Putin, Kyiv, Sean Penn discussed on Monocle 24: The Globalist
Actually, despite all the sound and fury, if what we see now is the worst that happens, I think actually Kyiv and the west will be really quite happy, not just simply because they've averted a full scale war, but also in some ways it makes things much more clear that in fact, from the first these Donbass eudo states have been covert Russian protectorates. Well, now they're just becoming overt Russian protectorates. The Minsk process was always dead. As I said, it's kind of clears the area of some of the nonsense and the downright disinformation that we've seen in the past. Vlad, I wonder what Ukraine will do next and how prepared it is for war. Are they prepared? They've spent the last months saying to me, Americans don't know nothing to see here, where we should watch the situation carefully, but there's too much hysteria in the air. That was good because they were economic effects. And hysteria is unnecessary. But it is the fact that there was no emergency situation. Last night, the reservists or a couple of hours ago reservists were not called up. There are no roadblocks, there are no, there are no security measures here in the capital. It's very difficult to say if the Ukrainians are taking the situation seriously enough. So alarmism is bad, and will cause a bank run on the cause all sorts of unpleasant things to happen. But also, it's not apparent that they've been taking the situation very, very, very seriously. And last night, a very sage political commentator by the name of Sean Penn said to me, I would not want to be in zelensky's shoes for anything in the world. I would not wish that on my worst enemy. What's Sean Penn doing in Kyiv anyway? Saving us from ourselves? Because he's a politician. Shown to the world. I think we've just lost the blood for a moment there. Mark, are Russian troops in forward positions. I mean, if they are how long can those be held? And is there a chance that Russia doesn't launch a full scale invasion in the foreseeable future, but just keeps up the threat level indefinitely? Well, yes, I mean, we have a situation in which the Russian forces can move literally within hours. And there's no signs that the Russians plan to uncoil this force. Now again, this could be precisely because they are planning some kind of major escalation. But again, it's also absolutely classic Putin. He likes to give himself multiple options to keep the west guessing and to keep himself free to maneuver. And I think this is because this is an authoritarian regime that can decide what it wants, they can absolutely keep this force in place for weeks certainly months probably. A lot of the troops won't be happy about it. It'll cost money, but let's face it. Does Putin really care what a squad on the Ukrainian Russian border thinks, obviously not. And meanwhile, first of all, it maintains the pressure on Ukraine and particularly the Ukrainian economy. And at the same time, I think from Putin's point of view, there is an assumption that the west is not very good at keeping up pressure and keeping its attention on the single crisis. There is that sense that after a certain point, Ukraine fatigue might set in in European capitals in particular and another crisis arise to distract the west. So yes, I mean, at the moment we have, I mean, in some ways, there's been dramatic moves and in some ways nothing really has really changed on the ground. It's still a situation in which Putin could invade within a couple of hours or Putin could never invade the initiative in his entirely with him. And what about diplomatic negotiations? I mean, we know that the U.S. Secretary of State's canceled his meeting with the Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, do you think that that's the end of talk? There won't be continue. I mean, there won't be under the same format, but at the same time, of course, they have to be continued talks. I mean, although there's obviously the immediate negotiations had to be blocked because obviously from the Americans point of view that the Russians were not treating with them honestly. But when it comes down to it, look, talks are not a reward for good behavior, talks in some ways to become all the more important when you are in a crisis and when you are at loggerheads with others. So whether it's directly between the Americans and the Russians, whether it's through other intermediaries and to be perfectly honest as far as the Russians are concerned, they really just want to talk to the Americans because they think they're the only people who matter. But one way or the other, there will be diplomatic channels open. They need to be. Mark galeotti, thank you very much indeed and also thank you to vladislav Devils on in Kyiv. And we'll return to this subject a little bit later in the program. Up next we turn our attention to the changing geopolitical landscape in Asia with the rise and rise of China and increasingly antagonistic North Korea and constitutional questions for Japan. It's been a rather tumultuous time for the continent over the last decade and a half. Ahead of the 15th anniversary edition of Monaco magazine hitting newsstands this week, here's Monica's Asia editor and Tokyo bureau chief in the city, Fiona Wilson, on the changes that she's seen. Much has changed in East Asian geopolitics in the 15 years since we ran our first cover story, but two narratives have been constant. The spectacular rise of China and North Korea's pursuit of.