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Ukraine: Sanctions, Elections & More

Mar 9, 2014|

Political consultants Steve Pigeon & Mike Caputo both worked there. Atty Dianna Derhak wants more US action

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All right now -- on on to talk about the Ukraine. Steve I was self interest to to learn you've done some work there Mike I know you've done some work there and the elections coming up in just a moment or two we'll chat more with. Attorney Deanna dear -- she's been involved over there have been over there as recently as January Steve what was your work involved. Well I worked on several campaigns including Mike and I worked ironic I campaigned. With breakfast on. And that's right I actually had mentioned before them like that and that's where we got really got to know each other. And it was for collateral that women who was the speaker. The parliament. He had been one of the people that was involved in the Orange Revolution. And I believe he's been involved with the opposition this year to. You know college and is gonna continue to be involved. And we did a parliamentary campaign there. And I've done other projects there and and -- some other business there -- some other parliamentary races and so I've been back and forth the Ukraine several times over the last I. -- and might view your wife is from Ukraine you met her over there while doing campaign work now. In fact. Even produced. Super while we were both working Whitman campaign. Any any still likes me to Africa. Yeah right exact because a lot of doesn't like about me but I I. Take his shots who have with -- how how corrupt our elections over there and and does that discussion played very well very corrupt and does that play a role in the broader discussion. About what's going on over there now. Well the good the whole government. Has been corrupt and has been the problem after the armed revolution they had 21 years. Put this together and they really didn't it seem like -- if -- -- guy Mike was one of them the better ones. But by and large the system is corrupt. There is no fan finance -- campaign finance laws no real laws on the book. Box that no rule of law -- that's why a lot of the banks don't go over there. Policemen will pull you over just -- You know be paid right there on the spot. Real -- handled by the mayor you have to pay the -- you're buying a piece of land. You me on that land for only a period of time they can take it back from you. Contracts don't mean a lot over there it's been a very corrupt. Government and I think that's one of the reasons why the people finally say enough is enough yet might bring it into the discussion of what's going on. Over the are now. Does the collapsing economy I lived in Russia. Prom night -- Powell has spent a lot of time back I wrote that first wrap of the Russian. General election law I -- the first strapped. Of the Ukrainian general election law both in the long standing now on the books don't resemble -- wrapped in one particular sense and that is. Both of them have very little. Regulation of audit and at all. Secondly the one thing that good to you what I'm when I'm lying down with the deputy prime minister of the Russian Federation remarks that you are. I got stuck in in the line for custom been at work or any breeze through life like in native. Afterward I complain about it it said -- -- we understand. We hear -- regard. Just like you who -- you know would be -- to Atlanta. He said you know our Crimea is ours it is always been hours and it will soon be over again. That was 1995. It has been only a matter I'm right media is the question enclave in Ukraine and the Russians are covered there. They've taken it and it will never ever in the back and the last thing I want him to go to politics there are also very finally I got shot on. In in the Russian Federation and -- that the campaign manager that even -- work. -- -- Skill and shot. And we have body terrorism when we were there -- is very difficult and I agree I -- -- -- -- Only the claim to I think the big. No problem has that they try to move into southern and eastern. Guys thanks for help setting the stage thanks especially for sticking beyond when you initially signed up for. On the other side of the break we're gonna talk more about Ukraine. Attorney Deanna dare -- this year she's got all sorts of insight not only on the elections but on what's going on -- now and she's next its hardline on news radio 930 WB -- -- news radio 930 WB and you know -- top of each program I usually say what do we can just talk politics. This was a week where President Obama took center stage and talked about sanctions in Ukraine. We're gonna talk about Ukraine and take a couple of your phone calls wealth and a little bit. 8030930. Is the number. Attorney Deanna dead and I say that right Deanna. To your hot this year that she has lived over there she is bent over there as recently as January when some of the violence started. And -- she someone that works with the international business here in the United States and over there. Based now in the buffalo area we're glad to have you here thanks. Thank you -- glad to be here do you like what the president did this week. I think the president made initial moves to start the process of targeted sanctions. But he hasn't gone anywhere with that and he said we would select groups that are opposing democracy and put sanctions against him. But saying we -- is different than actually imposing the sanctions. That's correct it's giving a warning to the groups who are actually it's having the opposite effect. The people who have already stolen the money and have the frozen accounts. They now has fair warning to move that money and that's what they've been doing so it's actually had and negative impact it's not having the effect he wanted to really yes. And rhetorical question that helps tell the story. Why is this important so what. -- where where the United States. You talked to a lot of people in the last hour we're talking politics people sent by America and I think to some degree there is maybe a sense of isolationism. Why why bother why does this matter. Let couldn't take Crimea what the -- In response. I you respond by saying we are interconnected. With the world whether we like it or not that's the reality that we face. If you go to the grocery store you go to the car dealer you go to the mall. Everything it's touched by international so were part of the world. And second of ball. It addresses our deepest values freedom and the promises we made Ukraine. I gave up its nuclear weapons. As and it was the third largest nuclear power in the world. And in exchange for promises. From the US the UK and Russia. That its territorial integrity would be. Would be respected. Russia and the United States under then President Bill Clinton basically agreed to this it was reaffirmed by President Obama. And they said we would basically get rid of our army. If you guys help us out and now at least one of those parties is not helping out. That's right they gave up the nukes. Unilaterally. Without any thing. And this is it this is where they are the need these this is also about broken promises. And this is also a message to the world saying attention. This is how the United States behaves when it makes promises. So be on alerts. Iran be on alert and North Korea are watching do you think you could reach the point where it explodes into world war three. I hate hate to think about that's an area. But so far everything has been moving in the direction of escalating war yesterday Russia has already. Mind that the border. Of the southern part of Ukraine in places just to show how. How it's. Just because we can't just because we can't and so it's already on the mainland of Ukraine. -- escalates its escalating faster than one than anybody wants two minutes. During the last segment were talking with Michael Capuano who has been over there working on elections over there. And I don't know if you heard he was telling a story about how a colleague of his zipped through a Russian colleague of his. Zipped through one of the border checks in Ukraine while he was tied up with all sorts of passport delays -- for a thing. And the Russian colleague basically said -- you don't understand. It's as if it's is if you Michael drive from New York State to Atlanta. We in Russia. Can get into Crimea easily because and this is the part that I wanted to comment on. Because it basically is -- this was back in 95 -- was saying. Its economy of ours we look at it is ours there are Russians over there in the eastern half of Ukraine who say that. This is rightfully theirs. Is a solution and then therefore to just divided into. The Ukraine still want to be part of the real and ukrainians wanna be part of the west in the ukrainians who want to be part of Russia. What following that argument would mean we throw away all our promises and rule of law is meaningless. And we can do anything we want to if we have nuclear weapons. So that argument even though it's being made it's being made by people who bitterly -- of the generation of Soviet Union. But there are now a new generations that have been born. That are living in Crimea and in Russia that were born in a different time. And our thinking differently so in a word my response to can we just divided up. That's the most arrogant thing to say. It's also. -- Putting us into a world of great anarchy and uncertainty and instability. And is that how we want to live. It's appeasement. Neville Chamberlain style even. Yes and what did that lead to exactly and I I noted this week two it was instinct is the didn't Hitler thrown Olympics right before absolutely the pattern is very similar seriously and it's not just oh look at that coincidence you think there's a pattern. I think that it's a sub conscious pattern I don't think that Putin is necessarily. Going back to that rule book. But that is his mental state. And so his thinking is so appeared in that direction that it's an idea that resonated very deeply with him. And then looking in retrospect you can see a direct -- What kind of response do you want has the United States and Europe and done what they should these vocal earlier about now in some ways what President Obama has has done. Actually made the situation worse. What's the ideal scenario do we immediately just cracked down with sanctions now. I I think first evolved cracking down with sanctions is almost like I'm running after a train that's already moving fast yes we need to do that. But I also would like to seat. President Obama literally come before the American people and make the case of what is going line. And then go to Europe and then meet with heads of state there. And and not relegate this to conversations anymore. It it's gone beyond that. And -- talk about what kind of sanctions and come together with the leaders of Europe and talk about energy security for them because they're not going to move unless they start. To see some. Alternatives to Russian gas. I'm glad you mentioned energy that was my next question here what role does that play could we change our national energy policy here in the states. In a way that would also ratchet pressure. On potent and what's going out there. Absolutely. How by eight by allowing greater. Production of gas and also. Being more more easy and more open to exporting gas and build their capacity in order to do that. He needs -- because of the resources in the gas. He needs Crimea to make a personal statement to himself how great Russia still is and to speak to those. Russian interests that say Russia is still a great superpower. This is a gigantic ego trip for lieutenant. But it's a very dangerous one. And he is not able to see how Russia. Can be without Ukraine Ukraine is supposed to. Ukraine is the country that will make Russia a Eurasian power again similar to the Soviet Union. But there's another side to the story. Content watched helplessly. While Ukraine and stood up to a very corrupt dictator and they stood there even -- snipers fired at them and eventually. President and the club it's fled and he abandoned his post. And a new government has taken over content is afraid that that could happen to. So he wants to squelched democracy because that could hurt him if if protests get out of -- absolutely I wanna go back to energy though. A -- what is the strategic value. Of Crimea. And how would it how would it be that if we crackdown and changed our energy policy that would affect came over there. Crimea is a warm water ports. As you can see from the news there's a lot of military bases there the Black Sea fleet which is of Russian fleet is based there it gives them access to the Mediterranean. And that is very important in russians' minds strategically. It's in the air status as a as a power I'm not going to say superpower because that's questionable nowadays. But. So it's as a strategic advantage and it's also hugely psychological advantage as well. 8030930s. Number I hate to do this right before news break but if there's something you'd like to discuss with us we'll throw the phone lines open. Attorney Indiana -- -- is here she's worked in the Ukraine. We'll talk a little bit about what you saw there the last time after the news and a if there are calls will squeeze them into and then at the back in the program will shift gears just a little bit talk about the latest legislation coming out of Albany. By not not related to the Ukraine but that's certainly the state budget is on the table right now certainly there are things to discuss with medical marijuana will get all of that before Meet the Press comes your way twelve noon. All of that still ahead. It's hard line on news radio 930 WB here and this is de -- -- had deer -- is here she's an attorney she's a business consultant in the buffalo area that is done all sorts of things in Ukraine. Infected during the break she was telling me that one of the things she does -- help organize exchanges. She was the one who selected the current interim prime minister to be part of an exchange program that -- brought him here to the United States to live with the -- The US family years ago you're also telling me that you have -- there as recently as January. When. -- started to be fired -- about what happened in January. In January. President -- -- it passed a series of lines that outlined people. The rights to their constitutional rights of assembly. And this created a tremendous amount of tension. And people have already been gathering and misses where that that tensions first sparked as a result of this illegal actions so. President and -- it with literally pushing people into a coroner. And a lot of it is believed to be as a result of -- wanting him to. To finally get rid of this mine gone independence protests -- Is it safe to say he was opponent puppet. I think it would be safe to say yes it would be safe to say if we consider. Where he is now and what he is saying now and how he's behaving we can almost say it's it's confirmed that he -- -- 8030930s. And number let's squeeze in a couple calls here before we move on John in buffalo thanks for holding high it's your turn. Yeah just like you say how ridiculous it is trying to compare this to Adolf Hitler. And the so called appeasement. It's cynical about the we thought Czechoslovakia was never part of Germany it was a completely sovereign nation. And the Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union. For many years so for them to have political interest in it are obvious. And and also -- -- -- The big problem would try to do anything with. The Russians are getting involved in Ukraine is the Europeans are themselves are so dependent. On Russia. For gas and oil natural gas and oil that they're very leery about getting into it. With a -- Russia and it and one more thing a lot of Republicans like the talking points with a missile defense system that in Poland Czech Republic Slovakia. That we Obama abandon -- our allies. They didn't want the missile systems. 2 o'clock yet and Poland bolt looked at those defensive. There were -- -- ICBM missile systems they wanted to put that as a provocative. It's provoking Russia. Neither went through one of the missile systems. All right let's let's take it point by point Czechoslovakia was never part of Germany. Ukraine was certainly part of Russia. Well we can take the analogy further and that's. Even if we said it's not a perfect analogy. It's a situation here where in 1991. Crimea voted overwhelmingly. To separate from Russia so that is significant and this was crying Miree crank millions. Voting for what they wanted. So are we a world -- rule out the law has some some bearing. Are are we -- the policeman of the world and we're gonna get involved in every civil war no matter how remote location is only. It's not easy for -- if that's anywhere near not that we wouldn't want to. -- militarily involved in the Ukraine especially when the Europeans are so reluctant to western here people are so reluctant. Because of their dependence on -- Russian -- going to ask so what would what are you trying to say what should we do you said that. Economic sanctions are falling right into Putin's it and what's your experience. You have a lot of complaints but you don't seem to have any answers. I've seen a lot of writing and I'm thinking she would agree with this and that sounds like he probably would too. And that a change in US energy policy include because of the dependency you spoke of change a bit of the situation. Yes I agree with that and also on the question of sanctions. Why not enforce them why not put them into action we know who the players are. We're holding those monies in our bank accounts. We used those banking systems. These are complaints these are I'm just saying step up and -- what we said we would do why because it's in our best interests. You're contradicting yourself you're saying what -- what President Obama was doing was playing right into their hands and are your thing you should really do it. I said you're making sense. Now let me where where where I think and and thanks for your column I hang up because it's a time thing I love what you're saying I like the back and forth debate. I think what she was saying earlier was by saying we would impose sanctions against certain people. They were sending notice about sanctions there were giving them time to move the money. She's saying that sanctions itself would be good the notice of the down the road we're gonna do sanctions is that is a little bit different and I think that's maybe where the two of you disagree. Great called up call anytime loved it Tony in Clarence high. Good -- you arrived that morning get. Am being too great -- he won't actually memorandum was signed in December 1994. Yes I agree it was signed then. Yes and no -- victory parties involved. The US UK and Russia. And I don't have that the full text in front of me basically give up your nukes and we will support sure independence and we will respect their. It is said that while it's that was then we let it. That we expect you're gonna say the territorial. Absentee. Ballots no mechanism to unfortunate in the memo and -- Equity might be so they are not try and why congress. Not signed by president flat site by the primary there are already premier. It wasn't signed by the president on the. -- Yes on the premise that we weren't supposed to go right by just being with -- anyway and boy it's ridiculous. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- OK so what you're saying is the the US is word means absolutely nothing and and that's what you're saying and that's exactly it -- that. They want the guys that portrait gone through as a treaty. And it carried into what we need to bring our. Deanna thome did did did President Clinton signed this thing did Tony Blair I believe it's time sign this thing yes they did sign it but it doesn't have the full weight of treaty because it didn't work through senate approval on the scent that is correct. Does that then bind us to win. Much less than it would if there was a formal. Negotiated treating. In legal term does not just a statement of intent hey we're we're good guys we'd like to help you out here but now as push is coming to shove. Do we have the wiggle room the Tony says we do. I I think we can make the case that we have that the United States that we have no obligation to do anything yes of course. But how does that make us luck. All right. Let's bring in a final call here Chris and Amherst you're on the air. Yes good morning thank you for taking my call. -- written an article this week in the Wall Street Journal and it explained how. -- in the hands Obama break Hillary wants in the terms of economic sanctions. And I've seen the same article and go yeah. The United States. Cannot. They impose economic sanctions because. There are so many American companies. Including Germany there have financial interest in business in Russia. That would be extremely hard. So when we start talking about the economic sanctions. That the caller we get her that your speaker made a very good point we're into related and we are so injury related. With the Russian now with our economic businesses businesses and economic interest in Russia. But could we not then strengthen the ties between the United States. And Russia in terms of business and put the screws to him that strengthening the time yeah. I agree -- we -- -- bar if we should however energy over there. The EU won't be as independent of am dependent on Russia and so -- absolutely. We should want to strengthen the ties -- a business. Standpoint with Russia itself it's in everyone's best interest. Long term. But I don't I don't see. The you recruit -- area. And -- I don't see were corporate America is going to allow the president to impose these sanctions. What to do so much harm to American and. Sanctions are bad politically bottom line is which is -- -- right. But sanctions there are different types of sanctions there are broad economic sanctions and they are targeted sanctions against specific individuals who have been enriched by the -- And that's really what we're talking about here at this stage. We're talking about sanctions and identifying. In fact they're already identified the people who are responsible for this. And the people who are in. Putin's inner circle. And also those who are. The Ukraine in business people who have been enriched by this to the tune of over seventy billion dollars it's a lot of money we're talking closing comments then what happens next what do you want to see happen next -- -- the two different. What happens next continuing escalation because there's literally no response what would I like to see happen. Strong sanctions against individuals who are responsible for the death. Bank accounts frozen assets and also to get Europe on board with this to go in front of the American people and explain. What what the US is doing. All right -- thanks for stopping by great stuff. Attorney -- deer -- she's a business consultant with all sorts of ties over in Ukraine she's been over there as recently as January. And you're even off later today to an event at the Ukraine community center here in the authority active active in the community. Thanks very much coming up next we're gonna talk one more time about Albany -- tough to Meet the Press at twelve noon. State senator George Macy are standing by hits hard line on news radio 930 WB ENN. WB -- 9:30 AM as buffalo as lake effect. After -- accident if you've been hit head on and don't wait to call me. The degree rendered still waiting to call eight -- don't wait call eight with the powerful car accident experience and focus to work review. We can help possibly -- Barnes now don't wait call eight. The buffalo. They've hit head on your -- -- -- the moments after any car crash are critical. Don't -- to call me every day -- attorneys it's only environs are focused on -- accidents or her accident lawyers are available 24/7. -- answered your questions don't wait to call me. 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Read the news online. At WB ENN dot com. It's hard line on news radio 930 WB here and this is Dave -- though. About ten more minutes before we go off to Washington to Meet the Press their topics of course a very similar to what we were just going. Looking at Ukraine looking at sanctions and how it plays out politically for President Obama. I did my take just a quick moment though and bring in state senator George Mason is George thanks for joining us. One of the reasons why -- talk to you -- to get an update on the state budget and the other reason you had a very interesting things to say this week. And an article one of the newspapers. Basically that that from your point of view you'd see a shift in Albany especially with the state senate in regards to medical marijuana gimme an update. Well let me do -- start up -- What what I think myself like Alec is from Western New York senators -- element. Senator race -- still vehemently oppose recreational use of marijuana. I mean that's not what we're going Colorado models of California model Washington State model. Are are not I'm I'm I'm not good public policy. Issues clearly. -- that they really are just legalizing. Marijuana. So -- so you don't see any movement on that front in New York. Now we're talking about is it is real medical marijuana. I mean if you indeed if you had an immediate hit -- -- -- shall we have action should not have talked to parents like Buck Williams here. In Niagara county eight year old son who's. Suffered from severe. Epilepsy is entirely up to sometimes hundreds seizures -- day. You know. You know some people say look anecdotal evidence that these children are helped by but it just. It's it's overwhelming and I haven't sent. I mean some of these people take neutral in the two to Colorado. It used marijuana now to the other problem with this whole argument. We're not talking about the kids smoking marijuana smokers joint that's not talk we're talking about marijuana in in in either. A liquid form or they perform or oil or something like that. That debt to talk about real medical marijuana prescribed by eighty I it light and positions stated you work. You know that's right she -- going. That these parents to me compelling case there are actresses you know doctor Sanjay cooped it it has a 180 this. You know I don't know him personally -- seen. I think he read some stuff -- -- about nineteen -- -- specialty. You know and about it you know what I'd like to see more. Evidence from what it is -- Food and Drug Administration yes I would. But these parents if you if you meet and talk to them they can't wait for the FDA giant Washington bureaucracy to to -- at this and other. Areas this to people who suffer from diseases like. Muscular dystrophy. Multiple sclerosis those such things and then there's also end -- like to -- You know individuals hospice. Whatever I know from personal situation. You know when you're not as intended to be a morphine and more morphine and more more -- -- pain away. You know prediction that the person so disoriented. And had no idea what's going you know. We talked to some of these breast cancer coalition throughout the states and that would not be -- somebody. Who's suffering you know he would like. Is there a sense among those who don't want them. Recreational marijuana. That by opening the door even though these people need it I see that argument. But does it send a message are their senators who say. We can't support medical marijuana. Because it in a little -- says that marijuana is okay and that slippery slope argument comes forward. You know I've heard is the crucial argument since I've been in Albany I've been there it it's probably been used for. Hundred dealerships -- you know what really you know. You know I've heard some time it is certain piece of legislation. If they get past the -- backed up tomorrow the suns still to come up every day and got hope to warmer but. You know it's packed in there and make an argument that people that are opposed to it and you know I respect that argument but I just. Tell me you can't make an argument if you meet these parents if you look at. What. What the result has -- From from these children for people who are suffering. From and that's and and people who are involved in and -- late decision. And again to go back to the idea that things are shifting is sentiment at the point that this is going to be voted on and maybe even approved in the senate where do you see it going. In the next I don't know couple weeks month. You know I see this generation can certainly you know for the rest of this month certainly -- you know we're working on a budget and and and that could be a real priority at this point. But I'll -- I have seen. We -- sentiment shifting with elected officials right here. In in Western New York. You know I -- opinion in in Albany. You know senator skeleton has the senate leaders is that these people senator -- Is actually cosponsored I think one of the bills called compassionate care act. So I do you share appreciation within the Republican conference and again -- stressed and stressed people it's not about recreation use Merrill. About very strictly controls this is this is not even about smoking and how hot -- you know there are extracted you can use it to vapor rising. Two different point goes different different methods medical message that you could use it. The idea of recreational marijuana put it in a political context forming. If you were to vote for that would there be retribution to the very least from the Conservative Party. You know I -- the Conservative Party is is in line with with my thinking I mean I think recreation use marijuana is -- very positive thing. So. It but that's not we're talking about here so I don't see. -- any need for retribution conservative parties -- indicated that the indicated support for medical marijuana I think it's a indicated. That they would did not. Rates it negatively which in their power means that they would not have been negative -- too much supported -- -- tomorrow. But your line in the sand in their line in the sand stops at recreational. Creation she quit going out of Colorado not California it just disingenuous -- is just full legalization. One for any reason whatsoever Mea California. California's problems we even worse -- because they say what they have medical marijuana but -- really. It was the directly. All right give me quick update before we go here on the state budget where our discussions right now. Are -- particular parts of what the governor has proposed. That at least junior chamber of -- mostly senate Republicans. There's a lot of opposition to anything in that budget that is going to be discussed maybe in the next week here. We are clearly -- lines for paid and -- -- state budget for prime -- state budget. It in a row and be revealed early. Certainly we're looking at that eight local school district we've seen some of the problems is that something that -- like these in the senate side. That we are looking at -- governors tax reduction proposal. You know certainly -- protection initiative good thing yet at Albany the governor are focused on that but the governor's plan. -- -- Forcing solemn. Consolidation possibly in the area for consolidation is already taken place. It seems to be awful convoluted plan and it's very difficult to figure out exactly you know I would publish. Want to do it how we want to get to the point recent these rebate checks I think most of the senators and I'm talking to myself as saying you know read it -- if you leave it checked. I don't we what we -- some of these. Some of the mandate burdens -- local governments so that they can in turn lower their cost as opposed to you know send out checks to everybody. So that's that part of it won't fly at least in the senate do you think it'll. It's it's gonna have to be that we change dramatically for the governorship right now you've seen senator -- is go for the sickest children sense I hit me a lot. Pretty strongly against it he generally is making what I thought was -- very good case or what some major changes to that plan. All right George all we have time for thanks for joining this morning good stuff that's state senator George Mason jars of new thing. Now coming up next on Meet the Press they're going to kick around Ukraine they're going to put in a political context have a big discussion about what it means for President Obama all straight ahead on news radio 930 WB and intense. -- NBC news. The longest running health. It's. Sunday morning such a difficult way to begin the program this morning more on the investigation into the mysterious disappearance of that plane and the question.