February 22nd, 2014
02:02 AM ET

Brzezinski: U.S. has to talk turkey to Putin

Fareed speaks with former U.S. National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski about the unrest in Ukraine and the deal between the government and protesters. 

Do you think that there’s a possibility here for a compromise solution – that the parties seem to be willing to share power in some way, and that that is essential?

Well, that’s absolutely essential.  Now, that's why unification among the political forces is so important.  A symbol of unity has to emerge.

But second, there are two things that are also very much important.  The EU has to step forward and not just offer slogans and long range invitations, it has to offer some cash, because Ukraine is on the back of economic collapse, literally.

And if Putin comes back and says go with me and I'll give you lots of cash, and we don't offer anything from the West, a lot of Ukrainians will say, well, we have to eat. We have to eat. We have to have jobs.

And the third thing which is needed is we, the United States, we have to talk turkey to the Russians. We have to talk turkey to Putin and say to him, look, this is a critical moment. Don't reignite the cold war because the Ukrainians are willing to be your friends, but they're not willing to be your serfs.

And they value their independence. We're not trying to suck them away from you. We are prepared to settle for status for Ukraine which enters the West gradually, is open to Europe, more or less like that of Finland. That is to say, a country which is very European but not a threat militarily or politically to Russia.

I think these three points have to be borne in mind as we now enter this very critical phase in this new arrangement, which could break down any moment.

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Topics: GPS Show • Ukraine

soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Jeff

    This President needs to start doing what he was elected to do, that is protecting American interests around the world. This President shoud immediately let NATO and the EU know that the Ukraine Republic should become members of these organizations.

    February 22, 2014 at 2:06 am |
    • Joseph McCarthy

      There's an old Irish saying Jeff, "That if you shake hands with the Devil, you may not get it back". Is this to mean that the Ukrainians need to shake hands with the proverbial Devil(the Devil being both the EU and NATO)? Besides, don't you think that the right-wing thugs in Washington already have far too much power as it is? Of course they do as anyone with half a brain knows!

      February 22, 2014 at 9:46 am |
      • j. von hettlingen

        Who is the devil? Europeans or Russians?
        If pro-European Ukrainians want to be part of us, we welcome them with open arms. They had been part of Europe and their future lies in Europe.

        February 23, 2014 at 4:24 pm |
      • j. von hettlingen

        What is important for the near future is to shake off the oligarchic mentality and focus on equality and inclusiveness, if the country wants to survive the crisis in one piece.

        February 23, 2014 at 4:29 pm |
      • Joseph McCarthy

        Did you study up on recent Chinese history, especially during the last half of the 19th century, j. von hettlingen? If you did, then you'll know who the Devil is that I'm talking about and it's not the Russians!

        February 24, 2014 at 12:41 pm |
      • ITALIA, EU

        Don´t study Chinese history! USA shook hands with the Devil (Chinese, S.Koreans, ...) and is creating problems with the world. We in Europe will not allow that our NATO member USA plays it with Asians against Europe (NATO members).

        February 26, 2014 at 3:14 am |
      • Milan Jovanovic

        Joseph I dont know you, I live on the other side of Europe, my native lanuage isnt english, but I can totally agree with you.

        March 2, 2014 at 9:04 am |
    • friendsofindia

      How wonderful that America is going to invade Ukraine, and start talking turkey with Russia, the only large country that can ever rival India. As the world's greatest democracy and its only super duper power, India should join the US in this invasion, for this is the only chance that the invasion can ever succeed.

      On the one hand, the US has plenty of experience of invading other countries, with the skills honed in the invasion of Panama, Greennada, Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan, that India lacks. On the other, India has resources and ways and means to manage large dalit populations. We can send 100 million of our dalit armies, that completely overwhelm all the population in Ukraine. We can make all the Ukraine girls to be married to our dalit soldiers, that will instantly solve our problem of too few girls, and at the same time all the next generation of them will be our content India dalits instead of Russians who are constantly a pain on America's butt. As for the rest of the Ukrain men, they will either all be vaporized in their unholy and futile so called resistance, or that they can all migrate to Russia to co-habit with their fellow Slaves.

      This will completely change the geostrategic situation, it will make India the strongest nation in the world, and enhancing our world's greatest and largest and duperest super power status. And in fact, that should turn it around immediately to make the USA our vassal state because of our immediate control of Ukrain oil and gas and our chokehold on the Russian land mass.

      Submit to your fate under our Hindu Colossus, beg our 5 rupee meal middle classes, bow to our super powers.

      Pray for India. Jai Hind!

      February 22, 2014 at 10:24 pm |
      • Shirley Adams

        What are you talking about? the USA isn't going to invade Ukraine and I don't know where you got that foolish claim. Stop it.

        March 2, 2014 at 2:45 pm |
    • Gonzomann

      If Ucrainie gets into NATO, Spain, and probably others, will leave . I'll be on the streets demanding just that.
      I'm not going to fight against Russia for the "freedom" of Crimea, wich curiously seems to wants to be part of Russia.
      You can go alone
      Best luck

      March 6, 2014 at 5:19 am |
  2. Symbol of Unity

    Live by the government, and die by the government.

    February 22, 2014 at 9:34 am |
  3. JAL

    Putin wants to see a strong global economy too. Why would China be so allied with Russia, if otherwise? The global economy needs to get moving and I think it is starting too. Where are we with the US unemployment rate?

    February 22, 2014 at 9:40 am |
    • Joseph McCarthy

      What the world needs to do is to de-globalize economically because if one country falls into a depression, it tends to take others down with it. Besides, globalization is putting too much power into the hands of the very few!

      February 22, 2014 at 9:50 am |
  4. Danro

    My great fear is that this wont be settled like Finland was. Instead it will turn out like Transdnestr or Abkhazia or South Ossetia. Firstly, Putin will not give up. Secondly and most importantly Yanukovich is the one to watch here more so than anybody else. He gained the most by being president and that was access to money. His family and he have made so much money from corruption that he cannot possibly give up and retire. Last I read he went to the eastern part of Ukraine. That is the Russian dominant part and that part that supported him the most. The end game I see playing out is that he will say that the new government in Kiev is illegal, coup, etc. and I think he will end up declaring some kind of independence for the Russian part of Ukraine including the Crimea. Of course already there was talk in Lviv about breaking away to join the west but I don't think it will be the west of Ukrain to secede, but the east. And of course as happened in Georgia, Putin will use it as a humanitarian excuse to bring that part of Ukraine into his sphere of influence. So thats what I see playing out in the next months. Ukrain proper, democratic and hopefully supported by the EU and the the east unofficially and unrecognized by the rest of the world going the way of Abkhazia.

    February 22, 2014 at 10:13 am |
  5. Allan Kinsman

    A global economy which is open and free trade would be a great idea. But the current model is a boon for the corporate mindset reducing it's labor costs. It would seem the Ukranian people feel differently about their future. Putin seems to want a block of countries to support his perspective, and this is a surprise. Governments have been and are irresponsible. They are spending the future of it's peoples through the failed management both in budget and policy of their monies. All current democracies in the world are failing to produce a sound future. The underlying structure and direction of America is creating a disturbing future through an open market purchasing a congress which seems to be open for the business of favors. Lord Actin coined the phrase "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely". Human beings want to live their lives pursuing their happiness and their childrens. We have to reason to succeed and we must keep these politicians in their place of a balanced approach to a government which finds a system which promotes an ideal world without the waste of the present paradigm.

    February 22, 2014 at 11:09 am |
  6. Frank Feinberg

    Zig, just like talking turkey to Iran in 1979?

    February 22, 2014 at 1:41 pm |
  7. joe anon 1

    russia should introduce Z to polonium.

    the u.s. ignited the new cold war and the many current hot wars and the ukraine crisis.

    americans need to eat too,but wars are way more important.


    national security/greed/plunder for the 1-3% comes first before peace and prosperity.

    February 22, 2014 at 1:52 pm |
  8. Quinton

    Maybe introducing martial law into Ukraine could be a good idea since the West succeded only too well in stiring up trouble there. That's what Polish Gen. Wojcek Jaruzelski did in his country back in 1981 and thus avoiding a horrific bloodbath and eventually led that country to become a democracy. This, the West never talks about!

    February 22, 2014 at 3:34 pm |
  9. Matt

    I take it as a personal insult, always treating the little man. If you touch them before they get the bomb Russia will attack, by the way we are going to give Assad S-300, Iskanders, fixed wing write a ticket. No worries, Ukraine, Sochi. Please. On the trigger. I told told you direct you put me up the chimney, I will put you up the chimney. There is no lines just chimneys. How's it hanging in Syria.

    February 24, 2014 at 5:45 am |
  10. Jerry Okamura

    When you threaten someone, that someone has to believe the threat is real, or it won't work. If the US tells Putin, you don't want to restart the cold war, the relevant question is) do we really mean it

    February 24, 2014 at 3:47 pm |
  11. Jon Champs

    Brezinski always has a knack for seeing things clearly. Obama has to make Russia see this is not an acceptable way to behave. The threat of the use of force when none has been so far used by either side is a simple, direct cards on the table stand that cannot be accepted. We may not be able to stop it but the consequences of doing it have to be seen. I feel otherwise we have the Rhineland in 1936 all over again, one last chance to stop Putin and make him see we cannot be shoved about for no cost. If we fail to make him and his oligarchy pay more of this will happen in the coming years.

    March 3, 2014 at 12:12 pm |
    • Gonzomann

      "Obama has to make Russia see this is not an acceptable way to behave"
      MAybe Putin should kill 4000 ucranians who he designates as "terrorists" with drones. I supposse that's acceptable.

      March 6, 2014 at 5:22 am |
  12. Paul

    Russia has the most to lose. Corruption at the top. don't want the corruption to stop. Focus attention away from itself and voila corrupt some where else.

    March 12, 2014 at 7:20 pm |
  13. Joanne

    "Ukraine which enters the West gradually, is open to Europe, more or less like that of Finland. That is to say, a country which is very European but not a threat militarily or politically to Russia."

    Also intellligent but but at that time but at that time were opposing ideologies now is the exploitation of the wealth, rather saying, the money. Sorry, no offense, I know that Zbigniew Brzezinski is the opponent of Kissinger but Kissinger has better visions to this case

    March 14, 2014 at 8:29 pm |

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