scientists say 2017 was the warmest year ever recorded without the el nino effect. they say manmade co2 emissions are pushing up global temperatures more than natural weather patterns. president trump has said that it's possible the us government could be forced to shut down as congress tries to break a deadlock over legislation. democrats say they won't support any bill without protection for undocumented immigrants. and this video is trending on bbc.com. it's an unexpected visitor for researchers in antarctica, when up pops a penguin. the penguin takes a little look around the boat before realising its not the quite the icy landing he was looking for and jumps back into the water. 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 sarah montague.
russia is calling on the eu to stump up billions of dollars to help rebuild syria. iam in i am in brussels to speak to russia's representative to the eu, vladimir chizhov. he said that if the eu doesn't pay, then they will bear the responsibility for that. but russian planes are still destroying parts of the country and rather than support the peace process at the un, they have set up their own parallel talks. so what responsibility do the russians themselves have for ending the war in syria? vladimir chizhov, welcome to hardtalk. thank you. what do you
mean when you say that if the eu don't pay for the reconstruction of syria or contributed to it, they will bear the responsibility for that? well, the reconstruction of syria, after the extensive damage that has been inflicted on that country during over six years of war, is, in my view, the responsibility of the whole international community, including the european union. now the european union has been declaring a number of times it's willingness to contribute to resettlement in syria, so that would be one of the - since the would berene—ef—the ways. sincethe rightly it is not part of it is not p, is of
iii : rat 5 : imr ! military activity, it is not a military activity, it is not a military alliance. but on the economic side it has so far limited its participation, its contribution toa its participation, its contribution to a share of humanitarian aid. when you say a share, it is by far the largest owner of humanitarian aid. we are talking about more than 10 billion euros, twell billion dollars. but for reconstruction, a conservative estimate, is 250 billion dollars. why should they be painted that now when russian planes are still bombing syria? what the russian planes have been doing, throughout the two years of russia's involvement in combating terrorism there inside syria, has been destroying the facilities of isil
and al—nour struck, which are designated by the united nations as terrorist organisations —— al—nour struck. there is no record of any deliberate bombing of hospitals. it isa deliberate bombing of hospitals. it is a fact that those terrorist organisations have been using civilian facilities, hospitals, schools and even, as the shields and also as their own headquarters. but there are 48 hospitals run by medical aid charities, they have not been acting as shields, and they have been hit. there is evidence of targeting of hospitals and medical facilities. there is no evidence of deliberate targeting of hospitals working as hospitals. the atlantic council, a washington —based research institute, whose chairman is the american ambassador to russia, produced evidence that
russia, produced evidence that russia and syria had repeatedly bombed hospitals and they suggested he be evidence of that. are you saying it is all a mistake? well, in operations like this mistakes are unavoidable, certainly. buti operations like this mistakes are unavoidable, certainly. but i can assure you that the strategy of the russian airforce assure you that the strategy of the russian air force and all russian military involvement in syria has been to destroy the assets and the headquarters primarily of those terrorist organisations. it has never been a russia's aim to destroy the infrastructure. so when the unicef say medical facilities in east cooter were hit in the last couple of days, would you say that was a mistake to? it has been used by opposition militants linked to
al—nusra and however it is called 110w. al—nusra and however it is called now. as a springboard for attacks against the syrian military. what the syrian military did was against that. an area that is effectively besieged, and in which very little military aid has gone in, will there be more evacuations, not least of children in days of ad in goutha? 0f course there will be. humanitarian aid will be reaching goutha, as will as many other difficult places inside syria. russia is saying to the eu, you have to help with the reconstruction. we are talking about 250 billion, how much is russia putting up? not exclusively. the eu and all the others. how much is russia putting up? those who have
joined the us coalition they should alsojoin the joined the us coalition they should also join the international effort to assist in the reconstruction of syria. how will russia joined that effort? how much will it put up?” cannot give you a specific figure, because they are estimates. the wine you referred to, citing, that is one estimate, there may be others —— the one. i have not heard any estimates coming from the syrian government. certainly it will be a huge sum. does russia recognise is responsibility in needing to repair the damage it is responsible for? russia recognises its responsibility for achieving the results of the military involvement, which is destroying the assets and the basis
of terrorist organisations in syria. we are also involved in promoting a political solution in syria. indeed. you are also involved in shoring president assad is still in power and in control of much of syria and yet you are asking much of the eu to pay reconstruction money that would effectively rob them a more —— ensuring. i would put it differently. any reconstruction money, properly channels, would lead to reconstructing the housing, the facilities, including hospitals and schools, roads, bridges, some of which have been destroyed, some of them by the us led coalition, which did not hesitate to bomb infrastructure facilities. the argument that other countries should put money in for reconstruction surely can be made when there is peace. does russia fully support the
geneva peace process? it certainly does. the problem with the geneva peace process, from the outside, and the reason why it has barely moved forward for quite some time was that the initial idea, as described in the initial idea, as described in the relevant un security council resolution, was to bring together the syrian government and a combined representative of the syrian government. the government came there but those people who claimed to represent the syrian opposition came from all sorts of places, london, istanbul... but not syria proper. my question to you was how it fits into the sochi talks, to they take into account what has been
agreed in the peace process, that there will be a transitional government and president assad does not represent the future of syria. actually, that is not agreed in geneva. there is an understanding describes in the geneva conclusions of 2012, that there will be a political transition, yes, but not in the current... you accept that president assad will not remain as president of syria wants this peace process is over? once there are elections and somebody else is elected. but that could take years. not necessarily. part of this political process would be to draft a new constitution. there is a un diplomat who says of the secretary general, antonio guterres, that so far sochi does not pass the smell test. you are not seen as an honest
broker. it is unfair, to say the least. do you seriously think that russia, by this process, can bring peace to syria? well, ultimately, it is only the syrians who can bring peace to their country. algol and they have the goal of all others, including the european union, is to contribute to that happening —— algol, under the auspices of the united nations, definitely. whatever happens at sochi will feed into the geneva... absolutely. the un will oversee this. yes. both will feed into the geneva process. it seems almost as though russia has had enough of it now. president putin says mission accomplished. but given his aims at the outset of stabilising the legitimate power in syria and the conditions of
political compromise, there is no political compromise, there is no political compromise. well, i believe that now that the hostilities are mostly over, of course there will be pockets and fla reu ps course there will be pockets and flareups of military clashes, that is inevitable in any conflict of that they mention, we can now think and actually proceed along the path ofa and actually proceed along the path of a political solution. and the intensified campaign we are seeing in places like eastern goutha, is that a sort of vinyl, effectively permission for president assad, the syrian regime, to do what they can, and there are suggestions that chlorine gas, chemical weapons have again been used, which, at the very least, russia must be complicit in.
well, until i see evidence, hard evidence of anything like that happening, iam not evidence of anything like that happening, i am not prepared to discuss it. you've seen the pictures. you've seen the reports of the effects of the bombing. throughout the conflict in syria, i have seen hundreds of pictures and videos staged of ostensibly chemical attacks. could be syrian regime use chemical weapons without russian and knowledge? i think that, to begin with, the syrian government, which you prefer to call regime, i call government, has no reason to use chemical weapons... government, has no reason to use chemical weapons. .. it is a different question. if i accept what you are saying that there is no evidence, let us accept that, what i am curious about is the process, the way things work in syria. i am wondering if it is possible that
syrian planes could use chemical weapons without russian knowledge, if not authority? to begin with, the syrian arab republic, the government, has got rid of all its chemical weapons and that has been recognised by international institutions. you referred to chlorine, chlorine is not a chemical weapon, technically. so chlorine would be fine to use? no, of course not. but it is known that some opposition groups have been using chlorine. you have said that there isa chlorine. you have said that there is a probability that the eu will lift sanctions on russia this year. they've only just extended lift sanctions on russia this year. they've onlyjust extended them, unanimously, what makes you say that? well, of course, i'm not going to speculate when the eu will take any decision on that or any other issue, it is up to them, but what i
senseis issue, it is up to them, but what i sense is that there is growing understanding with in the european union of the need to reconsider its position on those so—called sanctions. now they were put in place until there was full implementation of the minsk agreement... no. they will put in place originally in order to convince all parties concerned, including russia, to start negotiations. and that happened in february 2015. so those sanctions that had been imposed the year before in 2014 should have been lifted there and then. you have had words from the german minister suggesting that russia should be rewarded if the ceasefire holds which it has not done in yea rs. holds which it has not done in years. is that your position? if russia can ensure that separatists
in the east and those on the ukrainian side can hold a ceasefire than the sanctions should be lifted? we are not negotiating this issue of sanctions with the eu, the us or anybody else. it is not up for negotiation. the eu has drawn itself into a corner with those decisions. the moment the eu managers to collect enough political will to reconsider its position and pull itself back from that corner, they will know where to find us. you believe that even without a ceasefire, the sanctions should be lifted? there is a ceasefire, technically speaking. in name only.
there are numerous violations. u nfortu nately. there are numerous violations. unfortunately. like in syria, you can never have a watertight ceasefire in a conflict like this. you may be having various eu countries coming around and the opposite in the us where there is a new threat of sanctions and a threat that if the sanctions that have been signed but yet to be implemented by president trump, in the words of a chief executive, they say if those sanctions were imposed the cold war would look like child's play. he is ina would look like child's play. he is in a better position than myself to count the figures. he did not think they would be imposed. at the point he was making is that they are a very sizeable threat that would have a huge impact on russia. so far the
impact ofany a huge impact on russia. so far the impact of any of those restrictive measures on the russian economy has been palpable but not extensive. in some sectors of the russian economy, particularly in agriculture, the producers are happy and asking the government to make sure that the sanctions day. so they are a good thing? ringo and! lets have more sanctions! seriously? what is your view? that is what the producers think but i think that as a result of these sanctions our relation with the eu is in an abnormal state today. not only the restrictive measures but the lack of proper
dialogue and cooperation. you have been a top diplomat here for many yea rs. been a top diplomat here for many years. are things as bad now as they have ever been? i have seen a number of ups and downs. i will not say that the crisis in the ukraine was the starting point of the current difficulties. some of them predate the beginning of the crisis. i would say that the ukrainian crisis could be more accurately described as a ca ta lyst be more accurately described as a catalyst of those tendencies. certainly there will be common effort needed to overcome the current state of affairs. they have gotten worse, not least because of what russia has been charged with doing in the democracies of other countries. the accusations have
increased over the years in the latest from the british prime minister, theresa may, saying that russia has deployed its state run media to deploy fake stories and photoshop images to undermine our institutions to her message is simple. we know what you are doing and you will not succeed. simple. we know what you are doing and you will not succeedlj simple. we know what you are doing and you will not succeed. i need to say at this point that evidently the virus of anti— russian hysteria that was cultivated on the other side of the atlantic due to domestic political complications has managed to somehow crossed the atlantic and has infiltrated the minds of certain elements of political elites in european countries. so the fact that
the suggestion that there are over 19 european countries where there have been accusations that russia has interfered in the democracy is just paranoia on their part? germany, france, norway, italy, greece, spain? not a shred of evidence has appeared so far. neither in the united states nor in any european nation. i would say it is more an issue of psychiatry rather than diplomacy. is a different answer. you may accept that there is not a shred of evidence that it may be happening. can you categorically it is not happening? categorically, i can say it is not happening. that there is no russian orchestrated attempts to influence the outcome of campaigns to the benefit of russia? certainly not. the effect of all of this, if, as you say, relations with countries
are not as they should be. u nfortu nately, are not as they should be. unfortunately, that is correct. what effect does that have? you might say that i should feel frustrated that i am not. i feel the that i should feel frustrated that i am not. i feelthe need to concentrate my effort and those of my colleagues here to work... i will tell you that in the last three or four years the volume of work has increased although... 0k, we used to have a few summits a year and numerous ministerial meetings. not since 2014. however we need to continue to represent russian policy and interest and defend russian interests. when do you have meetings with your counterparts here in brussels? are they frosty than they
used to be? some of the marr but i would say that as a minority. mostly... particularly when you discuss something one to one it is a normal discussion like we used to have. the exception is when they get together. the arrival of president trump in the white house, he has been there for a year, has affected the way that different eu nations the way that different eu nations the rush hour? as i told you, this virus of anti— russian hysteria that was born in the united states, cultivated perhaps, iam was born in the united states, cultivated perhaps, i am not an expert in us domestic policies, but cultivated by those who lost the election, it has somehow managed to ci’oss election, it has somehow managed to cross the atlantic and found some
fertile ground in some part of european countries. what i was wondering about was whether president trump in the white house move eu countries are turning more to russia because he is perhaps less removed from the international scene than his predecessors. removed from the international scene than his predecessorslj removed from the international scene than his predecessors. i would say that we are in for cooperation, both with a european union countries and with a european union countries and with the united states and others. but in the case of the united states it takes two to tango and in the case of the european union it takes 29, so far. thank you for coming on hardtalk. following hot on the heels of the stormy weather yesterday that
brought wind gusts of 83 miles an hour to eastern england, the focus today is on the snow. the satellite pictures shows snow showers to the north—west and here is a little trough, a cold front that enhances the amount of snow, the frequency and heaviness of snow showers. where it is going? western scotland, arriving in time for the morning rush—hour. you could see further disruption here with significant accumulations of snow. it could be one of those mornings. certainly worth checking the condition of the roads before heading out on a journey in this part of the world. northern ireland will see snow showers, causing problems out and about and if is it is not slowed then there is the risk of ice. further south, showers across southern wales and england, many will have rain and wintering over the hills.
for many across england and it should be a sunny start to the day but it will feel cold temperatures hovering about freezing and brisk wind. so, the risk of disruption. as we go into friday morning, the focus across the western side of scotland. check before travelling and allow extra time for yourjourney. for the rest of the day the majority of snow showers will be across the north and west of country. fewer showers elsewhere will with the best of sunshine across central england. there could be an occasional wintry shower blown in an wind. the wind will make you feel chilly. temperatures not reaching much above freezing. there will be changes in the weather coming up through friday night. the weather front will try to move in and bring a spell of rain to the south of the uk. uncertainty about how far north band will get but it could start to bump into the cold air and possibly bring a spell of snow to hills and southern england. that is uncertain. further north there is
a surefire certainty of snow showers and risk of ice into saturday morning. through saturday morning the risk of rain and hill snow fades away from southern england and a decent they will be left. cold, sunshine, fewer showers and northern ireland scotland are more sunshine. for the second half of the weekend, a band of heavy rain will spread in and there could be a spell of heavy snow on the leading edge for a time before the mild returns. this weekend is not to love about on saturday but heavy rain and a chance, for some of us, of snow on sunday. welcome to newsday. i'm sharanjit leyl, in singapore. the headlines: what lies ahead for our ever—warming planet? scientists say last year was one of the hottest years recorded on earth, even without el nino. can the us avoid a government shutdown? politicians have until midnight friday to agree legislation preventing a funding freeze.