i don't know if it would be fair to describe it as a fairly informal assessment and as you pointed out, it is a critical question. >> it would be both appropriate and right to conduct a formal assessment working with our best intelligence to try to come up with a probability of different chinese response is in the nature of those responses if they were a renewal or extension two over it seems that would be a responsible action to take.
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do you agree? >> it is very important, sir. >> it is already being considered and it will happen that we bring all these questions together. >> is the formal settlement occurring? >> i don't know how well it would be to describe the process but it certainly is the question. >> is the written work being produced? >> as it relates to the topic we have been discussing the last few minutes we are working with the intelligence community and all relevant elements of the agency to make sure questions including but not limited to that are part of the principles are able to consider as they seek to make a decision on not just the extension but these questions of how best to pursue a trilateral arms deal. >> it sounds like at least if we
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can elicit from an intelligence community or the state department a formal assessment and perhaps a classified briefing on the topic would make sense. to participate in the first of those in a different capacity to deputy secretary, department of state led to engage with the deputy foreign minister in geneva for the second of these engagements and we committed to doing another one for the second question of figuring out the time to hold that engagement.
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they are having discussions along these lines talking about strategic weapon related issues and an important way for us to be in touch with our russian counterparts and hopefully understand each other better and lay the groundwork for whatever may come. >> thank you so much. i am way over time and i appreciate your service. >> assistant secretar secretaryt perfect that the u.s. has had more than 500 flights in open skies in russia since 2002 fax >> i don't know the exact number but i wouldn't be surprised. >> is it correctly for three timeto threetimes more than thee over the u.s.? >> i don't know the ratio. all parties to the treat treaty- >> just take my word for it. let me know if i'm far off. this is a little context between
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the two countries. deputy secretary sullivansaid that any decision to leave open skies would require unanimous consent of the countries. do you share that understanding >> i don't have the terms of the treaty at my fingertips with respect to withdrawal procedures, but there has been a lot of press speculation on our policy, not all of which one should believe. as mark twain said of his own death, reports of its demise arc -- are greatly exaggerated. senator merkley: you believe that open skies is a valuable contribution to the nuclear security at this point? sec. ford: it does make contributions to our security and that of our partners. right now we are undertaking a thorough review of the merits and demerits of continued participation. no decision has been made to get out. sen. merkley i will just take
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: that. secretary pompeo, in response to a question, i asked him -- a question i asked him, he said that the extension of new start would have to take into account new systems and new actors which we understood by this conversation to mean china. , that is notns such a big issue because you have two systems of the russian foreign minister has said agree would be covered. the vanguard and the new heavy icbm they are building. so the hypersonic glide vehicle. there are two that wouldn't be deployable until the and of the -- the end of the next decade. so those we don't worry about too much. and then there is the conversation that has to be worked out over a plan for -- planned launch ballistic missile. a launch from a heavy bomber covering a response from a fighter, it wouldn't be just like a cruise missile, similar distance would not be covered if flushed from a fighter. that seems manageable when it comes down to one weapon system.
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the china piece that has been raised consistently. china has approximately how many nuclear warheads? about 300, would you say that is the ballpark of reported numbers? sec. ford: i have certainly seen that in the press. sen. merkley how many strategic : warheads do we have deployed? sec. ford: i should know that number but i don't have it at the tip of my tongue. senator merkley it's about 1750. : for russia, 1600. how many do we have if we include tactical warheads? sec. ford: not much more than that. sen. merkley quite a lot more, : several thousand more, actually. the point is 300 chinese warheads, with the triad in the infant stage of development. we have a very sophisticated triad. so does russia. we have just in strategic warheads more than five times their number. that's a huge disparity. are we really going to say that we have to resolve the architecture between china with
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this neophyte program and the u.s. and russia with a much larger, sophisticated program in order to extend new start? sec. ford: i wasn't making the point but all that needs to be resolved and tied up with a bow before one reaches the end of whatever life's time -- lifetime new start has. we think it is incredibly important that we are engaged with russia and china in finding a future that is trilateral for arms control because of we -- if we cannot do that we will run up against the same problems. sen. merkley: as you think about that, do you think the u.s. coming down to the chinese number of 300 or the chinese being given permission to come up to the u.s. number of 1750 deployed strategic warheads? are you advocating for an increase in chinese weapons? sec. ford: no, i am very keen to try to -- senator merkley are you : advocating the u.s. come down to the chinese level? sec. ford: i'm advocating finding way to stop an incipient arms race. senator merkley: you have to
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argue for one or the other. us to come down for china to -- or china to come up. or you are arguing that you think they would agree to differential numbers, locking them into a much lower number than the u.s.. are you arguing for that? sec. ford: the president has directed us to pursue a trilateral cap on three powers precisely in order to stop what could be a very dangerous emerging arms race. sen. merkley: i really am disturbed that in order to take into the vast difference between the chinese and u.s. you have one of three options. one, we put on a cap the china -- that china will be able to come up to or a cap close to china we will come down to or that you think you can lock in a differential with china that they would agree to. those are the three options and you haven't said you support any of those three. you are saying that we are one year out from the end of the initial new start and there haven't been serious negotiations with china to figure out which of these three options to pursue? i don't like any of them, myself. sec. ford: i would say senator
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that those kinds of questions are just the kind of thing we need to be and should be talking about with our russian and chinese counterparts which is why it's so essential for them to come to the table with us to engage on finding a future that manages these effectively. sen. merkley ok, but you haven't : engaged in those serious conversations yet and i know from the past negotiations that it can take many years to work out the details when there are actually fairly uniform relationships between two and -- two powers and this is not a uniform relationship. i will just close their since i -- close there since i'm over time. i think what we don't want to see is china used as an excuse to blow up the existing or potential extension of an agreement with russia that contributes to international security and, of course, in the nuclear realm, that's important to our survival. >> thank you, senator. dr. ford, for this committee, in -- for the edification of this committee, in the understanding
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that this is an open setting, regarding the open skies treaty, can you talk about -- talk a little bit about the disparity, the issues russia has caused as far as not allowing access and, perhaps, enlighten people on why that is causing difficulties with where we are. sec. ford: i will try, mr. chairman. we first found russia to be a noncompliance with its obligations in the summer of i believe 2017. i would stress that that was the first time we decided to declare them in law -- noncompliance. in fact the things that they had been doing at that point and in many cases are still doing our -- our things that they had been -- are things that they had been been doing pretty much continuously since the treaty came into force in 2002. we have found them to be in noncompliance with regard to certain overflights of the baltic enclave. we have found them to be in noncompliance with regards to flights within the vicinity of
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the enclaves that they essentially invaded and carved off of this country of georgia. and are maintaining thereby proxy forces. all of these amount to a thing -- situation where russia has been in chronic noncompliance and a selective noncompliance or with other open skies obligations. this causes great concern to us and our allies. s theviously unlevel playing field the treaty is supposed to create. sec. ford: it has not gotten to the point where we have declared that we feel there to be a material breach, but there have been breaches and they are things that we very much hope russia will turn around. we are looking at it day by day. >> thank you very much. >> thanks to both of you for
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your time and testimony today. the russian federation under vladimir putin has invaded its neighbors, georgia and ukraine, supports the murderous regime of bashar al-assad. our enemies in afghanistan and it has engaged in active information warfare against western democracy, including meddling in the u.s. election in 2016. russia is responsible for heinous actions like the downing of malaysian flight 17 in ukraine and the chemical attacks in salisbury the united kingdom, , 2018. clearly they are an adversary, malicious interference in the 2016 elections and continue to intend to do that in 2020. and other democratic elections around the world as well. i believe that vladimir putin is a thug and the russian federation should be designated as a state sponsor of terror. to join syria and north korea, iran and sudan. this committee has been working on a number of bills, stopping the line activities from russian terrorism act. a bill that senator menendez and
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i have authored to require the state department to submit a report to congress as to whether russia fits the criteria to be declared a state sponsor of terror under u.s. law. a bill that many on the committee have worked together that obviously creates economic, political, and diplomatic pressure on russia in order to respond to the interference in the democratic process. the malign influence in syria and ukraine. the european energy security and diversification act, which many of us have worked on, legislation that would authorize $1 billion to finance catalyzing public-private investment in european energy projects to help wean their dependence off of russian energy assets. so, we know russia supports terrorist groups, have carried out the actions we talked about. we know that separatist
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movements around the world, they have supported. they have interfered in democratic elections and found themselves responsible for a chemical attack on a nato ally. secretary ford, do you believe that russia is a state sponsor of terror? sec. ford: i must confess, my portfolio doesn't have a lot to do with those designations and i'm not as familiar with the elements that go into that as i probably should be. i would defer to others on the question. >> dr. ford? -- dr. hale, excuse me? secretary hale, dr. ford, excuse me. the state department is not determined russia as a state sponsor of terrorism. there is a fairly complex alliterative process for doing that and we look forward to sharing information and working with you and other members of the committee. >> do you believe they would frick -- 50 criteria? >> i agree with the characterizations of russia's malign behavior. i don't personally see that per se state sponsorship of terrorism.
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they are getting close to the edge in terms -- in some places. if the recognize russia is a victim of terrorism as well. i think in 2016 we saw a series of rand reports analyses that showed, based on russia's buildup of military, they could sweep the baltics in less than 60 hours. secretary hale, has that analysis changed to any degree with the increases in investments in nato and other developments in europe? >> i'm not familiar with that study and i'm not an expert on these matters but i can tell you that we are very concerned about the defense of all of our nato allies, particularly the baltic states, and have done there for -- and have done a great deal to bolster defenses and increase the nato troop presence and other instruments on their soil. >> when it comes to europe and the actions of european allies, what actions have been taken to
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press -- what are we pressing european allies to do when it comes to russia's continued aggression? >> job number one is to increase defense spending in line with the pledge of 2% and to realign the burden sharing in a nato common fund. these are topics under discussion as we speak in the nato summit. we are also very focused on the vulnerabilities of the eastern flank of nato, if i can put it that way. these are relatively new democracies that are very vulnerable to russian intimidation, russian tactics to use corruption, use access to media to undermine societies from within. we have seen cyber attacks and other types of interference that have been dramatic and we want to boost those defenses as well. which is more complex than just a military response. we have to use all the tools we've talked about. >> thank you very much, senator.
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>> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you both for being here. dr. ford, in your opening statement you talked about progress made in reducing nuclear tensions. i have listened to the back and forth around the new start treaty. do you support an extension of the new start treaty? >> senator, i would support it if i concluded that that were the most effective way to contribute to our goal of bringing both china and russia into some kind of arms control framework, the question we are all considering right now. >> do i understand you to say that we look for opportunities and areas of mutual agreement where we can work with russia on on some things? >> indeed, we try to keep channels of communication open. and find ways to work together on shared interests. >> hasn't vladimir putin actually suggested that this is one area that he would like to see negotiations resume? >> i believe the russians have made that clear.
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they also by their actions rather than words have made it clear they would like to continue an uninterrupted military and nuclear buildup. >> i'm not asking you about that. i appreciate the uninterrupted military buildup. i think we would all agree that that's not something we want to allow to continue to happen and we need to look for worries -- ways to prevent that. but i am asking you about new start, only. isn't it possible that we could move forward with an extension of new start at the same time we are looking to negotiate other issues? otherclude china and nations that may be a concern in terms of nuclear weapons? >> that is indeed one of the possibilities we are considering right now, ma'am. >> why would we not want to do that? >> we would if we determined that was the best way to bring these troublesome arms race dynamics under control.
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>> so, what's the long-term concern about doing that? because that would give us more time to actually negotiate a broader agreement that would include china and could, potentially, look at other areas where there are weapons that we might want to include in a treaty. so why would we not want to continue an extension of new start? >> as i indicated, that's precisely one of the questions we are considering and the alternatives we are looking over now. we don't have a decision from our interagency and principles just yet but it is one of the things before them. i i would suggest that -- would align myself with the comments of senator merkley that i think this is a red herring to suggest that we can't do anything about new start without including china and the other issues. so, i would hope that we would look at how we can best move forward and continue the progress that has been made under new start while we look at other ways that we can negotiate
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a broader agreement. ambassador hale, i continue to be very concerned about the repercussions of the decision in syria to withdraw troops. and what it means in terms of increasing russia's influence in syria and the middle east. can you talk about what our withdrawal has done to strengthen russia's position in syria? >> well, we do still have troops, of course, present. there has been an adjustment along with all the news that we have seen and the agreement that was reached in october. we have had a dialogue and continue to have a dialogue with russia on syria. >> do we have any potential to influence their bombing in that part of syria? have we tried to do that? >> yes we have.
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ambassador jim jeffrey is her envoy handling the matters has had intense discussions with his counterpart. i have as well with my counterparts. i'm sure the secretary has engaged as well. we believe that these kinds of bombardments must absolutely stop and we will not be able to really cooperate well with the russians unless they do so. >> is that the only leverage we have? to say that we won't cooperate with you unless you stop bombing? >> just talking about not cooperating in the case of syria. no, the russians know that we have a wide range of tools. that's part of the benefit of having sanctions is that they know that as a potential avenue we may go down. >> but we haven't suggested that that would be an option in syria, if they continue bombing? >> i haven't had that suggestion -- discussion myself, senator. >> so, the president was just in afghanistan. one of the things that he suggested was he was planning to resume talks with the taliban . do you know if there have been any discussions with russia,
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either with respect to syria or afghanistan about the potential role they could play in helping to address that resurgence of isis? >> yes, as i mentioned the ambassadors spoke to the russian counterparts intensively about this. we would like to see stronger russian cooperation. not just in fighting isis, but -- defeating isis, but helping in the political processes in stabilizing these countries. isis doesn't have the opportunity to regroup and develop. that's the essence of our approach. >> what has the response been? >> less than ideal. they have not offered the kind of support we expect from them. >> and when we had a presence, they were not engaged full in -- full-blown in the fight against isis? they were also not hopeful in that effort, particularly?
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>> they were not. >> again, as we think about restarting talks with the taliban, do you have any sense of what discussions there will be around the resurgence of isis in afghanistan. it's not a resurgence, but the growing presence of of isis in afghanistan and what we will be asking the taliban to do with respect to isis? >> i don't want to get into classified information, so let me offer generally the disses a -- this is a growing concern and source of alarm in the administration. we were ringing the alarm bells on my last assignment as ambassador. we need to make sure that all elements that are prepared to come into a peace process are focused on that problem as well. >> thank you, mr. chairman and ranking member. i would hope that you would consider a classified hearing to discuss the potential for isis to be a problem in any negotiations with the taliban
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in afghanistan. i think it's a huge threat and we need to be concerned about it. >> i agree with that. we will talk about that in a briefing. thank you so much. senator paul, you are next. senator paul: ambassador hale, sanctions are intended to change behavior. for years we have been having -- adding sanctions to russia. can you name some specific changes that russia has undertaken with regards to and because of our sanctions? >> well, it is a work in progress. we have not achieved our overriding objectives in terms of having russia withdraw from ukraine. certainly, they continue to violate human rights. and we have continued to see interference in the elections. senator paul, --: so no specific changes russia you can name. >> there may be a deterrence effect that is hard to measure. it's going to take time, as we know.
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when it comes to sanctioning regimes. senator paul: sanctioning specific behavior that we don't like it, there's no indication there has been a change in russia's behavior. are there discussions with russia, specific ones, saying that if you do x, we will remove these particular sanctions? are there that level of particular discussions with russia? >> the russians are well aware of what they need to do to get sanctions relief. senator paul: but no specific discussions on removing sanctions on your members coming here if you do x? >> in various conversations that may have been touched upon. senator paul: this sort of illustrates the problem. it's easy to put on sanctions and say we want to change behavior, but it doesn't seem to be working and if it isn't, we may need to reconsider exactly what we're doing. we have also put sanctions on the congress decides we know better than the president, we are to put sanctions on of the
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president can't take it off. is that easier or harder for negotiated if congress puts on sanctions that congress doesn't -- the president doesn't have the means or power to remove? >> i think it makes it harder. i think you put your thumb and an important point, the need for reversibility and flexibility, often the threat would be more effective than the actual imposition. >> the only time i can think of in recent times where sanctions appears to work and it was very obvious was the president putting on her threatening sanctions on erdogan in turkey, and when the behavior changed, removing the sanctions. i would argue the threat of sanctions has leverage but once we place them on we have no leverage. we leave them on for decades and it doesn't appear anything is changing. contrary to what people think, it may actually get the opposite, it may solidify bad behavior because countries have their own sort of national pride once they get there back up they are like we are not changing. some would say that the sanctions worked in bringing iran to the table for the iranian agreement.
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but the contrary argument also might be that it was because we engaged iran and offer them something and they signed the agreement because they got something in exchange. i think that as we look at the world, we can think we can tell the world what to do, but there doesn't seem to be a lot of evidence of that working. there may also be the evidence that, or at least the argument can be made that sanctions or embargoes, such as the standing embargo with cuba may have the opposite of the intended effect. it seems that we would want to study these things. decades saidfor your economy sucks and you have no food because of the americans and the embargo. i think we should at least be open to the argument of whether sanctions work. we ought to try to study whether they work. if we believe that they are the way to go, we should also have an additional effort saying we want to have this talk with you about if you will do x, we will do x.
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there has to be some kind of exchange. the problem is, like so many things we have, we start out with unrealistic propositions. our proposition with russia is when you leave crimea, then we will consider relieving your sanctions. i think from a practical point of view it was wrong they invaded crimea and i don't agree with the policy. i think it's very unlikely they will ever leave short of someone pushing them out. so if that's our point, the sanctions will stay on forever and eventually the russians will say they will have no effect. i think we need to look at if we believe in sanctions working, we have to have negotiations with our adversaries and say all all right, if you do x, we will do x. one thing i proposed i had the , vote in this committee to relieve sanctions on members of -- russian members of the legislature to travel here and it's like we are sanctioning diplomacy. i was the only vote allowing for russians to come here. that's a small sanction the could be exchanged for something. there are things the russians
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want that we could at least exchange little things for little things as opposed to everything for everything. because as a consequence, nothing ever happens. our goals are too large and unreasonable. your response? >> i agree that we should be very thoughtful about how we impose sanctions. the more targeted and specific in nature, the better off we are. we need to ability to maintain flexibility and reversibility. incentivize with the targets to behave the way we want. that's the key, reversibility. >> we have to be able to unwind them or they are of no value. >> i would make the general point we shouldn't look at them in isolation and overall diplomatic strategy. >> thank you, senator. there are certainly some valid points that senator paul has made regarding sanctions. we have a tendency to reach for those quickly without the thought process sometimes that
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you need to go into them. having said that, i think it is stretches a little bit just say how effective they have been because you can't measure something they did not do in the light of the fact that they were facing sanctions. so that's hard to do. on the other hand, the more pointed they are and particularly the ability of the administration to be able to remove them when they want to is important. i know you consider that whenever we are working with these. thank you very much. you chairman, ranking member, i would like to thank both of you. undersecretary hail and assistant secretary ford for your long service to the country and testimony today. russia undeniably attacked our elections in 2016 and has every intention of doing so again. according to the director of the fbi, director of national intelligence and as you confirmed it, response to
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earlier questions from senator menendez as you yourself said in your opening testimony, moscow engages in election meddling and complex well resourced influenced operations directed by the highest levels of the russian government. i agree. you went on to say that this -- that understanding this threat is essential for developing a long-term response. two weeks ago, dr. fiona hill the national security council testified before the house intelligence committee that the russian intelligence services have been promoting a fall -- false narrative that ukraine interfered in our 2060 election and you were previously told senator menendez and response was questioning the you are not aware of any credible -- credible evidence of ukraine interfering in our election. would you agree as you said in your own that understanding the russian threat requires also being clear that there is no evidence of ukraine having interfered in our 26 elections? >> yes i do, senator. >> have you seen any intelligence assessment or open
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source reporting that would support the idea that ukraine interfered in the 2016 election? >> i've seen nothing to credible -- that is credible along those lines. >> are you aware of any diplomat or executive branch official who is asserting publicly that ukraine interfered in our 2016 elections? >> any diplomat? >> anyone other than president trump. >> that's correct, sir. >> if an american politician of either branch repeats this russian disinformation effort, says falsely that ukraine, not russia interfered in the 2016 , election, does that promote our diplomatic interests or national security? >> it's a free country, people can debate any ideas they want. our focus at the state department has been, as it should be, on proven russian interference in the 2016 elections and its plans to do so in 2020. >> would it be in the interests of securing the 2020 election to continue distracting the
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american public, american legislators from the demonstrated russian intent to interfere? >> i have said this, i see no credible evidence about the allegations around ukraine. as foreign policy practitioners, our focus is not there. it's on the russian problem. >> on the appropriations committee i worked with senator leahy and colleagues from both parties to secure an additional $250 million this year in election security funding in an appropriations bill that has not yet passed the house and senate that would prevents future cyber attacks against our election machinery. do you think that is a wise investment in our own security? do you think we should be doing not just that but more to secure democracy in europe against russian aggression? are, not familiar with the details of the legislation but in principle i believe firmly that we need to do everything we can to deter and if necessary defend against the attacks your -- here at home and with our
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allies. >> you have heard from many senators today. we agree that russia needs to pay a price for their annexation -- for attacking our elections, the annexation of crimea, ongoing support for separatists in ukraine, undermining democracy in europe, separating the united states from nato, the support for the murderous regime of bashar al-assad, the list goes on. one area of interest to me where russia has stepped in to exploit activities is africa. strengthening ties with american -- african countries is one of prudence topple foreign policy goals. in october, he convened a -- more than 40 heads of african state for a russian led conference in sochi. they have demonstrated influence or attempted to influence recent elections in madagascar are, new guinea, zimbabwe and in the central african republic. last month i introduced the bipartisan libya stabilization act, including sanctions on those involved in the russian intervention there, requiring an administration strategy to push back on russian actions they in
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-- they are in libya -- there in libya. according to recent reports, there are literally hundreds of russian mercenaries in libya. what is the state department doing to address or limit russian influence in africa, libya, and other countries i just mentioned? >> it's a topic in our conversations with russian officials. i don't think that dialogue is producing or yielding results necessary for national security. more significantly, pointing to our policy towards africa and african states, we are trying our best to make sure that our relationships with africa are well-maintained. that we are promoting u.s. business there. we are also increasing our assistance levels so that u.s. business can be participating in the economic growth and development of those countries. that's a very important area. also our cooperation in the areas of security are very important. on the matter of libya, i would say the strategy there is to try to do what we can to bring about
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a cease-fire and compliance with various un security council resolutions so that the situation is stabilized. meanwhile, we have thrown a spotlight on the russian presence there in various statements, but it is most unsatisfactory. >> i see my time has expired. thank you for your testimony today. i look forward to working to keep an open line of communication between the administration and the senate. i think that continuing to cooperate in standing up to vladimir putin's aggression against upcoming elections is important to the future of our republic. thank you. >> senator cruz. >> gentlemen, thank you for your testimony today. , you said ale moment ago that our focus is on the russia problem. i agree with that sentiment. i think that the administration needs a far more of a focus on the russia problem. russia is not our friend, vladimir putin is not our friend. i want to focus right now on two
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areas where the administration could do better. let's start with nordstrom in two. your judgment, if russia completes the nordstrom pipeline, whatm with the effect be for europe and the united states? >> negative. it would create another tool for the kremlin to use russian energy resources to undermine and destabilize ukraine. >> as you know, we are at the precipice of it in completed. -- being completed. last month the last regulatory barrier that stood in place, denmark, gave the final environmental approvals to complete the final portion. my understanding is that we are roughly 60 days away from the completion of the pipeline. it is now or never. as you know, i authored bipartisan legislation that passed this committee by an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 20-2 to stop ignored stream -- to stop the pipeline. it is designed specifically to
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prevent the only ships that can lay the pipeline from laying the pipeline in completing that pipeline. now, there is some hope in the senate, even in this bizarre partisan time, will manage to work together. there has been considerable progress perhaps passing that legislation as part of the national defense authorization act. i am hopeful that will happen and grateful for the assistance of the chairman and ranking member to try to make that happen. that would be an enormous bipartisan victory for the senate and the united states. that being said, at the end of the day, we don't need to pass that legislation to stop this pipeline. the administration has full authority right now, today, to impose those same targeted sanctions. those sanctions that would result in shutting down the ships laying the pipeline and stopping it right now, today. why has the administration not yet acted? >> we have been using our
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diplomatic tools to seek our goal of stopping this project. i think you and i share, the administration shares your -- >> has that succeeded? >> at the -- at this stage we have slowed it down but haven't stopped it. >> is there any prospect, a snow -- a snowball pasta chance in hell that talking to the german -- snowball's chance in hell that talking to the german ambassador will suddenly stop this pipeline? >> certainly not talking to the german ambassador but we have a , range of agreements on this that are still unfolding. we do have some time. there is a deliberative process about what the options are and if we come to the conclusion that diplomacy is not achieved our goal, sanctions are among them. >> let me give you a very clear message to take back your colleagues. i have had multiple conversations with the white house and secretary pompeo on this topic. time is of the essence. a strategy that is let's pursue our diplomatic options at this point is a strategy to do nothing.
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a strategy that will result with 100% certainty in the pipeline being completed and vladimir putin getting billions, europe -- billions of dollars, europe being made energy depended more so on russia and weakening the united states position in the world. the administration can stop it. it is only inertia. there have been principled meetings and, sadly, some bureaucratic intransigence. particularly from the treasury department, pushing back against exercising clear statutory authorization to stop this pipeline. i want this to be very clear, if the pipeline is completed it will be the fault of the members of this administration who sat on their rear end and didn't exercise the clear power. you have an overwhelming bipartisan mandate from congress to stop this pipeline. it is clear, it is achievable, it's a major foreign-policy victory. the only thing that would allow this pipeline to be built is bureaucratic inertia and
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dithering within the administration. i very much hope that ends and you exercise your clear authority and stop this pipeline before it is completed next month. >> thank you for your message. >> i want to turn to a second topic on russia. dr. ford, we were talking about the open skies treaty and you said something that i wrote down because it startled me. you said, and i think this is verbatim, it does make contributions to our security and those of our partners. it is my understanding is that statement is directly contrary to the assessment of the department of defense and the intelligence community. in fact i will give you some specifics. in 2015, then the director of the intelligence defense agency under president obama told congress that the open skies construct was designed for a different era and it allows
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russia to get incredible foundational intelligence on critical infrastructure, bases and ports, all of our facilities, giving putin a significant advantage. the straps come -- the commander it gives themid the ability to reconnoiter parts of the countries and other nations. 2017, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff told congress "we don't believe the treaty should be in place if the russians are not complying. you told the committee that "russia is in chronic noncompliance. we are allowing russia to fly over the united states to engage reconnaissance on her major -- on our major cities, new york city, washington, dc making , ourselves more vulnerable and gaining, as i understand it, little to nothing because everything that you would gain from the overflights we gain from satellite technology. and russia is not complying with the treaty. how is it possibly in our
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interest to benefit the russiane treaty. how is it in our interest to benefit the russian military by exposing our defenses by not gaining serious intelligence on the others? those are some of the questions we are considering now. the treaty provide some benefits. there also clearly some problems and some concerns. the relevant question is what the net is between the benefits it offers and the challenges it presents. it is evaluating the relative weight of each of those elements on a scale that is the policy question we are trying to assess. our partners and allies seem to feel strongly there are benefits and diplomatic benefits they feel strongly about. we need to take that into consideration and we are carefully consulting with them. we do need to make a call as to
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what that net equation looks like. there are elements on both sides. >> thank you. chair, andu, mr. thank to both of you for coming. i have seen you in a lot of real estate around the world and i want to begin with you. the title of this hearing is the future of u.s. policy toward russia. your testimony has a number of references to nato in your testimony, both written and verbal. how about start with the direct question. how important is it to the future of u.s. policy toward russia that nato remain strong? essential.say it is the strength of nato -- nato has been a cornerstone of our national security strategy since the 1940's and it is inconceivable what the world would be like if we had not developed that concept and supported it until today. nato has many priorities.
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it has been very helpful to the united states in the battle against terrorism, so it is not as if russia is the only priority. i take your testimony that nato remains very important and it remains an important element of u.s. policy toward russia. our nato allies say the same thing. a strong, vibrant, continuous nato is important in their own face-off vis-a-vis russia. >> i believe so. there may be variations of the intensity of the view. the closer you get to russia the more ardent that view is, but i would support that. >> i have no quarrel with the administration pushing nato allies to feel the commitment and benefit from nato but also to contribute proportionally. i think that is a smart thing to do. legislationce of pending before the committee and a few months ago offered it as an amendment to an energy related bill and at the chairs
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request pulled it aside. i hope we will take it up in our next business meeting, a piece of legislation that would say this. in honor of nato's 70th anniversary, wood clarified no president could unilaterally withdraw from nato, but any withdraw of the united states from nato would have to be accomplished by a senate ratification, the senate ratified the nato treaty, or an act of congress. would something like that provide assurance to our nato allies that the united states intends to stay in nato and be the partner as we use that alliance structure to benefit not only the united states but other nations in the world. >> i do not to address the specifics of your legislation. there may be other dimensions to the legal authorities and privileges in play. in my meetings with nato allies, there is no alarm over the u.s. position. they are focused on appropriate burden sharing.
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>> how about the french president saying he viewed nato as being on brain death because of concerns among american -- amongat the united european allies that the united states was backing away from nato. you would not characterize that as an expression of alarm? >> i would say he has legitimate concerns. we all need to focus on nato's future. >> we need to be clear in our commitments. >> absolutely. >> my hope is the legislation that is bipartisan would send a strong administration that the united states under any administration, under congress, would be very committed to data -- very committed to nato. there is a legal question that it takes two thirds of the senate to ratify a treaty. nato was ratified in that way. the constitution is silent about
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exiting treaties. the relevant case law and the supreme court makes clear that when the constitution is silent, congress is free to legislate. there is no barrier to congress legislating. right now the situation without legislation is ambiguity. congress cannot legislate and remove the ambiguity and provide assurance to our nato allies. of this0th anniversary very important alliance, it is my hope we would send that signal. treaty entered into by the senate cannot be unilaterally discarded by any president, but would require some congressional action prior to it being withdrawn or the u.s. presence being withdrawn. i hope we might build a take that up and i think at the 70th anniversary we could send some strong messages of the importance of the alliance you continue to attest to to our allies. with that, i yield back. >> thank you both for being
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here. i have been consistently and aggressively outspoken about the threat posed by russia. 2015, ick to october of would not comment on the leaks. i am also fascinated how a tactical i understand nuclear weapons and the strategic nuclear stockpile -- i find it fascinating if we take a deep wrath, how totally consumed american politics has become by a nation whose gdp is equivalent to italy and the state of new york, whose gdp is the last than the state of texas in brazil, and half the size of the state of california. i thought there was an important -- earlierday senator romney announced what their goal is. i want you both to comment. something americans do not appreciate or understand is
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there a lot of groups within the and they havetion always had friction internally and domestically. you combine that with rising prices and a sense of injustice and inequality and what you have is lot of people see around the world is about vladimir putin and trying to position himself as this historic unifier of all of these different groups. you go back to 2014 they invaded crimea, it was the high point of the public polling on his behalf because he built a sense of natural you -- of national unity. the argument all the groups based the same threat from the west and he was the one bringing them together. you even see now and many of the things he is doing around the world that much of these policies is designed to remind people of the time when the soviet union was a great global power. much of this is about distracting from the domestic
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problems they face internally. driverhat a significant of a lot of these things? the desire to address these internal things and rally everyone around this nationalistic sense of pride by distracting from the master policies and perjuring himself as an indispensable leader and russia as a great power, which they are not, economically, but they could project power militarily in smart and creative ways that allow him to pull off the charade. eloquently said more what i try to say in response to senator romney's question, that this is a matter of russia and russia's leader trying to live up to it self-image as a global power and much of that is in order to distract from the internal problems within russia that they are experiencing. >> in that sense i imagine he deeply enjoys -- not that we should not look into things --
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it would be my sense he greatly enjoys watching so much american politics be about vladimir putin and consumed by it for the last two and a half years. that makes the argument, does it not? >> it is consistent with what we know the russians are trying to do through social media and other tools to divide our nation. >> the reason i say that is not because i do not to focus on those issues. i think we somehow have to figure out in this country how to do two things. on the one hand, address these threats. one of the things i think we need to do is pass the deter act which would put in place sanctions that would kick in if russia were to do this again, because i think vladimir putin is a cost-benefit analyzer. if the out way the benefits it would certainly affect him. i think we need to be cautious or aware of these ongoing efforts. this is not a one-off effort on
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the part of the russians via the efforts vladimir putin has put in. this impeachment situation that is playing out nationally, you can see, if you stand back and watch, how they are using this -- the first thing they say is america is completely dysfunctional. the second argument is they are eroding trust in democracy, that it does not work. they view it as an opportunity to damage our relationship with ukraine. the goal is to portray the u.s. as dysfunctional, to exacerbate our domestic tensions, which adds to that portrayal of dysfunctional, and i think it is as important as anything else. sometimes we get tunnel vision and think about this is about supported one singular individual. this is much bigger and will be here long after any of us has gone. it is an effort to weaken us from the inside, get us to fight one another, and to point to us as dysfunctional and coming
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apart at the seams, because it elevates him as someone with a itle on his face because strengthens the argument he is a big global player. that is my comment. rubio.k you, senator >> thank you, mr. chairman. i agree with my colleague and friend. the only thing i would say is that we harm ourselves more when --internally ex-spouse the very essence of the russia propaganda. that is one of the detrimental effects of what is happening. on a different matter, i am alarmed to have learned secretary pompeo may be considering changing the way in which the state operations center places and participates
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in calls with foreign leaders. i am concerned about the lack of transparency, a lack of record keeping such a change may entail , keeping the american public and congress in the dark at a time when we know the president senior state department officials and others appear to be carrying up official u.s. government foreign policy on personal cell phones. i am not looking for an answer from you today. this committee needs to understand what changes are being proposed, how the department will maintain complete records, and what the intent is behind what appears to be an effort to keep the american public, congress, and others, from knowing about or understanding our governments communications with foreign leaders. i urge you to bring this back to if theretary because was ever a time that such an action would be disconcerting, it is right now.
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i am not aware of any proposed change to our policy. the secretary is in london but i understand your concerns in question. i will take it back to the secretary of state and we will get back to the committee. , you repeated something earlier in response to the chairman's first rounds of detractors of new , thatepeatedly bring up russia's new exotic nuclear systems and how the treaty may not constrain these systems are an issue. you must be aware russia has already stated that two systems will fall under new starts. is that not true? >> the russians have said that and hopefully that turns out to be the case. there would still be three
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systems that would not be covered under that respect. imaginewe say we cannot that these new systems not be covered, here are two the russians themselves have agreed to cover. if you do not explore, in a negotiation, what is willing to be covered, that i do not think you can dismiss it out of hand. further reports indicate other systems of concern likely will not even reach deployment during the lifespan of new start, even if it is extended. echoes of concerns several of my colleagues have angle,irst on the china china is dramatically under the u.s. ability and the nuclear arsenal, so seeking to include them creates a dilemma in terms
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of what the senator pointed out. secondly, suggesting russian systems are a reason not to continue new start is also alarming when we have seen they have agreed to two and when pursued my degree to others. -- when pursued might agree to others. i would urge to look at new start in a different way. allies urge usr to do so. let me ask you something else. egypt is reportedly planning to purchase from russia. have you had meetings with the egyptians to dissuade them from this purchase? >> i am not liberty to speak about any specific information
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we may or may not have about any potential russian arms transaction. i can say we have been very active. >> i know about it so i do not know why we are not talking about it. what is the big posh? -- what is the big hush? >> i can say we have active around the world amongst partners, including egypt, making them understand the potential for sanctions exposure. i have had conversations making those points about the importance of the law and avoiding that exposure personally in cairo and elsewhere. these are the kind of engagements we've been successful in having around the world and have been essential in our policies to dissuade billions of dollars. i would like to get a classified briefing if you will not answer in public on this and other items as to where it is we are pursuing other entities in the world. my understanding is you've been given all the authority of the undersecretary for arms control and international security.
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is that correct? on the 21st of october, secretary pompeo delegated to me the responsibilities of that office. >> here is an example. you've not been nominated for such a position. this appears to be another case of the state department playing fast and loose with the rules in the hopes no one will notice. that, you should be nominated for the position, and if you are nominated, under the law, you would be allowed to serve in that role for only 210 days. this is another concern i have with the state department acting in ways that seek to circumvent the oversight and jurisdiction of this committee. it is not acceptable. >> i would say there is no intent to circumvent anything. what there is is a recognition of the importance of not having those important duties be
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gapped. >> i agree with you. nominate somebody. at the end of the day, do not circumvent the committee. you think we are asleep at the switch. we are not. thank you. >> we have a couple of minutes left on the vote. senator, did you want another --? >> that's right. the tolerance on votes seems to be extensive as long as the chairman states. >> we have another important matter. >> i will try to make this as quick as i can. i want to get to russia's intentions in regards to ukraine. we know the occupation of crimea falls into russia's playbook to , to disunity in europe prevent ukraine from fully integrating or applying for nato membership.
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we know that. that there are many questions on this during this , that the press accounts of ukraine being involved in our election, which has been stoked by some individuals, falls into russia's playbook even though there are no facts at all from any of the security people and intelligence committee that ukraine was involved at all in the 2016 elections. i want to get to how we are proceeding with the peace talks. minscst had the protocols and russia was excited about that but never complied. we now have a new formation, and i would like to get your thoughts about how we are proceeding. is russia winning this debate on how we will resolve conflict in
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ukraine by developing a formula that will ignore the occupation of crimea and establish semi autonomy for eastern ukraine while still leaving ukraine a divided country? is that where we are headed? what is going on? >> we are united with our allies in europe and with the leadership in ukraine to get the russians out of ukraine. crimea is part of ukraine. eastern ukraine is part of ukraine. that is the objective. we call for an immediate end to this occupation. our focus, and there are several initiatives as you have said. it is good the normandie process is resuming after a long period where there is nothing happening. we will see what comes of that meeting on december 9. i do not want to predict something that has not fully formed. we have also seen president
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zelensky has, with some success, but able to engage in dialogue with the russians to at least reduce the tension. we need to see much more on the security front prior to any political activities related to minsc. that is the heart of the issue of the occupation. >> as a relates to the formulation recently released? it looks like ukraine is following that. itsia seems to be excited by , at least from what we have been told. are we assured we are not going to end up with some type of legitimacy of russia and crimea? >> we will never accept that. >> that is definitive. i appreciate that. i think you have a lot of support in congress for that position. obviously would we would like to ease tensions wherever we can, so that is a positive step, but russia does not play by any organized playbook of fairness.
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their objective is to keep us divided. it is hard for us to imagine a process that does not extend the division of ukraine. >> thank you very much. thank you to both of our witnesses. we sincerely appreciate your service to the customer -- to the country and appreciate your testimony. i'll be entering supplemental materials for the record. the record will remain open until the close of business friday. if the witnesses put respond rapidly to those we would greatly appreciate that. committee is adjourned. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2019] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit]
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>> as house democrats begin drafting articles of impeachment on president trump in ukraine, the house judiciary committee meets for here got evidence live today at 9:00 eastern with democratic and republican counsel presenting findings from the impeachment a great. watch live at c-span, online at, or listen with the free c-span radio app. the house judiciary committee has announced the names of the witnesses for monday's hearing.
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attorneys for the judiciary and intelligence committees will testify. barry burke and daniel goldman for the democrats and stephen castor for the republicans. our c-span campaign 2020 bus team is traveling across the country asking voters what issues should presidential candidates address? for thisp issue election campaign cycle is the national debt. it is not being talked about enough. mark stanford got into the race just to bring that issue to the forefront. itis over $22 trillion and does affect our foreign policy and what we are able to do as a nation. it affects what we are able to do for our children and future generations. it should be curtailed. >> i would like to see washington stressed some of the foreign policy issues with a more analytical approach. i am currently pleased with president trump's choices and
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his actions in that area. i would hope all the politicians would approach it more analytically. >> i think in 2020 what the candidates should address are some of the crises in the united states, namely climate change, gun violence, right now the , weed states and humanity are at a crossroads between a potential disaster and a result that could work out for everyone. i want candidates that will push forward with results to make everything better for everyone. >> voices from the road on c-span. late last week, federal prosecutors announced charges against two russian nationals accused of painting and act fraud -- hacking and bank


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