economies in the german city of hamburg. climate change and global terrorism will be the major issues on the agenda. in a speech on his arrival in europe, the us president donald trump called on western civilization to stand united against what he called the "menace" of radical islamic extremism. north korea has been celebrating it's latest missile launch. but mr president trump says he's considering a very severe response against the regime in pyongyang. and this video story is trending on bbc.com. it's a little animal that's started making a pretty big impression. this female baby pygmy hippopotamus has just been introduced to the public at chile's buin zoo. it's two weeks old and very cute. that's all from me now. stay with bbc world news. now on bbc news, it's time for hardtalk. welcome to hardtalk.
i'm zeinab badawi. conflict in eastern ukraine between government forces and pro—moscow rebels in the breakaway regions of donetsk and luhansk has worsened and both sides are being blamed for violations of the peace plan, known as the minsk agreement. also, talk of a warmer relationship between moscow and washington since donald trump became president has led to worries in ukraine that its interests are being sidelined. my my guest is ivanna klympush—tsintsadze, ukraine's vice prime ministerfor klympush—tsintsadze, ukraine's vice prime minister for european integration. is her country now out in the cold internationally? ivanna klympush—tsintsadze, welcome
to hardtalk thank you for having me here. donald trump said vladimir putin, i would actually get along with him, i think we would have a good relationship. he is election is bad news for the ukraine, isn't it? in the inauguration of the new american president we have only had supportive information and supportive information and supportive messages from the us administration. we have had a very clear signalfrom president administration. we have had a very clear signal from president trump himself during his recent meeting with the president of ukraine when he confirmed the willingness to continue sanctions with regard to russian aggression against ukraine, to support further ukraine's reforms and to make sure that america is staying engaged in trying to sort out the conflict that we are finding
ourselves a victim of. so nothing of words of support. this flies in the face of comments, like this, the biggest loser in the world tonight is ukraine. but i give you one from closer to home. ukraine's foreign minister said, for the future of our world and our children a better relationship between the us and russia is something we should all wish for, but that relationship must not come at the expense of ukraine. there are worries. there have been worries, especially during the campaign. that's why i've deliberately said that since the inauguration of the new president that's exactly the more solid understanding of the future relationship between the ukraine and the us and the political stance of the us and the political stance of the us and the political stance of the us has beenjust getting the ground. that's exactly what we have heard also from the state secretary,
from the secretary of the, the us and therefore we suppose that free, independent and sovereign ukraine is in the national interest of the us and it is in the national interests also of all the european and nato countries as well. you say that there is this support, but we hear things. for instance, you mentioned sanctions, which are in place on russia, because of its annexation of crimea in 2014 and the continuing conflict in eastern ukraine. donetsk and luhansk, where they are said to be supporting the separatist breakaway rebels. but vice president mike pence has said, if we have opportunities to work together with russia, i think president trump is looking for an opportunity to begin the relationship anew. there have been hints from washington that deals could be made on sanctions might in exchange for security corporation also with russia. we do
hope that also bipartisan support we received in the american congress is not going to lead to any possible... to any possible compromises with the russian federation, at the expense of ukraine. as well as what we hear from the representatives of the restoration in the latest months. that also provides us with the belief that this will not happen at the expense of ukraine. but you are worried? i do not think so. we have received all the confirmations of continued policy from the previous administration, carried onto the new administration. the obama administration. the obama administration was seen as being less friendly towards russia, than the current one. when president petro poroshenko of ukraine and donald trump net just petro poroshenko of ukraine and donald trump netjust a couple of weeks ago, he was totally reassured
on all counts, was he, your president? that's what i know from my fellow colleagues, who have been meeting with president trump. what did he say about crimea, for instance? i understanding is that america is going to continue for nonrecognition policy of the illegal annexation by the russian federation of crimea. leave the sanctions? absolutely and we also heard this from the un... us ambassador at the united nations as well, nikki haley. sol united nations as well, nikki haley. so i think all the signals are pointing to the same direction. i hope that also with getting more and more information on what is really going on on the ground in ukraine, that also helps to formulate the position that would be for the benefit of ukraine and for the benefit of ukraine and for the benefit of ukraine and for the benefit of the free and democratic world. it remains to be seen...
where the us is an actor as well. you say the us is the main actor. there is also additional concerns about, that the is retreating. your own former acting president of ukraine said earlier this year of us withdrawal from global leadership. he said, expert further destabilisation, especially in eastern europe. he isn't the only one saying that. we see that russia and china have got this new alliance which president xijinping and china have got this new alliance which president xi jinping says will be defining factor in the new world order within the next ten years.” think right now it is the time for getting back to solidarity between the european nations and the us and other transatlantic partners like japan and canada, for that matter, that they would consolidate their effo rts that they would consolidate their efforts on actually making sure that whatever values they have been built
on they are considering it —— continuing it. but the point i make is argue worried that withdrawal of america, whereby you see russia and china filling the vacuum, but again is bad news for you? america is not going to withdraw with all the rethinking that it has with regard to its foreign policy and its other policies in the world. i hope that these policies that have been there at the core of the us for decades, they will be continued further. one key plank on international policy, including the us when it comes to ukraine, is the minsk agreement. we seen the second one. but rex tillerson, the us secretary of state, says he thinks... he only said this last month, that the trump administration does not want to be handcuffed to the minsk agreement and ukraine and russia might find a
bilateral solution on the conflict in eastern europe. that's not something you would welcome, is it? idid not something you would welcome, is it? i did not see how ukraine and russia would see the solution themselves. russia, while attacking ukraine illegally and annexing part of its territory in crimea, and sending its regular troops to the eastern part of ukraine in donetsk and luhansk, it exactly violates international law. it has consequences not only for ukraine, which is defending its country, but has consequences for global order. and for regional security as well. that's why it is important for europe. that's why it is important also for the us because if we will give into russia in ukraine, if we sacrifice for any matter, then the russian president
will... his appetite will grow and we will attack another country. the point i am making is that the united states say they don't want to be handcuffed to the minsk peace agreement. that is the question i asked you. nobody probably wants to be handcuffed to any agreement. but if this is our only chance right now to sort out peace or see the roadmap, how do we get to finally a real prospect of peace, we should try all the possibilities. and that is what ukraine is doing. that is not what is happening on the ground, though. the united nations says that fatalities are up 52% compared to last year. alexander hug from the 0sce monitoring mission in the ukraine says that both sides are violating the minsk agreement, including indiscriminate shelling. we are happy there is a special monitoring mission of the 0sce, to provide the world with objective information.
according to those reports of the 0sce, there are everyday shelling, that is the russia—backed militants. it is not only pro—moscow militants, it is russia—backed. ukrainian forces are first and foremost protecting our own land on our own territory. they are firing back and whenever there is... indiscriminately? no, they are firing back, and never have fired from any of the civilian buildings or two civilian residential areas, as opposed to russia—backed militants who are actually firing at civilians and residential areas. we will ask the russians when they come on hardtalk about the convict in eastern europe, in eastern ukraine, we will do that. but i must ask you to respond to the accusations against ukrainian forces, either regular ukrainian armed forces, or those activists who are supporting them who are armed. the united nations high commissioner and human rights said in february this year ukrainian government forces and armed groups supporting
you continued to violate and abuse the rights to life, liberties, security, and physical integrity in eastern ukraine. whenever our forces are fighting back, when time allows, they are notifying people from the 0sce that they going to fire. that is what makes us different from the russian militants. that is one thing. and what you are alluding to right now is these problems that we have unfortunately, first and foremost, 82% of the incidents that are happening of attacks on, for instance, 0sce monitors, on the ground, they are happening on the grounds that are not controlled by the ukrainian forces. no, no, i accept that.
i am saying the criticisms are about both sides. i am asking you about the criticisms made against ukrainian forces. i will give you another example. human rights watch said in february in a report that ukrainian government forces and pro—government militias in eastern ukraine used unguided grad rockets that have killed civilians and said their use could amount to war crimes. these are very, very serious reports against ukrainians. the investigations on the ukrainian side are all the time being carried out. there is no proof that ukrainian forces have been using them against residential areas. moreover, i want to recall specifically in the end of january, the beginning of february, there was a huge attack of a russia led militants on one of the eastern cities of ukraine, where in —20 degrees celsius, the water grids, the electricity grids, have been ruined.
we were almost having survival, with 20,000 people in that city, the ukranian government, that took care of the repairing of those areas, making sure people are provided with the possibility to live normal lives in these circumstances. and unfortunately, that was confirmed also by the 0sce monitors that unfortunately those were the militants who were not allowing for even short time ceasefires to repair the grids. you're talking about the humanitarian situation in eastern europe, ukraine and you're saying the pro—moscow separatists are responsible for this, but i have to put it to you that there are also
complaints about ukrainian activity which has led to what the russian foreign ministry warns could turn into a humanitarian catastrophe. there have been criticisms of the illegal blockades by ukrainian activists that prevent supplies going to civilians in rebel—held territory, that's one of the accusations, and ukraine in march imposed a temporary freeze on rail and road cargo links to breakaway enclaves, which has meant that civilians are suffering in the rebel—held areas, they're not getting the supplies they need. i hope people in the west already understood that whatever russian ministry of foreign affairs is saying is not necessarily always the truth unfortunately. moreover, what russian information sources are bringing on the public. that's also quite frequently something that is made up. that is something that we have
to deal with in our everyday life. what you are asking about... the ukrainian government had to make a response to the actions of the russian federation when the so—called puppet, basically, authorities that are installed on the occupied territories by the russian federation on us, they expropriated 26 ukrainian enterprises that are on the territory. coalmines and steel? yes, operating within ukrainian law but they expropriated that so after that we couldn't continue working with them. moreover, the russian federation decided to recognise the so—called ids produced on the local ground in the territory not controlled by the ukraine. and they introduced the ruble as the only currency. so the ukrainian government unfortunately had to react
with the measure that we have taken. the blockade. but civilians might be suffering as a result. again the united nations commissioner for human rights in a report looking at the situation in the ukraine to may this year has said he's worried about restrictions on the freedom of movement is because it means internally displaced people, the idps, entitled to pensions and social payments, living in rebel—held areas in eastern ukraine, they have to renew their registration in government—held territory but it's so difficult for them to do that because they are subjected to long queues at exit and entry checkpoints, it exposes civilians to degrading conditions for protracted periods and to the risk of death from shelling. you're also responsible for civilians suffering? over the last half of year we have extremely improved the whole registration process of the internally displaced people. but not until may this year.
he's talking about this happening until may this year. and the ukraine right now has more than 1.6 million of internally displaced people, think about that, that number. we are taking care of all the payments. if they are internally placed, people who live on the non—occupied territory who have actually fled their homes, they are fully paid all the pensions and social care. there are thousands and thousands of them not receiving their pensions and social payments? these are idps who would not receive the payments and that's been confirmed by the recent eu report and i'm sure... there aren't long queues for people trying to get their pensions or social payments anymore, is that what you're saying? there are no queues, there are queues on the grounds where people are crossing
the touchline from the occupied territory to the ukrainian territory and backwards. that's normal with regard to security checks first and foremost they are going through and unfortunately the militants are not allowing us to open up additional crossing points. all the humanitarian suffering for the civilians is all the fault of the separatists and russia, nothing to do with ukrainian activity? we wouldn't have had the people suffering if it were not for the russian aggression to the territory of the ukraine and if it was not for russia pouring in all the weapons and soldiers and training those militants on the territory of our country. moscow says of course it doesn't have troops inside eastern ukraine. that unfortunately is the lie they are trying to build their case on. the fact is you have this long border with russia, you're near neighbour, and when it comes to looking
at the medium and the long—term, you're going to have to get on, you've got people who have got ties, large number of people in the ukraine speak russian as their native language, and yet here you are saying you would like to pursue nato membership at some stage, which would be like a red rag to a bull to russia. is it wise for you to be throwing fuel on the relationship like this and adding fuel to the fire of the conflict in eastern ukraine in this way? russia has attacked ukraine specifically in the time when ukraine had a non—aligned status. when ukrainian legislation said we're not going to join any political or defence or security alliance with anybody else and they will stay neutral. it did not protrude the russian federation from actually not attacking ukraine even though we had all the basis for our positive relationship, we had the strategic agreement
of partnership with russian federation, moreover the russian federation was one of the guarantors of the ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity on the basis of the budapest memorandum when ukraine was the third major nuclear power in the world that gave up its nuclear weapons. who's pushing you to drop your non—aligned status and say come and join us in nato? nato is not asking you to join, you know that's something that's not going to happen for a very long time, if ever. it is the response of our politicians to the ukrainian society, the understanding of the ukrainian society that first and foremost right now we have to concentrate on being capable to defend ourselves. so you want to join nato? and once we are ready, once we are integrated functionally into nato and interoperable, we will be able to submit our membership application. president poroshenko says there will be a referendum onjoining nato, is that so?
at some point but first and foremost we have to understand we need to do a lot of homework before we're ready to submit the application. similarly, your portfolio, european integration, ukraine, you would like to at some stage join the european union again, eu commissionerjean—claude juncker said that wouldn't happen at least for 20 or 30 years because they've tried to expand to quickly. who's going to absorb a country of 45 million such as ukraine, it's not going to happen, it's a fairytale? it's a great emerging market. it was a choice of the ukrainian people during the revolution of dignity, which started just because the previous president of ukraine, yanukovych, did not sign the association agreement with the eu and the desire of people is translating right now in the very specific reform and transformation agenda for the country that we are carrying on right now. and it will become a truth one day
and i'm sure everybody will only be benefiting from ukraine joining the eu. as i said, there is a great deal of scepticism both within your country and within the eu about that ever happening. finally and briefly, corruption is a huge issue in ukraine, and i know there isn't a lot of time to talk about it, but it is something which your government came into power saying it was going to tackle, it's endemic in the ukraine, from allegations top to bottom. what are you going to be doing about it? you've got to seize... i fully understand why you're saying this and i understand that this news is getting much better coverage in the west, but i would like to underline that we have created legislature to fight corruption. we have created institutions like the national anticorru ption bureau and the national anticorru ption prosecution agency for preventing corruption that are already fully functional and carrying out the actions against high officials. we have opened up...
we have opened up of all the politicians, their declarations of their assets, totally open to public. this is ensuring a lot of accountability. we have introduced the best ever system that is recognised in the west for the electronic public procurement, which is already saving us 10% of our public procurement budget. so we're closing the loopholes in our procedures that would invite any corru ption—prone activities, and i'm sure that with time we will tackle this endemic issue that we have to deal with. vice prime minister ivanna klympush—tsintsadze, thank you very much indeed for coming on hardtalk. thank you. it was a very warm day on thursday
across england and wales, in particular southern and south—eastern areas, with a top temperature in london of 32 celsius. in fact, a number of stations in the greater london area saw 32 degrees and it was pretty hot as well further north, but the heat across northern england broke down in spectacular style with some severe thunderstorms, we had reports of flash flooding and lightning damage across yorkshire and into lincolnshire. those thunderstorms will continue to rattle away off into the north sea, and then for most places it should be a dry end to the night.
thicker cloud and outbreaks of rain, though, pushing into northern ireland and western scotland, it's going to be a very warm and muggy start to the day once again across the south, particularly the south—east. only a little bit of cloud around for the south—west of england, into western wales, but a good deal sunshine for the midlands eastwards and look at those temperatures to start the day, around 20 degrees. further north and there will be thicker cloud. for north—west england into scotland and northern ireland, like i mentioned, there will be some light and patchy rain around so a dismal morning with temperatures here at 8am around the mid—teens celsius. through the day it looks like that cloud across western areas will tend to move in eastwards and any clear skies tend to infill from cloud, so a cloudier afternoon that what we saw on thursday, so that means not quite as hot. still very warm, though, in the south—east with 27 or 28 degrees. a rather low 20 further north and high—teens celsius in scotland and northern ireland.
it means for the tennis at wimbledon on friday that it will be more comfortable for the spectators and for the players with highs around 26 or 27 celsius and sunshine coming and going. a fine end to the day on friday, but we look to the west to this area of rain, which will push in towards wales, light and patchy and will affect mainly western areas. this weather front is responsible for it. as we head on in towards saturday it will bring a cloudy, damp day to central areas, northern ireland, northern wales and northern england, the rain not amounting to that much. to the north of it, largely dry with sunshine and there will be sunshine across southern areas, but generally speaking a cloudy day and a cooler one across the border. top temperatures 24 degrees. looks like temperatures rise a bit again as we head on towards sunday and that's because we pick up some thundery air again off the near continent, this area of low pressure could introduce some heavy showers to southern parts of the country, maybe the odd thunderstorm, and this weather front brings outbreaks of rain to scotland and northern ireland.
but in between a slice of drier and brighter weather and again quite warm in the south—east. i'm sharanjit leyl in singapore. the headlines: as he arrives in europe, president trump calls on the west to defend itself against the threat of islamist terrorism. america and europe has suffered one terror attack after another. we are going to get it to stop. i'm kasia madera in london. also in the programme: as north korea celebrates it's latest missile launch, the united states says it's considering a very severe response. and a joint european—japanese venture to the planet mercury that's been 20 years in the making.