Transcript of Interview on Sky News Australia

Subject: Attack at Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport

Transcript, E&OE, proof only

25 January 2011

NEWSREADER: Let's return to our stop story, the suicide bombing at Moscow airport.

And joining me now on the line is Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd. Mr Rudd, thanks so much for your time.

Have we heard any further news about whether any Australians may have been caught up in the bombing?

KEVIN RUDD: I've just been in contact with the Australian Ambassador in Moscow, Margaret Twomey, and also again with the Consular Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

At this stage no information suggests that any Australians have been killed or injured.

What we've done is first of all check the passenger manifests. Secondly, we've also been through the lists of registered or proposed to be registered Australians. Thirdly, the Russians themselves have put out lists of those who have been injured. And, fourthly, the Embassy in Moscow has been in contact with the 12 hospitals and medical centres where the injured and the dead have been taken.

So, based on all of that, no information suggests any Australians have been killed or injured. But we are going to go through it again to make absolutely certain.

NEWSREADER: That certainly is good news. What advice do you have though for those who may be concerned about some relatives in Moscow, that perhaps they may not have been able to get in touch with?

KEVIN RUDD: They should contact the consular division of the Department of Foreign Affairs. We run a 24 hour consular hotline. If they have any fears or concerns about their friends of loved ones, they should do so.

The telephone number is 1300 555 135, and that is run 24 hours a day.

If I could also add, we've confirmed the safety of three Australians who were on board a flight to Moscow that landed just 45 minutes before the blast.

NEWSREADER: Just finally, how has it been getting information from Moscow because, of course, I imagine the scenes have been very chaotic there?

KEVIN RUDD: Things have been chaotic but the Embassy has been working around the clock on this with all of its consular staff deployed. And they have been working effectively and well on this. They are well trained and this is a basic part of what we do in support of Australians around the world.

I’ve also written to Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov to express Australia's condolences and condemnation of the attack.

It's for all of us a sober reminder that terrorism is alive and well in this the tenth year since the September 11 bombings and attacks in New York.

NEWSREADER: Is there any advice for Australians who may be considering travelling to Moscow or from Moscow?

KEVIN RUDD: Again, what I would say to all Australian travellers is go to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade travel advisory of the departmental website. This is being constantly updated based on new information. And I would draw the travelling public's attention to that travel advisory in any other places they may be thinking of travelling, in Russia, the Caucasus, and elsewhere.

NEWSREADER: So there are updated security alerts for those areas. But at this stage are you saying to people, look, stay away or should people travel as planned?

KEVIN RUDD: People make up their own judgements to travel or not. What we do as a government is, based on everything that we can use from the Australian intelligence community and our international connections, is put into those travel advisories the best and most up to date information about threats to Australians of all forms in various parts of the world.

So, again, it's for the travelling public to consult that travel advisory and make their own mature judgement.

NEWSREADER: Right, Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd, thank you very much for your time. Do appreciate it.

KEVIN RUDD: Thanks very much.


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