Sharper Focus/Wider Lens “Being Russia: The Past, Present and Future of a Superpower”

Sharper Focus/Wider Lens “Being Russia: The Past, Present and Future of a Superpower”


– My name is John Beck,
and it’s my pleasure to be connected to the MSU honors college. Tonight, I’m taking over for
Dean Cynthia Jackson-Elmoore, who is unfortunately feeling
a little under the weather and not able to moderate
this discussion tonight. So it falls to me, it’s really my absolute
pleasure, because I’m working up here tonight with four
fabulous professors here at Michigan State University. Tonight, you are attending
the latest in our series of transdisciplinary discussions
of really big topics. Tonight, we are talking
about Being Russia, the Past, Present, and
Future of a Superpower. I am helped tonight not
only by this wonderful panel that I’ll introduce in a second, but by Stephanie Seapack,
who is going to be running the microphone out in the audience when we take questions, and Claire Wismer, and I’d like to also welcome our audience that catches the livestream of this event, which is done via our friends from the MSU Alumni Association. Without further ado, let me
introduce tonight’s panel. And let me talk for two
seconds about how this is going to work, I’m gonna
introduce from right to left the four members of the panel, then the first one I’ve
introduced. Dr. Lisa Cook, is actually going to do her presentation followed by Matt Pauly,
followed by Kyle Evered, followed by Sherm Garnett. And we’re not going to be
taking questions at that point, instead what we’re going
to do is first start with cross-discussion across the panel just in terms of building on
each other’s presentations, remarks that they might want to highlight. Then we’re gonna open it
up to you, our audience, in terms of your questions and comments about what we’ve got going on tonight. One thing that I would mention is that far in advance, the things
that you don’t think about, we did not plan this in
relation to the anniversary of the 1917 Russian Revolution, but it just so happens
it worked our perfectly that we picked an October
date for this specific panel. But I did call Bob
Mueller earlier last week and asked him if he would
please release some form of indictment this morning in the hope that it would spur our audience tonight. So starting on my right,
Lisa Cook is an associate professor of economics in
the department of economics, and associate professor
of international relations in James Madison College. She’s an economist primarily
interested in macroeconomics, development economics,
and economic history. Cook also studies economics of innovation and financial institutions and crises, including czarist Soviet
and post-Soviet behavior of inventors in the territory that was once the Soviet Union. Prior to teaching here at MSU, Cook served as senior advisor on
finance and development in the US Department of Treasury. She earned her doctorate
from the University of California at Berkeley. Immediately on my right, Matthew Pauly is an assistant professor in
the department of history. Associate professor, associate professor, we just gave
– Let’s deploy tenure, please. – Yeah really, thank god. Pauly was a US Department
of State Fascal Fellow at the American Embassy in Kiev, Ukraine prior to coming here to teach. He is the author of Breaking the Tongue: Language, Education, and
Power in Soviet Ukraine, as well as numerous
articles, essays, and reviews on early Soviet nationalities policy, and the intersection
between national identity, education, and childhood
in late imperial Russia and the Soviet Union. At MSU, he’s a core faculty
member of the Center for European, Russian,
and Eurasian Studies, and the peace and justice studies group. He earned his doctorate
from Indiana University. On my immediate left, Kyle Evered is an associate professor in
the department of geography, environment, and spatial sciences. Trained to study geographies
in the Middle East and north Africa, and
the former Soviet states of Eurasia, most of
Evered’s research deals with topics associated
with the geographies of Turkey and its neighboring states. In particular, he has
published on the cultural and historical geographies,
political geographies, and cultural ecologies of the country and its wider regions. He earned his doctorate from
the University of Oregon. Sherman Garnett, our last
professor on my far left, is a professor and dean of
the James Madison College here on campus. His interests include
the former Soviet Union, especially Russian foreign
and security policy, Ukraine and comparative
political and security issues for the post-communist world. He was most recently a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment
for International Peace, where he directed projects on security and national identity in the former USSR and Russian-Chinese relations. Before that, he worked for
more than a dozen years on arms control and
post-communist security policy questions in a variety of positions in the US government, finishing
his government service as the deputy assistant
secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia. He earned his doctorate from
the University of Michigan. Just one quick parenthetical
note about Sherm, he happens to be probably the best-read in Russian literature of
probably any arms control expert in the history of the United States. – That’s not really all that big of a– – I think it’s wonderful,
but we’ll find out maybe more about that later. But at this point, let me
turn it over to Dr. Cook to start off our panel tonight. Oh, on the bottom, on the bottom. – Is it on? So thank you very much for the opportunity to participate in this
important and timely topic. So my perspective on Being Russia: The Past, Present and
Future of a Superpower is going to be mainly economic. And I’m just gonna add a
little bit to what John said, because this colors how
I think about the Russian economy, and Russia’s
international economic relations. So when I was in the Obama administration at the Council of Economic Advisors from 2011 to 2012, I worked
on the Law of the Sea treaty. And this is one that is governing the way in which claims are being
laid to the Arctic region. And again, I see this
through an economic lens. I also worked on the Eurozone, and the European Union
is an important part of the economic picture that is painted with respect to Russia. So the first thing I’d like
to do is give you a refresher on the size and the importance
of the Russian economy, because this waning superpower, I think, or superpower as it is,
I think has to do a lot with the economy. I wrote my dissertation on
the Russian banking system in the czarist and post-Soviet
period as was said before. I lived there in 1995 and 1996 in Moscow So just as a refresher with respect to the Russian economy,
it is not a large economy like the US, it’s not one
of the top three economies in the world, it is a 1.6
or 2.0 trillion dollar economy, now compare to
that 18 trillion dollar economy of the US. So it’s a fairly small economy. With respect to GDP per
capita, in 2014 it was $11,500, roughly, and it has fallen
to roughly $11,000 in 2015. The unemployment rate is fairly low, the official recorded
unemployment rate is fairly low, it’s 5.2 percent in 2014, and 5.3 percent on average in 2016. One thing that has changed
quite a bit in Russia is the imposition of sanctions
by the EU and the US, has changed the economy in a
way that has led to decline, and led to decline with respect
to the most of the metrics that macroeconomists
like me pay attention to. Like GDP or let’s start with FDI, because that would be the
most sensitive to changes in the Russian economy or Russian outlook. This represented, the inflows
represented, 1.07 percent of GDP in 2014, and in
2015, it was half that, it was .5 percent of GDP. So sanctions were imposed in
2012, and then again in 2014, again in 2016 due to
interference in our elections. Capital flight, a real
marker of how sustainable investors think an economy
is, domestic investors in particular, it was
$1.5 trillion in 2014, it’s fallen quite dramatically. Some would argue that because of sanctions there was an immediate outflow
of roughly $1.5 trillion, and in 2016 it was $10.5 billion. I want to remind you of the structure of the Russian economy, it
is heavily dependent on oil. It has been heavily dependent on oil, this has been its main export since 1988. So it’s not new that
oil and gas are really, or natural resources, are really important to the Russian economy. Energy subsidizes the rest of the economy, so if you look at the price of oil, this follows very directly
the change in real GDP. Oil export revenue
constitutes 26.6 percent of total revenue from Russian exports, and exports constitute
about 30 percent of GDP, so it’s large. So who has exposure to
the Russian economy. So it’s a fairly small
economy, it’s not one that we’re as exposed to
as the European Union is, and as the economies of the
Commonwealth of Independent States, the former Soviet Union and those in the Eastern Bloc. So Ukraine is one that
is heavily dependent on the Russian economy, and Eastern Europe more generally, more
broadly, beyond the CIS. So for the US, there is little dependence. For the EU, there is more than for the US, but less than for the
countries of the CIS. So there are some structural
problems that I noticed, and many people noticed, in the 1990s when I was
working on my dissertation that have not been resolved. So luckily for Russia, the
price of oil has remained high enough that these structural changes didn’t need to be made,
and they weren’t made, and they were postponed. And it has subsidized
the rest of the economy, it’s continued to subsidize
the rest of the economy, so these fundamental changes
have not been undertaken. So they have to do with property rights. They have to do with the
quality of infrastructure, of roads, of buildings. And part of this feeds into
the perception of corruption. So when I’m in Russia, and
I’m working on innovation, the biggest question
that I get is why doesn’t an investment culture, an
investment in innovation culture, exist in Russia yet? And that’s because, thank you, that’s because this is perceived to be a very bad place to invest, your intellectual property will be stolen, so that’s a common perception,
it is near the bottom between Nicaragua, Ukraine, and Angola. So that doesn’t inspire confidence. So I’ll skip ahead and I’ll say just a bit about the future that two groups see, people, the Russian people, and Putin. People are worried about
stagnant and declining living standards, they’re
worried about the rupture of the social compact. That means that they will
call for no more democracy as long as living standards are growing, or at least not declining. So Putin’s worries are similar to that. He is worried about
declining oil revenues. He is worried about declining GDP and declining living
standards, and he’s worried about challenges to his power. So civil unrest due to the
rupture of the social compact, and calls for more democracy. So in terms of his economic
future, what he sees is continuing to fight
the, I can’t say it, because I have a cold
today, Magnitsky Act, whether in the United
States it was passed in 2012 in the United States,
and this puts sanctions on individual government
officials, US sanctions on individual government officials. It was just passed in Canada. He’s worried about continuing to lay claim in the Arctic ocean. Again, he estimates that
the natural resources there are worth $31 trillion. So he is considering this
part of an economic strategy that will renew its
status as a world power. And then, my last point, for artificial intelligence, he sees this as a central feature, not
just of the superpower that is contained in weapons,
but also that spills over into civilian use. So we’ll say more about this,
I think, in the discussion. Thank you. – (speaking in foreign language) I’d like to thank
Professor Beck for inviting a historian tonight, it’s always dangerous for historians to comment
on contemporary events. We’re a bit verbose, and we
like to go into some detail, so I’ll try to keep my comments limited. This is my slideshow, I
wonder who’s been Kiev, has anybody ever been to Kiev? So this is Kiev, or Kyiv in Ukrainian, this is a monument to the
unification of Russia and Ukraine, constructed in 1982. It stands beneath what
is called in Ukrainian (Ukrainian term), that is
the Arc of the Friendship of Peoples, they don’t know
quite what to do with it right now given Ukrainians’
difficulties with Russia. It has been colored the
colors of gay pride. It has been featured as
a sort of cultural event for the city of Kiev. So a monument that has less
bearing on contemporary relations when friendship
between Russia and Ukraine doesn’t really exist, at least
in any real, formal sense. I’d like to remind you all
of how the Soviet Union was constituted, and a reminder
really that the current map of Eurasia was produced by the nominally federal system of the Soviet Union. The Russian Republic,
featured in pink obviously, occupies the vast majority of this map, and ethnic Russians were
the dominant majority in the Soviet Union,
constituting slightly over 50 percent of the population
of the Soviet Union. Ukraine, its adversary in the current age, is pictured in yellow,
a much smaller republic, but was still key, I’d submit to you, for economic, strategic,
and historical reasons. So in regards to Russia’s
current ambitions, vis a vis Ukraine, it is history
that perhaps matters most. Ukraine and Russia both lay claim to Kiev as the historical center of
their respective nations, and Russia presents
Ukraine as linked to Russia from time immemorial. I submit to you that it has not been, in fact Ukraine wasn’t
really directly controlled by Russia until the latter
part of the 18th century. After 1991, Russia has
consistently sought to rectify what Vladimir Putin has famously called the greatest geopolitical
tragedy of the 20th century, that is the collapse of the Soviet Union, by instigating, or
abetting regional disputes that work towards Russia’s interests. So this is a map of
so-called frozen conflicts in the post-Soviet space,
there’s differences between these conflicts, to be
sure, and some of them are anything but frozen. Certainly, what is going
on in southeastern Ukraine, I would submit to you is not frozen in spite of less talk about
it in the American press. So in 2014, Russia acted against Ukraine in order to regain what it had secured without military involvement before through its patronage of
the Ukrainian president, Viktor Yanukovych, who was
featured in the news today, it succeeded in creating a hollow state that privileged an economic and strategic relationship with Russia. I’d argue to you that if
Viktor Yanukovych had not been overthrown by public
demonstrations in Ukraine, Russia would have had little
reason to annex Crimea and to foment a separatist rebellion in southeastern Ukraine, in the Oblast of Donetsk and Luhansk. It has sought to justify
its actions against Ukraine since 2014 by a multitude of reasons, but foremost among them were
its defense of the rights of Russian-speaking Ukrainians,
and ethnic Ukrainians. And a brief gesture towards that topic, my particular interest
historically is the status of the Ukrainian language,
but I suggest to you that when the conflict first
began, the American media started abetting this
idea of a divided Ukraine by projecting maps such as this, which suggested that the
political affiliations of Ukrainians were determined
by which language they spoke, when that wasn’t the case in my view. Alright, Russian, so we’re
gonna linger on this slide for a while, this is Ukraine propaganda. It is updated regularly,
it’s from the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense’s information site, which is publicly accessible. It’s published in English
purposefully for you to view, and for you to understand the duress that the Ukrainian state has been under by Russian-supported separatists. So Russian actions against
Ukraine precipitated a larger campaign to
destabilize and undermine the legitimacy of the
west through its meddling in the electoral systems
of France, Germany, and famously for us, the United States. And so doing this overhanded
strategy has laid bare to you, and to the
American public I’d say, an adversarial relationship
that no one in the west really wanted, least of all
the Obama administration. It has stiffened American
and European resolve in support for Ukraine,
and has sanctioned regime that might have otherwise fractured if it wasn’t so apparent
if Russian involvement in our own political system
hadn’t been so apparent. In Ukraine, Russian action
has galvanized national unity among a population that was
divided in its orientation, and generally looked
favorably on Russians, if not the Russian government. Ukrainian prospective membership in NATO raised the ghosts of a
Cold War era and served as a bitter reminder of Russia’s failure to prevent NATO expansion
in east-central Europe and the Baltic states in 1999 and 2004. Still, I’d argue Ukrainian
membership in NATO has never really been on
the table, NATO never really wanted Ukraine as a member,
and opinion in Ukraine is still evenly divided
about a prospective membership in NATO in spite of the reality of war on its eastern border with Russia. It depends on which poll you look at, but it’s perhaps slightly
more than 50 percent in favor of Ukrainian membership in NATO. Alright, lastly, there
is undoubtedly support among some Ukrainians for the rejection of the Maidan, that is
the pro-EU, for lack of a better term, pro-EU demonstrations that took place in the
Maidan Nezalezhnosti, the Independence Square. But the war in southeastern
Ukraine would not have occurred without Russian military involvement. Russia has failed to
truly cover up the extent of this involvement,
even if we do not believe everything that is featured
on maps such as this, right, if we don’t believe
all of the Ukrainian military propaganda’s message about
Russian military activities. Russian military involvement
continues to this day, for example, in this year,
Russian provision artillery played a key role in a
renewed separatist offensive around the city of Druzkivka
in February of this year. Russia, I’d submit to you, to
return to my opening comments, unlike the west, will
remain singularly focused on realizing its aims in Ukraine, and in what Russia views
as the near abroad, because its conviction that it’s righting a historical wrong. And this is where history to me matters. American protests about the
sanctity of international law, and the violations of international law matter little to Russians in the face of this determinism. Thank you. (speaking in foreign language) – On the bottom, I think it’s on. – It’s on, okay great. Hello. Is that on? – Why don’t you do that
one, I’ll switch with you. – You dropped it in
rehearsal too many times. Either one, there we go. The work that I do does not
look at Russia directly, I feel like I need to say that when I’m on this panel with the other people. That said, I am highly
educated, I know words, and I use the best words. But when we are thinking about Russia, a lot of what I have
done has been essentially kind of under the shadow of Russia in one way or another when
we think about the rise of modern Turkey in the 20th century, and continuing up to the present, and even if we go before that time too. Now as a geographer, I
sometimes, oftentimes, suffer from kind of
not setting up barriers in terms of the subject
matter that I look at, the different fields that I look at, because you can kind of get
away with doing everything sometimes, but when we’re
thinking about what geography has to tell us, a lot of the relationships between Turkey and Russia can also tell us quite a bit about Russia
itself, in addition to Turkey. And I think when we look at
it, it’s a very particular relationship, as well. There are common
histories that are shared. If we think about it, the
question of where Turkey is, where Russia is, have
occupied some of the major geopolitical big questions of
the last 200 years, perhaps. There are also conflicting
claims over time that are not resolved, won’t
be resolved any time soon. We can think about this as
well very much in terms of shifting priorities in the
context of the collapse of the Soviet Union and
what came afterwards. And more recently, we
oftentimes see this presented as a sort of question of Putin and Erdogan, much like the sort of bromance
between Trump and Putin, this is something that kind
of surfaces occasionally, or not infrequently, as well. One of the things that I’ll
note, though, is that you have very common interests and
common economies, though, that I think really should
make us take a sort of very practical view of
politics rather than sometimes going along with the
sort of generalizations that we see in the press
that are simply about the sort of personal politics of Putin, or of Erdogan in either case. Now the field that I draw on
mostly when I’m doing work is a field known as critical geopolitics, and it’s one that looks at a
lot of media representations in no small amount. It also deals with quite
a bit what Stephen Colbert referred to as truthiness,
not infrequently. In terms of looking at sort
of discourses about politics, not just the pronouncements of leaders, of states, of so-called experts, but looking at the sort of
things that you see in the media, and for a fair amount
of the work that I do, I sometimes try to draw
on popular media, as well, as a way of kind of looking at the kind of sentiments that you sometimes see about issues, as well. Now if we’re talking
about Turkey and Russia, although one of the things
that I’ll be talking about has more bearing to the
handshake that we see here maybe than the sort of conflict
that is illustrated from the late 19th century, you’ve seen the conflict
depicted more often than not in a lot of histories, in a
lot of political commentaries. Going back to the time
when Turkey took Istanbul, or Constantinople, going through the many Russo-Turkish wars,
culminating particularly with the one that we had in the late 1870s, which was only one of
probably 10 to 12, at least, depending on how we’re counting, these kind of stations,
and then thinking about it up through the present day, again, whether we’re thinking
about the great game, or whether we’re thinking
about the sort of heartland thesis, Mackinder’s
question, sort of concerns echoed by the west about a
so-called sick man of Europe, or the enduring straits questions, or Cold War issues, and
we recognize that Turkey was ground zero for the
Cold War when we think about the articulation of the Truman Doctrine, which was written
essentially to protect Turkey and Greece, also Iran indirectly, but it’s been at the center in many respects, whether
recognized or not. This sort of relationship,
though, is one that I think oftentimes is not examined enough, and oftentimes undervalued in many ways. If we start to move into thinking about modern Turkey during the Cold War period, we obviously think about
once Stalin started to demand the straits, you know, at
Potsdam and thereafter, Turkey moved well within the
west’s sphere of influence, and particularly was one
of the most valued members of NATO, was second only
to the United States in terms of per capita
contribution to NATO, and in terms per capita
troops provided to NATO, as well throughout much of NATO’s history when Turkey was a member. If you look at the map of
Turkey, as you can see here in the upper corner, there’s no shortage of western bases within the country. We oftentimes think of Incirlik, but there are quite a few others, as well. Now with the collapse of the Soviet Union, we ended up seeing
Turkey being on the outs with the west all of a sudden, shifting from a great friend to somebody that maybe we don’t want
to recognize too much. And that sort of changing
alignment between the west and Turkey, Turkey started to
look increasingly eastward, and particularly at the states
of the former Soviet Union, and at particular
populations within Russia, and other republics as well. When we think about that,
they started to deploy their own kind of cartographies, and you can see an example
here of the kind of map that they started to
deploy in the early ’90s, looking at what they referred
to as a (turkish term), a Turkic world, indicating
both sort of sister states that they had, places like
Kazakhstan, Kirghistan, which are Turkic, but
also the many populations that are Turkic-speaking peoples. Now, they didn’t do this in a
way that would be provocative to Russia, unlike what we
had just heard from Matt discussing Russia’s engagement
within (foreign term) states, and trying to stir up foment
problems in those contexts. These two states instead became
increasingly interconnected in many ways. Almost overnight, you started to have exchanges between these
states, lots of Russians starting to go into Turkey, initially just to trade a
little bit on the Black Sea coast region, but very quickly becoming major consumers in Turkey. What were they consumers of? Turkey itself, the tourist
industry within Turkey became largely dependent in some spheres upon Russian peoples as
well as other peoples from states of the former Soviet Union. Some of the limited
experiences that I have in Russia, and in central
Asia, it’s one of the things that I notice all the
time from the mid-90s up to the present, tourism posters advertising destinations
in southern Turkey, particularly Anatolia. We see major exchanges of
food, Turkey buying wheat and Russia buying many other commodities. The exchange of energy
products, Turkey is second only to Germany as an importer
of Russian natural gas. And when we’re looking
at this relationship, it’s one that had largely
gone on very well, almost no matter where you would go, whether it’s in Russia,
or any of the other post-Soviet states,
probably with the exception of the Baltics, you
would run into all kinds of construction in many
of the cities, too, not infrequently those construction sites were being operated by Turkish
construction companies, Turkish workers, often
times lower-end workers from places like Tajikistan
and elsewhere, as well. When you had a plane shot
down in November 2015, though, you started to have a
rupture in relations. That was, to some extent, encouraged even, or
facilitated, I would argue, when Obama refused to see
Erdogan coming off of the problems of Gezi Park, the sort of divide with Gulen and whatnot following 2013. In Russia, this became fodder
for political commentators, the seeking out of an
apology, and finally, although the plane was
shot down in November 2015, Erdogan finally apologized
in June of 2016. Turkish tourism industry had
suffered by about 50 percent to 60 percent by that time. And he was mobilizing
very rapidly to start getting people back. You can see in the example here, can you ask him if he brought tourists, he’s asking Erdogan. These kinds of relationships
then are, again, ones that we think
about as sometimes being characterized as the sort of friendship of individuals that are
dictators, or dictator-like, ones that we can associate
with our own country and associated depictions, as well. But they’re also ones that
I think in many regards defy certain practicalities. As soon as Erdogan did make that apology, despite the fact that you
had a Russian ambassador assassinated in Ankara in
late 2016, December 19th, I think it was, 2016,
there was barely a ripple in Turkish-Russian relations. The mutual need of each
other for buying each other’s goods, commodities, receiving
each other’s peoples is such that Russia has
a very permanent place in Turkey, and Turkey has
a very permanent place within Russia, or at least
in the Russian economy. This is an example of one
of the Russian-Friendly tourist sites, some place I can’t imagine anybody else going to, it’s
the Kremlin Hotel in Anatolia, in southern Turkey, the
sort of thing that, again, I think speaks a lot more
to the sort of practicality of their relationships
rather than the sort of characterizations we see
in the media oftentimes. Thank you. – [John] Great, Sherm. – I’m gonna summarize a
longer presentation I made to the MSU ROTC. And I told them that they’d
probably spend their careers with Russia as a strategic challenger, not a superpower, not
an ally, not a partner, maybe a major enemy, but not in the way the Soviet Union was. What I believe Russia has
done is chosen the stance of being a dissatisfied assertive power, and so I want to sort of sketch briefly what I think that means. So, we’ve heard already
that in the last decade, Russia’s used military
force to occupy a portion of Georgia, 2008, annexed Crimea, sustain a military revolt
in eastern Ukraine. It’s asserted itself into Syria, interfered in Dutch, French, German, and our own elections
and taken up an assertive posture in the Arctic,
anticipating for the coming struggle that will take place
for the region’s resources. It’s undertaken new diplomatic initiatives and arm sales, and
expressions of solidarity with Turkey, Saudi
Arabia, Egypt, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and elswehere. It’s spent a lot more
money on its military, which went into a precipitous decline when the Soviet Union fell apart. I can talk in excruciating
detail about that because I was part of the
conventional forces negotiations. Fostered very close ties with China. And then there’s a bunch of speeches and stuff like that in which they lay out their special interests,
their desire to return as a great power. One in particular in 2007,
which Putin delivered in Munich, which I think
is almost the fulcrum for the last 10 years, 12 years. So this happens at the same
time that they’ve retrenched internally, settling
into an oligarchic system that features the domination of Putin and an inner circle,
and some business leads, and his party. And this regime has the usual features, hollowed out set of opposition parties. In fact, Putin mused
a couple of weeks ago, wouldn’t it be nice to
run against a woman, and now there are two
women running against him. I don’t see this as real opposition. There’s a largely controlled,
media-managed elections, not the full suppression of
speech or dissent, but not nice. A variety of administrative
and police measures. Nationalistic and cultural conservatism, there was a great article
in the Washington Post a few weeks ago about how the
right in the United States is especially attracted to Russia because of its stand on LGBT issues, and Christian conservatism, go. This Russian oligarchy
controls probably half the wealth of the country. So when you look at things
like what they’re spending on the Olympics, or what
they’re spending on military, you have to understand
there’s sort of a tax in that. So you can’t just say, oh,
they’re spending twice as much, they must be getting twice
as good, they’re not. And as Lisa said, the
economy is over-reliant on natural resources, and corruption, and those sorts of things. So to me, these internal
and external policies are interrelated. Patriotic appeals, return
to major power status, in some ways compensates for the deal that many Russians are living. The Nobel Prize-winning
writer Svetlana Alexievich last year said in the west
people demonize Putin, they do not understand that
there’s a collective Putin, consisting of some millions of people who do not want to be
humiliated by the west. There is a little piece
of Putin in everyone. So let me say, Kyle
already talked, I think, about a whole bunch of
fancy geopolitical stuff that I have to think about a little bit, but in the last 30 years,
what’s happened is instead of a giant chunk of the world
in which the center of it is Moscow pushing out, and controlling, and essentially limiting
access from the outside, you’ve had a collapse of that center, and an attempt to rebuild
it, so a very strange change at the center, you’ve had the
rise of 14 other new states, potentially weak around the border, these are states that don’t see themselves in any particular
relationship to one another, especially if they’re far
away, but Russia looks at them as a unified whole. And then all the people
of the outside world, the cultural stuff, the
military, politics, foreign countries, different religious groups, are now entering into this closed space. And so that’s a position
Russia doesn’t like. So let me sum up, you know,
there’s probably nine points here of the military and
foreign policy of Russia. One, Russia sees itself as a great power, significant global actor,
even if it can’t quite be right now, and will make every effort within the constraints of the economy and the distribution of
wealth to the oligarchy, to rebuild its leverage. Two, Russia has said
from the very beginning, even under Yeltsin, that
it has special interests in its neighborhood,
defined as the former USSR. It’s acting to make sure
that interest is protected. Moscow has described
different ways or redrawing the European security architecture so that there’s a Russian
sphere, and a western sphere covered by NATO and the EU. It’s acted very strongly in
Ukraine to create that sphere. It’s split NATO and EU
members wherever possible, likes to renationalize issues and undermine western confidence in its political and diplomatic structures. We didn’t help by expanding the alliance, and in a way Russians
now look back on the ’90s as a period where we
took advantage of them. Three, Russia sees westernization, especially Americanization,
in geopolitical terms, as a competition for power and influence. It wants to sow seeds of
dissension in the west, and undermine confidence
in democratic regimes, it’s done that fairly well, Four, Russia’s tried
to be a visible leader of a coalition of states
that want to encourage multipolar tendencies,
China, Brit countries, Shanghai Cooperation Council,
Russia has to swallow junior partner status with China, and I think it’s very important
when you look at Russia, you need to look at it
not only from our end, where they’re sort of showing their fangs, but also that cartoon you had
where the dog had the tail between its legs, I think that’s Russia’s stance towards China. At bottom, five, Russia’s
a dissatisfied power with grievances toward the status quo. It’s shown it most strongly towards us, but you can look at
its posture everywhere. In fact, it’s asserted, this is point six, under special circumstances,
or in ways that signal a resistance, but don’t
take us on face to face. The Syrian case is the most
important example of that. Obama declared a red line,
decided there wasn’t a red line, we didn’t want to get in, they got in. So where we’re wishy-washy,
they’re strong, so you can, or they’re
trying to be strong. That’s not the same as
saying they’re ready to be like the Cold War Russia. Russia has adopted a strategy
of opposition that involves military improvements, cyber warfare, political information,
information warfare, we can talk about so-called
hybrid warfare if you want. But the important thing
about that is, they tend to see, since they see
these things as related, they tend to see our
actions as somehow related. So we interfered with
Ukraine in a strategic way, not that we helped, you know,
NGOs helped Ukrainian parties, or businessmen went over
and did investments, that’s a unified action taken
by America against Russia. Nine, oh, I skipped one. Eight, potential troubles
internally could cause further foreign policy gambits. Nine, Russia has not to date undertaken a full-scale rearmament
and deployment in any way that resembles the Cold War. That’s really important, and
we can come back to that. The rhetoric seems to be the same. The actual military facts, I would argue, are quite different. 10, Russia, and this is the final one and I want to say two things
about the United States, Russia seems to see the
US as a superior power, but one without the will, strategy, or persistence to thwart it. Putin derides the US as a hyperpower, but thinks of the US as
an ineffective adversary. And such an attitude predates
the election of Donald Trump. So let me say a few things about that. We’re in a moment of
really great uncertainty about our own stance. The old options of the Cold War, which kind of began as a, in a agreement that there needs
to be a certain amount of suspicion about Russia, then generated into a more left- and right-wing, left wing would be more partnership, righ wing would be more containment, but I think these things
seem to be in abeyance now, I’m not sure what our policy is. The reasons for minimal
cooperation, like nuclear weapons and the threat of terrorism, remain, but we’re not doing anything. And into this marches a
very unfamiliar stance of the Trump administration, which I think is quite unprecedented. We’re silent about Russian interference in our own elections,
Ukraine, Russian development of a nuclear missile that
violates the INF treaty, pretty much everything. President Trump has shown
a kind of indifference to our allies and a
fascination with regimes run by strong men. Yet he doesn’t have enough
trust from the American population to move in any new direction. I understand that the president thinks that the election and Russian interference carries with it the
potential link that disproves collusion, but I think
he’s making a huge mistake to be silent about Russian
interference in our elections. It’s unsettling, and it’s
just gonna invite more. And if you think it’s always gonna be on the Republican side,
they’re just dead wrong. I think ’cause at bottom
what Russia wants to do is to make everybody think
that internal politics or external politics are just power. Rich people doing power. No human rights, that’s all a game. No economic development, that’s a game. Russia wins with that,
they don’t have to pick their candidate, they
just have to let us think that our system is no
good, or is just a mask. Nationalistic and America-first doctrines made former certainties uncertain. I just don’t know what our interests are in this environment. The president’s weakness and distraction make creative diplomacy
in this area very unlikely anytime soon, because he’s
too weak to do something new, and the dominant mode is
a kind of hyper suspicion. So there, I’m done. – Wonderful, first of all let us give our panel a round of applause if you would please. (audience applauds) Just a couple of quick comments from me, and then I want to open it up to the panel to comment on each other. We already had a little
bit of that going on, but I’d love to hear more,
and then we’ll open it up to all of you. You know, it’s amazing and
I can’t stress this enough for the young people in the audience, either here or on the livestream, what a difference a few years makes. Many of us were raised in a United States where our parents were busy putting aside food and water in the
basement in bomb shelters, and we were all taught to duck and cover in our grade schools, where we understood that a piece of paper would
stop certain particles, but not all, and we learned
a lot back in those days. How well many of us
remember the proxy wars, when it was all about Russian involvement on our doorstep through
the Cuban Missile Crisis, and in various places
across Latin America, and in Africa, the presence
of Russian doctors, the presence of Russian troops. And now what now we’ve
heard across this panel, this former major foil
for us as United States, we’ve heard from Lisa
about economic weakness, doubling down perhaps on one
specific extractive industry, they have, I think, others,
we might want to hear more about those later. Are they, as we’ve already heard up here, can they only now be an agent of chaos, and kind of a global spoiler,
rather than necessarily kind of the assertive power
that they were at one point? And, do they look back wistfully
and believe as a nation now that their best years are behind them, rather than some type of rosy future for more than the just the oligarchs? And, as I think we began
to hear from Sherm, and what about our role,
not only in relation to the United States itself, but also, and as Kyle raised, really our role within the NATO alliance,
and an entire kind of geopolitical structure
that was put together with the Soviet Union at the center of it, if it is now kind of a deflated power, what now becomes that
continuing NATO role? So there’s a lot of questions up here. Let me first open it to the panel, do you have any questions
or comments for one another, or other things that you want to raise before we open it to the audience? Any points? Lisa. – So I think that in this deflated role, it can cause problems. It can cause chaos. And I think that’s what it’s aiming to do, and even in Putin’s
pronouncements about how important artificial intelligence was going to be to humankind, he is
thinking about harnessing the efforts of many Russian hackers that are operating legally and illegally, he’ll probably never be
able to harness the ones who are operating illegally,
because that would take some sort of imposition
of property rights, and so on, and some sort
of incentive for them to behave better. But in this deflated role,
I think he’s thinking of what he can stop, what
kind of chaos he can sow, how he might be able to diminish the power of adversaries whether
in the United States, or in Ukraine, or in France. One of the banks that I
studied in my dissertation financed the campaign of Marine Le Pen, so I think that that’s
the overall strategy, and I think that the strategy
that’s being implemented in Ukraine, and I think
it can’t be understated, there is something else besides profit and strategic maximization going on here. The gut reaction of
Russians that I lived with with respect to Ukraine
is just unbelievable. It’s something that we
probably wouldn’t understand, but they believe that there’s
some sort of umbilical cord between Russia and Ukraine, and I think that’s something
that maybe the American press, or maybe the western press in general, doesn’t get as much. But I think they can do, they can engage in a lot of mischief. They can cause a lot of mischief,
and I think that’s a goal. – So I don’t have a
great deal to add to that beyond pointing out and
emphasizing what Lisa said as well, that Russia
is using vastly modern means to act as an agent of chaos. I don’t think it moves from that position until it feels satisfied
that the rest of the world is paying attention to the
position that it believes it has earned, right, and accepts it, accepts Russia as an equal
partner in negotiations regarding whatever international
conflict that arises. I would say their criticism of the west, in particular the United
States, is that the west is moving too fast towards the future, lurching towards the
future, and losing sight of its roots in its embrace
of sort of a decadent form of secularism that Russia rejects. Last thing in regards to
Ukraine, and what Lisa said, I fully agree, of course, the basic problem I think
between Russia and Ukraine is that there is not a recognition
of a state called Ukraine really in the end, or a recognition of Ukrainian sovereignty. Ukraine has a special
relationship with Russia, and whether Ukrainians
want to call themselves Ukrainians in a state called Ukraine, that’s sort of besides the fact. It is tied, as Lisa quite
correctly pointed out, irrevocably to Russia. Yeah, I’ll leave it there. – Kyle or Sherm, any other comments from either one of you? – Well, I would just say that I don’t think it’s a diminished power, I think it’s a diminished
power historically, but compared to the
’90s, it’s coming back, and it’s coming back with an
agenda of being aggrieved. I think it’s on the way
to redefining its half of the European space. I guess from my perspective, it is important for us
not to immediately leap back into a Soviet-US Cold War position, because I don’t think
they’re the superpower. Similarly, I would argue
that just because the Chinese are declaring themselves to
be the power of the future, we shouldn’t automatically
see that in Soviet terms, as Lisa pointed out, with
less economic interest. I don’t know if this is still true, I used to say that, she can correct me, but Italy has more
economic trade with Russia, at least at one point, than we did. That’s not the case with China, it’s a much more complicated thing. What I would say is that if you back up, we’re in a kind of a period
of strategic uncertainty as to what the system is. There’s these new
populisms, new nationalisms, new whatever, you have
the appearance of a set of new means of influence,
like the internet, and hacking, and artificial intelligence,
and all of that, and it’s just very hard to figure out where we stand in that,
and I think that’s been exacerbated by the
election of this president. So instead of a bunch
of people either from a recognizable tradition
of the right or the left, and a security establishment and saying, you know, this isn’t quite
right, what’s going on, what do we need to do? We really have a kind of a different set of assumptions and even just the way the Korean
policy is being carried out, or the Russian, all of
these things are kind of new and different, and it seems
to me that it’s uncertain where we’re headed. I do know already though that
I agree with the president, I’m tired of winning,
very tired of winning. So I think there is a need, I think, I can’t stress it enough, the drift in US-Turkish relations, the indifference to the alliance, the way the Japanese
are looking at changing their constitution, and
I think it’s a smart move for their part, because
we’re not that reliable. I mean there’s a whole set
of things that are going on right now that, don’t elect a cold warrior to fix it, but somebody who at least had
some connection to the past, and some sense of the future, and I think we’re an
incredible wild card in this. – Okay, now Stephanie is going
to, if you raise your hand, she’ll come around. Let me ask one question
while she’s doing that, do raise your hands,
and she’ll come to you with a microphone. One of you mentioned the
idea that there’s more than one Putin, Putin
very well may be much more a mindset in that there
could be a variety of Putins. But help us understand
maybe to kick off tonight, what does a post-Putin Russia look like? Or will we ever be past Putin, or will it simply be more
and more Putin-like people that come in his wake? Anyone want to rise to
the bait on that one? – Well, yeah I’ll rise, I don’t know. The problem with this
system is that it can be, I guess, there could be a
successor, and there’d be some jostling, and
you’d get back to trying to pay off people and run it this way, and if they can tap into the Arctic and get their 31 trillion or whatever, I mean you could see this thing going on though Putin may not be here. But I think there’s also a
chance that that system fails, and it seems to me that that’s, it’s very hard, I mean
they say no one predicted the fall of the Soviet Union,
I think there were a lot of people that felt that
there were things going on that were funky, but it
was very hard to know that something that apparently
solid, even with all of its contradictions was
just going to fall apart as swiftly as it did, and so, I think Lisa said it very well, that if there is this
powerful sense of patriotism, and the Ukraine belongs to them, or Russia’s respect around
the world it goes far enough if the basic things are still there. If that goes down, I think you see this as, you’ll see some uncertainties,
and then some, I think, instability, that I guess the
final point I would make is Putin is using this manipulatively, like his return to Orthodox Christianity, his puffing up imperial and
Soviet heroes, and all of that, he doesn’t give a damn
about that, just not at all. He’ll take communion
and all of that stuff, but this is for the bottom, and there’s a kind of cynicism about it. And I think that there’s an
amazing sense from the elite of uncertainty if these
things get out of control. So the more politics is stage managed, the more it’s controlled,
the more elections go well, the more there’s one party that appears, I mean those kinds of
things are reassurances, but there’s a kind of
uncertainty in this system that I think is, you know, he’s not a
person right now that wants to pick a successor. So I really think there’s a kind of a, like as he gets older and uncertain, you’ve seen it in central Asia, you had a tendency towards
many of these systems have a, an old autocrat, and Kazakhstan will have to make a transition, Uzbekistan did, Azerbaijan kind of created
a hereditary monarchy. You’ve got these, Aluka
Shanka has taken over, Putin is trying to do that, but there’s a funny passage
in Solzhenitsyn’s First Circle where Stalin as he’s
getting older is thinking about whether his scientists
will come up with some sort of immortality, and
that’s what I think Putin wants in a certain sense. I don’t think he sees his, I’m not even aware he has a son, I don’t think he sees a successor, and I think that’s the
uncertainty that you see in this system. There are plenty of people
that think they would want to take over Putin’s job, but I don’t think it’s an easy one. – [Stephanie] John, we have
our first question over here. – Okay, where are we, right here, okay. – [Noah] Hi, my name’s Noah. As the world seems to be
moving towards less dependence on carbon fuel and oil and natural gas, it seems to me that Russia’s
gonna have to make a choice in the near distant
future of whether to make major political and economic reforms, or to be continued to be marginalized regardless of western sanctions. My question, I’m just
curious what direction you think Russia will go, or maybe a mixture of both, I’m not sure. – Lisa. – So I think that that’s
a really good question. I think that a number of
oil-dependent countries who are forward-looking are beginning to invest in renewable energy, especially in solar power. So, this is happening in the Gulf states. I think that they have this realization, but just as Putin doesn’t care about the, I’m not gonna say the grand strategy, but he seems to be implementing
a series of tactics to maintain Russia’s
economic and strategic power. I think that he’s not thinking
about the economy this way either, because if you
were really thinking about the economy long-term,
you would have moved away from dependence on oil, or more away from dependence on oil. You would have developed human capital. You know it has one of the
highest stocks of human capital in the world, and because
of this lack of enforcement of property rights, they’re
all sending us messages, and hacking this, and hacking that, hacking the DNC, hacking the RNC, and just doing all these illegal things. And you can imagine a
country that has harnessed these amazing resources that
are not natural resources. They made a decision
to invest in education, and this was a long time
ago, and they could reap the benefits from this still, but without property rights protection, all of this is moot. So I think that they’re not
thinking about the long term, although they have many
of the tools to become a real forceful economic
power that doesn’t rely on oligarchs, that doesn’t
rely on being a rogue state with respect to dealing in
nuclear weapons or hacking everybody in the world. – [John] Other comments – I just say that you
should look at a state like Azerbaijan for this. In the sense, they’re
not a perfect analogy to the Soviet Union or Russia or anything, but they have been a world oil producer, Baku was an oil producer
in the 19th century and the early 20th, and
they’re now at a point where their national strategy
is to look at the change to natural gas, and then
ultimately to go beyond carbon. And yet they have a lot of these problems of a corrupt oligarchy, a set of bad governance things, and I think that’s an interesting, maybe Kazakhstan too,
are states to watch about when the tap runs out. I think the Arctic, though,
and even new technologies will make the carbon era
last a little bit longer than we thought, just
because I work for somebody at the Carnegie Endowment
who thought by 2015 there would be no carbon left. She’s retired to enjoy her prescience. But I think, so there’s
kind of a shock or surprise, but I do think there’s some oil states that are coming to the end of their, I mean Azerbaijan right
now sees, you know, the next 10 years their oil has gone down, and their natural gas has gone up, and they’re gonna have
to struggle with some of these same, in a miniature way, that the Putin regime or
the successor might have to go through in the
next 30, 40, 50 years. – [Stephanie] I’m gonna
come to the middle here. – [Female] Thank you, well
perhaps I’m not the only one whose head is spinning
at trying to understand your four different academic perspectives, but all the perspectives of all of these surrounding countries about
which I’m quite ignorant. But my confusion would
be dissipated somewhat if you could use, or explain,
what a couple of acronyms have to do with it, I know
what a GDP is, but not the FDI, and not CIS countries. And also, I know that IMF probably stands for the International Monetary Fund. – [Sherm] No, INF, I’m sorry. Intermediate Nuclear Force.
– Then I’ll give you a chance to talk about that.
– Intermediate Nuclear Force Agreement, sorry, the
other ones were Lisa’s. – So I saw several of my
students in the audience, so I apologize for not
having gone straight to what those acronyms mean. GDP is gross domestic product,
and it’s just the size of the economy, FDI is
foreign direct investment. And you were asking, did you say – CIS.
– CIS, oh, the Commonwealth of Independent States, which are the countries
that used to belong to the Soviet Union. – [John] Okay, who’s got the mic, okay. – [Male] So I guess I’d
be remiss if I didn’t ask a question to two of my former
professors on the panel, but I am, so there was comments that with Russia interfering in our elections no matter if it was
Republican or Democrat, and partisan politics
aside, we know that Russians want to tamper with our
fear, and to our natural democracy in itself, and
so I guess my question is, if it’s not elections,
then what is the potential for Russia to tamper
with our infrastructure, whether that’s our
energy, whether that’s our data infrastructure in itself. You know we talk a lot
about how oil and whatnot is driving the economy,
but is there interest in growing capacities
for Russians to develop a mindset for computer
engineering, perhaps, and trying to mastermind our United States infrastructure in that regard? – I’ll quickly start, so I think that’s a really good question, too. We don’t know what the
problem was with all of these nuclear
submarines that were having these accidents this summer. This is highly unusual. So somebody’s gonna tell me, I believe, in a year or two that
these were all hacked, and that we did something
silly like had passwords like admin or 1234 for getting into their computer systems. So yes, we should be really concerned about our infrastructure, especially our critical infrastructure, and certainly our military in face
of what Vladimir Putin has stated about the future
of artificial intelligence. Now, he’s stated something
that was nuanced, so he’s skeptical of
autonomous decisions being made about using, say, nuclear weapons, but he understands that
there are enough Russians who’ve done a good job
of hacking and using artificial intelligence that
this could be harnessed. What’s he’s also said is that he would, all nations need to research this, and that information
would be shared by Russia, just as it, and he added
this in the press conference, just as it is being shared
about nuclear technology. I was like, well okay, nobody’s gonna hold your breath about that,
right, so there’s not being information shared about that. But I think that at several
levels we’re not taking seriously at many, many different points, and business and industry,
and certainly with respect to intellectual property, but with respect to national security, we’re not taking this as
seriously as we might. We’re the ones who need
to take this seriously. When President Obama said
in 2012 that we’re looking for a Sputnik moment, I
mean we should’ve taken up that mantle, that’s not abstract. We really do need to
cultivate these resources, and it’s not making every
single person an engineer, it’s not turning all of you
wonderful students of mine who are budding economists, right, into engineers, it is
making sure that we have the resources to be able to do that, whoever’s interested in it. So I think we haven’t
taken this as seriously as we should in many different sectors and in many different realms of society. – I didn’t know that they
were budding economists, I thought they always came fully formed, that they didn’t have to go
through any earlier stages. Right, who has, oh, Matt has a comment. – I just say that
Russia’s already done this in relation to Ukraine. Russian hackers have disrupted
the energy infrastructure of Ukraine, and destroyed
its banking system for a single day, so it has
the capacity to do this. It also deploys decidedly low-tech means. If you watched Russian
news, they’d often feature the same woman in multiple
locations in Ukraine begging for Russian support
for separatist initiatives, but the same woman appeared in Odessa, and Donetsk, and Luhansk,
so it was clearly an actress who was set up to contrive
that sort of ploy. They also are very stupid,
if I might say that, in regards to technology as well. So one of the reasons, or one of the ways, sophisticate ways that
Ukrainian tech-savvy people have proven a Russian
presence is to simply look at their social networking posts, by soldiers who have been Russian soldiers who’ve been operating
in Ukrainian territory, and locating where they were in Ukraine. There’s a technological
means that soldiers are employing in order to remain connected with their family and
relatives, but something that the Russian government
didn’t see fit to prevent, sort of exposes the
reality of what’s gone on in southeastern Ukraine. – Other comments, okay. – [Stephanie] Alright, we’re
gonna come here to the middle – [Male] Hi, my question is
mostly for Professor Pauly, you had mentioned that the conflict between Russia and Ukraine
is one that Russia seeks to see more as a cultural, and
I guess, irredentist conflict in part, but also when you
overlay the infrastructure of the oil pipelines and gas
pipelines coming out of Russia into most of western Europe,
the majority of those pass through Ukraine, so
I suppose my question is, especially when you
look at linguistic maps and political maps of Ukraine
as to how the last election went and who voted for
who, what do you think that the future of, especially
eastern Ukraine, is going to be? Do you think they will see
more of a Crimea situation where the east starts coming
in more towards Russia, or I suppose what’s your,
and I suppose for anyone on the panel, where do you see
the future of Ukraine going? – So are you talking about
the occupied part of Ukraine? – Yeah.
– What is the future of the occupied part of Ukraine?
– Yeah. – I think that’s uncertain certainly. What the Minsk agreements
are trying to force Ukraine to do is accept what Russia
calls the federalization of Ukraine, whereby these
two particular provinces, or Oblasts, have special
status within Ukraine. They can conduct their own
foreign policy with Russia and other states, and
they’re trying to work that into the agreement so
much that Ukraine accepts, in fact, de facto
independence for these areas. Time will tell, I think
there has been massive human flight from these territories, so the people that remain
there are people who are pretty committed to
the current status quo, that is a strong relationship to Russia. That doesn’t mean that
there aren’t many people from those two areas that
are now resident in Kiev and other places in Ukraine,
who have a very different view of those places, but
those are young people, ambitious people, people
who saw no particular future in those regions, so the
economies of those two regions, Lisa can speak to this better than I, will depend on patronage from Russia. Russia’s trying to make
Ukraine pay for the devastation that Russian actions have
caused in these territories, but in the short term, they
will depend on subsidies from Moscow, and of course,
use the ruble presently in order to conduct business. – [Stephanie] We’ve got a
few questions over here. – [Male] Hi there, thank
you, so I was curious about, as the Arctic Sea
does thaw, and more areas for oil do pop up, I’ve
heard that Russia’s starting to set up new bases
along the polar regions, and this brings to thought,
what would it take for Russia to reach the level of the
Soviet power it once was, to be an actual threat
once again to the US? And do you think, if it
were to reach that point, would it try to, once again,
resume Cold War tactics against the United States? Thank you. – You know, I just don’t think they’re headed there, I think they’re in the Arctic for reasons Professor Cook suggested. I think they’re there ahead, they need this influx. I still haven’t seen a place
where they’ve confronted a peer power and stood toe to toe. They’re very cautious about China. If this were a different US regime, I think they would be backing
away in certain areas. I don’t think they want to
become the Soviet Union again, and I think it would be a grave mistake for us to think that. I do think there’s plenty
of problems and chaos and confusion and just
frustration of our interests from what you’ve got. What I would look for,
and this is one thing that the Cold War gives you,
you can see a kind of model of serious military planning,
deployment of troops, from the conventional all
the way to the nuclear, and I think we know what an organized force, it would have to change for the 21st century, but I think we know what an organized force
that would be in that class would be, and I think we would observe it. To me one of the most
interesting things is they’ve adopted a nuclear
doctrine that looks like NATO from the 1960s. In other words, it’s a kind
of admission that they’re not gonna get back to their
conventional superiority. They’re doing a bunch of
things that make me nervous, and would re-nuclearize
relations, but fundamentally I think they, and I think, by the way,
this is related more to China than to us, I think they
have a doctrine that says we’re not gonna match you, but we’re free, like NATO said in the ’60s and ’70s, that they’re free to use nuclear weapons if they feel that the
circumstance warrants. I think it’s, I don’t
think they’re headed there, I think they’re headed to
being a kind of important power in their region, a
selective player elsewhere. They want back into the halls of power, and all that, and I think, but one thing to me if I
were sitting in the Kremlin, the thing that would worry me most is that speech that was given in China just a week ago by the leaders that they’ve done a lot more
to be friends with China, but fundamentally, that
kind of Chinese power if it succeeds is not just
military, it’s economic, it’s cultural, it’s soft power,
it’s the 21st century power, and Russia can’t compete with any of that. And maybe we’re not gonna
be able to compete with it, but it is something where
I think that they have a concern there, but if
you look at ever since, there was a leak in the late-’90s
where the defense minister complained that the threat
assessment didn’t take China seriously enough, and
there was such a suppression of that, no, that’s wrong, I don’t think they’ve said
anything negative about China in 17 years. I mean there are small
thinktanks that do, but, no, they’re the best buddies. And so I think it’s important
to step back and see, now we’ll add to these
descriptions of Russian power, it’s also schizophrenic. I mean I think, and by the
way, I think some of their militarization and their
rhetoric towards the west, which is very serious and
we should take seriously, is also something that allows
them to expand military capacities that they
might need in the east. – [John] Okay, we have another
question right over here. – [Male] So what struck
me Matt about your talk was about Ukrainians, that
he thought the language map wasn’t as definitive as
we like to understand it. Those that look towards
the east, those that look towards the west, it’s
a simple explanation. But I guess this is where I
wanna combine some of the units and talk a little bit about
culture and nationalism. I mean I think look at
what Sherm said about, the people support Putin
as long as the regime’s giving them what they want, but
it’s not excessively cultu– you know, it’s not about
specifically nationalist. Yet, one of the things I’ve
learned, that these areas of the world are more
ethnically non-Russian, where Russia’s more ethnically
Russian than ever before. I know the Caucasus are
more ethnically Georgian, Azerbaijani, Armenian than ever before. Yet it sounds like, I
know the Baltic states, and I know Lisa and I saw it in Estonia, that clearly the Russian
minority was pushed out. So does culture, ethnicity, nationalism, play a role anymore? And for me that would seem to
be one of the most different things than the Soviet
era, where when the Soviets had a very aggressive
style when it came to suppressing some national
or ethnic nationalism, and so to what degree does
any of that really matter? ‘Cause again, I saw it
from, that’s why I said I guess I wanted Matt to
kind of continue a little bit on that notion that maybe
it wasn’t linguistic, ’cause you know, it’s something else. So that’s where I’ll leave it. – So thanks Matt for an opportunity to
expand, always a privilege, ’cause we say these things quickly, and we’d like to say more. In regards to Ukraine,
what I meant specifically is that many of the
protestors on the Maidan were speaking Russian. And most of the soldiers
involved in what the Ukrainians call the anti-terrorist
operation, the ATO, are Russian-speaking Ukrainians. There’s a danger of
hyper-Ukrainian nationalism, as you probably well know, but I would say that’s not what motivates, integral nationalism doesn’t
motivate most Ukrainians in defiance of what Russia
has done to Ukraine. The Russians intended in
many ways for their actions to invite a referendum
on the Ukrainian state, or the Ukrainian victors
of the 2014 overthrow of Viktor Yanukovych,
and it hasn’t been that, most Ukrainians have
united around resistance to what is going on in eastern Ukraine, and people I guess are
a little more nuanced regarding Crimea, but
Crimea most people accept that it’s never going back,
but that is not a good thing that’s in Russian hands. In regards to Russian
nationalism, I mean I think nationalism has some role,
but I can’t really sort out Russian nationalism, quite honestly. It’s a strange hybrid of
homage to the Soviet Union and to the imperial past at the same time, which I suppose was always
present in Soviet history, as well, particularly
during the Second World War and other points in Soviet history. I’ve argued, I suppose, in other places that a lot of what has happened
in southeastern Ukraine is about a contested memory
of the Second World War. And I suppose that’s an
element of a particular form of, maybe not nationalism,
but Soviet patriotism that still imbues the Russian state. So they’re able to foment
public opinion against Ukraine by suggesting that fascists
are in charge of Kiev by pointing to a collaborationist
Ukrainian nationalist organization that was
predominantly in western Ukraine, has very little to do with the
present government in Kiev. And then the separatists
wear this order of victory that was handed out in
the Second World War. So they’re the inheritors
of Soviet victory in the Second World War,
and in part I think that motivates, in other
words, Russia in the end is the sole, legitimate
successor to everything good that might be salvaged
from the Soviet experience, and other states do not have that claim. – Let me just ask Mikhail
and others to jump in, not only on the nationalism
issue, but the one thing, the one word that has
not come up yet tonight on this panel is Islam in relation to Islamic, both
neighbors on the one side, and minorities as well
within the Russian state. Any comment on not only the nationalism, but also that lay-on of religion because we heard about
Orthodox Christianity coming back naturally
sometimes that can create Islam as a strong foil within
the Russian state perhaps. Any comment Kyle on Islam. – Islam, I think when
you’re looking at it has in some cases been a
major challenge for Moscow if we’re looking at different
manifestations of it. But it’s not a necessary
impediment by any means. And again, I would look at
the relationship that you have between Turkey and Russia in that case. You have a state led essentially
by neo-liberal Islamists in Turkey, but there’s no
friction over that particular issue when it comes to
dealing with Russia. There had been some
challenges before about particular sects within
the sort of political fold in Turkey, but they’ve fallen
out within Turkey as well recently and it’s been more of a question of political influence rather than of religion or religiosity. – Okay, other comments, Lisa. – I just wanted to say
a bit about ethnicity and national identity. And I think it’s a really
interesting question that we saw sort of first-hand when we were in Estonia and
I think that one element of the stronger national
identity and the sense of, heightened sense of ethnicity comes from this much larger neo-Nazi
movement that has been, it’s not even underground,
and when you and I were there certainly we found out about
a number of neo-Nazi groups that had moved from Idaho and other places in the United States and fed
on this lack of certainty, and lack of attachment
to the global economy that was changing very quickly, that had English as its dominant power, say, on the internet. And these young people who
were much more interested in being on, or gaining access to Netflix, or being on Facebook, and
being able to speak English and participate in the new economy than their parents were. Because they were nostalgic
about something that was slow-moving, broke up, and
they feel humiliated by it, and I think this is what
Putin is tapping into, and I think this is what the
neo-Nazis are tapping into there, just as they are here. – [Stephanie] We’ve got a
question in the front here. – [Male] So I’ve been
listening this whole time, and I’ve been trying
to form this question. So it kind of comes back to influence, and where we are in the 21st century. So we see all these
nations vying for power in the Arctic region
to get those resources, we see the soft power that’s
kind of playing out there with the militarization,
not militarization, but the putting up of
bases there with anything. So my thing is is there gonna
be more in 21st century, or is there gonna be less proxy wars based on this ideology of us versus them, or is it gonna be more
so economically based? Are sanctions gonna be more prevalent in this new globalized
world where you can defend your ideology like that? Or is it gonna be more militarized? ‘Cause I feel like there
is not gonna be a power that can go head to head with each other, just because it’s certain
doom for everyone. So is it gonna be more towards a push of economic sanctions or no? Does that make sense, I don’t know. – If I could take a quick stab at this. I think that as is the case
during the czarist period, Russia doesn’t like to
talk about the economy unless it is in service
of national security and of the military,
and of military power. So Russia did not go on the gold standard in the 19th century willingly, but only because they saw this as a way to be able to compete to
become more internationally competitive, to be able
to sell their wheat, and therefore to have enough
money to fight the wars they wanted to fight. I think that’s still true. I think that’s, I really
think that’s still true. Putin does not care what
an objective function is, or what a production
possibilities function, he does not care. He cares that he has some
oligarchs he can control because he is the one
protecting their stash, which is ultimately his stash. So reportedly he’s the
richest person on the face of the Earth, he’s the
richest person in the world, and that’s because he has pots of money stored with people, he is protecting them, and I think that this, I
don’t think that he sees a difference between the
two, and I think that these are tactics he’s employing
to protect economic power, or wealth, just as there are tactics to protect national security. I don’t think there’s a grand strategy, like Sherm is saying. I don’t think there’s a grand strategy. So I think going forward
in the 21st century, especially in the Arctic,
I don’t think that’s gonna change anything. Now, I think from the US perspective, I think that there is a
greater urgency to sign the Law of the Sea treaty,
which we haven’t done. Because Russia is proposing its, let’s call it its sphere of
influence, or its claims, its legal claims to the Arctic, and it’s just taking them to the UN, just as is Canada, just as is Denmark, just as is Norway, and like they’re almost
in a sense playing fair. And we’re not even at the table. Right, so I think that they may be able to just sort of run the
Arctic, because we have decided that we’re just disinterested, and I think that’s a dangerous position, and this isn’t just with
this administration, I mean we haven’t signed
it yet, we’ve been trying to get this signed for a long time, and it was about to be signed, I’d say sometimes in 2012,
but that was fleeting. But I think it is important
for us to be at the table, and I think that there is
much more consensus about this among congresspeople in the United States. – Can I just say one thing, I
mean I think that I remember looking at all this
literature about the growing closeness and technological
connections in the world, and the economic interdependence, and at the same time, if
you read stuff that came out of the Pentagon, or
there’s a famous French defense intellectual who wrote about
the rosy future of war. I mean I think it’s always a battle about what means are gonna be used,
and what’s gonna dominate, and the idea, I just
have never believed that external conditions make war
impossible or anything else. And that’s why I think
it’s really important right now that an entity
like the European Union, or an entity like the
United States of America and its allies and
everything, which again, is certainly not bereft
of power and influence and bad dealings and
everything, but those folks don’t fight one another. And I think to undermine our
faith that these institutions, economic and political
and even security ones can’t work, can’t respond
to this, and I think that’s a great danger to
assume that we’re too closely related to, or we’ll lose
profits if this happens or that happens. I mean look how close
to real danger we are in the Korean peninsula. Look how close we are to real danger in many parts of the world. And it seems to me that this
is the worst time of all for the United States
of America to lose faith in its own system and itself, and to lose connections with our allies. Oh my god, this is one of the, for all of its problems, it’s
one of the great structures that created a more
interdependent economy, a global trading system,
some sense that there ought to be rights for
everybody even if we’ve stamped on that at times, and
I think if you thought of the worst possible
time to be nationalist, it’s right now. It is absolutely right now. And so, if you want a
kind of a world in which a bunch of, sorry Lisa, boring economists argue about regulations,
I want that world. I don’t really wanna have much to do, well, we have to really
live up to our institutions, which includes our security institutions, and our extension of
this security umbrella, and to be a serious ally to people, because the world is
dangerous anyway, by the way. There’s a lot of things that could happen outside of our control, but
to sort of let this roll away, I recommend going to read
this book Rosy Future of War, I think that is a
potential out of this mess that we should be really trying to avoid. And we should certainly
want the European Union to be as strong as possible,
because this double Europe that Russia wants, their
side of Europe will not be a pretty one. It’s not gonna be run by goods for all, for economic opportunity,
new technologies, the bright, so called, the
communists always talked about the bright future, it is
not gonna be a bright future there, and so the hard
boundary between our Europe and their Europe is
exactly what we should have wanted to avoid in the last 30 years, and that’s exactly, I
think, where we’re headed. – [John] We’re gonna
take a few more questions right over here. – [Stephanie] Yeah, we
got a question over here, and a couple in the
middle, and then I think we can wrap it up. – [Male] So, I think we’re
gonna be talking about Russia and our elections for the coming years, do you think that there’s
a potential to see a shift in the rhetoric around candidates running for the presidency after Trump, or in 2020, 2024 that will look closer to
sort of a Cold War view on Russia and pushing towards that policy as sort of a retribution,
or do you think that the current sort of
ambivalence about Russia is sustainable? Do you think it will be
a platform that people will run on, or do you
think it may be even trying to pull Russia more into the fold even if Russia necessarily just kind of wants to create chaos? – Look, I think we should
defend ourselves from this. So if we can’t admit that
they did certain things, and that lots of people want to do, the North Koreans went
into the Sony studio, all of that stuff. We have to defend ourselves,
is it worth defending? Because the Russians
aren’t trying to take over the United States. And so, I’ve also fought against
just knee-jerk Cold Warism because I saw the Cold War,
I worked in the Cold War, I understand, but this isn’t it yet. And I don’t think we’re
headed there frankly. So yeah, I think there’s
a danger from both sides. We get into a kind of a strange silence about this,
and not defend ourselves, and not see, Lisa very
well answered this earlier, I mean our power structures are vulnerable not just to the Russians, to the Chinese, to hackers that wanna,
like this blackmail stuff that close your computer, all that stuff. There’s a whole range of forces
of chaos, and I just think if we’re gonna have this
kind of society that is open and soft and everything,
it also has to have a kind of hard edge, too. So can we defend our own democracy? Do we believe in it? Are there certain facts that we agree on even if we disagree on their
ideological interpretation? Can we listen to one another
about different voices? In a way, Russia, this goes
back to a Lincoln speech, but they don’t have to take us over if the answer to that is no. That we can’t live together,
we can’t figure out, it’s this is our political
notion of citizenship has become a racial or
a nationalistic notion. We lost, to me. So all this fancy security
stuff won’t matter if we can’t sustain ourselves, and that’s the big, I would
say that’s the number one strategic challenge, and
I don’t think Washington’s doing a very good job on that right now. But I also think a lot of us
have seemed to have lost faith in that challenge, but
it needs to be renewed, ’cause you can’t do this
other stuff I’m talking about if you don’t know who you
are, you don’t want to defend your system, you don’t believe
our system can recover, you don’t believe we can
do all of these things, so I think that’s important. – Stephanie, I have a
request, if you would take that question, and then the
two up here just in a row, and then have the panel react
to them, that’d be great. – [Male] So my question is,
under the Obama administration We kind of got used to
countering Russian aggression with sanctions, and
mostly economic sanctions. And I’m just curious what
can we do beyond sanctions to counter Russian aggression,
whether it’s interference in elections, civil
conflict, or social issues? And would one way kind of
be to authorize the US, or the US authorization of deployment of lethal aid to Ukraine? So that’s my question. – Okay, then we had a
question right here Stephanie, and over to John here. – [Male] Hi, thank you for
coming to speak with us today. So the Obama administration
was characterized by an increase in the
number of drone strikes in countries such as Yemen, Pakistan, and other countries. But I want to know if
Russia views the increase in drone strikes as a threat
to its national security. – Okay, and over to John. – [John] Russia is, whatever
else, Russia is our neighbor. It has about one fifth
of the world’s dry land. Even if you can’t see it,
really see it from Alaska, we are neighbors. But what can we do to be better neighbors, to get closer, to not think of each other as enemies anymore? I’m glad we got toward
the end of the discussion we got into more about what we can do and how we
look at our own system. Really, would that be nice, I think, if we could help the
Russians be more democratic, and the Russians could help us
socialize our industry more. – So why don’t we do this, why don’t we start with Lisa
and then move down the panel. So answer any of the three
questions or comments that you want to pick up on please. Then what we’ll do is any
other comments that you want to make, and we’ll simply
go across the panel, and that way bring it
to a conclusion, Lisa. – Okay, so your question
again was about sanctions, right, right, okay, so, I think that that has been
an incredibly powerful tool. And I think that the
European Union has been very cautious about
imposing them because they could be retaliated,
and they’re so dependent on Russian oil and gas, for example, that this could be
detrimental to their economy. But the IMF estimates
that this has resulted in a 1.7 percent decrease in GDP for Russia in the period between 2014 and now. So I think they’re working. I mean I think that’s the best we can hope for any sanctions, and this is, I think, what is motivating, is
a chief, not the chief, motivating factor for Putin. These sanctions are
working, they’re biting. They don’t have, assets have been frozen, they don’t have access
to all of these billions they’ve stashed away in every
single part of the world. So I think that’s a
tool that we still have. We have to use it cautiously, though, because our partners who
will help us enforce it are in the European Union,
so I think that as long as the European Union stays
strong, these will continue to be useful for us. Beyond that, just trade. Why did Russia have spies
at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard
University as students? I think that there’s something
about sort of the way the US, and what they’re
learning is how to run organizations, organizations
including government. And I think that this is
something that you can’t emulate just by looking at it, right. So I think that we
still have an advantage. Well, they’re admitting
that we have some sort of advantage by having
universities that are open, supporting public universities. A lot of their universities
are not being supported like they were in the Soviet Union. The arts aren’t being
supported like they were during the Soviet Union. So I think that there is a
lot that they think about us as being models for. But I think there are ways that
we can put pressure on them. I just, say a bit about
how we can be friends, why we can’t be friends,
and how we can be friends. I think that we have people
on the space station, there are Americans on the space station hanging out with Russians every day. So there are some ways in
which we’re still cooperating, and I think that happened
during the Cold War, too. So what my research shows is that for, Russians obtained Soviet
residence, Soviet inventors obtained a lot of patents
in the United States during the Cold War. And this was something,
when I presented this in Moscow, at the University of Moscow, this was something that
a lot people didn’t know, who were alive during that period, and these were their counterparts. And that had to happen
because of cooperation with scientists in the US. So I think that that’s how
we continue to break down barriers, cultural alliances. And I don’t like the
dichotomy of soft power versus hard power, ’cause one connotes it’s somewhat useful, and then there’s, like mommy-daddy, asking– I don’t like that dichotomy. I’m just saying that a lot
of things can be effective. And if that can be
effective, we can use it. It was effective during the Cold War. – Alright, a lot of thoughts. I would agree with Lisa
that the sanctions regime has surprisingly held,
I didn’t expect it to. I expected there to be
much more disagreement over the course of time between the EU and the United States, and really between Germany and France, who drive
these decisions for the EU. I’d also say it’s
surprising in spite of my own shared criticism of the
current administration’s view towards Russia that
it hasn’t really changed policy on the ground. So there’s a US envoy in charge
of Ukrainian negotiations, or a representative for future
negotiations on Ukraine, who’s pretty tough on Russia, a gentleman by the name of Kurt Volker, who doesn’t share this view
that one can immediately jump into friendship with
the Putin administration because of what’s happened in Ukraine. And I think Tillerson, at
least on this question, seems to be, the State Department’s still driving policy on the ground. Regarding lethal aid to Ukraine, that’s something I’ve thought about, and honestly, my gut reaction
is that’s not a good idea. Right, that it just invites
an escalation of the conflict, but I do think what the US has
done to date has been good. What NATO has done to date
has been reasonably good in terms of training the Ukrainian army to be a much more
professional army than it was when the conflict first broke out in 2014, where you really had
irregulars, paramilitaries operating and inflicting
most of the damage, but also in a decidedly
disorganized fashion when faced with the reality
of true Russian-supported military activity collapsed. It’s just not the same
military force anymore. I guess I’d be tempted,
I’m not a military expert, but I’d be tempted to say
that NATO needs to do more to make consideration
of any deeper incursion into Ukraine a very
dangerous decision to make, so what the Russian army has been good at is attacking, and then running away. This is not an army of
occupation by any means, and if they had to do that,
they could risk losing the support of the residents of Donbass, and they’re not prepared to do that, so we need to make sure that
there’s a considerable cost for considering that sort of thing. Drone strikes, I don’t see that happening. That’s just way too
risky of a thing to do. Lastly, on the question of
how to become friends again, I of course welcome cultural
exchanges, and I have good friends in Russia and elsewhere. And on a very human level,
our friendships persist. It’s just hard for me to see it with the current administration
in Russia, to be frank. Much of Russian foreign policy,
vis a vis the United States, is motivated by rejection
of what they felt was the moralizing
project of democratization of the 1990s, so that’s not something that invites necessarily
amity in the future for their American support for democratic expression in Russia. – [John] Kyle. – I think that with, I think when you look at
the question of sanctions, they have been very useful, but they’re not absolute obviously. I think just like when
the US was dismissive or Erdogan after 2013,
he turned to Russia more. You saw a lot of those sanctions
functioning in the same way turning Putin towards
alternative relationships that they had, particularly with Turkey. Sometimes those kinds of developments are ones that we should
probably think through a little bit more ahead of time. When you had the rejection of not just trade in energy resources, but in things like foodstuffs and that sort of thing, Russia simply turned to
Turkey to start buying things. Just in the last couple
weeks, it was headline news in Turkey that Russia was
gonna be buying more tomatoes in the coming year. The kinds of sanctions that we can impose are only as good as our alliances are, and if we’re not maintaining
those with countries like Turkey that are
on the edge of Russia, that are easy partners for them, they’re not gonna be
as effective, I think. – The most successful
diplomatic thing I was ever involved with was the
denuclearization of Ukraine And it started out with a lot
of people thinking we were gonna beat the country
into a kind of submission, enforce them to do the right thing. A couple of people I
really respect laid out two different visions. One that could lead to greater cooperation and a more positive outcome, but also a harder one that
said if you’re not gonna move in this direction, we’re
gonna actually take certain steps, and so I
think we’re at a point where we have laid out,
on the Russian side, a whole set of things
that are quite negative. And are we willing to
hold onto the sanctions, are we willing to stand behind our allies, even say that NATO still matters? I don’t know about the
lethal aid to Ukraine, but I do think what Matt
said is quite right. I don’t know what will happen
to Crimea and eastern Ukraine, and there may even in
the long run be some sort of territorial reorganization
of the former Soviet Union, but we can’t allow Ukraine
to be, the whole of Ukraine, to be absorbed. But that isn’t just a US
decision, that’s a decision about, that relates back
to something that happened in the ’90s, too. What we wanted to do as we expanded NATO, and expanded the EU, was
to make the boundaries between those organizations and non-members less significant. I don’t see where there’s a bad vision. I don’t know how you
get back there anymore. But the alternative is if
the boundaries are hard, and the military stuff
is serious, it’s hard to defend the Baltics. If we’re fighting with
Turkey, it’s hard to have an effective NATO. So are we serious about laying out even for this Russian regime
a set of positive things that one could do to
decelerate these movements towards a hard boundary. There’s a hell of a lot of
medical and environmental and other things we could actually do. There’s also, how do
we get them out of the, how do we reverse the Magnitsky Act? What would they have to
do to make that happen? Somebody oughta tell ’em. Because if we get to a
politics that in 2024, and 2028 is just I’m gonna
be tougher than Russia than the next guy, I don’t
think Russia’s that important to make that the turning,
the fulcrum of our politics. I think it’s something
where we could lay out a vision of a less divided Europe, one that sort of respects, I mean Putin ruined my book
on Ukraine, by the way, I had a great book on Ukraine,
and it isn’t any good anymore but to me, I thought
it was possible to have a western-oriented Ukraine that’s still friendly with Russia. I thought that one could
have Russia and Ukraine moving towards the west in a certain way, while we were respecting
the fact that just like they oughta respect that we have interests in our region, that
shouldn’t allow us to send Marines everywhere anymore. They have interests in
Tajikistan, and places that probably are more than us. Can we talk about some joint things, that the fellow that raised the drones, there’s a whole set of
modern military questions that would be better off if we could get the Chinese, and the Russians,
and others at the table to talk about how those are
introduced, what the rules of the road are. So I just think we’re at a point, it’s weird in American politics, cause the Trump administration
can’t say anything about Russia, it can’t do
anything positive about Russia without proving somehow that it’s corrupt. And yet, there must be a way forward that’s better than that. And I do think if you
look at the nuclear stuff, the weapons of mass destruction disposal, nuclear proliferation, the
future of nuclear conflict, and dialing that down,
there’s a whole set of, there’s a discussion that we could have, as Lisa said, about the Law of the Sea. We’ve been way too nationalist about it since, what, 1971, or
’68 or whenever it was. So I think there is a way,
but somebody’s gotta have the guts to say, yeah,
I think Russia should be resisted in Ukraine, but also I think we should talk to them. If you remember the Cold War,
we did those things both. We threatened them, we
have a nuclear deterrent. We opposed their propaganda. We did a bunch, but we
also tried to create a diplomatic channel, a
hotline, a this, a that. We had agreements on atmospheric testing, and limits of nuclear testing, and then we had a set of
agreements that capped the arms race, sort of, and then started to go in the other direction. It would be a shame to lose that. I mean the idea that we can’t do anything, I mean this isn’t Stalin. I don’t like him, but there’s a lot of people I don’t like, and still you gotta have a relationship. So I think there’s still
things to do with this, with Russia, I think
it’s a very tough time to argue it, but I would
start arguing it now. That all is not lost. One has to both show a kind
of, we’re gonna get tougher if you continue to go
in the wrong direction, but there’s also some
carrots at the end of this. And one of my colleagues
at Carnegie used to say that there are a lot of
problems in the world that are more complicated
if we’re on the wrong side with Russia, and there
are things that are easier if they’re part of dialogue. I don’t want to exaggerate
their power now, but I still think that’s
true on a number of things. – So first of all, let me thank all of you in the audience for coming tonight. We only do these, and
are successful with them, because you come. And thank you also to the
MSU Alumni Association for bringing us an audience
that’s not in the room, that’s out in the world live streaming. And last but not least, let us thank this wonderful panel for I think a rather sparkling conversation about Being Russia. Thank you so much. (audience applauds)

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