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    NATO Review: Russia, Ukraine, and Crimea: A Predictable Crisis?

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    How much could we have seen the Crimea crisis coming? NATO Review talks to security experts and asks whether there were enough clues in Russia's previous adventures - especially in Estonia and Georgia - to indicate that Crimea would be next.

    00.12 - Paul King – Editor, NATO Review – voice-over
    When Russia annexed Georgia’s regions of South-Ossetia and Abkhazia in 2008 some western politicians warned that Russia wasn’t finished yet.

    00.21 – Linas Linkevičius – Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lithuania
    We said it would be more at that time. No one listened. By the way, we mentioned Crimea. We mentioned Transnistria. So Crimea is gone. Transnistria maybe not, but who can exclude it?

    00.34 – Alex Petriashvili – State Minister of Georgia on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration
    The Russians have learned lessons from 2008. Unfortunately, the Western countries less.

    00.42 - Paul King – voice-over
    But many Western countries were anxious to keep the relationship with Russia stable

    00.47 – Karel Kovanda – Former Czech Ambassador to NATO
    The reaction to the Georgian invasion, I think, was number 1: very weak, and number 2: rather surprising.

    00.58 – Linas Linkevičius
    We told then, in 2008: Let’s be consistent. Let’s do what we decided. Let’s implement and let’s stick to this, you know, because we made very good statements at that time, very good demands, very clear. We can have a look. These documents are available. In meetings, communiqués… spending some time to draft. And in two months we’re back to business as normal.

    01.20 - Paul King – voice-over
    Some feel the West’s reaction may have fostered more confidence in the Russian leader, Vladimir Putin.

    01.28 – Karel Kovanda
    Calculations of a guy who has got his KGB history, who is a judo sportsman, in that sense makes use of the strength of the opponent by throwing him over, who has his history of dealing with the criminal gangs of Petersburg, and as somebody mentioned, a history of having been a hooligan in his youth.

    01.50 – Konstantin von Eggert – Kommersant FM Radio, Editor in Chief
    Well, I think the general perception in Moscow was that the West is weak. I’m not trying to psychoanalyse Putin, but if we are talking about the general feeling in the political class, that’s pretty true. I actually would concur with that. You’re looking at the most un-Atlanticist, to put it mildly, American administration in decades. You are looking at a European Union, which is consumed by its own problems and which actually is not ready and not willing to engage in any kind of major, coordinated foreign policy action with players like Russia. So, it’s very conducive from the point of view of Mister Putin.

    02.34 - Paul King – voice-over
    Regardless of the Russian leadership’s motivation, the Russian moves in Ukraine may have backfired in terms of what was intended and what has actually happened.

    02.44 - Konstantin von Eggert
    If you look back to mid December, people in the Kremlin were thinking and actually were saying: Ukraine is in our pockets. Yes, the Crimea now is in Russia’s pockets, but as far as Ukraine is concerned, it’s far from being in Russia’s pockets. Actually, I think that Russia’s influence in Ukraine, especially in Kiev, has dwindled to nearly zero. And I suppose that this is the law of unintended consequences that Lilia Shevtsova, so eloquently usually speaks about. It is about creating narratives, which in the end have their own logic. Sometimes you can control them, sometimes you cannot. And I think that this does create funnily enough or tragically enough, depending on how you look at it, more instability in Russia, not only externally, but possibly domestically.

    03.35 - Paul King – voice-over
    What is clear that what some have described as the mistakes of the approach of 2008, have not been repeated in 2014. And that at least is to be welcomed.

    03.46 - Alex Petriashvili
    This time the reaction was there, is there and I hope very much that there will be a stronger reaction if it goes farther.

    03.59 - Linas Linkevičius
    Non-action is provocative. No decision is provocative. This is a signal and this should be realised one day. It really should be learned. But sometimes we need many, many lessons. Many, many wake-up calls to be woken up, which is sad, but this is reality.

    NATO Review

    The opinions expressed in NATO Review do not necessarily reflect those of NATO or its member countries.

    This video contains footage from ITN. While this video may be reproduced and used in its entirety, ITN footage cannot be used as part of a new production.



    Date Taken: 11.25.2014
    Date Posted: 11.28.2014 14:43
    Category: Package
    Video ID: 377856
    Filename: DOD_102115293
    Length: 00:04:31
    Location: BRUSSELS, BRU, BE 

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