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Agreement Involves Major Oil and Gas Fields in the Mediterranean; Israel, Lebanon reach Agreement for Maritime Border Deal; Protesters Defy Iran's Government for a Fourth Week; UAE President Meets Putin in Russia; Russia's Central Asia Allies Remain Neutral on Ukraine. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired October 11, 2022 - 11:00   ET



BECKY ANDERSON, CNNI HOST: Welcome back to the show. It is just after 7 am 7 pm sorry here in Abu Dhabi. The Ukrainian President is asking for an air

shield and tougher sanctions against Russia. After a fresh wave of missiles rained down on Ukraine on Tuesday, Volodymyr Zelenskyy virtually addressed

an emergency meeting of the g7 a short time ago. The group condemned the strikes and said they will hold Vladimir Putin and others responsible and

will hold them to account. New strikes targeted Ukraine's energy infrastructure on Tuesday, they resulted in one death, they come a day

after punishing attacks on civilian targets across the country.

Some world leaders and experts say the attacks the signs of an increasingly desperate Russian President, have a listen.


JENS STOLTENBERG, NATO SECRETARY GENERAL: Ukraine has the momentum and continues to make significant gains, while Russia is increasingly resorting

to horrific and indiscriminate attacks on civilians on the critical infrastructure. President Putin is failing in Ukraine.

JEREMY FLEMING, DIRECTOR, BRITISH SPY AGENCY GCHQ: With a little effective internal challenge, Putin's decision making has proved flawed. Yesterday's

attacks in Kyiv and across Ukraine are another example. It's a high stakes strategy that is leading to strategic errors in judgment. The gains are

being reversed that the costs to Russia in people and equipment are staggering.


ANDERSON: Well, we will hear more of what Ukraine's president once a little later this hour. And we'll also look what other countries outside of G7 are

trying to do to end this war. Right now, CNN's Fred Pleitgen gives us a look at the latest onslaught.

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the Russians are continuing this blitz of missile barrages that they're firing

at Ukrainian territory, not just here in the capital of Kyiv, but in other Ukrainian cities as well. And the capital city was under an air raid alarm

for five hours early this morning, as the authorities feared that rockets might be coming in that was lifted after those five hours and people

started to come out.

But during that air raid alarm, there was barely anybody out on the streets. And most of the shops were closed, as well as it was so many

believe, too dangerous to venture out. And the authorities also said that people should do their utmost to stay indoors and come out into the open as

little as possible.

Now, the Ukrainians are saying that they've intercepted most of the rockets that were fired at their territory throughout today. However, there were

some that obviously did come through. And that's especially true for the West of the country for the Lviv area where the Ukrainians are seeing the

two energy installations were hit in the Lviv area.

And then you have that town of Zaporizhzhia, which has been under Russian rocket fire for quite some time now, some rockets impacting there as well,

obviously, causing a lot of damage. At the same time, the Ukrainians do remain defined, if you look at the situation here in the Ukrainian capital

in Kyiv, where we do still have these impact sites from the rocket attacks that happened on Monday. There's already cleanup going on and people really

trying to get on with their lives as best they can. Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Kyiv.

ANDERSON: And we'll get you live on the ground in Ukraine shortly here on this show. First up, though, to an historic deal in this region that has

helped avert a security crisis, Israel and Lebanon, two countries still technically at war, reaching an agreement on a year's long dispute

involving major gas and oil fields in the Mediterranean.

Now this is significant. It's a deal that was mediated by the United States energy envoy, Amos Hochstein, who has been shuttling between the two

countries over the past year as recently as last week parties on both sides were trading threats over the matter.

Well, for more on how this agreement came together, Hadas Gold standing by in Jerusalem, what's the perspective there? And just how significant is


HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I mean it's incredibly significant; these two countries that are you noted are technically at war enemies coming to

this agreement. Now technically the agreement is not direct with one another.

Each country is making an agreement with the United States which is guaranteeing this agreement. But still a very historic moment because this

area has been under dispute for years and there have been several attempts to come to an agreement but I think you have to look at how this is not

happening in a vacuum.


GOLD: And the pressure in Europe on the gas supply because of Russia's war of Ukraine is not only not only adding a business incentive to both Lebanon

and Israel to start pumping gas and sending it to Europe, but also from a political incentive.

And so I want to pull up that map once again, to get an idea of exactly what we're talking about here. Because from this map, you can see how it

points far apart. Both Lebanon and Israel were from their claimed maritime borders.

You go as far from one of the Israeli claims, which are that number one line down to the one of the Lebanese claims, which is that line 29. And

from officials that I've spoken to what this maritime border agreement will come to is essentially with some adjustments that line 23.

And you can also see there the two gas fields that are really under the main contention here. Now, under this agreement, Lebanon will essentially

have full control of the Qana field and Israel has full control of the Karish field.

The Karish field is actually the one that's ready to go online any day now and could start pumping gas very soon to Europe and could help relieve the

pressure. And what's really interesting for me is hearing the tone of the statements from Israeli and Lebanese leaders after this agreement has

reached still needs to be ratified.

But to hear these sorts of positive remarks coming from both sides has been really interesting to see considering these two are still technically

enemies. Take a listen to what the Israeli Defense Minister had to say today.


BENNY GANTZ, ISRAELI DEFENSE MINISTER: I commend the announcement by the Lebanese President accepting the agreement. The State of Israel is

interested in having a stable and prosperous Lebanese neighbor. The agreement and discussion is just in positive for both sides.


GOLD: For Israel, of course, there are the security considerations Hezbollah had threatened the Karish field if Israel decided to start

pumping gas before the agreement was reached. Now Israel believes that because of this agreement, the northern border should remain much quieter,


ANDERSON: Thank you. Now let's see, Israeli perspective. On the Lebanese side negotiator Elias Bou Saab had this to say just before the deal was

reached, "After six days of shuttle diplomacy and marathon work, day and night, we all concluded everyone has done their best. And the next decision

is for the leadership of both countries to accept or reject the deal".

He joins me now live from Beirut, shuttle diplomacy and marathon work, you say just describe exactly how this deal was orchestrated, and eventually

signed, sir.

ELIAS BOU SAAB, LEBANESE NEGOTIATOR: Thank you, Becky. This deal, actually, as you know, has been in discussions for years for over 10 years. Actually,

when President Biden was vice president, it's back then when he had interest in finding a solution to that.

And since then, Amos Hochstein came to this country and tried to orchestrate a deal back then. But situations changed. And we were not able

to be successful back then. Today, the things have changed. When Amos Hochstein took over the negotiation at this time and when President Biden

told him that this is one of his priorities, gave us a different approach.

He spoke about a new approach with new dynamics that changed the negotiation. He said, it's not going to be about who's going to win, and

who's going to lose, it's going to be about what each country can take back to their own people. And this approach really made the negotiation and the

discussion change.

And when I think about - negotiations, I spoke, I mean, we were working specially in the last week, day and night literally, 3 a.m. 4.a.m. because

it wasn't a direct negotiation. So we will speak with the Americans. They had real time negotiation going on.

So we speak to them, they speak with Israelis, they come back to us, we propose words, we make changes. This is what happened. That's why it was

not easy. And it's tough for countries that don't have relationships with each other. We do not recognize Israel as a nation.

We've been at war for many years. So for us to come and orchestrate and get a deal like that, first, we want to thank the American Administration,

President Biden for the effort despite what's going on in the world. He gave a lot of attention to this file.

And Amos Hochstein is dealing with many issues around the world, like in energy and others, but he really was concentrating a lot with his team to

assist us to get where we are today.

ANDERSON: This is certainly this will be seen as a win for Amos Hochstein, the Energy Advisor for President Biden, and they want to see this as a sort

of win-win. And it seems to me that you're saying that you believe at this point it is Israel's Prime Minister tweeting, "This is an historic

achievement that will strengthen Israel's security inject billions into its economy and ensure the stability of our northern border".


ANDERSON: So security guarantees and huge potential gains for Israel. What does Lebanon get out of this? How soon will Lebanon start seeing some sort

of economic relief to its catastrophic economic situation from this deal?

SAAB: You just concluded by saying our catastrophic economic situation, you're absolutely right. And this gives us hope. Although that gas will

not, we will not start to see gas anytime soon, it may take three years or four years, but at least we know and part of this deal, that total energy

will be starting immediately the work in the field that we were discussing.

So that work when it starts, it will give hope for the Lebanese, this would be Becky, this is going to be a game changer, because you started by

talking about what Israel wanted out of it. They wanted stability in the region on the border. Because no one can produce gas, there's no stability

and peace. What more can secure stability on this border than having both countries at the same time producing gas; we will have our rig on one side.

And the Israelis will have their rig on the other side.

So we would want to make sure this is a peaceful border. And they would want to make sure equally, that this is a peaceful border.


SAAB: The security wouldn't be forcing itself. And the peaceful and - border will force itself on something like that. And Lebanon will

definitely benefit we will see more prosperity, stability; we will start seeing trust by the international community. People coming back talking to

Lebanon because this is going to be a game changer.

ANDERSON: OK. Michele Aoun Lebanon's President has just tweeted; Joe Biden has called congratulating him on the deal. Were you party to that call? And

just how important is it that the Iran backed Hezbollah who in recent months, launched drones toward the Karish gas field more than once? Is it

signed up to this deal? Do they support it?

SAAB: Look, first of all, yes, I was part of the call that took place I was attending in the room with the President Auon. And that call is

significant, that's why I started by telling you despite all the pressure and the problems around the world, President Biden gave us a lot of


And we thank them for that. President, I will make sure that, you know the United States will continue to support this deal in particular, and to make

sure that this will be implemented according what is in this agreement. Now as with regards to Hezbollah, Hezbollah has always said that they will be

behind the government in any decision they take on the maritime border.

So if we had a deal, that means that we had the government, the government set the deal. But in the absence of the, if one country was benefiting from

one side, and stopping the other country, to use its right to use its energy to help it's you know, to help the economy of the country, then

there will be no stability.

There will be you know, an unstable border. For that reason, I think we felt good when Hezbollah announced that they will be behind the government

in any decision they take. And the Government of Lebanon headed by President Aoun has made the decision that this is a chapter that you want

to close. We want our people to live in prosperity, instability and to have hope.

ANDERSON: I want to press you just on the potential financial gains from this deal for Lebanon. The Lebanese Energy Minister has said that the

French energy company Total which owns the contract to explore Lebanese waters would start working on the kind of prospect immediately.

We know the Israelis are fit to go straight away. But this is going to take some time to develop this field for you guys. What do you believe this gas

field is worth and how consequential could this deal be given the current energy crisis specifically for Europe?

SAAB: Look, the Israelis have the advantage because their field is ready. And Lebanon missed an opportunity many years ago. And we have concluded

this negotiation when Vice President Biden was involved back then when I was 10 years ago; Lebanon would be producing gas to Europe today at a price

that is hitting the roof as you all know, at a time that it is most needed.

Unfortunately, we're not there, but it's better today than tomorrow. And for me, I think that this is an opportunity when TotalEnergies start

working in that field.


SAAB: This is going to give us an opportunity because the entire international organizations will start looking at Lebanon in a different

way. This is a country that's broke and has nothing. Now we have hope. And from that we will start to build our economy moving forward.

And I think that the messages of support, starting with President Biden, through the French, the French had a strong role to play also in bringing

this together. And I must say that TotalEnergy did what I call Social Responsibility Act, in order to get this deal to happen.

Because Lebanon was not prepared to give up any of its rights in the entire field of Ghana, meaning we wanted all our shares from the entire field,

that would not have happened if Total did not secure a financial agreement themselves through their profits maybe or through I don't know how a deal

that we are not part of that they have uploaded with Israeli side.

ANDERSON: This is fascinating. Two other questions to you briefly sir, your two countries have been enemies for decades, and technically still are. Do

you see this as a path to normalization? Is that something Lebanon wants to achieve with Israel?

SAAB: I don't think this can be taken in that respect. We are not really allowed to have a normalization, or, you know, normalize the relationship

between Israel and Lebanon, there are much more issues that needs to be solved before we get to this point, the Palestinian issue remains to be top


And as long as this exists, I don't think Lebanon will be prepared anytime to move into a political normalization with Israel. For that reason, our

president today, during his call, conference call with President Biden said, the history of our area has more to remember about conflicts and


And I'm quoting him, more than agreements that would lead to peace and prosperity for our nation. That is why this deal is not like any other

deal. It's between two countries that have, as you said, wars between themselves for years. And now all of a sudden, we found a way to agree that

we move into an agreement that will give each country and the people of that country the stability they want, the prosperity they're looking for,

and give hope, and, more importantly than anything to our youth. The new generation that is coming.

ANDERSON: Elias Bou Saab, let me just ask you just very briefly, were less than three weeks away from an Israeli election, they've got to get this

over the line politically, you've got to get this over the line politically. It feels like this was now or never given the, you know, given

what is going on in both countries. Do you trust that Israel will get this over the line and stick to the deal? And will you get this over the line?

Is there enough momentum in what is a very broken Lebanese system at the moment?

SAAB: Becky, amazingly, this particular file that I've been assisting with, I've asked my President Aoun to lead this negotiation at this stage has

received everyone's, how do I put it, everyone's approval in Lebanon, despite the fact that we have political differences.

So when President Aoun meets with the speaker, Barry, who was extremely supportive, and who had that file in his hands for 10 years, and he has a

lot to add, and gave us a lot of information that helped us to reach the agreement that we reach to with the prime minister himself, also giving the

full support.

So when we see a unified level, we're all united. And we're all behind the decision that the country is going to make. Without any doubt, this deal

will pass in Lebanon; we will stick to that deal. On the other side, the Israelis must ask themselves that question, what is the alternative to that


They want the prosperity, they want the economic growth, they want to see all that. This can only come with a stable border, and they know that

Lebanon is not weak, we may be weak economically, we may be weak because of our system. We do have corruption in the country that we would like to deal

with at some point, and we must deal with it.


SAAB: And that's why the hope for the new generation that I was talking about before becomes so important. We need to face corruption. We need to

fight corruption, we need to do reforms. But now with this agreement with this hope, that will allow us to move fast. The Israelis must ask I'm just


ANDERSON: Elias Bou Saab--

SAAB: Ask them this question. They want the peace, they want the stability or they want an alternative which is the unknown.


ANDERSON: It's good to have you on sir. It's an important day, thank you for joining us. Elias Bou Saab with the Lebanese perspective on what is an

historic deal, brokered by the Americans! Iran's leadership gets tough on protesters.

Now Amnesty International is sounding the alarm, the very serious allegations about the tactics Iran is using in its protest crackdown. And

as Russian missiles hit Ukrainian energy infrastructure and civilian targets, Ukraine's President is making a new appeal to g7 nations to help

repel Russian airstrikes. More on that is coming up.


ANDERSON: Ukraine's president is warning g7 leaders there is still room for his Russian counterpart to escalate this wall. Volodymyr Zelenskyy

addressed the virtual meeting today asking for "near shield for Ukraine".

Along with an international mission deployed to the border with Belarus, he's also ruling out talks with Vladimir Putin. Now this meeting happening

as Russia launches a second day of missile strikes in Ukraine with Russia today admitting it is targeting energy infrastructure.

Ukraine reports explosions at two energy facilities in Lviv region which is of course to the west of Ukraine close to the Polish border. The Ukrainian

controlled city of Zaporizhzhia also attacked, at least one person was killed there after 19 deaths across Ukraine on Monday.

Well, that today's meeting, g7 leaders condemned the strikes, vowing to hold Vladimir Putin and others responsible and for account for the attacks.

Well, CNN International Security Editor Nick Paton Walsh back with us this hour from eastern Ukraine. What do you make of what you heard today


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR: I think that Volodymyr Zelenskyy's statement of the g7 is kind of what people possibly expected he

would use, the horror inflicted on Ukrainian civilians and cities across Ukraine and their infrastructure to push the g7 towards. Now there are

several elements which seemed to already be underway.

Particularly the air shield has asked for very quickly last night the White House President Joe Biden after a phone call with Zelenskyy. The White

House said that they were continuing their pledge to support Ukraine, but specifically added their advanced air defense systems.

Now that is what Ukraine has been asking for weeks. It does appear that even today with the second day of onslaught, a lesser onslaught, I should

say, against Ukraine. Ukraine has seen better success in their words against these Russian cruise missiles.

33 target hit, 33 missiles intercepted according to Ukrainian officials. But also repeatedly doing this G7 meeting from Zelenskyy that Russia be

designated a state sponsor of terrorism.


WALSH: And the suggestion that a price cap on oil from Russia should be put into place to reduce the income they're still making, from selling oil and

gas and other hydrocarbons to the west. You mentioned there to the possibility of a monitoring mission on the border between Belarus and


One of the things that came out yesterday that received less attention was an interesting statement from authoritarian President of Belarus Alexander

Lukashenko where he said that he'd agreed with Russia to put together a joint group of some description, saying that Belarus have become aware that

Ukraine falsely I should say, had a plan to invade Belarus justifying essentially it seems and possibly a seeding to greater pressure from Moscow

for military involvement in this conflict.

Zelenskyy suggesting there should be an international monitoring mission between those two particular border areas there to try and reduce that

tension. I think, basically, Lukashenko feel pressured into doing Russia's bidding, but may also take any opportunity to not be pushed all the way,


ANDERSON: Nick, thank you. Well, a former Russian Foreign Minister tells CNN, Russian President Vladimir Putin has made miscalculations and is now

acting out of desperation. Here's more of what Andrei Kozyrev had to say on CNN a bit earlier.


ANDREI KOZYREV, FORMER RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: Because he's desperate, because he made miscalculations three major miscalculations. One that

Ukraine will be defeat could be defeated in two, three days. Second, that the United States and the West will not come to the rescue to help


And third one that he brought the war back home when he announced this mobilization because now every men in Russia is threatened and feels that

the war is somewhere around the corner and that it's deadly, potentially deadly.

So he's desperate and he turns to what he's doing intimidation that is threatening nuclear weapons, which he will not use, or and their actions in

Ukraine and in Russia are most prominent voices of opposition and Russia are jailed now or threatened also with long terms. So there is the only

thing left for him like for any miserable terrorist in the world.


ANDERSON: One quick programming note for you. Jake Tapper will sit down with the U.S. President Joe Biden for an exclusive interview to talk about

the war in Ukraine and the upcoming midterm elections which are just a month from today. That interview Tuesday at 9 p.m. Eastern Time Wednesday

at 5 a.m., if you're watching here in Abu Dhabi, that is right here on CNN.

Well for weeks Iranian protesters have pleaded for justice and change. In return activists say they got bullets and tear gas. Well, now Rights Groups

are sounding the alarm, details after this short break. And the International Monetary Fund unveiled its latest picture of the global

economy, and isn't pretty? Why, is just ahead.



ANDERSON: Amnesty International wants the world to know about the crackdown on protesters in Iran. The Rights Group specifically condemning Iran's

reported use of firearms and tear gas in a Kurdish area.

I'm posting video of ammunition reportedly used by Iranian troops. Now concerns are also coming from UNICEF which is calling for the protection of

children during the unrest after reports of children being killed.

Demonstrations like these were spread across the country since the death of Mahsa Amini; she's the Kurdish woman who died in custody of Iran's

mortality police. Well, Nada Bashir joins us with the very latest.

It isn't easy to get information from the ground, the videos that we get us need to verify of course but those we are getting in certainly suggesting

that these protests are continuing. The crackdown is violent, but there seems to be at this point no abatement to the efforts by protesters. Is

that what we are seeing?

NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER: Absolutely, Becky and you know, it is difficult to get information out of Iran, it is being heavily controlled. We've even

seen Internet being restricted in pockets over the country in an attempt to quell the spread of information to stop those videos from getting up.

We've been keeping a very close eye on the situation for weeks now from here in London. And it is clear now these protests are very much gaining

momentum and continuing up and down the country despite the violent crackdown that we have seen at the hands of Iran's security forces.

And as you laid out there, particularly in the northwestern Kurdish region in the City of Sanadaj where over the weekend, we did see a violent, brutal

and deadly crackdown by the Iranian security forces. We've heard from one Human Rights Group --, which focuses on rights violations in the Kurdish


It's detailed, at least five people being killed after the Iranian security forces opened fire on protesters, including a seven year old child. And

really we have seen children, adolescents, teenagers being part of a driving force really of this demonstration, particularly of course women

and young girls, who have played a central role in driving these demonstrations against the regime against the severe restrictions placed on

women's rights.

And of course, this has now swelled gained momentum and it is really focusing on a wide range of grievances held by the Iranian people against

the regime. But as you said there, we have heard the alarm bell being founded by human rights organizations detailing the use of excessive and

lethal force, tear gas and firearms being used indiscriminately according to Amnesty International in parts of the country, by the security forces.

They are calling for UN member states at least from Amnesty International's part to speak to their respective Iranian ambassadors to hold the Iranian

regime to account for the perpetration of human rights abuses.

Now, we've heard also from the Iranian regime, the Iran's Deputy Interior Minister for Security and Law Enforcement warning that anybody arrested as

part of these protests or as they've turned them as Riots will have a quick verdict which will be decisive and deterrent. So there could still be

further crackdowns to come on all fronts by the Iranian regime, Becky.

ANDERSON: We are of course seeing sanctions from a number of countries on the morality police at present. Thank you. Well, the worst is yet to come.

Those are the exact words from the International Monetary Fund.

It's lowering its forecast global economic growth for the second time in three months, adding that more than a third of the world's economy will

contract this year or next. When you take a look at the market, a lot of them have been seeing red today, especially following stock comments from

the Head of JP Morgan Chase.

Financial monster, Jamie Dimon is warning that the U.S. is likely to enter a recession next year. It's hardly a sunny picture for the UK that the Bank

of England warning what it calls material risks to UK financial stability.


ANDERSON: The Bank of England taking action for a second day in a row launching new measures to ease pressure on pension funds caught up in the

turmoil of the British finance minister's mini budget. Well, Kwasi kwarteng, the Finance Minister getting a grilling in Parliament a short

time ago, this was his first time facing lawmakers since last month spending plan sank the pound, Kwarteng was asked whether he will increase

benefits in line with inflation. Have a listen.


KWASI KWARTENG, BRITISH FINANCE MINISTER: I'm delighted to see that one member of the anti-growth coalition is focusing on growth. But in relation

to his specific question, he will understand that the medium term fiscal plan is coming out on the 31st of October. And I'm not going to prejudge

any measures in it.


ANDERSON: Let's bring in CNN's Clare Sebastian live from London. Well, we didn't learn too much from Kwasi Kwarteng who had made a statement to the

House. The next sort of, you know, moment, as it were, is the back end of October when we will see that information released.

At this point, the financial markets stabilized because of the action of the Bank of England. This is an action though, that the Bank of England had

wanted to take. I mean, the Fed making decisions as it sees fit for the U.S. economy, which has an impact, of course on the global economy. But

this is the Bank of England sort of playing catch up at this point, isn't it?

CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, the Bank of England is fighting fires on multiple fronts. At the moment I thought it was interesting,

Becky, that the IMF, without naming names came out today and said that fiscal policy should not be working at cross purposes with monetary policy.

Because that is the exact situation that we have in the UK, the Chancellor's mini budget was very inflationary. All the new borrowing that

will be needed to fund those tax cuts really brought that's what brought turmoil, for example to the mortgage market, because people started to sort

of front load interest rates.

So that is now forcing the Bank of England to step in. And while it did their initial plan to buy up 65 billion pounds worth of government debt.

While that did stabilize the markets and the pound did come back down and gilts stabilized a little bit. They're now coming up again.

And that's why we saw that two day two part intervention by the Bank of England this week expanding their bond buying scheme. The worry now,

though, is that what will happen on Friday when the scheme expires, a trade group for pension funds today came out and said they want the plan to be

extended beyond this Friday, up until the point at which we hear that midterm fiscal plan from the chancellor on October 31.

We don't know if the Bank of England is going do anything about it. But I think it's clear if you listen to what the chancellor just said, he's not

going to prejudge anything in that midterm fiscal plan. So a lot can happen in the next three weeks. And I think it's clear it'll be up to the Bank of

England to step in if things start to spiral again.

ANDERSON: Clare Sebastian is on the story for you, Clare, thank you. Still ahead, a negative global image when Russia's war in Ukraine is leaving the

president increasingly isolated. We'll have more on that coming up, plus.


KADYR TOKTOGULOV, FORMER KYRGYZSTAN AMBASSADOR TO U.S.: Unless something changes dramatically and Russia rebounds we will see Russia's role

certainly diminishing in Central Asia for sure.


ANDERSON: That very same war is also weakening Russia's influence even among its closest allies, including former Soviet Republics, more on that

after this.



ANDERSON: A quick look at our top story for you, Ukraine asking for tougher sanctions against Russia. After another round of missiles rained down for a

second day the new strikes targeting Ukraine's energy infrastructure on Tuesday resulting in at least one death.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy virtually addressed an emergency meeting of the g7 a short time ago. Besides more sanctions, he's asking the

g7 to intensify efforts to create an air shield for Ukraine.

Well Britain's spy chief has a stark assessment of Russia's military strategy in Ukraine. Jeremy Fleming, saying earlier he believes that Russia

is running short of munitions, troops and friends. He spoke at a defense and security Think Tank, saying Vladimir Putin's decision making was


Russian president has becoming increasingly isolated since he invaded Ukraine in February. Russia also facing crippling sanctions, of course from

the West, even some of Mr. Putin's global allies like India and China, which continued oil purchases have expressed concern recently.

Meanwhile, we are seeing outreach and diplomacy from countries that have maintained a relatively neutral stance on this war, such as the UAE where I

am, for example. The UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan is visiting Russia, today his trip was pre scheduled.

But the recent escalation in the war gives this trip added impetus his advisor tells me, he was expected to discuss de-escalation and diplomatic

solutions during his meeting with Mr. Putin. The Russian president also scheduled to meet with his Turkish counterpart in Kazakhstan later this


Well let's bring in CNN's International Diplomatic Editor for some perspective here. Nic Robertson is in London. And on a day, when we see

Volodymyr Zelenskyy appealing once again to g7 nations for more support more sanctions for an air shield for more military support here.

Erstwhile friends of Vladimir Putin it seems becoming increasingly concerned about this war, particularly given the events over the past

couple of days. How consequential could their intervention be at this point?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: At some point, somebody is going to have to get in the diplomatic space, the massive chasm that

exists between not just Russia and Ukraine, but Russia, Ukraine and all of Ukraine's backers, somebody has to get in that space and help pull the two

sides not together but out of the worsening situation.

And there really is that perception over the last 48 hours; it really has escalated President Zelenskyy saying that he believes that President Putin

has a capacity for further escalation.

And it does feel at the moment, as if President Putin is finding himself losing on the battlefield, estranged from stronger backers, and stronger

support that he might want from China.

Last meeting where President Xi saying that he understood that China has concerns and under Modi, the Indian Prime Minister saying that he had told

Putin that this wasn't the time for war. And it does feel as if at the moment the UAE potentially has a role to play.

We saw, Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman just a couple of weeks ago, getting involved helping in the release of 10 western foreign

fighters who've been captured by pro-Russian rebels.

So there is a space, a diplomatic space here. And what we heard from the Kremlin today, from the president, UAE president's visit with President

Putin, the Kremlin said, look, we respect that we've had 50 years of diplomatic relations and we respect your position potentially coming here

as an interlocutor.

So that space exists, but I think it also has to be set at this time as well. The United States and allies have also looked at the position of the

UAE and of Saudi Arabia particularly with the OPEC's recent decision to cut production that's counter to what President Biden wanted.


ROBERTSON: And also, the UAE is not stepped up in the same way that the United States and allies have done behind Ukraine with sanctions on Russia,

planes still fly to the UAE, from Moscow, for example. So, yes, they're in a middle position. There is leverage there for them. How much leverage and

can they really move Putin the distance that I think at the moment the West would expect him to need to be moves?

ANDERSON: Yes, briefly I guess that, you know, I know that the UAE would see if its mediation role to a certain extent as a sort of tall orders

here. But it certainly sees this escalation as disturbing.

The question is, what other channels are available at this point? You know whether or not President Putin is looking for an off ramp? It does see that

the channels of communication between g7 you know, the U.S. the West, and Russia, are not functioning at present briefly.

ROBERTSON: Well, I think very briefly, there's going to be some kind of opportunity that may be a dashed unspoiled opportunity at the g20 leaders

meeting in Barley later this year, because Russia, China, India, the U.S., UK, you know, the g7 members will be there with all those other parties. So

that's an opportunity.

But I think you could look at President Erdogan of Turkey has been trying to play this mediating role help broker getting the grain out of that was

stuck in the Ukrainian ports.

So there's been some success for Turkey, but it almost appears as if the UAE is outmaneuvered President Erdogan who wasn't due to meet with

President Putin for another couple of days. There's an opportunity, I think the UAE and Saudi see an opportunity for leverage in a changing world order

where the U.S. isn't as dominant as it was.

ANDERSON: And that is it's not an unfamiliar narrative in this region. Nic, thank you! Well, border tensions rising again between two former Soviet

republics. Kyrgyzstan is pulling out of hosting Russian led military exercises after accusing Tajikistan, of launching cross border attacks last


Kyrgyzstan's Deputy Prime Minister even suggesting that Russia's war on Ukraine is distracting Moscow. Well, CNN's Ivan Watson reports from

Kazakhstan on Moscow's waning influence in the region.


IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): On his 70th birthday, Russian President Vladimir Putin met with the leaders of

other former Soviet republics, and he called for the resolution of conflicts that erupt in the region. Of course, Putin is directly

responsible for launching the biggest war in recent history in this part of the world.

WATSON (on camera): Russia's invasion of Ukraine was aimed at reasserting Moscow's control over part of the former Soviet Union. Instead, this

increasingly disastrous war has weakened Russia's influence across the region, including here in Central Asia.

TOKTOGULOV: Unless something changes dramatically and Russia rebounds, we will see Russia's role certainly diminishing in Central Asia for sure.

WATSON (voice over): Kadyr Toktogulov is a former Ambassador to Washington from Kyrgyzstan, a small former Soviet republic with close economic

insecurity ties to Moscow.

TOKTOGULOV: To see this kind of attack by Russia against Ukraine was certainly disorienting, because it sort of showed the things terrible

things that Russia is capable of.

WATSON (voice over): Of the leaders of the former soviet republics, only Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus has publicly supported Russia's war in

Ukraine. Russia conducted joint military exercises with its other for mutual defense treaty allies.

But when it comes to the Ukraine war, they have all stayed publicly neutral, and that includes Kazakhstan. In January, the authorities here

used deadly force to crush a violent uprising that left dozens dead. Moscow answered an urgent call for help from the Kazakh government leading a

deployment of troops here on a brief peacekeeping mission.

WATSON (on camera): You can still see burn marks on some buildings after the violence last January, Russia came to the Kazakh government's help in

its time of need. But the Kazak President has made it clear he will not be getting involved in Moscow's war in Ukraine.

WATSON (voice over): As Russia's military faces more and more setbacks in Ukraine, tensions have exploded in other areas long seen as Russia's

backyard. Deadly fighting raged across the border between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan in September. Meanwhile hundreds died in separate cross border

clashes last month between Azerbaijan and Armenia.


WATSON (voice over): Moscow refused to call for military assistance from its treaty ally, Armenia, and now the Armenian government is working with

the European Union to negotiate a settlement. Moscow is on the back-foot due to its destructive war of choice, and that's leaving a growing power

vacuum across the former Soviet Union. Ivan Watson, CNN Almaty.


ANDERSON: Taking a very short break, back after this.


ANDERSON: Well, last year's Climate Change Conference COP26, world leaders pledged to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. Well next month, world

leaders will meet in Egypt's resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh for COP27, that's where they will discuss the world's most pressing climate issues.

Well in this special series of Road to COP27, we explore some of the themes at this year's event with food security high on the agenda.


MARTIN FRICK, DIRECTOR, WFP GLOBAL OFFICE BERLIN: This is indeed a year of unprecedented hunger, biggest humanitarian crisis since Second World War.

DHANUSH DINESH, FOUNDER, CLIM-EAT: The challenges we are facing are growing and now we are facing food crisis. Food Systems is a big part of the

problem and the solution.

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Dhanush Dinesh has been a regular sight within the corridors of cops since 2015

raising awareness on how food systems are a critical part of the climate debate. The Clim-Eat Think Tank founder has grant hopes for this year's

event that will be held at the Egyptian Red Sea resort town of Sharm el- Sheikh.

DINESH: Previous editions of the cops and I've been going to them since Cop21. There are a number of pavilions which bring attention to different

issues, but there was never a pavilion on food.

KARADSHEH (voice over): Food Systems is a catch all term that refers to the A to Z of food production from the way we grow it to how we transport it to

the disposal of it. And all parts of that system are taking a massive toll on the environment.

FRICK: If you look at food as a system, you're looking at more than one- third of the global greenhouse gas emissions. But if you turn around that food production system, it can actually help countering the climate crisis.

KARADSHEH (voice over): This is the ultimate goal of more than 15 global organizations set to take part in the food systems pavilion, going beyond

the usual conversation and showcasing how they're implementing cleaner, greener ways of producing food.

DINESH: We cannot rely purely on the on the negotiation strike because that takes time. So it's not about a discussion. It's really about solutions.

KARADSHEH (voice over): From vertical farming to cultivated meat, a plethora of sustainable and smart solutions will be showcased.

FRICK: I think we only understand now how much potential for innovation and for business there is in turning our food system into something that is

much more sustainable, more diverse and more intelligent.


KARADSHEH (voice over): Aside from the environmental benefits of going green reshaping the food system could create an economic boon that one

estimate says it could generate more than $4.5 trillion a year by 2030. A promising figure only achieved by collective voice at this year's COP27.

Jomana Karadsheh, CNN.


ANDERSON: You've been watching "Connect the World", thank you for joining us. It's a very good evening from the team working with me here in Abu

Dhabi and those working with us around the world.