July 25th, 2014
01:55 PM ET

Clinton: Putin 'disabused' us over reset hopes

Fareed Zakaria speaks with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about U.S. relations with Russia. Watch the full interview on "Fareed Zakaria GPS," this Sunday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN

You say in your book that you felt – and you've said in interviews subsequently – that the reset with Russia worked because you got a new strategic arms treaty out of it, you got the Russians to agree to sanctions on Iran. Why do you think that it stopped working? What changed?

Well, I thought a lot about that, because I was among the most skeptical of Putin during the time that I was there, in part because I thought he had never given up on his vision of bringing Mother Russia back to the forefront. Not by looking at what Russia could do to be a modern nation, but by looking to the past, and especially trying to control their borders from Central Asia to the Baltics.

So when he announced in the fall of 2011 that he would be changing positions with Medvedev, I knew that he would be more difficult to deal with. He had been always the power behind Medvedev, but he had given Medvedev a lot of independence to do exactly what you said and make the reset a success.

I saw that firsthand with respect to the primary elections in Russia, because they were filled with irregularities and Russian people poured out in the streets to protest. And I, as Secretary of State, said the Russians deserve better. They deserved elections that reflected their will.

Putin attacked me personally because he is very worried about any kind of internal dissent. He wanted to clamp down on any opposition within Russia and he wanted to provide more influence and even intimidation on his borders.

And I certainly made my views known in meetings, as well as in memos to the president. I think that what may have happened is that both the United States and Europe were really hoping for the best from Putin as a returned president. And I think we've been quickly, unfortunately, disabused of those hopes.

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Topics: GPS Show • Russia

soundoff (68 Responses)
  1. chri§§y

    @ Daffy, youre wrong! Nothing about the party system "eludes" @ Joey! He is more intelligent than most who post here!!!!!

    July 27, 2014 at 6:17 am |
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

      @ chrissy:
      Thank you, if you were referring to me, and if you meant My Troll, I thank you on his behalf.
      I missed @ Duffy's comment, and I can't retrieve it. Whatever @ Duffy said, I can offer this sound advice about a "party system:" a successful party is entirely dependent on a carefully considered guest list. The food served is of little consequence. Sometimes, we just give them whiskey and peanuts.
      A nice touch: invitations from Tiffany & Co., but finish the details in italic script. Not cursive.

      July 27, 2014 at 9:24 am |
  2. chri§§y

    Lol @ Joey...no i did NOT mean your troll. I was talking about you. And @ Daffys post that i was responding to was immediately prior to mine. This is what was said "obviously the complexities of the party system eludes you. The voters do not choose which candidates the party field. They only choose between a handful of options presented to them. This is no different than the elections in Stalin's time."

    July 27, 2014 at 10:04 am |
  3. chri§§y

    Lol @ Joey, your very welcome my dear....but i only spoke the truth.

    July 27, 2014 at 10:55 am |
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

      @ chrissy, I don't understand why my views regarding Russian voting would have been discussed.
      I commented on USA citizens who choose not to vote.
      I did not enter a discussion of Russian politics anytime recently.
      My strongest impression of the voting of Russians concerns firing guns at a Czar and his family, and the wearing of fine alexandrite.

      July 27, 2014 at 11:15 am |
  4. chri§§y

    Lol @ Joey i know that dear. It was just someone who wanted to pick at your post (probably you hijacker and/or the resident troll) I wouldnt worry about it sweetie. In my opinion they were jealous!

    July 27, 2014 at 4:22 pm |
  5. chri§§y

    Sorry @ zakariajoker but you are mistaken! Hillary's take on foreign affairs is EXACTLY what we need! Plus shes tough! I like Prez Obama but he isnt tough enough. Hillary is tough enough that she wont let congress walk all over her. And i think everyone will agree she has alot more common sense then GWB!

    July 27, 2014 at 4:54 pm |
  6. Ken

    So now Hillary is tough on Putin. Now she claims to be skeptical. Now she is spouting more BS because her book tour is a failure.

    July 27, 2014 at 5:11 pm |
  7. chri§§y

    Lol @ Ken. Guess you better do some more checking! She has ALWAYS been skeptical of Putin and has been pretty verbal about it also.

    July 27, 2014 at 5:38 pm |
  8. The GOP Solution

    The GOP Prayer/Mantra/Solution: Dear God...With your loving kindness, help us to turn all the Old, Sick, Poor, Non-white, Non-christian, Female, and Gay people into slaves. Then, with your guidance and compassion, we will whip them until they are Young, Healthy, Rich, White, Christian, Male, and Straight. Or until they are dead. God...Grant us the knowledge to then turn them into Soylent Green to feed the military during the next "unfunded/off-the-books" war. God...Give us the strength during our speeches to repeatedly yell........TAX CUTS FOR THE RICH!!!..........and........GET RID OF SS AND MEDICARE!!!
    In your name we prey (purposely misspelled, or is it?)........Amen

    July 27, 2014 at 11:11 pm |
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