tv REV Deutsche Welle April 17, 2021 3:30am-4:00am CEST
have a surprise yourself with what is possible who is medical really want to move and want. to talk to people who follow along the way admirers and critics a lot and how is the world's most powerful woman shaping public good thing joining us from eccles law stop. tens of thousands of soldiers and heavy weaponry the russian buildup on the border to ukraine looks more like preparations for invasion than the standard military exercise that russia claims it is conducting it is the most massive show of force since russia's 2014 an accession of crimea and since then russia has been deploying mercenaries volunteers and local collaborators to wage hybrid warfare in eastern ukraine now kiev for along with europe and the u.s. fear a dramatic escalation in violence nato and europe are urging russia to stand down
and we ask russia ukraine crisis what does putin want. to meet. the minimum. hello and welcome to the point it's a pleasure to welcome our guests zena dong flute is a freelance journalist who has reported extensively on and from russia for german public broadcasters she says we have seen it all before the kremlin triggers an escalation then blames the west of moscow was the aggressor and there must be consequences and i'm very glad to welcome alex undercard he's an author and analyst who also does political consulting for russian firms including gospel he says the phone call between presidents biden and putin helped to deescalate the crisis and avoid a pasta. well full blown conflict and joining us virtually from d.w.
is von bureau is my colleague roman gonchar manco he's an editor in our russian department and was born in the ukraine region of what was then the soviet union he says russia is using bullying tactics to press ahead with its creeping on the station of donbass ukraine must stay calm. so let me begin by asking all 3 of you whether you think this is mostly just saber rattling or indeed something more and because in a drawing to your opening statements certainly suggest you see a very real danger of a russian offensive. well not necessarily i think it's saber wrestling and it's you know directed for impressing the west it's a sick nod to the west and to presidents of lansky from ukraine and. i think russia is trying to build up the stakes and all that to have
a better position for other than what is 101 for. these and ukraine exact as a negotiating card you also said in your opening statement that there must be consequence quotas but the kremlin says look we have every right to move our forces within our own territory these forces are still on russian territory what would you say to that yeah that's not exactly true because within the o c there are mechanisms and they are blige every participant and every member state to make transparent if you have such movements of troops especially close to your neighbors countries so this is only this is not true. and the consequences i think the west should send a clear message a very clear and united message to of mosco that moscow is the aggressor and they
stand in solidarity with ukraine thank you very much alexander are your opening statement referred to the call between biden and putin and which biden apparently offered to meet with putin sometime in the next couple of months so would you say this is mostly about testing the new u.s. president. i think it's a sincere wish of biden and probably and hopefully. to meet together looking each other into the eyes tackle the problems and try to discuss it because the russian side fully understands that the key for some kind of a stable relationship with. in the west and russia lies not in brussels not in berlin not in paris but in washington and in order to negotiate on the future of european security or he texture on everything you have to talk to the american president and biden also understands and i think he has a lot of support of consultants are telling him this don't drive russia into the
arms of china the main adversary of the united states is china russia and here biden wants to tackle of course the problems with find out how far he can go in order indeed to deescalate or in turn to do that confrontational that was rush i assume that you followed russian media after this phone call they some at least suggested it was a real climb down by biden what makes you think that the call had a deescalating effect for moscow. well one thing is what the some. commentators are sort of bore but i'm pretty sure that in the kremlin of those people who are responsible for the decision taking in russia. this statement of biden that he wants to meet putin has been welcomed as the it makes russia more respect of partner it makes russia. look strong on the international agenda it
doesn't isolate russia the greatest fear of russia to be isolated to be completely neglected to be disrespected by the west and here by this suggestion of biden to meet maybe in geneva or in vienna in the next weeks i think it will happen. and biden will meet the russian leader before he meets the european leaders in paris and berlin or in brussels is a clear sign which russia cannot ignore and i want to come back to that a little bit later on but let me go now to. your opening statement refers to the creeping an accession of the eastern ukrainian region of. in fact an all out invasion is. not generally moscow's style until now. infiltration hybrid warfare have been their preferred methods so do you think that is changing would you expect to see a true military offensive here. i would not exclude that but i think it's about
80 percent or 70 percent and. muscle flexing. and threatening ukraine and the west and about 20 or 30 percent maybe military escalation i don't believe in a full scale invasion just like we saw in crimea or for that for several reasons i think. a strategic aim of putin and russia is to weaken ukraine to prevent it from joining nato and the e.u. probably to divide ukraine into several states and to to create a new ukraine so to say which would be a russia friendly. i think that's a russian strategy but at the moment on the technical level i think russia is trying to negotiate with america with the new administration of president biden and this is i would say russian style invitation to a conversation we should remember that just a few weeks ago at the u.s. president new u.s. president in
a television interview. said yes putin is a killer he didn't say the word killer himself but he responded positively to the question and this is something which irritates me approaching very much and i think it's play to a certain role in the clones decision to escalate now but the problem is much deeper i think there are several problems in eastern ukraine which putin doesn't like and wants ukraine to move and to yield to russian wishes the west is not behaving like russia would like it to and maybe also putting seize an opportunity in a general joe political. constellation because in the u.s. we have a new administration which is not quite strong enough we have in germany angela merkel the chancellor who is going yeah and it's not clear who will be on there is a pandemic in the world to the world is weakened by the paid pandemic ukraine is
very weak so this is just a chance and putin is known to be someone who uses the chances when they are there thank you very much and i want to come back to some of the points that you made but 1st let us take a closer look at what is going on in eastern ukraine instability in the dun bass region actually goes back 7 years following the russian an expansion of crimea pro russian separatists in the eastern part of the country seized a large swathe of territory fighting there began escalating in february of this year and for weeks now russia has been deploying additional troops to its side of the border. according to the ukrainian government russia has deployed up to 40000 troops to the border with eastern ukraine russian state television reports that this move is a response to provocations by ukraine while russian military maneuvers on the crimean peninsula annexed by russia continue. both sides are playing with fire
ukrainian president selenski wants to show strength as he visits his troops. what is clear to everyone is that if our soldiers are attacked if there are casualties the mission we have to fight back if you put it that. this congress that memories from 2014 when russian soldiers were also stationed at the border supporting pro russian separatists in eastern ukraine who sought independence status 14000 people died in the conflict and there is a living fear that this could happen again a previously agreed peace deal has so far failed to be implemented. the destruction we are afraid for our children i have another 5 year old in kindergarten how are they supposed to cope you know we are afraid of every noise. if there is a loud noise somewhere the children get scared and hide. which is a russian attack on ukraine imminent. because you know let's
drill a little bit deeper on what we can discern about russia's strategy here i actually have seen some commentators suggesting that an attack couldn't be imminent simply because the conditions on the ground would be so problematic at the moment in terms of weather and and so that troops would get bugged out. of something i read in april it's not the best month but you never know i mean nobody expected in 2014 that russia would and explained crimea and that it would send its troops and most to the dawn bond so you never know. think about the motive that might be one motive for a real invasion of this. crimea and the water supply so right now the only contacts are connection between the pen into law and russia bridge the bridge and crimea has acute while the surprise supply problem and maybe this is why
russia would like to have a land corridor who crimea but this is speculation and indeed there are many other motives for just saber wrestling indeed so let's talk about some of those as well alexander carr report pointed out that ukraine also has been deploying additional troops to the region and in fact president selenski rather ostentatiously took a c.n.n. camera team with him to the front lines does ukraine bear at least some responsibility for this escalation of things the same part of the same responsibility as russia because a crane is also building up its military presence at the boss and in my view it was a landscape thought that while president trump ex-president trump was not interested in the crane he may now gets more support including weapons weapon deliveries from that it states he hopes the united states will help him maybe in a certain way to get back on bass and the crimea at least he sees this time table
and he wants to secure his interest or the trains interest in this in this manner for russia the main multi of what they are doing is to prevent nato expansion to crane and therefore they want to keep creating a split country they want to threaten also the west that each side each step towards more membership will create a nato will bring more confrontation of the west or nato with russia sorry to sorry to direct if i may because i think it's not acceptable to say that both ukraine and russia are in the same time responses. for this may be a new escalation because presidents events can have that yes we would like to defend we will of course defend our land in case of an aggression he didn't not say that he would try to get crimea and the don't bounce back by falls and on the other hand you have these many thousands thousands of thousands of troops on the russian side so you can compare that let me ask roaming to come in on the same point roma
you said in your opening statement you cautioned ukraine to stay calm but going to the front lines with a c.n.n. camera team doesn't exactly fit that description i would say do you see ukraine as bearing at least responsibility for provocation and escalation. well i don't see any point in. i don't see any proof of ukraine escalating because you cannot compare the forces of ukraine and russia militarily and financially and what we've seen so far in the in the years before and in the days and weeks before this escalation was the. wish of the persian separatists who are backed by russia militarily. to to to start a fire are words and by caution in ukraine i mean are you crane should be very
careful not to. to create a situation like we had in georgia in 2008 when we had some weeks of fighting in the region of south ossetia and then the georgia decided we will try to liberate as they say the president saakashvili said that region and russia of course was nearby was ready in a standby motos and then the invasion was legitimized so to say yes and this is this is what russia maybe would like to see in ukraine as well russia would like to see ukraine make a mistake and maybe let itself be provoked by by the fighting of the recent weeks and this is this is probably the biggest danger and the biggest challenge for the ukrainian government but i don't see any proof or any any evidence that ukraine might do that because if you if you take a c.n.n. camera team with you you're just trying to show to the world you're trying to use
the media ukrainian president is a media medium and he's a media and he used to be a comedian he used to be a television star so that's what he does and what you can what you cannot do is a mill is to do anything militarily because you know let me ask you this the fact is the conflict in eastern ukraine is mainly russian speaking and many of its residents now have russian passports russia says that if these citizens are in danger and it must protect them that is a rationale for military intervention that we have heard before is that justified. no it's not but russia did the preparations and they have the laws that apply to them even to protect their citizens even abroad but the key question is whether there is the danger of that they will be. killed
by nationalists are other people so aggressive people this is narrative that russia is spreading that moscow spreading by even comparing the situation in eastern ukraine with the settlements. on the balkans which is disgusting from mine part of you so this is a stretch of strategy used by moscow and not only now and on past but it has been used before in georgia with a policy and south city. in february alexander president selenski took measures to silence 3 pro russian broadcasters in ukraine and also to sanction the oligarchy who owns them that all of our captains to have close ties to putin is the russian troop buildup partly a message to the lansky that he went too far in essentially trying to shut down russian propaganda machines i think the message is more to the west no nato crane
as i said before but indeed i think it is a big mistake of it'll close down the. television stations will broadcast in russia because still in eastern ukraine and people who live in eastern ukraine than in the west will create a crane mean they tend to listen also to russian programs and that steers more tension inside of the country than than brings the escalation so i hope that this mistake somehow will be taken back and what i think it's tremendously important is that approach and meet because in the normal form of the nominee for format or in the minsk format this meetings with the germans and french they didn't materialize they didn't bring more progress for peace so let's see how to develop probably united states will now enters a piece of peace process in the minsk after both as after the meeting between biden
and put in this will be james game changer in which way it will be successful that's a big question for want to come back have to say were about those television channels they were broadcasting in ukraine and go through channels but they had links to russia that's for sure and there are still other channels in ukraine that broadcast in russian language and mostly appeal to the ukrainians in eastern and southern ukraine where people speak russian still thank you very much. and those formats that you mentioned normandy minsk and so on these are of course formats that try to bring other european powers as well into the conversation in hopes of getting a real peace process going but so far with notably limited results so let's talk about the international aspect of this conflict and briefly if you would in fact ukraine is literally caught between the fronts of old military blocs the western
defense alliance nato which ukraine would like to join and russia. russian president putin is celebrating the 7th anniversary of the annexation of crimea the strategically important peninsula located in the black sea despite the sanctions imposed by the west putin has not changed his policy russian soldiers are once again stationed on the ukrainian border and once again they are waiting on help from the west which was discussed at a nato meeting for foreign ministers in brussels. around. the largest concentration . russian forces or british troops 24 feet. deep concern. not only through crime but the united states going to be. ready for our partners. the united states has actually sent your ships to monitor the situation russia is responding with a military maneuver. oh sure your words are numerous what is the u.s.
doing with its ships and soldiers who are constantly engaging in some kind of activity outside of nato borders in ukraine thousands of kilometers away from their own territory this question has not been answered it's a good look through it also raises the question how far will nato go to help ukraine. and let me put that question straight away to. the russian build up past provoked strong words from the u.s. . and nato but when they follow up with action ukraine of course is not a member of nato so there is no treaty obligation there there is not and if you mean by strong reaction if ukraine will be a member of nato very soon no it won't of course it will not and it hasn't even been granted the membership action plan but. he was a are talking about stronger sanctions and this is something what might really
happen like cutting off russia from the swiss system our banking international transfer system something like that roman chancellor merkel has called on the e.u. to react to events in eastern ukraine resolutely and unequivocally those were her words how could the e.u. and nato support ukraine short of sending in troops should include they send additional weapons should they in fact speed up the time table for a ukrainian membership in nato what do you think. well at the moment i think most things have been done so there were strong words and weapons were sold to ukraine in the past year or so i don't think ukrainian army needs. something which which much might change the situation on the ground of course it would like to have a pattern of systems but i don't think the u.s. will go that far because that will provoke russia of course what more might be
needed if we see an escalation and new military conflict and which will lead to ukraine losing more territory then i think you're europe and the west in general should think about strengthening or. building new creating new sectoral sanctions against sectors of arson economy because this has shown we have seen it in the past yes the most the strongest instrument to influence russia. not to just visa and then travel about sectoral sanctions but only if we see an escalation of the moment we're not there yet let me stay with the question of sanctions and ask you alexander the u.s. and the e.u. have actually enacted multiple rounds of sanctions against russia in past years not only for the actions in crimea but also for the poisoning of the outs in a valley the opposition. politician and also former spy sergey schiphol
the u.s. is apparently about to impose new sanctions for cyber warfare and interference in u.s. elections so does any of this any of these sanctions have any real influence on moscow's behavior not at all and i think the whole will have a completely different agenda russia and the e.u. will start cooperating on the next and split maybe for europe and i also think that for the americans the main and very diverse array on the global stage is not russia but china and therefore. biden doesn't want to risk sending more troops to crane or weapons to crane by and all his military apparatus and military machine in europe whether they collect the situation which can to morrow cure in china but clearly in biden is willing to impose additional sanctions because it seems he's about to do so. what do you think how strong is the u.s.
resolve to support ukraine we have heard that those warships that were supposedly going to be transferred dispatched to the black sea turkey says that deployment has been canceled exactly but in fact the u.s. never had the the open sea that they sent and so there was very much as i'm clear the only sources you send were the circus circus of the states so that there would come these wasn't so. i think it's a very clever reaction by biden by. offering a dialogue and at the same time giving clear advise that we will do something roman one sentence if your word is it time for germany to finally put the north stream gas pipeline project with russia on ice. i think this will be decided by the new german german government in in order to march to the
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