Vice President Biden at Brookings Institution speaks about Russia-Ukraine Conflict

C-SPAN, May 27, 2015
http://www.c-span.org/video/?326251-1/vice-president-biden-remarks-russiaukraine-conflict#Video of speech and transcript

Vice President Joe Biden
Strobe Talbott, President of Brookings Institution

Uncorrected transcript:
I have highlighted a few sections, but there is a great deal here.

HOST
00:00:13
Unidentified Speaker

MR. VICE PRESIDENT, ON BEHALF OF ALL OF US HERE, PARTICULARLY THE INTERNATIONAL ADVISORY COUNCIL, THE BROOKINGS INSTITUTION, WE WELCOME YOU HERE TO BROOKINGS

00:00:27
Unidentified Speaker

TODAY. WE KNOW YOU WILL BE ADDRESSING US ON ONE OF THE MOST CONSEQUENTIAL ISSUES OF OUR TIME , THE RUSSIA-UKRAINE CONFLICT. THE VICE PRESIDENT HAS BEEN A FRIEND OF THIS INSTITUTION FOR MANY YEARS. WELCOME BACK, MR. VICE PRESIDENT. VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: THANK YOU. FOLKS, LET ME BEGIN BY — AS I WALKED THROUGH THE ROOM HERE, REMINDING ME OF A STORY THEY TELL ABOUT CALVIN COOLIDGE. HE WAS AT A WHISTLE STOP TOUR, COMING BACK HOME, AND EVERY TIME THEY WOULD GET IN, HE WOULD STEP IN THE CABOOSE, HOW ARE YOU, MAN? STEP BACK IN HIS CABOOSE AND MAKE A SPEECH. THIS ONE-STOP THEY MADE SOMEWHERE IN OHIO, HE WALKED OUT, STOOD IN THE BACK OF THE CABOOSE, THE FLAG DRAPED SPARES, AND HE WALKED BACK IN AND THEY SAID, WHAT IS THE MATTER? AND HE SAID, WELL, THE AUDIENCE IS TOO BIG FOR CONVERSATION AND TOO SMALL FOR ORATION. I THINK WE ARE IN THAT PLACE. I WILL TRY TO DO NEITHER. [LAUGHTER] I WILL TRY TO FIND SOMETHING IN BETWEEN HERE. LET ME BEGIN BY THANKING YOU, NOT ONLY FOR YOUR FRIENDSHIP BUT YOUR ADVICE OVER ALL THESE YEARS, PARTICULARLY ON THE SUBJECT. I HAVE TRIED TO KEEP CLOSE CONTACT WITH STROBE BECAUSE I FIND HIM TO BE ONE OF THE MOST KNOWLEDGEABLE PEOPLE IN THE WORLD ON ISSUES THAT I HAVE A GREAT INTEREST IN AND, UNFORTUNATELY, ARE VERY MUCH CENTER STAGE THESE DAYS. I WANT TO THANK YOU ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU AND STEVE CAME OVER TO MY HOME TO DO A DEEP DIVE WITH ME TO BE MY REALITY CHECK ON THE ISSUE I AM GOING TO SPEAK ABOUT TODAY IN UKRAINE. AND MARTIN, IT IS ALWAYS GOOD TO SEE YOU, MAN. I AM NOT SURE YOU SHOULD HAVE ACCEPTED THE VICE PRESIDENCY, BUT — [LAUGHTER] — BUT YOU HAVE BEEN A GREAT, GREAT ASSET. I HOPE YOU HAVE AS MUCH ASSET — ACCESS AS I DO. >> [LAUGHTER] VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: [LAUGHTER] SOMETIMES I WISH YOU DIDN’T HAVE

00:02:32
Unidentified Speaker

ALL THE ACCESS. YOU KNOW, IT HAS BEEN 14 MONTHS SINCE RUSSIAN AGGRESSION AGAINST UKRAINE. AND IT HAS LITERALLY TRANSFORMED THE LANDSCAPE OF EUROPEAN SECURITY. EVERYBODY WANTS THIS CONFLICT TO END AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. THE QUESTION IS, ON WHOSE TERMS AND HOW WILL IT END? BECAUSE IT IS NOT A REMOTE CONFLICT BETWEEN NEIGHBORS ARE GOING OVER WHO GETS WHAT. WHAT IS HAPPENING IN UKRAINE IS MUCH, MUCH, MUCH MORE THAN THAT. IT IS ABOUT THE RIGHTS OF NATION TO CHOOSE THEIR OWN FUTURES. IT IS ABOUT THE FUTURE OF NATO, OUR COLLECTIVE SELF-DEFENSE, AND OUR UNITY, OUR STRENGTH, OUR ABILITY TO DETER AGGRESSION TOGETHER. I THINK IT IS THAT BASIC. IT IS ABOUT THE FUTURE OF RUSSIA ITSELF, I WOULD ARGUE, BECAUSE IF THE KREMLIN IS ABLE TO ESTABLISH ITS OWN FIEFDOM IN EASTERN UKRAINE, IT WILL ONLY FLAM — FAN THE FLAMES. BELIEVE ME, HELPING UKRAINE IN ITS DEFENSE AND DETERRENCE AGAINST RUSSIAN AGGRESSION IS CRITICAL, CRITICAL TO CHECKING FURTHER AGGRESSION DOWN THE ROAD. I KEEP SAYING, AND THE PRESIDENT REMINDS ME, IT IS EITHER PAY ME NOW OR PAY ME LATER, BUT THERE IS A PRICE TAKE YOUR. WHAT HAPPEN IN UKRAINE AND HOW THE WORLD RESPONDED HAS, I THINK, CONSEQUENTIAL IN LOCATIONS — IMPLICATIONS FOR THEIR INTERNATIONAL ORDER. IN PARTICULAR, THE BEDROCK PRINCIPLES OF SECURITY, TERRITORIAL INTEGRITY, AND THE AND VOLATILITY OF BORDERS. CHINA AND MANY OTHER NATIONS ARE WATCHING VERY CLOSELY HOW THE WORLD RESPONSE. THEY WILL LEARN FROM THIS CONFLICT, REGARDLESS OF HOW IT PLAYS OUT, IN MY VIEW. BEFORE I TURN TO TODAY’S CRISIS, I WANT TO TAKE A MOMENT TO SPEAK ABOUT OUR BROADER POLICY, THE OBAMA-BIDEN ADMINISTRATION POLICY WITH REGARD TO RUSSIA. I DON’T THINK ANYONE CAN LEGITIMATELY ACCUSE OUR ADMINISTRATION OF FAILING TO EXPLORE IN GOOD FAITH, IN GOOD FAITH THE PROGRESS — PROSPECT OF ESTABLISHING A CONSTRUCTIVE RELATIONSHIP WITH RUSSIA. SIX YEARS AGO IN THE FIRST SPEECH OF OUR ADMINISTRATION, I BELIEVE YOU THERE MR. SECRETARY, AT THE MUNICH SECURITY CONTEST — CONFERENCE, I ANNOUNCE YOU DID ARE PERNICIOUS — ANNOUNCED OUR POSITION. TO REVIEW MANY AREAS WHERE WE CAN AND SHOULD BE WORKING TOGETHER WITH RUSSIA, AND WHERE RUSSIA INDICATED THAT THEY WANTED TO WORK WITH US AS WELL. BUT EVEN THEN, I MADE CLEAR, I MADE IT CRYSTAL CLEAR, THAT, QUOTE, “WE WILL NOT RECOGNIZE ANY NATION HAVING INFLUENCE COULD WILL REMAIN ARGUE THAT SOVEREIGN STATES HAVE THE RIGHT TO MAKE THEIR OWN DECISIONS AND CHOOSE THEIR OWN ALLIANCES.” I MEANT IT THEN, AND WE MEAN IT NOW. IN 2009, WHEN WE CAME TO OFFICE, PRESIDENT MANDELA — WAS IN POWER. AND HE TALKED ABOUT THE NEED TO COMBAT RUSSIA’S — WHAT HE CALLED NIHILISM TO STRENGTHEN THE RULE OF LAW. WITHOUT BEING NAIVE, WE DECIDED TO TEST THE PROCESS THAT RUSSIA WOULD STRENGTHEN THE RULE OF LAW AND GRADUALLY EMBRACE THE PATH OF MODERN — ECONOMIC MODERNIZATION AND PATTERNS WHICH COULD HELP INTEGRATE RUSSIA INTO THE WORLD OF RESPONSIBLE NATIONS. AND IT WAS — IT WAS IN THAT SAME SPIRIT OVER SEVERAL ADMINISTRATIONS, THE UNITED STATES SUPPORTED RUSSIA’S MEMBERSHIP IN COUNTLESS INTERNODE — INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS. WE ALSO WELCOME HIS POLITICAL REFORMS, LIKE THE DIRECT ELECTION OF GOVERNORS IN RUSSIA AND DECRIMINALIZATION OF — FROM 2009 2 2012, WE ACHIEVED A GREAT DEAL TOGETHER. A GREAT DEAL OF COOPERATION WITH RUSSIA TO ADVANCE OUR MUTUAL INTERESTS, RUSSIAN AND OURS. A NEW TREATY THAT REDUCED STRATEGIC NUCLEAR ARSENALS BY ONE THIRD. A VITAL SUPPLY ROUTE FOR COALITION TROOPS IN AFGHANISTAN. AT THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL, RESOLUTIONS THAT PRESSURED BOTH NORTH KOREA AS WELL AS IRAN, AND BROUGHT THE WORLD WITHIN REACH OF AN HISTORIC DEAL WITH TORONTO — TEHRAN. YET TO BE DETERMINED, BUT WE ARE OPTIMISTIC. BUT WHEN PRIME MINISTER PUTIN RETURN TO THE KREMLIN IN 2012 AS PRESIDENT PUTIN, HE SAID RUSSIA ON A VERY DIFFERENT COURSE ALMOST IMMEDIATELY. RE-CRIMINALIZING LIABLE, CALLING OFF DIRECT ELECTIONS FOR GOVERNORS, AND MAKING IT HARDER FOR POLITICAL PARTIES TO REGISTER. AGGRESSIVE REPRESSION AT HOME, INCLUDING SILENCING OF THE MOTHERS OF SOLDIERS DEPLOYED IN UKRAINE. CONTEMPT, CONTEMPT FOR THE INTEGRITY OF RUSSIA’S NEIGHBOR, BUT ALSO IN GEORGIA AND MOLDOVA. DISREGARD FOR RUSSIA’S OWN COMMITMENT MADE IN HELSINKI, PARIS, AND BUDAPEST. AND SO, THE WORLD LOOKS DIFFERENT TODAY THAN IT DID BEFORE HE BECAME — WE ASSUMED THE PRESIDENCY. AND PRESIDENT PUTIN MUST UNDERSTAND, AS HE HAS CHANGED, SO HAS OUR FOCUS. THAT IS WHY AT THIS YEARS SECURITY CONFERENCE IN MUNICH, I SPOKE TO REASSERT THE FUNDAMENTAL, BEDROCK PRINCIPLES OF A EUROPE WHOLE AND FREE. OF INFLUENCE. AND SOVEREIGN RIGHT TO CHOOSE OUR OWN ALLIES. IN PARTICULARLY, WITH VOLATILE BORDERS. AT THE CENTER OF RUSSIA’S FUNDAMENTAL CHOICE OVER WHAT TYPE OF PATH IT WILL PURSUE, IS THE CONFLICT IN UKRAINE, IN MY VIEW. I HAVE NOT VISITED UKRAINE THREE TIMES SINCE THE CURRENT CONFLICT BEGAN. AND IT IS HARD TO FATHOM, UNLESS YOU GO THERE, AND MANY OF YOU HAVE, HOW MUCH THEY HAVE ACCOMPLISHED FOR THEMSELVES UNDER ENORMOUS PRESSURE. CORRELATING PEOPLE POWER TO RALLY AGAINST CORRUPTION, DEFENDING THEIR COUNTRY AGAINST BRUTAL RUSSIAN AGGRESSION WITH THE ODDS AGAINST THEM, STAYING UNIFIED, PUTTING PATRIOTISM BEFORE PERSONAL AMBITION, AND HOLDING IN THE FAIREST AND FREEST AND MOST WIDELY MONITORED ELECTIONS IN UKRAINIAN HISTORY. OF COURSE, PAINSTAKING WORK LIES AHEAD. TRANSITIONS ARE HARD, AS YOU ALL KNOW, THIS INTERNATIONAL GROUP, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. IT IS EVEN HARDER WHEN A POWERFUL NEIGHBOR IS ACTIVELY UNDERMINING EVERYTHING YOU DO. PRESIDENT POROSHENKO’S RIGHT TO SPEAK ABOUT THE NECESSITY AND URGENCY TO UKRAINE TO ACT ON THE FOUR D’S — THE REGULARIZATION, D BUREAUCRATIC AS ASIAN — IT IS HARD TO EVEN SAY THE PHRASE — THE OLIGARCH AS ASIAN — DE OLIGARCHIZATION, AND DECENTRALIZATION. 268, UKRAINE NEEDS USE THE NEW LOSS IN THE BOOKS TO COMBAT CORRUPTION ON ALL LEVELS. I SPEAK WITH THEM ON AVERAGE ONCE A WEEK. IF YOU’RE EVER DID OUT OVER THE LAST YEAR. — IF YOU AVERAGE IT OUT OVER THE LAST YEAR. TO PASS LAWS, NOT HAVE TO IN FACT IMPLEMENT THE LAWS THAT THE PAST. UKRAINE NEEDS TO USE ALL THE TOOLS AT ITS DISPOSAL TO LIMIT THE ABILITY OF OLIGARCHS TO ABUSE THEIR MARKET POSITION OR EXERT PRESSURE ON GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS. BY THE WAY, THERE IS A LONG HISTORY OF THAT. WE ALL KNOW SINCE THE REVOLUTION, IT HAS NEVER BEEN ON THE LEVEL IN TERMS OF THE INFLUENCE OF OLIGARCHS AND CORRUPTION. BUT THEY ARE TRYING. THEY NEED TO KEEP WORKING TOWARDS DECENTRALIZATION TO ENSURE THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT IS REALLY REPRESENTATIVE AND ACCOUNTABLE. AND ABOVE ALL, IT NEEDS TO KEEP LISTENING TO ITS PEOPLE AND TO UKRAINE CIVIL SOCIETY. EVERY TIME I HAVE MET, I HAVE SPENT’S — SPENT SIGNIFICANT TIME WITH CIVIL SOCIETY. SO LONG AS UKRAINE LEADERS KEEP FAITH, THE UNITED STATES WILL CONTINUE TO STAND WITH THEM. IN TOTAL, WE HAVE PROVIDED OVER $470 MILLION IN ECONOMIC ASSISTANCE. IN ADDITION, A $1 BILLION LOAN GUARANTEE LAST YEAR. ANOTHER $1 BILLION LOAN GUARANTEE SIGNED THIS MONTH. ANY POTENTIAL FURTHER $1 BILLION THIS YEAR IF UKRAINE CONTINUES ON THE PATH OF REFORM. THAT $470 MILLION INCLUDES NEARLY $200 MILLION TO THE ARMED FORCES, NATIONAL GUARD, AND BORDER SERVICES. MUCH OF THE DEBATE HAS BEEN FOCUSED ON WHETHER WE SHOULD PROVIDE ADDITIONAL DEFENSE OF LETHAL WEAPONS TO UKRAINE. THAT IS DEBATE WITH HAVING AND IT CONTINUES. MY VIEWS ARE SOMEWHAT KNOWN ON THAT. BUT LET ME NOT — LET US NOT LOSE SIGHT OF THE FACT THAT UKRAINE ALSO NEEDS BASIC MILITARY AGREEMENT AND TRAINING, WHICH WE ARE ALSO PROVIDING ON THE GROUND. AND OUR ALLIES, OUR NATO ALLIES, HAVE CONTRIBUTED TO THE UKRAINE TRUST FUND. BUT MORE IS NEEDED TO BE DONE. AND THE PRESIDENT AND I SPOKE ABOUT THIS YESTERDAY WITH THE NATO SECRETARY GENERAL. AND IT IS ON NATO’S AGENDA IN WARSAW. FINALLY, OUR ASSISTANCE HAS BEEN AND WILL CONTINUE TO BE DIRECTLY ADDRESSING THE HUMANITARIAN TRAGEDY CREATED BY RUSSIAN AGGRESSION. IT IS PROFOUNDLY IN OUR SELF INTEREST, AND I WOULD ARGUE THE SELF-INTEREST OF THE WORLD, THAT THIS NEW UKRAINE EMERGES A PROSPEROUS, DEMOCRATIC, INDEPENDENT REFORM ORIENTED COUNTRY THAT CANNOT BE BRIBED, COERCED, OR INTIMIDATED. THAT IS WHAT THE UKRAINIAN PEOPLE ARE DEVOTING THEIR LIVES TO. GIVING THEIR LIVES FOR. AND ONE DAY, IT WILL SERVE AS AN EXAMPLE FOR RUSSIANS ACROSS THE BORDER WHO WILL SEE WHAT IS POSSIBLE WHEN A COUNTRY EMBARKS ON REAL REFORM. THE CONFLICT OVER UKRAINE, I THINK, IS A TEST FOR THE WEST. A TEST FOR THE EU. A TEST FOR NATO. A TEST FOR US. PRESIDENT PUTIN IS WAGERING THAT HE HAS GREATER STAYING POWER THAN ALL THE PARTIES I JUST MENTIONED HAVE. AND UKRAINE, HE IS BETTING THAT HE CAN OUTLAST THE CURRENT REFORMIST PRO-EUROPEAN GOVERNMENT AND UNDERMINE IT ECONOMICALLY. PRESIDENT PUTIN IS ALSO TRYING TO SCARE ALLIES AND PARTNERS WITH THE THREAT OF NEW AND AGGRESSIVE RUSSIA. TERMS WE HAVEN’T HEARD IN A LONG TIME. IN TERMS RELATING TO NUCLEAR POWER, NUCLEAR ARMS. AS IT TRIES TO RATTLE THE CAGE, THE KREMLIN IS WORKING HARD TO BUY OFF AND CORRUPT EUROPEAN POLITICAL FORCES, FUNDING BOTH RIGHT-WING AND LEFT-WING ANTI-SYSTEMIC PARTIES THROUGHOUT EUROPE. PRESIDENT PUTIN SEES SUCH POLITICAL FORCE AS — AS — AS USEFUL TOOLS TO BE MANIPULATED, TO CREATE CRACKS IN THE EUROPEAN BODY OF POLITICS, WHICH YOU CAN THEN EXPLOIT. I REMEMBER WORKING WITH — WHICH I WILL SPEAK TO AND A MOMENT ABOUT — EUROPEAN ENERGY SECURITY. I FOUND IT FASCINATING THAT RUSSIA IS FUNDING THE GREEN PARTY. [LAUGHTER] THEIR NEWFOUND ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERN HAS REALLY IMPRESSED ME. BUT THESE ACTIONS ARE EMBEDDED BY HYPER AGGRESSIVE STATE-SPONSORED RUSSIAN PROPAGANDA MACHINE THAT ACTIVELY SPREADS MISINFORMATION, AND DOES IT VERY WELL, I MIGHT ADD. BUT ON THE WHOLE, EUROPEAN UNITY IS HELD. EUROPE IS HUNG TOGETHER. EUROPEAN LEADERS LAST MET ON MARCH 25, AND THEY SPOKE CLEARLY. AND WE HAVE ALSO MADE OUR POSITION CLEAR. THE UNITED STATES’ SANCTIONS ON RUSSIA MUST REMAIN IN PLACE UNTIL THE NEGOTIATIONS ARE FULLY IMPLEMENTED. IT IS MY HOPE AND EXPECTATION THAT WHEN EUROPEAN LEADERS MEET AGAIN AT THE END OF JUNE, THEY RENEW EXISTING SANCTIONS UNTIL IT IS FULLY IMPLEMENTED. THERE IS NO WAY TO KNOW THAT UNTIL THE END OF THE YEAR. AND WE WILL CONTINUE TO EXPOSE THE TRUTH ABOUT RUSSIA’S ACTIONS TO THE WORLD, AND COORDINATE CLOSELY WITH OUR PARTNERS AND ALLIES TO ENSURE THAT FURTHER AGGRESSION ON RUSSIA’S PART IS MET WITH FURTHER COSTS. IF RUSSIA AGAIN MOVES BEYOND THE LINE OF CONTACT. THIS IS ESSENTIAL TO OUR STRATEGY. TAKEN TOGETHER, IT IS CLEAR. RUSSIA IS TAKING ACTIONS WE CAN UNDERMINE AS EUROPEAN NEIGHBORS. AND REASSERT ITS — HEGEMONIC AMBITIONS. WE NEED TO BE ABLE TO RESPOND. IT IS NOT JUST UKRAINE. CRITICAL OF THIS EFFORT IS AN AFFIRMATIVE VISION TO STRENGTHEN THE TRANSATLANTIC COOPERATION AND EUROPE ITSELF TO BE ABLE TO RESIST RUSSIAN COERCION AND LEAVE NO DAYLIGHT AND THE TACTICS OF DIVIDE AND CONQUER. UKRAINE IS INTEGRAL TO THAT. BUT THE ACTS OF RUSSIAN OPPORTUNISM AND AGGRESSION REQUIRES US TO ALSO ADDRESS MORE BROADLY AND SYSTEMATICALLY EUROPEAN POINT OF VULNERABILITY. REINVIGORATING AND WE TOOLING NATO TO BE ABLE TO RESPOND TO NEW HYBRID WARFARE THREATS THAT WE ARE SEEING TODAY. FINALLY GETTING SERIOUS ABOUT EUROPE’S ENERGY SECURITY, SO WE TAKE AWAY RUSSIA’S ABILITY TO USE ENERGY AS A POLITICAL WEAPON. AND PROMOTING EUROPE’S ECONOMIC GROWTH AND ECONOMIC SECURITY. IT STARTS WITH NATO, THOUGH. REINFORCING OUR ALLIANCE AND HONING THE TOOLS AT OUR DISPOSAL. THE STEPS WE ARE TAKING TO MAKE CLEAR THAT OUR ALLIES IN ARTICLE FIVE OF THE NATO CHILI — TREATY REPRESENT A SACRED COMMITMENT ON OUR PART AND EVERY OTHER NATO MEMBER. NATO’S READINESS ACTION PLAN IS AN IMPORTANT START, ALLOWING US TO STEP UP OUR MILITARY PRESENCE IN THE AIR AND THE SEA AND THE LAND, FROM THE BALTICS AND POLAND TO ROMANIA AND BULGARIA. AND WE ARE PLEASED THAT SOME OF OUR NATO ALLIES HAVE MADE SIMILAR CONTRIBUTIONS. BUT AT THIS TIME OF CRISIS, TOO MANY OF OUR ALLIES ARE STILL FAILING TO MEET MAYOR — THEIR COMMITMENT THEY MADE AT THE WHEEL SUMMIT — WALES SUMMIT. THE SITUATION IS NOT SUSTAINABLE. COLLECTIVE DEFENSE MUST BE SHARED, A SHARED RESPONSIBILITY. NOT JUST IN RHETORIC, BUT IN RESOURCES AS WELL. WHEN IT COMES TO ENERGY, WE NEED TO WORK ACROSS THE ATLANTIC TO DENY RUSSIA THE ABILITY TO USE RESOURCES AS A POLITICAL WEAPON AGAINST THEIR NEIGHBORS. AS I SAID ON SEVERAL OCCASIONS BEFORE, IT IS TIME TO MAKE ENERGY SECURITY THE NEXT CHAPTER IN THE EUROPEAN PROJECT OF INTEGRATION AND MARKET EXPANSION. IT IS TIME TO REPLACE COUNTRY BY COUNTRY STRATEGIES WITH A COHERENT, COLLECTIVE EFFORT. FOCUSED ON DIVERSIFYING FUEL TYPES, SUPPLY SOURCES, AND ROUTES. IMPROVING EFFICIENCY, MAKING INVESTMENTS AND MARKET REFORMS, INCLUDING GREATER FLEXIBILITY OF INFRASTRUCTURE TO TRANSPORT NATIONAL GAS. — NATURAL GAS. WE HAVE ALREADY MADE SOME SIGNIFICANT PROGRESS. IN THE FACE OF RUSSIAN CUTOFF OF GAS SUPPLIES TO UKRAINE LAST YEAR, WE SUPPORTED A GAS DEAL. WE WORKED WITH UKRAINE’S NEIGHBORS TO INCREASE RIVERS FLOWS OF GAS SHIPMENTS TO UKRAINE. — RIVERS — FLOWS OF REVERSE. — — — — RIVERS — RIVERSE FLOWS OF GAS SHIPMENTS TO UKRAINE. THAT WILL HELP FOSTER COMPETITION IN EUROPE, RATHER THAN DOMINANCE OF ONE SUPPLIER. WE APPLAUD AND ENCOURAGE EUROPE’S EFFORTS TO TAKE MORE REGIONAL APPROACH IS BECAUSE A MORE STABLE EUROPEAN SUPPLY OF ENERGY MEANS A MORE SECURE WORLD. AND WE ARE READY TO DO OUR PART, AS OUR EUROPEAN FRIENDS KNOW. AND FINALLY, WE NEED TO REBUILD AND IN SOME PLACES BILL FOR THE FIRST TIME THE ECONOMIC FOUNDATIONS OF EUROPEAN SECURITY. IN THAT SPIRIT, WE SUPPORT EUROPEAN INITIATIVES TO RESPOND, AS WE HAVE, FROM THE GREAT DEPRESSION THAT BEGAN IN THE LAST DECADE. THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT WE NOW KNOW THE TYPES OF POLICIES THAT EFFICIENTLY SPUR ECONOMIC GROWTH AND BOOST EMPLOYMENT. INVESTING IN INFRASTRUCTURE AND HUMAN CAPITAL. LOWERING BARRIERS TO TRADE AND INVESTMENT. MAKING REFORMS TO IMPROVE THE BUSINESS CLIMATE AND A REGULATORY PROCESS. WE ARE PURSUING THE TRANSATLANTIC PARTNERSHIP TO CREATE GROWTH AND JOBS AND STRENGTHEN THE GLOBAL TRADING SYSTEM. AND WE HAVE ESPECIALLY FOCUSED ON FIGHTING CORRUPTION. CORRUPTION IS THE NEW TOOL TO FOREIGN POLICY. IT HAS NEVER BEEN AS HANDY AND IS USEFUL AT THE HANDS OF NATIONS THAT WANT TO DISRUPT AND OLIGARCHS THAT RESPOND TO THEM. IT IS LIKE THE KRYPTONITE OF A FUNCTIONING DEMOCRACY. IT SIPHON’S AWAY RESOURCES, IT DESTROYS — SIPHONS AWAY RESOURCES, IT DESTROYS — AND CONFRONT PEOPLE’S DIGNITY. AND THE STAKES ARE STRATEGIC, AS WELL AS ECONOMIC, BECAUSE RUSSIA AND OTHERS ARE USING CORRUPTION AND OLIGARCHS AS TOOLS OF COERCION. WE NEED TO HELP SOME OF THE NEWER EU NATIONS AND THOSE ASPIRING TO JOIN THEM TO SHORE UP THEIR INSTITUTIONS, PUT IN PLACE THE MECHANISMS REQUIRED TO AVOID BECOMING VULNERABLE TO THIS NEW — EXCUSE ME — TO THIS NEW FOREIGN-POLICY WEAPON. WE TAKE THESE DEVELOPMENTS TOGETHER, AND IT IS CLEAR, IN MY VIEW, THAT WE HAVE REACHED ANOTHER MOMENT IN THE HISTORY OF THE TRANSATLANTIC RELATIONSHIP THAT CALLS OUT FOR LEADERSHIP. THE KIND OUR PARENTS AND GRANDPARENTS DELIVERED. I THINK IT IS THAT BASIC. I THINK IT IS SIMILAR. I BELIEVE THE TERRAIN, THOUGH, IS FUNDAMENTALLY IN OUR FAVOR. NOT BECAUSE OF THE INEVITABILITY OF ANY KIND OF TRAJECTORY TOWARDS UNIFICATION OR INTEGRATION WITH DEMOCRATIC FREEDOMS, EVERY GENERATION HAS ITS DEMAGOGUES AND REVISIONS AND TRANSITIONS ARE FULL OF PAROL — PERIL. WHAT MAKES ME OPTIMISTIC IS PRESIDENT CLINTON’S VISION — HAS VERY LITTLE — PRESIDENT PUTIN’S VISION OFFERS VERY LITTLE OTHER THAN MYTHS AND ILLUSIONS. THE FALSE PROMISE OF RETURNING TO A PAST WHEN THAT PASSED WAS NOT TOO GOOD OF A PAST. THE SLEIGHT-OF-HAND THAT PRESENTS THE BULLYING OF CIVIL SOCIETIES, DISSIDENTS ENGAGED AS SUBSTITUTES FOR STRONG LEADERSHIP. THE PROPAGANDA THAT CONFLATES AGGRESSION. IT IS THAT EASY FOR GOVERNMENTS — IT IS NOT EASY FOR GOVERNMENTS TO PROVIDE FOR PEOPLE IN THE 20% THREE. BUT — IN THE 21ST CENTURY. IT IS LIKE PHYSICS THESE DAYS. YOU NEED POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC OPENNESS, RESPECT FOR LAW, STRONG FUNCTIONING INSTITUTION AND MARKETS. WITHOUT ALL THOSE IN PLACE, ECONOMIC GROWTH DOES NOT OCCUR AND WILL NOT OCCUR. AND TOGETHER, WE, THE UNITED STATES AND EUROPE, CAN REASSERT AND STICK TO OUR PRINCIPLES, DELIVER ON OUR COMMITMENTS, AND HELP MAKE UKRAINE AND EUROPE KEEP DOING WHAT WORKS. THEN I HAVE EVERY CONFIDENCE THAT WE WILL LEAVE THE TRANSATLANTIC RELATIONSHIP STRONGER, AND EUROPE EVEN MORE SECURE AND FREE. I THINK YOU FOR INDULGENCE OF LISTENING TO ME. AND IT HAS BEEN A GREAT PLEASURE TO BE WITH YOU. THANK YOU. >> [APPLAUSE] VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: THANK YOU. >> [APPLAUSE]

00:24:33
Unidentified Speaker

VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: I HAVE BEEN INSTRUCTED BY STROKE TO MAKE —

00:24:41
Unidentified Speaker

STORBE TO MAKE MYSELF — STROBE TO MAKE MYSELF AVAILABLE FOR QUESTIONS. I’M SURE THE PRESIDENT WILL UNDERSTAND IF I SPEND A LITTLE BIT OF TIME, TAKING A FEW QUESTIONS. IF YOU HAVE ANY. >> [INDISCERNIBLE] VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: GOOD TO SEE YOU, JAVIER. GREAT TO BE HERE WITH YOU,

00:25:04
Unidentified Speaker

MAN. COME TO THE MICROPHONE. >> [INDISCERNIBLE] — WHAT

00:25:17
Unidentified Speaker

I THINK IS THAT WE ARE IN THE SAME BOAT, THE EUROPEANS AND THE AMERICANS. IN PARTICULAR, WHAT YOU HAVE SAID AND UNDERLINED VERY MUCH, THE AGREEMENTS HAVE TO BE RESPECTED. IT IS TRUE, WE WILL NOT KNOW IF THEY ARE RESPECTED UNTIL THE END OF THE YEAR. AND I THINK WE CAN KEEP ON WORKING TOGETHER AND WE WIN THIS BATTLE. VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: I THINK SO, TOO. AND THE OTHER THING I THINK, BY THE WAY, IS THAT I HAVE SPENT SO MUCH TIME WITH UKRAINIAN LEADERSHIP. THEY ARE PREPARED TO MAKE GENUINE CONCESSIONS ON DECENTRALIZATION. THEY ARE PREPARED TO MAKE GENUINE COMMITMENTS TO LOCAL CONTROL IN THE EAST AND — AND SO — BUT IT IS — IT IS KIND OF DIFFICULT TO DO THIS. THE ONE THING ABOUT — IT IS AWFUL HARD TO HOLD FREE ELECTIONS ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE LINE OF CONTROL WE DON’T CONTROL THE BORDER. AND THAT IS SOMETHING THAT I’M HOPING THAT US AND OUR EUROPEAN COLLEAGUES ARE GOING TO BE ABLE TO WORK OUT BECAUSE THERE HAS TO BE — PART OF THE DEAL IS FREE ELECTIONS. IN THE EAST AND THAT’S GOING TO BE DIFFICULT. >> MR. VICE PRESIDENT, THANK YOU FOR COMING TO BROOKINGS. WHY ISN’T IT OBVIOUS THAT THE UNITED STATES SHOULD BE EXPORTING ENERGY TO EUROPE? VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: WELL, IT IS OBVIOUS.

00:26:59
Unidentified Speaker

AND WE ARE SUPPORTIVE OF THAT. THE PROBLEM IS, UNDER OUR SYSTEM, THE WAY IT WORKS IS THAT — THAT COMPANIES CONTRACT TO GET THESE OPPORTUNITIES TO — TO HAVE ACCESS TO THE NATURAL GAS THAT IS EXPORTABLE. AND UNDER OUR LAW, WE CANNOT DIRECT A PARTICULAR COMPANY TO SEND THE GAS TO A PARTICULAR PLACE. NOW, THERE HAS BEEN SOME DISCUSSION IN MANY CORNERS, PROBABLY HERE AT BROOKINGS, ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT THERE SHOULD BE SOME EXCEPTION MADE AS TO BEING ABLE TO DIRECTLY DIRECT IT, BUT UNDER OUR SYSTEM, ALL THE COUNTRIES IN QUESTION ARE ABLE TO CONTACT WITH THE FOLKS — I FORGET HOW MANY CONTRACTS, I THINK 13 OR SOMETHING — ANYWAY, ALL THE CONTRACTS THAT HAVE BEEN MADE FOR ACCESS TO THAT NATURAL GAS. BUT WHAT HAPPENS IS, YOU KNOW, IT IS AT MARKET PRICES. AND — AND — BUT IT IS THE THING I HAVE THE HARDEST TIME EXPLAINING IN EUROPE. BECAUSE UNDER THEIR SYSTEM, MOST OF THEM COME WITH IT SAYS, WELL, THE PRESIDENT DECIDES. WE WROTE A POLICY, WE ARE GOING TO EXPORT X TRILLIONS, YOU KNOW, UNITS OF GAS TO SUCH AND SUCH A COUNTRY. IT IS NOT — LEGALLY, WE CANNOT DO THAT. >> I DON’T WANT YOU TO GET IN TROUBLE WITH THE PRESIDENT — VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: I AM HAPPY TO TAKE ANOTHER ONE, IF YOU WANT. >> OK.

00:28:40
Unidentified Speaker

I WOULD BE IN TROUBLE WITH YOUR STAFF, WHICH IS REALLY SERIOUS. [LAUGHTER] VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT. >> —

00:28:46
Unidentified Speaker

HOW WORRIED ARE YOU ABOUT THE REPUBLICS OF THE LARGE RUSSIAN MINORITIES? VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: WELL, I AM

00:28:59
Unidentified Speaker

WORRIED — OH, I HAVE TO GET BACK TO THE MICROPHONE. [LAUGHTER] SORRY, SORRY. I AM USED TO BEING TOO FAMILIAR WITH THIS CROWD. AND I APOLOGIZE. THAT IS WHAT I WAS REFERENCING BY THE ASYMMETRY I’M TALKING ABOUT. AND THAT IS SOMETHING THAT IS GOING TO BE A MAJOR TOPIC AT — IN WARSAW AT THE NEXT NATO MEETING. BUT IT IS ALREADY ENTRAINED IN SOME OF THE ACTIONS WE HAVE TAKEN, RELATIVE TO THE ROTATION OF FORCES AND SO ON. BUT IT IS A CONCERN. IT IS A CONCERN, USING THE FALSE ASSERTION THAT, YOU KNOW, THERE IS A RUSSIAN MINORITY, OR IN SOME PLACES, CLOSE TO A COLOR REALITY — CLOSE TO A PLURALITY THAT IS BEING PERSECUTED. IT IS — IT IS A DIFFICULT SITUATION, BUT WE ARE RESOLVED TO STAND WITH THE BALTIC STATES AS THAT OCCURS. BUT THAT PLANNING IS ENTRAINED AND HAS BEEN AS WE SPEAK. BUT IT IS A CONCERN. I WOULD BE LYING TO YOU IF I SAID IT WASN’T. MARTIN, DID YOU HAVE A QUESTION? I CANNOT LEAVE — >> I CANNOT LEAVE WITHOUT TAKING THE VICE PRESIDENT’S QUESTION. [LAUGHTER] >> [INDISCERNIBLE] >> [LAUGHTER] VICE PRESIDENT

00:30:34
Unidentified Speaker

BIDEN: GO AHEAD. >> THE — SPEECH THAT YOU JUST GAVE WAS A VERY TOUGH ONE. ADMIRABLY TOUGH. AT THE SAME TIME, WITH THE U.S. STANDING UP TO

00:30:51
Unidentified Speaker

MR. PUTIN IN A WAY THAT YOU HAVE DESCRIBED, WE ARE ALSO COOPERATING WITH HIM ON WHAT YOU CALL GLOBAL ISSUES — NONPROLIFERATION, TERRORISM, EVEN IN A PLACE LIKE SYRIA. HOW DO YOU HANDLE THAT KIND OF TENSION BETWEEN COOPERATION AND COMPETITION? VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: LOOK, HUMAN NATURE IS HUMAN NATURE. IT DOESN’T CHANGE BASED UPON WHETHER OR NOT YOU ARE READING THE MOTIVES AND ACTIONS OF A HEAD OF STATE, OR YOUR BROTHER, OR YOUR PARTNER IN YOUR ENTERPRISE. AND THAT IS LIFE. THE COOPERATION — THE ONE THING I’M COUNTING ON WITH — WITH PRESIDENT PUTIN — I HAVE HAD AN OCCASION TO SPEND A SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT TIME WITH — IS THAT AT HIS CORE, HE IS PRACTICAL. AT HIS CORE, HE WILL PUSH AS FAR AS HE CAN, IN MY VIEW, UNTIL HE REACHES A RESISTANCE THAT, IN FACT, SAYS THERE IS A BIG PRICE TO PAY. AND HE MAY MAKE A MISTAKE AND CONTINUE, BUT IS A CALCULATION, I BELIEVE, HE WILL ASSUME. I THINK IF YOU LOOK AT HIS BEHAVIOR OVER HIS CAREER, HE IS A PRACTICAL GUIDE. — GUY. AND IT SEEMS TO ME, AND IT HAS BEEN THE HISTORY OF SUCCESSFUL AMERICAN POLICY GOING BACK 100 YEARS, THAT IT MAKES SENSE TO COOPERATE, WHETHER THERE IS A CAREER — MUTUAL INTEREST, MATTERS OF PRINCIPLE THAT MATTER TO THE SECURITY AND WELL-BEING OF YOUR COUNTRY AND YOUR ALLIES AND YOUR FRIEND. QUITE FRANKLY, I SEE IT’S BEING OVERWHELMINGLY IN OUR INTEREST TO CONTINUE TO COOPERATE IN IRAN. I WOULD ARGUE THAT — LET ME CHOOSE MY WORDS A LITTLE BIT HERE — THERE HAS BEEN A LOT WRITTEN BY SOME VERY BRIGHT PEOPLE HERE AND IN OTHER THINK TANKS AROUND THE WORLD THAT PUTIN WOULD LIKE VERY MUCH TO RESPOND IN A NEGATIVE WAY AND COST US — RAISE THE COSTS FOR THE UNITED STATES FOR BEING THE LEADER OF IMPOSING SANCTIONS ON HIM. AND THERE ARE A LOT OF SPECULATION THAT ONE OF THE THINGS THAT HE WOULD DO RIGHT OFF THE BAT WOULD BE PULLOUT OF THE NEGOTIATIONS WITH IRAN. WHICH OVERWHELMINGLY IS IN HIS INTEREST NOT TO DO THAT. IT IS OVERWHELMINGLY IN HIS INTEREST, AND WOULD BE INCREASINGLY OBVIOUS TO BOTH THE AND I RON, — IRAN, THAT ABSENT SOME KIND OF NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT, THEY ARE REAPING A WHIRLWIND AS WE ARE. SO I ALWAYS COUNT ON SELF INTEREST. BEING A MOTIVATING FACTOR FOR, MY PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS, YOU HAVE HEARD ME SAY, MARTIN, ALL POLITICS IS PERSONAL. AND I MEAN THAT. YOU HAVE TO BE ABLE TO UNDERSTAND WHAT THE OTHER GUY IS LOOKING FOR, OR THE OTHER WOMAN IS LOOKING FOR, WHAT THEY PERCEIVE TO BE THEIR INTERESTS. IT IS CLEARLY IN THE INTERESTS OF THE UNITED STATES, AS WELL AS RUSSIA, THAT — TO EXAGGERATE THE POINT — THAT YOU DON’T END UP WITH ISIL CONTROLLING ALL OF SYRIA. IT IS CLEARLY WITHIN THE INTERESTS OF RUSSIA, AND I WOULD ARGUE CHINA, THAT IRAN NOT BECOME A NUCLEAR POWER. AND THERE ARE OTHER THINGS THAT ARE OF MUTUAL INTEREST. SO IT SEEMS TO ME THAT IF YOU ARE NATIONAL AND TOUGH, — RATIONAL AND TOUGH, YOU WOULD LOOK TO THOSE THINGS WHICH ARE CLEARLY IN YOUR BENEFIT, AS LONG AS YOU DO NOT HAVE TO MAKE A CONCESSION ON SOMETHING THAT IS A MATTER OF PRINCIPLE AND VALUE TO YOU. AND THUS FAR, WE HAVE NOT REACHED THAT POINT. THERE HAS BEEN NO DISCUSSION OF WE WILL NOT STAY — THIS IS HYPOTHETICAL — THERE HAS BEEN NO DISCUSSION OF WE WILL CONTINUE TO BE PART OF THE P5 PLUS ONE, ONLY IF YOU DO THE FOLLOWING. SO THESE ARE TWO MATURE NATIONS, TWO TOP LEADERS WHO KNOW WHAT INTERESTS ARE FOR THEIR COUNTRY. AND I WOULD ARGUE, MARTIN, THAT THERE IS NO — THAT PRESIDENT PUTIN DID NOT START OFF WITH A BROAD STRATEGY, AS TO HOW HE WAS GOING TO RESPOND OR DEAL WITH — WITH RUSSIA OR EASTERN EUROPEAN STATES. I THINK HE STARTED OFF WITH A STRATEGY THAT HE WAS DETERMINED TO BUILD UP THE RUSSIAN MILITARY FROM THE PLACE HE FOUND IT. BUT I THINK IT WAS MORE OPPORTUNISM THEN ANY STRATEGY. — THAN ANY STRATEGY. AND WE CONTINUE TO LOOK FOR, WHAT WE SAY, OFF RAMPS FOR PRESIDENT PUTIN. WE ARE NOT LOOKING TO REPAIR SAME. WE ARE NOT FOR REGIME CHANGE. WE ARE NOT LOOKING FOR ANY FUNDAMENTAL ALTERATION OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES INSIDE OF RUSSIA. WE ARE LOOKING FOR HIM TO, AND ARGUE, ACT MORE RATIONALLY — — — IN OUR VIEW, ACT MORE RATIONALLY. THANK YOU ALSO MUCH FOR LISTENING. >> [APPLAUSE] >> [INDISTINCT

00:36:45
Unidentified Speaker

CHATTER] >> THANK YOU VERY MUCH. — [INDISCERNIBLE] >> [LAUGHTER] >> [INDISTINCT CHATTER] >>

00:37:00
Unidentified Speaker

THANK YOU.

00:37:03
Unidentified Speaker

THANK YOU ALL VERY, VERY MUCH. >> [APPLAUSE] >> [INDISTINCT

00:37:08
Unidentified Speaker

CHATTER] [CAPTIONS

00:37:11
Unidentified Speaker
00:37:13
Unidentified Speaker

COPYRIGHT NATIONAL CABLE SATELLITE CORP. 2015] [CAPTIONING PERFORMED BY THE NATIONAL CAPTIONING INSTITUTE,

00:37:18
Unidentified Speaker

WHICH IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ITS CAPTION CONTENT AND ACCURACY. VISIT NCICAP.ORG] >> YOU WILL BE ABLE TO SEE THE ENTIRE EVENT — SEE THE VICE PRESIDENT’S COMMENT IN THEIR ENTIRETY SHORTLY ON C-SPAN.ORG.

00:37:31
Unidentified Speaker

THE HILL WRITES, QUOTE, HE HAS ASKED THE PRESIDENT TO START OVER IN DRAFT ANOTHER AUTHORIZATION BECAUSE IT IS, QUOTE, THE PRESIDENTS RESPONSIBILITY TO WAGE THIS BATTLE. — THAT EXPLICITLY DELEGATES WAR POWERS TO CONGRESS. A LETTER FROM WALTER JONES AND MASSACHUSETTS DEMOCRAT JAMES —

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.