President Putin, Prime Minister, Russia discussed on BBC Newshour

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

And welcome to newshour live from the b._b._c. world service in london with me rebecca kes- be coming up on the programs day we'll be reporting from the g twenty summit in a sokha and chitty face-to-face meeting between britain's prime minister may and president putin of russia overshadowed by last year's nerve agents attack in the city of seoul spree with also head what president putin thinks of that issue well sit there's a major heatwave in europe at the moment france has broken all records with the hottest ever temperatures recorded in the country we'll get the latest on that and also we'll hear about the unmanned craft called dragonfly that will be known to tighten sutton's largest moon i mean when you've had rove sent to mos they've very lovely useful things slots calls troubled over the motion of but that's about it but dragonflies apps in utech -nology it's about the size of a call it's going to leap and hope and everything like that and we'll have more on that in about forty minutes but let's begin in asaka japan scene of the latest g. twenty summit where leaders of the world's largest and fastest growing economies meeting to thrash out pressing global issues and there are plenty of those to choose from in a moment we'll take a look at what russian president vladimir putin has been saying ahead of the summit in ray of you with a western publication he told the financial times that he believes western liberalism is now obsolete we'll come back to those comments first though let's catch up with one of the big meetings today and this was between the outgoing british prime minister theresa may end russian president vladimir putin now relations between these two have been strained in the extreme since a chemical attack on a former russian agents in the english city of souls bring i'll steer that left one member of the public dead Is to say that the handshake in greasing seemed pretty icy. Let's cross to a correspondent on the scene. Serra rains, as she joins us live from Japan. Sarah, what can you tell us about this meeting today between prime minister may and President Putin? well i think it'd be described as extremely tense i mean certainly the body language from threes was very very stern that was a fairly chilly handshake she sort of marched towards putin he tried a half smile she kept grim-faced throughout sort of turned face the cameras deliberately keeping that look on her face and that's because she says she wanted to send a message to russia it's passive behavior that includes of course that novacek attack in salisbury muster must stop that's the message coming for the u._k. government saying that russia must take responsibility for what happens mrs may going into that meeting saying there is clear evidence that russia was behind the attack on a former russian spy paul and that is unacceptable despicable was the way that she used now when i asked the kremlin in the brief chance that we had to try to find out what the kremlin's response to that was to meet ups golf said that mrs may did give that message and she received what we were told was the necessary statements from president putin now we can be sure that that was a flat out denial once again from play putin because they're not inter- you mentioned with the financial times he said again that there is no evidence that russia was involved in any way in this case cripple the british are in a really difficult position with this on because they've had this tough line right from the moment that it happened that totally convinced that the russian state was behind it but of course there was another attack on british soil years ago with the alexandria litvinenko in london and they've never got to the bottom of that either well it's certainly never got russia to accept responsibility for that i think in both cases it's quite clear that the richard authorities are convinced that russia was responsible and both the case of alexander litvinenko and in this case pollen his daughter yulia and of course to british were also affected by the nova novacek poisoning now mrs may went into this meeting said that the evidence of russia's involvement was refutable i think is interesting the message coming from the kremlin the comments from to meet ups kaufman spokesman was to underline the fact that mrs may made those those criticisms that condemnation of the souls spree poisoning in a one on one on one meeting mr putin but then the sides move to a sort of broader format with other diplomats ministers involved and then they discussed business they started talking about the economy they started talking about trade ties i think perhaps this might be the way forward certainly the kremlin has kept saying recently that they are interested in spending in revitalizing business ties with britain for moscow oversea that's important because of the sanctions that the west has now imposed for some years on russia russia's economy is suffering at wants to improve ties with an of course heading towards brexit and any economic ties it can maintain develop also potentially useful to the british economy and just a few weeks ago in fact putin invited a whole big bunch of british businessmen to the kremlin to sit down and talk business it seems the kremlin is trying to use business as a route to restore relations with the u._k. although politically obviously the temperatures still extremely chilly all right well very good to hear from you live there thank you very much that's our correspondent on the scene several raynsford in circa well the liberal idea has become obsolete that's the headline across the front of the financial times here in london today it's a quote from that interview that the russian president for putin gave to the paper and head of this g twenty summit in japan mr Putin says that liberals can no longer dictate the political agenda now that nationalist and populist ideology is gaining support all over the world. The financial times has kindly. Let us run part of their interview. what what is happening in the west what is the reason for the trump phenomenon as you said in the united states what is happening in europe as well the ruling elites have broken away from the people there is also the so called liberal idea which is outlived its purpose a western partners of admitted that some elements of the liberal idea such as multiculturalism no longer tenable We should. well as we heard from soccer the british prime minister theresa may has been meeting mr putin today and as we heard she's calling for the two suspects in the script case to be handed over for questioning by the british authorities here's what mr putin told the financial times about that issue Sure. all this was about spies and countess buys it is not worth serious interstate relations this story we say it is not worth five kopecks an issue concerning interstate relations they are measured in billion and the fate of millions of people the average person listens and says who are these polls and it turns out that scruple was engaged in espionage against us so this person the next question why did you spy on as using scruple maybe you should not have done that i think that both russia and the united kingdom are interested in fully restoring relations and our thanks the financial times those clips from that interview well listening to that and joining us live now is the writer and historian who specializes in eastern europe and particularly russia and applebaum thank you very much for joining us it's probably worth mentioning again really isn't that how rare it is that president putin gives a sit down interview to a western paper there's a lot going on in british politics at the moment new leader any moment how significant is that who is he really aiming these comments so yes my guess is that the reason for this interview was that he sees a big change coming in u._k. politics there's going to be a new leader of the tory party it's probably gonna be boris johnson who will be prime minister within a few weeks there could be of course a new kind of labor leader as well and what he's really looking for is a new opening to the u. k. and perhaps even hinting that what he'd like is for the u._k. to be allied to him if it's not going to be linked to europe it's a moment when maybe he can he can kill the u._k. away from europe which is would would would suit his broader geopolitical goal which is to break up and undermine europe and western institutions more broadly yeah of course he's talking about liberalism but in very social terms really l._g._b._t. rights migration not in the mechanisms of liberal ideology democracy independent judiciary that sort of thing he done that no you're exactly right i mean this is kind of caricature of liberalism you know he liberalism in putin's words is i'm quoting from the interview migrants can kill plunder and rape with impunity or children can play five or six gender roles in other words he's using kind of old far far-right caricature of liberal ideals to denigrate them and this is of course what his state media does it's what russian trolls do this is a this kind of line has been coming from russia for awhile it's just it's unusual to hear it from the leader of russia and as you say this has nothing to do with liberal democracy with voting with freedom of speech with with balance of power with an independent judiciary these kinds of freedoms and mechanism for ruling society which really more deeply what liberalism are he's not talking about those he's trying to characterize it to dismiss it to say it as something that's over which is i say is is the kind of language you hear from authoritarian or liberal parties in the west as well well i mean has he got a point though because many people might look at the political debates all over the world and see some of the ideas on depending western liberalism under pressure at least under threat in many places and whether they like mr putin or not they might agree with him that the glory days of liberal thinking on over It's of course, is absolutely true. That, you know, for for variety of reasons. The liberal democracies are not looking as strong as they as they did a couple of decades ago. and liberalism is liberalism understood as liberal democracy is under pressure not least from states like putin and from other illiberal authoritarian countries around the world who would very much like liberalism to be over because liberalism is the most important challenge to them it's important for them to portray the west and crisis because that protects them at home you know putin above all is afraid of the ideals of democracy the ideals of liberalism protection for the individual Protection for human rights because that's challenging to him. then doesn't mean that the people in the west have to accept his characterization or his character liberalism and liberal democracy or something that people have always had to fight for and you know our societies will continue to do so yeah you say he's afraid of those ideas and ideologies he still afraid as much as the oiseaux always that are more confidence in the fact that so many people and leaders in the world seem to be agreeing with them more a more if he wasn't afraid he wouldn't be putting his own people in jail he wouldn't be arresting journalists as he did a few weeks ago planting fake drug evidence on on a prominent journalist he wouldn't be cracking down on demonstrations or censoring the internet you know he's afraid of these things because he sees they could undermine him and this is why he's gone on the offensive this is why he seeks to disrupt elections this is why he funds these national populist parties so called populist parties all over the west so all he did in this interview was say in public something that we know he believes and has been acting on many years now and i will bom thank you very much indeed for joining us live on that you're listening to newshour from the b._b._c. world service on w._n._y._c. in new york it's nineteen minutes after nine o'clock today on all of it stewart speaks with author and comedian chelsea handler about her latest book life will be the death of.

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