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Виступ З. Бжезіньського на форумі "Громадське суспільство"

05/05/2003 | Костя Порох
... або, "про що не казав Свистович", :)

Для мене особливо цікавим виявилися останні абзаци про Росію і ті шалені труднощі, які вона переживає. ЯК Я І КАЗАВ, :) , і як Бжезік це підтвердив, основні проблеми Раши не у відносинах у Україною чи ЄС, в демографічній кризі, і в наслідках цього.

Я не розумію стратегії (на 100 чи 200 років) Росії, і не впевнений чи її розуміють спеціалісти центра Разумкова, наприклад, чи ("проросійського") Інституту рос укр відновин. Дискусії точаться навколо того, якою великою нафто державою є Росія, що взагалі не дуже важливе! Передруки Кореспондента з російських міні видань типу НГ теж не додають розуміння.

В Росії побудована Москво центрична система стосунків. Проблеми регіонів Росії не досліджуються, але вони насправді є стратегічними для Уркаїни! Чому?

Тому що якщо Росія оговтається від дурного імперського націоналізму і розробить стратегію, українці можуть відіграти ключову роль у відбудові Росії, зі всіма витікаючими вигодами, від торгівлі до розселення до розповсюдження української мови і цінностей. Друга 100 мільйонна Україна на Далекому Сході фантастика, але не нереальна. Це повинно було стати програмою "славянофільських" груп, а не ідіотський "захист рос язика" серед українців.

"...And so, without further due -- here it is!"

З повагою,
Костя Порох.

Johnson's Russia List #7150
22 April 2003
A CDI Project, www.cdi.org/


Elliott School of International Affairs,
The George Washington University
Washington, D.C.
Monday, April 7, 2003

Transcript by: Federal News Service
Washington, D.C.

Well, our speaker, Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski, I don't need a long introduction since you all are familiar with all he has done. And of course he's most well known for his work as national security advisor and then his tremendous influence on American foreign policy since he served as national security advisor. But particularly since we are at a university, at an academic institution -- and since some of our younger students may not realize this -- I have to also add that in addition to the extraordinary career he has had in the world of policy, he had an extraordinary career in the world of academia. And the works that he produced as a scholar, including the very massive and incredibly detailed work, "The Soviet Bloc," are really extraordinarily influential in the scholarly world, and so as an academic it's also a great pleasure to be able to introduce him here. He's been just an extraordinary voice for freedom, for human rights, for all the things that we are discussing here at this conference, and it's just a great privilege and a pleasure to welcome him to the George Washington University. (Applause.)

DR. ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI: Mr. Chairman and ladies and gentlemen, first of all, thank you for that very generous introduction. [...]

In a nutshell - but not as a keynote - in a nutshell, and oversimplifying, I would say it [America's attitude toward Ukraine] has evolved from ignorance through arrogance to perseverance. It is not such a long time ago when, if I were addressing an American audience of this size and if I was speaking of the Soviet Union, everyone in the room would have assumed that I speak of Russia and that Russia is the Soviet Union. Even slightly more than a decade ago, the predominant American perception of the Soviet Union was that it is a nation state and that it is essentially Russia, and that Russia is the Soviet Union.

When I was in the White House I proposed to the president the formation of what is called an interagency group, a group of officials from different departments, to develop policies addressed to the national problems of the Soviet Union. I was convinced that the national problems of the Soviet Union were the Achilles' heel of the Soviet Union. The State Department protested in writing, saying that there is no national problem in the Soviet Union because there is now a Soviet nation. The president approved the proposal, the interagency group was established, and one of its products was the development of an action program designed to assist national movements within the Soviet Union, a program which was very elegantly called "a program for the delegitimization of the Soviet System."

Slightly more than a decade ago, the citizens of Kiev, assembled in one of its major squares, were publicly warned to beware of excessive nationalism, at a time when the Soviet Union was falling apart. Within the last decade, there was still considerable doubt as to whether the Ukrainian people feel themselves to be truly European. There were predictions that Ukraine would split in half between Eastern and Western Ukraine. All of that, in my view, reflected a very fundamental ignorance about Ukraine's history and its national identity, an ignorance which fortunately has very much faded in the course of the last two years.

But it has been followed at times with a rather arrogant attitude towards the newly independent Ukraine. I have read many analyses to the effect that Ukraine is an economic basket case. These analyses were written at a time when a very close neighbor of Ukraine was very much a petro state. We were told repeatedly that Ukraine is unusually corrupt, and the question of course necessarily had to arise, corrupt as compared to whom? One would not necessarily even have to mention any city close to Kiev; one could mention some cities very far from Kiev, including some on this continent where corruption also politically manifests itself.

There has also been a tendency to politically ostracize Ukraine for shortcomings which, in the case of analogous shortcomings elsewhere, did not lead to similar ostracism. There is no doubt that from a moral point of view, the killing of an individual or the sale of arms to a criminal state are troubling developments, but are they different, for example, from mass killings in Chechnya or from export of arms, also to a criminal state, from that source? Fortunately, that phase too is gradually fading, and it is giving way to increasingly dominant indications that there is perseverance in the development of America's relationship with Ukraine.

My sense is that there is growing awareness within the American elite, within the American government, and more vaguely in the American public that Ukraine has been successful in overcoming enormous historical handicaps that it confronted when it became independent. And like its post-communist neighbors to the west, Ukraine has not had an independent state in effect since Kievan Rus, except for a very brief period in the late nineteen-teens and the early twenties. Not only did it not have an independent state, but much of its intellectual elite was physically decimated in the course of this century. Nonetheless, a state has emerged and a state has consolidated itself, and a state today exists that functions as an independent state.

One of the most critical accomplishments in that respect was the prompt nationalization of the Soviet army stationed on Ukrainian territory. The full history - the dramatic history of how that occurred, in essence in just a few weeks, has not yet been written, but that was absolutely essential to the emergence - to the survival and emergence of a state. Some scholar ought to undertake an interview project with the key players - several key officials, some senior officers who played a truly historic role in the course of a very concentrated period of time in very dramatic circumstances. Moreover, it is quite evident that national unity has been preserved and preserved successfully, transcending linguistic differences, the importance of which was often politically exaggerated.

We know now that about eight million Ukrainians consider themselves to be Russians by nationality, a much smaller number than previously assumed, but even then there is no ethnic conflict between the Ukrainians and the Russians. Crimea, despite enormous tensions, has avoided serious ethnic conflicts. Moreover, in terms of foreign policy, despite some zigzags in the course of the last several years, the general trend is towards the West. That process has become clearer in the course of the last year or so. The multi-vector policy, which was proclaimed earlier, in fact no longer has any meaning because the direction of history is indeed towards the West. And that is possible because among the Ukrainian people there is no nostalgia for empire because they were never in charge of that empire. And there is certainly no desire just to be a part of an empire.

All of that, in my view, creates a situation which involves genuine preconditions for significant change in the course of the not-too-distant future. To me the question is not so much whether that sense of direction will be continued but rather whether it will be slow or more rapid. Within the top leadership, within some vested interests, there is still lingering ambivalence. Among the younger generation I sense a very significant shift and almost an ultimaticity of identification with the West. And on a very superficial level - very superficial - one sees the increasing commonality between Ukrainians and the West. Ten years ago I would have had no difficulty identifying Ukrainians in this room. Today I can't really tell who are Americans and who are Ukrainians. And that would be true also of Germans or Poles or French. Ukraine naturally, by history, by culture, is European; it is not Eurasian. And that makes for a fundamental difference. And that has implications also for what we do.

After the end of the Cold War and the defeat of the Soviet Union, the first phase was the strategic enlargement of NATO. The inclusion of Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary was a strategically significant step taken immediately in the wake of the victory in the Cold War. It had strategic significance vis-à-vis a Russia that was changing but still problematical. The second phase was the political enlargement of Europe through NATO. The admission of the seven to NATO defines the new political frontiers of Europe because it's going to be accompanied also by the enlargement of the European Union. The next phase after that is going to be the historic enlargement of Europe through NATO and the European Union. And obviously, in that third phase, Ukraine has to be an object of serious commitment on the part of the West.

As I said earlier, I have no doubt that this is the direction in which history is marching, both from here and from Kiev. The real issue for us is with what rapidity can the obstacles be overcome? Creation of an enduring civil society, an established, well working democracy is one of the critical preconditions for participation in the larger Europe, in the Atlantic community, in the democratic world. The people that I see here tonight are engaged in that enterprise and I feel myself very much committed to it as well.

Thank you for your attention. (Applause.)

MR. GOLDGEIER: Dr. Brzezinski has graciously agreed to take a couple of questions. I was wondering if we had any Muskie Scholars or GW graduate students who had a question. We would like to - I would like to have the first question come from one of our younger scholars.

Q: Thank you. We're definitely flattered and just knocked down with this opportunity. And I'm really sorry that I didn't bring the Ukrainian version of Grand Chessboard with me. (Chuckles.) My name is Serhiy Kostyuk. I'm a Muskie Scholar from Ukraine at Georgia State University, Atlanta. On behalf of our Muskie family, I'd like to thank you to George Washington University, to the United States Department of State, to Dr. Brzezinski, to all Americans for inviting us to this country. And we're very proud -- and myself I am very proud that all of my friends, we're going back home to Ukraine. (Applause.) I'm curious, Dr. Brzezinski, have you ever traveled to Russia and delivered a speech to a Russian audience, and what's their reaction to your pro-Ukrainian policy? It would be nice to hear. Thank you.

DR. BRZEZINSKI: I've traveled many times to the Soviet Union, probably the first time before you were born -- (laughter) -- and my travel to the Soviet Union included travel to Russia. In more recent times I have been asked by some Russian friends as to what are the sources of my Ukrainian deviation -- (laughter) -- and I have told them that it comes out of my love for Russia. (Laughter, applause.) I have said to them - and I'm serious, actually - that Russia will never be free if it is an imperial state. It will never be part of Europe if it is an imperial state. It cannot take to Europe its imperial baggage, whether it be in Ukraine or in Chechnya.

And I have often said also to my American friends that if we want a good relationship with Russia and if we want Russia to be part of the West, we have to make sure that it is discouraged from any imperial nostalgia. And therefore, the earliest feasible, practical entry of Ukraine into NATO, into the European Union, is actually an act of friendship towards Russia as well.

Q: My name is Lana Sedritskaya and I'm a graduate student in the class of geopolitics of Ukraine here, and I have a question for you. You've talked about Ukraine's foreign policy orientation -

DR. BRZEZINSKI: Could you speak just a little slower? (Laughter.)

Q: Sorry, I'm a little nervous. You've talked about Ukraine's foreign policy orientation towards the West. How does Ukraine's presidency of CIS affect its foreign policy orientation today?

DR. BRZEZINSKI: Well, you know, in a way, the answer to that is somewhat dialectical. (Laughter.) The symbolism is not attractive, but the reality is not threatening. First of all, to have a non-Russian as a chairman of the CIS, a president of another country, emphasizes the fact that the existence of that other country and then others later on, is legitimate. In general, if you have normalization of relations between Russia and Ukraine, demarcation of borders, legally binding agreements regarding the Russian presence in Sevastopol, you are de facto legitimizing and consolidating the separate statehood of Ukraine.

Q: Could it just be a ploy to bring Ukraine towards Russia and away from the West?

DR. BRZEZINSKI: Well, but what does that mean? You know, how can Ukraine be moved towards Russia? What does that mean in practice other than, for example, increased Russian participation in ownership of some Ukrainian resources? That, as of itself, might be occasionally difficult, but it's not decisive for the existence of the Ukrainian state.

Yet Russia faces truly enormous internal problems. It is facing a demographic catastrophe. It is undergoing de-industrialization, which is obscured only by the fact that it is a petro state. Its population is shifting from the east to the center of Russia because Russia can no longer subsidize the population in the far east. To the east of Russia there is now a state with a population nine times that of Russia and an economy six times that of Russia. To the west of Russia, and to the west of Ukraine, there is emerging an economic entity that is beginning to acquire political identity. For Ukraine, normalization of relations with Russia makes sense, and movement towards Russia in any serious fashion makes no practical sense whatsoever.

So in that sense I don't think there really is a choice. There may be some misguided individuals, very often connected with somewhat dogmatic parties, that have some nostalgia of that sort, but by and large, one might almost make the hazardous statement that anyone whose IQ is above average doesn't entertain that point of view. (Laughter.)

Thank you very much. Good night.

MR. GOLDGEIER: I'd just like to say again thank you to Dr. Brzezinski for joining us. Thanks to all of you for joining us this evening. [...]


  • 2003.05.05 | VENED

    Re: Виступ З. Бжезіньського на форумі "Громадське суспільство"

    У Бжезинского граница между Евопой и Азией проходит даже не по Уралу, как при древних греках, а по западной границе России. То что ему европейская цивилизация плиже роднее и понятней, чем японская, китайская, индийская, это понятно и логично. Но обратим внимание - как расширяется Европа, например в спорте. - Израиль уже во всех видах спорта включен в еврозону, в фигурном катании в Европу включают Узбекистан и Казахстан.... А если Сингапур хорошо попросит, то наверно и его в евроспорт включат. И получается географически Европа от Атлантики до Урала, геополитически от атлантики до России, не включая ее, а вот в спорте Европа расширяется со скоростью третьего рейха

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