tv Top Diplomat Discusses U.S.- Russia Talks on Ukraine CSPAN January 26, 2022 7:33pm-8:21pm EST
>> senate majority leader chuck schumer released a statement on the retirement of supreme court justice stephen breyer saying in part, his work and his decisions as an associate justice on the biggest issues of our time including voting rights, the environment, women's reproductive freedom and most recently health care and the affordable care act were hugely consequential. america owes a justice breyer and enormous debt of gratitude. senator schumer statement went on to say president biden's nominee will receive a prompt hearing in the senate judiciary hearing and will be confirmed by the full united states senate with all deliberate speed. something that was echoed by dick durbin. >> deputy secretary of state wendy sherman today said the u.s. sees every indication
russian president vladimir putin intends to use military force against ukraine. she made the remarks during a virtual discussion. >> cohosted with the foundation . support ukraine's european perspective. totally understandable ukraine feels it as a hostage. what can europe and the west do to protect ukraine's territorial integrity and also most
importantly, ukrainian freedom to choose their own way echo we are honored to welcome wendy sherman, the u.s. deputy secretary and a brilliant diplomat. welcome and welcome under in the name of my fellow board members. the united states played a key role for protecting the principles of international law and for the right of every nation to choose their own way into the future. what can you tell ukrainians and europeans today? what is our way forward? >> thank you so much. i love to say madam president. it is very exciting. someday we'll be able to say
that in the united states. he did an extra in our job as president of your country. thank you for that warm welcome and for agreeing to serve as our moderator for today's discussion. i am looking forward to our conversation. i want to thank y'all tell european security for hosting this event and to acknowledge your founder and the chairman of your board, the former polish president. for nearly two decades, yes has been a vitally important form for building ties between ukraine, europe, united states and the wider world and for organizing substantive timely conversation like this one today. i asked week, secretary -- last week, secretary blinken is it a key have, berlin and geneva as the united states continues our efforts with allies and partners to urge russia to de-escalate tensions and choose the path of diplomacy. when he was in berlin, secretary
blinken gave a speech about what is at stake because of russia's aggression. for ukraine and beyond. if you have not already, i encourage you all to read it. as we speak, russia is escalating its threat toward ukraine. washer has amassed more than 100,000 troops on ukraine's border in an unprovoked buildup of military force and has sent additional troops to belarus allegedly for large-scale military exercises. moscow is continuing to use increasingly bellicose and inflammatory rhetoric and to spread disinformation and propaganda in an obvious effort to paint ukraine as the aggressor. there is no defensive justification for russia to amass so many troops in a short time on ukraine's order. ukraine poses no threat to russia. it bears repeating it was russia
that invaded ukraine in 2014 and occupies crimea to this day. it is russia that continues to fuel a war in eastern ukraine that has claimed nearly 14,000 lives and destroyed entire towns. it is russia and their proxies holding ukrainians as their prisoners and because of russia's actions, nearly 3 million ukrainians are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. while the suffering is most acute in crimea and eastern ukraine, ukrainians everywhere have felt the effects of russia's aggression. russia has interfered in ukraine's elections and tried to undermine ukraine's democratic institutions paired russia has blocked energy and commerce, launched cyber attacks on ukraine's critical infrastructure. now, russia's actions are causing renewed crisis not only for ukraine but for all of
europe and indeed and secretary blinken said for the wider world. one country cannot change the borders of another by force or did take the terms of another country's foreign policy or for bed another country from choosing its own alliances. these are basic tenets of our international system. without them, we risk returning to a world where might makes right, where larger countries can bully and coerce smaller ones into acting against their own interest or ignoring the will of their own people. the united states stands with the people of ukraine and we remain committed to ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. secretary blinken reinforced that last week when he met with president zelensky. since 2014, the united states has committed more than $5.5
billion in security and nonsecurity assistance to ukraine including more than 350 $1 million in assistance to those displaced or impacted by russia's aggression. we are continuing to provide a sense of security assistance to ukraine. president biden authorized 200 million dollars in security assistance in december in the first shipments began arriving in recent days. congress recently increased funding for ukraine security assistance and adjective. we are working with our nato allies including the baltic states to provide to put medics support and other assistance to ukraine in this time of crisis. in the past week, we have worked hand in glove with our baltic allies to enable transfers of defensive arms to ukraine. i went to a knowledge the bold position taken by our baltic allies in making these systems available from their own stockpile.
all of us hope ukraine will not need to use these arms. if it comes to that, ukraine will be better able to defend itself from further russian aggression thanks to these efforts. the united states and our nato allies and european partners are fully committed to the principle of nothing about you without you. the thing about nato without nato. the thing about europe without european nothing about ukraine with out ukraine should we have said that plainly to our russian counterparts in all of the diplomatic engagements we have had in recent weeks as we urge russia to de-escalate tensions. russia claims this crisis is about its national defense. about military exercises and security agreements. if that is true, there are concrete and reciprocal steps we can take to increase
transparency, reduce risk, improve communication and advance arms control. we have told the russians the unit states is prepared to discuss those issues in coordination with our allies and partners if the russians are ready. on friday, secretary blinken met with the russian foreign minister in geneva to urge russia to find its way back to the diplomatic task. thank you again to yes for organizing today's event. i am looking forward to our discussion. i turned the floor back to you. thank you. >> thank you. particularly for reassurance there is nothing decided about ukraine without ukraine. and of course all of this is crystal clear to us and we are all taking steps to support ukraine. what else could we do to make
the message more clear, more believable to have really strong deterrent effect for the situation worsening further? we have been taking all these steps and yet it is the second military buildup at ukraine's border in months. you must have gotten a feeling cared what more could we do to make sure the plans if they are there to attack ukraine will be halted? >> thank you very much. i think that it is fantastic, the solidarity in europe and speaking of one voice, i must say when i went to the russia council meeting, it was extraordinary. all 30 countries delivered the same message to the russians. i think we have to use every form that we have. to speak with this one voice of
solidarity. one, that russia should choose diplomacy. there is no way that russia with the largest conventional military in europe on the security council as a permanent member, an enormous landmass with tremendous energy resources come a country that is one of the two largest nuclear powers in the world could possibly be threatened by ukraine. a smaller and still developing country. in addition, there is no threat by nato. nato is a defensive alliance that is created to create defense and protection for europe. nato has only one article five, which as an attack on one is an attack on all. i coming to the defense of the united states in afghanistan.
has not taken any offensive action in europe or elsewhere. no coercion. no subversion. russia should likewise -- no taking of country by force. no coercion should no subversion. pushing for diplomacy with solidarity in every form we have and secondly, preparing for the worst kid that is why -- the worst pure that is why what estonia, with the winnie i did in terms of coming to the supportive ukraine is so significant of their own stock pile to help out. it is why it is important the united states increase our security assistance. helping ukraine get ready to provide for its own defense but also getting ready, sanctions and export control and other measures that say to russia, if
you take this action, there will be severe reaction. the german ambassador to the united states tweeted this morning the u.s. and germany jointly declared last summer if russia uses energy as a weapon or if there is another violation of ukraine's sovereignty, russia will have to pay a whole -- a high price. olaf scholz stated clearly nothing will be off the tame -- off the table including nord stream 2. this is a very important message of solidarity of severe consequences should russia take this action. president putin should rethink what he is considering and take the diplomatic court. -- to plot a course. -- the diplomatic course. >> it is reassuring to hear of the german government to not allow operation of nord stream 2
pipeline in case something further goes along should it is encouraging this mentioning of energy, using energy as a weapon in the ukraine context because one of our -- if there will be further disturbances in the energy supply in ukraine, is that also considered an attack on ukraine? what is the threshold to unleash the promised sanction in this context? this will be very important to understand a little bit that are also may be for the russian side. what might unleash the sanctions? >> we are in intensive discussions with european capitals to ensure an energy supply for europe if indeed russia uses energy as a weapon. we think about the risk to europe but we also think about
the risk to russia. they need to sell energy. they need to put it on the market in europe and get payment for it. they need it for their economy. it is very critical for their economy. this is interdependent pure yesterday, a senior u.s. official on this issue said moscow needed oil and gas revenue as much as europe looked to russia for energy supply. the energy issue should be looked at as more interdependency rather than advantage for putin. there is a very complicated calculus here. we are in deep discussion to ensure in every way possible that russia cannot use energy as a weapon and europe has an assured energy supply. >> i am very grateful for the assurance. we know we are seeking to
diversify rapidly european energy supply. i do have thoughts on the codependence. that is part of our worried that russia seems to have provided for the reserves. one layer of the preparations we have seem. it is possible that if ukraine is cut off, it will be disturbances. before anything else went on, -- it is an attack like a cyberattack. how do you feel about it? >> i think you make a very good
point. we are preparing for all kinds of scenarios. a full on invasion. any troops. the secretary of state said even one russian troop further invading ukraine is a very serious matter because it breaches all of the principles of international security and says and other country can act with impunity, which has tremendous consequences for ukraine and europe but also sends a message to the entire world that other autocrats can act with such impunity and go past long-held international principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity. and the ability of a country to choose its own alliances. it is very article. we are also looking at scenarios of hybrid attacks were subversion or sabotage or coercion. we have to consider all these and be ready to act to support
ukraine and to make sure that russia knows it will face consequences. >> thank you for these reassurances. we really must stress this is not about starting a war. the war is ongoing to have myself twice flown on helicopter to eastern ukraine conflict and sing with my own eyes how sad this war is for ukraine. people have been doing every year. we have not been thinking about what is going on in ukraine. as has been our error. i hope and i wish that day in, day out even if we managed to have -- we can get to russians to the talking table. we will never again forget what has been going on all this time because the war has never
stopped. it is a war since 2014. russia still feels to think it is to continue this war and continue -- when russians get behind the table to discuss with us, are we ready also to pull out the message, which will be a disappointment? this message which we can only say is we are not feeling up on our right to collectively defend ourselves. we are not going to give up on ukrainian territorial integrity. we are not accepting the facts on the ground will be sustainable for the future and ukraine would not have control over eastern ukraine. what is your prediction?
i do not see president putin saying we tried this. what is your prediction? >> i don't know what is in president putin's mind check there is only -- putin's mind . people around him don't know what he will ultimately do. and of the plans of setting up the military to be ready to go and to have plans to make use of the military but i suspect the president has other plans in mind as well. i have no idea whether he has made the ultimate decision. we certainly see every indication that he is going to use military force. sometime perhaps now and middle of february, we all are aware the beijing olympics begin on february 4, the opening ceremony
could president putin -- the opening ceremony. president putin expects to be there. i think president xi jinping would not be ecstatic if putin chose that moment to invade ukraine. that may affect his timing and his thinking. you eloquently laid out what russia has already done to ukraine. we talk about a further invasion of ukraine. indeed, they have illegally attempted annex of crimea. they have constantly pressed in the east in the donbass region and caused enormous hardship and death to ukrainian citizens already. they have also pressed institutions inside of ukraine and tried to undermine the democracy of ukraine. they have posted all kinds of social media posts to try to
change how people think. what is so extraordinary about what putin is doing is he does not want ukraine to ever get into nato but his very actions are making the people of ukraine more interested to be in nato. before putin illegally annexed crimea and has tried to hold it, ukrainians were mixed about what they wanted their future to be. after those actions in 2014, -- i'm sorry, when that occurred. after the pressing of the eastern region in the way you so well described, a majority of ukrainians want to be in nato. are committed to democracy. ukraine still has more to do for its democracy. people have chosen its future.
we have to support that vision that ukrainian citizens have for themselves in every way possible and constantly say that we are here for ukraine, that we want to support ukraine, that we will do nothing about ukraine without ukraine. >> i have a long list of questions asking whether ukraine can procure elsewhere from germany. people are also asking for example, if there will be an air attack by russia or in case of a missile strike, the readiness. can you take get defensive weapons to reduce the threat from the air? is a very complete questions of people who are ready to go and defend their own country asking,
will there be support for them in case russia goes for a full on invasion. >> it is incredibly important to do everything we can to's or ukraine, two to be able to defend itself. as i said earlier, it is why it is extraordinary and very affirmative that estonia, latvia, lithuania have sent defensive weapons to ukraine. it is why the united states the president did an additional $200 million for security assistance. and those shipments have already begun to ukraine. they have the capability to defend themselves. president zelensky is in a tough
position because he wants his economy to move forward and all of the talk of military strike and conflict create not the best investment environment. we have to help in every way we can economically to ukraine so that they can get through this difficult time. we have to help them prepare militarily in every way we can so that they know they have support going forward and i would say to russia, whatever you do, know that this is not the ukraine of years ago. this is ukraine with a military that is capable. this is a country that is going to stand up for itself. there will be nothing you do where ukrainian citizens will not fight for their own future. there is nothing russia can do that will not cost russian
lives. this is not just about ukrainian lives. russia needs to know that ukraine is ready to defend itself and to defend its future. >> indeed appeared i can only -- indeed. i can only confirm your words. i was in ukraine. on the national day, i witnessed the military parade. i sell the termination. i saw the readiness. for those people who had a -- who they had already had lost too much. i do appreciate what president zelensky has been doing in reforming ukrainian health care . also trying to fight corruption and make ukraine a better investment climate to this -- investment climate. show me another country globally in the world who has managed to do that.
we have no excuse in saying ukraine should do ukraine has been reforming and fighting. it is spanning back to when russia was following its neighbors. actually not accepting any more on international agreements. how do we somehow make sure that such a great country can be today when it is preparing for the toughest. -- the toughest period in its existence. it seems so obvious to some. we will definitely not give up on ukraine's chances of joining nato one day. there has been an agreement but not moving forward, what is there to lose in coming years? ukrainians are afraid this might happen.
that is one of the most persistent questions i am getting for my audience today. >> nato has affirmed the ambition that ukraine has to become a nato member. there is a process. there are requirements. ukraine is working to show that it is ready for a membership action plan. it hasn't reached that point yet but nato has certainly affirmed the ambition that ukraine has to join. i am hopeful for ukraine's future. i think, madam president, you have outlined the work the ukrainian president is doing to get rid of corruption. to make sure the institutions of democracy are strong in his country. all of these things are important.
everything we can do to provide support to help the president move forward is quite important. it is hard to build a democracy. we are still building ours. we are not a perfect country either. this is hard work. everything we can do to bolster the president in those efforts is incumbent on each of us to do so. so they can look ahead to the future they want.
>> i have to ask you, what would u.s., europe could further do to help further and sustain? mostly to alleviate the fear coming from ukraine. what more could europeans do to continue supporting ukrainians and to also keep their belief? >> on the principles of international security, and the future ambitions that countries have two be a part of the international community in an variety of ways. i think that besides making sure ukraine has defensive capacity it will need if russia takes further action to further invade ukraine. but also to look at ukraine's economic needs. and whether there are ways we can support during this volatile time. it makes it very difficult to move forward. we want to encourage ukraine on unity. this is a moment inside the country.
there is conflict in every country, political conflict. you have been president of a country, you understand political parties and interests and differences. this is a moment where ukrainians need to show they are united. the fusions -ffision -- fissions and fractures they have need to be set aside for another day. at this moment, we need ukraine working with a unified europe. the united states and the world community to say we are together. russia choose diplomacy, otherwise in united fashion, we are ready to impose incredibly severe consequences, should you take action to further invade ukraine. >> what will happen if russia still misreads what we are all telling today? what will happen on the day? do we have a plan for that?
i am thinking we must be prepared to support ukraine already at war if this were to happen. if worse came to worse. can we give some assurances that even during these difficult phases we have plans on going to continue to support and what kind of support it may be. >> i think nato is doing a great deal of planning for that. we announced yesterday 8500 troops being put on what we call prepared to deploy. our contribution as nato, particularly those countries on the eastern flanks that would be very concerned about what might happen. providing defensive materials to ukraine. making sure that russia understands they will pay a price.
not only in terms of severe sanctions, i believe those sanction packages will be ready and an enormous amount of work is going on with the european union, capitals in europe. with the united states. so i believe we will absolutely be ready. all of that has to be ready to go. the nato planning, support for countries in europe on the front line so that they feel reassured as well, defensive material and security assistance, perhaps economic assistance to ukraine, which we are looking at. i hope others are as well. making sure that we are sending messages of reassurance to ukrainian people, which you are doing today that we are pushing back against russian propaganda
and misinformation. i have no doubt russia is running a false flag operation and they will find a pretext for whatever action they take. may put in people to say ukrainians are creating conflict and tension for russia. we have to be ready for all of these things and provide support in every way that is appropriate to ensure russia understands the consequences it will face. >> it is very important what you just now said. we will blow every cover that russia tries to use. it is very important that we underline we will not negotiate
-- to make this. we cannot negotiate. this cannot happen. for you to hear about this recently conducted in the six western countries, u.k., the u.s., and germany, they are in many strong support of citizens for helping ukraine. supporting ukraine. including sanctions against russia and military support. this must have changed since 2014. we cannot give into any type of volleying like this. we cannot negotiate. we have to put that power. to finally make the message that with this behavior, they will only see more troops close to russian border. it is being counterproductive from the internal viewpoint of russia.
could you once more assure our listeners? >> fascinating survey results. very encouraging. a message of solidarity that is so critical here, that russia knows it cannot split us, one from another. that we are moving together. they are inside of russia doing extraordinary amounts of propaganda that is just incredible. my understanding is during december, russian language content, escalating tension increased to nearly 3500 posts per day. a 200% increase. inside russia they are working hard to create these false narratives, "it is all ukraine's fault." this crisis has been completely manufactured by russia. there doesn't need to be a crisis.
i quite agree with you, madam president. i said clearly to the russians, you do not get to decide on nato membership. that is not your decision. it is up to the members of nato. no, you do not get to decide that all offensive weapons will leave europe. you do not get to say that we turn back the clock to 1997 and all of the countries that have joined nato since have to unjoin. that is not going to happen. if you want to talk about real security issues like control, ways that we can enhance security, we are on board for having those discussions. the dialogue the u.s. has at the nato constitution and the institutional formats and at the osce, as well as discussions that are ongoing with the
european union and taking place in the normandy format in paris today. there are lots of ways to ensure mutual security but not by all -- ultimatums. not by threatening ukraine. not by coercion. not by a subversion and not by invasion. >> we have talked about this question already but please allow me one last question before we have to sum up. you have been reassuring. people are asking is the u.s. allowing the possibility of any concessions on the question of ukraine into nato? which does nato have to get the membership action plan? >> we are not deciding anything about ukraine without ukraine. it is as simple as that. ukraine has a right to decide its own future, its own foreign
policy orientation. its own ambition. they have decided they want to climb the ladder to nato membership. it is a hard process. it takes time. there are things ukraine is working on that you indicated today in your remarks, madam president, that will get them to that membership action plan. it is a long process. it takes a while for any country to join nato. i am very glad for the work the ukraine is doing it to be able to walk down that road, climb that ladder, whatever metaphor we want to use. what i think is important for today, as we are coming to the end of this wonderful conversation, is that we all embrace what the people of ukraine have chosen for themselves.
they want a democratic future. they want to be a part of an alliance in europe. we should support them in that ambition in every appropriate way for them to reach a fool and robust democracy and to say to those who would push them in another direction against their will, that is the wrong path. russia has no right to decide for ukraine or any other country what its borders will be, what their future will be. we believe in the sovereignty of ukraine. the territorial integrity of ukraine. the right of the ukraine and the ukrainian people to choose their own future and we will do everything we can to affirm the vision the ukrainian citizens have for themselves. >> thank you, madam secretary.
it has been quite reassuring to talk to you. i think we fully have to accept it is their right to ask at this critical time. it is a difficult situation and circumstances to join nato. thank you also for the reassurances. we need to support as long as they support indefinitely. more deterrent measures rather than less deterrent measures that russia tends to be seeking. also thank you for understanding the difficulties.
i am quite sure our listeners and viewers are a little bit reassured, maybe not totally reassured. not only in the case of an overactive conflict. we felt slightly reassured by the we stand still waiting to continue twice daily to convince russians, but we do meet business. protecting ukraine, protecting the rights of the free world and totally united we stand. thank you. this conversation will be available. hopefully we will have in the
future similar discussions. >> thank you, madam president, and thank you for the valuable support you provide and for your support of ukraine. >> thank you, we really do have our hopes with you. we rely on you. >> we rely on each other, madam president. all of us have to do this together. announcer: secretary of state antony blinken also spoke about the situation with russia and ukraine today. he outlined the u.s. written response on de-escalating the situation in ukraine saying it laid out a diplomatic path. also details on assistance of the court. justice breyer was a church on
the u.s. court of appeals for the first, serving as chief judge from 1990 to 1994. before that he worked in the federal government, including in the justice department's antitrust office and as a special assistant particular on the watergate special prosecution force. he spent time as a staffer in the u.s. senate and special counsel to the justice judicial committee.
-- i thought, that is a part of education, later i thought, that is a part of american education that helps us do what we are pretty good at doing, getting people who do not agree with us and when you get down to it we can work with them, we can get them together, and if you deal on a court where people think quite different things you better listen, and you better understand that there coming from perhaps a slightly different place, but we have the same problem. we are all approaching these legal problems and most of the time we are probably unanimous, but we are approaching it with lawyers, judges, a human being's point of view, and we will talk this through and we will try to
get as close to unanimity as we can, and that requires listening , and it requires taking in what the other person is like, is thinking while they are saying this and working with that. i learned that from senator kennedy. announcer: senate majority leader chuck schumer released a statement on the retirement of stephen breyer saying in part, is work and his decisions as it is safe to get justice of the biggest issues of our time, including putting rights, the environment, women's reproductive freedom and most recently health care and the affordable care act were hugely consequential. america owes justice breyer an enormous grant of data to. his statement went on to say the president biden's nominee will receive prompt hearing it will be considered and confirmed with deliberate speed, something that