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tv   The Cycle  MSNBC  July 29, 2014 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT

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area held by the pro-russian separatists. meanwhile, u.s. officials say that ukrainians also fired ballistic missiles at another part of eastern ukraine, again aimed at those pro-russian rebels. the investigators whose job it is to try to establish what happened to mh-17 have not been able to get to that investigative site because of the fighting. at the same time, clearly the president is likely to want to say and to point out that in the u.s. view, russia has fomented this crisis. but the fighting that we're hearing just in the last few minutes just goes to underline how complex the situation is here. >> keir simmons, thank you very much for that. as we wait for the president, let's get to nbc's chris jansing, who's at the white house. >> we're learning he's going to talk about additional u.s. sanctions against russia immediately on the heels of the
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announcement just a short time ago that the european union has agreed to some tough new sanctions. as you know, this has been something that the white house and the president have been pushing for weeks already and that they've been reluctant to do. and the reason simply is the economy, the impact it woufz on the european economy. so what's changed the equation? it was the downing of malaysian air flight 17. it's important to look at the timeline of this to give you some perspective, toure. it was 12 days ago the u.s. unilaterally decided on some additional sanctions, very targeted sanctions, that like the ones we're seeing today. they hope will have maximum impact on russia, minimal impact on the u.s. economy, but then the very next day the downing of that flight began a new impetus for russia, which is far more invested, countries that have much greater interest and hence the reluctance to take some significant action. we know that last night there
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was a video conference call that included world leaders, eu leaders, and the president. in addition to that, a lot of pressure has been put on by dutch officials to his european counterparts because the majority of people killed on that flight were of dutch origin. so what's going on hit? some of the same sectors we've seen before, oil and gas, banking, and also some military supplies. what the united states is going to do right now, all u.s. officials were saying -- and they've been signaling this for the last 24 hours or so s they were trying to do this in coordination with the eu. again, for maximum impact on russia, minimal impact on the economy here. the idea to push vladimir putin, whose economy is already significantly hurting from the sanctions already in place, to back off in the ukraine, toure. >> and that timing would definitely seem to be important. the other piece of news we've received today is the that u.s. is accusing russia of having
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violated a 1980s cold war era treaty that they have test fired cruise missiles. any relationship of the timing of that accusation also with these sanctions and with the ratcheting up of tensions with russia? >> well, i don't think there's any doubt it adds to ut ratch ratcheting up of tensions. the sanctions themselves have been the subject of discussion for some time now. as i said last night, it was the topic of a video conference call. it is worth noting, however, that the president did write directly to vladimir putin about what they see as an egregious violation of this agreement that goes back to the era of ronald reagan and mikel gorbachev. when you take that on top of what's been going on with the lack of access, the continuing lack of access all these days later to the crash site and then of course the ukraine and the announcement we heard from the podium yesterday that we saw
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russian artillery going directly from russia into ukraine, all of that adding up to a ratcheting up of the tensions. but i think it would be fair to say that the main impetus for what's happening today was the downing of flight 17. >> chris, as russia goes more isolated in the global community, it must be harder for the president to even speak to vladimir putin and just to have constructive conversations, which makes the diplomatic effort that much harder. >> well, it isn't as if they had a close and warm relationship before this, but we know that on the day of the downing of flight 17, the president was actually on the phone with vladimir putin, and that conversation back then was characterized as frosty. very difficult conversation with vladimir putin pushing back against these sanctions. and the president basically saying, listen, this is the price you're going to pay for continuing to arm the rebels, for not doing what you have said publicly that you want to do,
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which is to get them to back down. what we've only seen is an escalation of the violence. so the repeated phrase you hear at the white house, toure, is that it's one thing to talk a good game, which they say vladimir putin often does, but in the end it's the actions. they've seen absolutely no actions that would indicate movement on any of these fronts. and in the statement that put out by the eu today, they said exactly the same thing, that the promises that have been made verbally by vladimir putin, nothing has been put behind them. but yes, to say that the relationship is very difficult and that any conversations they have are unpleasant is a fair statement. >> wow. chris jansing, thank you very much for that from the white house. stick with us, please. now we have a dutch television correspondent who joins us from houston, texas. was flight 17's downing a major turning point for the eu's relationship with russia? >> i think so. i think it triggered everything
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that's happening today an has been happening over the past weeks. the dutch have been very frustrated, not getting access to the crash site after they initially were able to withdraw most of the bodies. they have not been able to get to the crash site for three days. i think that adds to a frustration and adds to pressure within the european union. don't forget, those are 28 members, and they all have to agree on this, to put extra pressure on putin and russia. let's say this tragedy at least helps to move something in the right direction for the west. >> well, and the difference between the latest sanctions that we're about to hear from president obama about as the eu is now stepping up to the plate, in some ways more than the united states. we just heard from chris jansing who said, look, there really has not been action change from russia. what is your sense the immediate response will be from vladimir putin and russia on this? do you expect there will be an
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action change from these new sanctions? >> i would think he remains stone cold as he has in the past few weeks. everything you throw at him, he sort of smiles and pushes it back. but it is a game changer. this could be a game changer. if these sanctions hold up, this is big. and for a small country like holland to help put this in motion, of course it's up to the big countries in europe to go along with president obama. you know, italy, germany of course, france, the u.k. but the tragedy in the ukraine, for it to push people over the hill, over into real action with real sector-wide sanctions, that should be something that the russians would have to think about twice. >> and you talk about the lack of access to the crash site. you've also said that what's different for the dutch is they don't have a mccain/graham type of axis of intervention. what do you mean by that and the role that could play in getting access? >> well, i'm from a very small country. netherlands, 16 million people, twice the size of new york city.
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if we get hit with a tragedy like the downing of an airliner, we don't have a john mccain or lindsay graham who immediately goes on television and say, you know what, we're going to send in our marines and secure the crash site. we're going to supply weapons. we're going to supply arms. we're going to deal with this in a military way. we, the dutch, don't have that tradition. we never see generals on tv talking about military options. the netherlands doesn't have a military option. we don't have a 1- 800 marines where you can call up and send in a bunch of american marines to sort of clean up. we wish we sometimes had the american footprint to take care of stuff, but we don't. and it's nice to see that after all the frustration, maybe through the eu, which is always a difficult beast to push in a certain direction, that maybe we can at least do something nonmilitarily but economically, financially in the direction of putin and russia. >> and of course the reason why there was reluctance in the eu to push forward with sanctions against russia and against putin
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was the fact is the eu is much more economically integrated with russia and dependent on russia in the ways that the u.s. is not. is there a lot of fear in holland and across europe about the economic impact that these increased sanctionsi inin inini sanctions could ultimately have on europe? >> oh, yeah. growers of fruit, importers of oil and gas. we're going to get hit. europe is going to get hit. all kinds of sectors are going to get hit because, of course, everybody expects there to be some repercussion, even though the russians are not saying it now. but some repercussions from the russia russians. you can't do this unpunished. the european economy depends on russian oil and gas. that's another thing. we're small, so we have to be smart. we don't have the, yes, john
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mccain, lindsay graham option of going it alone. so we have to do it more, shall we say, complicated, staggered, in cooperation with each other. it always takes more time. it's never as clean cut. but sometimes, maybe today, we'll get there. >> right. and some might say that's actually probably the better approach to foreign policy. what does this -- >> i didn't say that. but -- >> no, i'm saying there are some folks that would make that argument. what does this mean then for the relationship between president obama and vladimir putin? obviously, they spoke the morning the plane was shot down. that was described as not the warmest of conversations. i can't imagine that the new sanctions today are going to lead to a stronger relationship by any means. >> no, it's not going to lead to a stronger relationship. it may put things on the table. okay, here we are. we had this frosty relationship for a while now over the ukraine. you've been pushing it too far, mr. putin. then the downed mh-17 put everything on the line.
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it triggered a real reaction and getting together. we know where we are. we know where they are. it sounds oddly familiar to some sort of cold war rhetoric. that's where we are right now. so it makes things maybe clearer in some way. at least the european union acts as one with america. that would be at least -- that would maybe help the conversation so we're not muddled anymore. but, yes, i hope -- now it's up to the big boys when countries like the netherlands step away to do the real negotiating. >> all right. hold on one second. we're going to come back to you in a moment. let's bring in friend of the show howard fineman as we're waiting for the president. howard, we have multiple foreign policy major crises going on at once. not just ukraine and russia, but also israel and gaza. also, we're talking to iran, syria, the central american situation. the president haz a lot on his foreign policy plate at this time.
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>> yeah, he does, toure. at the white house the other day, i was talking to some people there about what they see as a need to somehow put a framework around all this and have the president explain how these various outbreaks of crisis are related, if they are, and in many cases they are. and what his sort of holistic approach to dealing with this suddenly multilayered chaotic world is. you're certainly not going to hear that kind of thing from him today. he's going to be dealing pretty much with just this one situation vis-a-vis vladimir putin and the ukraine. this obviously isn't what the white house planned for. they weren't looking at this to be the defining sort of shaping series of events of the last 2 1/2 years of his presidency. but i think pretty clearly this is the condition that we're in and the one he's really going to have to deal with, the one that a president of the united states
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is uniquely qualified and responsible for to deal with and responsible for dealing with. so what you're going to hear today, i think, will be one part of a new attempt. i think that the president is going to have to undertake to explain the world as he sees it yet again. reset, if you will, this time. not a reset with russia, but a reset with the american people about what our stance is going to to be in the next few years. he accomplished some of what he promised to do, which is withdraw troops from iraq, to wind down afghanistan. now what? that's the question that's begged by all of these events going on around the world. >> yeah, and howard, specifically on ukraine where we expect any moment the president to come out here and give some live remarks clearly in response to these new sanctions from europe, this is an area where it would seem that events have dictated what diplomacy could not. the u.s. acting alone at times in trying to dial up pressure on
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rsh but not, as krystal was mentioning, of getting the european support because of their dependence. here we're seeing reports on these eu dialed up sanctions against dual-use goods, the kind of materials that can be used peacefully or for weaponry. a ban on any new weapon sales. although, that won't hit some of the french deals for warships that are already in place. and sanctions that could affect the robust oil sector there in russia. how much of this will be a chance for the president to argue that europe is to some degree stepping up to a set of sanctions that he began? >> oh, i think he could and should argue that. i mean, he may as well argue the upside of diplomacy and multilateral action when it really works. and i think this is a case where he's going to say my approach of involving other nations, of using international
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organizations, of not, you know, my way or the highway, not the my way or the highway america but one of partnerships is the one, the proper, sane, and effective approach to take. the problem we've got, obviously, that the world has is vladimir putin is a cunning but desperate rogue at this point. not dealing from a position of strength. and that kind of situation is a dangerous one. you don't want to corner the bear, so to speak. that's kind of what we're slowly inching our way up toward, which is something that actually vladimir putin in his kind of apocalyptic thinking actually wants. >> and as ari's mentioning, howard, and as chris jansing reported, the timing of these increased u.s. sanctions coming alongside the eu sanctions, that timing very important. do you think that will do anything to allay the domestic,
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political criticism we've been hearing that the president isn't on top of these crises. >> well, nothing is going to stop the republicans from saying everything they're saying. >> good point. >> absolutely nothing. so i don't think that's part of the president's calculus, frankly. on this one, he can't worry so much about domestic public opinion. there's a problem. you've got a rogue nation with thousands of nuclear warheads and a sort of power mad and slightly -- and as i say, cunning, but a slightly irrational vladimir putin running the show. this is a danger for the whole world. the president isn't just thinking about the 2014 elections here. i think properly as the president and as the lead over what we would still regard as the world's most indispensable nation, he's got to think of how we can actually calm this guy down, slow this guy down, and
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make him realize that there's more danger for him than for anyone else in the world. how we do that, i'm not, frankly, entirely sure. >> all right, howard. hold on one moment. we're going to come back to you in a moment. let's go back to our dutch television correspondent talking to us from houston. as howard was saying, as many have said, the president is not leading on the global stage as they wish he would. your peoples' quibbles with that aside, the world seems to be without a leader, as is often had in past decades. this is a moment when europe could snatch the reins and lead the world, especially with this russia/ukraine crisis. do you get a sense that europe wants to do that, wants to be in that position, or really does not want to be in that position? >> they usually don't want to do it. american leadership in the past has bred a certain reluctance if not just outright laziness on the european side. like, oh, the americans will in the end save the day.
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they have the equipment, they have the power. they're uniquely placed to do this. that's true. we depend on that, we europeans. this is a time we can use economic or soft power, however you want to call it. it may not be to the liking of the more staunch republicans in america, but at least europe is doing something. i'm not sure they want to do much more. they a they are very tied, in this case, to russia. it's easy for america to say we have to step up our sanctions, but we depend on russia. finally we're doing something. so it should be, you know, cause for small, small, small celebration. >> and not to make this all about us, as we want to do, but under president george w. bush, there was a bit of a strain in the relationship between the u.s. and much of europe, i think it's fair to say. one of the things that we were hoping for when we elected
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barack obama in 2008 was that those relationships would be mended and be more productive. we hear, though, all the time from the right in this country that this president is viewed as weak and feckless around the world. i'm wondering from your perspecti perspective, how do europeans actually view this president and the u.s.'s power and role in the world at this point? >> well, don't forget we like weak and soft. we like a little soft design around the edges. we didn't really understand george w. bush's cowboy boots, so to speak. >> i didn't understand it either. >> we as europeans, we felt, what is this whole smoke them out of their holes, get them dead or alive. we didn't get it. of course, obama is still very popular, although they see that, you know, there are things that he could have done better, et cetera. but he's still very popular just because his sort of even-handed, if you may say, nuanced,
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even-handed approach towards the rest of the world. his world doesn't stop east of maine and west of california. he knows. he's been around the world. he's had a different approach that's just basically texas and i thought it was maybe one trip -- >> looks like we just lost him. howard fineman, i want to bring you back in. you were talking earlier about pressing the reset button, not just with our relationship with russia but in terms of how we handle foreign policy throughout the world. we're about to hear from president obama. here's the thing, howard. i think there are a number of folks that are wondering why we have not yet heard from the president yet about this situation but also on everything that's going on around the world. part of your role as president of the united states is to communicate with the american people about, first of all, what's going on, helping them to better understand it. what our role is, what we're going to do about it, why we care about all of this. why has the president not come out to speak up until this
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point? are they waiting for more information to come out? help me better understand why they've waited so long to communicate. >> i wish i could give you a good explanation, abby. i think it's because of the president's innate caution on these things. i'm talking about everything. his style of leadership was very bold when he chose to run for president. but in a way, it was a no-risk proposition when he challenged hillary clinton back in 2007 and 2008. with governing, everything is a multilayered risk. there are no good choices. the president likes to study very carefully before he lays down his marker, and he tries to be systematic. he literally sits down with a pad and pencil and goes through it, writes a lot of drafts for his speeches. i think he's aware of the fact that there are big things moving, sort of tectonic plates moving around the world now in security matters, in matters of national affairs and what we
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used to call state craft in the existence of all these nonstate actors that are out there, whether they're terrorist groups or international organizations. there's a new shape emerging. we're kind of inform a transition period in the world. it's not clear what the future is going to look like. i think the president's maybe a little hesitant about committing to putting a frame around it all until he understands it intellectually. politically, there's a need for him to do that sooner rather than later. i say he doesn't care that much about 2014, but on the other hand, his job approval ratings are now being weighed down by his handling of foreign policy. those numbers have plummeted in the last several weeks. that's to the extent the american people are look at cable television or reading websites or so forth. they're seeing news of chaos and mayhem and death all around the world. they're seeing iraq. they're seeing afghanistan. they're seeing libya. places where we thought we'd
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solved some problems rearing their heads again. i do think he's got to put a frame around it. i think there are white house people who will understand that. they're just not sure of their ground yet. on one level, i can't blame them. on another political level, they better start talking. >> i think that's great advice. howard fineman, hang tight. chris jansing, i want to jump to you quickly and ask you what i just asked howard fineman. we're just hearing from the president now about the situation in ukraine when there are a number of folks that have been watching things unfold around the world, feeling a bit nervous and unsure about our role in all of this and why we care. howard did not have an explanation to do why we haven't heard from the president. similar to everyone else who doesn't seem to have an explanation, can you help us understand why we haven't yet heard from the president on any of this? >> well, i think the white house would push back on that statement and would say certainly the president has talked about this.
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he certainly talked about it a couple times after the downing of flight 17. i think that he's right about this being a very cautious president. that's the way he does things. what the white house has been signaling for a while is that they felt it was very important since on the day before that night went down, the u.s. did put forth sanctions that in order to be truly effective, they needed to continue to work with the european allies to have something happen. what they have been saying privately and most recently today publicly is that once the eu did this, the u.s. was willing to move forward. but to that whole point of caution, i can tell you that what goes on behind the scenes are a lot of meetings by a lot of people who are steeped very deeply in the u.s., the european, and the russian economy because they are walking that very fine line. how do you really make vladimir putin feel the pain and yet not have a major impact on u.s. businesses? i can tell you that the day of
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the last sanctions, 12 days ago, i spent a lot of time on the phone with business leaders, with a high-ranking official from the u.s. chamber of commerce. they on that day breathed a sigh of relief, as one person pout it to me, we thought it would have been a lot worse. they thought that what the white house had done was to make a statement, to make a statement to vladimir putin, to europe, to push them to go further. yet, they felt that nothing had been done that was going to significantly impact u.s. business and u.s. jobs. so first of all, we're going to watch very closely to see what this new round of sanctions includes and also some more of the details as they roll out on the european sanctions. because you've mentioned the sectors that they affect. also, just looking at the major companies that are europe based but have a huge presence here in the u.s., like bp oil, like deutsch bank, which has also a u.s. presence. those are the kinds of considerations that are being made to the larger point of the
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speaking to the american people, at least what white house officials have been saying is they don't think these series of crises around the world add up to something perhaps unprecedented. the suggestion having been raised a number of times certainly in the press briefing about all the things that have been going on in the world and the uncertainty we're seeing in all these places. >> all right. chris jansing, thank you very much for that. hold tight yourself. we're going to take a quick break and come back with the president talking about the foreign policy crises.
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we're back just moments from the president addressing the nation on the south lawn talking about what's going on vis-a-vis ukraine and russia. we still have chris jansing. i want to go back to howard fineman. i cringe a little bit when folks talk about the president being weak on the international stage and not leading properly. because i feel like that
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analysis doesn't take into account the complexity of the modern world and how there are so many more actors who have so much more power. the world is so much more interconnected. and the united states, no matter who is president, can't control the world in the way that we once used to. and even you might be able to say, well, the amount that we are supposed to have controlled the world in the past is actually not what happened back there. your thoughts on that part of it. >> well, first as a spokesman for back there, i think you're right, toure. i think that our relentless focus on the presidency and the drama of the oval office and so on, sometimes led journalists and historians perhaps to overstate american influence. but after world war ii and really leading up to almost now, certainly to the 9/11 attack,
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right around that time, america's role was undisputed not only because of our economic and military power but because of the fact the world was operating by rules of diplomacy and state craft and war that had kind of been defined for the last couple hundred years. but now as i say, the old methods of state craft and diplomacy and statehood even don't matter as much. i mean, secretary of state in the old days, a john kerry and a president of egypt and the head of the palestine authority perhaps even could sit down and settle things. or the united states could deal with this old soviet union or russia as ronald reagan did with gorbachev and cut a deal. it seems that the nature of power in the world is changing in ways that diplomacy and thinking haven't caught up with. that's a profound thing that i
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think somebody like president obama intuitively understands, but he hasn't yet decided how he wants to explain that to people for the very reason you said, because to a lot of people, it sounds like he's making an excuse. but it's not an excuse. it's the way the world is. we got to deal with it. i think barack obama is actually better positioned to deal with -- to think it through than some other people before him. befo but it may take a saber rattler to explain this new reality to the world. it's almost like a nixon goes to china thing. i'm not sure right now if president obama can do it, although i think intellectually and as a leader, he certainly understands it. that was what his whole campaign was about, really. >> to your point, we're in an era where multilateral institutions are more critical than ever and yet seem woefully short to the task at hand.
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but howard, another piece of this is also the legacy of the last president, the fact that we did go to war in iraq and we did go to war in afghanistan at graes cost in terms of both blood and treasure. and the u.s. public has no interest in getting involved militarily really anywhere at this point so you take any sort of direct intervention off the table. we're in a bit of an isolationist move. so in a way, that also limits our options of what we're able to do and what we're able to project on the international stage. >> well, i agree with that. and i don't know what the answer to that is. you're absolutely right. if you look at all the polls, if you travel the country, you know the people have pretty much had it up to here with this. they don't want to hear about it. the fact it's impinging through our reporting and what they see in the media doesn't make it something that's closer to their hearts. it's something they want to push
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away if they can. i don't know how -- i don't know what the president does with that except for the fact that we've got to figure out where as a nation we're heading from here. and he as the president is the only person that people will still listen to try to explain things. >> thank you, howard. stay with us. we're also going to bring in shane harris a senior staff writer at foreign policy and a fellow at the new american foundation who's been with us before. good day to you. >> hi, how are you doing? >> doing well. as we think about this entire sequence of events, the dialed up pressure here on russia, new sanctions coming out of europe as we await the president's remarks, talk to us a little bit about what it takes for europe to act collectively on economic or military fronts. you think about nato, where ukraine may not be a member but is certainly a part of the archetype of a collective response. you think about the idea of isolating russia here. what else can europe do as these
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sanctions kick in to try to draw a line in the sand so we don't end up having a true military confrontation or war with russia into ukraine? >> well, i'm not sure much more what they can do or what they're really prepared to do at this point. you've seen how difficult it's been for the europeans to come to some consensus on increasing the sanctions. even before the downing of mh-17, there wasn't a lot of movement on that. of course, we recognize and the europeans do too that it's going to hurt them a lot more than it does us to impose these sanctions. i don't think the europeans want anymore than we do to become militarily involved with this situation, nor really could they. and any nato intervaengention t might go on would be led by the united states. >> you think it's not feasible? >> i don't think militarily the europeans can do much here. if there were any kind of nato intervention, that would be an american-led operation by and large. there's no indication at all
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that this administration intends to get militarily involved. in fact, reportedly, the administration has been reluctant to even provide intelligence on the locations of rebel fortifications and weapon systems for fear of looking like we're giving them the road map for how to more forcefully engage with russia. there's some of that intelligence sharing going on, but we're not even willing to fully commit to that. i think that's an indication of where the lines are for us. i think what you're going to hear from the president today is probably as far as he's willing and feels he's able to go right now with these sanctions and still keep europe on board and hold together, you know, this transatlantic alliance and opposition to putin. >> so your sense, shane, is these new sanctions aren't going to do much to change the situation. i want to ask more broadly about the impact of these sanctions because just the threat of new sanctions has the ability to move markets. as you know, we're also globally connected. if this is not going to do much to change the current situation, what will the impact be of everyone else involved?
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>> we're going to have to wait and see on that, i think, and how this bears out. i don't think it's a foregone conclusion it will have no impact at all. it's possible this increase pressure on putin and force him to scale back. i don't think it's terribly likely. but we'll see. to date, it really has obviously done nothing to repel his advances at all. i think what you're going to also hear is more pressure on the administration to start sharing more intelligence and information with ukrainians to help their military advance. i don't think you're going to see weapons sharing, but there has to be more support from the u.s. side. >> again, we are waiting for the president to come out and speak on the foreign policy crisis in ukraine with russia. shane, you raised the albeit remote possibility of some sort of nato intervention, a more
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likely possibility is that as russia is arming the ukrainian separatists, we more directly supply the ukrainian military. is that essentially leading us to a proxy war in ukraine with russia? that seems like a scary proposition. >> i think that's the fear of what it would look like. i think it probably would be that, in fact. that's something the administration has not signaled they're willing to do. there are members of congress who have been calling on the president to give more military aid directly to the ukrainians. he hasn't done that. there's no contemplation at all of a direct military conflict with russia. no one wants that. i don't think the russians want that either. but there are things that we can do perhaps short of that -- >> okay. shane, i'm sorry to disrupt you. we see the president walking out now on the south lawn of the white house to speak on the crisis with russia in the ukraine. we expect him to be announcing some new sanctions.
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that's in coordination with the eu. also announcing new sanctions today. let's take a listen now to what the president has to say. >> good afternoon, everybody. in the netherlands, malaysia, australia, and countries around the world, families are still in shock over the sudden an tragic loss of nearly 300 loved ones. senselessly killed when their civilian airliner was shot down over territory controlled by russia-backed separatists in ukraine. these grieving families and their nations are our friends and our allies. and amid our prayers and our outrage, the united states continues to do everything in our power to help bring home their loved ones, support the international investigation, and make sure justice is done.
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since the shootdown, however, russia and its proxies in ukraine have failed to cooperate with the investigation and to take the opportunity to pursue a diplomatic solution to the conflict in ukraine. these russian-backed separatists have continued to interfere in the crash investigation and tamper with the evidence. they've continued to shootdown ukrainian aircraft in the region. and because of their actions, scores of ukrainian civilians continue to die needlessly every day. meanwhile, russia continues to support the separatists and encourage them and train them and arm them. satellite images along with information we've declassified in recent days show that forces inside russia have launched artillery strikes into ukraine. another major violation of ukraine's sovereignty. and we have information that russia continues to build up its
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own forces near the ukrainian border. and that more russian military equipment, including artillery, armored vehicle, and air defense equipment, has been transferred across the border to these separatists. since the beginning of the crisis in ukraine, the united states has worked to build a strong international coalition to support ukraine, its sovereignty, its territorial integrity, its right to determine its own destiny, and to increase the pressure on russia for actions that have undermined ukraine's sovereignty, territorial integrity, and ability to make its own decisions. the core of that coalition is the united states and our european allies. in recent days, i've continued to coordinate closely with our allies and our partners to ensure a unified response to the shootdown of malaysian airlines flight 17 and russia's continued arming of the separatists.
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i've spoken several times with prime minister rutte of the netherlands and prime minister abbott of australia. yesterday i had a chance to speak with prime minister cameron of the united kingdom, president hollande of france. we are united in our view that the situation in ukraine ought to be resolved diplomatically. we've also made it clear, as i have many times, that if russia continues on its current path, the cost on russia will continue to grow. and today is a reminder that the united states means what it says. we will rally the international community in standing up for the rights and freedom of people around the world. today and building on the measures we announced two weeks ago, the united states is
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imposing new sanctions in key sectors of the russian economy. energy, arms, and finance. we're blocking the exports of specific goods and technologies to the russian energy sector. we're expanding our sanctions to more russian banks and defense companies. and we're formally suspending credit that encourages exports to russia and financing for economic development projects in russia. at the same time, the european union is joining us in imposing major sanctions on russia. its most significant and wide-ranging sanctions to date. in the financial sector, the eshleu is cutting off financing to certain banks. they will stop exporting certain goods to russia, which will make it more difficult for russia to develop its oil resources over the long term. in the defense sector, the eu is prohibiting new arms imports and exports and is halting the
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export of sensitive technology to russia military users. and because we're closely coordinating our actions with europe, the sanctions we're announcing today will have an even bigger bite. now, russia's actions in ukraine and the sanctions that we've already imposed have made a weak russian economy even weaker. foreign investors already are increasingly staying away. even before our actions today, nearly $100 billion in capital was kpexpected to flee russia. russia's sectors are feeling the pain. projections for russian economic growth are down to near zero. the major sanctions we're announcing today will continue to ratchet up the pressure on russia, including the cronies and companies that are supporting russia's illegal actions in ukraine. in other words, today russia is once again isolating itself from the international community,
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setting back decades of genuine progress. and it doesn't have to come to this. it didn't have to come to this. it does not have to be this way. this is a choice that russia and president putin in particular has made. there continues to be a better choice, the choice of de-escalation, the choice of joining the world in a diplomatic solution to this situation, a choice in which russia recognizes that it can be a good neighbor and trading partner with ukraine, even as ukraine is also developing ties with europe and other parts of the world. i'm going to continue to engage president putin as well as president poroshenko and our european partners in pursuit of such a diplomatic solution. but it is important for russia to understand that meanwhile we will continue to support the people of ukraine who have elected a new president, who have deepened their ties with
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europe and the united states, and that the path for a peaceful resolution to this crisis involves recognizing the sovereignty, the territorial integrity, and the independence of the ukrainian people. today the people of ukraine, i hope, are seeing once again that the united states keeps its word. we're going to continue to lead the international community in our support for the ukrainian people and for the peace, the security, and the freedom that they very richly deserve. thanks very much. >> is this a new cold war, sir? >> no, it's not a new cold war. what it is, is a very specific issue related to russia's unwillingness to recognize that ukraine can chart its own path. and i think that if you listen to president poroshenko, if you listen to the ukrainian people, they've consistently said they seek good relations with russia. what they can't accept is russia arming separatists who are
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carrying out terribly destructive activities inside of ukraine, thereby undermining the ability of ukraine to govern itself peacefully. that's something that no country should have to accept. and the sooner that russians recognize that the best chance for them to have influence inside of ukraine is by being good neighbors and maintaining trade and commerce rather than trying to dictate what the ukrainian people can aspire to, rendering ukraine a vasz ill state to russia. the sooner president putin and russia recognize that, the sooner we can resolve this crisis in ways that doesn't result in the tragic loss of life we've seen in eastern ukraine. >> so far sanctions haven't stopped vladimir putin. are sanctions going to be enough? are you considering lethal aid for ukraine? >> keep in mind, the issue at
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this point is not the ukrainian capacity to outfight separatists. they are better armed than the separatists. the issue is how do we prevent bloodshed in eastern ukraine? we're trying to avoid that. and the main tool that we have to influence russian behavior at this point is the impact that it's having on its economy. the fact that we've seen the europeans, who have real legitimate economic concerns in severing certain ties with russia stepping up the way they have today, i think is an indication of both the waning patience europe has of nice words from president putin not matched by actions, but also recognition of consequence of
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what happened with the malaysian airlines flight that it is hard to avoid the spillover of what's happening in the ukraine impacting europeans across the board. so we think that the combination of stronger u.s. and european sanctions is going to have a greater impact on the russian economy than we've seen so far. obviously, we can't in the end make president putin see more clearly. you know, ultimately that's something president putin has to do on his own. what we can do is make sure we've increased the costs for actions that i think are not only destructive to ukraine but ultimately are going to be destructive to russia as well. all right. i got to get going. >> all right. that was the president announcing new sanctions on russia in coordination with our allies in europe.
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also stating emphatically that this is not a new cold war. nbc's chris jansing is still with us. chris, what did you make of the president's comments there? >> well, a what did you make of the president's comments? >> you could certainly feel the chill and it will be interesting to see if he gets a call the last time the u.s. imposed sanctions from vladimir putin. we talked about that a little bit this afternoon, happening on the day of the downing of the jet. it's important to note that he started and put this in the perspective of almost 300 lives that were lost that day and praising essentially the eu for stepping up because what he has been suggesting since that day, is that it would only be through a coordinated effort, that more pressure could be put on vladimir putin and the economy, which is already to some extent feeling the bite of the previous sanctions but obviously not enough it has in any way affected its behavior. in fact, the president with the
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exception of talking about flight 17, making a lot of the same case he did before the plane went down, how russia continues to arm and finance and support the rebels, how it has not done anything to discourage the inkurgs into the eastern ukraine. the same message is out there but now he feels they have a little bit more push behind it. >> chris jansing, thank you for your time. we want to bring back in howard fineman. having just heard the president give those remarks, howard, we heard the president make several points, calling out separatists for tampering with evidence and talking about the ongoing shooting at aircraft, basically saying russia is supporting the separatists in this way that continues to isolate russia. interestingly, you know a lot matters with how the president chooses to take questions. he took this question on, is it a new cold war, a simplistic
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question but gave a nu answered, answer, it is about making russia be accountable and your thoughts on the fact he did take questions and did hear a third question about secretary john kerry's status in israel and declined to answer that and walked away. your take on everything we heard? >> well, first of all, i think this is as tough as the president could be rhetorically and substantively at this moment and have the europeans with him. he did nudge them along to some perhaps significant measures. i think the most significant one has to do with new energy technology to russia. what vladimir putin is trying to do, flip the script. everybody thought that extending economic ties to russia would make russia one of many in the community of peaceful nations.
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it didn't turn out that way. as a matter of fact, putin is using the threat of cutting off economic ties specifically energy, as a way to threaten the western europe. and the fact that western europe is willing to fight back at least a little bit is significant. so i think those things are important but i would also say that the administration is trying to put political pressure on putin. domestic political pressure on putin. if the united states were to get involved militarily, it would be curtains for any deal. the one thing the russian people understand the idea of an military offensive against them. they spent sentd turryes fighting those off. to get in the role of a germany or france would be deadly for public opinion and would allow putin to rally the russian people behind him. by slowly rach eting up the check pressure, i think what the
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administration is trying to do and europeans are hoping to do, put political domestic pressure on putin. to tank the economy and have vladimir putin take the blame. that's the idea here. mr. that will work, who knows? putin in some respects has an iron grip on russia and shut down the media and independent politics and the russians had a taste of independence and had a taste of freedom of expression. there's a bet that having remembered that, he is speshlgly younger generation, which is facing hard economic ties after a few years of pros speperity m turn the anger on putin. that's the bet here to put political pressure to the man facing down the president right now. >> shane harris, if you heard any sanctions, anything new that could make a significant difference in the situation, i wonder if the banking sanctions
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that both america and the eu will be levying against russia hoping to strangle the russian economy will make a big difference in your mind? >> they might. these are sectoral sanctions hitting russia in two key pressure points and you heard the president say there's going to be bite. he's really trying to say, look this is going to be a rach eting up and hurt them. what you're also hearing hem try to emphasize, he's being true to his word. after the shootdown of the plane, unless putin takes the opportunity to find a peaceful solution to the conflict in ukraine, there would be punishment and putin would suffer. he talked about this being the tool we have to influence them. it's a big bet for the administration. if this doesn't work and sanctions don't have. bite that the president has said they will, where does he go next? i don't know there's going to be more appetite for more sanctions and idea of military intervention as we said is practically off the table.
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>> and it will take time to see if sanctions do in fact have the bite that the president and we are hoping that they will have. shane harris, howard fineman, thank you so much for helping us figure that out. >> that does it for "the cycle" after the break it is "now" with alex wagner. defiance is in our bones. defiance never grows old. citracal maximum. easily absorbed calcium plus d. beauty is bone deep. the cadillac summer collection is here. ♪ ♪ during the cadillac summer's best event, lease this all new 2014 cts for around $459 a month
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president obama pro claims the united states means what it says and announces further sanctions on russia. it is tuesday, july 29th, and this is "now." >> no, it's not a new cold war. what it is is a very specific
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issue related to russia's unwillingness to recognize that ukraine can chart its own path. we can't in the end make president putin see more clearly you know, ultimately that's something president putin has to do on his own. but what we can do is make sure we've increased the costs for actions i think are not only destructive to ukraine but ultimately will be destructive to russia as well. >> moments ago, president obama announced the latest round of economic sanctions against russia in response to its egs escalating military involvement in ukraine. >> the cost on russia will continue to grow. today is a reminder that the united states means what it says. today and building on the measures we announced two weeks ago, the united states is imposing new


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