Return to Transcripts main page

Connect the World

Leaders Set to Accept Ukraine as EU Candidate; Germany Declares Gas Crisis as Russia Cuts Supplies; Emergency Aid is on its way to Quake Region; Twelve EU Member States Affected by Russia's Supply Cuts; Supreme Court Expands Gun Rights for First Time in Years; Georgia Voters Split on Trump's Election Meddling. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired June 23, 2022 - 11:00   ET



BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: This hour, the choice of our future vision. That is how Ukraine's president is describing EU membership

for his country as the prospects for that become more likely. I'm Becky Anderson live from Abu Dhabi today.

Hello, and welcome back to "Connect the World", while approving Ukraine's bid for candidacy to enter the EU at the top of the agenda at the European

Union summit in Brussels today.

Moldova also in line to get what's known as candidate status and Georgia's push for the same will get further scrutiny. Now the European Parliament

weighing in just before this summit started overwhelmingly approving a non- binding resolution calling on the EU to grant Ukraine this candidate status without delay, European Council President bullish on EU expansion, have a



CHARLES MICHEL, EUROPEAN COUNCIL PRESIDENT: This is a decisive moment for the European Union. It's also a geopolitical choice that we will make

today. And I'm confident that today, we will grant the candidate status to Ukraine and to Moldova. And it's pretty clear in stone perspective for

European perspective for Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova.

ANDERSON: Well, we are showing solidarity and continued support for Ukraine specifically is a key goal of this summit. But it's not just about Ukraine;

participants will also look for ways to enhance security and stability across the continent.

Nic Robertson is there. He's following developments for us from Brussels. Let's start with this candidate status, specifically for Ukraine, and we're

talking Moldova and possibly Georgia as well, of course, though, what was said today, and why is it so important?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Well, it's been described as an historic day as a decision day. It's certainly a day where

the leaders of the European Parliament, the European Commission, the European Council, President, all seem to think that this is going to go

ahead without any hitches and that's the background to the discussions that are going on right now.

What's being said specifically is that this is support that Ukraine needs. It needs to know that the European Union stands behind it. It needs to

understand that the values that it is fighting and dying for are, are cherished by the European Union, and the European Union wants Ukraine to be

able to sort of live to and with those standards.

But of course, the long term process of getting to there, that there are hard realities, you have to integrate European Union law into the laws of

Ukraine 200,000 pages is a rough estimate of how many pages of European law there are.

So it's a very, very heavy lift. And then you get into some of the nitty gritty about, you know, Ukraine is a big steel producer. You bring it into

the European Union give it access to the European Union markets, the European Union's current steel producers might feel that that impinges on


So there are details to work out. But I think the very clear message that has been said, and we've heard from Emmanuel Macron, the French President,

this is not a quick process.

It might have been fast to get to this moment, but the rest of the process will necessarily take time.

ANDERSON: That's right. And that was echoed by the lawmakers today. They said there was no fast track for EU membership and that accession to

becoming a full EU country requires the fulfillment of the EU membership criteria. So what is that? And does Ukraine have it?

It certainly doesn't have it at the moment. For example, there needs to be financial reform so that corrupt practices and the possibility of corrupt

practices are eradicated from the financial system. So that cronyism is excised as a way of doing business within Ukraine.

It's what the Ukrainians have wanted is what their business leaders and government officials, by and large, have said that they wanted to achieve.

So you have to do that.

But there are laws governing for example, the production of refrigerators that are low that there are laws on you know the health and well-being of

agricultural animals or fertilizers that can be used.

We know that Ukraine is a huge crop producer produces fertilizers. All of these different EU standards need to be drafted and put into Ukrainian law

and Ukraine to have systems to be able to measure and check and the EU to know that Ukraine can measure up to the European Union standards.


ROBERTSON: And a country at war certainly isn't in a position to do that because a) it's distracted. And I think I gave the example earlier the

judiciary right now is chasing down war criminals not concentrating on how to integrate European Union laws under its purview into Ukrainian laws.

ANDERSON: Yes, fascinating. Nic, thank you, Nic is in Brussels. A regional military leader on the ground in Ukraine says forces; Ukrainian forces

control about 45 percent of the Eastern Donetsk region but warn they have some serious battles ahead.

Further northeast Ukrainian military officials are increasingly concerned that Russia will make a renewed push to take Ukraine second largest city

Kharkiv. Sam Kiley is there and filed this report.


SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Prayers on return to her bombed out home.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I hope and believe with all my heart, that light will conquer darkness. That piece will triumph over evil.

KILEY (voice over): It's a distant prospect because here Ukrainian says that Russian forces are massing for a new assault on their home town. She

fled the last Russian attacks in April when this area Saltivka bore the brunt.

KILEY (on camera): Thousands of people were driven from their homes in this Northeastern suburb of Kharkiv. Hundreds across the city were killed in

missile strikes that did this kind of damage to whole apartment blocks.

The remains of some of those missiles are still scattered in the rubble here. And it still smells of death.

KILEY (voice over): Kharkiv is under constant and intensified shelling, ending a lull after Russian forces were driven back several weeks ago.

This college dorm was hit on a day when 15 people were killed in and around the city. On the front line, it's easy to see why Russia calls one of its

rocket systems grad, it means hail. Many Ukrainian fighters raise private funds to buy civilian drones.

It spots a Russian soldier who hears the tiny aircraft and shows potentially fatal curiosity. Less than 100 yards sometimes separates the

enemies on the outskirts of Kharkiv's north.

Ukrainian forces called conventional trench warfare like this, the meat grinder.

LOKI, UKRAINIAN MILITARY: It's really helpful.

KILEY (voice over): Loki has been fighting in those same dugouts.

LOKI: The main disadvantage and everyone knows it. And it's the only one that I will tell is the numbers. The raw numbers there just too many of the

forces and stuff.

KILEY (voice over): Ukrainian intelligence officers forecast for Kharkiv are a new threat of hail.

ANDRIL MOGYLA, UKRAINIAN ARMED FORCES: On this picture, you actually can see well hidden vehicles and they are placing them almost on forests. We

have fire in positions of two self-propelled artillery and the fire and control unit right here. They actually tell us that they are going to

prepare another invasion of argue.

KILEY (on camera): Do you have an estimate when that might happen?

MOGYLA: I can't be 100 percent sure, but I am kind of confident so in nearest week, I would say.

KILEY (voice over): This is proving to be a long war prayer often the last line of defense, Sam Kiley, CNN in Saltivka, Kharkiv.


ANDERSON: Well, a reminder, if anyone needed it, of why Ukraine is front and center at that EU summit in Brussels today that we were speaking to Nic

Robertson about.

European Parliament President Roberta Metsola oversaw the vote today calling on EU leaders to approve Ukraine's candidacy for the EU.


ROBERTA METSOLA, EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT PRESIDENT: Today is also of course, a historic and specific day because we have a war on our continent. And we

will be granting candidate status at least I hope to Ukraine and Moldova a day where I thought we would wait much longer than have it on a paper and I

really welcome the unity and the leadership of the European Union on this.


ANDERSON: Well, Roberta Metsola joining me now from Brussels. It's good to have you with us. MEPs - today voting in favor of support for Ukraine, but

this is of course not a done deal. And MEPs and you quick to point out that this is no fast track for EU membership.

Ukraine will need to fulfill criteria for that. And frankly, at this point, it doesn't do so does it?

METSOLA: At the moment what I think we should focus on is what we have managed or I hope we can manage to do today. The European Parliament gave

the signal as you showed.


METSOLA: But I just came out of a meeting with all the prime ministers and presidents of the countries. And I can, let's say, cautiously rely on a

similar outcome. Enlargement processes are always difficult, and every country has always its own path.

And that is accepted not only around the table, but in all those countries. But today was a day that we had to say and open the door. And that simple

opening of the door, which was a very long time, coming four months into a brutal invasion by Russia, into Ukraine is one that will send not only a

direct message of hope and solidarity and resolve with Ukraine, but also a ripple of hope around all those countries that look to Europe as the home.

ANDERSON: This was an overwhelming vote in favor of what is a non-binding resolution to grant candidate status. And I know this all sounds a little

bit sort of in the weeds, but it's important our viewers understand where we are in the process. And whilst you rightly suggest this is another

hurdle crossed, for Ukraine, it isn't the end of the road. If you had to take an educated guess how long would you say it might take Ukraine to

become a member of the EU?

METSOLA: Well, I'm not one to speculate on timeframes. But I will give you this when I met President Zelenskyy in Kyiv, on the first of April; he said

that he would be able to reply within days, to what would normally take months or even years for other countries, to the questions posed by the

commission by the council that in fact did happen.

And at the same time, few weeks later, the European Commission was in a position to present it's a V as we call it, its opinion, which was a

positive one. That is not the speed with which we have seen previous enlargement processes, or even the first step being taken in other

countries, including my own, for example, where it took many years in this case over a decade, for this to happen.

What will happen next is the most important and let's not underestimate the impact of candidate status, where you have further integration, where

programs can already be offered to young people in terms of research, rebuilding a room or structural funding, which is exactly what Ukraine

needs at the moment together with that sense of, of idea that this step by step can be achieved that they've already shown.

Great progress and excellent, let's say resolve. And I think today's the day where we show ours.

ANDERSOBN: In the face of an ongoing war. Of course, all of this happening amid fears of energy shortages, as Russia continues to curb gas flows to

Europe. Germany today, for example, launching emergency measures to manage its supplies.

How concerned are you about what is going on with regard energy security in Europe, and whether Europe will remain a unified bloc in the face of this

Russian aggression?

METSOLA: Well, the unity is precisely what has brought us this far. The European Union has not been so united for a long time, and I have not seen

such unity, let's say although we did see that Europe can act with that unity during the pandemic.

Now, you are right in saying that the concerns are rising. But I would also say that this is the momentum that we need, that we've not taken before for

a true Energy Union, which means that member states countries of the European Union can become more dependent on each other, rather than rely on

unreliable partners to provide the gas.

We have energy islands in the European Union; we have preferred to look away. We are now with countries not only with unprecedented inflation

levels, but having to power up previously unused for decades, coal plants because they need to look at a way to deal with the immediate crisis and

this immediate crisis.

And this is the discussion that we just came out from has to lead to where we go next. Imminently, I mean, prices are going to continue to rise. But

they are not rising because of our sanctions. They are rising because of Russia's invasion into Ukraine because there is one blackmailer on you

Europe can at any moment as has already done you turn right the switch or switch off the pipeline. So for us we have different countries that are

dependent on -


ANDERSON: You could argue the prices were going higher. But you're making a very good point. You could also argue that prices were going right. Go on.

METSOLA: Yes, I mean, the prices have been and of course, this has also put the European Union in a position to identify where our investment goes, in

our energy resources, in our renewables, we have countries that are still lagging far behind. But the unity that you asked me about can be shown also

in terms of energy security, because the problem is now imminent, it's not something that can be dealt with 10,15 years down the line.

ANDERSON: Let me ask you, yes, let me ask you this. You talked about a Europe an Energy Union. And I've you know, we hear a lot of talk about

that. And let's see where that goes.

You have also said today that you want to take a "long, hard look at the EU's financing model as these emerging crises such as the Ukraine war and

COVID before that, and now soaring inflation, increase the need for financial responses. Before I let you go, I just want to get a sense from

you as to what your plan is at this point?

METSOLA: Well, we are waiting for the proposals that will come from the European Central Bank, and they will be flushed out actually tomorrow

during the same European Council meeting.

But when I say we need to take a long and hard look, I mean that I think the seven year financing model that we've lived with is no longer either

sufficient or adapted to the type of crisis that we are faced with.

I can say the European Union is used to facing one crisis at a time at the moment is facing multiple crises at the same time. How do we respond to

that? At the moment, we have taken unprecedented decisions on grants and loans to be given to member states to recover from the COVID pandemic to

invest in the so called digital and green transition; we also have to see about the increased defense spending.

There are also discussions that are taking place as to how we are moving funds from one part of the budget to another in order to address the

immediate attention that we need.

And this has not yet been discussed in the context of food shortages and our responsibility also to make sure that corridors are created in order

for African countries to be able to either produce the food or import the supplies that they desperately need some of them within weeks, if not days.

And this is something that should really be the moment where we look at everything, I think we've been too comfortable for the last decade that we

could look away, and the time is up.

And if there was one wake up call, it was on the 24th of February, and there's no going back from there.

ANDERSON: And let's be quite frank, it is issues like those that you have just described that could easily provide fissures in what is, as you

described, still a much unified bloc. There will be those that argue that we are already seeing serious fractures in that unity, not least over the

issue of Russia.

But the wider issues that you've just described, could become very dangerous for the unity of the European Union couldn't they?

METSOLA: Well, with such a crisis, like this fissures are default lines naturally formed. What I think would - will not happen this time, if I look

back, is that the north, south or east west divide, will not take place. Why?

Because first of all, there are leaders around the table that have lived already through the pandemic, where during that pandemic, there was no

choice but to look at each other and say, listen, we need to work together.

We need to pool our resources, we need to vaccinate our populations, and some countries lag very much behind others. And some countries are 100

percent dependent on Russia for gas, for example.

So what I think we need and what I see around that room, is that there is no other way than to act together. Of course, it's not easy. Each sanctions

package one by one became more and more difficult.

The pinch becomes bigger on your citizens. But there is still that public opinion that says we need to do something and also looking at the European

Union as not just a grouping of economically interdependent states but also as a project as countries that really have the same values and have the

same vision. That's what in a way for my generation we looked to Europe as.


METSOLA: And we are now also coupling that with security, whether in the energy field, whether in the food field, but also whether in order to curb

the inflation and perhaps look at price gaps, purchasing power, common purchasing, all this needs to be discussed in the next few weeks. And

that's where we're heading.

ANDERSON: Alright. I just wonder how big a concern it is that we see the EU's energy diversification vision sort of on hold at present as we

continue to see the use of fossil fuels across the continent and the reuse are going forward, at least in Germany of coal that is for another day's


It's extremely useful to have you on. Thank you very much indeed, for joining us. And we will talk more. Thank you about Europe's energy security

and the vision for diversification, which as I say, very much looks on old doesn't it at present has that train really left the station or not, more

on that coming up.

Meantime, on Ukraine's bid for EU membership is where you can find more. And we have a story up about why Ukraine's push to enter the EU is

likely to enrage Russian President Vladimir Putin and why fast tracking candidate status doesn't mean Ukraine will actually join the EU anytime,

more on or on the CNN app on your Smartphone.

Coming up, Europe's biggest economy faces a gas crisis, a risk of recession looms large and quake hit. Afghanistan is literally trying to rise from the

rubble while the UN could be looking to Turkey to do quite a lot of the heavy lifting with what is that search and rescue effort?


ANDERSON: Well, as rescue is battle rain and the clock to reach cut off areas in Quake ravaged eastern Afghanistan information becomes central to

saving lives. CNN has been working the phones contacting the Afghan government.

Kabul says it's mobilizing relief efforts after Wednesday's powerful quake killed at least 1000 people. It also knocked out mobile phone towers so it

is extremely difficult to get information from that area, aid groups also scrambling to reach victims in a country already facing severe hunger and

economic blight.

HSIAO-WEI LEE, WFP DEPUTY COUNTRY DIRECTOR, AFGHANISTAN: A lot of people really have nothing at this point. They've lost with very little to begin

with. What we see in Afghanistan, even before this disaster was that 19 million people are acutely food insecure.

It means they're very, very hungry and very little to work with. And then on top of this over the past three days we've seen flash floods across the



LEE: We've seen snow and - Bamian in the middle of June that has probably decimated most of their crops and then now this earthquake.

ANDERSON: Well as a teams and countries step up to help Afghanistan, the UN says Turkey is in what it calls the best position to help with the search

and rescue effort in that quake ravaged areas. CNN's Atika Shubert joins us now to tell us more about that from what are her vantage point in Istanbul,

a teacup?

ATIKA SHUBERT, JOURNALIST: Well, Turkey does have a lot of experience with search and rescue with earthquakes in particular. But I think what's really

important here is that Turkey still maintains its embassy in Kabul still has those relationships on the ground that would allow them to reach some

of the most affected areas.

The Turkish Red Crescent, for example, already has a team there has already been working with the Afghanistan Red Crescent, and they've been able to

get food aid to some of the affected areas to more than 500 people.

But in terms of search and rescue, I think the window on that is closing very quickly. So any efforts do need to be stepped up as quickly as

possible. When we spoke to the Turkish Red Crescent earlier today and to search and rescue teams here, they say they were still waiting for the

request from the Afghanistan Government from the Taliban and that had not come in yet.

I think part of the problem here is not just the weather that's hampering rescuers, the roads, they are not paved, they've just turned into mud with

all of the rain. And it's not just the fact that this is a very remote area that can often only be reached by helicopter.

It's the fact that many international aid agencies and many other governments simply left Afghanistan after the Taliban took control last

year. So the government that there doesn't really have the capacity or the capability to reach the people most affected and where normally a

government would rely on other international aid partners.

They just don't have that infrastructure anymore. And Turkey is one of the few that does still have the links and can help to get more aid there.

ANDERSON: Atika Shubert is in Istanbul for you. Now look, this region where that earthquake struck is no stranger to natural disasters, or indeed to

earthquakes. Back in 2005, a magnitude 6.5 earthquake struck Afghanistan's Northeastern Hindu Kush region, also bordering Pakistan and hundreds of

thousands if not millions of people in both countries were affected.

Nearly 80,000 people were killed. In that instance, hundreds of thousands were maimed and injured. It was horrific. I was there, covering the

devastation from Pakistan for weeks and what we witnessed was absolutely heartbreaking.

We had a look back through my reporting from back there. And I just want to show you a short clip of that.


ANDERSON (voice over): Looking at pictures at presence of a woman being pulled from the rubble here at an apartment complex. Alive an hour ago, her

baby has small child been pulled out from the rubble of this 10 storey building that collapsed on Saturday alive.

The search and rescue team from Britain which is helping the Pakistani army here says this is a two people today. Three yesterday, they pulled from

this rubble alive and it's quite extraordinary.

We see the devastation not just in this region of course, but elsewhere into the north of Islamabad here and into Pakistani controlled Kashmir.

This is by no means the worst of the devastation.

ANDERSON (on camera): Hundreds of children live dead in the rubble. Hundreds more are alive, not without injury. There are no medical

facilities here. So the German helicopter crew we flew with the taking the worst casualties to a field hospital in the regional capital who suffer


Dr. Xia Alvey, he is one of the volunteer's surgeons in Muzaffarabad. He says this makeshift clinic is overwhelmed by the scope, the injuries.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The child, the nose was split, totally open. What more can we do but try and pack it together? Give antibiotic cover. Hopefully it

won't get any worse. But there's no way that you can operate in these conditions.


ANDERSON: Well, that was reporting from - really very close to the area where that quake struck on the Afghanistan side of the border. We have no

real idea about how many people are affected at present.

We are talking to the aid agencies; we will stay on this story. It's extremely important that we remember just how awful these natural disasters

are. How much worse of course climate change makes them. It's a reminder that we as humans do have the power to change our actions when it comes to

climate change.


ANDERSON: But it's also a reminder of just how important it is that we act and help when these things happen. Afghanistan as an extremely poor place

at present and it needs our help; we are taking a very short break back after this.


ANDERSON: With "Connect the World"; it's just after half past seven. We are back at base here in Abu Dhabi. I'm Becky Anderson. Europe's biggest

economy is running short of gas.

Germany is escalating its emergency plan to preserve supplies calling on residents to reduce gas consumption but stopping short of rationing. Now

last week, Russia slashed the flow of gas through the Nord Stream one pipeline by 60 percent.

European Commission says Russia's actions are now affecting 12 member states. Well, CNN's Anna Stewart joins me live from London. Germany raising

the alarm bells here. What does this mean for Europe's gas supply going forward?

ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: Well, you know this week, the International Energy Agency chief has warned that Europe should really be ready for a

complete cut off of Russian gas by this winter or as ready as they can be.

But really even short of that if we see the reductions of gas supplies to Germany and many other EU member states, if this were to last into the rest

of the year and into the winter, we're looking at severely high prices for businesses for households.

You're looking at potentially a very deep recession for the likes of Germany, and potentially by winter rationing of gas supplies from many EU

governments. So it really depends what we see in the coming months.

Gas consumption is low right now Becky, its summer it's around a quarter of a fifth of it would be in winter. But the point right now was the gas

supplies from Russia to be used in storage facilities to build that resilience up before the winter hits. Becky?

ANDERSON: How can Europe make up the gas shortfall? What is the plan the strategy at this point?

STEWART: Well, already since the invasion of Ukraine, they said they were going to slash their reliance on Russian gas by two thirds. And they've

been working really, really hard to do that.

So whether it has been announcing LNG infrastructure to be built in Germany or securing new supplies from the U.S. from Qatar from other suppliers. But

the fact of the matter is it just can't replace Russian gas by this winter.

It's why this has not been one of the measures that's been discussed in terms of you know a total embargo as a bloc. So this is the issue here. And

so we're looking at different energy types as well.


STEWART: And unfortunately, while the EU is plowing huge amounts of money into green energy projects, it will take a long time for those to be

realized. But at the moment, we're actually looking at almost a reversal gas was a bridging energy between the really dirty fuels and the green

future. Without enough gas, we're looking at coal plants being fired back up, instead of being mothballed, Becky?

ANDERSON: Anna Stewart in the house. Thank you, Anna. And as Anna mentioned, then Germany, you could argue is backsliding on its green

economy pledges.

Last week, the economy minister announced that they would look to fire back up these coal plants to fill that energy shortage. Now, as you may expect,

this is raising the alarm bells of climate activists across the globe.

My next guests are not standing for it calling out the response to the invasion of Ukraine as well as other environmentally damaging projects and

they're calling it out globally. Just have a look at this exchange when they confronted the French President Emmanuel Macron back in May.


DOMINIKA LASOTA, RUSSIAN ACTIVIST: Will you be the President that will end the era of fossil fuels? There is the East African Crude Oil Pipeline that

goes through Uganda and Tanzania. We need you to stop this, stop this investment that's done by total. Stop it this year, right now, by the time

of Total's AGM.



ANDERSON: Well, those were Polish Activist Dominika Lasota and Victoria Jedroszkowiak. You join me now from Berlin. That interaction with the

French president, pretty robust, it has to be said just one example of the many times that you have confronted world leaders, what sort of reaction do

you normally get out of interest?

JEDROSZKOWIAK: Well, since the outbreak of the full scale war in Ukraine, we have been campaigning, as you mentioned, for a complete embargo on

Russian fossil fuels. Because we realize that the war in Ukraine and the climate crisis, those things are connected, and they are connected with the

fossil fuel dependency.

And we see that Europe because of decades of politics of being, you know, friendship, and friends with Putin, we have ended up in a situation where

European Union, which is a community that brands itself is the community of democracy and freedom, is at the moment sending nearly a billion Euros

every day to Putin, and is partly responsible for what's happening in Ukraine.

And so, you know, we as Polish activists, as Polish youth, we decided that we have to do something about it, because it cannot be that our friends'

houses are being bombed and we just sit silent.

ANDERSON: No, absolutely understood. You just today, we've heard the EU's climate policy chief, speak to the importance of gas security, have a



FRANS TIMMERMANS, EU CLIMATE POLICY CHIEF: Russia has weaponized energy, and we have seen further gas disruptions announced in recent days. All this

is part of Russia's strategy to undermine our unity.


ANDERSON: Well, you too, have made the point that billions of dollars are flowing to Vladimir Putin, because the West, quite frankly, has become so

dependent on Russian oil and gas, and that dependency may have emboldened Vladimir Putin to launch this war.

Let's be frank, here, the invasion has happened. There is now a huge energy security issue in Europe. And we are seeing a renewed push to fossil fuels.

I understand your arguments, most politicians, it has to be said, will understand your arguments.

But what do you really expect governments to do about this situation now, give the energy security issue that they face in the very short term?

LASOTA: Well, the answer is very clear. And we know that for last several years, and science is very clear about that, that we have to do everything

we can to go 100 percent renewables as soon as possible.

And we've been calling for that for last years - for future has been campaigning for that for last couple of years. And also Eastern European

countries have been campaigning.

And they have been very, very clear to their western friends from European Union that we cannot rely on the gas that we cannot have friendship with

Putin, because we know what it really means to live in the shadow of Russian imperialism.

And that's what we're experiencing right now is colonization of Ukraine, done by Russia. And it's, it can be even much harder on us on Eastern

European countries, mostly.

So I think it's rough time to finally listen to us activists, but also eastern European countries, because our leaders, even though they're often

flawed, our leaders know what does it mean to really live next to Russia.

JEDROSZKOWIAK: And I would also add that you know, we now see this pattern of Western leaders realizing that OK yes, we have to do something about the

Russian fossil fuels that yes perhaps we shouldn't finance a war and we shouldn't finance a dictator.


JEDROSZKOWIAK: But then we see all of those leaders putting so much money into new fossil fuel infrastructure, we hear Olaf Scholz, who will in a

second run the g7 summit, that now he's turning to Senegal, to exploit gas there, we hear about the new investments in oil in Uganda, across Africa.

And we have what's on the table, it's happened actually in front of our eyes is, you know, new kind of wave of colonization of Africa in response

to the invasion in Ukraine.

And that is why this moment is so important that we must finally realize there is no energy security with fossil fuels in place. And the war in

Ukraine must be our final wakeup call that we have to do everything, not only in response to the war.

But in response to the climate crisis, in response to the cost of living crisis in response to the energy crisis, we must finally evade the system

that is just destructive.

ANDERSON: You both recently met the European Parliament, President Roberta Metsola, who said that you need to be louder with your advocacy,

particularly with Germany, this is what she had to say at a press conference today.


METSOLA: In connection with the agenda is that we cannot backslide on our climate goals. This is also against the backdrop of the decisions and votes

that took place this week in the plenary on three backbones of the climate package.

And therefore, we must ensure that immediate, short term measures do not become the new normal in the medium term.


ANDERSON: We need to ensure that this short term what are I'm sure; she would say emergency measures do not become the long term response to this.

Are you confident that Europe's leaders really have that energy diversification and climate change vision front and center at this point?

LASOTA: Well, I have huge doubts over that. And I'm pretty confident that you know, right now, they are creating us the dark times of those crises

and of those wars. Now, we're currently in Germany ahead of the g7 summit, and not so long ago, Olaf Scholz has called climate activists, so youth

like young people like us, he compared us to Nazis, because we stand up and we say, no, you cannot put profit over people.

You cannot prioritize industries, corporations, instead of our friends who are dying on the front lines in Ukraine, like you're just going to do that.

And then, you know, we are in the climate movement, and young people in Germany across the world are compared to, to Nazism.

And then we hear you know, we look towards him as Olaf Scholz, you know, for leadership. Because, you know, when you call yourself a leader of

democracy, one of the most, you know, progressive leaders of our time, you know, when you see him doing absolutely nothing in terms of the climate


When you see him investing, and now, actually, you know, opening the doors for more gas, not actually, you know, not taking the money from Putin, but

you know, sponsoring this, we're still you ask yourself, like, actually what are these times living like?

This feels like, you know, it's like living in absurdity, I would say, and, you know, we've been doing this with - for months.

ANDERSON: Yes. Let me ask you this. You're 20 years old, both of you, you've committed to this cause full time. You are also living through an

extraordinary period of time in Europe, what kind of impact has this had on you both briefly?

JEDROSZKOWIAK: Well, to me, it's, it's my duty. Well, I remember waking up on 24th of February. So when the full scale war, like, like broke, broke

out in Ukraine. And I remember calling Dominica and talking with her that we really see that the root of this war is fossil fuel industry.

And we've been experiencing it around the world. And we, you know, we talk with our friends from Uganda. We talk with our friends from different parts

of global South, and they are all very concerned about what's going to happen.

For example, on the g7 summit, because again, we are you know, on the other hand, we on one hand, we're trying to do everything we can to make our

leaders committed to big climate goals and to commit to stopping financing the war.

And on the other hand, they're not delivering even of paying for lesson damage they have already created in the global south. So to me sort of a

normal thing to do, you know, we don't really have another option.

ANDERSON: I've got to leave it there. And because we've got a bunch of other news, its busy day, it's very good to have you both on. Thank you,

your perspectives really important.

I'd like to have you back. Until then, keep up the good work. Thank you very much indeed for joining us.

LASOTA: Thank you so much.

ANDERSON: Well, the U.S. Supreme Court of the United States expands gun rights for the first time in more than a decade. Ahead what they decided to

strike down essentially why they decided to strike down a century old law. And what it means for the future of guns in Americas that is coming up

after this.



ANDERSON: Gun control in the United States facing an uncertain future. The U.S. senate is moving towards tightening gun laws. Today lawmakers are

expected to vote on a procedural move that will allow a major piece of gun safety legislation to actually go ahead towards final approval.

At the same time, for the first time in over a decade, the Supreme Court is expanding gun rights. Just earlier today, it struck down a law in the state

of New York that places restrictions on carrying a concealed gun outside of the home. Supreme Court Reporter Ariane de Vogue joining me now lives from


It does seem remarkable that on the one hand, we are awaiting this legislation through the Senate and on the other; we get what seems to be a

reversal in sort of tightening gun legislation by the Supreme Court. Can you just explain what's going on here?

ARIANE DE VOGUE, CNN SUPREME COURT REPORTER: Yes, as you said, this is the first time in over a decade that the court has expanded gun rights. The

court has moved now. And it comes as the country is reeling from these recent mass shootings.

At issue in this particular case was a law that placed restrictions on where somebody could carry a handgun, a concealed handgun outside of the

home, somebody who wanted to do so for self-protection.

And writing for a 63 majority Justice Clarence Thomas, a leading conservative on this court, he struck down that law. He said that a person

an average person shouldn't have to show a special reason why they needed to have this concealed weapon.

This particular opinion will only affect directly about six other states that have similar laws. But here's what's really important about the

decision is that Clarence Thomas, not only did he strike down the law, but he also changed the way judges going forward are going to look at other gun


It used to be that you would take into consideration a state's compelling reason for a law. Clarence Thomas, in this long opinion today, he said no.

Going forward, judges are going to have to look at history to see whether a law should stand.

And the reason that's important is it's going to open up constitutional challenges for all other kinds of laws, for instance, assault weapons age

restrictions, that's why this is such a big opinion today.

ANDERSON: Yes, fascinating. It's good to have you on. Thank you very much indeed. We are going to take a very quick break more after this stay with




ANDERSON: Now the house select committee investigating last year's U.S. Capitol ride is set for a fifth day of hearings today, this time focusing

on former President Trump's pressure campaign to get the U.S. Justice Department to overturn the 2020 election.

CNN's Jeff Zeleny spoke to voters from across the political spectrum in the state of Georgia to see what they are taking away from this series of

hearings. Have a look at this.


FRANK RICHARDS, GEORGIA DEMOCRATIC VOTER: History repeats itself. And so I do think we need to have history record what happens to prevent this from

happening again.

JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF U.S. NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Frank Richards has been closely watching the congressional hearings

investigating the January 6 attack, hoping all Americans not just Democrats like himself are paying at least some attention.

RICHARDS: From the hearings and I'm not a big Mike Pence fan. I really respect what Mike Pence did. I think we all need to be patriots and respect

the Constitution which was sworn to defend.

ZELENY (voice over): Richards is among the millions who have tuned into the four televised hearings this month, which have shined and unsparing light

on Donald Trump's attempts to overturn the 2020 election here in Georgia and beyond. It despite new details of the lengths Trump and his allies

tried to cling to power.

REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): Mr. Trump was told by his own advisers that he had no basis for his stolen election claims. Yet he continued to pressure state

officials to change the election results.

ZELENY (voice over): The hearings have elicited disinterest and disdain among many in the Republican leaning suburbs of Atlanta.

ZELENY (on camera): I really think that just have to trap that not after the truth.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's have a one sided and I choose not to watch.

ZELENY (on camera): Is there anything that could come out in the hearing that would change your mind about things?

RUTH ATKINSON, GEORGIA REPUBLICAN VOTER: I learned no, so I'm not going to watch the rest of it, other things to do with my time.

ZELENY (voice over): Well, I'm not a crook. A half century after the Watergate hearings captivated the country and led to Richard Nixon's

resignation. The findings of the House Select Committee, so far, at least, are largely seen through the same partisan lens that deeply divides an

exhausted nation.

Yet there is nuance, as we found talking to Richard Bianco who voted for Trump the first time, but not his reelection.

RICHARD BIANCO, GEORGIA REPUBLICAN VOTER: And I'm a Republican and a lot of people need to be held accountable but when I can anyway.

ZELENY (on camera): Is Trump one of those people that need to be held accountable do you think?

BIANCO: If we could get the information out yes.

ZELENY (voice over): Franzetta Ivy said she is prayed for people to watch with an open mind.

FRANZETTA IVY, GEORGIA DEMOCRATIC VOTER: I pray that they will actually tune in and watch this, so they can see for themselves. You know, you don't

just go by what somebody say as you should investigate it and search it out to see for yourself, hear it for yourself, get a better understanding for

yourself so you can make an informed decision.

ZELENY (voice over): The hearing has shined and even brighter light on Trump's meddling in Georgia.

DONALD TRUMP, 45TH U.S. PRESIDENT: I just want to find 11,780 votes.

ZELENY (voice over): Which voters in both parties told us crossed a line.

DAVID ALEXANDER, GEORGIA DEMOCRATIC VOTER: I need somebody's vote and that's so ridiculous and some of us like --, first of all, you really think

that's like gangster.

ZELENY (voice over): Harvey and Patricia Newman, both Democrats have watched every moment of the proceedings.

PATRICIA NEWMAN, GEORGIA DEMOCRATIC VOTER: This is an attack on our democracy. I do not think the Watergate hearings were rose to that level

even close, leave?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No I think you're right.


ZELENY (voice over): Finding the truth for history is important, they say, but even more for future elections.

NEWMAN: They get all then I can't tell you how worried I am that 2024.


ZELENY: A concern about future elections was a sentiment shared in interview after interview with voters. No question that is front and center

on their minds, democracy is as well. Now whether or not Georgians are paying attention to the hearings, information is definitely seeping


A new Quinnipiac poll showed that six in 10 Americans are paying at least some attention to the findings. Of course that breaks down on partisan

lines. Democrats say they are learning new information from these hearings. And they will continue as the month of June goes on. Jeff Zeleny, CNN,


ANDERSON: And we will have special coverage of today's hearings in about an hour's time. It will start at 1p.m. in Washington. If you're watching here

in Abu Dhabi, that is 9 p.m. and if you're watching elsewhere in the world, I'm sure you can work out the times locally.

Thank you for joining us. It's good to be back here at home base in Abu Dhabi from the team working with me here and those working with me around

the world. It's very good evening.