Return to Transcripts main page

The Global Brief with Bianca Nobilo

The EU's Emergency Gas Deal; W.H.O.: Monkeypox Can Be Stopped; Russia To Pull Out From ISS. Aired 5-5:30p ET

Aired July 26, 2022 - 17:00   ET



BIANCA NOBILO, CNN HOST: Hello, everybody. I'm Bianca Nobilo in London. Welcome to THE GLOBAL BRIEF.

We begin with the European Union's unprecedented emergency deal. Now, the states have agreed to cut their gas consumption by 15 percent until next


Then, the World Health Organization has designated monkeypox a global health emergency but believes that the outbreak can be stopped.

And Russia and the U.S. have been working side by side on the International Space Station since 1988, but that might be about to change.

Fearing a frigid winter, and with its relations with Russia frosty over Ukraine, the European Union has agreed to ration national gas. European

Union energy ministers have struck a voluntary deal to cut gas usage by 15 percent beginning next month, and through March.

It comes as Russia announces its slashing of gas deliveries to the Nord Stream pipeline by half, just 20 percent of the organized capacity. The

trade minister says, quote, we have to end, share the pain. All of this is a result of European heavy dependence on energy, which has made it

vulnerable because of the war in Ukraine.

Here is CNN's Clare Sebastian.


CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Bianca, we knew that this was camping. There is no way to completely replace Russian gas deliveries to Europe with

gas from other sources. Eventually, they were going to have to cut demands.

Today, the EU has agreed to a voluntary 15 percent cut through this winter, if there is a serious risk of gas shortages, those voluntary cuts become

mandatory, with some exemptions to get the deal done. The measure of how urgent the situation is, they agreed to this deal less than a week after

the plane was first proposed. There are challenges that lie ahead.

Take a look.

KADRI SIMSON, EUROPEAN COMMISSIONER FOR ENERGY: We have a plan that takes us safely through next winter to next year, for independence.

SEBASTIAN: It was yet another test for European unity. The EU agreed to work together to avoid winter national gas shortages, to defend themselves

against what Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy calls Russia's over gas war in Europe.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The negotiations were not easy.

SEBASTIAN: Not easy, but increasingly urgent. Russia tightened the screws again Monday, announcing the gas flowing through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline

would be cut in half in Wednesday, taking what was Europe's biggest supply route from Russia to just 20 percent capacity.

SIMSON: There is no reason to do so, this is a politically motivated step.

SEBASTIAN: Russia denies this. . Once a symbol of Russia-EU integration, Gazprom had already slashed supplies through the Nord Stream pipeline in

June, blaming delays of a turbine in Canada, because of sanctions. Now, it says another turbine needs repairs.


recessions during this, we have already announced stage two of its three stage in terms of gas rationing. It will be very precarious situation


SEBASTIAN: Energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie says with Nord Stream pumping at 20 percent, the EU should still be able to fill its gas stores to 75 or

80 percent by the winter. That should leave a small amount left over in the spring. That is, unless there are some unusually cold winters.

In the end, getting this deal done meant compromising with EU. They do have to trigger a alert, and make voluntary cuts mandatory, some countries will

be exempt and given lower targets.

JOZEF SIKELA, CZECH MINISTRE OF INDUSTRY AND TRADE: Firstly, there is a delegation for Baltic states whose electricity system is synchronized with

Russia. A delegation for Ireland's member states who are filling their gas storage is for critical industries, states with limited interconnections,

temporary increased consumption of gas and electricity production.

SEBASTIAN: Cracks in the deal are already appearing. Hungary calling the agreement completely unacceptable.

Even with these measures, Europe is at the mercy of Mother Nature, praying for a mild winter.

Clare Sebastian, CNN, London.


NOBILO: As monkeypox spreads to new countries, causing some fear and confusion, the World Health Organization is emphatic, saying that the

outbreak can be stopped. Monkeypox has now appeared in nearly 70 countries, where it's not endemic.


Over the weekend, the WHO declared it a world health emergency and recommended that countries coordinate their responses, share data and work

with the WHO on vaccine distribution. The organization's technical lead for monkeypox says that the virus can be halted with the right strategies. And

she says that it's important to reach everyone who could be affected by it.


ROSAMUND LEWIS, WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION TECHNICAL LEAD ON MONKEYPOX: Because at the moment, the outbreak is still concentrated in groups of men

who have sex with men, in some countries, but that is not the case everywhere. It is really important to appreciate also the stigma and

discrimination can be very damaging, and is dangerous as any virus itself.


NOBILO: Daniel Bausch is the senior director of emerging threats and global health security at FIND, the global alliance for diagnostics. And he

is also part of the WHO team on emergency committee on monkeypox. And he joins me now from Geneva, Switzerland.

Thanks so much for being on the program tonight, sir.


NOBILO: So, you were part of the decision to designate monkeypox as a global health emergency. Can you explain some of the working behind that


BAUSCH: So, it was a difficult deliberation, and it went on for many hours, not because anyone would say that this is not an important event. We

debated a lot about what the disadvantages and advantages were in terms of perhaps adding stigma to this disease. Also, the thought that people might

mistake this as a global health emergency, that it's another COVID, which is certainly it's not.

Ultimately, Dr. Tedros and the committee felt that this was the right designation, and so that is where we are. I think it is not so important to

say whether it is or not this particular designation, but really galvanizing the support to control the outbreak.

NOBILO: And so, previously, monkeypox outbreaks have occurred, but usually in small parts outside of Africa. But do you know but the mutations of this

monkeypox that's spreading?

BAUSCH: Well, this is a different virus compared to COVID, which is an RNA virus. Those viruses tend to mutate more readily. Monkeypox is a DNA virus,

that doesn't mutate very readily, those sorts of virus. So, this is unlikely to be something related to a new mutation or something different

about the virus. It's probably something socially driven, in terms of behavior and contacts that people have rather than the biology of the


NOBILO: So, who -- that being, said how is this strain more transmissible, and how do you test that.

BAUSCH: So, I don't know if we would say that this strain is necessarily more transmissible. This is a virus that is more transmissible as COVID. We

know this is how transmitted by close contact, that include sexual contact, but it doesn't have to be sexual contact.

And so, if you get that -- this particular virus into any population that has close contacts, there will be a lot of transmission. That's where we

are right now with some segments of the men who have sex with men population, having those sorts of contacts, and driving transmissions in

those populations.

It's not necessarily a disease that is unique to one sexual orientation, but it happens to be in that group right now.

NOBILO: Is there evidence that people can be contagious without symptoms? Not to be crude, but I'm slightly confused as to why thousands of people

might have prolonged skin on skin contact when they're ill, covered in lesions, and scabs. It seems like a -- sort of unlikely thing to want to be

doing in that scenario.

BAUSCH: Yes and no. One of the things that we see in this outbreak, is that many cases are quite mild. The photos in which many people have seen

from sub-Saharan Africa, people with lesions all over their body, as you just described, scabs. Obviously, that's not a situation where people would

be having much sexual contact.

But many of the cases are much mild, there can be some transmission early on. We don't have evidence right now, there's ongoing research, but we

don't have evidence of transmission prior to the onset of symptoms. So, I think that it is probably not that there is anything particularly new or

different about this virus, from what we knew before. It's in different circles than we are used to and we're trying to figure out what the best

ways to cope with that.

NOBILO: If it's much milder. Is it possible that you could have monkeypox and not be aware that you have a virus?

BAUSCH: Yeah, we're still looking into that. There's still research going on about whether you can have asymptomatic infections, a person is

infected, and doesn't know. It there is no evidence that that exist right now. Again, research is ongoing, and we are learning a lot because there

are so many cases, and things to learn.

But again, I want to be clear that this is not a virus like COVID, for example, or some others that are easily spread between people.


You definitely have to have close physical contact to pick up monkeypox.

NOBILO: Daniel Bausch, thank you so much for joining us.

BAUSCH: Thank you.

NOBILO: A second live debate between the UK's two candidates for prime minister was cut short on Tuesday evening. Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and

former chancellor of the exchequer, Rishi Sunak, debated for nearly half an hour before the presenter fainted off camera. Top TV says that she is doing

fine. They followed medical advice to stop the debate.

Before the dramatic end, Truss and Sunak spared over this tax and spending plans, and how to address the growing cost of living crisis in the U.K.

Now, let's take a look at the other key stories making an impact in Africa today.

At least 15 people are dead and 50 wounded, as anti United Nations protests continue in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Protesters clashed with

peacekeepers, accusing the U.N. of failing to protect citizens in the country's east. Over 120 armed groups roamed the region, causing conflicts

that has displaced thousands of people.

Moving to Kenya, where the presidential election is just two weeks away, the top candidates were supposed to face off in a debate on Tuesday. But

opposition leader Raila Odinga said that -- seen here on the right, pulled out. Odinga said that he would not share a stage with the opponent, deputy

president, William Ruto, accusing him of being unethical and shameful.

And Tunisia is voting on this constitution that takes power from government it gives solely to the president. Only 20 percent of Tunisians actually

cast a ballot. Opponents say that shows the public refuses to endorse the president's attempt to undermine democracy.

French President Emmanuel Macron is in Africa to discuss food shortages caused by the war in Ukraine. Much of the continent is defendant on

Ukrainian agricultural exports, and the U.N. warns that up to 49 million people could face famine. Macron met with Cameroon's president on Tuesday,

and caused the trip aid opportunity to strengthen our resilience to food prices.

And coming up, new Russia's attacks on the black sea region are shaken confidence that a deal to resume Ukraine grain exports will go ahead as


Plus, Russia says it is pulling out of the international space station, but the NASA says it's not official yet.



NOBILO: As the world waits for a grain exports to resume as planned this week, new Russian attacks in the Black Sea region are costing even more

doubt on the viability of the U.N.-brokered deal. The mayor of Mykolaiv says the port infrastructure was damaged in a massive missile strike today.

The city's outskirts were also hit. Another attack targeted the Odesa region leaving this devastating scene.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says there are no basis for troops in the village, just people who quote, rested and lived. Further east, Ukraine

says the entire territory of Donetsk is under fire as Russia tries to break down Ukrainian defenses. It says not one village has escaped the shelling.

Let's bring in CNN's Ivan Watson. He is live for us in Odesa tonight.

Ivan, can you bring us up to date on the latest Russian advances and Ukrainian counter offensive, and also why it would be in Russia's interest

to be striking the sport cities now undermining this deal?

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESOPNDENT: Right, well we know that a big part of the Russian military thrust has actually been in the

east of the country, in the Donbas region, which neighbors mainland Russia. And there, the Ukrainians have conceded in Donetsk that the Russians have

made some advances in that area where there is furious, round the clock bombardment going on.

Here in the southern region, we have seen the Ukrainians claiming to be making advances, but not necessarily shouting from the rooftops every time

they capture a village. It is part of a strategic approach that they say they are taking, they are trying to keep it quiet as they keep pressing on

Russian forces, who meanwhile are firing back deep behind the front lines with these cruise missile strikes that have, in some cases, hit not only

Odesa port here, which is listed as one of the reports where the export of grain is supposed to take place, but also the blockaded ports of Mykolaiv,

which the Ukrainians have already seen in the past months, a grain storage terminal was destroyed there as well.

Ukrainians argue that the Russians are waging a hybrid war, both military and economic against this country. The southern front is not nearly as

intense as the warfare in the east, but the Ukrainians would argue it is just as strategic and important.


WATSON (voice-over): Scenes from Ukraine's southern front in the first months of the war.

Footage shared exclusively with CNN shows a Ukrainian Senior Lieutenant Andrii Pidlisnyi hiding in shell craters, flying a drone to call in

artillery strikes on Russian positions.

But the team of spotters also narrowly escapes long-range fire from the Russian military.

Months after filming these videos, Pidlisnyi is still fighting on the southern front.

Where the Russians in this village before?


WATSON: The Ukrainian military is fighting to claw back territories seized by what this commander describes as well-prepared Russians.

PIDLISNYI: It's very slow, the process, to take back all of our territories. But step-by-step, with the help of Western guns, vehicles, and

so on, artillery systems, we do that.

WATSON: This month, my team and I travelled the length of the southern front, from the critical ports of Odesa to the edge of the Donbas region. I

spoke to people willing to risk their lives against the Russian war machine.

In the city of Kryvyi Rih, Ukrainian forces stormed a building. It's actually a training exercise to prepare these men for one of the most

dangerous forms of modern warfare, urban combat. The commander here was gravely wounded pushing Russian-backed separatists out of cities in the

eastern Donbas region, in 2014.

We have a duty to liberate our territories, he says. This is our land and we will not give it to anyone.

That confidence shared by a regiment of frontline troops in eastern Ukraine. They show off recently arrived British-made Land Rovers, and this

armored personnel carrier.


I just noticed something, take a look over here, at this tire, made in Russia. This was Russian.

VILNYI, AZOV KYIV REGIMENT: It was a Russian car. But our soldiers fight him and take this car.

WATSON: You captured it?

But the war is taking a dreadful toll here.

Day and night, Russian rockets, S300 surface-to-air missiles repurposed to strike ground targets pound the frontline city of Mykolaiv. More appear to

be on the way.

Ukrainian resistance group shared this exclusive footage with CNN taking just days ago, showing the arrival of a train full of missiles in the

occupied southern Kherson region, later confirmed by these satellite images provided to CNN by Maxar.

But with the help of U.S. long-range rockets known as HIMARS, Ukraine has been targeting ammunition depots.

Senior Lieutenant Pidlisnyi says he noticed the difference on the front lines.

PIDLISNYI: We've had about three to there weeks, when they haven't enough ammunition to fight us.

WATSON: Still, he predicts it will take a long time for Ukraine to win the war in the south.

PIDLISNYI: I'm not sure that we will win within the end of this year. It might be the end of next year.

WATSON: Before I go, Pidlisnyi shows me captured Russian passports and drivers licenses.

When did you capture these?

PIDLISNYI: About some weeks ago.

WATSON: Russian men ranging from 22 to 41 years old who Pidlisnyi speculates are now dead.

They look like you.

PIDLISNYI: Yeah, they look like me.

WATSON: They have similar names.

PIDLISNYI: Yeah. But they are our enemies. I'm standing in my territory and they came to me to capture our territory. To kill me. To kill maybe my


WATSON: This is what Ukrainians are fighting for.


WATSON (on camera): Bianca, one of the big questions is, what's going on with the population in Ukraine who are living in occupied territories

because the Russian justification for this war is that they are, quote/unquote, liberating these people from the Ukrainian government. There

is talk from the occupation administration that the refraction setup of setting up referendums to call for annexation to join Russia, handing out

Russian passports, using Russian currency. At this point, we have reports that there are thousands of Ukrainians trying to get from Russian occupied

south to the Zaporizhzhia region, they are being held up at a checkpoint by Russian forces, hundreds, and hundreds of cars.

That is notable because it is part of a much broader pattern that has been going on since the beginning of the war, we have seen the Russians holding

back civilians, Ukrainians who simply don't want to live under Russian occupation -- Bianca.

NOBILO: Ivan Watson in Odesa, Ukraine. Thank you and your team so much for your reporting.

The new head of Russia's space agency says that Moscow will withdraw from the international space station after 2024. This would be a huge blow to

the partnership. Just a few years before the station is set to retire.


YURY BORISOV, CEO, ROSCOSMOS SPACE AGENCY: The space industry is in a difficult situation, and I view my main goal, along of my colleagues, as to

not drop the bar. First of all, to provide the Russian economy with the necessary space services.


NOBILO: Roscosmos has released its plans for a future Russian space station, you are seeing it here.

I want to bring in our space and defense correspondent, Kristin Fisher.

Kristin, welcome to THE BRIEF. Great to have you on the show.

Will Russia really leave -- and because despite strange geopolitics, countries usually do collaborate in space, despite the tensions. There are

loads of potentially legal and cost ramifications for this, huge challenges if Russia wants its own space station.

KRISTIN FISHER, CNN SPACE AND DEFENSE CORRESPONDENT: Sure, and that is the question that everybody, including the White House and NASA are trying to

get an answer to right now, Bianca. If you look at the past, in the past Russia has made very similar threats. But in the past, they were always

made on the newly ousted head of the Russia space agency, Roscosmos' Twitter account. Not the most official channel, right?

This time, what is different is that this announcement was made on the Kremlin's website by the newly appointed head of Roscosmos, a man by the

name of Yuri, who's actually given the job by Putin just a few days ago.


So, this time, it certainly feels more serious.

With that said, both NASA and the White House say that they have not been formally notified about this decision, something that is required of all of

the partners of the International Space Station.

So, it really remains to be seen if, this time around, Russia is serious about pulling out of the space station. It's surprised some of the

astronauts, the NASA astronauts that are up at the space station right now. They were asked about it this morning and they said this was essentially

the first day we're hearing of it.

It also surprised the State Department, but, Bianca, regardless of whether this happens or does not happen, the White House says that NASA is going to

be taking and making contingency plans in case this Russian withdrawal from the space station does indeed finally happen.

NOBILO: Kristin Fisher, thank you so much for joining us.

FISHER: You bet, Bianca.

NOBILO: And a one-of-a-kind discovery. A fossil found in the UK has been identified as the earliest known and animal predecessor. The creature

Auroralumina Attenboroughii is believed to have roamed the earth about 560 million years ago. It is thought to be the earliest creature with a

skeleton. Paleontologists think it is related to corals and it jellyfish.

You might recognize part of the name, it is named after the beloved naturalist David Attenborough. Attenborough said that he was delighted by

connection. He has more than 40 species named after him, but this one is special since it was discovered in the same forest he fossil hunted as a


And Pope Francis held a public mass at Edmonton's commonwealth stadium today, on day three of his weeklong Canadian tour. In his homily, the pope

praised the indigenous tradition of showing respect for elders. Tens of thousands of people attended the service, one day after the pope asked

forgiveness for the abuse and forced assimilation of indigenous children in Catholic church-run schools in Canada.

And thank you for watching tonight. That was THE GLOBAL BRIEF. You can follow me on all of the usuals, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter.

And "WORLD SPORT" is up for you next.