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tv   HAR Dtalk  BBC News  September 26, 2017 2:30am-3:00am BST

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this is bbc news — the headlines... the united states has condemned north korea's claim that it has the right to shoot down american warplanes outside north korean airspace. the comments, by the country's foreign minister, were in response to a tweet by president trump that the north korean leadership would not be about much longer. the german chancellor angela merkel has said that her party will not lurch to the right as she tries to win back the voters who had deserted her for the anti—immigrant md in sunday's elections. she said she would try to regain the trust of a large number of people who, she said, had felt excluded. votes are being counted after an independence referendum in iraq's kurdistan region. the result is expectedly to be heavily in favour of independence — but it won't trigger an immediate attempt to break away. iraq's central government, turkey and iran have all described the vote as unacceptable. now it is time for hardtalk. welcome to hardtalk. i'm sick ——
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stephen sackur. relations between the us and russia are at a post—cold war low point, filled with mistrust, unpredictability and potential danger. in washington, there's a president whose mixed messages tie his own staff in knots. meanwhile, in moscow is a president who seems intent on exploiting western division. my my guess today is konstantin kosachev, chairman of the russian senate's foreign affairs committee and an influential russian voice on foreign affairs. does russia see opportunity in diplomatic chaos? konstantin kosachev, in moscow, welcome to hardtalk. and kew. -- thank you. you have been an observer of international affairs since the 19805. of international affairs since the 1980s. can you ever remember a time when the russia — us relationship
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was more dysfunctional, more unpredictable? well, i have studied historical relations between our two countries during the cold war period and definitely, we have had much worse examples of frozen relations between our two countries so what is happening right now is definitely rather unusual and unwelcome period in our bilateral relations that this is not the worst one. you have just come back from new york. you are pa rt come back from new york. you are part of the russian delegation at the un general assembly. did you get any sense of a coherent american stands towards russia during your time there? well, everything is changing, everything is moving. one obvious change which i could notice
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was the reaction of the people sitting in the hall of the general assembly in new york, listening to mrtrump and that assembly in new york, listening to mr trump and that at a —— attitude was different to the one i could experience in previous years when people were listening to president obama. what you mean by that? be clear with me. mr obama was interpreted by most people in the audience as a kind of person who really rules and possesses the final truth while almost everything which was pronounced by mr trump was contested, why the audience, and i could count at least four times where people applauded and at least the same number of times where people were expressing their strong disagreements with what mr trump was
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pronouncing. the reaction was obviously different. ironic then maybe not so ironic, it is interesting that you in russia, even now, despite the sanctions that we see, despite the tit—for—tat embassy closures and staff recalls, interesting that foreign minister lavrov after trump's speech that didn't go down well, as you say, lavrov said there were things that he welcomed from the statement and things he hadn't heard from an american leaderfor some things he hadn't heard from an american leader for some time. what on earth was he talking about? for me, this speech was somehow drafted by two completely different persons and sometimes, especially in the beginning, and that is what mr lavrov referred to, mr trump sounded like a kind of profit, expressing
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obvious things against everything bad. —— prophet. declaring the readiness of the us to influence the road by example, not by using in violence or interference methods while the second part of the speech was rather a speech of a judge, declaring certain sometimes humiliating estimations of other countries and governments existing and ruling these countries. it was a speech containing two absolutely different approaches and one of them is to be welcomed and that is what mr lavrov was talking about. is to be welcomed and that is what mr lavrov was talking aboutm strikes me that the mixed messages and nobody would dispute it, the mixed messages coming from donald trump and his administration, the dissidents between him and his
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senior staff, the dissidents between what he tweets one day and the next, it seems to have got you lot in moscow on the back foot. using almost as coherent —— incoherent as him. you have lavrov saying things we re him. you have lavrov saying things were welcomed, dmitry medvedev saying and slamming trump saying the administration is going in the wrong direction. you seem almost as confused as he is. well, during the first period of mr obama's presidency, two countries established bilateral so—called presidential commission, these are some 27 working groups, 27 channels of communications are that everything possible, human rights, disarmament, security, terrorism, all that stuff. by then, there was a clear vision of intentions, ambitions, plans and everything else
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coming from the united states of america. as for now, we have a kind ofa america. as for now, we have a kind of a one or two america. as for now, we have a kind of a one oi’ two crosses america. as for now, we have a kind of a one or two crosses to everything that is going on inside the american administration and this is mr tillotson. —— access. —— rex tillerson. we have no one in the presidential administration to have communications with and that creates confusions and different reactions on different statements pronounced by different people in it managed —— american administration. there is one element of confusion. you are in york and not washington, do you understand the degree to which vladimir putin's name and of russia's reputation is toxic in dc? this man has 2017 is going to be the
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year of kicking russia in the past. thy you aware of that? —— are you aware of that? when he pronounced this informally in munich this february, let it stay with mr graham. yes, i am february, let it stay with mr graham. yes, iam not surprised because each day, each american can listen to american tv and read american newspapers and each piece of information about russia would be negative. it does not surprise me that russia is toxic as for now but it does not have anything to do with real russia,... it does not have anything to do with real russia, . .. you it does not have anything to do with real russia,... you can't say that with a straight face. of course it has to do with the real russia. it has to do with the real russia. it has to do with the russia that meddled and interfered with the us presidential election which is now the subject of a host of different
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us investigations including a special counsel robert mallala. that is at the very heart of why russia is at the very heart of why russia is now toxic in the united states! —— mueller. is now toxic in the united states! -- mueller. this is the opinion of mrgraham and people -- mueller. this is the opinion of mr graham and people like him. funny, this is part of the domestic internal game between different political forces in the united states of america. the victory of mr trump has not been accepted via those who have been defeated —— accepted by. this is how they find different explanations to why and how they were defeated. russia was discovered as a very good explanation for that. the head of the national director of intelligence, the caa, james koby at the lead, and i am quoting him —— ci eight, james comey. i am quoting james comey now, there is no doubt
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that russia was behind the meddling in the presidential election. you could hear the news that all 17 security agencies have taken a certain position it unanimously. later on, it was discovered they do not have 17 security agencies and this was expressed byjust four of them which does not create the final for me. it has nothing to do with presenting evidence. isn't it time to acknowledge that what russia did has massively backfired because whatever the rights and wrongs of the argument we are having with each other, the truth is because of the political impact of this, the last thing donald trump can afford to do now, politically in washington, is reset relations with cut —— vladimir
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putin or do anything which is perceived as a move towards russia which people in washington might associate with the things going on inside the beltway. whatever the rights and wrongs of your argument, the fact is, donald trump is now painted into a corner. one, i believe this theory about russian meddling in straits weakness of the united states of america, —— demonstrates. not strength. i do not believe any country in the world, russia included, could have succeeded in making any influence in any election of the united states of america. funny, this isjust a very clever move by those people who were ina clever move by those people who were in a position to answer very inconvenient questions about the content inconvenient questions about the co nte nt of inconvenient questions about the content of what had been leaked out. suddenly, nobody is any more
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concentrated on the content but everybody is discussing russian meddling. bravo those who did it but this is a very cynical and disgusting move of the political technologists of the united states of america. second part of your question, yes, definitely, mrtrump is now in a very difficult position. he is very much limited by red flags which were deployed by his opponents and enemies in the congress and yes, he cannot make any move towards russian normalisation of relations with russia. though, the usa, they need this normalisation of our bilateral relations even more in comparison with russia. we both need it. we have the same challenges, we
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have the same threats, we have the same enemies. in brief, let's look at some of the ball and policy challenges that russia and the us have to deal with right now. —— foreign policy challenges. and how the mess we have just been discussing impacts upon it. let's start with north. as i understand it you are a voice of influence in moscow and this is a quote from you, you are saying that on the north korea issue and the tit—for—tat with kim jong—un korea issue and the tit—for—tat with kimjong—un and korea issue and the tit—for—tat with kim jong—un and donald trump, korea issue and the tit—for—tat with kimjong—un and donald trump, you are saying that the us poses a greater threat to peace than north korea. do you really believe that? yes, ido korea. do you really believe that? yes, i do believe that. because people in the leadership of north korea which i definitely dislike, the way they behave right now, they are well aware about what happened previously with some countries not being able to develop protection
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mechanisms like weapons of mass destruction is. they are well aware of what happened to iraq, they are well aware of what happened to libya, they are well aware of what almost happened to syria. the united states of america is a country which on one hand is the only country in the world which used the atomic weapons in the history of mankind and secondly, this is a country which has made the interference in others domestic affairs each official policy —— it's official policy. no other american presidents have heightened their ambition to change the government in north korea as well. it definitely provokes the leadership of north korea to develop this programme. i do notjustify it. the policy of the north korean
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leadership, i condemn it. i may understand why they try to protect themselves. the american position seems to be that the united states will not stand by and see north korea develop a nuclear weapons that can be put on a nuclear weapons that can be put on a ballistic missile capable of reaching san francisco, other cities, on the us mainland or other potential targets in the pacific ocean. so, the united states' position therefore is that it will do what it has to do ultimately to protect its national security. do you believe that that is a legitimate position to take? only if it is supported by the security council. nobody, not a single country in the world has entitled the united states of america to take the global
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responsibility on the global security issues. the united states of america is a country, a country among other countries, we have a collective mechanism of discussing and taking this kind of very serious decisions like interfering with other countries' internal affairs, like sanctioning other countries and all that stuff. if the united states of america continues to act unilaterally without any approval from the security council, it will continue to provoke response. the problem is that on the security council, you and china constantly backpedal, for example, when it came to new, tougher sanctions on north korea, you and the chinese clearly did not want an all out oil embargo on north korea so that had to be softened. so it's no good talking about the security council being a vehicle if you won't allow the security council to do its work.
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stephen, you are probably too busy and you don't read news or you don't read the speech of the american president, but in his latest speech to the united nations, mr trump explicitly expressed his gratitude to russia. i know that. and china for common efforts to solve the problem of north korea at the security council, and that was the only mentioning of russia by the way in his speech. if i'm may correct you, mr kosachev, that was not the only mention of russia because he also made a point of saying ukraine represented one unacceptable example of sovereignty being infringed. that was a second reference to russia and it's a very important one. russia was not... not mentioned by name but it does not matter in any case. in any case, ukraine definitely was not the central, focal point of mr trump's speech to the united nations. we had many other issues
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but not ukraine. again, stephen, the rhetoric that you are now using reminds me very much of the rhetoric that was used by: powell and other quys that was used by: powell and other guysin that was used by: powell and other guys in the security council while preparing a military attack on iraq. it was actually the same wording, iraq does develop weapons of weapons of mass destruction we need to protect the national security of the united states of america, we need to protect the national security of our allies and this is why we will move ahead. we know how it all finalised and how it all continues to develop. vladimir putin has put on the table a proposal to introduce un peacekeepers, blue helmets into that disputed zone of east ukraine. the donbass and the luhansk regions. but it's interesting that nobody it seems in the west am certainly not petro poroshenko, the ukrainian
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president, are taking this seriously because president putin says those un peacekeepers should only be on the line of conflict, not throughout the line of conflict, not throughout the disputed territory and certainly not on the russian border. this proposal isn't going to fly unless putin gets real about what those peacekeepers should be doing. do you accept that? this is a wrong description of the russian initiative. yes, the peacekeepers should have one complete mission to protect the only see observers according to the mandate given to them by the 0c and the mission of them by the 0c and the mission of the 0c is to observe, it's not about taking part or keeping peace, it's not about forcing any part of the conflict to peace. any peacekeeping oi’ peace conflict to peace. any peacekeeping or peace enforcement mission should
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be accepted by both conflicting parties. these both conflicting parties. these both conflicting parties are inside of the ukraine, not outside. in in case the leadership of donbass on luhansk would accept the presence of un peacekeepers elsewhere, let's do it. but for me the most important thing is not about where peacekeepers would be deployed. the most important thing is to force kiev and ukrainian authorities to fulfil their commitments according to the minsk agreements. the key problem of this conflict is not russia, it is not the south—eastern ukraine, it is the authorities in kiev which are interested in keeping that conflict alive, in demonising russia, in antagonising russia with the western pa rt antagonising russia with the western part of this world. this is their primary interest and unfortunately the so—called west, the european
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union, the united states of america are trapped by this anti— russian policy of kiev. i wonder whether putin's kiev initiative, to quote a big policy thinker in russia, he says it represents a significant shift, possibly a conservatory shift from the russian president. i wonder whether we should see it as a bigger picture. here you are in russia, you've got a massive military commitment you're making two east ukraine and crimea and it's costing you an awful lot of money, you got a massive military commitment that your maintaining in syria that's costing you a lot of money. right now you have and economy underperforming massively by any international measure. you have frankly a profound demographic problem that you don't have enough young russians of reductive capacity. perhaps it's time to admit that russia needs to change its strategic position because it cannot afford to maintain the position is
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that it's held for the last couple of years. would you accept that there's some in that? first i would not accept your description of the russian foreign policy, of the russian foreign policy, of the russian domestic policy and neither the state of affairs in russia today. one, you should not compare oui’ today. one, you should not compare our military presence in syria with oui’ our military presence in syria with our presence in crimea, which is an integral part of russia, or our presence in south—eastern ukraine, which has nothing to do with the regular military operation or russian troops in the ukraine. this is all false information. secondly, the economy of russia is not torn into pieces the way mr obama tried to describe it, or the opposite, the economic growth of the russian economy, the economic growth of russia, has now been stable since
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the beginning of this year and the economic growth is becoming higher and higher each month coming. and also the demographic problem of russia, it does depend on our experiences. from the early 90s, where we had a completely different foreign policy, accepting everything coming from the west, and giving up all possible russian national interests in order to have as good relations with the west as possible, that tore the rostrum russian economy into pieces. that created a huge crisis in the russian society. this is how people stopped to give birth to children and they are now in their second period of this modern history of russia. so i do not see any real reasons for russia to change its foreign policy. the
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major reason i do not believe that is due to russian foreign policy, the world is still multilateral. it is not unilateral the way the united states of america or the united kingdom or any other countries from nato would like to see it, starting from the end of the cold war. the world is completely different from the way you're part of the world tried to develop it in the recent two decades. mr kosachev, that's why we always enjoy getting your perspective so i thank you very much for being on hardtalk. thank you, sir. hello.
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the week started on a fairly quiet note across many parts of the british isles. we had a weak weather front close by which really pepped up the cloud across some central and eastern areas. out west, a different story. some sunshine to be had but first thing on monday and again late on in the day, some areas were quite badly affected by fog. there's that weather front gradually fizzling all the while as the pressure builds in from the continent. but there will still be a legacy of cloud first up and i think what you'll really notice about the first part of the day, one, yes, leaden skies but look at the temperatures, 13—15 for many. just a bit cooler where the skies have stayed clear for any length of time overnight. there could be some foggy patches around. rather leaden skies for many of us for the first part of the day but you get a sense from the big picture that as the day goes on,
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there is a greater hope of seeing a little bit of sunshine. one of the more favoured spots may be the north of scotland. a little bit cloudier along the eastern shores. just the chance of one or two isolated showers across the northern half of britain. northern ireland faring quite nicely away from eastern coast fully exposed to that rather noticeable breeze. there is the chance, come mid—afternoon, of seeing a few showers across the north and east midlands, maybe away towards east anglia as well. many of those will tend to fade if you happen to see them at all come evening. temperatures around 20 degrees or so. a little bit more in a way of breeze on wednesday across the north—western quarter of scotland. the freshening wind and the cloud filling in all the while across northern ireland, and into the far south—west of england and wales. the weather front works its way in from the atlantic. generally speaking, the further east you are,
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the drier and finer your day will stay. top temperature, again, not bad for this time of year in the south—eastern quarter. cooler in the breeze in the far north—east. thankfully, the fourth one—day international between england and the west indies is going to be at the oval in the south—east corner of central london. that shouldn't be interrupted by the rain until perhaps very late on in the day because the front does make progress later on on wednesday. indeed into the first part of thursday, it will still be producing quite a wet start to the day across eastern parts of the british isles. but once that's away, a pretty decent day in prospect for many. welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers to the anti—immigrant afd, but she won't lurch to the right. ballots are being counted in the iraqi kurdish referendum.
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the result is expected to be a massive vote for independence. and a remarkable school in northern nigeria where children of the victims of boko haram and children of the militants learn to live together.
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