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Toxic Smog Engulfs India's Capital; Migrants Shelter at Belarusian- Polish Border; Proposed U.S.-UAE F-35 Fighter Jet Deal Worth $23 Billion; NATO Warns about Russian Troop Movement Near Ukraine; COP26 Agreement Tweaked at India's Request; Aired 10-11a ET

Aired November 17, 2021 - 10:00   ET





MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Belarusian officials and forces have been moving the migrants from that forest camp.

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST (voice-over): After days in the freezing cold, 1,000 migrants turned back from the Polish border. Their next move is



ANDERSON (voice-over): No more Irish pints after midnight as the government there imposes a curfew to try to slow a surge in COVID cases.

Plus, coal should be phased down, not phased out, said India at COP26. But coal's consequences heavily felt at home. We speak to the Indian oil and

gas minister.


ANDERSON: I'm Becky Anderson in Dubai. Hello and welcome to two hours of CONNECT THE WORLD, where we have a stellar cast of guests.

I'll speak to the U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state Mira Resnick about the U.S.-Russia arms race in Eastern Europe and in the Middle East.

Indian oil minister Hardeep Singh Puri will explain his country's decision to change the language on phasing or fully phasing out fossil fuels at the

closing of the recent COP26 summit.

And in the next hour, as COVID-19 infection numbers rise in Europe, Irish deputy prime Leo Varadkar joins me to explain his country's strategy to

slow the spread.

We begin with the crisis on the border of Belarus and Poland. About 1,000 stranded migrants are getting a respite from conditions that the U.N. has

described as catastrophic.

They are now at a processing center inside Belarus about 1.5 kilometers from the border crossing. Today the European Union allocated close to

$800,000 U.S. in humanitarian assistance to deliver items like food and first aid kits to those men, women and children.

As the humanitarian disaster unfolds, new shots are being fired in the political blame game. Polish officials accuse Belarus of trying to

destabilize Poland and the entire E.U. by luring migrants to the border, which Belarus has denied.

And the European Union is calling on Belarus to take urgent action to restore security at the Belarusian-Polish border after anger boiled over

into violent clashes on Tuesday between migrants and Polish guards.

About 1,000 migrants at the crossing demanding entry into Poland are still refusing to leave but others are being moved out of the cold and into a

processing center which has been converted from a cargo logistics facility. Matthew Chance got a look inside earlier today and he filed this report for



CHANCE: You remember those really desperate scenes from the camp on the border, in the freezing conditions with very little in terms of facilities.

Well, that camp is now being slowly emptied out by the Belarusian authorities. And they're bringing the migrants here to this huge facility,

which is about a mile back from the Polish border.

It's indoors and heated, which is a massive upgrade to the situation they were in and the people have been given, you know, blankets as well, big

duvets like this. They've been given new clothes to keep them warm, pillows.

They're being given one hot meal every day and there is tea, hot tea -- watch out -- there is hot tea and bread being given out and biscuits and

things like that. So it's a much better situation for these migrants than the one they were in previously.

Of course, you know, the Belarusian authorities have been accused all along of orchestrating this crisis, to put pressure on the European Union and

exploiting these vulnerable people for political ends.

I think you have to remember that, you know, this could have been done earlier. They could have set up this kind of facility earlier. They didn't

have to push them right to the border. That's some circumstantial evidence if you like about the culpability of the Belarusian state.

The big question now, of course, is, you know, what is going to happen to these people, because they're still being told there is a possibility that

they could go to Germany, that they could enter the European Union.


CHANCE: But there has been no indication from either the Poles that they will open those barricades, from the Germans that they are prepared to open

a humanitarian corridor. Belarusian officials are saying that decision in Germany has not yet been taken.

But the fact is, if these people are not given some kind of passage into the European Union, they will most likely be deported back to their country

of origin, which, in the case of the vast majority, is Iraq and most say they are from Iraqi Kurdistan.


ANDERSON: Well, it was Matthew Chance reporting earlier from Belarus.

To the other side of that border, Fred Pleitgen has the view.

The Belarusian authorities are waiting for a decision by German authorities; although, it's not clear what they mean by that.

What is going on, Fred?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You're absolutely right, Becky. It's not clear what exactly the Belarusian

authorities are talking about.

There was a phone call between Angela Merkel and Alexander Lukashenko that has been talked about a lot in Belarus and state TV but surely also, by the

Belarusian authorities in the migrant camp.

Will any action follow from that?

There is no indication that the Germans have the will to take any of these people in. And in fact two days ago, the German foreign minister came out

and said these people need to return to their country's of origin.

Whether or not there was other talks, very difficult to say at this point in time. I think one thing is definitely clear, the Poles certainly are not

going to let anybody pass through that border crossing, pass through that border. They have been absolutely unequivocal about that.

And now that some pressure is alleviated from the border crossing with a lot of those people going to the center where Matthew was at and leaving

the camp at the border, the Poles say they believe they have prevailed in this first wave of an attack, a hybrid attack on their border.

In fact, the Polish interior minister said he firmly believes and Poland firmly sees that NATO and the E.U. are in Poland's corner and Poland will

continue to handle the situation exactly the way it has before.

As far as the European Union is concerned, at least they're starting to provide some aid for those people. Now they have allocated 700,000 euros in

aid for things like blankets to give to NGOs that are operating inside Belarus, they say, to alleviate at least some of the suffering.

In the long term, there are so many people still stuck inside Belarus. It'll be very interesting to see what exactly will happen to those people.

We know there will be a flight the Iraqi government has scheduled to fly maybe 200 people out on Thursday.

But what will happen after that, whether the folks that are there at that processing center and elsewhere in Belarus will be willing to go home in

the medium term, absolutely unclear at this point in time, Becky.

ANDERSON: Fred Pleitgen is on the Polish side of the border and we were reporting there are still some 1,000 migrants up against that razor wire on

the Belarus side of the border. We'll continue to monitor what is going on.

The U.S. is growing increasingly concerned about the migrant buildup along that border and what that means for the wider security situation in Eastern


Over the weekend, the U.S. State Department spokesman called the border crisis "an effort to distract attention from Russia's troop buildup on its

border with Ukraine." NATO also warning Russia over that buildup of troops.

We've seen this again and again with Russia, keen to exploit opportunities to score geopolitical points and to take advantage of perceived power


Take this region, for example. Many I've spoken to tell me that Russia stole the show, frankly, at this Dubai air show, taking place a couple of

kilometers from where we are today, when it showed off its newest fighter jet, the Sukhoi Su-75 Checkmate. That plane is meant to rival the American

F-35, a plane many countries in this region have been trying to buy for years.

A proposed U.S. sale of F-35s has been slowed since President Biden took office. My next guest couldn't be better placed to discuss all of these

regional military implications. Mira Resnick oversees the U.S. State Department's foreign military weapons sales and she joins me now.

I want to start by thanking you and for joining us tonight. You've been at the Dubai air show and I want to talk about what you've seen and the

discussions you've been holding there in a moment.


ANDERSON: I do want to start up with Russia's irregular military movements near Ukraine's border. U.S. officials said publicly in recent days that

they don't know yet what Russia's intentions are.

Do you share the concerns that the trend lines are worrying at this point?

MIRA RESNICK, U.S. DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE FOR REGIONAL SECURITY: Russia is clearly being provocative on the border with Ukraine

and that is why we're looking for every opportunity to help our Ukrainian partners, to make sure that our security commitment to them is strong so

that they can defend themselves and deter a Russian buildup.

ANDERSON: Are you worried about an invasion?

RESNICK: We're concerned about any Russian buildup on this border because, as you said, they do take advantage. And they're looking for every

opportunity to build up. And that is really concerning to all of us.

ANDERSON: What's the current state of U.S. military aid to Ukraine?

And what sort of harbor is involved in that package?

RENTOUL: We've seen in recent weeks shipments of military equipment that are in U.S. stocks. This is a really unprecedented commitment by the United

States, including Javelins, which we hope will deter Russia's future troop movement.

ANDERSON: Here for the Dubai air show, where all three major military powers, U.S., Russia and China, are showing off their military hardware,

the UAE is a crucial ally for the U.S. in this region.

So why has the Biden administration slowed down the sale of 50 F-35 fighter jets, plus other military hardware to the Emirates?

RESNICK: I joined the Biden-Harris administration on January 20th when the president took office and we wanted to make sure any commitments that were

done by the previous administration, that we had a chance to review, that we wanted to make sure they remain in our foreign policy interests.

We took some time and we announced earlier this year we are committed to moving forward. I think this week we were looking to make sure that we

recommit to that effort. We want to make sure our Emirati partners understand that we are fully committed, even as we discussed out -- their

obligations before, during and after --


ANDERSON: And you, quote, "seek clarifications" to the various assurances that were made to the previous administration, that being the Trump


By which you mean what?

RESNICK: I can't get into the specifics of our diplomatic conversations with the United Arab Emirates. But I can tell you that the conversations

that we have with every partner that is part of the F-35 program, that wants to use the F-35 and buy the F-35, we're looking to make sure that the

technology security is a part of these negotiations, part of these agreements because, bottom line is, we want to protect our warfighter. We

want to protect the countries that are using the F-35.

ANDERSON: Let's be quite clear here.

Does the Biden administration have concerns that the UAE's good ties with China, including use of Huawei F-5 technology until the UAE, could

compromise security of what is this highly networked F-35?

RESNICK: We are concerned about the 5G use anywhere in the world, by untrusted vendors. We have this conversation with all of our partners, not

just the UAE but we want to make sure that the future of the internet is secure, that it provides U.S. companies with the assurances that their

information is secure and their data is secure and their privacy is secure.

ANDERSON: Can I just push you on this?


ANDERSON: Is it F-35s or Huawei but not both, as far as the U.S. is concerned?

RESNICK: The F-35 is our crown jewel of the United States of our Air Force. And so we need to be able to protect the technology security for all

of our partners.

ANDERSON: So the answer is, yes, as far as you are concerned with the Emirates?

RESNICK: These are the conversations we have with the Emirates about what kind of choices they can make now to be sure they can be part of the F-35


ANDERSON: Talk about the very visible competition here from the Russians.

RESNICK: I was here to work with U.S. industry. We had 300 Americans, civilian and military here; 100 companies, to be able to promote their

products. And we don't know exactly how -- I don't think anyone knows really how well the Russian equipment works, the Russian systems work.

But we were excited because, on the flight line, there was a line a mile long to get onto the F-35 mockup. The U.S. Argent (ph) equipment, there was

high interest. So we're looking forward to --


ANDERSON: So you didn't sense a sort of waning relevancy for the U.S., as it acknowledges that it's drawing down its military presence in this



ANDERSON: You don't sense in any way a sort of waning of relevance of Washington?

RESNICK: I would say that our relevance actually goes up when we invest in security partnerships here. And that's really the goal of the Biden-Harris

administration, to rebuild alliances and partnerships. And that is why we're here today.

ANDERSON: The U.S. recently pledged more military aid to Lebanon.

How do you expect that money to be spent?

It will be spent by the Lebanese armed forces, which are a key component of U.S. policy in Lebanon, aren't they?

RESNICK: Yes, it's really the only institutional counterweight to Hezbollah and without it, it fills the -- there's a void and would only be

felt by Hezbollah and that is exactly the opposite of what we want to see in Lebanon.

ANDERSON: It's a pleasure having you on.

RESNICK: Absolutely. Thank you so much.

ANDERSON: Thank you for spending the time with us. Mira Resnick, here for the Dubai air show.

And an important job you are doing. Thank you.

RESNICK: Thank you.

ANDERSON: The migrant crisis in Eastern Europe, as we've been discussing, just one piece in a bigger puzzle of the tensions in that region. Shortly,

I'll take a deep dive into what really is happening behind the scenes.

A live conversation with Ukraine's foreign minister about what is going on with Belarus and Russia, whose critics say are working together to

destabilize their neighbors.

Do please stay with us for that later on the show.

With New Delhi smothered by smog, I'll be asking the Indian oil minister how he plans to go green without derailing the country's post-pandemic

economic recovery.

You are with CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson. Stay with us.




ANDERSON: There are some indications that the chaos along the Poland- Belarus border may be part of a two-pronged effort by Russia to destabilize Western Europe.

My colleague Sam Kiley, who just returned from Moscow, told me this time yesterday that Russia is working hand and hand with Belarus in all this.

They are encouraging migrants to come to Belarus and then cross the border into Western Europe.

He and other experts I've spoken to say the other part of Vladimir Putin's plan involves Ukraine. Russia already annexed Crimea, of course, back in

2014 and Russian backed separatists control portions of Eastern Ukraine.

Russia has recently been seen moving more troops and weapons into the area, perhaps signaling that another invasion is a possibility. Well, even though

Ukraine not a formal member of NATO, there are close ties and cooperation between them.

This week, Ukraine's foreign minister went to NATO HQ to talk about what Ukraine believes is the growing threat posed by Russia. NATO's secretary

general said the alliance is concerned about Russia's intentions. Have a listen.


JENS STOLTENBERG, NATO SECRETARY GENERAL: In recent weeks we have seen large and unusual concentrations of Russian forces close to Ukraine's

borders, similar to Russia's buildup in Crimea and the Black Sea region earlier this year.

NATO remains vigilant. We're monitoring the situation very closely and we continue to consult among our allies and partners, such as Ukraine and the

European Union. Any further provocation or aggressive actions by Russia would be of serious concern.


ANDERSON: So you see how this has implications far beyond the borders of Belarus or Ukraine. Joining me now is the man you saw standing next to the

NATO secretary general, Ukraine's foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba.

So thank you for joining us. Antony Blinken recently said Russia may be attempting to rehash the 2014 invasion of Ukraine. At this stage, how

concerned are you that Russia could invade?

How serious of a threat is that?

DMYTRO KULEBA, UKRAINIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: Well, we are concerned indeed. Ukraine has been fighting this war for seven years. There were ups and

downs in this fight but this moment seems to be extremely tense, not only because of the military buildup of Russia along our border but also because

other element of this crisis that we are observing in Europe.

When Russia uses gas as a weapon, migrants as a weapon and is bringing more weapons to the war there with Ukraine.

ANDERSON: You see all of this as interlinked, do you?

KULEBA: Yes, we think President Putin orchestrates these tracks of diplomacy and of aggressive diplomacy and aggressive military actions in

order to kind of invite Europe to a dialogue and to press out concessions from them.

ANDERSON: Question is how serious is Moscow about its intentions with Ukraine?

Are you confident that NATO, the U.S., the E.U. will come to your aid and risk a confrontation with Russia, should it decide to cross the border into

Ukraine, to invade Ukraine?

KULEBA: Well, back in 2014, Russia already crossed the border with Ukraine and launched a war here. And it had a very ambitious plan. It was the

sacrifice of our soldiers of the people of Ukraine and systemic support, political and economic support from the West that helped us to ruin Putin's


So we do not expect that any foreign power will come and fight for us; we will fight this war to defend our country. But of course, we expect

systemic and efficient pressure coming from our partners on diplomatic, economic and military tracks to first deter Russia. This is objective

number one, is to deter Russia from taking aggressive action.

ANDERSON: How important is the latest U.S. military aid package to Ukraine?

And do you need more?

KULEBA: This package is a result of an agreement reached between President Biden and President Zelensky in early September in Washington. It arrived

in a very timely manner. It is a message of support in itself. It's much appreciated. It strengthened Ukraine's defense capacity.

And we do need more of this support coming from different corners and we are working with partners to achieve that. And this was one of the topics I

discussed with partners in both Washington last week and in Brussels this week.

ANDERSON: Who are you leaning on for that support, specifically in Europe?

KULEBA: Well, first of all, we count on ourselves. When it comes to our partners, we have excellent trustful cooperation with the United States,

with the United Kingdom, with Central European countries like Poland.

And but again in this big diplomatic and military game, every partner can add a piece to the puzzle to make the general effort efficient.

ANDERSON: Moscow has said countless times that there is no sense in trying to reach a consensus with Ukraine because it's merely a puppet of the West.


ANDERSON: It's being used as a tool to harm Russia; to which you say what, sir?

KULEBA: Well, the best answer to your question is (INAUDIBLE) the remarks of foreign minister of Russia, Lavrov, who commented on the joint statement

issued by German and French foreign ministers in the aftermath to the trilateral meeting with me.

So minister Lavrov said today that that German-French statement was dictated by Ukraine. So one day they are saying we're the puppets and the

other day they present it in a way that it's Ukraine who dictates Paris and Berlin how to treat, how to approach the situation.

So it's just Russian classic disinformation and propaganda which I would simply disregard and focus on serious stuff.

ANDERSON: Well, back in 2017, Ukraine's parliament passed a law, making integration with NATO a foreign policy priority.

Is that still a priority for the country?

And what has NATO told you about the potential for NATO membership?

KULEBA: The constitution of Ukraine speaks clearly, that the goal of Ukraine is to become full member of both NATO and the European Union. We're

working with both institutions on reaching consensus because they both have to reach consensus on our membership.

And at the same time, I would like to emphasize that Ukraine already enjoys very special partnership and status in relations with NATO and the European

Union. They're both reliable partners and Ukraine not only asks for their assistance but also contributes to their efforts.

ANDERSON: I guess, foreign minister -- I'm going to push you on this. The question was do you expect to get membership of either NATO or the European

Union anytime soon?

KULEBA: We will definitely become members of both E.U. and NATO but this will not happen tomorrow.

ANDERSON: Joe Biden, on a trip to Brussels earlier this year, had this to say about whether your country would be admitted to NATO. Let's just have a

listen to what he said.


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The fact is they still have to clean up corruption. The fact is they have to meet other criteria to get

into the action plan. And so it's, you know, school is out on that question. And it remains to be seen.


ANDERSON: "School is out," he said. "It remains to be seen." That doesn't sound like the narrative of a U.S. president who believes that membership

is likely, clearly not tomorrow but anytime soon.

KULEBA: Well, if you look at the official documents and comments issued with regard to Ukraine by the Biden administration, you will see that this

administration commended President Zelensky and Ukraine for recent successes in reforms, in particular in reforming judiciary and ensure

macrofinancial (ph) stability of the country.

So reforms are underway and I have no doubt that we'll meet all the necessary criteria. However, we should not ignore an elephant in the room

and that is the fact that some NATO allies still see Ukraine through the prism of their relations with Russia.

And that's why I never waste an opportunity to call on them to consider Ukraine on its own merits and not through the lens of Russia. If they

change the optics, the situation will change dramatically in favor of Ukraine. And we're working on this.

ANDERSON: I've just got time for this last question and it's an important one. For months now, Moscow has made it its priority to secure German

regulators' approval for what's known as the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline that bypasses Ukraine.

Many experts believe Russia wouldn't push its luck in Ukraine so as not to scupper that plan. But just yesterday, Germany suspended its certification

process. So it's not going ahead as of today.

Are you concerned Russia or Belarus, for that matter, will cut gas shipments in retaliation?

Is that a concern to you?

KULEBA: Nord Stream 2 is a bad project for Europe. The only purpose of this project was to bypass Ukraine, to exclude it from the scheme of

transiting Russian gas to the European Union.


KULEBA: And we strongly oppose this project. And everything that is unfolding now in Europe has -- contains Nord Stream 2 as an element. And

one of the reasons Putin puts all this pressure is to speed up the certification of Nord Stream 2. This should be taken into account. And we

should speak openly about that.

ANDERSON: With that said, we'll leave it there We thank you very much indeed for joining us. I know that you're extremely busy so we very much

appreciate your time. Thank you.

I'm Becky Anderson. Today at the Expo 2020 Dubai, up next, I'll be speaking here to the Indian oil minister about whether that industry feels any

responsibility for the toxic smog bringing New Delhi to a near standstill.




ANDERSON: Welcome back. I'm Becky Anderson in Dubai. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD.

Look at these images from New Delhi. That is a thick layer of toxic smog hanging over the Indian capital, raising the level of air population to

dangerous levels. Schools in the city have shut their doors until further notice and private construction is banned for now, at least.

India's smog usually does get worse in November, when farmers are burning crop waste. And that adds to what is existing pollution from vehicles and

coal burning power plants.

When nearly 200 nations at the COP26 struck a climate deal last weekend, an 11th hour request from India changed the text from phasing out coal to

phasing down the fossil fuel, ending the summit on a somewhat somber note, it has to be said. This left the COP26 president Alok Sharma visibly

frustrated and emotional. Have a listen.


ALOK SHARMA, BRITISH BUSINESS SECRETARY: May I just say to all delegates, I apologize for the way this process has unfolded and I am deeply sorry. I

also understand the deep disappointment. But I think, as you have noted, it's also vital that we protect this package.


ANDERSON: India has since said developing nations have a right to use fossil fuels for economic growth. And considering its enormous population,

it is not surprising India is one of the biggest polluters in the world.


ANDERSON: But CO2 emissions per capita United Kingdom were three times higher than India in 2018. The India Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas,

in a recent opinion piece in "Gulf News," he said, and I quote, "We have managed to fulfill our promises while concurrently achieving a rate of

growth in energy consumption rarely seen anywhere else in the world."

And he is here with me now.

The president at COP visibly frustrated, sir, in that clip we just played.

Is India abandoning its duty to the rest of the planet?

Or on the flip side -- and I'm sure this is your argument -- are large emitters passing the buck?

HARDEEP SINGH PURI, INDIA MINISTER OF PETROLEUM AND NATURAL GAS: You know, when you reflect back on COP Glasgow, the one thing that would stand out is

that India announced a net zero by 2070.

And let me not go back to the old adversarial, controversial rhetoric that is accompanied. India has a sizable proportion of the world's population.

Its emissions are amongst the lowest.

And you yourself alluded to the U.K. and others having higher. But in Paris, the prime minister changed the narrative. India has lived up to its

Paris commitments and what will come out of post-Glasgow is that India will deliver its commitments.

And there are five of them --


ANDERSON: Decades after others, sir. 2070 is 20 years at least after other polluters have said they are looking for net zero.


PURI: Well, let me first tell you India is a very different case first. Our population is 1.35 billion. Our energy consumption, as a percentage of

the global, it's one-third of global energy consumption levels.

You have to grow the country and we're doing it in a clean way. Now five major announcements the prime minister made, one of them is by 2030; 50

percent of our energy will come from non-fossil fuels.

ANDERSON: And this was -- and we must applaud those sort of announcements because they are extremely important. And I think many people are picking

through the bones of COP26, saying there was an awful lot in there, actually, that worked.

And going forward, we hope that we will see more. Greenpeace estimates that air pollution claimed 54,000 lives in New Delhi alone last year.

As the petroleum minister, does the industry you look after take some responsibility for these deaths?

PURI: In India, whoever is giving you this assessment, I think they should have a reality check. The problem in India, this problem, as you yourself

said, is coming from stubble burning (ph), which is agricultural waste.

So what we need to do there and some of this (INAUDIBLE) happens every year at this point of the time. But the incidence of it is much lower this year

than on any previous year and it is almost to the point where we've solved the problem.

ANDERSON: Doesn't negate the fact that it claims houses of lives and I'm sure you would hope that every life lost was a --

PURI: One life lost is one life too many, yes.

ANDERSON: In a recent statement you talked about your concerns about high oil prices and their volatility. You said some 5 million barrels a day are

available that could be pumped into the market.

But you accuse producing countries of holding them back. Just describe and explain what you meant by that, so you're, of course, after all, an oil

exporting country here in the UAE.

PURI: I have a -- India has an excellent relationship with the UAE. You're probably a native speaker of the English language, which I'm not. if you

can explain to me what the difference between phase out and phase down is in terms of timeline, I'm happy to have that discussion with you --

ANDERSON: The end of the coal industry, full stop, as opposed to,, it will happen at some point in the future --

PURI: No, it is very clear. You have to get from a point A to a point of total green energy and our transition from the current fossil fuel-based

world to green energy has to be managed.

It means that it is both in the interest of the consuming countries and the producing countries to have an orderly transition. An orderly transition

means energy has to be available and at affordable prices.

If prices are not affordable, the transition will be volatile and that is neither in the interest of producing countries or consuming countries.

ANDERSON: And there is an argument to be had in that. The $100 billion a year that has been touted as at least what is needed to help the developing

world transition to more renewables is effectively a finger in the air. It's -- nobody really knows what the figure is.

But what does India need?

PURI: I'm not alluding to that. I'm making a much more basic point. If you want to transition and you keep --


ANDERSON: What does India need, sir?

PURI: Well, I'll tell you what, I'm not here to tell you India is a demander and that I'm trying to make a very basic point. Today, inflation

in the United States is at a 30-year high. OK. That is -- I've had some very interesting arguments with my counterpart ministers.

They say it may not be due to energy; it may be because of containers not - - whatever it is. Energy is certainly part of it. If we are able to manage the transition -- and this is not because of a lack of production -- there

is 5 million barrels per day lying around.

One of the predictions that OPEC and OPEC+ -- I'll give you some figure -- they said 257,000 barrels will come into the market. They were not able

even to do that. They only brought in 217,000. Now I --

ANDERSON: Point being?

ANDERSON: Point being?

PURI: Point being that, if you keep the supply less than the demand, they say they will correct it in a few months' time but you would have done


What was the biggest challenge in the last year?

It was COVID.

How do you surmount the challenge of COVID?

Through economic recovery.

But if you undermine economic recovery through high prices, be my guest.

ANDERSON: And you have been my guest on my show. It's been a pleasure having you on, sir.

PURI: Pleasure talking to you.

ANDERSON: We are relatively tight on time tonight because we've got a lot of guests to fit into the show.

PURI: Pleasure talking to you and let's continue this --

ANDERSON: Absolutely. Stay where you are for one second. I'm taking a very short break. Back after this.