tv British PM Boris Johnson Speaks at Munich Security Conference CSPAN February 19, 2022 2:07pm-2:32pm EST
record and what he accomplished as the president of the united states is actually quite impressive. announcer: ryan walters sunday at 8:00 eastern on q&a. you can listen to q&a and all of our podcasts on the free c-span now app. ♪ announcer: now a portion of british prime minister boris johnson's remarks at the 50th annual munich security conference. this is about 25 minutes.
pm. johnson: how meaningless, how insulting those words would seem if, at the moment when sovereignty and independence is in peril, we simply look away. if ukraine is invaded, the shock will echo around the world. and those echoes will be heard in east asia, in taiwan. when i spoke to the prime minister's of japan and australia this week they left me in no doubt the economic and political shocks would be felt on the far side of the world. let me be clear about the risk. the risk now is that people would draw the conclusion that aggression pays and that might is right.
we should not underestimate the gravity of this moment and what is at stake. as i speak to you today we do not fully know what president putin intends. but the omens are grim and that is why we must stand strong together. the u.k. has worked with the european union and the united states to put together the toughest and strongest package of sanctions. i spoke recently to president ursula to sanction russian individuals and companies of strategic importance to the russian state. and we will make it impossible for them to raise finance on the london capital markets. and we will open up russian owned companies and entities
defined the ultimate beneficiaries within. if president putin believes that by these actions he can drive nato back or intimidate nato, he will find the opposite is the case. the u.k. and allies are strengthening the defenses of the eastern flank of nato, increasing the british contribution by sending our newest aircraft carrier and three commander brigades. we are doubling presence in estonia to nearly 2000 troops. we increased our presence in poland to 600 troops. we sent 350 marines. we have increased our presence in the skies over southeastern europe with another six dragoons in cyprus. we are sending warships to the eastern mediterranean and black sea. and i placed another 1000 troops on standby to respond to any humanitarian emergency, which we
all fear is increasingly likely. and while the most alarming threat is russian land forces on ukraine's borders look at the naval buildup in the black sea which threatens to blockade ukraine. look at the massive cyber attacks and incoming tide of disinformation. this crisis extends into every domain which is why the u.k. is providing nato with more land, sea and air forces. it is because we fear the crisis like this that we were already engaged in the biggest increase in the biggest investment for a generation spread across capabilities and the new technologies ever more important to our collective defense. i am proud to say that since russia invaded ukraine for the first time and annexed crimea in 2014 we have been helping ukraine train 22,000 troops, and
in recent months, been among the nations to send defensive weaponry in the form of 2000 anti-tank missiles. i am glad we have been joined by the united states, poland, and by our baltic allies. and many other nations and the eu have, like the u.k., strengthened ukraine's economy. britain will always stand up for freedom and democracy around the world. and when i say our commitment to european securities is immovable and unconditional our deeds show that we mean our words. we are making the biggest contribution to nato of any european allied because we know the importance of collective security. just as our european friends stood by us after the russian
state used chemical weapons in salisbury so britain will stand by you. but we must accept that these measures by the u.k. and our allies, rinsing out dirty money, the intensification of nato's defenses, fortifying our ukrainian friends, they may not be enough to deter russian aggression. it is vital that we learn the lessons of 2014. whatever happens next few days and weeks we cannot allow european countries to be blackmailed by russia. we cannot allow the threat of russian aggression to change the security architecture of europe. we cannot permit a new division of our continent into spheres of influence. and we must wean ourselves off dependence of putin's oil and gas. i understand the costs and
complexities of this effort and the fact it is easier said than done. i am grateful to chancellor schultz's assurances about nord stream 2. but the lessons of the last few years and of gascom's manipulation of the gas supply cannot be ignored. we must ensure that by making full use of alternative supplies and technology we make russia's threats redundant. that will be the work of the months and years to come as well as the necessary steps we in the u.k. must take to protect our own financial system. we now need to prepare ourselves for the russian playbook of deception that governs every operation of this kind. there will be a cascade of false claims about ukraine's intention to spread confusion almost for its own sake. and even now there are plans being laid for staged events,
spinning a web of falsehoods designed to present any russian attack as a response to provocation. we have already witnessed a fake military withdrawal combined with staged incidents that could provide a pretext for military action. we knew this was coming. we have seen it before. and no one should be fooled. we have to steel ourselves for the possibility of a protracted crisis with russia maintaining the pressure and searching for weaknesses over an extended period. and we must, together, refuse to be worn down. what europe needs a strategic endurance and we should focus our energies on preserving our unity and on deepening transatlantic cooperation. but for that to work we must also be prepared to devote the necessary resources to carry a greater share of the burden of
preserving our continent's security and to demonstrate that we are in it for the long haul. for now, we should continue to do everything we can to pursue the path of peace. there is a way forward if president putin is minded to take it. there is a discussion to be had about the threats he claims to see because in reality those threats are an illusion. they are the product of the kremlin's chronic misguided view of nato as a supposedly encircling and intimidating alliance. that is not nato's function. nato is a peaceful and defensive alliance. and we are willing to work with president putin to give him the assurances he may need. we could point out until he invaded ukraine for the first time in 2014 nato did not
permanently station any troops anywhere east of germany. and it was as recently as 2017 the u.s., u.k. and other allies established the enhanced forward presence to protect the baltic states. even then the total deployment of fewer than 5000 troops posed no conceivable threat to russia. and it is only in the last few weeks in response to the current crisis we have dispatched reinforcements, those numbers that constitute no possible threat. until 2014 european allies were cutting their defense budgets and shrinking their armed forces, perhaps faster than was safe or wise. and to the extent that this was changed it is the proof of the accident of president putin -- actions of president putin and the tensions he created. if nato forces are now closer to russia's borders, it is in
response to his decisions and the justified concerns they have provoked among our allies. there are many things said about what may or may not have been said in the closed door meetings of three decades ago as the berlin wall fell and germany was reunited. but there is no doubt that we all agreed legal obligations to protect the security of every country in europe. and what happened in those amazing years was the dissolution of the iron curtain and the fulfillment of the vision of a europe whole and free. it was one of the most incredible moments of my lifetime as nations at the heart of our continent regained their liberty and sovereign right to control their own destiny and seek their own alliances. we will not abandon the hope and impulse of that era, made
possible by the courage of millions of ordinary europeans. that is why nato opened its doors to 14 states after 1999 and we cannot allow our open door to be slammed shut. but if dialogue fails, and if russia chooses to use violence against an innocent and peaceful population in ukraine, and to disregard the norms of civilized behavior between states, and disregard the charter of the united nations, then we at this conference should be in no doubt it is in our collective interest that russia should ultimately fail and be seen to fail. i believe in preparing to invade ukraine, a proud country whose armed forces exceed 200,000,
president putin and his circle are gravely miscalculated. i fear the lightning war would be followed by long and hideous reprisals and revenge and insurgency. and russian parents would mourn the loss of young russian soldiers who, in their way, are every bit as innocent as the ukrainians now bracing themselves for attack. and if ukraine is overrun by brute force, i failed to see how a country encompassing nearly a quarter of a million square miles, the biggest nation in europe apart from russia itself, could be held down and subjugated forever. after a generation of freedom we are now staring at a generation of bloodshed and misery. i believe russia would have absolutely nothing to gain from this catastrophic venture and
everything to lose. and while there is still time i urge the kremlin to de-escalate and to renew dialogue. every nation at this conference shares a vision of a secure and prosperous europe of sovereign states, deciding their own destiny and living without fear or threat. and that vision, of course, extends to russia. a nation whose cultural patrimony we revere and who sacrifice in the struggle against fascism was immeasurable. russia has as much right as any other country to live in peace and security. and we should never cease to emphasize that russia has nothing to fear from our vision which threatens and marginalizes no one. if we come together in unity and
resolve, we must also show wisdom and moderation. it is precisely by that unity that we show today that we have the best chance, even now, at this 11th hour of averting disaster and ensuring good sense can still prevail. it is that message of unity that we must send from this conference today. thank you all very much. [applause] >> thank you very much, prime minister. what a powerful statement at the end of this morning session. thank you very much. we have only a couple minutes left but i am grateful to you
speaking personally for reminding us this continent, which many of us have been dreaming of as a continent of peace, of eternal peace, has not been of fully established peace. whatever piece we had is under immediate and terrible threat. i think of the balkans in the 1990's. i think of georgia in the 2000's . i think of the war going on since 2014. the conflict in and around ukraine. here is my question, given these challenges, of course, we work on the military deterrence. but should we not also strive to establish, or i should say reestablish, an efficient method
regarding the cooperation between your government and the eu on, let's say, especially the nonmilitary aspects? there is such a need as i think of coordination, cooperation on all sorts of foreign policy aspects. what is your vision regarding the eu-u.k. relationship in foreign policy? pm. johnson: thank you very much. i want the closest possible cooperation across all aspects of policy, economic, political, diplomatic, military, and if you look at what we are doing in foreign policy coordination, sometimes the u.k. has been out in front. we were a little ahead of our e.u. friends but what we do
is always coordinated with brussels. when it comes to preparing the sanctions package against russia, which has to be as tough as possible, we would be working very closely with ursula von der leyen. i will give you a couple more examples. on lithuania and the issues they have currently with china. the u.k. stands foursquare with lithuania and our eu friends. another example of the way in which we continue to work intensely together. a bit of tiny shard, fragment of good news is that it may be the jcpoa has more life in it than we thought a few months ago. that is encouraging. this is an example of where the u.k. and e.u. share completely the same objectives, work
together hand in glove. i think there is ample continuity in our foreign policy coordination. basically because our values are the same. our values and objectives are the same and it is about freedom, it is about democracy, it is about human rights. it is about liberty. that is what is at stake today in ukraine. >> thank you very much. final question. an hour or so ago we had vice president harris speaking here. i've raised with her the concern which i know exists in the minds of many here on the european side that when joe biden says, america is back, the question is, is this for good? my question to you is as british prime minister, what, if anything, can we do as europeans
as you are also a european, -- host: this has come from munich. [laughter] >> to make this transatlantic relationship close, to keep the united states engaged beyond the current administration where we have no doubt about their commitment, and how do we make it crystal clear and more permanent again after the experience of the trump administration? pm. johnson: thank you. actually, this experience terrible though it is may serve to do more to unify the transatlantic alliance. when you think about what wants -- putin wants, he wants engagement with the united states of america. and what the crisis in ukraine has done is escalates and
demonstrates the fundamental importance of that united states security guarantee to nato and the crucial role of the united states in guaranteeing peace in europe. paradoxically i think it has helped bring the u.s. center stage. i think it also helped to bring nato center stage in the sense that we are now working together to fortify the eastern frontiers of nato that i described earlier on. france is helping in romania. other countries are supporting nato engagement across the whole of the eastern perimeter and you are seeing an intensification of nato activity and greater emphasis placed on the importance of nato. that is good in my view for transatlantic security. for me, that underlines the crucial role that nato plays.
the fundamental guarantor of europe's security irrespective of all conversations about european security architecture to which i defer and we can have, but nato is fundamental and at the core. the final point i would make is i think the crisis is bringing us together as we consider what is happening around the world. when we think about what is happening in the indo pacific region and the threats to stability, what is happening in ukraine and the collective response we are seeing should not be developed and we should think of ways in which we can participate together to promote those things we believe in, not just in the european theater but around the world. i hope very much -- you can see american engagement and american involvement in those questions.
it is absolutely vital that we continue to see it. we cannot say what is going to happen in the course of the next few days. we cannot be certain. but i want to repeat one thing. i believe it is absolutely vital for our collective security that the venture -- if there is active aggression by president putin -- that it should not be a success. it should fail. and i believe with enough collective resolve we can ensure it does fail. thank you very much. >> thank you, prime minister. after lunch we will have the opportunity to listen to what president zelensky has to say about the current situation. thank you so much. pm. johnson: thank you. >> let's give a hand to the prime minister. [applause] ♪ announcer: c-span's washington
journal. every day we take your calls live on air on the news of the day and discussed policy issues that impact you. sunday morning, we will talk about the biden agenda, the upcoming midterm elections and political news of the day with republican strategist brendan fox and democratic strategist rebecca piercy. then fellow leanna talks about u.s., nato and european responses to the ukraine-russia conflict. watch washington journal live at 7:00 eastern on c-span or c-span now, our free mobile app. join the discussion with your phone calls, facebook comments, texts and tweets. announcer: in the state of the state address, north dakota governor doug burgum spoke of helping those with mental health and addiction during the pandemic among other topics, which included infrastructure and climate change. he is running for a second term after being elected in 2016.