tv BBC News BBC News April 1, 2022 3:00am-3:31am BST
welcome to bbc news, i'm nuala mcgovern. our top stories. western governments reject an ultimatum set by president putin for payments for russian gas to be made in roubles. translation: nobody sells us free of charge anything, - and we are not going to do charity either. all the existing contracts will be suspended. president biden tries to combat rising fuel prices at the pump, freeing up millions of gallons of crude oil. in ukraine, new attempts are made to deliver aid to thousands in mariupol after weeks of russian bombardment. the war�*s prompted many western nations to reassess their defence commitments — we analyse the debate in europe. and the qatar world cup begins to loom large, but there's still scrutiny over human rights.
western governments have rejected an ultimatum from president putin for payments for russian gas supplies to be made in roubles from friday. germany, france and austria have all described moscow's demand as blackmail. mr putin's ultimatum is an attempt to boost the russian currency, which has been hit by sanctions following the invasion of ukraine. our russia editor, steve rosenberg, reports from moscow. it's where vladimir putin likes to be — centre stage. and from the kremlin leader today, a threat to cut gas supplies to what he called unfriendly nations if they don't pay in roubles. translation: the financial| system of western countries is being used as a weapon. western companies refused
to fulfil contracts with russian banks. assets in dollars and euros are frozen so it makes no sense to use the currencies of these countries. europe relies heavily on russian gas. the demand for payment in roubles, not foreign currency, may be designed to make putin look strong at home. in europe, they will be hoping energy supplies won't be interrupted. the west claims mr putin is taking decisions based on inaccurate information, but one of his supporters told me this. translation: i think putin has the most accurate information | from different sources, including from the intelligence services. he is probably the most well—informed person in russia. the kremlin insists the west is misreading putin. president putin's spokesman said the pentagon and the us state department simply don't understand what goes on in the kremlin.
they don't understand president putin. and that was worrying, he said, because total misunderstanding can lead to wrong decisions and bad consequences. the kremlin continues to claim that attacking ukraine was the right decision. many russians agree. but not everyone. lyudmila's son, sergei, is a police officer. theirfamily is originally from ukraine. a few days ago, sergei was arrested and charged under a new law, with spreading fake news about the russian army. he is suspected of criticising the russian offensive on the telephone. translation: this| is a very heavy blow for me, for the family, the little children. suddenly, their dad just disappeared. he never went to protests. he has no social media. hejust spoke to friends on the phone.
i can't rule out that he said something like, "war is bad, people are dying, homes are being destroyed and that's bad". ludmila still can't believe this is happening to herfamily. and she is still struggling to understand why. steve rosenberg, bbc news, moscow. us president biden has formally announced his plan to release one million barrels of crude oil each day for the next six months, from the us strategic petroleum reserve. it's the largest such release in the history of america's stockpiles. global energy prices have skyrocketed since russia's invasion of ukraine, and mr biden says his actions, along with international cooperation, will help bring those under control. i've co—ordinated this release with allies around the world, already, we have commitments from other countries to release tens of millions of additional barrels coming into the market. together, our combined efforts will supply well over a million barrels a day.
nations coming together to deny putin the ability to weapon eyes his energy resourcesise his energy resources against american families and families and democracies around the world. we can now speak to us energy expert morgan bazilian, who's director of the payne institute for public policy at the colorado school of mines. thank you so much forjoining us. what do you make of president biden�*s decision to release these supplies? could it make a real impact on the energy needs of americans? thanks for having me. priorities are everything in politics and policy, this is no different. the us priority right now is bringing down us consumer pump prices in the run—up of the rather oddly named driving season. willi
million barrels a day affect the global market and have an onward effect on consumers in the united states? maybe a small one, the market seems to have priced it in already. the coordination the president spoke about, the numbers have not been clear. for now, we are looking at a rather bold step by a us president, but one it's not clear will have the impact it is aimed to have. it not clear will have the impact it is aimed to have.— it is aimed to have. it seems to be all— it is aimed to have. it seems to be all about _ it is aimed to have. it seems to be all about price, - it is aimed to have. it seems to be all about price, from . it is aimed to have. it seems i to be all about price, from the bit we heard from joe biden. how can he, or what should he be doing to make the us more independent, less reliant in any way on russia? independence is not the right _ any way on russia? independence is not the right goal. _ any way on russia? independence is not the right goal. i _ any way on russia? independence is not the right goal. i have - is not the right goal. i have said this numerous times. it is an attractive goal however, and you can hear the rhetoric in
his speech today. the word is —— the world is deeply interconnected, and it is getting more so, not less, you can see the energy and the commodities, steel, wheat and fertiliser. using independence as the lens to see these things through can lead to bad decision—making. through can lead to bad decision-making.- through can lead to bad decision-making. through can lead to bad decision-makinu. ~ ., decision-making. what we might be beginning _ decision-making. what we might be beginning to _ decision-making. what we might be beginning to see _ decision-making. what we might be beginning to see with - decision-making. what we might be beginning to see with this, . be beginning to see with this, when it comes to interdependence, it might split interdependence, it might split in different ways. russia looking towards india and china as buyers for their energy needs. the us and saudi arabia entangled, but sometimes also questions of human rights record is raised. do you think it is inevitable that the us turns even further towards, i don't know, the uae, saudi arabia? , ., .,
arabia? there is ongoing dialogue. _ arabia? there is ongoing dialogue, no _ arabia? there is ongoing dialogue, no question, i arabia? there is ongoing i dialogue, no question, with arabia? there is ongoing - dialogue, no question, with the kingdom and with the uae. but the actions today, the announcements today about the spr, the strategic petroleum release, administration well in trying to negotiate with opec to open the taps a little bit. because they see the united states and its partners doing that, so why should they? and then you have that dynamic coupled with the politics of places from venezuela to iran and proxy wars with saudi so it becomes an interconnected, complex position very quickly, and no one can tell what the outcomes will be. ., ., ._ will be. coming to friday morning _ will be. coming to friday morning in _ will be. coming to friday morning in the _ will be. coming to friday morning in the uk, - will be. coming to friday morning in the uk, you i will be. coming to friday i morning in the uk, you are will be. coming to friday - morning in the uk, you are not there yet, but president putin has talked about having to buy
russian supplies in roubles for those that want them. some countries calling it blackmail, some countries talking about whether it will happen in practice, or putting euros into the bank and it coming out as roubles. what do you make of that demand by mr putin, the significance of it?— significance of it? look, it's very hard — significance of it? look, it's very hard to _ significance of it? look, it's very hard to read _ significance of it? look, it's very hard to read what - significance of it? look, it's very hard to read what that| very hard to read what that signal is. either it signals putin is at the end of his rope, unhinged, to making some sort of strategic play and calculus that it will have an impact on how especially european countries will deal with the very important resource he has for them, in natural gas. just to say for
your listeners, very different situation than the global oil market we have been talking about. i don't think anyone is making a good read of that. he seems to have backed off of the demand in some way by allowing euros and dollars to go into certain russian banks. let's see. ., ~' certain russian banks. let's see. ., ~ , ., certain russian banks. let's see. . ~ . the red cross says it's preparing to enter the besieged ukrainian city of mariupol with two trucks of humanitarian aid. more than 100,000 peole are still thought to be trapped in the city, which has been under heavy russian bombardment for weeks. the ukrainian government is also sending dozens of buses, in a new attempt to bring people out. russia has declared a one—day ceasefire, but there's widespread scepticism about russian intentions. nato, the western defence alliance, says that russian units are now being redeployed to fight in the east, in donetsk and luhansk in the donbas region. 0ur correspondent wyre davies is in the town of zaporizhzhia, north—west of mariupol, and he sent this report. the latest footage from mariupol shows a city in ruins.
the municipal theatre, where ukraine says 300 people were killed in a russian airstrike, among the buildings barely left intact. it's against this backdrop that aid agencies and the ukrainian government say there's a humanitarian crisis, tens of thousands of desperate people trapped with little food or water. translation: we are dog poor. standing by the fire, homeless. l we have nowhere to take a shower. we're drinking water from god knows where. after some success delivering aid to stricken cities elsewhere in this conflict, the red cross is now trying to coordinate an urgent mission to mariupol, but with the port city surrounded by russian troops, it won't be easy. we're waiting basically for the green light from the parties to go in, to be able, one, of course, to facilitate safe passage for the civilians in the convoy and two, also bring humanitarian aid in. so, here we have two trucks, which are loaded with very
much needed supplies — medicine, food, water. in recent days, hundreds of people have been able to flee mariupol, often in bomb damaged cars, through mined roads and russian checkpoints. but with the ukrainian government saying it was sending more than a0 buses to the city, this would be the first mass evacuation of mariupol. the mission to bring relief to the besieged city is by no means guaranteed to happen. previous attempts have failed, and mariupol, a city damaged more than any other in this war, is still a dangerous place. wyre davies, bbc news, zaporizhzhia. stay with us on bbc news, still to come. lives turned upside down — we'll tell you about the ukrainian orphans who've had to be evacuated twice.
the accident that happened here was of the sort that can, at worst, produce a meltdown. in this case, the precautions worked, but they didn't work quite well enough to prevent some old fears about the safety features of these stations from resurfacing. the republic of ireland has become the first country in the world to ban smoking in the workplace. from today, anyone lighting up in offices, businesses, pubs and restaurants will face a heavy fine. the president was on his way out of the washington hilton hotel, where he had been addressing a trade union conference. the small crowd outside included his assailant. it has become - a symbol of paris. 100 years ago, many parisians| wished it had never been built. the eiffel tower's birthday is- being marked by a re—enactment of the first ascent
by gustav eiffel. i this is bbc news, the latest headlines. western governments reject an ultimatum set by president putin for payments for russian gas to be made in roubles. his american counterpart tries to combat rising fuel prices at the pump by freeing up millions of gallons of crude oil. one of the clear consequences of the conflict in ukraine is the reassessment of the defence needs of western countries. the military invasion has provoked a comprehensive reappraisal within nato, the defence alliance led by the usa, and in the eu, seen by its founders as a guarantor of peace in europe. katya adler, our europe editor, has been investigating the debate is shaping up.
it's been a brutal wake—up call. russia's assault on ukraine has left all of europe feeling exposed. at the reichstag, it certainly feels like a historical moment. to boost european security, germany is saying goodbye to world war ii sensitivities. translation: germany has woken up with a bang. - the second world war was decades ago. we are now modernising our military. 0ur allies have waited too long to do our bit. save ukraine! protect europe! so, germans say they will fight as well as protest for peace. they know they'd relied too much on the us for security. germany can't act because we are not in danger yet! they�* re overly dependent on russia too for energy and trade. under pressure, berlin has promised change in the wider eu interest. it's about serenity within europe, and i think it's about when it comes to defence and security policies,
but also when it comes to imports, when it comes to energy and independence. there will be no forgetting what putin has done. or what he'll do next. in berlin, there's fear of a new cold war with the iron curtain falling further to the east. this is arguably europe's new berlin wall, this border fence a dividing line between expansionist russia over there and eu and nato member latvia, over here. fire! nato has doubled its presence in latvia since russia invaded ukraine with an emphasis onjoint training exercises like this one and defence of western territory and way of life. we are living in a new reality. we as forces spent 20 years in afghanistan and iraq. now our main focus is here. how do we defend our freedom and our country? and it's the same thing
happening within europe. latvia and its neighbours say they understand the kremlin more than most. they used to be in the soviet union. forget diplomacy, says latvia's prime minister, it's a show of force that counts. if putin is not stopped in ukraine, he will not stop. what about a european army, an eu army? goodidea? as long as we keep nato at the centre, the strengthening the european's military capabilities, this is something that we have been arguing for for years, and it now seems that finally everyone agrees this needs to be done. vladimir putin has brought large—scale death and destruction back to europe. the eu — a peace project by design — has been shocked out of complacency. action western allies take together now will affect all our safety and security for years to come.
katya adler, bbc news. some 95% of people do not have enough to eat. nine million people are at risk of famine. and a million severely malnourished children are on the verge of death, without immediate action. that is how the un has described the humanitarian situation in afghanistan. at a pledging conference in geneva, it had asked for $4.4 billion in international aid. in the end, only $2.1! billion, just over half of that, was pledged. achim steiner is the administor with the un development programme — he told us what he made of the shortfall. there is no question that the war in ukraine has obviously affected the priorities, the focus of many countries, and it is also very understandable that humanitarian suffering that we have seen over the last few weeks emanating from the ukraine, with almost 10 million people displaced injust four weeks
inside the country, outside the country, the enormous amount of destruction. these are extremely painful moments, but the harsh truth is we live in a world where there are multiple crisis and multiple wars. the question is is the world in 2022 not capable of mobilising the resources that sound like a lot of money, billions, but we just invested trillions into the wealthiest countries to get to the pandemic. we have the resources, even some oil—producing countries are going to end up making a lot more money as we just heard, with oil market prices going up, but are in fact cutting their international aid. the leadership and authorities in afghanistan have an announcement of the last few days also made it more difficult for the international community to engage. i'm thinking of the reversal of the decision to allow girls to attend secondary schools. this was a key litmus test of the kind of criteria that would allow the world to engage in afghanistan, that signal obviously was a great setback.
let s get some of the day's other news. russia's foreign minister, sergei lavrov, has arrived in india, where he is due to meet indian foreign minister sjaishankar. indian and russian officials are expected to discuss the sale of russian crude oil to india. the indian government is under pressure from other members of the quad grouping, which includes the united states, australia and japan, to take a stronger stand against russia and its invasion of ukraine. the presidents of the european commission and european council, ursula von der leyen and charles michel, will hold virtual talks with chinese leaders on friday. brussels is keen to get assurance from beijing that it will neither supply russia with arms nor help moscow circumvent western sanctions imposed over the invasion of ukraine. the western half of the chinese city of shanghai has gone into lockdown — the second phase of a plan to curb the spread of covid. the eastern half of the city has been locked down since monday, and will be
allowed to gradually emerge from its restrictions. there's been panic buying and short supplies of some basic necessities. riot police have been deployed near the sri lankan president's house in the capital, colombo, after a large protest against deepening economic crises in the country. angry protesters have pulled down police barriers. this comes on a day the government began imposing an unprecedented 13—hour country—wide power cuts. the crisis has been caused by depleted foreign exchange reserves. the state of qatar says it has nothing to apologise for in hosting the men's football world cup. the draw for november's tournament takes place on friday. but the country has been criticised for its human rights record. 0ur sports editor dan roan reports from qatar. first world cup in the middle east, the first in winter, is
into view. a flag raising ceremony for the teams who have qualified as the countdown continues. the world of football in town for the draw, and despite the controversy, the man in charge telling me it now feels very real. it the man in charge telling me it now feels very real.— now feels very real. it brings it home- _ the next six months, it's a matter of preparing, ready to welcome the world. with all eight stadia here within 35 miles, fans will be able to attend more than one match a day. named after the number of shipping containers used in its construction, stadium 974 is the worlds first transportable football arena. able to be dismantled and then reused somewhere in its construction, stadium 974 is the world's first else in the future. its design meant building materials were used, but it's the controversy over the human cost of all the development here in qatar in recent years that continues to hang over this tournament. despite reforms, concerns persist over the treatment
of labourers, especially on wider infrastructure projects. a football tournament in doha this week, involving migrant workers — one telling me more still needs to be done. 0ur problem is our co—workers working in the stadium, that's a difficult situation. what are the conditions like for them? like, the accommodations. in one room, 12 people. 12 in one room? yes. england go into the draw among the favourites, having vowed to shine a light on discrimination in qatar, where homosexuality is also illegal. netherlands manager louis van gaal, meanwhile, recently described the choice of host as ridiculous. it's very, very important to perform the relevant research and to understand the issues as you speak. are you saying some haven't? i'm saying some statements have been made that in my opinion were ill informed. we don't apologise for hosting the tournament. we aim for sustainable development on labour reforms and other aspects that the world cup will allow us to accelerate and develop. there is always more work to be done. we've heard gareth southgate say he's concerned that
some fans won't feel comfortable coming here. we've always said everybody's welcome. we will ensure it is a welcoming environment, everybody will come and feel safe. with team set to learn their fate, the focus is now likely to shift to the football. the scrutiny off the field, however, is unlikely to fade. for more than a month now, the war in ukraine has caused chaos, devastation and confusion. millions of people have been forced to leave their homes, among them an unknown number of children. tim allman reports on one group of youngsters whose world has been turned upside down — twice. life has already been cruel enough to these children. abandoned or bereaved, orphans who are now having to deal with the consequences of war. but, for many, their thoughts are elsewhere. i'm not worried about myself,
says karina, i'm just worried about my loved ones who stayed behind. i'm very worried about them. when the war began the children lived in an orphanage in the donetsk region close to the border with russia. 0n the second day of the invasion, they were evacuated to a town north—west of the capital kyiv. but that also proved to be too dangerous and soon they were on the move again, this time in a region to the far west of ukraine. translation: right now, we are in a safe place. - i feel like we are back in peacetime, like - nothing has happened. i don't discuss . what's going on. let it remain beyond these walls, and here is a smalll circle of childhood. no—one knows how long the fighting will last or how long these children will have to remain here. for now, they can play, as if the war isn't happening at all. tim allman, bbc news. you can reach me on twitter —
i'm @bbcnuala. hello. spring weather can often be erratic, and we've certainly seen that play out during the past few days. march, for a good part of the time, was dry and sunny. in fact, scotland and northern ireland, according to the met office, provisionally had the sunniest march on record. it was only on sunday we saw conditions like this in aberdeenshire. the warmest parts of the country 19 degrees. fast forward to thursday afternoon, and temperatures at times only 2 celsius as the snow showers came down fairly heavy. and they are continuing as we go into friday as well. the run of north—northeasterly winds all the way from the arctic continue. strongest towards the southeast as we start friday, linked into this area of low pressure developing across europe. and it's here we could see a further covering of snow. high pressure trying to build in, and with showers fading for most into the morning, we will see a widespread frost, and across eastern areas, icy conditions to begin the day.
for most of you, actually a sunny start to friday. the sleet and snow showers across eastern areas continue, particularly towards that southeast corner, and they will develop a bit more widely as we go through the day. but turning more to rain and sleet rather than pure snow. also at the same time, clouding over through the morning for the highlands and islands, that cloud will bring rain and hill snow across parts of scotland and eventually into northern ireland later in the day. temperatures still on the cold side, 6—10 degrees, feeling coldest towards the southeast corner, especially with the strongest of the winds. but improving conditions for the afternoon compared with the morning, more in the way of dry weather. now, as we go into the night, friday night into saturday, we will see outbreaks of rain and hill snow spread its way southwards into wales. that should keep the temperatures just above freezing away from the hills and mountains, but elsewhere, another very cold night with a widespread frost, and the risk of ice to start the weekend. but for many, actually quite a bright day. there will be a few showers close to the east, the main showers will be across wales, southwest england, a little bit wintry over the hills. cloud will bubble up
through the day to produce occasional slow—moving showers, but the vast majority will spend either the whole or the bulk of the day dry. temperature up a little bit and given the lighter winds and that strong sunshine overhead, it shouldn't feel too bad out there, especially compared with thursday. into sunday, another widespread frost to begin with, isolated showers developing through the day as cloud builds up, but another batch of thicker cloud, outbreaks of rain, stronger winds pushing towards the northwest of scotland, and they will bring slightly milder weather as we go into next week. that's how it's looking. i will see you again soon.
western governments have rejected an ultimatum set by president vladimir putin for payments for russian natural gas supplies to be made in roubles from friday. mr putin had said the switch was necessary because the western financial system was being "used as a weapon" against the russian federation. president biden has ordered the largest ever release of oil from the united states' strategic reserve — to help reduce international price rises caused by the russian invasion of ukraine. mr biden said one million barrels of oil would be released every day for the next six months. the red cross says it's preparing to enter the besieged ukrainian city of mariupol with two trucks of humanitarian aid. more than 100,000 people are still thought to be
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