BBC reporter praised for confronting Putin with question on Russian spy attack

Steve Rosenberg, the BBC’s Moscow correspondent, asked Putin if Russia was behind the poisoning of the double agent Sergei Skripal. (Screenshot)
Updated 13 March 2018
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BBC reporter praised for confronting Putin with question on Russian spy attack

MOSCOW: The “bravery” of a veteran BBC reporter had been praised by several British media outlets after he confronted Russian President Vladimir Putin with a question about the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal.
Steve Rosenberg, the BBC’s Moscow correspondent, asked Putin if Russia was behind the poisoning of the double agent and his daughter Yulia in the UK last week.
Rosenberg asked Putin during an agriculture event in Krasnodar, south-west Russia: “Is Russia behind the poisoning of Sergei Skripal?“
Putin smirked at the reporter, as he considered his answer.

“Look, we’re busy here with agriculture,” he replied. “As you can see, the aim is to create good conditions for people’s lives, and you ask me about some tragedies.
“Get to the bottom of things here first, and then we’ll talk about this.”
Putin has previously shrugged off questions about the Skripals at a campaign-related event.
Rosenberg was hailed by fellow journalists on social media for his “bravery.”
 

Skripal was previously jailed by Russia after being convicted of espionage when it was discovered he was working as a double-agent for MI6 during his time in the GRU military intelligence service.
The 66-year-old was given refuge in Britain as part of an exchange in 2010, and settled with his family in Salisbury, UK.
He was attacked last week by a nerve agent attack in the English cathedral city of Salisbury, leaving more than a dozen others injured.
British Prime Minister Theresa May, backed by the United States, has pointed fingers at Russia, saying it was behind the poisoning attack.
“This attempted murder using a weapons-grade nerve agent in a British town was not just a crime against the Skripals.
“It was an indiscriminate and reckless act against the United Kingdom, putting the lives of innocent civilians at risk. ‘And we will not tolerate such a brazen attempt to murder innocent civilians on our soil.”


Xi says China must lead way in reform of global governance

Updated 16 min 54 sec ago
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Xi says China must lead way in reform of global governance

  • China has sought a greater say in global organizations in line with its growing economic and diplomatic clout
  • Beijing has cast itself a responsible member of the international community

BEIJING: China must lead the way in reforming global governance, the foreign ministry on Saturday cited President Xi Jinping as saying, as Beijing looks to increase its world influence.
China has sought a greater say in global organizations such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and United Nations, in line with its growing economic and diplomatic clout.
Since taking office in late 2012, Xi has taken a more muscular approach, setting up China’s own global bodies like the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and launching his landmark Belt and Road project to build a new Silk Road.
Beijing has cast itself a responsible member of the international community, especially as President Donald Trump withdraws the United States from agreements on climate change and Iran, and as Europe wrestles with Brexit and other issues.
China must “uphold the protection of the country’s sovereignty, security and development interests, proactively participate in and show the way in reform of the global governance system, creating an even better web of global partnership relationships,” Xi said in comments reported at the end of a two-day high-level Communist Party meeting.
This would help create conditions for building a modern, strong socialist country, the ministry cited him as saying at the meeting attended by officials from the foreign and commerce ministries, the military, the propaganda department and the Chinese embassy in the United States.
While Xi did not provide details, the statement cited him as mentioning the importance of the Belt and Road, and other key diplomatic platforms like his “community of common destiny,” a lofty concept meant to guide China’s relations with the world.
This proposes a “new style” of international relations is proposed that is “win-win” and of “mutual benefit” for all, but many Western nations remain critical of China’s behavior over issues such as the contested waters of the South China Sea.
Xi added that China must strengthen its relations with developing nations, who he described as natural allies, but also learn from all other nations.
He made no direct mention of issues like the trade dispute between China and the United States, North Korea, or self-ruled Taiwan, claimed by Beijing as its own and considered China’s most sensitive territorial and diplomatic issue.