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Connect the World

Banks Indulge JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Citigroup; America's Largest Bank Extend $30B Lifeline to First Republic Bank; Turkey to Begin Ratification Process for Finland NATO Accession; International Criminal Court Issues Arrest Warrant Against Russian President Putin; ICC Issues Arrest Warrant for Putin; Russian Foreign Ministry: ICC Warrant for Putin has no Meaning. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired March 17, 2023 - 11:00   ET




BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: Wall Street wobbles again. 11 of America's biggest banks step into calm investor concerns of a roller

coaster week. First up though developing this hour after months of delays and hurdles Turkey say it will now start the process to ratify Finland's

accession to NATO. But still it has not endorsed Sweden's bid.

China's President will fly to Moscow next week to meet with his Russian counterpart Xi Jinping's first visit to Russia since it invaded Ukraine.

It's also the highest level visitor Putin has received since the war began in an apparent show of support.

Anger is spreading across France after President Emmanuel Macron ordered a rise in the pension age without taking a vote. Protesters have blocked a

key highway in Paris and strikes are escalating across the country. And Crystal Palace Football Club has parted with its Manager Patrick Vieira the

only Black Manager in the Premier League is far in setting bad sign for diversity in England's top flight football.

All right, you're with us for the second hour of "Connect the World" wherever you are watching you are more than welcome. Our major story today,

more fears hitting the U.S. banking sector after after the collapse of Silicon Valley and Signature Banks earlier in the week.

It looked like First Republic could be next. That was before 11 major U.S. banks stepped in with a 30 billion yes, you heard that figure correctly $30

billion cash injection. Well, this caps a frankly crazy week for global markets concerns over bank failures spread across the world.

European and Asian markets became jittery. And Swiss lender Credit Suisse also needed a helping hand. So tonight we ask if the cracks been patched

up? Or is this a dam about to burst? Well, there are so many moving parts to this story. Let's bring you in an expert here.

Financial Times U.S. Banking Correspondent Stephen Gandel joins me now. Good to have you! What can we expect from the weekend? Because let's face

it, we have had a pretty damaging weekend last weekend and what do you expect to see next week?

STEPHEN GANDEL, U.S. BANKING CORRESPONDENT, FINANCIAL TIMES: So hopefully what you can see - what we expect to see if someone steps up and buys

Silicon Valley Bank, that process is ongoing. The FDIC would prefer to have a bid in today, although I don't think that's a hard deadline.

So if it nobody steps up there, none of the either other banks or a private equity firm, then I think that could cause some more jitters. The other

thing we're watching is First Republic's stock still keeps on going down. And you said that, as they're put cash into the bank.

We have to be clear; this is a very unusual rescue plan. It's not like typically what you do what they did with tarp is you come in and you put

cash into the capital accounts of the bank right? It covers any kind of losses in this case, in bonds, but in the financial crisis in loans, they

didn't do that.

What Jamie Dimon did and the others is they did the same thing that you would do. If you opened a bank account, they just put $5 billion into or 30

collectively into a deposit account. It's a very different kind of structure for ways to try to shore up the bank so we also have to watch to

see if that the market investors, everyone else is going to like that.

ANDERSON: There have been lots of comparisons made to 2008 certainly U.S. regulators suggesting that it is as a result what happened in the financial

crisis of 2008 that the - the mechanisms are in place and they say they're working U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told Senate panel just

yesterday that the U.S. banking system is sound. I want our viewers knew to have a listen for a moment to some of her testimony. Have a listen.


JANET YELLEN, U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY: I can reassure them members of the committee that our banking system is sound, and that Americans can feel

confident that their deposits will be there when they need them.


This week's actions demonstrate our resolute commitment to ensure that our financial system remains strong. And depositor's savings remained safe.


ANDERSON: Should investors buy that? And let's be frank, not just talking about investors here, but the likes of you or me who have bank accounts are

we safe?

GANDEL: I think we're generally - we're generally safe. One thing I'll say about first of all, Janet Yellen has to say that right? Every regulator is

going to have to say that. It would be worse if she didn't say that.

But what I will say in terms of that this crisis comes out of 2008 or relation to it is that the reason financial crisis happens, because things

happen that we don't expect to happen. All the things that happened in the financial crisis, bad loans, foreclosures, that's not the problem now.

Like we did put a lot of places of checks in place with the very big banks to make sure that are repeated, that didn't happen. But by emphasizing

that, what happened to 2008 doesn't happen again, we have something totally different now.

And this is kind of a run on deposits, not based on bad loans run on deposits are based on kind of a lack of protection for those deposits. The

fact that regulators were lost, they dropped the ball on some of these banks, and that these banks had these huge bond portfolios that with the

Fed raising interest rates, they lost a lot of money.

So I think it's not - if you have your money, and not some of the big banks, I think if you're money in the big banks, no one has to worry. But

if you have your money in a small regional bank, will you lose the money? I'm not sure. Will you be locked out of your account for some banks?

Probably maybe seen that and will you have some stress in your life, again probably.

ANDERSON: I just want to add a layer here Bernie Sanders, U.S. Senator from Vermont, of course, very vocal in all of this, speaking specifically to the

failure of Silicon Valley Bank. He said this week, and I quote him here that failure is a direct result of an absurd 2018 Bank Deregulation Bill

signed by Donald Trump that I strongly opposed.

Can you just briefly explain what he's alluding to here? And is it as simplistic as this? Or is it really more macro low interest rates, suddenly

spiking lots of dry powder lying around bad investment decisions by people who frankly, shouldn't have been making those investment decisions probably

shouldn't have been running the bank.

GANDEL: I mean, it's so - you'd never can say one thing. It's an exaggeration of what Senator Sanders is saying. But what is true is that

what Dodd Frank put into place was that every bank with more than 50 billion in assets would be a part of this super regulatory structure where

they get an extra look to make sure that they were safe.

And in 2018, and a narrative that was building up in part a narrative that was built up by Barney Frank was that that had been overreached, that these

regional banks that were below JP Morgan, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, those regional banks really didn't need the kind of scrutiny.

And in fact, the scrutiny that was being placed on them was making it harder for them to lend to midsize or smaller companies that would be more

likely to go to them. And so this narrative built up and so through that, and the Trump Administration took it up, and they took this cap from 50

billion to 250 billion.

So the question is, did - was that a mistake? And maybe that 250 billion is was the issue because the problem we had Silicon Valley is like a 200

billion, maybe it should have been 50 billion 200 billion, it still would have caught Silicon Valley.

But even if that cap hadn't been moved, there are other ways within Dodd Frank to loosen those things. So I think it's just in general, a collective

kind of a think thing that as long as we protected what happened in 2008, make sure that didn't happen again.

We'd be fine. And taking their eye off the ball from regulators and from policymakers and from lawmakers about there is risk in the banking system

beyond again, these big ones JP Morgan Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Citi.


GANDEL: Banking crisis--

ANDERSON: We start with a very simple question. Have the cracks been patched up? Or is the dam about to burst you got 30 seconds what's your


GANDEL: I can't tell you. Again this is a novel way to help the bank. I think that it's very possible that many people in small bank regional

banks, they're not small.


They're kind of large regional banks are still nervous about their money are still pulling it. And you might see a layer of banks still in stress.

ANDERSON: Good to have you, sir. Thanks for joining us. We'll have you back. We've got a crack CNN reporting team all over this for you, Rahel

Solomon is in New York, Anna Stewart is in London. Let's start with you Anna, policymakers fearful at all that there could be contagion from these

U.S. bank failures into these European markets. You just heard what our guest there was positing?

ANNA STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it's interesting given the ECB actually went ahead and raise rates by half a percentage point yesterday,

and many people thought they wouldn't perhaps not as much concern as we may have thought earlier in the week, but certainly, I think Europe stands

ready to help.

And we saw that this week with Credit Suisse, which has a whole litany of problems all to itself, in addition to the pressures we're seeing across

the sector, but we saw the Swiss National Bank Central Bank in Switzerland, say we can extend a line of liquidity if needed.

And we saw Credit Suisse say they will borrow up to $54 billion worth. But Becky look at Credit Suisse right now, shares are still trading down today.

They had some recovery yesterday, but on the weak Credit Suisse shares are actually down 20 percent despite that mega loan.

So you have to question what can regulators and central banks do, particularly for a bank like this one. And I think this bank has got such

big problems that we're going to have to see much more movement because clearly, this is a sticking plaster, and it hasn't really worked.

ANDERSON: Yes, fascinating, isn't it? Rahel let me bring you in here. You also heard what we were just discussing ahead of coming to you. This week

has been crazy, isn't it for U.S. banks? The wider economy is looking a little bit more robust inflation does continue to come down albeit slowly.

The question at this point, and Anna was just alluding to the ESB - the ECB, sort of, you know, making what many of describes is very bold moving,

going at it with a half percentage point increase, where does the Fed go next week with rates?

RAHEL SOLOMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well Becky, the Fed finds itself walking a tightrope at this point, right, because as you just pointed out there,

the macro economy still looks like it's coming in line with expectations, inflation is starting to fall, we're still seeing really robust signs of a

strong labor market.

So on the one hand, that sort of gives the Fed cover to continue with its interest rate hikes, and perhaps it would have prior to a week ago, right,

but now it has to consider the risk of financial instability. And even if it is a small risk, the consequences of what that could look like are so

great that the Federal Reserve now has to consider that moving forward.

And you're seeing a really fierce debate in the investment community about what is the right move in this environment, considering the fragility of

banks right now, considering the jitteriness that we are seeing in the investment community, just look at sort of what has happened over the last

week or so Becky.

I like your technical term that it's been a crazy week for the market, it certainly has. And so when we hear from the Fed next week, I should say

that expectations are now leaning toward perhaps a quarter of a percent when they raised rates instead of the half a percent that we were expecting

a week ago.

But it is critically important, Becky, not just what they do in terms of interest rates. But what he says what Chairman Powell says in terms of

confidence in the economy, but also confidence and resolve in terms of what the Federal Reserve is willing to do, and able to do to really shore up

competence in the American system and the global economy.

ANDERSON: It's fascinating, isn't it? In all of this back end of the week, and I have no idea I have to say hold my hands up. No idea what sort of

volume is being traded in the DOW Jones, as we speak, I've just got the numbers up in front of me, as far as the index is concerned.

And the DOW Jones is down one and a fifth of 1 percent. All right, well, thank you very much indeed to both of you! It is the end of the week. It's

been a crazy week. Let's see what happens going forward. I'm taking a very short break at this point back after this.



ANDERSON: All right, breaking news just into CNN. The ICC judges have just issued arrest warrants against Russian President Vladimir Putin. Let me

bring in CNN's Ivan Watson who's following all of these developments from Kharkiv tonight in Northeastern Ukraine.

So let me just repeat ICC judges issuing arrest warrants against Vladimir Putin and against Maria Lvova-Belova, who's another high ranking Russian

political figure, believed to be at the center of the alleged scheme to forcibly deport thousands of Ukrainian children to Russia. Ivan, what do

you make of this?

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I would say that this seems to be pretty precedent breaking Becky. The International Criminal

Court is showing an arrest warrant against none less than the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin.

As you mentioned, a second individual a Russian official, this is Maria Lvova-Belova, who is identified as the Commissioner for Children's Rights

in Russia also issued an arrest warrant and both are being accused of the illegal transfer of children from occupied areas of Ukraine to Russia


Russia has not made much of a secret about taking Ukrainian children into Russia talking about these Ukrainian children being adopted into Russian

families. Lvova-Belova I think on camera even talking about this directly with Vladimir Putin on one occasion. I can already anticipate the reaction

and the response from the Kremlin to this.

But it is another sign of I think the outrage from some international institutions at some of the conduct of the Russian military and the Russian

government in it's now more than a year long war taking place here in Ukraine, Becky.

ANDERSON: Yes, I'm just reading as you speak. I'm reading the ICC statement on this the crimes allegedly committed in the Ukrainian occupied territory,

at least from the 24th of February 2022 there are reasonable grounds to believe that Mr. Putin bears individual criminal responsibility for the

aforementioned crimes for having committed the acts directly jointly with others and or through others and it goes on and I know, you and our

colleagues will continue to pick apart that statement from the ICC.

What - you've just described what you expect to be the response from the Kremlin. We, of course, don't have that as of yet. But we are well aware

and for some time now, there have been investigations into what are described as crimes against humanity. And not just in this case, of course?

WATSON: No. There had been some previous reporting, Becky suggesting that there might be another charge that would be leveled, and that is for the

allegation that the Russian military is targeting civilian infrastructure here in Ukraine, not an allegation I've seen it firsthand the results of

that. The months long effort to knock out the electric power grid in this country.


The ICC, this will, you know put additional pressure on the somewhat isolated Russian government, it raises the question of what happens if and

when Vladimir Putin travels abroad and how other governments should respond to that, whether they need to try to put him in handcuffs that we're going

into scenarios that I can't even imagine right now. In addition to the ICC, there are a number of other investigations underway into the allegations

that the Russian military is committing war crimes here.

I was hearing in Kharkiv, I was just meeting with a top police official here, who says that many of his more than 900 investigators in this

province alone in this oblast that much of their work is daily documentation of Russian artillery strikes on to parts of Ukraine against

towns and cities, and preparing additional potential cases of alleged war crimes against the Russian military against the Russian government.

So, this has taken place at many different levels in different jurisdictions, and the Ukrainian police force and prosecutors, they're also

very much working on this. Even as we've heard this, again, I would argue somewhat precedent breaking decision to issue an arrest warrant for none

less than Vladimir Putin himself from the International Criminal Court, Becky.

ANDERSON: Yes. I mean, these cases, clearly represent the first international charges to be brought since the start of Russia's war. And

they of course, come after months of work by the special ICC investigation team. So, I'm going to let you go. We will continue to cover this story.

And of course, as we get more information, we will bring it to you. But the headline, of course, as we speak, thanks you, Ivan. The ICC judges issue

arrest warrants against none less than Russian President Vladimir Putin. An arrest warrant also against Maria Lvova-Belova, who is another high-ranking

Russian political figure and this, is about Russia's alleged abduction of Ukrainian children.

We're talking about thousands of them more, of course, on this as we get it. Developing, as we speak the story out of Turkey today it appears that

Finland will clear its biggest hurdle to membership in the NATO alliance. Moments ago, Turkey's president announced that he will start the

ratification progress for --process for Finland's application in the Turkish parliament.

Worded this important development follows hours of talks with the Finnish President in Ankara earlier today CNN's Nada Bashir reporting on this story

for us from Istanbul, Nada, at the significance of this announcement or certainly, this news.

NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER: Well, just as you described it Becky, this is perhaps the biggest hurdle that Finland has faced over the last few months

when it comes to its bid to join the NATO alliance. This has taken weeks if not months of negotiations between Finland and Turkey the Turkish President

Recep Tayyip Erdogan just in the last few moments announcing this decision during a joint press conference in Ankara.

And in that press statement, he said that he believes that Finland has addressed the security concerns posed by the Turkish government over the

last few weeks or they have taken concrete steps in order to commit to those concerns that Turkey has expressed. And for that reason, Turkey now

feels comfortable to approve and ratify the decision to allow Finland to go ahead and to be excited to be NATO allies.

Of course, there are questions around what this means for Sweden over the last few months, Finland and Sweden have both simultaneously expressed

their wish to join the alliance together. But during this press conference, President Erdogan was very clear that he has had to separate Finland and

Sweden when it comes to that decision to ratify both nations accession to NATO.

Due to the fact that he believes Turkey has taken too lacks and approach when it comes to groups designated as terrorist organizations by the

Turkish Government, namely the Kurdistan Workers Party or the PKK who he says there are militants in his words operating within Sweden, and he

wishes that they would be extradited to Turkey but that, of course, isn't set to take place anytime soon the Swedish government so far refusing to do


So that is a significant step. And of course, we've heard from Turkish government saying they will continue to address these concerns with the

Swedish government over the coming weeks and months. And there is of course, mounting pressure on Turkey to address those concerns with a NATO

summit set to take place in July. And of course all eyes will now be on the focus of the next steps when it comes to Finland's accession.


Turkey now has to take this to its parliament for the ratification process to go through Parliament to seek approval there before it returns to the

presidential office for that final signature before Turkey can finally give the full green light for Finland's accession.

Those steps are set to take place over the next few weeks ahead of presidential elections in May here in Turkey. But of course, there will be

continued discussions continued negotiations focused on Sweden's case. We already heard earlier in the week from Sweden's Prime Minister

acknowledging the fact that Sweden is aware that it may be the case that both nations now have a separate process, separate from Finland.

He expressed that he was aware that Turkey seemed more prepared to ratify the process in the case of Finland. But of course, they are continuing with

those discussions. President Erdogan saying in that press conference just a little while ago that they will be focusing on discussions around

counterterrorism when it comes to Sweden's commitments as well as Turkey's security concerns when it comes to Sweden's domestic situation, Becky.

ANDERSON: Thank you. Nada Bashir is in Istanbul. All right, we have just had news, breaking news into CNN that the ICC judges, the International

Criminal Court judges have issued arrest warrants for two people, including the Russian President Vladimir Putin. Let's bring in Jill Dougherty, who is

live in Washington. Just how significant is this, Jill?

JILL DOUGHERTY, FORMER CNN MOSCOW BUREAU CHIEF: Well, in the direct sense, it is extremely significant, because they are naming President Putin as a

person who personally was involved in these acts, which they say are illegal. And that is the deportation of people, especially children from

Ukraine into Russia. Now, this second person is a commissioner for children's rights, and her name is Lvova-Belova.

Now the importance of this is, they are the - I would say the complication is that neither Russia nor the United States actually recognizes her as a

member of the International Criminal Court. So we have not heard from Russia, and what they're saying about this, obviously, they would not

accept it, and would deny anything like that.

The Russians have been saying all along, that they were simply saving these children from a wartime situation. But it really has become a serious

situation for children who are being taken from the warzone, sometimes who are not whose parents are still alive, perhaps, and being taken to Russia.

So, we'll have to leave through this for the details. But this is very significant.

ANDERSON: Yes, and unprecedented at this point. But you are making a very good point. Neither Russia nor let's be quite frank, the U.S. is a

signatory to the ICC, which does beg the question, how is this any more than symbolic?

DOUGHERTY: Well, at this point, you might say that it is, however, it is a legal decision by the International Criminal Court. So that's not simply

symbolic. And we have to bear in mind that although the war is a year old, there have been investigators from multiple groups and international bodies

that have been collecting data and information, doing interviews, et cetera.

With people throughout Ukraine in the warzone and taking statements from them about what has happened and about these children being taken out of

the country so, this is the beginning, I would say probably more actions like this.

ANDERSON: This, of course, happening just ahead of the Chinese President's visit to Moscow to see Vladimir Putin on Monday. Ivan and I were just

discussing the impact, the international impact that this might have on President Putin, you know, where he to travel out of the country. What

would other countries do, given that there is now this warrant against him?

I just wonder how you might assess the timing of this and where that leaves the Chinese president with his visit. Will it have any impact?

DOUGHERTY: I would say probably not at this point. But the Russians are not going to recognize this and they're also going to say I'm sure that this

could never apply to the leader of the country, so they will dismiss it out of him.


And I would doubt that the Chinese, at least, you know, in those negotiations, would really get into the, into something that they

themselves might consider illegal. Don't forget, you know, the China rhetorically has been supporting Russia in this conflict, saying that the

United States and the West are the ones who are throwing oil on the fire, and that they essentially, you know, forced Russia's hand to invade.

So, I doubt they would want to engage with this. I don't know what they would behind the scenes get into this. I think at this point, they'd

consider it more a distraction, and simply say, it doesn't apply. And it's political. The Russians have said most anything now that has been done in

any international body that goes against them is politically against Russia.

ANDERSON: Jill, I'm going to wind it up here. It's fantastic to have you. I'm going to get us over to our colleagues in the U.S. who has Ivan Watson

as we speak.

So, I'm just going to get our viewers a sense of certainly the reaction there in Ukraine because of course that is where these warrants ultimately

are aimed at, they're aimed about Russia's actions in Ukraine. Let's just listen in, I think Kate Bolduan is speaking out; she has actually David

McKenzie, up speaking from Kyiv. Let's listen in.

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Sitting head of state, particularly Vladimir Putin, whose country's on the permanent

Security Council being issued an arrest warrant by the International Criminal Court, it is very rare for a head of state to face this kind of

warrant. And even if as Ivan says in the short term, it is symbolic, it is hugely symbolic.

And this case deals with the thousands of children alleged to have been taken from their parents or coerced from their parents taken from Russian

occupied areas of Ukraine into what the researchers and the ICC has called re-education camps.

Now, we've spoken to children and parents, just a few weeks ago, we told the story of parents going into Crimea, and rescuing their children from

these kinds of re-education camps. At the most serious allegation, talks about the orphans that were taken from state facilities and into Russia,

given to Russian parents.

Now, while Vladimir Putin and the head of his group that is involved with children's rights have been named in this arrest warrant they will say and

they have repeatedly said this is the issue of them protecting the children, something that really doesn't fly with the facts.

When you look at these children going to these camps, and being taught in Russian being forced to sing the Russian national anthem separated there,

from their parents, forcibly. Those parents often and still are separated from those children. So, a very important symbolic moment, just one case of

many that has been looked at to accuse Russian officials, the president and the military men of war crimes.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: David stand-by with me as well, I'm going to go to the State Department right now, our Kylie Atwood standing by.

Kylie, I'm wondering what you may not have gotten any reaction yet from the State Department, if you've heard from anyone over there the reaction to


But also, in the process going forward, we know that just from past experience, past the history of the ICC, that this can take years, a very

long time for anything to actually see the light of day in terms of a trial. What do you think about that?

KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right. So right now, it's really unclear when a trial would happen. I mean, this news

just broke. But when it comes to the ICC, a person has to appear in person for a trial to actually occur. And that's really significant here, because

now that there is this arrest warrant out for President Putin, which is hugely significant news, the rest of the world is going to be on alert.

So, he could essentially be arrested whenever he travels outside of Russia, but so long as he remains in Russia, he will maintain impunity. And that's

something that State Department officials have pointed out that is one of the challenges of trying to prosecute someone at this high level, who is

protected by the boundaries of his own country.

And I also think it's important to note that, you know, one of the things that State Department officials have been watching for here is who the ICC

decides to go after. The fact that they're going after President Putin is major news here.

But there is also this other woman who is in charge of the children's program in Russia, who they're also going after. And it's potentially more

likely that she may travel outside of the country and they could get their hands on her. Now we haven't yet heard, of course, a response from the

State Department.


But when it comes to the U.S. relationship with the ICC, the U.S. is not a party of the ICC, the statute that created the ICC. But historically, there

has been sort of a contentious relationship between the U.S. and the ICC. During the Biden Administration however, they have really engaged with one


And that is what you hear State Department officials talk about. And so obviously, I think this is something that they will welcome. Because this

is the first time that we are actually seeing charges brought, an arrest warrant brought for the crimes or the war crimes that have been committed

in Ukraine, because the State Department has said that their determination is that Russian forces have committed war crimes, but they don't actually

have the power to bring about charges in a court of law. And that's why this is so significant.

BOLDUAN: But Kylie, there is also this caveat of there was a modification to existing law passed by Congress in December to allow the Americans to

hand over and help and assist the ICC in terms of their investigation prosecution as it relates to Ukraine.

But the New York Times has been reporting, as we've been talking about on the show for this week, is that there is resistance from the Pentagon

blocking that kind of co-ordination, because of fear of the precedent that it would send. I talked to the top Democrat on the House Armed Services

Committee about it just yesterday. I wonder what this, what that means in this context now?

ATWOOD: Well, I think it's interesting that the ICC was able to bring about these charges without even having that information from the U.S. Obviously,

you know, the Biden Administration does have a lot of documentation of war crimes that have been committed in Ukraine, and it would be significant if

they are willing to share that information.

But up until this point, so far as we know, Kate, the Biden Administration hasn't shared that information. As you said, it has been a matter of

internal drama, if you will, within the interagency. As you said, the Department of Defense has been opposed to sharing that information; the

State Department has been supportive of it.

So that still continues on. But the fact that the ICC was able to move forward with this arrest warrant for the top official in Russia, without

even needing that information, I think demonstrates that they already have very, very significant evidence of their own of these war crimes of

forcibly forcing these children to leave Ukraine and go into Russia.

BOLDUAN: Yes, Kylie, great point, let me get over to Nic Robertson right now. He joins us from London on this breaking news. Nic, tell me what you

kind of here in this, in this announcement and what it could be? What does it tell you as far as Putin's options now for the future? For the future of

his offensive in Ukraine, I also wonder what this, what kind of message this sends to Russian forces on the ground today?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Well, it sends a very clear signal that they're being watched. But again, it's the accountability

question. And Putin is being shown that he will be held to account if he can be bought in front of the ICC, to the troops in the front line, that

seems would seem very unlikely.

And Putin is going to sit there in the Kremlin, and know that he still has a degree of international travel left in front of him, it'd be unlikely if

he went to China, let's say after he meets with President Xi, next week in Moscow. If Putin went to China, again, it's unlikely the Chinese would turn

him over to the ICC.

Obviously, if he went to Paris or London or Washington, it would be an entirely different story. But Putin's not going to want to do that anytime

soon. But this is all part of the message to him. Its part of the signaling as much as the signaling to Putin is that NATO is going to stand up and

send tanks and heavy armaments and do whatever it can militarily to support Ukraine.

And in the past 24 hours, we've heard of two countries now sending fighter jets to support Ukraine. All of this is done very publicly to message

Putin. This is what you're up against. This also, its effectiveness is a message to him that may not change his behavior, but is intended to try to

change his behavior maybe not to stop moving children as he has been accused off here out of Ukraine into Russia.

And having them adopted by other family, something we saw him on the stage at one of the big rallies in Moscow recently with a child from Ukraine put

on the stage with him. And, you know, put in the position of a being told to tell her account of what happened, to be very much associated with that.

But this tells him that the world is shrinking for him. His options of what happens to him personally once the war is wrapped up his ability to attend

G20 Summit that sort of thing. The things that he likes to do to show that he's a power on the global stage.


These are going to become shuttered after him. This sort of signaling trying to get under his skin and change his decision making, trying to get

him out of the war fighting mode we know that this is not something that happens overnight. But all of these pressures are designed to have that

effect, even if he doesn't stand justice in a courtroom.

BOLDUAN: And while I talked to and, you'll appreciate this Nic. I was speaking with Ambassador - Rapp about this just this week. And what he said

is while it's hard to imagine prosecuting Putin, because he comes from such a powerful country.

He also said, we also didn't think it was possible in the case of Milosevic, or when it came to Charles Taylor out of Liberia, the former

President, who I believe is still behind bars as we speak. So, there is that, but it did take years and so much effort. Nic, thank you! Go ahead,


ROBERTSON: No, I was going to say it took years but it took persistence and the intent of the international community to do it. Slobodan Milosevic,

Ratko Mladic, the Bosnian Serb wartime leader hiding and a family's farm just outside Belgrade for years, ended up in The Hague on trial, you know,

fighting to defend himself. They all ended up there in the end. It is possible.

BOLDUAN: Nic, thank you so much. David McKenzie in Kyiv, Ivan Watson, thank you so much. Kylie Atwood at the State Department, we're going to get here

you cover this breaking news, a very significant moment. We'll be right back.



ANDERSON: More now on the news that we've been telling you about the breaking news. The International Criminal Court has issued an arrest

warrant against Russian President Vladimir Putin for his war against Ukraine. The ICC is also going after Maria Lvova-Belova, the Russian

official at the center of the alleged scheme to forcibly deport thousands of Ukrainian children to Russia. The Ukrainian presidency says this is just

the beginning. Here's the ICC's announcement.


PIOTR HOFMANSKI, PRESIDENT, INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT: Today 17th of March 2023, the International Criminal Court has issued two warrants of

arrest in the Ukraine situation. For Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation and for Maria Lvova-Belova, Commissioner of the Russian

presence from children's right for the alleged war crimes of deportation of children from Ukrainian occupied territories entered the Russia Federation.

It is forbidden by international law for occupying powers to transfer civilians from the territory they live in to other territories. Children

enjoy special protection under the Geneva Convention. The contents of the worlds are secret in order to protect victims; the ICC attaches great

importance to the protection of victims, especially children.

Nevertheless, the judges of the chamber and dealing with this case, decided to make the existence of the warrant's public in the interest of justice

and to prevent the commission of future craps. This is an important moment in the process of justice before the ICC.

The judges have reviewed the information and evidence submitted by the prosecutor and determined that there is credible allegation against these

persons for the alleged crimes. The ICC is doing its part of work. As a court of law, the judges issued arrest warrants; their execution depends on

international cooperation.


ANDERSON: I want to bring in CNN's David McKenzie in Kyiv. What sort of response are we getting from there, David?

MCKENZIE: Well, certainly there has been a lengthy response now given by the prosecutor here in Ukraine and in Kyiv. They said they handed over

thousands of documents to the ICC. They welcome this decision, of course by the prosecutor of the Hague court.

They say now it's up to countries outside of Russia to arrest Vladimir Putin because of this arrest warrant for war crimes associated with

forcibly deporting and re-educating children from Ukraine during this conflict and for his head, Maria Lvova-Belova of a civilian group within


There in the warrant, they said that Putin is responsible for this directing this program and also should have done more to stop it as it got

going. But of course, the reality of this is for another country to is part of the Rome Statute, the treaty that governs the International Criminal

Court to arrest Vladimir Putin should he leave the country would be a very big step though they would be compelled to do so. And the track record of

this isn't necessarily good in bringing heads of state to justice, Becky.

ANDERSON: Well, I'm going to just narrate some reporting that I am seeing here today from Jeffrey York who is a correspondent that you will know in

South Africa.


Because he makes a point here and this is just reporting from, from Jeffrey York. This is on Twitter. Vladimir Putin is scheduled to attend the BRICS

summit in South Africa in August. South Africa as a member of the ICC and a signatory of the Treaty of Rome will have a legal obligation to enforce the

ICC arrest warrant against him.

David, speaking to the point that you just made, although, Jeffrey you're making the point that South Africa refused to arrest Omar al-Bashir in

2015. What do you make of that?

MCKENZIE: Well, he did. They didn't arrest Omar al-Bashir, and before that Kenya didn't arrest him either. And that is, of course, the former head of

Sudan who was indicted and under arrest warrant for genocide in Darfur. This South African example would be the perfect test case whether Vladimir

Putin goes to that summit after this warrant has been given.

But the track record, as I say, for countries that might be less critical of Russia, like South Africa, like large parts of Africa would be under

pressure by the Hague and Western powers to arrest Vladimir Putin. But the track record of them doing so is not there in these kinds of cases.

But we shouldn't diminish the fact that a very powerful politician, the head of Russia, a permanent member of the Security Council has been placed

under an arrest warrant, to he is expected to show up at The Hague and face charges. It's very, very unlikely he will, but it's a truly significant

moment for international justice, Becky.

ANDERSON: Yes, absolutely. David, good to have you! David is in Kyiv in Ukraine with perspective from there. Let's bring in our International

Diplomatic Editor, Nic Robertson in London, your initial thoughts and assessment of this breaking news, Nic.

ROBERTSON: We'll let echo exactly what David said that when was the last time a leader of the G20 nations for example, and one of the globe's

leading political powers, a country that spans so many time zones is geographically huge, has political cloud on the world stage has ever been

hold to account or called to be hold to account in this way.

So, I think that's very significant. All the messaging that President Putin gets the messaging that he gets from NATO over the last couple of days, you

know, a couple of nations standing up and saying they're going to send fighter aircraft, to help Ukraine in the fight.

At the tanks that are being sent, the artillery that's being sent, the precision weapons that are being sent all of that all of that is messaging

to Putin, to stop the war that you're not going to win the war. This is also messaging to Putin, recognizing that it's unlikely that he's going to

end up facing the ICC in the near future.

But it's messaging to him that your world is being proscribed and is shrinking, that whatever you think you're going to come out of this war

with a chunk of Ukraine, your position on the world stage is utterly diminished. Russia's ability to represent itself through you on the global

stage is going to be diminished. It's going to be a different global place, and you won't be part of it.

So, this is very, very strong messaging. And of course, Putin will try to shrug this off, he'll try to play it to the domestic population in Russia

is just another part of the West scheme to impugn and take down Russia's importance and value around the world.

But eventually, all of these slings if you will, all of these arrows that Putin takes on whether it's the anger of families who've lost loved ones,

fighting for Russia, in Ukraine. Whether it's the economic impact of his war, that he's able to shrug off, and perhaps President Xi next week can

help insulate him from a little bit more.

All of this diminishes him slowly, but definitively at home very much abroad, but at home and undermining him at home as well, is all part of the

key to getting Putin to understand to stop the fight.

ANDERSON: Nic, thank you very much indeed. I don't want to let you go yet. We do know Nic that Moscow has rejected an arrest warrant issued by the ICC

for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

We've just got this in saying the court has, and I, "no meaning for the country", including from a legal point of view. That is the Spokeswoman for

the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Maria Zakharova, who has said Russia is not a member of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and bears

no obligations under it.

Russia does not co-operate with this body and possible pre-tenses for arrest coming from the International Court of Justice will be legally null

and void for us, she said Nic, no real surprise in that reaction from Moscow.


ROBERTSON: No surprise, but it's been delivered very quickly. Moscow can be quite slow on its feet sometimes to react to these sorts of things and be

quite equivocating, until it's figured its way forward. They've seen this coming. This is the message. It's not a surprise.

But I think President Putin is unlikely to test Maria Zakharova's strong words by flying into Paris or London, where he knows that he would face

being served the arrest warrant and potentially taken off immediately to face justice. So, I don't think he's about to test it. His world has gotten

smaller and irrespective of what Russian officials say about him, that message will penetrate the Kremlin walls, and we'll get into his thinking.

ANDERSON: It's good to have you Nic. That is Nic Robertson out of London. You've been on breaking news. The ICC judges issue an arrest warrant for

Vladimir Putin. We are going to take a very short break, you are watching CNN.