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Connect the World

Russia's Belgorod Region hit by Two Explosions Monday; IMF Warns of War's Impact on Global Economic Recovery; Israel, Ukraine Condemn Lavrov's Comments about Hitler; Indian PM Modi in Germany on First Leg of Europe Visit; First Female Boxers Headline at Madison Square Garden; Ballet Dancers Return to the Stage in Lviv. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired May 02, 2022 - 11:00   ET




ELENI GIOKOS, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: Welcome, I'm Eleni Giokos. I'm in for my colleague Becky Anderson. This is "Connect the World".

We start with what the Mayor of Mariupol is calling a very difficult process to evacuate Ukrainians from the besieged city. He says Russians are

creating obstacles. At last report evacuation buses had not arrived at a main assembly point. But Ukrainian officials are still hopeful more people

can get out today. And that's all happening under a different set of circumstances and evacuations.

Sunday from the Azovstal Steel Plant about 100 women and children managed to get out which is great news but a commander at the plant says 200 more

civilians remain inside along with hundreds more injured soldiers. He says the plants injured heavy shelling overnight. And for those that did make it

out relief at finally seeing daylight.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can't believe it two months of darkness, we did not see any sunlight we were scared.


GIOKOS: And for now, the Azovstal plant has endured relentless Russian attacks. These images show the damage it's endured over time. And this is

from early March near the start of the siege. Two and a half weeks later, the destruction is very apparent.

By early April large sections of the plant are still seen heavily damaged. And then this current photo all that is left in one section is a burnt out

shell of what once stood there. Meantime, Ukraine's Navy has released footage of what it says is a drone strike that destroyed two Russian raptor

boats in the Black Sea. It happened not far from Snake Island.

Scott McLean is connecting us from the Lviv in Western Ukraine; Scott, really good to see you. Look, the Mariupol evacuations have been so

important. We've been discussing this over the past couple of months, where you've seen efforts being hampered by, you know, issues on the ground,

whether it's logistics, whether it's the Russians, whether it's just bad planning. Is this finally changing?

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, part of the issue that we've seen over the last few months is that the Ukrainians and the Russians couldn't

seem to agree on the precise terms of any kind of humanitarian corridor.

They couldn't agree precisely on the terms of a ceasefire. And it seems like one side or the other would violate the ceasefire. There were good

reasons in many cases, why these humanitarian corridors were not working?

But yesterday, we got really the first glimmer of hope that there might be a wider scale operation to allow people to leave the city and specifically

to leave that steel plant. So there are two kinds of evacuations happening today.

There are people from the wider city, which, as you mentioned, they are at last word, still waiting for buses to show up from a mall from a northwest

part of the city where they're supposed to meet up and then be taken west toward Ukrainian held territory.

And then there are people in the steel plant, remember that this is a Red Cross United Nations led operation to get them out. We know that 100 people

according to the Ukrainians have boarded those buses in route to Ukrainian held territory in the city specifically, of Zaporizhzhia.

But the last update that we got from the city's Mayor is that it is extremely slow going. And the reason he cites for that is because people

are being forced to go through this so called filtration process where essentially the Russians will question you and search you and it can take a


In some cases, the Mayor says that for average ordinary people it can take up to a month on average. It's difficult to imagine it taking nearly that

long considering the involvement of the United Nations in the Red Cross.

But we still don't know at this point. We're also hearing from the Russians that some 200 people have gotten out a mixture of people in the city and

from the planet. We know that at least 21 people again, according to the Russians have chosen to go to Russian held territory from that plant.

Even if Eleni all of the civilians managed to get out though keep in mind that you still have soldiers in there. The mayor says that that issue is

being negotiated separately at some of the highest levels.

GIOKOS: I want to talk about the explosions that we've seen in Belgorod, I want you to give me a sense and this is the third type of attack in as many

days and the Ukrainian it'd be very hesitant to say it was them. Could you give me an idea of the impact that it's having on the Russians and

potential retaliation?


MCLEAN: So the Russians have warned very clearly before Eleni that any attacks on Russian soil would be met with a very swift and strong response.

And they warn the West and which they say, of course, are supplying weapons for the Ukrainians and we know that to be true.

And they warn Kyiv as well, not to test Russia's patience because as they say, they are determined to achieve their goals and what they describe as a

special operation. But that doesn't seem to be facing Ukrainians or whoever is starting these fires are causing these explosions on Russian held


And the reason that I say that is because the Ukrainians haven't exactly fesses up to these attacks. So there were two explosions earlier this

morning, according to local Governor of Belgorod. There was just yesterday, an attack on another military site that caused a fire that burned for more

than an hour and then last week as well, there was a fire at an ammunition depot in Belgorod.

Plus there have been other explosions and fires at fuel depots and other military sites. As I said, the Ukrainians not jumping up and down to say

that it was them but at least for the attack last week, they said that karma is a cruel thing. So you can draw your own - Eleni.

GIOKOS: Yes, absolutely Scott, thank you very much. We want to now take you to Zaporizhzhia the city and Eastern Ukraine is often where people

evacuated from Mariupol go first. Our International Security Editor Nick Paton Walsh is there and joins us now live. Nick, we spoke an hour ago,

anything that's changed on the ground?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR: Yes, Eleni, what you're seeing behind me here, one of a number of vehicles, buses that have

just turned up as a part of not this larger evacuation effort that the UN and Red Cross have been trying to pull off today and may in the coming

hours managed to get fully mobile.

These are people who've come here on their own steam, our Cameraman - Looney has just put the camera inside to show some people from better

Belgrade and some from Mariupol as well. Having endured not only the horrors of Mariupol itself, but also one woman, they're just a back turn to

us describing the extremely difficult road they had on the way out of here.

But this is just the beginning. This is not the effort that is a way to deal with such extraordinary expectation. There are so many here who are

trying to get their way out and people just turn around. So we can see the scenes behind this as people start coming out of their buses great emotion

as they meet their loved ones and wonder quite what is next in store for them their lives completely dislocated by this war.

Now, I should say back in terms of the broader effort here that the United Nations and Red Cross are trying to get underway here. This was something

which Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said would be underway from eight o'clock this morning.

But there appear to have been some hiccups on the way and as far as I understand, some of the buses have moved away from Mariupol and maybe in

some of the towns on the road towards here at Zaporizhzhia.

But they're not necessarily expected in daylight hours today, maybe overnight, maybe tomorrow morning, that may be the wiser bet for when they

actually finally managed to begin that journey. But the Russian Ministry of Defense take their word as you will have said that over 100 evacuees have

emerged from the as up styles steel plant.

And while 11 of the may claim have chosen to stay in separatist territory, 69 are on their way towards here Zaporizhzhia. There are different groups

of people trying to get out there is of course, so much attention rightly on the heavily bombarded kind of bunker frankly, Azovstal Steel Plant where

hundreds have been hiding out of daylight coming into daylight, for the first time hundreds of injured Ukrainian soldiers still in that facility as


And then there is the broader attempt to try and get tens of thousands of Ukrainians out of Mariupol generally the 100,000 civilian populations,

they're risking the threat of disease now, of course, continued bombardment Russian occupation, as well.

The hope is this UN convoy will be able to get going and begin a corridor which will more frequently increase the number of people managing to get

out. But expectations had been high here today that we would start to see numbers pick up here as the day goes by. But I have to tell you that we're

getting towards dusk, and still, it doesn't appear that their main UN convoy is imminently coming here Eleni.

GIOKOS: Nick, great to have you on the ground there. Thank you so much. And for so many in Mariupol the chance to escape came far too late. The City's

Mayor says more than 20,000 residents have been killed since the war began.

It's a staggering number and for those burying the dead, seemingly endless and heartbreaking task. CNN's Sara Sidner reports.



SARA SIDNER, CNN'S SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): No tears, no remembrance no final goodbyes just dust to dust the burial is


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We bury 50 people a day. Today we've done two lots of 18 bodies and another 10, 46 in total.

SIDNER (voice over): Grave diggers like - can barely keep up the pace at the story cream cemetery in the outskirts of Mariupol. Once marked with

only a number assigned, the bodies have yet to be identified by family.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People come and find their loved ones and Brianne crosses and aboard.

SIDNER (voice over): CNN is not present in the Russian occupied Donbas, but footage we obtained and satellite images showed dozens of fresh graves.

Local authorities say about 600 in total, and this is not an isolated case. Images show graves have been dug in mass at to other burial grounds. This

is one of them--

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They've been bringing bodies every day for a month Anna says they just keep bringing more and more bit by bit.

SIDNER (voice over): Here to footage shows rows of freshly dug graves and indications bodies have been buried before being identified.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Each body is given its own grave in a coffin in a board with a number.

SIDNER (voice over): A separate a soldier who did not want to be identified says.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: After they are processed the city funeral service works with the prosecutor's office to organize their burial.

SIDNER (voice over): CNN could not independently verify the claims but local authorities say the majority of those buried here and in - were

killed during Russia's assault on Mariupol.

Moscow has now seized control of most of the strategic port city, but some Ukrainian forces continue to hold ground at the Azovstal Steel Plant. So

far the Kremlin hasn't reported an official death toll but Ukrainian officials say it's in the thousands.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: By our optimistic estimation, more than 20,000 people, and women kid's elderly died on the streets of our city.

SIDNER (voice over): The Mayor of Mariupol says because the death toll is bound to rise at Menarche the work continues about 100 freshly dug graves

ready for the dead as war rages Ukrainians aren't just being murdered by strangers, but also buried by them. Sara Sidner, CNN, Kyiv.


GIOKOS: The International Monetary Fund says the war on Ukraine and Western sanctions against Russia are hurting other nation's chances of bouncing

back from the economic harm of the pandemic, especially in the Middle East and Central Asia regions.

The IMF says the war is complicating efforts to deal with high debt and inflation and that steps must be taken to ensure food and energy security

for vulnerable nations. Joining us now is the IMF's Jihad Azour; he oversees the funds work in the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia

as well as caucus.

Thank you very much, Jihad really good to see you. I have to say, look, I've been talking a lot to the IMF specifically over the very difficult

times during the pandemic. And I know that so many resources were thrown at dealing with COVID.

And I'm wondering whether there are any buffers left to deal with this kind of enormous exogenous risk that is now emerging in the world? And we're

talking about food insecurity. We're talking about a rise in commodity prices. And the most vulnerable of nations once again, specifically in this

region are at risk.

JIHAD AZOUR, IMF MIDDLE EAST AND CENTRAL ASIA DEPT. DIRECTOR: Where I thank you, Eleni, for having me. You're raising a very important question,

countries were recovering from COVID. And then they were hit by this shock that will change the outlook for this year, we will see countries who are,

I would say directly affected by the crisis in Ukraine, mainly caucuses and Central Asian countries, those will be affected directly through trade and

financial challenge.

But others also are going to be affected because of increasing prices, inflation and volatility in financial markets, therefore, this year is

going to be a challenging one. And this is why we had to revise outlook for both Middle East and Central Asian countries downward.

But yet, I think it's important here dimension that we see a divergence between oil exporting countries who will compensate the increase in prices

with increase in revenues coming from oil. And they will be less affected by capital outflows because of the windfall they got from the increase in

revenues because of the increase in oil.

So Jihad, I'm glad you mentioned oil producing countries and you can see a very different sort of scenario and reality for oil producing countries

versus oil importers. Do you think it is the responsibility of oil producing countries to increase output to alleviate some of this enormous

pressure that again is going to hurt the weak countries?


AZOUR: Well, of course, I think it's important to make sure that the markets are well supplied and there are no shortages in the market. I think

here we need to differentiate between oil and gas. Oil market is much more I would say liquidity in terms of being able to provide additional sources

of supply while gas is more complicated because of the infrastructure.

Currently, the demand is stable or slowing down. And there are enough buffers in the system to supply that. However, when it comes to gas, and it

comes to diversity of supply sources, here where the issues may take time, you need infrastructure. And also you need to equip, especially in Europe,

terminals to be able to receive gas.

GIOKOS: So we also saw Egypt and I want to talk about Egypt. It's such an important market and relies heavily on imports from Russia on grain. And

importantly, Russia is a vital partner as well. Inflation in Egypt hitting 12 percent we saw it last year at about 4.8 percent at one point.

We've been hearing about people's plight on the ground once again, and central banks have this really tough dilemma. Do you increase interest

rates like the Egyptians have done to try and create price stability, at risk of economic growth? What does one do with very little tools left in

the box?

AZOUR: Well Egypt prior to the war in Ukraine was recovering relatively fast, with an average growth for the fiscal year 21, 22 of 5.8 percent,

relatively high compared to other countries in the region. But they were directly affected by the war in Ukraine because of their dependence on

wheat and also tourism from Russia and Ukraine.

The Central Bank has started as well as also using monetary policy tools, adjusting the interest rate by 1 percent of GDP, and providing a social

package through the budget in order to alleviate the pressure on the low income people. Of course, those are steps in the right direction. And Egypt

has proven in the past the capacity to address those shops. We saw this implemented when you did in COVID.

And we saw this in 2016, when they have the certain number of reforms. But of course, many emerging markets that are affected by inflation increase in

interest rates and the risk of slowdown need to make sure that they have the right policy mix.

GIOKOS: Are you worried? Are you worried about are you going to be worried about unrest because of food security issues? Is that a probability that

you're thinking about?

AZOUR: Of course, this is an important issue because also you have to add to this that the COVID crisis eroded their social stability because of the

large number of people working in informality and the increase in unemployment.

This is an important issue to address and the way to address it so changing the approach of social policy. And this is more acute for low income

countries and fragile states in the region that are more affected because of the increase in wheat prices than others.

For example, this increase in prices could be higher than additional needs of one to one and a half percent of GDP compared to an average of 0.3

percent need of additional resources to address the crisis.

GIOKOS: OK. Jihad, and I want to talk about the debt unsustainable, unsustainable debt. The IMF has said that the food shortages could push

countries to go for external financing in the region of around $10 billion in 2022. We've seen loans concessional and non-concessional, because of the

pandemic, are we heading into an unsustainable debt scenario, and debt crises playing out in various parts of this region?

AZOUR: I think here, we have to take it on country by country basis. There are countries that have buffers and are still you know, have the right

policies to address those shocks. Others will have high levels of debt and very little buffers.

And for those, unfortunately, they need to maintain fiscal consolidation, but they can do it in a way they redirect spending toward the low income

people by strengthening social transfers, while also addressing some of the equity issue by reforming the tax system.

I think what is important here at this stage is to address the issue of inflation in order to avoid this anchoring of inflation. Support low income

people through targeted means in order to avoid that decrease in prices will hit social stability and have the right macroeconomic tools and the

medium term reform approach.

GIOKOS: Jihad really good to have you on thank you so much. These are important topics and I'm sure we'll be talking a lot more as the situation

evolves really good to see you sir.


GIOKOS: The Russian Foreign Minister's comments about Adolf Hitler have stirred outrage in Israel and Ukraine, still ahead, why the Israeli Foreign

Minister accuses Sergey Lavrov of the lowest level of racism.


GIOKOS: Ukraine is expressing support for the Jewish people and calling on other nations to isolate Russia even more after a top Kremlin officials

comments about Adolf Hitler.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was trying to justify Russia's claim that it's deemed not certifying Ukraine even though President Volodymyr

Zelenskyy is Jewish. Lavrov told Italian television that Hitler had Jewish blood.

The Israeli government and the world Holocaust Remembrance center condemned the remarks. CNN's Hadas Gold joins us now live from Jerusalem with more on

the reaction in inflammatory comments by Sergey Lavrov. Give us a sense of the response Hadas to these unfounded comments.

HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Eleni, these comments are unfounded. And they're also the sort of old conspiracy theories that he is putting out

there as though they are fact when they are not.

Now the Israeli officials immediately came out with statements condemning the remarks of Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett called them lies

intended to accuse the Jews themselves for the most horrific crimes in history.

And Foreign Minister Yair Lipid went even further saying in a tweet that the remarks are both an unforgivable and outrageous statement, as well as a

terrible historical error.

He says Jews do not murder themselves in the Holocaust, calling it the lowest level of racism against Jews is to accuse Jews themselves as anti-

Semitism. He went on and later statements to say that Israel has tried to maintain good relations with Russia.

But that these comments have crossed a line and that he is calling on the Russian Government to apologize. And when he's saying that Israel has tried

to maintain good relations is throughout this war with Ukraine.

Israel has been trying to have this sort of delicate diplomatic balance between the two countries. They've been trying to act as mediator. Naftali

Bennett has been speaking with Zelenskyy and Putin on a regular basis.

Israel also says it's concerned for the hundreds of thousands of Jews, both in Russia and Ukraine. And importantly, for Israel's own security because

of Russia's military presence in Syria, Israel essentially needs Russia's tacit approval in order to be able to carry out strikes against Iranian

targets in Syria, something that Israel says is very important for its security.

Now, Israel has come out and condemned the invasion. They have accused Russia of war crimes they've been giving Ukraine playing loads of

humanitarian aid. But they have not yet joined the western countries in imposing really harsh sanctions against Russia although they have said that

this will not be a way to bypass Western sanctions they have not yet signed on to them.


GOLD: So now the question will be will remarks like these push Israel towards that move, most likely not. But clearly it has wild them enough to

say listen, Russia, we've been trying to have good relations with you. But now you've crossed the line Eleni?

GIOKOS: Hadas Gold, thank you very much. U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is in Europe to rally support for the Ukraine war efforts. On Monday, she and

other members of U.S. Congress met with Polish President Andrzej Duda.

Pelosi said the visit shows that the U.S. stands firmly alongside NATO allies and supporting Ukraine. Pelosi also led a congressional delegation

on a surprise visit to Kyiv on Saturday meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

CNN Capitol Hill Reporter Melanie Zanona has more on Speaker Pelosi's European visit.

Good to see you Melanie. I mean, its one thing visiting Europe reinforcing the message that the U.S. is committed to assisting Ukraine and another

thing convincing Congress to prove that enormous package to alleviate the pressure in Ukraine.

MELANIE ZANONA, CNN CAPITOL HILL REPORTER: Yes, you're absolutely right. Nonetheless, members of Congress did want to use these high profile trips

to show their support for the Ukrainian people and reaffirm the United States commitment to helping them fight this war.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and some members of Congress were in Poland today to meet with President Duda. And this comes on the heels of their secret trip

to Kyiv where they met with Ukrainian President Zelenskyy.

While they were there, Congressman Adam Schiff said they heard about new needs facing the country, take a listen.


REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): We wanted to discuss with him within that. That really vast sum, what is the priority in terms of what weapons that he

needs, what other assistance that he needs. So we went through a detailed discussion of the next phase of the war.

It's moving from a phase in which Ukrainians were ambushing Russian tanks, it was close quarters fighting to fighting more at a distance using long

range artillery. And that changes the nature of what Ukraine needs to defend itself.


ZANONA: Now, Congress returns to Washington this week, and they will begin work on an additional aid package for Ukraine. President Biden has

requested a $33 billion and additional assistance. That is a huge sum of money.

And Eleni, I can tell you there is broad bipartisan support for passing that package. But Democratic leaders are still deciding whether to link

that with an additional bill for COVID relief money, which could slow things down. So really, it could be at least another week here before we

see any action on that front.

GIOKOS: Yes, and there's so much urgency about getting that money to work. So Melanie, something we'll keep an eye on, thank you so very much, good to

see you. And just ahead Europe's energy ministers hold an emergency meeting on Russia's demand it is paid in rubles.

We'll speak to the EU correspondent for The Financial Times to help us understand this crisis, stay with us.



GIOKOS: I'm Eleni Giokos in Abu Dhabi, welcome back to "Connect the World". EU energy ministers have been holding a crisis meeting in Brussels today

after Russia turned off its gas supply to Poland and Bulgaria last week.

Moscow wants energy payments in rubles to get around sanctions, Warsaw and Sofia said no way. Today, the EU is trying to come up with a unified

response to Moscow's demand.

For his part, the Ukrainian foreign minister tweeted that a Russian oil embargo must be included in the next round of EU sanctions. CNN's Clare

Sebastian is watching all of this from London, and she joins us now live. Good to see you.

Claire, I you know, watching these developments really closely at six rounds of sanctions, a unified response. And of course, you're actually

seeing some countries going listen, we are still realigned. We have to take a very different stance. And it seems that Germany is the big name here in

terms of getting them on board.

CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, so Eleni, absolutely Germany is Europe's biggest economy. It's the biggest in absolute terms importer of

Russian energy. So if Germany is saying it's ready to move ahead with an oil embargo, which is potentially the next step that's being discussed

under the sixth package of sanctions, then I think you can assume there's serious momentum.

I want to just play you a clip that my colleague Julia Chatterley just spoke to the German Finance Minister Christian Lindner. Here's what he had

to say about the topic.


CHRISTIAN LINDNER, GERMAN FINANCE MINISTER: Now we are ready, we have prepared ourselves to be less dependent on Russian energy imports. It takes

time to reduce the dependency it was a mistake to be dependent in this way.

But we are making progress, we can reduce the imports, starting the schools and oil, it will take more time to be independent from Russian natural gas

imports. But we will continue so in the end, we will be completely independent from Russia.


SEBASTIAN: No matter Eleni, of just how much has changed in two months at the beginning of this conflict, Germany was saying that they really

couldn't even countenance sort of any kind of embargo on Russian energy.

And here they are, they've reduced their reliance on Russian oil from 35 percent of their imports at the beginning of the contract now down to 12

percent. And we have EU ministers today with an extraordinary meeting on Russian gas after Russia, you know, cut off the gas department in Bulgaria

last week.

They are planning things like energy storage, collective procurement, things like that. This is a situation where Europe is really trying to not

only put on a show of unity, but really work together to sort of up their defenses, make sure that they are not defensive if Russia does do any more

moves like this.

GIOKOS: And absolutely, it's fascinating to hear, you know, it was a mistake for Germany to be reliant on Russia. But one country's mistake is

another country's opportunity.

And you've actually seen we've discussed this, the emerging market space taking a very different stance towards Russia. India being such a vital

part of that conversation, still buying Russian oil, buying fertilizer, other commodities, thinking about, you knows, making payment in rubles.

And yet Narendra Modi is currently in Europe, one of the conversations that he's having with Olaf Scholz.

SEBASTIAN: Yes, first of all an extraordinary optics, as you pointed out on the one hand Germany who say today that they will be willing to cut off

their reliance on Russian energy.

And on the other side, we have Narendra Modi, his country India has emerged, according to experts as the biggest buyer since the beginning of

the conflict of those distressed barrels, the oil that western countries and companies have refused to buy because of reputational risks, and so

called self-sanctions.

So the discussions today that we heard from them both in the press conference, Olaf Scholz in very strong terms condemned the conflict

condemned Russia called for peace.

Narendra Modi didn't actually mention Russia. He said that we want peace too, no one is going to emerge victorious in the conflict. In terms of

actual concrete steps it seems that Germany has committed around 10 billion Euros to fund India's green growth.

But I think look, it's more about the visit itself, the meeting itself. This is part of efforts overall that we've seen from the western alliance

Europe and the Transatlantic alliance to sort of rally other countries into this sort of anti-Russian alliance that they've formed.


SEBASTIAN: India so far, has sat on the fence that remains to be seen whether any progress will be made on that today.

GIOKOS: All right, Clare Sebastian, thank you so very much. Good to see you. And moving on now joining us is Andy Bounds, the EU Correspondent with

the Financial Times to talk further about the next round of sanctions and then importantly, Russia's big plan to get payment in rubles.

Really good to see you, Andy, I mean, I want to talk about Russia, insisting on getting paid in rubles, cutting off Bulgaria, cutting off

Poland. And then Hungary saying, well, we're going to have to comply because we just too reliant.

In context of this meeting right now with energy ministers, do you feel and think that there is some kind of unity that's emerging between EU players?

ANDY BOUNDS, EU CORRESPONDENT, FINANCIAL TIMES: I think on the gas question, it's really, really hard, because countries like Hungary, as you

say, are very, very reliant. And each individual country's make his own decision on whether they can be assured by others, we'll support you, you

know, we'll send you gas, some of these have very limited infrastructure to take gas from other places.

So they're really under pressure. And, you know, it's still pretty chilly here and the industry needs gas. So I think there is actually quite a

divide over whether to pay, it's effectively paying in Euros, but then the Euros get converted to rubles.

So some companies argue that's legal, the European Commission been very clear that it's a breach of sanctions.


BOUNDS: Kadri Simson, the Energy Commissioner is to say - quite a real tactic. GIOKOS: Absolutely murky waters here. I mean, and it's also a very

creative accounting by the Russians. You know, the oil embargo issue is also a really interesting one.

And then in terms of Germany, saying, look, it's always been a mistake, to have this reliance on Russia. But in the sixth round of sanctions, you

know, having oil as part of that embargo, is that doable?

BOUNDS: I think it is, it is coming. There are still holdouts. Hungary again, is a holdout. One or two other countries have their doubts, but now

that Germany is moved and shown it's possible, it will be phased in, there's no question.

It's not going to happen tomorrow. It will probably be phased in towards the end of the, you know, so that takes nearly a year to take effect to the

end of this year. And they will have to provide - find alternative supplies.

I mean, Robert Harbeck, the German Economy Minister here today was pushing this line. But he said we still need a bit of time to get our

infrastructure sorted out before we can take this step.

And it's going to cause pain as well, he was very clear, you know, consumers will pay more consumers in the U.S. may pay more because the oil

price may rise globally, on the back of this move.

GIOKOS: You know, the sanctions are absolutely a double edged sword. Russia has been very smart about trying to coerce countries into paying in rubles.

What more can be read into, you know, getting Bulgaria and Poland switching off the taps.

We know, it's such a small percentage in terms of overall Russian supply to Europe. But it's an interesting message by Vladimir Putin.

BOUNDS: Yes, I think the EU is quite bravely sort of trying to call Putin's bluff here. So obviously, they can top up Bulgaria and Poland. And Putin

knows that. And in fact, you know, the gas price has risen, and he may be making as much money as he was before selling less gas.

Of course, if you want to turn off the whole of the EU, that's going to hit him in the pocket. And it's very hard to re send that gas elsewhere. It's

coming through pipelines.

So the EU and Russia are sort of in a high stakes standoff over who's going to blink first. But it does require all those EU countries to line up and

back the commission, strong stance and you know, we still see one or two waivers. So it's going to be fascinating over the next few days, you know,

it pans out.

GIOKOS: Are the Europeans little worried by the fact that you've seen and we've just covered this, that distressed oil barrels or you know, what they

they're calling toxic barrels of oil are being sold to the Indians and you're seeing emerging markets taking a very different stance to Russia.

Is there concern about the sanction efforts by the Europeans being diluted by the rest of the world and now the powerhouses taking a very different


BOUNDS: I think that there is a lot of worry about that and the practical effect of it because if Russia can sell us oil elsewhere, you know, Putin

is still getting his money.

And the EU is ending up paying you know, more for oil from elsewhere, while that oil is still sold. So it's been it's politically something they feel

they have to do you know that some populations are demanding, the Baltic States are demanding.

Poland wanted immediate switch off of all energy from Russia, you know, as soon as possible. So they're sort of being dragged into it and they have to

make it work. But it will cost them and it may cost them more than it costs Russia.


GIOKOS: I think you just said something really important when you said, you know, the infrastructure build making plans, thinking about how they're

going to wean themselves off. And this doesn't happen overnight.

And you and I know that sort of infrastructure spend takes time move to renewables takes time. The impact, the economic impact is going to be

absolutely enormous.

And the prognosis is that we're talking about massive energy deficits coming through in Europe. Could you share with us some of the numbers of

the quantifiable issues that are emerging here?

BOUNDS: Well, I mean, there's a lot of analysis being done the commission publicly, all it will say is, you know, we can we can probably survive

recession, you know, we won't go into recession.

But oil prices are really high gas prices are high, consumers are facing rises of up to 100 percent in some countries, including Belgium, where I

am. So you know, it's definitely having an effect on farm prices, because fertilizers depend on oil and gas to be made.

But they just feel they have to tough it out. Because, you know, otherwise, they have no other weapons, they don't want to get involved in a shooting

war with Russia. Energy is the one thing where they feel they can really, really damage.

It's why it's taking so long. I mean, we're talking about a sixth package of sanctions, right. So the first five steered clear of energy, because

they realized how tough it will be for Europe to take that step.

GIOKOS: Absolutely.

BOUNDS: And as I say, around the world, because oil prices will affect everybody, you know, throughout the world, we're all going to feel the

effects of this. And it's - that's why they're phasing it in I think, you know, it will be it will be dragged - in an attempt to try and keep the cap

on that rising prices.

And hope they can lessen demand move to renewables as a massive package coming in the middle of May, at how they're going to accelerate that move

away from fossil fuels towards renewables, and you know, which direction Europe is traveling in any way. And they're going to have to go a lot

further and a lot faster and spend a lot more money on it.

GIOKOS: Yes. There's a lot at stake, Andy, thank you so very much for your insight, great to have you on the show. When "Connect the World" continues,

the historic first in the world of boxing, what it could mean for the future of women's sports in just a moment.


GIOKOS: A historic first over the weekend in sports islands, Katie Taylor and Puerto Rico's Amanda Serrano became the first female boxers to be the

main event at Madison Square Garden in New York. Taylor , who is undefeated in 21 matches in her career beat Serrano and retained her woman's

lightweight title.

She is widely considered the best pound - female boxer in the world. Taylor said it is great that she and Serrano got big paychecks, but she wants to

see more female fighters are recognized and learn better paydays.


GIOKOS: Let's bring in CNN World Sports Don Riddell. Don, good to see you, amazing crowd, I have to say, women's sports can pull the crowds contrary

to what we've been hearing.

But listen, I want you to talk to me about the historic relevance of this match and importantly, Taylor fighting back from a rough start. So there's

excitement all round here.

DON RIDDELL, CNN WORLD SPORT: Yes, it was a huge night, Eleni, the buildup in the hype had been absolutely massive. And sometimes in sport, in any

sport, these things just cannot live up to the hype, but this one did.

And then some it was a thrilling night, the atmosphere inside Madison Square Gardens was just absolutely extraordinary. It was packed and it

wasn't just that it was packed. It was the noise and the volume of the enthusiasm of the fans and that built and built throughout the night.

It reached a crescendo during the fight. It seemed as though the referee couldn't even hear the bell towards the end of the third round. That's how

loud it was in there.

As for the fight itself, Serrano seem to make the better start, as you say, Taylor took a while to kind of get comfortable and find her footing. But

she made her way back in the second half of the fight and towards the end in the final round, the two of them just were absolutely going for it. And

in the end, it was close.

We kind of knew it would be close, given the respective records of these two boxers and their careers to this point. But it was close the judges had

to decide and it was a split decision.

Of course Katie Taylor just edged it, meaning she remains unbeaten. And afterwards she said it was the best night of her career.


KATIE TAYLOR, RETAINS UNDISPUTED TITLE: The --this was absolutely special, special moments were the best night in my career for sure. I wasn't sure if

I need to go there, reach my Olympic gold medal. And tonight it was absolutely the best moment in my career.


RIDDELL: Yes, Eleni, and I do wonder if they're going to be more moments like this now that fight fans and sports fans have a taste of what these

guys can offer.

GIOKOS: Absolutely. Cool, Don Riddell, thank you very much, nice to see you. Now the first of May brought Mayday rallies to the streets of cities

around the world to bring attention to workers' rights.

A drum corps provided the beat for administrators in Mexico City. And in Paris authorities say some 20,000 people took to the streets to mock the

day also known as International Workers Day.

The marches in Paris were mostly peaceful but some clashes did break out. Police say 45 people were arrested. And in Honduras, protesters burned an

effigy of Former President Yuan Orlando Hernandez who was recently extradited to the U.S. on drug trafficking and firearms charges.

And there were similar scenes in Cuba scores of people packing Havana's Revolution Square. Our Patrick Oppmann reports it was a major show of

support for the Cuban government.

PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Following the two year suspension due to the pandemic, government supporters once again took to the streets in

Cuba to commemorate May Day. This is one of the largest gatherings of pro- government supporters throughout the year in Cuba, as it's called a Workers Day here is an opportunity for the government to whip up their support in


Bring in thousands of people, hundreds of thousands according the government's own numbers, to march through Havana's Revolution Square. And

once again, while their leaders look down on them show their support for the Cuban revolution and the Cuban government.

Cuba is still being battered by the effects of the pandemic. What it's done to the tourism economy here, and as well as by the impacts of increased

sanctions started by President Trump that have been continued under the Biden Administration.

Some critics said the Cuba should not carry out of these mass celebrations due to the pandemic. The risk is still presented by the pandemic as well as

the high costs and transportation and gasoline of bussing in so many people to the Cuban Capitol.

But clearly the Cuban government that has been stung by criticism that has been on the defensive phone unprecedented protests last July, felt that it

was more important to make this show of strength in this show of support. Patrick Oppmann, CNN, Havana.

GIOKOS: And next on "Connect the World" we'll go back to Ukraine to see how ballet dancers in Lviv are trying to help mend their nation's grief and

reclaim a sense of normalcy amid the war.



GIOKOS: The Lviv National Opera was forced to close its doors in February when Russia launched its violence assault on Ukraine. This weekend it

reopened for a ballet performance, performance rather. Isa Soares was there and has a look at how art is trying to help heal the shadow of the war.


ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Away from the frontlines, an army of artists begin the process of mending this nation's grief, gently

repairing the hurt brought on by war. At Lviv's National Opera everyone has a part to play.

Tonight's Giselle Bali will be the first full performance since the theater closed its doors almost two months ago. As musicians dust off their

instruments and as the audience starts to trickle in, for us coming to the theater is returning to a small part of our life, which was there before

the war.

We are internally displaced from Kyiv says Julia Dmitrieva, we had to come to Lviv well, there are hostilities. The artistic director tells me why

they decided to open now. We understand that light must defeat darkness, that life must defeat death.

And the mission of the theater is to assert this. But the reminders of war are never too far away. Only 300 seats were allowed to be sold tonight. The

capacity of the operas bomb shelter still, it's sold out.

SOARES (on camera): It's only minutes now until that curtain opens and you can feel the tension because this performance is extra special.

SOARES (voice over): For a few hours, nothing else matters. As the audience and I are transported to a world of love, and beauty playing Giselle

tonight is 21 year old Daryna. It feels great, she tells me back in her dressing room, because dancing helps to distract from what's happening.

Like many here her life has been shaken by war and the horrors of Bucha where mass graves were recently found. My mom and my grandmother and her

sister survived occupation in Bucha, she tells me, now she's in safety in Poland restoring her nerves.

Daryna find solace on this stage throwing herself behind her character. All the negative emotions which accumulate for a long time flow out, she tells

me, a cathartic performance for both those on and off stage offering comfort to those who need it most. In the hope they can lift if only just

briefly this nation's aching soul.


GIOKOS: A magnificent performance there. And I also want to bring you a powerful moment from New York's Metropolitan Opera over the weekend. Well,

that's Ukrainian Soprano Liudmyla Monastyrska, who performed in the title role of Turandot.

Then took a curtain called draped in the Ukrainian flag, as you can see there. And she replaced famed Russian star Anna Netrebko, who was cut off

from the performance after she refused to publicly distance herself from Vladimir Putin after Russia invaded Ukraine, incredible.

Muslims around the world are marking Eid al-Fitr in tonight's parting shots we see communal prayers in Jakarta, Cairo and Jerusalem, ending the holy

month of Ramadan.

The pandemic forced many of the larger mosques to shut down for last year celebrations. And after prayers there are feasts and festivals. And here

you see the Syrians enjoying carnival arrives in Idlib. And we want to wish Muslims around the world Eid Mubarak. Thanks so much for joining us. "One

World with Zain Asher is up next. I'm Eleni Giokos. Take care.