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New In-Person Ukraine-Russia Talks This Week In Turkey; Russian Attacks Targeting Cities Across Ukraine; Blinken Joins Allies At Israel- Arab Meeting. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired March 28, 2022 - 10:00   ET




BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: I`m Becky Anderson. It is 6:00 p.m. in Dubai. Hello and welcome to the show. We begin with Ukraine`s

capital trying to get back to some semblance of normal in the midst of war. As of today, the Mayor of Kiev easing the curfew there by two hours and for

children whose remained in the city, the sort of online schooling, but our CNN colleagues on the ground there have been hearing explosions throughout

the day.

You can see the smoke rising into the sky. And Ukraine`s deputy defense minister saying Russian forces are trying to create a corridor around Kiev

to block supply routes. Well, across Ukraine Russian shelling continues. This is what it looks in Kharkiv in northeastern Ukraine. Whole sections of

that city left in rubble. And advisor to Ukraine`s president saying the southern city of Mariupol seeing the most intense Russian attacks of this

war is enduring carpet bombing.

And then leave -- Lviv in western Ukraine, Russian targeting of a fuel depo over the weekend at the same time, U.S. President Joe Biden was meeting

refugees in neighboring Poland. These are newly released images of the aftermath of that attack.

Well, the White House walking back Mr. Biden`s apparently unscripted comments Saturday that Russian President Vladimir Putin cannot remain in

power saying he was not calling for regime change. Well, the Kremlin today describing those remarks as "causing concern." But he was fired fighting

rages face to face negotiations are set to resume this week in Turkey. President Zelenskyy now saying Ukraine is ready to accept neutral status

and remain non-nuclear if certain conditions are met.


VOLODYMY ZELENSKY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): Our priorities in the negotiations are known. Ukraine`s sovereignty and territorial

integrity are beyond doubt. Effective security guarantees for our state are mandatory. Our goal is obvious. Peace and the restoration of normal life in

our native state as soon as possible.


ANDERSON: Well, one city in the east of the country is essentially under lockdown. Our Ivan Watson got access to Zaporizhzhya and witnessed how

police there are enforcing a daytime curfew. Have a look at this.


IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is a checkpoint at the entrance to the eastern Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhya. But this is

an unusual day. The government has imposed a citywide daytime curfew. Traffic is not being allowed in or out. And we`re getting a look with the

local police force and how they`re enforcing this emergency curfew.

I`m getting a tour of the city with two local police inspectors. We have past many deployed Ukrainian soldiers. We cannot show them or film them for

their safety. Given that there`s a full-fledged war taking place in this country. What is striking about this daytime curfew is that a city of

nearly a million inhabitants is now a complete ghost town.

ROMAN PANCHENKO, POLICE INSPECTOR: My name is Roman. Panchenko Roman. I`m a Ukrainian. I sort of in police for already six years. I like my work. I`m

proud of my work.

In the territory of the city policemen and some military men. Every car which goes to the city is checked.

WATSON: The police say it`s easier to maintain security and search for suspected Russian collaborators when the city is locked down.

How far away is the Russian army right now from where we are?

PANCHENKO: Russian anatomy is several fronts. But the nearest place where Russian tanks are just located is maybe 30 kilometers from this place.

WATSON: A half hour by car.

PANCHENKO: Yes, yes. You`re right.

WATSON: Would you defend Zaporizhzhya if the Russian army comes here? I mean, you`re not -- you`re not soldiers, you`re police. Would you fight?


PANCHENKO: I`m a man. I`m a man. I`m Ukrainian man. It`s for me. It`s very same for men, not to protect his family, not to protect his house but to

protect his life.

WATSON: The people here know what happened to other Ukrainian cities and towns that have been attacked by the Russian military. They don`t want that

to happen here. But they say if it does, they`re ready.


ANDERSON: As we mentioned a short time ago, the Ukrainian capital Kiev has seen a new surge in Russian shelling today. But the series defenders remain

defiant and say they are pushing Russian forces back. We`ll just minutes ago, we heard from CNN`s Fred Pleitgen in the Capitol.

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Becky. Yes, there`s a lot going on in the Ukrainian capital. It`s really been happening

throughout the entire night, the morning and then into the afternoon hours as well, as we`ve heard very heavy shelling. A lot heavier than we did

throughout the course of the entire weekend. Also, air raid sirens going off frequently. And just those studs that you hear constantly hear in the

Ukrainian capital.

And there`s plumes of smoke, especially over the northwestern districts of the city. Of course, there you have that district that we keep talking

about called Irpin where a lot of the fighting seems to be concentrated. The Ukrainians in the past have said that they control about 80 percent of

that area after pushing Russian forces out. But that they are still being shelled there. And, you know, from what we`ve seen, there really are a lot

of smoke plumes over that area and some pretty big noises coming from there as well.

The spokesman for the Ukrainian army is saying, you know, that the Russians seem to have launched somewhat of a small counter offensive trying to take

some towns, some smaller villages and some streets. But so far, he says that the Ukrainian military is holding them up. The deputy defense minister

said that she believes that the Russians are trying to create corridors around the city which seems to mean they`re still trying to encircle the

Ukrainian capital.

Obviously, so far, not having very much success at that. And then you have the Ukrainian president who came out and said that apparently dress or

ceremonial uniforms were found with the Russian seeming to indicate that they were preparing for some sort of victory parade here to Kiev.

Obviously, that`s not something that`s going to happen anytime soon. So far, the defenses of the city holding up and the Ukrainian saying they are

on a counter offensive. Becky?

ANDERSON: Well, that`s the situation then in and around the capital. You heard earlier from Ivan reporting from the east. I want to bring in Ed

Lavandera. He is connecting is from the west Lviv. And I know that you are keeping an eye on what is going on there and across the country. Before we

talk about the situation in Lviv, I know that we`ve just been getting reports from Mariupol. What do we know at this point?

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the mayor of Mariupol giving an interview in -- live television interview just a short while ago where he

described what is becoming and grim situation, even more grim. The mayor of Mariupol says that essentially that city is in the "hands of the

occupiers." And that right now their focus is on trying to get the civilians that are still trapped inside that city evacuated.

Mariupol is a city of about 400,000 people. The mayor says that right now he believes there are about 160,000 civilians still trapped inside that

city. But that efforts to evacuate many of those civilians by bus is being hampered by Russian forces that have been firing on those drivers trying to

reach the city there. The mayor says that essentially, the Russian forces are playing games with them in their efforts to evacuate innocent


So, this is really a dreadful situation for officials there as they scramble and they work to save the lives of all of those people still

trapped inside the city of Mariupol. A city that has been besieged, Becky, now for weeks and weeks.

ANDERSON: Ed, when I -- and I`m sure our viewers are feeling the same way, look at these images from Mariupol, which are devastating. And then compare

those images with the scene behind you. You could be mistaken for believing that Lviv is just a city on the move, a city that is peaceful. There are

cars moving behind you, there are people moving behind you. But of course, this is a city that has also been targeted.

No evidence to send of what was said Friday by the Russians that this wide of phase of assaults is over and that the focus will be very much in the


LAVANDERA: Right. The military ground forces in the east there but that does not spare places like Lviv where during the day --


ANDERSON: All right. Well, that`s Ed Lavandera. Seemed to have lost his audio. But let me bring in Arwa Damon who is in Istanbul today. I want to

get our -- just to give us a sense of what she believes is happening behind the scenes, as we look at these new talks, these face-to-face talks between

Ukraine and Russia which as we now understand, it will be hosted on Tuesday. What`s the talk there, Arwa?

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, you know, the hope is that this will result in some sort of a concrete peace talk

that is beyond just being ink on paper. But -- and that is something that can actually be implemented on the ground. Realistically speaking, is that

what we`re going to see materialized sadly, highly, unlikely. But what we have been hearing is that both sides do appear to be reaching some sort of

a middle ground.

And it`s also worth noting, Becky, especially coming off the conversations you`ve been having about the violence that has been rippling across Ukraine

is that the situation on the ground does tend to dictate the position that sides can take when it does come to these types of peace talks. And

historically speaking, if we look at what Russia has done inside Syria, for example, they`re right before any sort of ceasefire talk were to take place

even begin.

We did tend to see an uptick in attacks with Russia and inside Syria at least. Its allies inside Syria attempting to solidify their positions. Now

speaking specifically about this sort of potential middle ground that Russia and Ukraine might be reaching what we heard, some of that being

mentioned by the Ukrainian president. President Zelenskyy saying that they would be willing to accept a discussion about Ukraine being a non-nuclear

neutral country having that status.

Now, what does this mean? By being a neutral country, this would effectively mean that Ukraine could not get involved in any sort of third

party conflict, which would effectively for the time being, at least prevent it from immediately becoming a NATO member. This is important, of

course, because as we have been repeatedly reporting and hearing, the Russians were using NATO`s encroachment on Russia as being one of their

main sort of fundamentals.

Reasons for justifying their invasion of Ukraine. Another point of key importance for the Ukrainians though is that should the status of Ukraine

it being a neutral non-nuclear state be something that is going to be accepted? According to the Ukrainian president, this is something that he

would want to see put to a referendum. What a lot of people are also going to be really wondering about, Becky, is humanitarian corridors can more be

established. And if more are established, can they actually be safe and secure?

ANDERSON: Arwa Damon is in Turkey. More from Arwa as those talks get underway, of course. Arwa, thank you. Coming up. My conversation with

Turkish presidential spokesperson Ebrahim Kalin as Turkey gears up to host those talks between Kiev and Moscow. What he says are the major sticking


First up though, here is Secretary of Stage Antony Blinken joined allies in the Middle East to discuss pressing issues including Russia`s war on

Ukraine. A look at what was achieved at what was an historic meeting. That is next.



ANDERSON: America`s top diplomat is wrapping up meetings in Israel on his diplomatic tour as it were, of the Middle East and Africa. U.S. Secretary

of State Antony Blinken met with Foreign Ministers of Israel and four Arab nations at what was an historic conference over the past two days. This

group of allies discuss crucial topics including Russia`s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and the Iran Nuclear Deal.

This was in Israel which makes it so of course an historic event, Blinken also condemning Sunday`s deadly shooting in the Israeli city of Hadera that

left two people dead. ISIS has claimed responsibility for that attack. Let`s bring in journalist Eliott Gotkine live in Jerusalem. And there`s an

awful lot going on here. Let`s just start with the overarching goal of this meeting. Its significance and what was actually achieved?

ELLIOT GOTKINE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Becky, this being the first meeting of its kind. I don`t think anybody had any wild expectations as to concrete

achievements, but its significance, I think is beyond doubt. The very fact that it took place at all is an achievement. You know, if you and I were

talking about the foreign ministers of these Arab countries, together with Israel, together with U.S. Secretary of State meeting anywhere, let alone

in southern Israel.

People would have thought that we were mad. But as Secretary Blinken put it, you know, he said that once impossible things are or have become

possible. So, I think that was perhaps the first achievement. It also gave the United States the opportunity, not only to show its commitment to its

allies in the region and also to the Abraham Accords which paved the way for this event to take place, but also for him to assuage fears, both among

Israelis and other Arab countries in the region, over the possible the likely rejoining of the Iran Nuclear Deal by the United States.

And of course, as well as that, of course, they were talking about a security. One man that was in the room told us that one of the topics on

the discussion was talking about how to deter Iran and its proxies and prevented from destabilizing the Middle East. Becky?

ANDERSON: ISIS claiming responsibility for the deadly shooting in Israel. Of course, this coming as this meeting was going on in Negev. Let`s just

consider the timing of this attack if we can, again, significance.

GOTKINE: Indeed, Becky. Hard to see it as a coincidence happening on the eve of this meeting. And of course, it did overshadow the beginning of this

summit, as well. But I think a couple of things and you alluded to that in your introduction, of course, was that we saw those foreign ministers

condemning these attacks in northern Israel yesterday. Indeed, the Moroccan foreign minister saying our presence today is the best response to such


I think that was very noteworthy. I should also note that with the exception of the Egyptian foreign minister, who didn`t specifically in his

comments to the press in this -- in the statement afterwards, he didn`t really condemn specifically that attack, but the other foreign ministers

very much did and wholeheartedly so as well, Becky.

ANDERSON: We did learn that Israel`s prime minister has actually tested positive for COVID since that event. Antony Blinken was his only close

contact. We`ll keep an eye on that for our viewers. Elliot, thank you.

Well, meanwhile, new in-person talks going on this week between the warring parties, Russia and Ukraine. The Turkish presidential spokesperson Ibrahim

Kalin told me that Istanbul is going to host the next round of talks on Tuesday.

President Erdogan said last week that Ukraine and Russia seem to have made progress on some of the topics of disagreement, including Ukraine

renouncing its potential NATO membership, disarmament and mutual security guarantees in the context of the Austrian model and collective security.

The remaining topics are regions of Crimea and Donbas.


ANDERSON: And removing obstacles to the widespread use of Russian language in Ukraine. Look, I sat down with the spokesman, Ibrahim Kalin who was

present during those conversations that President Erdogan had last week. He has since had a conversation last night as we understand it with President

Putin once again. But I asked Ibrahim Kalin what was said on those calls and what the sticking points are that remain from each side, given that

these talks now begin again, in Turkey on Tuesday, this is significant. Have a listen.


IBRAHIM KALIN, TURKISH PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON: Sometimes positions seem to be converging on some kind of an understanding, sometimes they seem to

be diverging a little bit. So, there are still important differences over these four issues. But in our assessment, the most difficult one, of

course, is the territorial integrity of Ukraine which must be protected of course. The Ukrainian side cannot compromise on that and that concerns

Donbas and Crimea.

Crimea was annexed back in 2014. The situation hasn`t changed, but no one has recognized the annexation of Crimea since then -- since then. Now the

Russian side wants both Ukraine and others international community to recognize that I don`t (INAUDIBLE) kind of fly, that -- that`s a very

maximalist demand from the Russian side. It`s not realistic. Same goes through for Donbas. So that other four issues that could be a few more here

and there, you know.

Maybe they will find a way to reach some kind of an agreement. But the leadership level meeting will require a serious discussion of Donbas and

Crimea because they go straight to the heart of the matter, which is Ukraine`s territorial integrity and sovereignty.

ANDERSON: It`s interesting, because Ukrainian foreign ministers actually denied that there is agreement even on the four sticking points that have

been -- that have been discussed with the president. It does seem to be a disconnect between what the president was saying and what the Ukrainians

are saying.

KALIN: Our president was simply describing the situation. And it was actually a message to Moscow also. Look, if you can agree, negotiating

teams can agree on this, you know, three, four or five, whatever points that they`re discussing, you know, then let`s have this leadership level

meeting because we believe it`s only through that meeting that this world will come to an end. President Zelenskyy is ready to meet President Putin.

It`s President Putin who has said no, so far. And our president has said, OK, I`m ready to facilitate bringing the two of you together in Turkey or

somewhere else. It doesn`t matter. You know, we are not trying to promote Turkey as a value for this. What we are concerned about is to bring into

this world a day earlier than it is necessary,

ANDERSON: But the future of Crimea and Donbas is still outstanding. And at this point, do you believe that President Putin really wants to make peace?

KALIN: If he wants to make peace, he has enough in his plate, in fact, to call this off and call humanitarian ceasefire right now so that the

negotiations can continue, you know, at the technical level, political level, and at the strategic level, we have not recognized the annexation of

Crimea is like the rest of the world. In fact, even China has not recognized as, you know, the annexation of Crimea.

So the Russia, that`s why I said, Russian demand on that is very maximalist unrealistic, they should really come up with some other ideas.

ANDERSON: President Erdogan told his Russian counterpart to make an honorable exit in Ukraine and become -- and I quote him here, "An architect

of peace." Is President Putin listening to the Turkish president? And describe the nature of these conversations that you have been party to.

KALIN: Certainly, President Putin is listening to President Erdogan and to his advice and to his ideas and suggestions. You can understand from their

point of view that they don`t trust most of the NATO countries, they don`t -- they don`t want to talk to them anymore, right or wrong. But the reality

is that someone has to talk to the Russian side. Someone whom the Russians can also trust. Otherwise, this war can go on for months, for years.

And the world cannot afford another prolonged war like that. And certainly, we cannot afford another Cold War. We have to think of the steps that we

will be taking to build a new security architecture after all this is done. How are we going to do that? How are we going to deal with all the security

concerns of Russia, the Western bloc, NATO, of course, Ukraine, and other countries.

So, President Erdogan is talking to President Putin about these issues also. Just telling him, you know, think in terms of the long term

consequences of this war.

ANDERSON: President Putin`s circle has been sanctioned heavily. Many have left Russia, many are moving around the world looking for a safe haven. Two

super yachts belonging to billionaire Roman Abramovich docked in Turkish ports earlier this year. Are Russian oligarchs like Roman Abramovich

welcome in Turkey?

KALIN: We don`t have anyone coming to Turkey who is on the sanctions list. Of course we go by the U.N. sanctions regime.


KALIN: In this case we have not applied any sanctions on Russia, because we want to keep our line of communication open with Russia, because as I said,

you know, we will need someone talking to them at the end of the day --


ANDERSON: So those who`ve been sanctioned are welcome in Turkey?

KALIN: No, they haven`t come to Turkey. As I said, we don`t have anyone. Abramovich has come to Turkey as part of the negotiating team or not the

team, let me rephrase it. As someone who has been designated as one of the negotiators.

ANDERSON: By President Putin.

KALIN: By President Putin. And as far as I can see, he is playing, he`s trying to play a role here, and we are in touch with both Russian and

Ukrainian sides. And so, we will see what kind of results they will be able to produce. But in terms of Turkey being open to other businesses, et

cetera. Yes, Turkey is open to, you know, other businesses.

ANDERSON: So, the United States has been asking allies like Turkey, who`ve been using Russian-made equipment systems like the S-400 to consider

transferring them to Ukraine. As I understand it, Turkey isn`t prepared to do that. Why not?

KALIN: Turkey, which has the second largest army in NATO needs, of course, air defense system. We told the Americans and others look, S-400 has been

purchased for us, that whole file is close. It`s done. If you`re not thinking of, you know, sending into anywhere, or that`s not the way to

resolve this issue. If you want to support another NATO ally, like Turkey, for example. You can -- you can support Turkey by selling patriot defense

missile system and other quality weaponry that Turkish army needs.

We believe that in principle, it`s wrong for allies to sanction each other. I think this war in Ukraine has once again show the significance of this

principle. If NATO is to be united, we have to be united not in words, but in action. That means that if you apply sanctions to me on say, patriots,

or F-35 or some other, you know, military defense, equipment, et cetera, then what kind of alliances are we talking about?

ANDERSON: I understand. But how difficult is it to, you know, look, President Zelenskyy in the eye or will speak to me on the phone and say

we`ve got S-400 but you`re not getting them? We`re a NATO ally. We know that you are desperate for air defense systems

but you`re not getting ours. How difficult is that?

KALIN: You can make the same case for other NATO allies with all due respect that have much more military equipment than we do. And that have

more sophisticated defense systems than even S-400. And why are they not been delivered to Ukraine?


ANDERSON: Important perspective by Ibrahim Kalin there. Again, those crucial talks picking up in Turkey on Tuesday as we get information on

that, of course, we will bring it to you.

Well, the impact of the war in Ukraine is being felt far and wide, including here in the Middle East and Gulf where many leaders are trying to

play a part in diplomatic efforts. I spoke to the Qatari Foreign Minister on the sidelines of the Doha forum. And here`s what he had to say.


SHEIKH MOHAMMED BIN ABDULRAHMAN AL-THANI, QATARI FOREIGN MINISTER: Our world is interconnected. So, whenever we see that we can offer our help and

support for any efforts, we will not hesitate to make our offers. And this offer is extended to the Russians and the Ukrainians in order to find the

common ground and to have to put an end for this humanitarian catastrophe. And we will never give up on our efforts.


ANDERSON: And you can see the rest of my interview with the category for a minister in the next hour. We`re taking a very short break. Back after




ANDERSON: Well, let`s get you back to the latest on Russia`s brutal war on Ukraine. An advisor to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is accusing Moscow of

trying to "wipe Ukraine off the face of the earth" as missile strikes ramped up across the country. Early this morning CNN teams on the ground in

Kiev heard an explosion and sirens. It comes as Ukraine`s Deputy Defense Minister says that Russian forces are trying to establish a corridor around

the capital to block supply routes.

The White House downplaying present Joe Biden`s unscripted comments that Russian President Vladimir Putin "cannot remain in power." That is what he

said on Saturday at the end of a speech in Poland. Then he and the White House quickly walk that back.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: For God`s sake, this man cannot remain power.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, were you calling for regime change?



ANDERSON: Mr. Biden`s words raising questions over his intent and causing quite frankly a global uproar in the midst of what is a very sensitive

diplomatic effort to end the war. Apart from Joe Biden`s off the cuff comments eclipsing his overall speech. My next guest, U.S. Senator Chris

Murphy thinks the president`s visit to Europe was a success. His tweet says, this image shows America at our best.

There you see Mr. Biden holding a Ukrainian refugee child who fled to Poland. Chris Murphy sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and

joins us now live from Capitol Hill. And look, Chris, you know, I get it. And I`m sure the viewers do. But quite frankly, we have to address these

comments made by Joe Biden, these comments on Vladimir Putin and they sound like a call for regime change. These are reverberating around the world.

How are you and other U.S. lawmakers viewing this? And whether you like it or not, this could have an impact on what happens in this war next.

SEN. CHRIS MURPHY (D-(CROSSTALK): I don`t I disagree. And I think the President talks like a normal person. And normal people don`t believe that

Vladimir Putin should stay in power if he`s going to brutalize civilians. It is not the official policy of the United States government to pursue

regime change in Russia. But the president is frankly vocalizing a sentiment that I hear all the time in Connecticut which is, how can an

individual like this stay in power while he is deliberately targeting civilians? So --


ANDERSON: Yes. Chris, sorry. But let`s just be quite clear here. The U.S. president speaks, you know, about U.S. policy and with respect. I

understand what you`re saying, but it is -- is it his place to be speaking sort of personally in such a -- and with such a big platform, as he had it.

What was, you know, it was -- this was slugged as a major speech in Warsaw.

MURPHY: Yes. And this is part of a trip that was a triumph. The president laid out in very clear terms. What would happen if Vladimir Putin decides

to pursue this war into NATO. He made clear that the stakes here are about the future of democracy. The visuals of him with these refugee children

were incredibly powerful. Frankly, will rally more of the world to our side. I understand your question and I`ve answered it.

The president is saying what many people in Connecticut and across the country believe. But it is not the policy of the United States to pursue

regime change in Russia.


ANDERSON: I know you do have a very personal interest and understandably so in what is going on in Ukraine. And you have a -- an enormous constituency

of Ukrainians in Connecticut. How do you read what the situation is at present? We have new charts or a new round of talks starting on Tuesday. I

spoke to Ibrahim Kalin who I know certainly hopes that these talks -- he is the chief spokesman for President Erdogan there hosting these talks between

the Ukrainians and the Russians.

They do hope that there is some movement, but ultimately -- the ultimate sticking point here is about territorial integrity is in. And it doesn`t

appear at this point that Russia is prepared to back off its claims on Donbas and Crimea. Is that your perception too? And if so, do you share

concerns that others have about how long this could go on at this point?

MURPHY: Ultimately, the decision is going to be President Zelenskyy`s as to what terms he is willing to accept on behalf of the Ukrainian people. And I

don`t know what the bottom lines of Vladimir Putin`s government are. But it certainly doesn`t seem like the Russians are backing off of, you know,

several demands. One of which being a ceding of significant territory to Russia and the demilitarization of Ukraine.

Our message to Zelenskyy is pretty simple. If he`s not ready to just to settle for the demands that Putin has put on the table, we will stand with

him and continue to help him fight. My worry is that Putin wants to make it look as if he`s pursuing diplomacy. Well, at the same time, he continues to

murder civilians inside of Ukraine. So, I don`t want to pay too much attention to these talks if they`re really just a distraction from the war

crimes that Putin is committing inside Ukraine.

ANDERSON: Let me just talk about energy security here very briefly, Senator, you were supportive of America`s oil sanctions on Russia, the E.U.

in an extremely tough spot as it`s so reliant on Russian energy. Just listen to what the French foreign minister had to say about the E.U.

response to Russian and tell us your perspective very briefly on the E.U.`s position, if you will.


JEAN-YVES LE DRIAN, FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): Never before has the European Union been so determined in its response, so swift

in its response, so united in its response, so to strong in its proposals as well. Reaching as far as huge issues which are the claim the statement

during the Versailles European Council claiming that we could have the right means to ensure Europe`s energy sovereignty.


ANDERSON: Just your response, your perception.

MURPHY: It was that -- I think Europe`s got to take some very immediate steps to break itself from Russian energy dependence. And the United States

needs to help them in that effort. It`s time for the United States to put some funding behind freeing countries on Russia`s periphery from Russian

energy. Of course, Europe had a chance to do this, back when the Nord Stream pipeline was being planned.

And instead, Europe has spent much of the last 10 years frankly deepening its dependence on Russian gas and Russian oil. So, now is a moment where

Europe with United States help us to make up for lost time.

ANDERSON: It`s always a pleasure, sir. Thank you for making time for u. The international audience can do with your perspective. It`s important to have

it. Thank you.

MURPHY: Thank you.

ANDERSON: Chris Murphy there, everybody. We`re going to take a short break. Back after this.



ANDERSON: First, during the --- certainly I was call it one of, but it is the biggest night in Hollywood. But it was an unscripted moment and stole

the show at last night`s Academy Award. It started when Chris Rock made a joke on stage. He was presenting about Jada Pinkett Smith`s shaved head.

She has alopecia. An auto immune disorder which causes hair loss. Well, it`s been Will Smith then took to the stage and slapped Rock. Have a look

at this.


CHRIS ROCK, AMERICAN COMEDIAN: Uh-oh. Richard. Oh, wow. Wow. Will Smith.


ANDERSON: Although it appeared to be a joke at first, Smith returned to his seat and then he cursed at Rock. Viewers at home didn`t hear the entire

exchange as senses muted it. Well, moments later in the show Will Smith actually won his first Oscar, the Best Actor Award for a leading role for

his performance in King Richard. And during his acceptance speech, he apologized for his role in the fight and ended by saying that he hopes the

academy welcomes him back.


WILL SMITH, AMERICAN ACTOR: I want to apologize to the Academy. I want to apologize to my -- all my fellow nominees. Art imitates life. I looked like

the crazy father just like they said. I look like crazy father just like they said Richard William. But love will make you do crazy things.


ANDERSON: Well, Chris Rock by the way is not pressing any charges. Meantime, the Best Picture award went to CODA. Beating out films like

Belfast, Drive My Car and Power of the Dog. CODA is a coming of age story about a character named Ruby the only hearing member of a deaf family. It`s

the first film from a streaming service to win that honor.

Well, the sports world is abuzz about Canada`s football team. The Canadians routed Jamaica four nil in World Cup qualifying on Sunday. The victory

means that Canada has now booked itself a ticket to Qatar for the 2020 World Cup Qatar -- oh sorry, Canada has not been in the World Cup since

1986. I`m old enough to remember the last time that they featured. World Sports coming up. Patrick Snell is in the house. What have you got,


PATRICK SNELL, CNN WORLD SPORT ANCHOR: Hi, Becky. Yes. Great to be on with you. I too am just about old enough to remember that Mexico in 1986 World

Cup fight in the so-called have gone totally, yes. That was the last time Mexico -- well, hosted the World Cup but last time Canada got to the World

Cup. What a storyline. Scenes of joy and elation in Toronto. I can tell you over the weekend, a resounding victory over the Jamaicans booking their

spots at the FIFA World Cup later on this year in Qatar.

And it is a really special moment for North American football, Becky, or should I say North American Soccer. We`ll break it all down for our viewers

in just a few moments on World Sport.

ANDERSON: Lovely. That`s after the break. I`m back with the second part of CONNECT THE WORLD after that. Stay with us, folks.