tv Discussion on Russias Invasion of Ukraine Its Impact CSPAN April 15, 2022 8:01pm-9:03pm EDT
c-span now, our free mobile app. join the discussion with your phone calls, facebook comments, text messages and tweets. >> now, foreign policy and restaurant scholars talk about russia's invasion of ukraine, the will of the ukrainian people to buy back in possible outcomes for both nations. this federalist society event is one hour. >> let me introduce dr. angela stand first. she is a professor emeritus of government services at georgetown university. she's a senior fellow at the brookings institution and cochairs on post-soviet affairs and had a distinguished career in public service. she served as the national
intelligence officer for russia and eurasia at the national intelligence council. she also served at the office of policy planning at the department of state. angela has a very distinguished academic career with a number of other highlights, including being a member of the senior advisory council. if you would like to know more about angela and her background, you can look at her files on the federalist society website. we're joined by michael allen, managing erector of global -- managing director of global strategy. in public service, he was the majority staff director for the select committee on intelligence. prior to service, he was a director for the bipartisan policy center at the 9/11 commission. he also served at the white house for seven years in a number of roles related to national security policy and legislation. included in that time was
service on national security council where he served as a special assistant to the president and senior director for counter proliferation strategy. he also serves on the board of advisors at the national security institute at emu. excellent speakers. -- gm you. i would like to get your perspective, angela, on how did we get here? meaning, how do we get to the point where we have an open war in ukraine with russian bedding ukraine? is there anything in hindsight that u.s., europeans, or nato could have done to prevent this outcome? >> thank you for inviting me to be on this panel. what we see now is the culmination of a set of grievances that putin has nursed
at least since the collapse of the soviet union. which he made quite clear in his speech in 2007. the idea the united states was dominating the world in a nefarious way and, basically, russia was being denied it rights and really also a right for influence. putin in 2005, collapse of the soviet union was the 20th century greatest political catastrophe. why? he left 25 million russians outside russia, including 11 million russians in ukraine. putin has never believed ukraine is a separate country or that ukrainians are separate nationality. he is determined to ensure that ukraine doesn't leave the russian orbit. the orange revolution, the annexation of crimea, and now this war. these ideas and is believed that
ukraine belongs to russia has been there for a long time. the question is, why now? i think after two years of being more or less -- we can talk more about covid. he looked around and they were disappointed in zelenskyy. they thought in the beginning zelenskyy would make peace for them on the terms they wanted. yet a 25% popularity at that point. they look at the u.s., look at afghanistan, believe the biden administration was presiding over a hopelessly hole or a society was going to be distracted. they looked at europe that also seemed distracted. the german government and the french presidential elections. they decided this was the time to strike based on a number of missed calculations that i am sure we will talk about, including miscalculating how the u.s. and europeans would respond to this.
could this have been prevented? you could go back and say in 2000 eight, maybe the bush administration should have done more after the russia-georgia work in the recognition of these two entities. there were high-level contacts cut off after that but still, the relationship -- when the obama administration came in. in 2014, yes, the obama administration imposed sanctions on ukraine. russia was kicked out of the g8. maybe more should have been done then. i know when the russians took over crimea, the ukrainians were basically told not to fight back. at that time, they were not really in position to have done anything. or you could go back and say, if ukraine joint data earlier on, this also might not be happening. that was impossible because in 2008, germany and france nature ukraine did not get a membership
-- made sure ukraine did not get a memory action plan. in that sense, maybe it could've been prevented. i think if you look at what happened in the last year, there wasn't much that could have been done to prevent it. i think the u.s. -- it was a sharp move to reveal declassified intelligence. on to our allies, but to the russians, and telling them "we know exactly what you are doing." that did not deter putin. >> michael, in terms of the biden administration's response, which angela started to talk about, i'm curious to get your perspective on has it done enough? is there more it could be doing? >> thank you for the question. thank you so much for the invitation. it is an honor to be here,
especially with professor stent, distinguished expert on this particular topic. i think there are two primary ways you can judge the biden administration's response so far. one is the amount of weaponry that has been flowed in before the invasion and after the invasion and the second is sanctions and other restrictive measures put on putin and the oligarchs around him. first, let's talk about the weapons. i think they deserve credit. we have sent enormous amounts of weaponry to ukrainians. the ukrainians are brave and courageous and smart in doing all the terrific fighting but i do think the west gets credit for putting a lot of defensive weaponry in their hands and training the years that helped them at least repel the russians
in the first part of their invasion. there is one thing that i think we're going to have to examine over time, and that is whether or not the biden administration should have supplied additional weapons prior -- well prior to the invasion. i have heard the comment made that they were very cautious -- and i understand why. they did not want to necessarily provoke vladimir putin by shipping in too many weapons. i know they were seeking a stable relationship with vladimir putin in the beginning, but i agree with professor stent that one thing that was inviting to putin certain was the afghanistan withdrawal and we may conclude over time that we did not give enough weapons to the ukrainians well prior to the invasion so that perhaps vladimir putin would have
thought twice. that is an arguable proposition. when you look at vladimir putin's speeches and see how deep-seated his resentment is of ukraine, maybe more antitank missiles would not have deterred them whatsoever but it is something we ought to look at and talk about going forward. second, on sanctions. again, i think the administration deserves a lot of credit. they promised this would be very sudden. they would go high order. i think they largely have. when i talked to the real sanctions experts around town, they sort of land on, hey, we are five or six out of 10 on the scale in terms of intensity. i am very glad they added more full blocking sanctions to certain banks in recent weeks. i am glad to see it finally
designating, blacklisting certain oligarchs and finding their assets around the world. but i think we have to do more, quite plainly. there are a couple of things i hope we can discuss more today. one is i think the administration is about to get into what we call sectoral sections. you have seen a little on oil and gas. i think they are going to pivot to mining and minerals next. two, although the administration and probably to their credit prizes european unity above all, and it does make sense we want to move in concert with our allies, i think a thorny issue is how can we move germany along faster? they certainly get credit for the speech chancellor schulz gave saturday after the invasion when he pledged to increase defense spending and buy 35 scum among other things, get credit for for getting to ship legal
weaponry. but i feel like maybe the germans are backsliding a little. it feels like there are certain tanks that they are not willing to share. some they are, others they are not. we are hearing reports they are the last to agree or sometimes blocking the shipment of other offensive weapons. you obviously see this on twitter -- not that that is necessarily representative of world opinion, but they are certainly taking it on the chin to seem to prioritize their economy over imports of gas to the german economy. so i think that we are doing ok so far, but i am persuaded by experts who say we are entering a second part of the war where the ukrainians need to be more
offensive. and to be more offensive, they need more heavy weaponry like tanks, even meg's, where there will be able to go on the offensive or regularly -- readily. i think we have to ramp up in that direction to make sure the germans do not block us in that or the sanctions, for that matter. >> on that note as we head to the second phase, we have seen the reports that russians are refocusing on the eastern region of ukraine. angela, i am curious from your seats, what do you think putin does next? what is his next step? >> well, they clearly would like to take the whole of the donbass region. they've only controlled part of those two so-called independent republics. donetsk and luhansk. i believe that is where they're going to focus next.
there are a lot of ukrainian military -- have been there since 2014 fighting this war. i do think they also have their sites on mariupol, were not quite sure -- the russians claim it surrendered but honestly they have flattened it and they may be about to take it over. that would be a strategic gain for them given his location. their next site could be odesa. they tried to attack odesa and then pulled back a bit. they have effectively by now cut ukraine off from being able as we know to export. they have made ukraine into a landlocked country by cutting up odesa and access to the black sea. they would like to make that permanent. i'm not sure they can do that, but i think that would be their goal. we have may 9 coming up, victory day. there will be a parade. we know putin would like to announce victory.
he can anyway, but i think he would like to claim their original goal has been fulfilled and have taken over the donbas and saved the russians -- save them from the nazi genocidal ukrainians. there are many reasons, one of which is the corruption you all of russian society although is very much there in the military, so a lot of funds were not spent where they were supposed to be spent. we have seen a lackluster military campaign, supply lines not working, things like that. now they have appointed a new commander. others in the background.
rumors he is not really commanding anymore. there has to be some regrouping. i think at the moment, the goal is clearly to take over as much as they can in the donbas, to take all of mariupol, and then possibly to have their sights on odesa. >> this is maybe a question for both of you. i know the u.s. government put out reports saying putin was receiving bad advice from his own internal advisors. is it fair to say he is surprised by how difficult this exercise has been given what we all assume or his original aims, which were to knock out the major cities in ukraine and presumably decapitate the government there? is it fair for us to assess he's generally surprised by what a mess this has become? >> the fact we now have heard
rumors, but significant numbers of the fsb intelligence officials who were responsible for things in ukraine and sending intelligence back to russia -- the whole directorate that putin form 20 was head of the fsb and debt with the post-soviet state, including ukraine, seems to be under attack now. i think we have to think the fsb operatives who are in ukraine, maybe they were so beleaguered in the way they looked at ukraine that they did not really understand ukraine and what was happening there or they did not see the parts of ukraine where there was a really strong national consciousness and will to resist russia. that leads to a larger problem, which i think the russians have never understood the ukrainians, at least their independence and how ukraine is developing. >> michael, any thoughts on the surprise factor for the russian leadership in terms of how events have transpired in
ukraine? >> i think they're probably the most shocked of all. certainly, all of us in the west were very, very surprised at just how tough the ukrainians were. we knew they were battle-hardened because of the donbass region and fighting since 2014. certainly, i think since we were shocked, the russians must have been shocked that their quick campaign, which they seem to have based on let's do a very quick strike with paratroopers to the airports, secure the airports, bring in additional troops, take over the capital, perhaps to a decapitation raid on the presidential office -- failed spectacular. i think we, the united states, helped them with the intelligence about where they were headed and how to do it, but they get credit for the fighting. they get credit, and we have seen it as recently as the last
two days when they sunk a warship, they have been ingenious in their military tactics. i think it is a surprise to the west and it must be a surprise to an autocrat like vladimir putin. i'm not sure many resumes in the world where the president -- regimes in the world the president or even an autocrat gives absolutely unadorned truth from his or her subordinates about how things are going. i think vladimir putin is surprised and annoyed and maybe that explains some of the things that angela was mentioning and the reports about intelligence officers under house arrest and shakeups in the military. >> i want to pick up on a theme that you touched upon a moment ago, michael, which is european allies -- germany, reports --
government discussions in finland and sweden about entertaining joining nato. i am wondering, what should we be expecting from our european allies as we go forward? will we see an increase getting the 2% gdp pledged that all nato members are supposed to terms of -- will we see there many win itself off russian fossil fuels? what can we expect? i lezz each country is different from the next, but curious your thoughts on what we can expect in terms of front lines? >> we shouldn't mention the french election a little bit later but that would be a real disaster if marine le pen is elected given some of her policy positions. i think it is worth focusing a little for now on -- a little more for now on germany. again, i think chancellor schulz
get some credit to the speech medially after the invasion but i think the u.s. and all our european allies have got to hold germany's feet to the fire. there is backsliding. they seem to be more nervous, at least shoals and the social democrats seem to be more nervous about sanctions and about shipping weapons. who would have thought that the green party of all parties would be the most hawkish so -- so to speak on what germany's foreign national security policy ought to be. i am worried the germany will backslide on their purchased of the f-35's, sustained a 2% of gdp defense spending plan over time. you have got to make sure that they hold those lines.
something that president trump rod up, president obama and president bush brought it up a lot. we have just got to make sure they are in the fight with this. i do think it is easier -- we have a convergence of the picture for the first time in a long, long time. angela can talk about this morbid president steinmeyer of germany has admitted more or less that he made tremendous mistakes in the assumptions that he and other germans made about the reliability of vladimir putin and the wisdom of importing gas by way of nord stream two and maybe even nord stream 1. we have a lot of diplomacy to do to help lead europe and ensure the unity that we are benefiting from now is sustained over the years to come. >> i would like to add something to that. the problem is as the sanctions
effect europe, of course there affecting the u.s., too, but the more the sanctions affect europe in terms of supply chain, gasoline prices, inflation, things like that, the more it hits peoples pocketbooks, i think the more difficult it will be to sustain this coalition. we are aware of that now and we're going have to work extra hard. >> i am curious from both of you, you both spent time in government. what does that diplomacy look like? in other words, what is the diplomatic force of germany? how do we hold any speed to the fire? i assume it isn't mixed -- is a mix, but what could that look like or should look like? >> the administration clearly is favoring quite a diplomacy and i am for that working if they can work. what i'm hearing from
republicans another -- and from others is we ought to hold out the prospect of secondary sanctions -- this would be quite remarkable -- but hold out the prospect of secondary sanctions against germany and others if they continue to purchase russian oil and gas over time. i don't think hawks are quite there yet, but i think it is something the germans may feel pressure on over time most of we have begun to see just in the last 48 hours, rumors or reports out of europe that they may be able to move quicker than expected on banning the import of oil, not gas -- much easier to do, which i think is 50% of their economy or 50% of their gas and take was from russia. so that is a good step in the right direction. but i think everything from
quite diplomacy to calling them out a little bit to even over time putting out the prospect of sanctions. >> angela, thoughts on that? you were advising president biden right now, what would you be saying? >> i think at the moment, quite diplomacy is very important. if we start having public fights in the middle of this war, will display to putin and everyone else, i don't think we will achieve much. we have to be aware the coalition in germany, it was a strange coalition anyway to come together with the social democrats and grades and free democrats, but the views on russia were very different between those parties. we see stressors and that coalition, particularly pressure on the foreign minister who wants a much tougher policy. i think quite diplomacy is correct. the europeans have really woken up and generally concerned there
could be some corn -- form of nuclear exchange. germany not very far away from the area. i think that is something where the u.s., probably behind closed doors -- if you're generally concerned about this as you should be, you have to do whatever you can to prevent that. seeding the warchest with billions of dollars of energy purchases every day is not helping. i think the pressure on germany to agree to cut off first of all oil imports but in the longer run, natural gas imports, i think that should continue. i think going to secondary sanctions that would affect germany, should be the last option. just because, again, in the situation of a war, i don't think this would be a wise move. the germans have to be aware
that is in the background. >> i would like to shift gears with the panel for a moment and sort of take ourselves figuratively to the other side of the world, which is china. china has been fairly neutral. they have sorted -- obviously, they have a relationship with putin, but they have sort of -- they're sitting on the sidelines. i'm wondering if we can start with michael, but i would like to get angela's thoughts, too. how should we be thinking about china? >> one, i think generally what china wanted out of this in backing russia was for the west to be embarrassed, to be humiliated. i think they expected russia to storm in and show the west up. the west could not protect ukraine. and their partnership, which now
famously "knows no limits" would have benefited. i think the chinese are embarrassed but -- it almost does not matter if they are embarrassed because it is not the nature of their political system to pay a real cost for this kind of thing. to me, what is most interesting about this is the effect this may have on the tennis calculus vis-a-vis whether to invade taiwan and people argue they could do it this year, most people say they need a few more years with the right lessons purchases to do it. but if i am xi jinping and looking at this, i'm saying to myself, wow, the west united. they rallied around ukraine. they shipped weapons galore over to ukraine and they're going to do the same in taiwan.
people are already saying, well, maybe this particular kind of surface-to-air missile is the taiwan-equivalent of the antitank missile the javelin. so we need more of these colonies javelins -- taiwanese javelins shipped over. how to make taiwan into a cactus you don't want to tackle. it is so fierce that you stay away from it. they might also conclude, russia really was russia was sanctioned horribly. it's a little harder to do the same sanctions on china because they are so much more entwined around the world. they have a more dynamic economy. nonetheless, xi jinping may conclude it is easier said than done to take another country and easier said than done to avoid sanctions. the west will look better. they have more of a shot in the
arm here. the ukrainians continue to be seen as the victors in ukraine. >> angela, thoughts on china? >> putin would not have invaded if he didn't understand the chinese would support him. we do not know what was said when he was in beijing and they signed a declaration of partnership that knows no limits. i think it is plausible the chinese did not understand what kind of a military action this would be. the living the did ask putin to do was delayed until the end of the olympics. at the russians invaded earlier, it might have been more advantageous for them given the terrain and the weather. i agree they are embarrassed by some of this. i think the specter of a large-scale war in the middle of europe is not in their playbook.
they say that respect territorial integrity and sovereignty. in the beginning they said the supplies to ukraine, part of the belt and road project. this is an assault on the country with which they had good ties. on the other hand, the relationship with russia is very important for xi jinping. another autocratic leader. they pushed back against u.s. again many -- hegemony. they wanted to change that. therefore you see the chinese are repeating the same propaganda as the russians are about why the war broke out and u.s. designs on russia, things like that. they repeated the fake news, saying the massacre was done by the ukrainians or by actors. they have not stopped. they have not change their position.
at the united nations they are doing all they can to support russia, including not condemning them for anything. i think going forward people suggested maybe the chinese could be mediators. i don't thing they want to play that role. i think what they are doing is they are complying with the sanctions. we don't have evidence they are trying to help russia avoid them. we don't have any evidence they are supplying russia with military hardware, which there were rumors about that. i agree with michael. to take away from this vis-a-vis taiwan is, a, locality ukrainians are fighting back. the taiwanese are well-equipped. b, the s -- dust china one sanctions? we could not oppose the same kind of sanctions but it would be very disruptive for them economically. this might be something, how
wake-up call and maybe they have to rethink a timetable for whether they want to invade taiwan. >> if we shift back to the kremlin and the fantastic disappointment of the campaign from putin's viewpoint and not meeting affectation's, i'm wondering -- expectations, does this affect his ability to gover in russia. does the regime become more brittle? can putin have a disastrous loss in ukraine and continue on as the dictator of russia? angela: in 2021, putin changed the constitution so he could rule until 2036. we thought he was there until
2036 and they beg -- and maybe beyond. russians say because of how badly the work is going he will be out soon. we don't know that. there is clearly restlessness among the military who apparently many were not told about these plans. a lot of other people in the government did not know this invasion was going to take place. this is just a small group of people around putin who were fully aware of what was going to happen. there are signs of discontent. the fact they had to arrest or have arrested a number of people, a significant number in the sfb, people who used to be closer to putin are under house arrest. there are rumors we cannot prove. i think it would be difficult for him to stay in power for a long time if he does not achieve his objectives. his objective was to subjugate
ukraine and have a progression government and to say ukraine is no longer an independent country. since it does not look as if he will be able to achieve that and he will have to come away with less with all the casualties -- we don't know what the figures are. for the russians now, 15,000 or even more than that. that does have an impact on the country with all the body bags coming back. not all of them are coming back but the ones that are in with the russian people facing the problem with high prices and lack of food and stores you would think at some point that will have an impact. it's a very repressive system. people are cut off from forms of information. therefore it could take longer than one would assume. >> michael, any thoughts on that
issue? his ability to govern over the long haul? michael: i think there is a short-term boost in his approval ratings, just like there was when he invaded in 2014. i think he is safe. i can't see him being overthrown under any possible scenario. but, if he moves forward and this drags on for a longer time and his actions become more reckless, is increasingly possible, not probable it possible -- but possible the military could say, you know what? we were not excited about this invasion in the first place.
you have misused your military. we are getting butchered by the ukrainians. we want this regime to end very quickly. that is sort of the most likely scenario by which i have heard he could get pushed out of power. i don't think it is likely. i think he is safe because he controls all the security apparatus around him. i do think over time russia is such a big loser from this. not just for all the reasons we talked about for their economy and their prestige. one little item to share. estimates of over 200,000 people have left russia since the war began. it is a brain drain. it is the most talented. primarily the youth as i understand it.
i can see this causing the most talented russians to conclude this is not a good place for me to try and build a family, get exciting jobs, move forward in the 21st century economy. i think this continues to hollow out russia, which has bad applications for its leader. it is hard to see him losing control and not being able to govern at all. >> let me ask one more question and then i will go to questions from the audience. pull up the crystal ball. if the three of us are talking a year from now, what do we think this situation looks like in russia and ukraine? i will start with you, angela. angela: it is quite possible in a years time the work and still be dragging on.
you might have a series of cease-fires and temporary lulls in the fighting and both sides regrouping. it is very difficult to see what would induce russia to withdraw its troops. the prerequisite for any settlement in the -- and the ukrainians said they will talk about neutrality and talk about the longer-term status of crimea, but the russians have to withdraw their troops for that to work. it is difficult to see that happening under the present circumstances. it is possible you could have at least a lower level conflict dragging on, as it has been dragging on since 2014. i hope that is not the case but i fear it could be. >> michael, thoughts about where we might be? michael: i largely agree with angela. most likely to be a stalemate. one of the true military
strategist have concluded something interesting about this work, which is that the 21st century battlefield favors the defenders. i don't want to say it is a world war i style trench warfare, but if it is something enclosed where it is hard for either party to advance very far, it will be difficult even for the russians if they take mariopal to develop -- to envelop the ukrainians. i feel this will likely be a stalemate. this could exhaust russia for some time period. they could call the cease fire, never having an intention of living up to whatever the seemingly committed to. we should look for that. i think stalemate is the most
likely thing we are going to see, especially since i don't know if we can get enough how offensive and counter offensive weapons to the ukrainians so they are able to move forward against the force that still has some potency, although it is depleted. >> let's go to some questions we have from the audience. i will go in reverse order. one question is, and this is for both of you, with this have still happened if the u.s. and its allies had not discussed ukraine potentially joining nato? if that had never -- there was mention of ukraine joining nato but never any concrete steps thereafter. if the allies had remained silent on that point, would we see something different happening or have avoided the
war? angela: i doubt that. i think nato was something putin brought up from time to time. he used it as an excuse before he invaded. a couple of days ago when he talked about why russia invaded, nato was not there. it was all nazis and demilitarization. the west out to attack russia. i think he has this idea that ukraine doesn't have a right to exist as a separate state and russia needs ukraine as a buffer state and has over centuries against the west. i think that was irrespective of the nato issue. >> michael, is that your sentiment as well? michael: i agree. putin used it as an excuse for much more deeply seated issues of resentment and believing ukraine should not exist.
i thought it was a pretext. >> another question for an audience member. whether putin overestimated the ability and willingness of the russian conscripts to fight the war. did he assume they would be able to achieve things they couldn't? this goes to the point that michael made a moment ago talking about the defender having the advantage. fighting for one's homeland is one thing but this invasion sent a large number of conscripts. now these conscript's facing well armed civilians and military ukraine fighting for their homes. your thoughts on that dynamic? michael: your question is right. defending your homeland and the personal ardor you have to
defend your family outweighs capability every time, i think. morale is very high among the ukrainians. second, just to learn as we have over the last five weeks about the way the conscripts were treated has led to the inescapable conclusion there morale was very low from the moment they were told to go over the border. in many cases they were in belarus. apparently just for an exercise. they were rerouted. the phones were surrendered. they were confiscated. they were told they were being repurposed. they went over into ukraine not sure what the purpose was. a lot of people were confused. now famously the logistical situation they handle the very basic needs of their soldiers
from gasoline for your tanks and food and the rest spectacularly failed. that must've contributed immensely to the situation where these russian conscripts thought to themselves, what have i signed up for? especially in the face of fierce, well-equipped forces like the ukrainians. angela: don't forget in the beginning they thought they were going to take ukraine in 72 hours. putin apparently did not have conscripts were being sent. he thought it was just the professional soldiers. they do have a professional army now. as the war lasted longer and he found out conscript are being sent he was apparently not happy about this but there was no alternative. just to reiterate, they were very deadly prepared. they did not know why they were there.
there morale has been very low. >> another question from the audience. whether the germans needed to take a harder line because of russia's history of using biological and radioactive weapons on a small scale against individual targets in western nations. is germany fearful supporting action against putin may lead to putin causing terrorism and making german politicians targets of russian intelligence attacks? is that part of the calculus? maybe germany is reticent to be as aggressive as other nations are. michael: that's a really interesting aspect i had not thought of before but it makes perfect sense. russians have targeted with polonium 210. they went after their former countrymen in the united kingdom.
appease the russians. yeah. i do think give the germans the benefit of the doubt and they are worried about escalation. that is why they are debating, much like biden is with regards to the migs. >> since you raised that -- i'm sorry, angela. do you have thoughts on the question of regards to germans being concerned about the politicians becoming targets? angela: i agree with everything you said. for 50 years, until the very 27, there was a consensus among the mainstream german political parties that the policy introduced in 1972 was the way to go with the soviet union and then russia. engage, try not to escalate things. you have to have a reasonably
good relationship with russia because of geography and history. then the belief that economic relations would help this. the germans are slowly giving that up. half the german population has rejected that. i would remind you there are only been a couple of countries where they had large pro-russian demonstrations. one of them was serbia, which is not surprising. they had a couple in germany. large numbers of people demonstrating in favor of russia. you do still have the extreme right, afd, and extreme left, the successors of these german party that were dashed east german party that were pro-russian. society may be has not moved as far as the government's policies have. that's another thing to watch. >> i will exercise a moderator's privilege. i want to follow up on a thread michael mentioned in his last response. calibrating around weapons in
which weapons are too offensive and which ones aren't. you will recall at the beginning of the conflict secretary of state blinken said there seemed to be u.s. government approval of moving migs from poland to ukraine. within 24 hours, a very quick walk back from the administration saying we are not doing that. i am wondering, michael, how are they drawing the line between which weapons are ok and which weapons are too offensive. we have supplied all the weaponry we have. we supplied switchblade drones. migs were off the table at that time. how are they drawing that line at the white house? michael: i think it is changing for the better. they did say that, you know what? migs seamen character. the character seems more offensive than does an antitank
missile. over time i think you some republicans and even democrats and people around the world say that's an artificial distinction. the way we ought to look at this is how was the weapon going to be used. i think people begin to say that make a lot more sense. therefore let's open up the aperture of what weapons we are comfortable sending. to that end, you heard secretary -- i heard jake sullivan on the sunday shows this past sunday not endorse the offensive-defensive line again when asked about the migs. our objection is let's not let migs be flown from a u.s. nato base within german territory, flown over nato territory and land in ukraine. that looks like it is too much
of an attack from nato or maybe the russians will attack these planes. perhaps even over nato territory because they had towards ukraine. that seems to be where they are on that. to me, just to put charlie wilson's war hat on where hollywood scriptwriter want to be, i'm waiting for the story to break that we figured out a way for the migs to be shipped over via train or some clever weight to ukraine -- way to ukraine and they will pop up on an army base. we don't have a problem with migs per se. we just on with them flying directly from the united states base. >> this question may be for you. i think the questioner is
getting the history of when ukraine became an independent nation following the cold war. what treaty assurances did russian give regarding ukrainian territory integrity? formal or informal assurances might russia have been giving the west about ukraine? angela: great question. in the 1990's, it was difficult for boris yeltsin as president of russia to negotiate with ukrainian leadership and except this was a separate country, but he did. what happened was, first of all, in 1994, he has a beautiful memorandum. -- you to pass memorandum -- budapest memorandum. ukraine give up its nuclear weapons.
so many of the soviet nuclear weapons had been stationed there. the united states and russia and great britain and ukraine got together and they signed a memorandum where ukraine said we are giving up our nuclear weapons and we are going to have assurances are territorial integrity and sovereignty will be respected by the signatories. russia signed a memorandum giving the security assurances. they were not guaranteeing various diplomatic reasons but they were assurances. in 1997, after a lot of bargaining, russia and ukraine signed a friendship treaty with boris yeltsin still in power, again guaranteeing territorial integrity and sovereignty. basalt a lot of border disputes. it had been difficult for them to agree on the status of parts of the border between ukraine
and russia. there were two treaties, memorandum, pieces of paper they signed which recognized ukraine territory and sovereignty. they have been ruptured by russia and when confronted by this the russians gave different excuses for why it was no longer valid. after 2014, the president fled ukraine after the revolution against him. the russians say it's an illegitimate government in ukraine and therefore we did not have to abide by the paper we signed. they did sign papers. now ukraine is asking for security guarantees that if it says it will give up trying to join nato, it once -- wants
security guarantees that were written charlie to be violated again, invaded again, the guarantors and signatories would come to ukraine's help. the problem is it's asking for article five guarantees even though they are not in nato. that will be a tricky problem for the united states and its allies. they are already discussing this in the biden administration about how they might handle a security assurance in the future. >> another question from the audience. this may be the last one as we approach the top of the hour. coming back to the energy policy of germany. particularly what was the german motivation to become so dependent on russian energy given their past history with russia and russia's willingness
to use the energy export as a weapon? we will start with michael and then i will ask angela to comment. was it going back to the old politics angela mentioned, germany thought it was a good balancing thing. from a cost perspective it was a decent price to pay for energy that germany needed. i'm wondering your thoughts on the tight rope germany try to walk in terms of importing russian energy. michael: i think angela nailed it, and so did you just now. angela is the expert but trying to foster good relations through economic activity. it is not a holy foreign concept of the united states. over time we have generally believed we have free-trade agreements, etc., and that makes
war less likely. it is not perfect but it probably makes sense. in this case vladimir putin has more important designs in mind than maintaining good relations or else he thought the west would not care and the germans would cave and otherwise not be persuaded to sanction russia. it probably was a reasonable supposition on his part given that the west sometimes is a hard time rallying to do very strong sanctions. he miscalculated and the west has been rather strong, as we talked about at the beginning of the hour. >> angela, final thoughts on that? angela: you have to remember even though the soviet union and russia used energy as a political bridge with eastern
european countries that were much more dependent on russian energy given the history, the first time russia used that energy is a weapon, which did affect germany was in 2006. they had to do with gas prices with ukrainians. it was between gas problems. you would have thought that might've been a wake-up call, they have -- and they would not have gone ahead with nord stream 2. it was cheap gas, reliable most of the time, and provided a foundation for an enduring, decent relationship with russia, however difficult it was. it has taken this invasion to get them to not open nord stream 2. it was completely constructed and now the views in germany are definitely changing. i think it will take some time.
they have to find alternatives to being so reliant on russian gas. >> thank you both. it was a great conversation. really appreciate your time and insights. brian, i will turn it back to you to close this out. >> thank you so much. on behalf of the federalist society, thanks to our experts today. i want to thank you the audience for joining us and participating. we welcome listening feedback by email. as always, keep and i on our website for announcement about upcoming webinars. announcer: c-span is your unfiltered view of government. funded by these television companies and more, including charter communications.
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