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tv   HAR Dtalk  BBC News  August 27, 2021 8:30pm-9:01pm BST

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temperatures close to the top temperatures close to the mid—205 for top temperatures close to the mid—20s for central scotland. and close to that for southern britons. sadly being the woman save the weekend. similarstory for sadly being the woman save the weekend. similar story for sunday and on into monday feeling a touch cooler on saturday. this is bbc world news. the headlines: two british nationals in a child were among those killed at kabul airport yesterday. borisjohnson boris johnson says borisjohnson says he will shift heaven and earth to get people out of afghanistan. scotla nd scotland sees a record—breaking number of daily covid cases, with more than 6000 on friday testing positive. cristiano ronaldo and united reach agreement on return to old trafford. the gun used to kill the outlaw billy the kid 140 years ago is going
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to public auction for the first time. now on bbc news, hardtalk. welcome to hardtalk. i'm stephen sackur. the african elephant is an endangered species. has put a harsh spotlight on two decades of new military commitment in afghanistan. looks and feels like an strategic defeat. but what does that tell us about the wider balance of power? is this reverse for the us and her allies a positive for russia.
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ambassador, welcome to hardtalk. your government appears to view the overflow of a democratically elected government —— overthrow, by a militant group. as an overall positive, why?— militant group. as an overall positive, why? militant group. as an overall ositive,wh ? ., ., positive, why? i would say so, and i've never— positive, why? i would say so, and i've never heard _ positive, why? i would say so, and i've never heard such _ positive, why? i would say so, and i've never heard such an _ positive, why? i would say so, and | i've never heard such an estimation —— wouldn't say so. i think it's happened, but it is definitely a failure to be in afghanistan for 20 years. but there is no way to dance
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over the assets, because we know how to deal with consequences. the reason i assume _ to deal with consequences. the reason i assume that you are regarding as a politician is because your colleague. there was a bad risk dream which disappeared. they say cannot be worse so it should be better. mi; cannot be worse so it should be better. y .., ., cannot be worse so it should be better. g ., ~ ., , ., better. my colleague in afghanistan has said this _ better. my colleague in afghanistan has said this after _ better. my colleague in afghanistan has said this after taliban _ better. my colleague in afghanistan has said this after taliban has - has said this after taliban has entered kabul. but we're still watching what's going to happen, and we have lots of concerns about terrorists in neighbouring states.
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moscow did for a long time designate the taliban as a terrorist organisation. has that changed? exactly. which is banned or the territory of the soviet union. there are lots of reasons for that because taliban were preparing terrorists on their soil and sending them. they were supplying towns with weapons and money. of course, they were banned from the soviet union. 50. banned from the soviet union. so, i'm “ust a banned from the soviet union. so, i'm just a little _ banned from the soviet union. so, i'm just a little confused. your ambassador is saying he's hopeful, he sees it as positive. you say we have to be careful because we don't see them as export violence be on the borders. are you right now, as a nation, are you ready to recognise that the taliban is the legitimate government in afghanistan? iiilat
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that the taliban is the legitimate government in afghanistan? not at all. it is government in afghanistan? not at all- it is two _ government in afghanistan? not at all. it is two different _ government in afghanistan? not at all. it is two different things. - government in afghanistan? not at all. it is two different things. we i all. it is two different things. we are maintaining our connections. talks in the so—called format, because this is part of afghanistan society, and we cannot disregard that. we did have talks with them. yeah, it's clear that you do talk with them at various levels. is the message from moscow to the taliban that they should not recreate the islamic emirate, as they called it back in the 1990s, that they must create an inclusive government and that they must work with other parties inside the country? you said it, you're absolutely right, and you said it for me. 0ur point of view is that it should be inclusive, all—inclusive government. and it is only the whole people of afghanistan can determine the future. so we are now expecting what is going to happen.
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we are analysing the situation but we are not in a hurry to recognise or to take other political steps with. .. but to be clear, because it is not at all clear that the taliban intend to create this inclusive all—party government that you want. you're saying if they do not, russia will not offer them recognition? i'm not saying that. i'm saying that we are watching what is happening. we are going to watch the human rights situation over there. definitely we are going to watch what's happening with the government. and especially we are going... we are concerned and we are watching what's going to happen with terrorist situation along the borders with the central asian states, whether it will be spill—over, whether it will be spill—over of drugs, criminals and all of that, because this is a major concern for us. you have...obviously russia has very close relationships with a number of central asian states. are you beefing up your military cooperation,
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even your military troop presence in countries like tajikistan, which, of course, in the past have had borders with afghanistan that have been penetrated by fighters going both ways? tajikistan has about, if i'm not wrong, about 1,200 km of border with afghanistan. and it is difficult to keep it over there. we are supplying them, not only us, but this is organisational security of all countries. we are supplying them with forces. at the moment, we are conducting manoeuvres together with tajikistan over there and with participation of uzbekistan, which is another border—long country with afghanistan. both of these countries are... ..could be targets for terrorists. leon panetta, a former cia director, says he has no doubt that the taliban remain terrorists. they are going to continue to support terrorists and he, of course, is talking about al-qaeda and various different other radical islamist groups, including islamic state. does russia take the same view?
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well, we have seen that director of cia has just met with leaders of taliban and he was talking to them. i do not know about what, but it's a fact of life. and what i do understand, although i'm not a big specialist in the middle east, in the middle east, but i can say that taliban is different. they have different wings in it, and very political wings, radicalwings, islamist wings, and so on. what will be the outcome? but it does not represent the whole people of afghanistan. we have other fractions and other people, not only pashtuns, who are leading over there. a final thought on afghanistan. the un high commissioner for human rights, michelle bachelet, she wants the united nations security council and the member nations to focus like a laser beam on human rights in afghanistan. she says there are credible reports of serious violations of human rights. she even mentioned summary executions, new restrictions on women since the taliban took over.
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she says, "i call on all states first to create safe pathways "for afg ha n refugees. "second, to unite and make sure there is a fundamental red "line for the taliban over their treatment "of women and girls." will russia be very actively supporting that? well, i can say that president macron of france has suggested that permanent members of the security council will be preoccupied in the coming days with the issue of afghanistan, with all sorts of crisis over it, with all parts of crisis over it. human rights is only one of them. humanitarian assistance is the other. evacuation, preventing of terrorism. so, there are many, many aspects of this crisis which is worsening, and we are not alien to the idea the security council will play a role in it. but at the same time, we have formats that have proved important for political settlement. as i say, an enlarged troika in moscow format, especially.
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do you think that what has happened in afghanistan over the last few days, weeks, months and years shows a fundamental weakness on the part of the united states and its nato allies? in a way, i will say afghanistan has a lot... a long story. we have tried to deal with it and we have taken our lessons of dealing with afghanistan. and of course, you can not deal with this crisis unilaterally. you need... you can't do... you cannot do it in a coalition of forces. you need to deal with such kind of crisis only when you have all members of the international community aboard. the international community has many deep divisions right now, and i suppose one of the very deepest is russia's extremely difficult relationship with the united states and other western nations. you, as london ambassador, are front and centre in that very difficult relationship. how did you feel when the uk
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government in march 2021 published its integrated review of security and declared that, "our view of russia is stark and unequivocal. "it is and will remain the most acute direct threat "to the united kingdom and the euro atlantic area." with hurt feelings. we have talked today with hurt feelings. i have read this report. you know, in the �*90s, we tried to build a partnership with nato and the european union and other countries and to get indivisible security as the european security architecture. we did believe in that, really. i was part of this in trying to establish normal contacts in the relationship with nato. but sadly, we have seen that there is no desire to take into account the interests of russian federation. and moreover, there is a big desire to promote interests in the neighbouring states, just avoiding the russian federation. that was bad. and from this we started to divide and it has come
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later on to alienation, and grown that alienation, because we still do not see how... you're alienated, are you? you're alienated from the united kingdom government, from the us government? no, there is a division in europe with the enlargement of european union and nato, and the united kingdom is trying to make it deeper, i'm afraid. see, if you want to bridge some of the differences, if you want to send signals that russia is interested in improving relations, why are you ramping up your cyber attacks on the uk and other western countries? and why are you ramping up your spying activities as well? we are not doing this. it is proved... there is no single proof that we continue cyber attacks. what i have heard, even today, that there are groups of criminals that are doing this. and it is well—known knowledge that most of the cyber attacks are coming from the territory of the united states and the united kingdom. well, with respect, that's not well—known knowledge at all. a whole host of different
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independent experts reckon that russia is the territory from which many cyber attacks are coming, both state and non—state actors. but very significant, recently, afterjoe biden met your president, vladimir putin, biden warned that time was running out for russia to rein in ransomware groups that were striking the united states and actually causing a great deal of economic damage. and it was interesting to see that, about a week or so later, one of these key ransomware organisations, revil, suddenly disappeared from the dark web. so, russia did appear to be listening after all. uh, you know that what has come out of the meeting between putin and biden on the issue of cyber attacks, it was the beginning of a serious conversation on the level of experts, meeting between representatives of the security council of two countries, and this is a professional conversation. and i regret that we do not have such a professional conversation with the united kingdom because the united kingdom still prefers
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to do it via the newspapers and all of that type. if the uk... if you have a quote unquote professional conversation, you're prepared to stop the cyber attacks? is that what you're saying? if there is an accusation, we are prepared to deal with it professionally, but not via the media. and there are context, there is a source how to deal with that. many times... but wouldn't the easiest thing to be, if you truly want to improve relations, just to unilaterally stop these attacks? who says that we...? it is you who are saying that we are doing attacks. do we have sources? do you have proofs on the table? well, if we go through the whole list from the solarwinds, the attacks that were clearly labelled by us intelligence as coming from your svr intelligence agency. if we go through the attacks, the famous attacks on the democratic national committee, if we go through a whole host of attacks, including some in germany, france, different parts of europe, it always comes back to russia. stephen, i would appreciate to have
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at least some proofs of this attack. if you have some, provide me it. or some other countries. the us has done some requests to us and we have answered these requests. we have done some requests to the united states. we are working on that. well, i'm just not entirely convinced that however much evidence i provide to you, you're going to acknowledge what you've done, because let's take a different element of spying and russian activity on overseas soil. for example, the skripal poisoning, in which one of your former agents was almost killed by novichok nerve agent in 2018. he mumbles you're continuing to insist that was nothing to do with russia? i say it would be interesting to know information, at least some information about skripal issues. and we have sent some 54 notes to the uk, to the uk foreign office, just to get something to know about that. but we do not know nothing. and not us, but also your allies and many embassies
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to whom it was promised to supply more information about skripal issues, they received nothing at all. the thing is, that happened before you moved into the london embassy. and again, as a man who brought a message that he wanted to try to work toward better relations with the united kingdom and other western nations, itjust seems to me that you would have to acknowledge that that represents a continued and severe dark cloud over the relationship. just as, for example, in more recent weeks, the fact that the germans nabbed a british man, david smith, who they say there is clear evidence was spying for russia. you know, these stories, they just continue and continue. and i'm wondering how i can take your message that you want a better relationship seriously when this is what russia continues to do. i'm trying because i am the ambassador here. i am trying to do this. but i do not insist if the uk is not prepared to let... which minister raab has said just a couple of days ago, he was talking about afghanistan, and he said that it is not comfortable for him to talk to us.
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he's out of the zone of comfortable, out of the zone of comfort, in talking to russia about afghanistan. if uk is not prepared, we do not insist. well, it comes back to that point that right now the uk sees very many different ways in which russia is not working with the united kingdom and western nations, but actually treating them as an adversary. i mean, the most recent, that dominic raab actually referred to this morning was the russian decision not to renew the journalist visa of a bbc correspondent, of long—standing, sarah rainsford. now, mr raab, the foreign secretary, said that was totally u na cce pta ble. why are you doing it? because a year ago, there was a refusal to ourjournalists to stay in the united kingdom, and the treatment of the journalists is extremely bad, i should say, here. they are expelled. they are deprived of visiting... they? who? who are you talking about? there was a correspondent
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of the telegraph agency, of the tass, so—called. what's their name? their name is brovarnik. the name is brovarnik. and the whole of his family has been refused prolongation of visa. his wife was pregnant and she was on the ninth month, and they were simply expelled from the united kingdom after the passports were hold inside of the ministry of foreign affairs or internal affairs, i do not know, for about a year and a half. they couldn't leave because the passport, where it was hold, and they couldn't stay because they were deprived of visa. and moreover, i will tell you... to state the obvious... let me finish, please. yes. and i have to tell that conditions for our journalists that are staying here, they're really terrible. they cannot visit many events. they cannot open their accounts in the banks because banks are instructed not to do so. i do not know to talk long about it, but you can learn from them. you obviously will take up those particular
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accusations you've just made with the british government. the bbc, it goes without saying, is not the british government. i'm just wondering why, even if your accusations have any foundation, i have no way of knowing that, but even if they do, is that justification for taking a long—standing, highly respected bbc correspondent and simply saying, "you've got to leave the country"? the bbc is not the british government. why pick on the bbc? in that way, neither of our organisation belongs to the government because they are mainly... the bbc does not belong to the british government. well, we are perfectly aware about money and liaison, the bbc and the government and all of that stuff, there are books about this. we're trying to cover it right now. just a final thought on whether russia can be taken seriously when it talks about wanting a better relationship with western nations. in the very recent past, russia claimed that it had to open fire on a british navy vessel that was operating near crimea, the crimean coast.
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now, it was... the british are quite clear it was in international waters. it was not breaking any international law. why did you do that? was it a message that russia, particularly when it comes to ukraine, is prepared to contemplate military action against western forces? the british navy, the british ship, a warship, it was in the territory of a russian federation without warning. which it has to be done one hour at least... besides, it did not observe the laws and rules of russia, which it is obliged to do, according to the maritime convention. absolutely. so, this was not an innocent passage, which is claimed by your government. the passage was not at all innocent because it was a demonstration, a special demonstration. that they are trying to demonstrate that it is ukrainian waters, which is not at all
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the fact of life. so, next time, we didn't say that we can fire or whatever it is, probably some parliamentarians did. but next time it will be much, much more difficult for them, because it is not for the first time that british ship has done this thing. let me ask you a very simple question. what kind of russia do you speak for? an authoritarian russia or a russia that really wants to embrace democracy? democracy has different meanings and ways. uk and us just tried to impose democracy, a democratic liberal democracy in afghanistan. it totally failed. so, there are different ways of doing it democratic. there is... what kind of russia i do represent, it is sovereign russia. russia, which is trying to defend its own interests and it will continue to strengthen sovereignty because it is most important to do in this world. we protect the interests of our people, and we protect our economy and our sovereignty. no mention of freedom or democracy in that answer, but a big mention of protecting
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your interests and sovereignty. just as we end this interview, i want to reflect very quickly on climate change. there's a big world conference looming in glasgow, cop26, where nations are going to gather to repeat and expand on their commitments to decarbonise. russia, it seems, protecting its sovereignty and its national interest isn't prepared to go along with that message. why not? we are preparing. we are defending our freedom and democracy, and our understanding... your freedom to continue to base your economy on fossil fuels. but that's very short—sighted... no, no, no. ..ambassador? you should better source it. you are really well prepared for that, but probably you haven't read a lot of materials about it. well, you tell me. i will tell you. this summer our government has installed a number of groups, i think six or something like that, especially dealing with how to diminish carbon layer emission in our country... well, in november 2020, which let us remind ourselves
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was less than a year ago, your energy minister, alexander novak, said russia has no plans to rein in its production of fossil fuels in the coming decades. "we don't see that we'll achieve even peak gas "production any time soon." this is outdated information because coal is the most poisoning. thinking of that respect, we are going to diminish a number of production of coal of this industry, which is making a lot of... how it is called? green gases and all of that stuff. so, we have quite a good programme out of that. we're not very much in a hurry. you're not in a hurry, no. the climate change performance index ranks you as one of the slowest and most inadequate member nations in terms of reducing emissions. the country's renewable energy target of 2.5% by 2024, 4% by 2035, is, quote, "by far too unambitious." are you prepared when you get to glasgow as a government to get more ambitious? but we do not want to spring
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upon the pleas to get more ambitious because targets that sometimes are proclaimed, they are, well, exaggerated, as i can see. you cannot... either, you will not be able to reach them or something. so, we should be realist in that stuff. but we do understand the problem. we work with private industry on that and private industry inside russia is now understanding what is the main target. we are going to be greener, of course, probably not very soon. but we do understand the problem because the problem is striking also upon us. we have 40% of our country at least in the permafrost. now, permafrost will die the first because of worsening of climate. butjust in a couple of words, you are, on this crucial multilateral issue, prepared to work with the united states, with europe, with all of the global players? i think, yes. ambassador andrei kelin, it's been a pleasure to have you on hardtalk. thank you very much. thank you.
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hello there. it's been another dry day across the board. we've seen plenty of sunshine across northern and western parts of the uk, but a lot more cloud further east. tonight, it's going to stay dry. there will be lengthy clear spells in many areas, particularly central, northern and western areas. and it will turn quite chilly in one or two spots as well. now, winds will be light under this area of high pressure. still quite a breeze blowing down the east and particularly the southeast corner. that'll feed in a bit of cloud at times and stop temperatures here from falling much below ten, 12 degrees. further north and west, the winds will be light. and here, we'll have issues with some mist and fog, some sea fog affecting northern and western parts of scotland, perhaps into
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northern ireland as well. single figure values, you'll notice here, particularly in rural spots. double figures further south and east. so, for the weekend — and for many of us, it's a bank holiday weekend — it's going to be largely dry with our big blocking area of high pressure holding on. it will bring sunny spells. it's not going to be wall—to—wall sunshine, but where you get the sunshine, it'll be quite warm. on saturday, our area of high pressure will be with us. into sunday, the centre of it towards the north west corner. there will be quite a few showers over the near continent. there's just an outside threat that one or two of these could graze the very far southeast of england through the day, but i think most places will stay dry. here, again, quite breezy, a bit of cloud. further north and west, largely dry with plenty of sunshine and light winds too. just a little bit of sea fog hugging coastal parts of scotland and northern ireland. i think saturday looks like being the warmest day of the weekend. we could see the mid—20s across parts of scotland, close to that in central and southern areas as well, but a little bit fresher along north sea coasts because of that onshore breeze. on sunday, temperatures a degree or so down.
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i think there could be a bit more cloud across northern and eastern areas. best of the sunshine, central and southern and western areas, sheltered from that north—northeast breeze, so i think it's here where we'll see the best temperatures. up in cardiff, bristol, 22, maybe 23 degrees. cooler than that, northern and eastern coasts. so for monday, then, which is a bank holiday for many of us, looks like we could see more in the way of cloud generally, some spells of sunshine, too, particularly in the southwest. top temperatures 20, maybe 21 degrees, so a little bit fresher across the board. and it stays fine through the new week as well, but there is a chance that things could start to turn more unsettled by next weekend, as low pressure starts to invade in.
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this is bbc news with the latest headlines for viewers in the uk and around the world. there's heightened taliban security around kabul airport following yesterday's devastating attack — the death toll has now risen to 170. those killed in this awful attack with trying to escape years of violence in afghanistan. instead they became the latest victims in a country torn apart by bloodshed. spain is one of the latest nations to announce its operation has concluded. the us says there are still more than 5,000 people inside the airport, waiting for flights out. a glimpse of life for some of the thousands who have already escaped afghanistan — we have a special report from northern france. one other story...
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manchester united say they've reached an agreement


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