10/11/2015 Newsnight


Newsnight talks to foreign secretary Philip Hammond in Washington about the war in Syria and the EU renegotiation.

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Britain, Syria and the so-called Islamic State.


Are we a nation poised for action, inaction or indecisiveness?


I'm in Washington and has been talking to the Foreign Secretary.


No strategy, no foreign policy there at all. It is not fair to say we


have no strategy but it is absolutely true to say that the


speed and decisiveness of Russia's intervention has taken the


international community by surprise. Talking of foreign policy -


back in Britain, it's Europe day. The commitment in the treaty to an


ever closer union is not a commitment that should apply any


longer to Britain. We do not believe in it, we do not subscribe to it. We


have a different vision for Europe. But is he doing a Wilson,


a renegotiation pretending to be We have discussed


the very controversial subject of cheese, on which I am satisfied


with what has emerged this evening. Good evening from Washington, where


the Foreign Secretary, Phillip Hammond, here in the US to hold


talks on Syria with the Secretary of State, John Kerry, has confirmed to


Newsnight that he'd like to see a House of Commons vote


on airstrikes in Syria go ahead. He said he believes airstrikes in


Iraq had saved Baghdad from falling, but the mission would need a local


ground force of troops if the battle I asked him whether he believed


the UK really had a foreign policy at all against Isis,


what the airstrikes had achieved, whether Putin was currently seen as


our enemy or our ally, and whether Britain monitored how Saudi Arabia


used the ?5.4 billion worth We'll hear from the Foreign


secretary in an extended interview First, here's our diplomatic editor,


Mark Urban. There are pictures of bodies with


symptoms consistent of that of nerve agent exposure. Our allies in the


Middle East, like Saudi, Emirates and others cannot take military


action, why does it fall on us again? For me the biggest danger of


escalation is if the world community stands back and do nothing, because


I think Assad will draw conclusions to that. The eyes to the


The Government tried and failed to get Parliament's backing for strikes


against the Assad regime after chemical weapons were used. Before


the vote it seemed that as in Libya Britain might even draw a reluctant


America into a. After it, the Government struggled to find a


policy. We are encouraged people to take up rebellion against their


dictators but we then weren't prepared to arm them once they had


done so, so Syria's a classic case where we weren't quite prepared to


go all the way through with the rhetorical and moral position that


we took. In that sense we led people on to the punch. With the failure to


secure parliamentary support, the US also stood back from bombing Assad.


Britain then had to follow the American lead 15 months ago when


operations against a different enemy, the self-declared Islamic


State, started. I think it has become very clear that the approach


that the coalition has decided to take is not going to have rapid


effects. There may be ways in which we can speed it up, but there are


also ways in which Isis are desperately trying to slow it down.


So they use terror tactics. They use lots of vehicle-borne IEDs, but they


also mine all the towns and cities that they operate in, which makes it


very hard to move anywhere. America's offensive doesn't look


capable of ensuring anything other than military stasis amid a


diplomatic vacuum. So when Russia geared up for its intervention


against the militants and in favour of the Assad regime, Britain finally


had to come to terms with the death of any Arab Spring-type optimism on


Syria. I think there was quite a lot of the Arab Spring, we are all going


to be on the side of history. Nothing could be worse than these


dictators. And what we found for a lot of people for many people are


worse than some of these dictators. It is a Hobbsian world there in


Syria and Iraq, absolutely ghastly. Russia's intervention has at least


been the catalyst for a new diplomatic negotiation. It started


last month in Vienna with the main foreign players trying to set the


stage for Syrian peace talks. The UK at least was here, but does it know


what it is trying to achieve now? In the end you've got to get a


transition out of a civil war in Syria. For those parties who are


going to be prepared to transition. That's not going to include Isis and


other Islamist rejectionists who are going to try to impose their version


of the world on others. But it should include the Syrian regime. It


should include the Syrian opposition. There is within the


Vienna nine points that came out nearly two weeks ago now there is


the basis of an agreement. Let's get to work op that track and then the


international community can then coalesce around, around our only


common interests the defeat of Isis. Syrian civil war has been so violent


and complex that British policy makers have struggled to find


convincing answers. And all against a backdrop of uncertainty about


whether their nation still wants great power status or overseas


military entanglements. Well, this afternoon, at the UK


amabassador's residence in Washington, I caught up with our


Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond. I asked about UK arms exports to


Saudi Arabia and about our But I began by inquiring whether,


given his fears the Egypt air crash could have been caused by an Isis


bomb, the UK strategy towards Isis I don't think it changes anything


notice way we deal with Isis. We've always known they were trying to do


us harm. We've seen them executing our citizens, committing all sorts


of atrocities in areas they control, so we absolutely know what kind of


organisation we are dealing with. We are going after them and we'll


continue to go after them. What does it mean? What it does change is the


way that we deal with the threat, because that would suggest if this


is what has happened that would suggest that there's a threat to


civil aviation from Isis, which we have to respond to. So when you say


going after them, Michael Fallon said it is morally indefensible not


to bombitesis in Syria. Do you agree? What Michael Fallon said was


that he has a difficulty with the idea that our allies are taking


action on the basis of British reconnaissance flights, that we have


to leave somebody else to carry out the strike. He said morally


indefensible. It is no secret we would like to be able to extend our


strike operations into oi. But we have to get that through the House


of Commons. We'll go back to the House of Commons as soon as we are


confident that we can win a vote in the House of Commons. This should be


done on the basis of a broad consensus in the House of Commons.


That has always been the tradition in Britain, when we are sending our


Armed Forces into combat, that we do it on the basis of a broad


consensus. I think that's deliverable. The changes in the


Labour leadership have created some uncertainty about the dynamics in


the Commons. We've got to let that settle down. You think that you


suggest the bombing has achieved things so far by the UK in Iraq, by


the US and allies and Iraq and Syria? Yes. What has it achieved? Is


well, first of all the intervention in Iraq, the use of allied air


power, coalition air power in Iraq stopped what was a precipitate


advance towards Baghdad. If you take your mind back 18 months Baghdad


looked as though it was going to fall to the Isil advance. Do you


think it would have fallen without that? There was a serious risk. We


stopped in its tracks. Since that time Isil have lost 30% of the


territory they occupied in Iraq at the peak of their power, so it has


had an effect. But we have always said that you can't win a war


against an organisation like Isil by air power alone. Eventually there'll


have to be a ground force dimension to this combat. A ground force of


what kind of troops? Well, it won't be British or American or European


troops. It will have to be people from the region ideally. In Iraq it


will be Iraqi forces raised and trained in Iraq and a force that's


reflective of the population of the areas that Isil currently operates.


Who are partners on the ground in Syria? In Syria we have a moderate


opposition force. Somewhere between 60,000 and 80,000 fighters on the


ground now, primarily fighting the Assad regime. But who are also


strongly opposed to Isil. Talk me through that slowly, because if we


are attacking Isis and succeeding under the scenario, the beneficiary


is Assad. So how are the people that are currently fighting Assad going


to be helping us? Well, not the case. As the Assad regime is not in


practice fighting Isil. There's a couple of points of contact between


the regime and Isil forces, but primarily the regime is being


challenged by non-Isil moderate prosecution groups and al-Nusra.


Isil in their stronghold has quite carefully kept itself disengaged


from the main fight ing with the regime, and we though that the


regime has done deals with Isil. They trade with Isil. You concede,


though, that if Isis were weakened Assad would be stronger? If Isis


were weakened... I don't necessarily accept that, no. There's a three-way


fight going on here. We've got the moderate opposition and Isil. Isil


would like to control all of the territory of Syria but effectively


it has abandoned the part of the country where Isil is. Is it is


taking on the opposition forces that are primarily non-Isil forces. That


three-way fight, the third part of that fight is currently being bombed


by Russia. By Putin. The moderate opposition, the Russian intervention


claimed to be in the name of the fight against Isil has been largely


directed against the moderate opposition, which tells us that the


real intelligence of Russia's intervention is to shore up the


Assad regime. I have no doubt that Russia shares our ambition to


destroy Isil in the longer term, but we have a difference of view about


how best to do that. The Russians think you do it by shoring up the


Assad regime and going off Isil. We don't think you can settle the


conflict between Assad and the opposition without agreeing a date


and a modality for Assad's departure. So as things stand, do


you look at President Putin and say, you are our ally in this fight? Not


at the moment, but Putin could be our ally if he decides to work with


us in order to achieve a political transition. We've got two different


struggles here. We've got the struggle against Isil, which has to


be a military struggle. There isn't a deal you can cut with Isil. There


isn't a negotiation to be had with them. They can't be part of the


political future of Syria. And then we've got a civil war going on.


Everybody is agreed that the solution to that has to be a


political one, not a military one. Everybody's agreed that it would be


a mistake to dismantle the regime and create a vacuum, as happened in


Iraq. What we need to do is remove those with the most blood on their


hands at the top of the asset regime, bring in representatives of


the moderate opposition and form a transitional Government in Syria


that can take the country forward. Isn't the truth that we have been


outflanked quite rawly and bluntly by President Putin here? And when


you look at our strategy in Syria, in Iraq, against Isis, that Ramadi's


fallen, Palmyra has fallen, Mosul is in Isil's hands. We've got 700


British citizens going to fight for Isis and a wave of hundreds of


thousands of migrants leaving the country, with very no strategy? We


have no foreign policy there at all. It is not true to say we have no


strategy but it is absolutely true to say that the speed and


decisiveness of Russia's intervention has taken the


international community by surprise. We are in the process of responding


to that. Russia is both carrying out military action and joining us at


the table. We'll be meeting against this weekend in Vienna with 19


countries to try and move forward on the political track. The Russians


say they want a political solution. They say they accept the need for a


political solution. Actually... With Assad. With Assad. And that's the


big point of difference between us and the Russians and Iranians. I


want to look more broadly now at what the Foreign Office does. David


Cameron said in 2012 those emphasis you've got, turn them into showrooms


for cars, department stores for our fashion. That's what's happened


isn't it? Trade is an important part of the


overseas missions. It is now embedded in the mainstream of our


diplomacy around the world. In Washington had senior executives


from a dozen US companies investing in the UK. To encourage them to


invest more is my goal. The mission in Saudi Arabia, the weapons sold,


would you like that figure to be higher? We would always like to do


more business, more British exports and jobs. And in this case high end


engineering jobs protected and created. By our diplomacy abroad.


Does it matter what Saudi Arabia does with the weaponry, if it is


used against civilians in Yemen or against protesters at home? It does


matter and we have one of the strip is export licensing regimes in the


world. We only export weapons systems were all the criteria of our


export licensing system are met. So you know those British weapons are


not being used in Yemen, you know that? I know some of them are being


used in Yemen, it does not fall foul of the export licensing criteria. It


would be hypocritical to think we could have a large defence industry


exporting weapons systems and they never get used. So you do not have a


veto in where the weapons are used or how? What matters is they are


used legally in compliance with international humanitarian law, and


we monitor that carefully. Saudi Arabia is currently accused of war


crimes in Yemen. The UK signed up to the arms control treaty. So if those


weapons are being used in Yemen, as war crimes, then that carries


criminal sanctions for the government? You made a huge leap of


logic there. Which part of the do not agree with M those weapons are


being used, some of them, in Yemen. The important thing is they're being


used legally in an international armed conflict. There have been


accusations of breaches of international humanitarian law, we


regularly intervened with the Saudis to encourage them to be transparent


with us. Have you intervened here with their use in Yemen? Yes, I was


in Saudi Arabia a couple of weeks ago and we discussed this issue.


What did they tell you? The Saudis deny they have been any breaches of


international Unitarian law. That denial alone is not enough, we need


proper investigations. We need to work with the Saudis to establish


that international humanitarian law has been complied with. And we have


an export licence system that responds if we find that it has not.


We then find we cannot licence additional shipments of weapons. We


all understand there is pragmatism involved in foreign policy, but do


you worry that the ethical dimension, the moral dimension, what


you came into the job to do, is being lost? I do not. I do draw a


distinction between appropriate approach simply preaching of people,


and engagement approach. If you want to be able to influence the way


people behave you have to be engaged with them, you have to have some


leveraged in your discussions with them. Countries like Saudi Arabia


where we have strong collaboration, we work together in many areas and


not just trade but security as well, we collaborate on security with


Saudi Arabia in a way which saves British lives. But that gives us an


ability to discuss with them more difficult issues as well and to get


results. Philip Hammond there on Britain's


wider strategy for dealing with Isis and on whether our foreign policy


could still be said to have Later in the programme - as the


Prime Minister lays out his plans to restrict EU migration by restricting


benefits for four years to those coming in, we ask the Foreign


secretary if that's even legal, and if he believes the measure could be


accepted by the EU member states. And tomorrow


we'll be hot on the trail of Donald Trump, the Republican Party


candidate who now says this election This is a strange election,


isn't it? You stab somebody and the


newspapers say you didn't do it. And you say, "Yes, I did.


I did it." A Prime Minister writes quite a


few letters - or has them written. But none will be as important


for David Cameron Six pages to Donald Tusk,


President of the European Council. It had more than you might have


expected, but far less than the radical


programme sceptics had hoped. First, Economic Governance -


all about euro and non-euro members, The second heading is


called Competitiveness. This one is what some specialists


call retail politics. Here, for example, the euro members


should not be able to stitch up Competitiveness mainly concerns


cutting red tape Britain opting out of


"ever closer union". And this also proposal


that if a group of national parliaments


don't like an EU proposal, they This is the one that has


the well-publicised four-year rule - that migrants can't claim in-work


benefits in their first four years. A mix of some familiar British


themes, plus some extras. And what about tax credits?


Today that her minister set out his demands for EU reform in a letter to


the European Council. We proposed the people coming to Britain from


the EU are to live here and contribute for four years before


qualifying for in what benefits were social housing. And we should end


the practice of sending child benefit overseas. The UK is


re-negotiated arrangements with Europe and has done it before. In


the 1970s and 1980s under Margaret Thatcher. She secured a much


heralded rebate to date with millions of pounds annually.


Times change. This building is no longer Conservative headquarters.


Ironically it is now Europe house. And this renegotiation is not about


the money, the Prime Minister says the change will save half ?1 billion


per year, a number disputed by others, but it is not about the


saving at making the UK are less attractive place for people to move


from Europe to work here. Fundamentally this is about


immigration. For much of the public immigration is the key issue. But


the Prime Minister has retreated from any fundamental change in the


nature of free movement. Blunt instruments like quotas and caps on


numbers are out and now the approach is to restrict benefits. That means


discriminating against EU citizens in the welfare state and will be


tricky to get other leaders to agree to that. This is the toughest part


of his negotiation proposals. It will be tough to reach agreement but


this is the one area he really needs to get something. Immigration is


such a hot topic in this country. I think there will be opposition from


East European states and Poland in particular, but are they willing to


risk the UK leaving the EU on this issue? If a deal on restricting


benefits cannot be found at EU level another option is restricting access


to in work benefits for everyone, British or European. No


discrimination there. Stop anyone getting anything out until they have


paid in. But reforming British social security system is seems a


radical step. It is a sledgehammer to crack a nut, it would be a


complex undertaking to re-engineer the already troubled universal


credit system so it is a contributory system. It seems the


disproportionate response to a fairly small problem after all. Even


if a deal can be done with Europe around the UK to discriminate


against recent EU migrants when it comes to benefits, or if we offer


our own welfare system to make it contributory, there was reason to


believe that might not even bring down immigration from Europe. One


centrepiece of George Osborne 's economic policy is the national


living wage. The leave campaign are keen to point out that that will


mean that even with benefit changes, any EU migrants would still be


better off in 2020. The proposal is not likely to bring down


immigration, or be enough to satisfy those who want more fundamental


change in our relationship with the EU. Duncan Weldon.


Well, as you saw earlier, Emily was talking to the Foreign Secretary


Did you think she'd forgotten to ask about Europe?


The Prime Minister would like to restrict benefits to new EU


migrants. I know the European Commission today made the point that


under current European law it would not illegal. We know that and that


is why we said clearly there will need to be treaty change to


accommodate our demands. We believe there is a growing concern across


Europe about abuse of welfare benefits, await welfare benefits are


themselves distorting the labour market. As you know one way to stop


this being discriminatory is if UK residents were to go through the


same process. Is that something you are considering question mark we


have the benefit system designed Amerli to deliver our object is


domestically. And this part of the benefit system is specifically


designed to create incentives for people on low wages to be in work.


So that would not change to bring down migration? We do not want to do


anything that would undermine the principal purposes of our domestic


benefits system. So how are you going to bring down net migration


which is at the root of this, if as you know the practice will not be


agreed by other EU member states and you're not going to narrow our


benefit system? With respect we do not know that. We know what the


commissioner said and we agree with the commission that under current EU


law introducing a 4 years waiting time for access to in what benefits


would not be legal. We know that. We're asking the EU to change the


law to allow us to do this. And we know we're not the only country in


the EU that believes there needs to be action taken on access to


benefits. Nigel Farage pointed out the living wage and says when it is


ten times that of Romania that in its own right is an uncensored. --


is an incentive. The average migrant claiming in what benefits are


squirming around ?6,000 per family. That is a significant addition to


wages. So if the measure got through, you think you would


dramatically reduce net migration figures? Yes because we would change


the calculus. People travelling across Europe who have got to get up


and go to leave the country in Eastern Europe and come and find a


job in the UK have certainly got the savvy to be able to understand


whether they would be better off in net terms in Germany or Sweden


rather than the UK. If we take ?6,000 per year out of their


pockets, they will make different calculations about whether what the


to seek work. It sounds from what you said and David Cameron


suggested, it is about reducing incentives but does not have to be


tied to benefits or the welfare system. There are other ways on the


table? We have set out our concern, that there is an excess of EU low


skilled migration into the UK. We have set out a proposal that we


think will tackle that by limiting access to welfare benefits. That is


not the only way to tackle that, there are other ways to do that. If


someone has a better suggestion... Quantitative controls for example on


inward migration would be one way. We believe that would be a more


difficult thing for European partners to accept limits on access


to benefits. If our European partners come back to us with other


ways of reducing migratory flows into the UK, of course we will talk


to them because that is what we are trying to achieve. What if they just


say no to that? As the Prime Minister said more broadly on the


whole package, if they turn a deaf ear to what our reasonable demand of


the British people, we will have to think again about how we want to go


forward. With the UK relationship with the EU. We expect we will get a


fair hearing and that our partners in Europe will want to find a way of


delivering a package that meets are legitimate concerns and enables us


to go to the British people and say to them, this package represents a


reform of the European Union which then allows us to be in a union that


works for the UK, that is to our advantage and will make Britain


stronger in the future. Here to dissect the political day


are Danny Finkelstein, Times Columnist and Conservative peer,


the Guardian's Zoe Williams, and Look, the renegotiation plan is on


the table. Melanie, you were around when Harold Wilson pulled off this


trick in the 1970s. Is the this a repeat of that? People say they


didn't renegotiate, he had a fig leaf. I think it is a repeat. I


voted no then as I thought we were being sold a pup, and again now.


Getting rid of the words ever closer union doesn't alter the fact that


union is becoming ever closer in the EU. Stating that we have our own


currency, bit of a statement of obvious? It seems risible.


Correlation is not causation. Hello? The fact that all these EU migrants


here are claiming inwork benefits doesn't mean that's what draws them


here. What's drawing hem here is the availability of jobs. A different


problem altogether. This is selling us pup. We were promised by Mr


Cameron in another era now a renegotiation, a treaty


renegotiation which would redefine our relationship with Europe. We


would repatriate various laws, give ourselves back self government, in


exchange for what I think very many people want, which is a close and


harmonious economic union, no more, no less. Danny? Well, I think it is


somewhere between a massive renegotiation of the type that I


think David Cameron believed was possible at a time when he thought


this would coincide with the eurozone. Needing to renegotiate its


own new treaties and that hasn't happened, so Britain is having its


own renegotiation at a different time, but it is much more than


Wilson's. It does involve some fundamental aspects of our


relationship. It will be difficult to renegotiate the benefit part. The


question whether the single market will be insulated of the chemical


weaponses of the eurozone integration, that's raised by the


first section of Mr Cameron's letter. For me personally I think


ever closer union language was very important and it is important to


learn whether we are able to negotiate to remove that. It would


be a big signal to me as someone who's been sceptical about the


European Union if it was not possible to negotiate that, so I


will learn a lot from that. The process of that is partly to learn,


what is the European Union's attitude to Britain making


middle-sized changes? It will be more changes when the eurozone


further changes itself. Zoe, you are pro EU by and large. No Europe, not


pro the EU as it is at the moment. Right, do you see this as a


fundamental renegotiation? No. Look, the idea that the benefits was a


kind of make or break issue, I think they've laid a trap for the EU. They


think they have said something really clever and the EU is going to


have to come back with something sells, because the initial idea is


just an opening salvo and it is not legal, so they have to give them a


smorgasbord of of courses. The FT tomorrow is saying that David


Cameron isn't wedded to that and is willing to discuss other ways of


reducing migration. He knows that it is not going to be on the table and


that benefits curtailment is illegal. Danny you are in a


different... Different... Does anybody here thinks David Cameron is


in doubt about how he will vote in the referendum? What out can see is


the contortion obvious a man trying to inhabit out and in at the same


time. The way he's talking, the way he says we don't want closer union,


we want further apart union. I think the truth is he does want to remain


inside the European Union. He strongly wants to do that, but I


don't think it's certain he'll be able to achieve what's necessary for


him to be able to with conscience say that. I don't think it is not


absolutely certain that he will do that. Which way will he vote in the


By the way, that's my own position, that these negotiations are


extremely important to me. They will make a difference to my outlook. On


the whole I think we'd be better off inside the European Union but I am


absolutely not saying if we fail to negotiate for example on ever closer


union I couldn't see myself voting to leave. I think Mr Cameron has


made himself a real problem. He collect went into this referendum,


renegotiation lark, he didn't want to be the Prime Minister held


hostage by hadures, but he has held himself hostage. He can't get out of


the bag Velcro fastened he's put himself in. The rogues of success,


and I'm going to vote, in he says. Nobody will believe him, because it


is falling apart as we speak. He's a leader of a broad swathe of the


right, large parts of which are extremely sceptical about membership


of the European Union. It is perfectly ethical for him to take


the position where the whole of the right can have a negotiation over..


What he is effectively doing is destroying the in-case by presenting


it so weakly and in such a compromised way. If you look at the


in-case at the moment it is all safer, stronger, more prosperous.


Very like the Scottish referendum actually, don't do anything to rock


the boat, the status quo is the way forward. That's not going to be


convincing. You talk about Harold Wilson and Edward Heath. I think Mr


Cameron is relying on the tried and tested weapon of sheer naked terror.


If we come out, it will be catastrophic. That would be a lie as


well. That may be correct. That's the last consideration. Secondly it


is quite pertinent, if it does turn out to be the chase it is extremely


risky I would hope the Prime Minister might point that out. But


the outs are presenting a vision of a nas aggic England or a


pre-muscular entrepreneurial England without the EU. We'll have plenty of


time to debate this, don't worry. Thank you very much.


Finally tonight - just before we came on air we managed to reach


a senior figure in Russian Athletics - Mikhail Butov, the Secretary


General of the All-Russia Athletic Federation - to get his response to


the extraordinarily damning report into doping in Russian Athletics


that was published by Dick Pound yesterday.


I began by asking him for his response to the report.


It seems this information yesterday after the press conference and of


course immediately started to research it. According to IAAF


rules, we'll start to prepare an explanation about this document. Of


course, we'll send our explanation and our arguments in two days. Are


you saying that you accept that the doping has been occurring? Because


the Dick Pound report says everybody knew. Are you accepting that it did


happen? Or are you saying that it didn't happen? I think 75 periods of


this document is not new for everybody, for everybody from


athletics, because we already started to investigate many, many


processes that presented in this document. The report said that


doping was continuing up until June this year. So, well after the


investigation had be-Gunther still finding doping. Are you accepting


that that was happening in June this year? I can tell you, what has been


continue? We know our problem with the doping. Of course, we should


change the mentality of many coaches, especially coaches in the


regions. We started to do it very hard. We started in April. We


organised some educational programme. What's most important, me


and the head coach and the internal President, we met with a lot of


coaches and athletes. It is very important to direct every athlete


with this explanation, with our vision of anti-doping intention in


Russia. It is absolutely real steps. But Dick Pound found that your


organisation was not co-operative with his investigation. Many people


in it were obstructing his investigation. That doesn't imply


you've learned the let's sons of being exposed for cheating. I cannot


accept it, because firstly nobody from the commission contacted


federation during last month. Nobody contacted a the President or myself.


Never contacted us. Of course, they contacted the local people in Russia


but never the chief of the fed races. If you are kicked out of the


Olympics next year, what will your reaction to that be, what will you


do? You know, firstly, I'm absolutely sure that we should be


against any limitation of athletics participation in the highest level


competitions. We have new generation, very successful new


athletes, we are absolutely sure that it is absolutely clean


athletics. I think if such decision will be done against our team it


will be against clean athletes, not against problem athletes. Then


please, I am absolutely against isolation of any federation, not


only ours, but any federation. You know the problem with doping is not


only in Russia. You know the situation in Kenya, in India and


other countries. You are saying they dope as well, those other countries?


Kenya and India, you are saying they are dopers as well like Russia? The


number of doping cases, it is open information. It is the number of


cases, there's a lot of cases. It is nothing else. I'm not a specialist


in any other country's situation, but what I know well is that the


doping problem is not only in Russia. It is also the problem of


our sports, unfortunately. We should fight against it and I'm sure that


isolation of any federation is not a good way. Thank you very much for


talking to us. Much appreciated. Thank you very much.


Good evening. Another mild night to come. Fresher conditions in Scotland


and Northern Ireland. Ireland. Clear


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