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Connect the World

British Prime Minister: All we are doing is Helping Ukrainians to Defend Themselves from Russian Attacks; Germany and UK Hold Talks on Reducing Russian Energy Imports; Germany and UK Talks amid Russian Attacks on Ukraine; International Condemnation Pours in Over Russian Missile Strike in Kramatorsk; Donetsk Military Governor: 50 Killed in Railway Station Strike; U.N. Suspends Russia from Human Rights Body. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired April 08, 2022 - 11:00   ET



BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: That is now what this is about. This is about any legal barbaric attack by Russia on totally innocent people

that we are trying to help to protect themselves, that's what's going on.

Can I just say one thing, also about your question about the amount of cash that has gone from, from Europe to pay for Russian oil and gas, and

compared to the - just bear in mind the huge steps that the EU are already taking that Olaf and the Germans are already taking to, to move away from,

from oil and gas.

You know, the dependency has been massive, it's clearly been something that they're now moving away from very, very fast, I think by middle of 2024 as

I recall, a Germany's going to stop using Russian gas which is quite extraordinary.

And that is going to be done through technological change and progress and we want to work together with Germany to achieve that.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The question to you both, Prime Minister, weaponry of - heavy weapons. Are you happy to the --tanks transfer in terms of type

murder things, the set wont part what be enough. Why don't you deliver such weapons to the Ukraine?

JOHNSON: Yes, I think I tried to answer the question before. I'm in principle willing to consider anything by way of defensive weaponry to help

the Ukrainians protect themselves and their people. I think it's important that we should be giving equipment that is genuinely useful and that is

operable by the Ukrainians.

That's our consideration. Those, as I'm sure you saw, there was a delegation from Ukraine from the Ukrainian defense ministry here in the UK

yesterday looking at what more we have to offer.

SCHOLZ: It's the case that we met every effort to deliver weapons that are helpful and that can be used. We have done this in the past, the success of

the Ukrainian army shows that these are very effective weapons they receive.

A lot of - I think that belongs to this, at the same time indeed as the Prime Minister mentioned we need to look what can be effective and only

experts can respond to this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, Jason Groves, Daily mail.

GROVES: Thank you, Prime Minister on the domestic front. Did you know that - yourself? And no reports today, that people close to you people in number

10 have been briefing against the chapter, what would you say to them? Are they speaking in your name? Or do they have your full support on this


And Chancellor Scholz, I heard what you said about Russian energy, but you will know that Germany is sending huge amounts of money to Russia for fuel

at the moment. When you see those atrocities in Ukraine, when you hear the Mayor of Kyiv talk about blood money, do you feel a sense of shame over

that? And is the Prime Minister right that you're planning to end gas imports from Russia by 2024?

JOHNSON: Jason, let me say, I think the answer to your question are number one, no. Number two, if there are such briefings that they're certainly not

coming from us in number 10, heaven knows where they are coming from.

And number three, I think the answer is emphatically yes. I think that Rishi is doing an absolutely outstanding job.

SCHOLZ: Thank you for your question. It is clear that we are having a big job to do to get independent from the imports of fossil resources? And this

is mostly about coal, oil and gas. And as you know, we are working very hard to be successful this in the case of coal and oil during this year.

In the case of gas, as I said, it is absolutely necessary that we built the infrastructure for being able to do so; it is not feasible to get gas

instead, from Russia today from other places in the amount we needed.

And this is the same with most of the other countries in Eastern Europe or also in the south. So it is a big investment into infrastructure. And not

just question of finding new suppliers on other places of the world, which we are doing and which we are working on.


SCHOLZ: It's also the question how we can get this gas to our country, because it's not, it's not helping if it's somewhere in the ship, it needs

to be transported. And this is something for engineers and for investments, billions of investments, and we are doing it.

This is why we are quite, we are optimistic that we will get rid of the need of importing gas from Russia very soon and as the prime minister said,

and we are working tough to be successful.

Let me also say that the miscalculation of Putin is something that is really bothering him each day more, he knows the sanction regime is

working. And this is also a financial sanction against the central bank, for instance.

The outcome of this is that he is not able to use the money; he put into storage is on his accounts. It was a huge mark of money, which could serve

him for a long time. But he is not able to get to all these resources for financing his war. And this is why our sanctions on certain banks and also

on the central bank is so successful, and so necessary to be very clear.

But he is also bothering about his mistake, because when all the countries in Europe and many other places that are fighting for democracy and

supporting Ukraine, are taking decisions similar to Germany, this will have an impact on this economic expectations.

Because if the war would be over, no one could believe that we will stop our investments that we will stop our view to other countries that could

generate the necessary supply. And this - damage across if you this is in the case of his economy, a very, very big damage because if you understand

that he is not having industrial sectors that are really earning money from exporting to the rest of the world.

It is a problem if his chance to - for the development of his economy. And we were also tough on other aspects, for instance, high technology goods;

we are working on being more precise in these fields and questions of IT and software.

And all these things together will make it impossible for him to develop his country to economic strength. That make gives him the chance to be a

competitor on work markets with other countries that are more successful in the economic sector. And so I think we are tough, and we will be successful

with what we do. Thanks very much Olaf--

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My question is to Prime Minister and Chancellor. Do you have any plans to travel to Kyiv in order to show your solidarity with

Ukraine? We have a concrete sectorial for that.

The French president is being criticized from the Polish aside because he regularly talks to the Russian president over the phone. Do you both think

that it will help to phone Putin? And how do you keep in touch with the Russian President?

JOHNSON: Thanks, --. Let me just say, first of all, that I last spoke to Putin shortly before the invasion, and you could imagine the type of

conversation that we had, he said he had no such plans. I said that it would be a catastrophe for Russia, if he went ahead, as well as the

catastrophe for the wider region for the world. And so it - has proved that's the last time I spoke to him.

I've got to say I think that negotiating with Putin does not seem to me to be full of a promise. And I don't feel that he can be that, that he can be

trusted. That's not to say I don't admire the efforts of people who try to find a way through.

But my own view is that I am deeply, deeply skeptical. And I'm afraid cynical now about obey his assurances.


SCHOLZ: Thank you for your question. The President is unjustified. He has been very much engaged and the talks he has with the Russian President

there he tries to make a contribution so that we have the chance to reach a ceasefire of the Russian forces, I'm aware of this, because I often talk to

the French president, we have exchanges.

And at the same time with Boris and also with President Biden, it is very important that we all have a clear stance, for the Ukrainians. There is

nobody who talks to Putin instead of Ukrainian. There is exchange passing on information.

And we need to take the opportunity to tell the Russian president what the situation is, for example, how many Russian soldiers are being killed?

There are consequences for the Russian army in this war, the scope of the destructed weapons that cannot be used anymore.

So his plan has not made progress as he thought it would, possibly he will not find out from his closest people. It's always about that always come

back to that, what we want to achieve.

And what we really have to achieve is that the troops are withdrawn, that the Ukraine can decide itself on its fate, that this war finds its end. And

this situation, it's necessary to say that you can be sure that we closely have an agreement as we have done here, and we will continue to do so.

Right at the beginning, I said that already. The Ukraine is negotiating about Ukraine and nobody else. So we don't replace them, we will support

them, strengthen them, and contribute to their position as a good negotiator, for example, we give financial support.

And in connection with the traveling to Kyiv possibly, we both inform you about our travels when we travel, I believe.

JOHNSON: We're trying to help people come from Ukraine. That's what we're trying to do. We're trying to help our German friends to take more refugees

as well. - Financial Times.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you very much Prime Minister. Chancellor Scholz, what would you say to those who argue the stability of Europe demands an

embargo on Russia energy demands? And Germany should accept the economic price of that, just as it demanded Southern European members pay the price

during the sovereign debt crisis.

And during a meeting of EU formulas on Monday, why are you not discussing an oil embargo? And Prime Minister, there's been reports that Chancellor

Rishi Sunak held a green card while he was a government minister.

Do you think it's acceptable for a member of your government to have a U.S. green card? I believe you have a U.S. citizen and gave it up at one point

as well. And given that you've talked about European security and unity and purpose, can you now rule out triggering article 16 of the Northern Ireland

protocol, given the situation? Thank you.

SCHOLZ: Thank you for your question. I answered to your question already.

JOHNSON: Thanks very much. And - I'm sorry; I have to postpone you this morning. Just to say look, on that issue, as I understand it, the

chancellor has done absolutely everything he was required to do. And what was your second question?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And it was up to me article 16.

JOHNSON: The - article 16. Well, Olaf we had a discussion about this. As you can expect, we had discussion about this. As you can expect it came up,

I think I raised it. It was entirely predictable. And I don't - the almost seamless harmony that you observed between Britain and Germany today I

would not, I would not wish you any way to interrupt by going into that any further.


JOHNSON: But what I will say is that to answer your question, would we take that off the table? The use of article 16 and no, clearly not there is a,

there is a problem. But I think that, you know, there is, as I hope has been clear from, from the conversation, and from what you've heard from

Olaf and me today that we are really, really very much united on virtually every other issue of policy Suzanne - of R&D.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. So, Prime Minister, Chancellor Scholz, my question goes to both of you. Can Western sanctions ever be really affected

by countries like India and China continue business as usual, with Russia?

JOHNSON: Suzanne, I think that it's a very, very important question. I think that the answer is that, yes, Western sanctions can be. And as Olaf

said in his earlier remarks will be increasingly effective. And I think that they will over the long term, as do more and more damage to the

economic prospects of Putin's regime.

And that doesn't mean to say we don't want other friends and partners around the world to do more. And I think that for China, there's a very

interesting question to be addressed.

And that is whether the, they really want to be associated closely with what is being done in Mariupol, in Bucha, whether they really want to be

associated with in any way condoning or in any way supporting the regime of Vladimir Putin.

I think as the days have gone by that question has become increasingly difficult for China. That is my impression.

SCHOLZ: I agree and allow me to add. The sanctions that we have - have a tremendous effect on the economic prospects of Russia. And these sanctions

cannot be circumvented when we're talking about the high technology products and other products.

Because many countries have such high advances technologically that there are others countries that can chip in and replace. There are many

activities in the field of high tech. And this is why these sanctions are so effective.

Even though not everyone is participating, but was advocating campaigning for others to chime in. And was still, we want to make sure that no one is

attempting to circumvent these sanctions, and we do this indirect talks and I think this also is highly effective.

JOHNSON: Good, thank you, everybody.

ELENI GIOKOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT, CONNECT THE WORLD: Alright, as you can see images coming through from London today. Prime Minister Boris Johnson

meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, and they spoke about how they can work together with regards to fighting and helping fight off Vladimir

Putin and the invasion of Ukraine.

The most important question that has been posed to the German Chancellor is just what his intention is, and the plan to try and wean Germany or fossil

fuels. He says oil and gas will oil and coal imminent, it will happen this year, but gas is the big issue.

Now Boris Johnson said that he had discussed with Olaf Scholz to wean Germany off gas by 2024. Olaf Scholz has not confirmed that. But he says

that they're going to have to make huge investments into LNG terminals, thinking about new pipelines and new suppliers.

And it's not going to be that easy. He really reiterates that Germany is doing what it can. And the tough sanctions against Vladimir Putin are

having a really big effect and both leaders becoming quite defensive on just the efforts that have been made by Germany and Europeans right now.

Boris Johnson reiterating the fact that NATO members do not want to have a direct confrontation with Vladimir Putin. They do not want an escalation

but they're willing to consider assisting Ukraine with all and any defensive weaponry that is available right now.

Those are some of the lines that came through. And I leave you with this with what Boris Johnson said Europe as we know it six weeks ago no longer



GIOKOS: The security situation has changed dramatically. This is some of the messaging that we've been hearing since the start of the war. The

question is just how much more effort can Europe make and put into this to try and impact Putin's decision.

Alright, so I'm Eleni Giokos, great to be with you today. I'm in for Becky Anderson and for those of you just joining us, hello and welcome to

"Connect the World".

It's Day 44 of the war in Ukraine and Russia is carving a path of death and destruction appending civilian lives. Russian airstrikes killed at least 50

civilians at a train station in the eastern city of Kramatorsk.

And that's according to the region's military governor who says the dead include five children. The video you're about to see is quite disturbing.

It shows the direct aftermath of the attack.

This train station has been a crucial hub for civilians fleeing the Donbas region. A local official says thousands of people were at the station when

the strike hits. The governor said at least 98 people have been taken to hospitals.

President Zelenskyy had said nearly 300 were hurt. We've also heard from the Head of the Luhansk regional military governor about an attack on a

railway overpass, which has now been blocked.

And evacuation route for civilians in eastern Ukraine. 500 people are now stuck at a train station. The governor also said Russia's preparations are

almost complete for a massive breakthrough attempt in the Donbas region.

Our Senior International Correspondent, Ivan Watson has been bringing us the latest on the attacks targeting Ukraine's transportation system. He

joins me now live from Vinnytsia in west central Ukraine. Ivan, it feels as if the rules of engagement have changed dramatically on the Russian parts

indiscriminately targeting these important arteries these evacuation routes for civilians.

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The Ukrainian government has been warning about this even as they have been urging

civilians to flee what they anticipate will be a Russian ground attack. The scenes of scores of people killed and injured at Kramatorsk train station,

a train station where in previous days up to 8000 people were gathering daily to be evacuated upon the advice of the Ukrainian government and

absolutely terrible.

And the weapon that was used, according to the Ukrainian government was a - surface to surface missiles so this was a missile strike, according to the

Ukrainian government, from a tactical missile that ripped through people waiting by the train station.

And at the platform, civilians who were hoping to escape, at least 50 now killed, at least 98 people wounded many women, many children precisely the

type of the civilians who are fleeing the Russian military right now.

And as you mentioned, there has been a pattern of other Russian attacks on other railway infrastructure. This vital network of transport in Ukraine

that before the war was moving about 50 percent of all passenger traffic around this country.

The remnants of the missile had the words - spray painted in Russian on it. That means for the children, and how you interpret that depends on what the

people who launched the missile, were trying to say.

Was it for the revenge of the children or was it targeting the children for the children. And that is up to interpretation. The Russian Defense

Ministry is denying that they carried out this strike as the Russian defense ministry has denied accusations that the Russian military carried

out extra judicial killings in suburbs around Kyiv.

In the first month of the war after bodies were found with gunshots to the back of the head with people's hands bound. The Russian defense ministry

has denied laying waste to most of the port city of Mariupol as well.

Eleni, this is all the more chilling. Yesterday I spent hours on a train. I wish we could show you this report and hear the people who were evacuating

terrified of the Russian military, but we don't have time for it right now.

But in that report, you could hear the fear in people, people who had lived under Russian occupation for a month describing the Russian military

hanging Russian flags on buildings in their city their Ukrainian town asking for food, for toilet paper from residents of that town.

I was on a train with more than 1100 evacuees and these evacuation trains had been going constantly since Russia launched its unprovoked invasion of

this country on February 24 back to you.


GIOKOS: Ivan Watson, thank you so very much for bringing us these stories absolutely vital in understanding what's going on. Well, for more on the

attack on the train station in Kramatorsk, I want to now bring in Tarik Jasarevic, spokesperson for the World Health Organization who has just

traveled out of Ukraine into Poland.

Thank you, sir, for joining us. And these are such dramatic alarming, absolutely disturbing images that we're seeing. The W.H.O. has also been

impacted, I want you to give me a sense of how, what you've seen on the ground, firstly, and also how your operations have been disturbed.

TARIK JASAREVIC, SPOKESPERSON, W.H.O.: Well, we have been trying since the beginning of, of the invasion to support health system in Ukraine, bringing

medical supplies vital supplies, such as surgical material, but also essential medicines, working with Ministry of Health, in, in trying to get

those supplies to the heart reach areas.

And most of our supplies were going to east of the country. We're also monitoring and reporting on attacks on health. And unfortunately,

yesterday, we reached a grim milestone of having 100 attacks on healthcare being verified by W.H.O.

We do what we can, together with other partners in health sector to support health system. So Ukrainians can continue to receive health care,

especially in those most affected areas. But unfortunately, as these attacks continue, on hospitals on health centers on ambulances, the

situation can only get worse for all range of medical conditions.

GIOKOS: Yes. And we've heard that it's just and as you now say that it's very difficult to get medicine and resources into the most affected areas.

How are you and your team's thinking about the security situation, so that you can try and penetrate through these areas?

And I completely understand you need the buy in from both sides before you're able to safely get into the hardest hit of places.

JASAREVIC: We really tried to use any possibility we may have. And I traveled with colleague - two weeks ago, that's in eastern part of the

country. And we were just looking at whatever possibilities we could have to bring it to the areas that were affected the most.

Unfortunately, we have not been able to bring any humanitarian supplies, including medical supplies to Mariupol. And we have all seen these horrible

images from hospitals in Mariupol, where our patients are lying in corridors where there is simply no electricity except in a surgical


So this is really a horrible and this is why W.H.O. has been calling on Russia since the beginning of the war to stop this war, to commit to a

ceasefire that would allow humanitarian assistance to get it.

But let's be really clear, we may bring as many boxes of medicines we want. We are capable; this will not solve the problem because health workers are

being exhausted. They're doing heroic work, but they have to think about themselves and their families.

There is less and less hospitals being available, there is more and more insecurity. There are immunization activities that have been stopped people

who have chronic diseases cannot access their medicines and treatments and things will just get worse that really the only solution is the cessation

of hostilities.

GIOKOS: Tarik Jasarevic, thank you so much for the work that you're doing and for sharing that with us. We wish you all the best. Thank you. Right,

we're going to short break, stay with CNN.



GIOKOS: Welcome back to "Connect the World". I'm Eleni Giokos in for Becky Anderson today, our top story this hour, the Russian attack on a train

station in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk. At least 50 people were killed nearly 100 wounded.

And I want to show you the chaos soon after the rockets and a warning this video is quite disturbing. There were hundreds of people waiting for trains

to evacuate the area which is being bombarded by Russian forces.

The Head of Ukrainian railway says Russian forces have been attacking railway infrastructure on a daily basis to stop people from fleeing the

war. And what happened in Kramatorsk is yet another horrific attack carried out by Russia that is appalled and shocked the world.

On Thursday, the U.N. General Assembly called a vote to suspend Russia from the Human Rights Council over alleged war crimes in Ukraine. The

intergovernmental body is made up of 47 member states created to protect human rights worldwide.

And I want to show you this map because it shows you how countries voted and it's pretty telling 93 countries highlighted in green voted in favor of

suspending Russia while 82 countries voted no or abstained.

None of the BRICS countries, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa voted yes. And almost all of the countries here in the Middle East either

voted no abstained or just did not take part.

And that map shows a new Delia nation of power between emerging and developed markets. Let's break that down further with my next guest, Josh

Lipsky, He is the Senior Director of The Atlantic Council, Geo-economics Center.

He joins me now live from Washington. This map is so telling. And if I could just get that up again, it really just shows the rise of you know, a

clear alliance perhaps or would you say a shift in the power axis globally, or just wanting to maintain neutrality, but you can see emerging markets

for global south.

And what you can see happening in the east is pretty clear. Josh, what are you reading into these votes?

JOSH LIPSKY, SENIOR DIRECTOR, ATLANTIC COUNCIL, GEOECONOMICS CENTER: The way I see that is that Ukraine is in war with Russia, and the West is at

economic war with Russia, but the rest of the world is staying on the sidelines as much as possible.

And that can be - seen from our perspective. I'm in Washington, or in Europe, thinking that the whole world is united against what Russia is

doing. It can feel that way at the moment. But as the map shows, as we saw at the U.N., as we see at the G20, as we see with the sanctions

implementations, the U.S. the Europeans, the Canadians, the Japanese, they are aligned.

And that is a heavy economic weapon that they can levy the holders of the dollar or the euro or the yen. But that is not the entire world. And it's

important to remember that.

GIOKOS: Exactly and such a good point, because also, a lot of African countries are you know, were part of the non-alliance membership. And that

was during the Cold War, because they didn't want to align either with the USSR or the West. Do you think that this is now coming to a head where you

see - towards the west, perhaps, and you see more of camaraderie within the emerging market space?

LIPSKY: Well, I think if you look at the emerging markets, what they're going to try to do from an economic perspective, directly is have it both

ways. They don't want to cut off the central supply of cheap oil.

They don't want to cut off some of the arm supplies they have, but they certainly can't get crossed with the U.S. in a sanctions regime. They can't

get away from the dollar; the global rules serve currency the mechanism of settling all trade. So their hope is that they sort of stay on the

sidelines. I'm not sure that's going to be possible.


LIPSKY: You know we saw senior U.S. officials traveled to India last week to pressure that government based on what they're doing. We saw them

abstain, and this U.N. vote, which I thought was interesting, as opposed to voting against.

So I think this conversation is happening, but it is not lost on the U.S. or the Europeans, the countries that are staying on the sidelines. But of

course, the big issue is China. That's the number one thing to consider and Russia's major economic lifeline.

GIOKOS: Absolutely. And NATO members are worried about China as well. I want to bring this up, so sanctions have been really fast coming from the

west Europe and other countries as well.

But other countries that still want to do business with Russia are going to try and circumvent the Swift system or the use of the U.S. dollar. Do you

think this is going to open a door into the dominance of the west or even the use of the U.S. dollar? Is this a big risk? And we have to take a step

back here because these are going to have long term ramifications.

LIPSKY: It's a fantastic question. Everyone is thinking about it right now. But the issue to think about is what alternative. There are many countries

China included, who would like to get away from a dollar based system.

And they see the leverage and the power that dollar can have. If you hold your foreign exchange reserves in dollars, now you see they can be frozen.

But to what, are you going to invest in - with capital controls and limited access to that market?

So where does that investment go? There's no viable global alternative to the dollar right now. That doesn't mean countries are not interested. They

would like to develop alternatives to Swift; they would like to have more digital currencies, which over time could provide an alternative.

None of that's ready now. So are there long term challenges to the dollar? Yes. But in the immediate term, the dollar euro alliance, as we saw in the

past few weeks, is extraordinarily powerful. And I think unrivaled for the moment.

GIOKOS: OK. We've also just heard from the German chancellor, who says, you know, coal and oil, we can wean ourselves off that, you know, over the next

year. But gas is going to be problematic, LNG terminals and infrastructure spending needs to happen.

How are we able to reconcile the urgency in Ukraine, which we've seen the dramatic pictures with regards to economic policy that Europeans still

needs to pay attention to?

LIPSKY: It's hard to reconcile. What I would say is that everything seems impossible until it isn't. Six weeks ago, both the Europeans and the

Americans were saying they would not sanction the Russian Central Bank.

And then we saw the beginnings of the atrocities happening, and the world was galvanized, at least the West was galvanized into action. So just

because things are said today that they will not be possible, it does not mean that these policymakers can't shift.

And there's one major thing held out there that is Putin's economic lifeline. And of course, that's oil and gas and the relationship with

Europe. So just because it seems like it's off the table now, doesn't mean it always will be.

GIOKOS: Josh, thank you very much for your time and your insights very important for us to look at the long term issues at play here. Much

appreciate it. And still to come, one of the biggest female tennis stars may be considering a comeback, details in our World Sports updates, up