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tv   Corona Spezial  Deutsche Welle  April 16, 2021 6:30am-7:01am CEST

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you have to go to school. we ask why. because education makes the world more just. make up your own mind to. do w. make for mines. tens of thousands of soldiers and heavy weaponry the russian build up on the border to ukraine looks more like preparations for invasion than the standard military exercise that russia claims it's conducting and it is the most massive show of force since russia's 2014 an exception of crimea and since then russia has been deploying mercenaries volunteers and local collaborators to wage hybrid warfare in eastern ukraine and now kiev for along with europe and the us fear a dramatic escalation in violence nato and europe are urging russia to stand down
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and we ask russia ukraine crisis what does putin want. to. hello and welcome to the point it's a pleasure to welcome our guests busy nodong boot 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 but moscow was the aggressor and there must be consequences and i'm very glad to welcome our legs under our he's an author and analyst who also does political consulting for russian firms including cost he says the phone call between presidents biden and putin helped to deescalate the crisis and avoid a possible. full blown conflict and joining us virtually from d.w.
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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 nick sation of. 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 drawn through to your opening statement certainly suggests you see a very real danger of a russian offensive. well not necessarily i think it's saber wrestling and it's yeah directed for impressing the west it's a sick nod to the west and presidents a lansky from ukraine and. i think russia is trying to build up the
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stakes and all that to have a better position for further. orders $100.00 m. and for. these and ukraine exact as a negotiating card you also said in your opening statement that there must be consequences crisis 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 its mosco that moscow is the aggressor and they
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stand in solidarity with ukraine thank you very much alexander your opening statement referred to the call between biden and put in 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 putin to meet together looking at 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 architecture 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
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arms of china the main adversary of the united states is china russia and here biden wants to tackle of course the problems was in find out how far he can go in order indeed to discuss late or in turn to do then confrontational that was russia 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. commentator sort of bore but i'm pretty sure that in the kremlin of those people who are responsible for this decision taking in russia. this statement of biden that he wants to meet putin has been welcomed. but it makes russia specht of partner it makes russia. look strong on the international agenda it doesn't isolate
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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 alex station of the eastern ukrainian region of. in fact an all out invasion is. not generally moscow style until now. infiltration hybrid warfare has been the 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
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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 e.u. probably to divide ukraine into several states and to to create a new ukraine so 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 the u.s. president u.s.
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president you know 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 played to a certain role in the clinton's 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 the general job political. constellation because in the us we have a new administration which is not quite strong enough we have in germany angela merkel the chancellor who is growing and it's not clear who will be our there is a pandemic in the world to the world is weakened by the paid pandemic ukraine is
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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 basque region actually goes back 7 years following the russian annexation 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
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ukrainian president selenski wants to show strength as he visits his troops. what is clear to everyone is that if our soldiers are attacked so if there are casualties to meet him we have to fight back if you put it. this conjures up memories from 2014 when russian soldiers were also stationed at the border supporting pro russian separatists in eastern ukraine who sought independent 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 we are afraid of every noise. if there is a loud noise somewhere the children get scared and hide it so it's a russian attack on ukraine imminent. let's
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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 explain crimea and that it would send its troops and most to the dawn so you never know. i. think about the motives that might be won most of the for real invasion of this. crimea and the water supply so right now all of the only contacts are connection between the opponents the 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
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a land corridor who crimea but this is speculation and indeed there are many other motive 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 to the crimea at least he says timetable and he wants to
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secure his interest or the trains interest in this in this manner for russia the main multi if what they are doing is to prevent nato expansion to train 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 in the same time responses. for this may be a new escalation because presidents events khieu samphan 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 dawn bounced back by force 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 gunter ranko to come in on the same
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point roman 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 an 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 crying should be very
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careful not 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 mode us 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
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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 he can what he cannot do is a militia to do anything charlie is 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 it justified. no it's not but russia did of the preparations and they have the laws that apply to them even to protect their citizens even abroad but the key question is very is the danger of that they will be. killed by
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nationalists are other people so aggressive people this is not right to that russia is spreading that moskos spreading by even comparing the situation in eastern ukraine with those. on the balkans which is disgusting from mine part of you so this is a stretch of the strategy used by moscow and not only in now and on past but it has been used before in georgia with a posse and self. in february alexander president selenski took measures to silence 3 pro russian broadcasters in ukraine and also to sanction the oligarch who owns them that all of our captains to have close ties to putin is the russian troop buildup partly a message to the selenski that he went too far in essentially trying to shut down russian propaganda machines things of messages more to the west no nato crane as i
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said before but indeed i think it was a big mistake of it to close down the. 3 television stations to broadcast in russia because still in eastern ukraine and more people live in eastern ukraine than in the west of the korean crane move the tend to listen also to russian programs and that steers more tension inside the country of the. and 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 they . form a different format or 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 after the meeting between biden and
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sports and this will be a james game changer in which way it will be successful that's a big question i want to come back i have to say were about those 2 the vision channels they were broadcasting in ukraine and go through channels but they had links to russia for sure and there are still other channels in ukraine the 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
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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 who have not changed its policy russian soldiers are once again station. 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 and. we're now seeing the largest concentration. of forces on the current order since 2014. that is a deep concern. not only to the right but to the united states and indeed. true right here on. the united states is actually sent worship's to monitor the situation russia is responding with a military maneuver. roessler you are through numerous what is the us doing with
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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 and this question has not been answered it's a bit of it also raises the question how far will nato go to help ukraine. and let me put that question straight away to you because you know the russian build up past provoked strong words from the u.s. and nato but with a follow up with action in 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 you crane will be a member of nato very soon no it won't of course it will not and it's hasn't even been granted the membership action plan. he was a are talking about stronger sanctions and this is something what minds really have
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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 timetable 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 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 at systems but i don't think the u.s. will go that far because that will provoke russia of course what more might be
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needed if we see an escalation and you 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 archon economy because this sort of has shown we have seen it in the past years the most the strongest instrument to influence russia not to just visa and travel bans but 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 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 alex in the valley the opposition. politician and also former spy sergey scuttle the u.s.
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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 that will have a completely different agenda russia and the e.u. will start cooperating on. for europe and i also think that for the americans the main advantage of diversity on the global stage is not russia but china and therefore. biden doesn't want to risk sending more troops to crane a weapon still creating all this military apparatus and military machine in europe whether neglect is a situation which can to morrow or in china clearly biden is willing to impose additional sanctions because it seems he's about to do so. what do you think how
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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 cancelled exactly but in fact the u.s. never be openly that they sent it so there was very much on the only sources we use the word of the circus. things so that there would come these wash up so. i think it's a very clever reaction by biden by open offering a dialogue and at the same time giving clear advice that we were in something moment one sentence if you would is it time for germany to finally put the north stream gas pipeline project with russia on. i think this will be decided by the new german german government you know what i'm after the
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parliamentary elections and we should stop talking about it because it's not possible to do it at the moment thank you very much to you for being with us from bonn thanks to the others in the studio and all of you out there thanks for joining us see you soon. from. going to.
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