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Audio: RA Interview with Radio National

Click here to listen to an interview by Fran Kelly with Robert Amsterdam on Australia’s Radio National. Full transcript can be downloaded here, and below is just one excerpt. FRAN KELLY: Well, talking of nuclear technology, you’re here in Australia, and this week you will meet with the Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer, the Shadow Foreign Minister, Robert McClelland, and other politicians, and you’re going to bring up with them the fact that Australia is about to begin, or has already begun selling our uranium to the Russian regime. Is that the key thrust of what you want to talk about though, or do you want to try and bring to the centre stage here in countries like Australia and around the world, of Khodorkovsky’s case? ROBERT AMSTERDAM: Look, to be frank with you, it’s much larger than just Khodorkovsky’s case, it’s a situation where the issue is not so much lobbying about one case, but lobbying about a system, and what we have to end is the impunity of the Putin regime, we’ve got to have Australia, if they’re going to negotiate this treaty, adopt some level of democracy conditionality, so that there can be some pressure towards rule of law, and so that there can be some pressure to remove the gulag, and put the gulag back in history books. I mean my client’s been stabbed, he’s been held over a uranium mine in Siberia, it is absolutely outlandish, and he’s not alone. And one of the most important things with the mandate he’s given me is not to talk about him, but it’s to talk about Sujiag(*) and Danilov, Pichugin, and a whole new generation of political prisoners in Russia, that get very little attention in the west, because we are desperate to believe that Russia’s on the path to democracy, and we manage to just bury the truth of what’s happening.