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tv   Meet the Author  BBC News  April 5, 2018 8:45pm-9:01pm BST

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the this is what the situation is. the origin of the substance in russia is not confirmed. even before that, we stated that we had nothing to do with it. however, we seem to be... people are demanding that we acknowledge our guilt. now, great britain refuses to cooperate with us on the pretext that the victim cannot co—operate with the criminal. well, i'm really sorry, your appointment with the criminal. well, i'm really sony, your appointment of with the criminal. well, i'm really sorry, your appointment of us as criminal, without facts, without evidence, without a trial or investigation are now and void. a crime was committed on british territory and possibly a terrorist act against our citizens. and they happen to be the victims. this is why we are entitled to demand cooperation. and great britain is required to offer us that
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corporation. by the way, it's funny that yesterday at the session on the executive council of the opcw, several allies of great britain called on us to cooperate with the british side. probably very words... there wasn't enough time to brief them in advance about what to say. we have prepared a draft statement of the security council before the meeting. it's very simple. this is a litmus test of whether great britain and its allies are true to their word. if you, just as last time, if you bury this statement, which is a litmus test, if you, kind of, turn it substance inside out, its meaning, it will, once again, be further confirmation of your dirty games. thank you very much.
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studio: the russian ambassador to the united nations. very much in his stride as he criticises britain's approach to investigating this novichok nerve agent attack on the skripal family in salisbury a couple of weeks ago. this meeting of the security council called by russia to discuss that chemical attack. let's speak now... joining me now is dr natasha rulyova, lecturer in russian and a specialist in russian media at the university of birmingham. thank you forjoining us, i hope you we re thank you forjoining us, i hope you were able to listen to what some of the ambassador was saying. it was an abject lesson in criticism and ridicule. how will it be portrayed by the russian media? precisely in those words except with more sarcasm and mockery of the british reaction
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to the case. may i ask you to stay with us one second, we are just going to go back and hearour second, we are just going to go back and hear our representative, the british representative at the united nations. she is responding, let's listen in. they are interviewing more than 500 witnesses. the president, in the uk the police are independent of government. if there are more details we can share with the council as the investigation proceeds, we shall be very happy to do so. we all know why that investigation is under way. it's because the military grade nerve agent was used in an attempt to kill civilians on british soil. it was carried out recklessly and without regard for public safety. it was a
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weapon of mass destruction. a british police officer was in a critical condition, alongside the skripals and ordinary members of the public, going about their daily business were put at risk. mr president, i am glad, business were put at risk. mr president, iam glad, not business were put at risk. mr president, i am glad, not only to be able to inform the council that yulia skripal is able to communicate and is getting better, i can also clarify what the russian ambassador said about consular access. we have received a request from the russian consulate. we have conveyed its two yulia skripal and we await a response this is an obligation under international law that the british government takes very seriously but there is also the question of miss skripal‘s own wishes. the russian ambassador had several points to
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make about the uk demands on russia. as he outlined on 12th of march, we asked the russian government the very clear question —— as we outlined. russia refused to respond and said it considered the request 110w and said it considered the request now and void. it was true that we asked for a response within 2a hours to the question of how did a russian developed military grade nerve agent, to be used on the streets of salisbury. and did that mean the russian had lost control of its cw stocks? we said that russia should declare its novichok programme to the opcw. we gave 2a hours, mr president because this is a weapon of mass destruction. this is no ordinary poisoning and no ordinary attack. in our view, the circumstances justified that tight deadline. notwithstanding that, the russians said to us the request was
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null and void. they did not say please give us more time, they did not come to us and say we would like to look into this with you. they rejected the very premise of the request. we have said, as the russian ambassador quoted that it is highly likely russia carried out this assassination. the british government came to that conclusion because the positive identification by experts at porton down of the specific chemical used is a type of novichok nerve agent. porton down, mr president, is an accredited laboratory under and it conforms to the chemical weapons convention. it is allowed to conduct protective research. the second reason that helped us come to our conclusion was the knowledge that russia has produced this nerve agent within the ten yea rs this nerve agent within the ten years and remains capable of doing so. years and remains capable of doing so. and as the prime minister made
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clear in the british parliament, we know that the russian state has investigated ways of assassination through the use of nerve agents. the third reason is russia's record of conducting state sponsored assassinations. and i don't want to detain the council, mr president, by going through a long list. but i can provide examples, if anyone would like to hear them. and we also made oui’ like to hear them. and we also made our own assessment that russia used defectors as suitable targets for assassination and indeed, there are public statements from russian leaders to that effect. i would like, ifi leaders to that effect. i would like, if i may, mr president, just to say something about the use of the phrase "highly likely". we used this phrase because under the british system, only a quarter can finally determine culpability. —— only a court. the use of the phrase
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"highly likely" is a reflection of oui’ "highly likely" is a reflection of our judicial "highly likely" is a reflection of ourjudicial process and should not be construed as casting doubt whatsoever on the likelihood of russia being responsible. iwould also like to take this opportunity to address the russian ambassador's comment about porton down contradicting the foreign secretary. borisjohnson. there was no contradiction. the foreign secretary was making clear that porton down we re was making clear that porton down were shortly nerve agent was novichok, a point they have subsequently reinforced. he goes on in the same interview to make clear why, based on that information additional intelligence, and, as i said, the lack of alternative explanation from the russians, we have reached the conclusion we have. what the foreign secretary said then, what porton down have said recently, is fully consistent with what we have said throughout. in contrast, mr president, we have had
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innumerable theories from the russians. i think we have counted some 2a, in all. on the 21st of march, for example, the russian foreign ministry said they believed terrorists did it. on the 14th of march, mr laffer of lavrov —— mr said it was trying to distract from brexit. use of chemical weapons on british soil is far too serious for these theories to hold water. chemical weapons convention, which came into force 21 years ago, is clear in article seven that states should adopt legislation criminalising that activity prohibited under the convention. that is why the uk is conducting a full investigation of the incident including under our own chemical weapons act. because of this, we have,in weapons act. because of this, we have, in addition to the uk criminal investigation, invited the opcw, the
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releva nt investigation, invited the opcw, the relevant international body, to assist in verifying our analysis. and this is on the basis of article eight of the chemical weapons convention. this mandates the technical secretariat to provide technical secretariat to provide technical assistance and technical evaluation in two states parties. everything we have done, mr president, has been consistent with the convention on chemical weapons. ifi the convention on chemical weapons. if i may say so, mr president, i won't take any lectures on morality oi’ won't take any lectures on morality 01’ on our won't take any lectures on morality or on our responsibilities under such international conventions from a country that has this council debated yesterday, has done so much to block the proper investigation of the use of chemical weapons in syria. —— that, as this council debated yesterday. the uk's track record on that speaks for itself. on
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the 21st of march, ten threw deployed a team to the uk to visit the locations were the victims were exposed —— opcw deployed 18. to a toxic chemical. the 00], and opcw executive, and staff collected environmental samples from the scene and biomedical samples from the victims. opcw has verified a chain of custody. the samples have been sent to several designated laboratories for testing. analysis from these laboratories will now be returned to the opcw and they will produce a report. contrary to the russian claims, mr president, the united kingdom looks forward to sharing its findings once we have received that report. yesterday, russia table a resolution at the executive committee, proposing a joint investigation. mr president, there are several ways
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to view thisjoint mr president, there are several ways to view this joint investigation. i think the metaphor that i find most apt is that of an arsonist turned firefighter. but in this particular instance, the arsonist wishes to investigate his own fire. having failed to get a joint investigation, the resolution received only six out of 41 votes in favour, and without waiting for the outcome of opcw testing, russia has reverted to a familiar path of undermining the international institution involved. there is no other construction become place on mr lavrov‘s remarks today that russia will accept results of the opcw salisbury poisoning investigation, only if russian experts participate in it. i am sorry, mr president, but that does not make it an independent
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investigation. if russia insists on having its own experts, it seeks to move away from the chemical weapons convention's stipulation and it is setting a test that no independent investigation credibly tolerate. —— could credibly tolerate. this is pa rt could credibly tolerate. this is part of a wider pattern, sadly, irresponsible russian behaviour. russia discredited the joint investigation mechanism into use of chemical weapons in syria. members of the council will be familiar with the pattern of aggression over the years in georgia and crimea. there has been a shooting down of mh17 and there has been a bungled attempt at a coup in montenegro. at each time these acts are accompanied by distortion and disinformation, the same sort of distortion and disinformation we saw
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yesterday in the hague, in the russian press conferences, and in the security council today. mr president, why we would have not called this meeting today, we hope to have briefed the council further once we received the report from opcw. we do believe that it is right that the security council remains seized at this flagrant use of chemical weapons. it is that use that threatens the international peace and security. from attacks in syria malaysia and now the united kingdom pose a very serious challenge to the nonproliferation regime that this council and others have carefully constructed in response to the terrible events of the past. there is one country among us, russia, which is playing fast and loose with our collective security and the international
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institutions that protect us. it is that reason, mr president, that leads people to accuse russia and to ta ke ste ps leads people to accuse russia and to take steps against them. it is not out of lack of friendship for the russian people or lack of respect for russia as a country. my own foreign secretary visited in the hope of establishing a more productive relationship with foreign minister lavrov, but we cannot ignore what has happened in salisbury. we cannot ignore russia turning a blind eye to the use of chemical weapons in syria and in salisbury. and we cannot ignore the way that russia seeks to undermine the international institutions which have kept us safe since the end of the second world war. we be doing —— we believe the uk's actions of the to any scrutiny. we have acted in accordance with the cwc throughout and with the body charged with these purposes the opcw.

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