Monday, June 22, 2015

RUSSIA - The World in Putin's Eyes

"Charlie Rose on how Vladimir Putin sees the world" PBS NewsHour 6/19/2015


SUMMARY:  Charlie Rose interviewed Russian President Vladimir Putin today at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.  Judy Woodruff talks to him about Russia’s role in the Ukraine conflict, Russian-American relations, and the enigma that is Vladimir Putin.

JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour):  Russia’s President Vladimir Putin today blamed NATO ambitions to expand and the United States for fanning the flames of conflict in Ukraine.  He did that at an international economic conference held in St. Petersburg.

Part of the program featured an interview with Putin by PBS’ own Charlie Rose.

Seated in front of an audience of businesspeople, political leaders and journalists, the Russian president blamed the West for the conflict in Ukraine.

CHARLIE ROSE, Host, “The Charlie Rose Show”:  Help us understand, as you see it, where are we, how did we get there, and where do we go from here?

VLADIMIR PUTIN, Russian President (through translator):  Why is there a crisis in Ukraine?

I was quite confident after the bipolar system went into oblivion and after the collapse of the Soviet Union, certain Western partners of ours, particularly the United States, were in a kind of euphoria, and instead of trying to create a new situation, good neighborly partner relations, they started to explore new free geopolitical spaces — well, free in their view.  And that is why we are witnessing the expansion of NATO eastwards.

JUDY WOODRUFF:  I spoke to Charlie Rose immediately following his question-and-answer session with President Putin.

Charlie, you pressed him about what he thinks Ukraine needs to do defuse the situation. What did he say?

CHARLIE ROSE:  Well, he said they need to talk the people — that the people in Kiev need to talk to the separatists.

I mean, that has been — it’s not a new idea from him.  He has always said that, that they need to have real conversations between the separatists and — I think he obviously feels some affinity.  And I raised the question, were they helping the situation by supplying arms to the separatists, by in some cases engagement of Russian soldiers and other weapons — I mean, other connections that Russia has to this?

And I think Vladimir Putin, because of all of his experiences, has a real fear about being — about NATO being on his borders.  He’s always had that.  They had that with respect to Georgia and with respect to Ukraine.  I think he probably worries that if a government in Ukraine was leaning East, it might — I mean leaning to the West — it might one more time entertain the idea of NATO membership, which he really, really — that’s the probably the thing that he dislikes the most.

No comments: