Global Review had the honor to have an interview with US General (ret.) Ben Hodges about the Ukraine war, Russia, China and other geopolitical topics.
Lieutenant General (Retired) Ben Hodges, the former Commanding General of US Army Europe, is now Senior Advisor to Human Rights First, a non-profit, nonpartisan international human rights organization based in New York, Washington D.C., and Los Angeles. Prior to joining Human Rights First, he held the Pershing Chair in Strategic Studies at the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA). General Hodges serves as NATO Senior Mentor for Logistics, he consults for several companies on Europe, NATO, and the European Union, and he is co-author of the book Future War and the Defence of Europe, published by Oxford University Press.
A native of Quincy, Florida, General Hodges graduated from the United States Military Academy in May 1980 and was commissioned as an Infantry Officer in the US Army.
After his first assignment as a Lieutenant in Garlstedt, Germany, he commanded Infantry units at the Company, Battalion, and Brigade levels in the 101st Airborne Division, including the First Brigade Combat Team “Bastogne” in Operation IRAQI FREEDOM (2003-2004). His other operational assignments include Chief of Operations for Multi-National Corps-Iraq in Operation IRAQI FREEDOM (2005-2006) and Director of Operations, Regional Command South in Kandahar, Afghanistan (2009-2010).
General Hodges has also served in a variety of Joint and Army Staff positions to include Chief of Plans, 2nd Infantry Division in Korea; Aide-de-Camp to the Supreme Allied Commander Europe; Chief of Staff, XVIII Airborne Corps; Director of the Pakistan Afghanistan Coordination Cell on the Joint Staff; Chief of Legislative Liaison for the United States Army; and Commander, NATO Allied Land Command 2012-2014 in İzmir, Turkey. His last military assignment was as Commanding General, United States Army Europe in Wiesbaden, Germany from 2014 to 2017.
He retired from the U.S. Army in January 2018 and lives today with his wife in Frankfurt, Germany.
Global Review: General Hodges, you and some other experts think that Ukraine can regain its old territorial integrity and even Crimea till 2023. Is this possible under the existing conditions or does Ukraine need more weapons, new sorts of weapons as fighter jets, heavy tanks or whatever?
General (ret.) Hodges: YES, I BELIEVE THAT UKRAINE WILL LIBERATE CRIMEA BY THE END OF AUGUST 2023. IF THE WEST WERE TO DELIVER ATACMS, GRAY EAGLE AND REAPER ARMED DRONES, AND OTHER LONG-RANGE PRECISION WEAPONS AS WELL AS F16’S AND TANKS/INFANTRY FIGHTING VEHICLES, THEN I WOULD EXPECT THIS LIBERATION OF CRIMEA TO BE CONCLUDED MUCH SOONER. IT IS 300KM STRAIGHT LINE DISTANCE FROM ODESA TO SEVASTOPOL. IF UKRAINE HAD ATACMS, WITH 300KM RANGE, THEN THEY COULD ALREADY BE MAKING CRIMEA UNTENABLE FOR RUSSIAN NAVY AND AIRFORCE. CRIMEA IS THE DECISIVE TERRAIN/AREA FOR THIS WAR AND THE UKRAINIANS WILL NOT STOP UNTIL IT IS LIBERATED. UKRAINE CAN NEVER BE SAFE/SECURE NOR CAN THEY REBUILD THEIR ECONOMY SO LONG AS RUSSIA CONTROLS IT. THE REST OF UKRAINIAN TERRITORY THAT IS CURRENTLY OCCUPIED BY RUSSIAN FORCES WILL SOON FALL ONCE CRIMEA HAS BEEN LIBERATED.
Global Review: Do you think after not only so many Russians, but also Ukrainian young soldiers died Ukraine will have the same fighting spirit and US support after the Mid term elections, the Russian airstrikes against its infrastructure and the coming winter? Negotiations after the Russian withdrawal, the Ukrainian offensive and the Ukrainian missile on Poland now seem more likely, especially since in addition to US siloviki such as Chief of Staff Milley and CIA chief Burns, parts of the US civil administration also appear more and more inclined to the matter- do you think so?
General (ret.) Hodges: IT IS CLEAR THAT UKRAINE HAS MUCH MORE WILL FOR THIS FIGHT THAN DOES RUSSIA. 500K RUSSIAN MALES LEFT RUSSIA BACK IN SEPTEMBER RATHER THAN ACCEPT MOBILIZAITON. WE ARE SEEING THE RESULTS NOW OF UNTRAINED, RECENTLY MOBILIZED RUSSIAN SOLDIERS BEING SENT INTO THE FIGHT. I DON’T SEE THIS GETTING ANY BETTER FOR THEM ANY TIME SOON. IT APPEARS TO ME THAT BI-PARTISAN SUPPORT FOR THE US ADMINISTRATION’S POLICY AND SUPPORT FOR UKRAINE REMAINS VERY STRONG. THIS WAS EVIDENCED BY THE OUTCOMES OF THE MID-TERM ELECTIONS AND BY THE COMMITMENT OF THE CONGRESS TO CONTINUE FUNDING THIS SUPPORT. I THINK THAT IT WOULD BE A HUGE MISTAKE FOR THE USG TO PRESS UKRAINE TO NEGOTIATE FOR ANYTHING SHORT OF FULL RESTORATION OF UKRAINE’S SOVEREIGN TERRITORY…AND EACH TIME SOME SENIOR PERSON SAYS ANYTHING LIKE THIS, IT BREATHES NEW OXYGEN INTO THE KREMLIN’S ONLY HOPE…TO EXTEND THIS CONFLICT AS LONG AS POSSIBLE IN HOPES THAT THE WEST WILL LOSE THE WILL TO CONTINUE SUPPORTING UKRAINE.
Global Review; Other experts as Merkel´s former military adviser General ret. Vad think while this might be militarily possible, it would ignore that Putin never will give up the Donbass and Crimea and would ignite a new Cuban Missile crisis threatening strikes against NATO or the USA to bring the West and Ukraine to the negotiation table. What do you think of this assumption and what could be a political solution?
General (ret.) Hodges: THIS ASSUMPTION IS WRONG AND HAS BEEN DEMONSTRATED TO BE WRONG FOR THE LAST TEN MONTHS. MANY EXPERTS, NOT ONLY BRIG A.D. VAD, HAVE BEEN PREDICTING RUSSIAN VICTORY…BUT THEY’VE BEEN WRONG, CONSISTENTLY. I DON’T EXPECT PRESIDENT PUTIN TO JUST DECIDE TO LEAVE…EVEN THOUGH MOST OF THE WORLD CONSIDERS RUSSIA’S OCCUPATION OF CRIMEA AND DONBAS TO BE ILLEGAL AND ILLEGTIMATE. ,NOR WILL UKRAINE JUST HOPE THAT RUSSIA WILL LEAVE…THEY WILL COMPEL RUSSIA TO LEAVE BY THE LIBERATION OF CRIMEA. UKRAINE DOES NOT HAVE A MANPOWER PROBLEM…BUT RUSSIA DOES. UKRAINE’S GENERAL STAFF HAS BEEN VERY PROFESSIONAL, THOROUGH, AND EFFECTIVE AND UKRAINIAN SOLDIERS HAVE DEMONSTRATED FAR SUPERIOR ADAPATABILITY AND INNOVATION THAN RUSSIAN UNITS, ON TOP OF THEIR SUPERIOR WILL TO FIGHT. RUSSIA HAS THREATENED ESCALATION FROM SINCE BEFORE 24 FEB…YET EACH TIME THE WEST FINALLY DECIDES TO MOVE FORWARD WITH A NEW CAPABILITY, THE RUSSIANS ARE INCAPABLE OF DOING ANYTHING TO ESCALTE IN RESPONSE. WE HAVE BEEN SELF-DETERRING OURSELVES FROM THE BEGINNING. YES, RUSSIA HAS THOUSANDS OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS AND IT’S CLEAR THAT PUTIN DOES NOT CARE ABOUT HOW MANY LIVES ARE LOST, INCLUDING HIS OWN SOLDIERS OR PEOPLE. BUT THERE IS NO BATTLEFIELD ADVANTAGE FOR THE RUSSIANS IF THEY USE A TACTICAL NUCLEAR WEAPON. AND IT SEEMS TO ME THAT THE KREMLIN ACCEPTS PRESIDENT BIDEN’S THREAT OF ‘CATASTROPHIC CONSEQUENCES’ IF RUSSIA USES A NUCLEAR WEAPON. SO NO, I DON’T THINK THAT THERE IS GOING TO BE ANOTHER CUBAN MISSILE CRISIS AND FOR SURE THE RUSSIAN GENERAL STAFF WILL NEVER SUPPORT A STRIKE ON NATO BECAUSE THEY CAN ALREADY FORECAST THE OUTCOME…TOTAL DESTRUCTION OF RUSSIAN FORCES. UKRAINE IS ALMOST DOING THAT THEMSELVES.
Global Review: After the Ukrainian missile on Poland, Biden and NATOmembers critizised Selensky. The German conservative newpaper FAZ even asked whether the Ukrainans want to get NATO in a war with Russia as Ukraine alone wouldn´t be able to reconquer all of its former territory. A Ukrainian general even claimed that the Ukraine war would be over the next year, maybe by a “Black Swan”. What does he mean? A sort of 9 11 in Moscow or toppling Putin by an assassination like the Ukrainians did with Dugin´ s daughter??
General (ret.) Hodges: I PUT NO STOCK IN ANY DISCUSSIONS OR RUMORS OR SPECULATION ABOUT REGIME CHANGE BY EXTERNAL FORCES…AND I HAVE IDEA WHO WOULD FOLLOW PUTIN IF/WHEN HE FINALLY DOES LEAVE, BY ANY MEANS. I DON’T HAVE GREAT OPTIMISIM THAT IT WOULD BE A LIBERAL DEMOCRAT OR SOMEBODY WHO WOULD IMMEDIATELY TRY TO CHANGE RUSSIA’S CURRENT TACT. SO OUR POLICY SHOULD REMAIN FOCUSED ON THE DEFEAT OF RUSSIA IN THIS WAR, THE RESTORATION OF UKRAINIAN SOVEREIGNTY, PUNISHMENT OF RUSSIAN WAR CRIMES, HELPING UKRAINE REBUILD, AND BRINGING HOME THE HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF UKRAINIAN CITIZENS, INCLUDING MANY THOUSANDS OF CHILDREN, WHO WERE KIDNAPPED AND DEPORTED TO RUSSIA. I DO, HOWEVER, THINK THAT WE SHOULD BE THINKING ABOUT THE POSSIBLE RAMIFICATIONS OF THE BREAK UP OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION. I AM NOT ADVOCATING FOR THAT…AND THERE WILL ALWAYS BE A RUSSIAN STATE…BUT I THINK THERE ARE SERIOUS POWER STRUGGLES GOING ON IN RUSSIA NOW, MOSTLY BELOW THE SURFACE. THIS IS EVIDENT IN THE VARIOUS FACTIONS OF MILITARY FORCES AND MERCENARIES FIGHTING IN UKRAINE NOW…AND ALSO THE WAY THAT KADYROV IS PROTECTING HIS FORCES FROM THE MEATGRINDER IN UKRAINE.
Global Review: In Europe a discussion is just starting about a new European peace order and security architecture after the Ukraine war. The book “perspectives after the Ukraine war”, the meeting of the Körber Foundation about the new role of the Weimar triangle (Weimarer Dreieck) and Norbert Röttgen´s and Timothy Snyder´s term New Ostpolitik are an indicator for that. The fundamental question will be: With or without Russia. Should there be some sort of new Iron Curtain at the border to Russia without the 1997 NATO- Russia Act and permanent military NATO bases and a strong military force? , maybe nuclear medium- range missiles?
General (ret.) Hodges: RUSSIA SHOULD LEARN TO LIVE WITHIN ITS OWN BORDERS IAW THE UN CHARTER AND RESPECT THE BORDERS OF OTHER NATIONS. HOLDING RUSSIA ACCOUNTABLE FOR ITS WAR CRIMES AND OTHER VIOLATIONS AGAINST THE INTERNATIONAL RULES-BASED ORDER. I THINK THE WEST IS GOING TO LOOK MUCH MORE STRATEGICALLY TOWARDS THE GREATER BLACK SEA REGION…THE USG JUST PASSED A LAW REQUIRING IT TO DEVELOP A STRATEGY FOR THE REGION…AND THAT WOULD INCLUDE UKRAINE OF COURSE. I WANT TO SEE UKRAINE JOIN NATO, AND THE EU, BUT THE PRIORITY SHOULD BE FOR THE US TO STRENGTHEN ITS BILATERAL RELATIONSHIP WITH UKRAINE, TO NORMALIZE IT, IN TERMS OF TRADE, DIPLOMACY, ECONOMIC INVESTMENT ETC…NOT JUST MILITARY. I’M NOT IN FAVOR OF A NEW IRON CURTAIN…I’M IN FAVOR OF ALL OF US FULFILLING OUR OBLIGATIONS UNDER INTERNATIONAL LAW AND TREATIES AND PROTOCOLS. AND I’M IN FAVOR OF NATIONS MAKING THEIR OWN DECISIONS ABOUT THEIR FUTURE VS THE BIG COUNTRIES MAKING THOSE DECISIONS FOR THEM.
Global Review: Should Russia be reduced from a Russian Federation to a democratic non- imperial Nawalny-, Pomorajev- or Chodorkovsky- Russia as a nuclear regional power? Do you think any Russian leadership would ever accept Russia to become a regional power?
General (ret. ) Hodges: THIS WILL BE THE CHOICE OF THE RUSSIAN PEOPLE. NOT SOMETHING FOR THE WEST TO DECIDE. I DO WORRY ABOUT THE IMPLICATIONS OF A POTENTIAL BREAK UP OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION…ACCOUTABILITY OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS, VIOLENCE AS SOME OF THE SMALLER MEMBER STATES OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION TO THE EAST AND SOUTH OF RUSSIA ATTEMPT TO BREAK AWAY, CONTROL OF THE ENERGY INFRASTRUCTURE ETC. I DON’T THINK THAT THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION SHOULD RETAIN ITS SEAT ON THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL…A PERMANENT MEMBER THAT HAS VIOLATED THE UN CHARTER AND WHICH HAS ROUTINELY THREATENED THE USE OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS AS WELL AS COMMITTED BRAZEN WAR CRIMES IN FULL VIEW OF THE WORLD HAS NO LEGITIMACY AS A PERMANENT MEMBER OF THE UNSC.
Global Review: What do you think about the possibility that more radical political forces topple Putin or start a civil war, maybe with a failed Russian state, the disintegration of the Russian Federation, a Islamist Caliphate in Chechenia and the Caucasus or do you think that Putin could be replaced by more moderate old forces as Dimitri Patruschev, the Moscow mayor or a siliowiki? Or can there be peace with Putin?
General (ret.) Hodges: I DON’T SEE ANY POSSIBILITY OF A RETURN TO NORMAL OR BUSINESS AS USUAL AS LONG AS ANY OF THE TOP LEADERS IN THE KREMLIN REMAIN IN POWER.
Global Review: Some experts say that Biden will be the last “European”/Transatlantic president. Trump/ De Santis or even the next Democrat as president would then only focus on the Asian pivot and the European had to be ready to rearm themselves to protect themselves. The last honeymoon was over? Do you think that the European military will be able within 5 years to achieve that goal? And would the USA beyond a conventional, cyber and space European military also grant the EU or Germany weapons of mass destruction or as the youth organization of the German Christian Democrats already demands a European nuclear force?
General (ret.) Hodges: EUROPE WILL ALWAYS BE STRATEGICALLY IMPORTANT FOR THE US: OUR ECONOMIES ARE LINKED, WE NEED ALLIES AND OUR BEST, MOST RELIABLE ALLIES COME FROM EUROPE AS WELL AS CANADA AND AUSTRALIA, AND WE NEED THE FORWARD BASING AND INTELLIGENCE COOPERATION THAT WE GET BY BEING A EUROPEAN POWER. SO I DON’T SEE US TURNING OUR BACK ON EUROPE, REGARDLESS OF WHO OUR PRESIDENT IS. IT IS ALSO IMPORTANT, HOWEVER, THAT EUROPE DOES WHAT IT HAS COMMITTED TO DO FOR YEARS…TO INVEST IN ITS OWN DEFENCE. I AGREE WITH SECRETARY GENERAL STOLTENBERG THAT WHILE WE WOULD ALL LIKE TO SEE A WORLD FREE OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS, SO LONG AS OUR ADVERSARIES AND POTENTIAL ADVERSARIES POSSESS THEM, WE WILL HAVE TO MAINTAIN A NUCLEAR DETERRENT CAPABILITY. FRANCE HAS INDICATED THAT IT WON’T PROVIDE THAT FOR ANY OTHER COUNTRIES SO THE US WILL HAVE TO DO THIS FOR EUROPE.
Global Review: How likely do you think a Sino- American war is and will it come soon? The RAND study “War with China- Thinking through the Unthinkable” think if the war begins 2025 it would be better for the USA than if it started 2035 when China has become much stronger. And how do you think the theater of war would develop? Would it be a limited regional conflict, an Asian war, a world war, including cyber and space war? Would the USA use TX Hammes Offshore Control strategy, a sea blockade of China or the Air- Sea Battle concept? Which role should the EU and Germany play in such a scenario?
General (ret.) Hodges: IT IS POSSIBLE…WITHIN THE NEXT FIVE YEARS, BASED ON CCP’S CURRENT POLICIES AND THE LANGUAGE FROM BEIJING. SO IT’S IMPORTANT THAT THE US AND ITS ALLIES IN THE INDO-PACIFIC REGION WORK HARD ON READINESS AND DEMONSTRATE THAT READINESS….BUT THAT WE ALSO, WITH OUR EUROPEAN ALLIES, ARE SUCCESSFUL IN HELPING UKRAINE DEFEAT RUSSIA. CHINA WILL NOT BE TOO IMPRESSED IF WE FAIL IN EUROPE.
Global Review: The USA claims that China threatens to increase its strategic nuclear arsenal to 1000 ICBMs. North Korea is testing ICBMs. How would this change the strategic and military balance worldwide and in Asia? NATO and the USA after the Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) switched to flexible response. Is this nuclear deterrence strategy still valid and appropriate or do you think there is the need for a new nuclear strategy. Maybe like Colin S. Gray “Victory is possible” ( winnable global nuclear war) or limited nuclear wars or like Michael O, Hannons “Integrated deterrence” as he describes it in his programmatic book “The Senkaku Paradox- Great power wars on small stakes”? Do we live in a second or third nuclear age like the CSBA study “Rethinking Armaggedon” claims in an urgent need for a new deterrence strategy?
General (ret.) Hodges: I THINK WE HAVE ECONOMIC AND DIPLOMATIC TOOLS AND STRONG ALLIES WHO, ALONG WITH OUR OWN NUCLEAR DETERRENT, CAN LIMIT OR COUNTER THE RISKS HERE.
Global Review: NSS defines China. Russia, Northkorea and Iran as most important adversaries. How can the USA contain these 4 forces at the same moment? As Iran has now many underground nuclear facilities , the latest a site at Fordow which the Jerusalem Post calls unbombable, even by nuclear weapons or military strikes by earhpenetrators, how can the USA prevent Iran becoming nuclear? Regime change by the current mass protests, a new Iran deal or accept it and deter it? What about Northkorea?
General (ret.) Hodges: THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION HAS PRIORITIZED STRENGTHENING OUR ALLIANCES, BUILDING OUR OWN READINESS, AND STRENGTHENING OUR DEMOCRACY AT HOME EXACTLY FOR THESE REASONS. THE CONGRESS BY AND LARGE SUPPORTS THIS, EVEN THOUGH WE ARE STILL POLARIZED ON MANY DOMESTIC ISSUES.
Global Review: Erdogan-Turkey wants to create an neo Ottoman Empire, is engaged in Lybia, Northafrica, Sudan, Azerbajan and the Caucasus, Ukraine, Syria, Northern Iraq. However it is NATO member which can veto any membership for Finland and Sweden. Which price is the West willing to pay for the Northern expansion of NATO? Support against the PKK, YPG and the Gülen movement? F 35 and other weapons? No action if Erdogan next year at the 100th anniversary of the Lausanne treaty which he thinks has expired wants to annex the islands in the Ageas and Mediterrean and the gas resurces in the hope that NATO will be passive as in Cyprus 1974?
General (ret.) Hodges: NATO IS NOT EXPANDING…THE USE OF “EXPANDING” IS THE RUSSIAN NARRATIVE…IT IMPLIES THAT NATO IS CAPTURING NEW TERRITORIES, AGAINST THEIR WILL. IT IS MORE ACCURATE TO SAY THAT NATO IS ‘ENLARGING’ BECAUSE NATIONS ASK TO JOIN NATO WHICH IS A DEFENSIVE ALLIANCE BECAUSE THEY SEE THE THREAT FROM RUSSIA AND THEY SEE THE BENEFITS. TURKEY IS NO DIFFERENT. I BELIEVE THAT TURKEY WILL EXTRACT SOME BENEFITS FROM THIS BUT IN THE END WILL AGREE TO FINLAND AND SWEDEN JOINING NATO BECAUSE THEY KNOW IT IS IN THEIR OWN LONG-TERM BENEFIT TO BE IN A STRONG NATO. AND THEY CAN SEE THAT RUSSIA IS A WANING POWER IN THE BLACK SEA REGION. THE RUSSIAN BLACK SEA FLEET IS BASICALLY IN HIDING AROUND CRIMEA AND UKRAINE DOESN’T EVEN HAVE A NAVY. US WILL NEED TO WORK MUCH HARDER TO REPAIR OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH TURKEY BUT TURKEY HAS A RESPONSIBILITY TO VALUE THIS RELATIONSHIP AS MUCH AS US. AND THE US SHOULD PLAY A STRONGER ROLE IN ENSURING GREECE AND TURKEY CAN RESOLVE DIFFERENCES WITHOUT RESORTING TO MILITARY FORCE. WILL BE INTERESTING TO SEE WHAT COMES FROM THE TURKISH ELECTIONS THIS YEAR.
Global Review: Pakistan is becoming very unstable. Mass protests and assassination attempts against Imran Khan, struggle within the ISI and military. What if Islamists like the Pakistani Taliban or the Islamiic State seize power in Pakistan and get in control of the Muslim nuclear bomb? Would the USA or India have to intervene?
General (ret.) Hodges: ONE OF OUR PROBLEMS IN AFGHANISTAN WAS THAT WE DIDN’T THINK REGIONALLY, WE BELIEVED THAT PAKISTAN WAS AN ALLY, AND WE DIDN’T DEVELOP A STRAGTEGY FOR THE REGION THAT INCLUDED INDIA, PAKISTAN, AFGHANISTAN…YOU CAN’T ADDRESS PAKISTAN WITHOUT INDIA.
Global Review: Has the USA forgotten Africaand the MENA region after Trump called the African countires „shitholes“ and is AFRICOM still active?
General (ret.) Hodges: I WOULD NOT CONSIDER FORMER PRESIDENT TRUMP AN EXPERT ON FOREIGN RELATIONS OR STRATEGIC THINKING AND SO I WOULD NOT USE THAT AS A REASON FOR SUCH A QUESTION. AND OUR INVESTMENTS OF PEOPLE, MONEY, DIPLOMACY ETC IN SO MANY ASPECTS OF AFRICA IS EVIDENCE THAT NO, WE HAVE NOT FORGOTTEN AFRICA. BUT EUROPE CAN/SHOULD DO MUCH MORE.
15) Global Review: What do you think about the importance OF Biden´s US New Silkroad B3W and the European New Silkroad Global Gateway as instrument against the Chinese New Silkroad BRI? And are we becoming more a sort of war economy that should bring critical infrastructure, disruptive technologies and investments more under an investment monitoring under the umbrella of the EU or NATO?
General (ret.) Hodges: INTERNATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE AND TRADE AGREEMENTS ARE AN IMPORTANT PART OF GREAT POWER COMPETITION, THAT CAN HELP PREVENT GREAT POWER CONFLICT. I HOPE THAT WE WILL INVEST MORE HEAVILY IN THE GREATER BLACK SEA REGION, AS A START. PARLIAMENTS, THE CONGRESS, THE BUNDESTAG WILL PAY A LOT MORE ATTENTION TO RUSSIAN OR CHINESE AGGRESSION OR VIOLATIONS OF INTERNATIONAL LAW IF BUSINESSES AND COMPANIES FROM THEIR COUNTRY ARE INVESTED THERE, EG IN GEORGIA.