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Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

P.J. Crowley: Diplomatic swearing is nothing new

February 10th, 2014
03:25 PM ET

Last week, Victoria Nuland, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian  Affairs, was allegedly recorded using blunt words about the EU in a phone conversation. Naturally, the story sparked a lot of reaction both in Europe and around the world.

Max spoke to former State Department spokesperson P.J. Crowley to find out if the incident reflected the hidden side of diplomacy, and if it offered any warning for others about the modern lack of privacy.

Crowley said that the use of profane language in diplomacy was certainly nothing new and noted that "American diplomats and European diplomats have been swearing about each other and at each other for decades. This is not easy business.” When asked whether this recording enforces the perception among many Europeans that America feels dismissive towards the E.U., Crowley said; "I think there's a natural imbalance here. I mean the United States is the most influential country in the world. If US formulates its policy it's able to move rather quickly. The European Union by definition, by structure, has many members, and it's a much more deliberative process."

But in Crowley’s opinion, the most shocking aspect of the story was “the circumstance under which a private conversation became very public. I think this reflects the world in which we live and the difficulty in keeping private conversations, whether they're in a verbal form in this case, or a written form as was the case in WikiLeaks.” He said that this shows how “things that used to be done diplomatically behind closed doors are increasingly emerging into the open space."

On who was responsible for the production of this recording, Crowley expressed this opinion: "In this case the Russians are perhaps the most likely suspect, and I think this underscores how seriously Vladimir Putin and the Russian government see the situation in Ukraine."

Video: Top U.S. diplomat: 'F**k the E.U.'

Filed under:  American politics • Europe • Ukraine • United States

Ukrainian Journalist: "The people are not satisfied"

January 29th, 2014
04:33 PM ET

As the Ukrainian government backs-down with the repeal of the anti-protest law and the resignation of the Prime Minister, CNN's Diana Magnay spoke to Mustafa Nayem, a journalist and activist, about why the opposition are still not happy.

Nayem said that this law is too late. During the 12 days of protest, he says, five protesters died, more than 30 were arrested, and it seems to him like the government have "hostages", because they are telling the protesters to clear the streets if they want those people to be freed.

The aims of the protesters seem to have developed and altered in the last few months. Nayem says that this doesn't reflect inconsistency, but rather a growing awareness of what the Ukrainian government is capable of.

"I'm a journalist so as journalist first of all I want to know who is responsible for shooting on my colleagues." Though he says that brutal force was used against people, no one from the militia has been held guilty. "A lot of my colleagues they were crippled, injured on these protests, and no one is responsible for this."

Because of this, he says that the situation has shifted. "It's not about that what was two months ago. Now we know on what they are capable. They have this law, and it doesn't mean that they will not adopt it again."

Filed under:  Activism • Ukraine

Ruslana to Yanukovych: You're a dictator

January 28th, 2014
02:48 PM ET

Tensions have risen sharply in Ukraine in recent weeks, where anti-government protesters have been on the frigid streets for months.  Today, President Viktor Yanukovych accepted the resignation of Prime Minister Mykola Azarov – just one recent concession to opposition forces.

One woman has been lending her voice to the anti-government forces in Kiev.  Ruslana is a Ukrainian pop star, and she won the 2004 Eurovision Song Contest on behalf of her country.  She has been a vocal critic of Yanukovych, and told Becky how she feels about the unrest.

"It's unbelievable what's going on my country," Ruslana said.  "This is Ukraine.  I represent my country for many, many years.  I am a singer.  I am a musician.  I want peace and of course I want a lot of changes in my country."

Ruslana also said that the demonstrators are determined to stay strong until they see change.

"We are still together," she said.  "We know that we have power and we want to ask Yanukovych, please stop.  You're a dictator.  We have a lot of aggression from this government.  Please stop, please stop."


Filed under:  Becky's Interviews • Europe • Ukraine • Video
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