Return to Transcripts main page

Connect the World

Israeli Finance Minister: "No Such Thing As Palestinian People"; Putin And Xi Hold Second Day Of Talks In Moscow; Yellen: More Rescues Possible If Smaller Lenders See Bank Runs; Djokovic: No Regrets About Vaccination Status; Putin And Xi Sign Cooperation Document During Talks; Xi: Our Relationship Important To Future Of The Planet. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired March 21, 2023 - 11:00   ET




BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST: More trouble for Israel's already troubled government worldwide condemnation pouring in over statements by Israel's

Finance Minister denying the existence of a Palestinian people.

This hour we explore the resounding consequences of Benjamin Netanyahu's right wing government and its policies. First up your headlines,

discussions are underway to organize a call between China's President and his Ukrainian counterpart to discuss China's proposal for an end to the war

that is according to senior Ukrainian official.

The news coming as Xi Jinping meets with his Russian counterpart in Moscow. Well, a damning new report concludes that London's Metropolitan Police slit

predator's homophobes and racists flourish. The Police Chief has so far accepted the diagnosis and the failings of his force.

The U.S. Treasury Secretary says that the banking system is very strong and resilient, emphasizing that the government is willing to take further

action to ensure U.S. bank deposits are secure. And this hour one of the world's greatest tennis players Novak Djokovic, tells me exclusively he has

no regrets over his anti-vaccine stance despite the public criticism that he has received.

Well, we're up with the second hour of CONNECT THE WORLD wherever you're watching, you are more than welcome. Israel's parliament has paved the way

for Jewish settlers to return to four settlements in the occupied West Bank by repealing a law that has been in place for nearly two decades.

The bill was passed just one day after regional leaders including the United States met for a summit to calm tensions in the West Bank and Israel

adding more problems for Benjamin Netanyahu. So tonight we asked will Israel implode under Netanyahu.

Well, joining me now to discuss the far right tilt of the Israeli government is Retired Israeli Major General Amos Yadlin; he was the Head of

Military Intelligence for the Israeli Defense Force. And he is the Founder and President of Mind Israel.

Sir, it is a very simple question at this point. Is it fair to ask whether Israel will implode under this current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

and his right religious government?

MAJOR GENERAL AMOS YADLIN, (RET.) FORMER IDF CHIEF OF MILITARY INTELLIGENCE: Good evening, Becky. I'm glad to be with you. Israel is in a

unique crisis, because usually Israel was attacked by an external enemy. And what we see in the last month, which Israel is, attacked from a

domestic sweat which is its own government, its own Prime Minister and the decision to have a judicial reform or revolution depends how you look at


We see the consequences on every dimension of national security. The economy that was very stable, best in the Middle East and much more

resilience than the rest of the world economy is on the way south. It is on the military dimension of Israel National Security.

We have false forms that is about to erupt. The Iranians are enriching to 90 percent. They may enrich to 90 percent and Israel will have to react.

Hezbollah is once again, a center always to Israel last week; the West Bank Gaza is Jerusalem when we entering Ramadan are in high tension.

And Israel activity in Syria is under risk and in this time, some of Israeli pilots refusing to come to reserves because of the legislation. And

splitting the people to two camps is a huge mistake by the Government of Israel.


ANDERSON: What's the next move to your mind do you - are you witnessing a Benjamin Netanyahu looking for an off ramp at this point or not?

YADLIN: We will see whether the legislation will happen next week. Next week is a crucial week. If there is a legislation on the political way of a

nominating new Supreme Court Leaders, new Supreme Court judges and the President of the Supreme Court.

The next place to look at is to the Supreme Court, whether it will say that this legislation is unconstitutional, then Israel is failing into a

legislative crisis. I do hope that the Prime Minister will stop this legislation, but I'm not sure he is anymore taking the decision here.

ANDERSON: Senator Chris Murphy, a Democrat in the United States, has said to me, specifically, and I quote him here, I think the United States needs

to draw a harder line with this Israeli government.

He said that Israel needs to work harder towards a Palestinian state in order to maintain support from the U.S. Are you concerned about what the

U.S. might do next, if they do not see de-escalation in the rhetoric and in the violence?

YADLIN: I don't agree with the Senator. I don't think Israel is to blame that there is no Palestinian state. The Palestinians should be blamed. The

event missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity. And they are divided between Ramallah and Hamas and the diaspora and they are not willing to

reach an agreement.

But when we look at the damage that is done to Israel, there are five dimensions of fighting this revolution. One is in the Knesset hoping that

some members of Likud will understand well Bibi is taking them this right wing, extreme government is taking them.

The Supreme Court is still has a lot of power, then the protest in the streets that going stronger and stronger from week to week, then the

economy. And the last one is what you asked about the American relation is really the message from the President of the United States to the Prime


You will not get an invitation to the White House until this will be stopped. So no doubt that the U.S. is also using diplomatic messages to

tell Israel what are the consequences of this judicial revolution.

ANDERSON: It's not just about the judicial reform, though, is it? There is anger and outright condemnation from the U.S. from Europe from countries

around this region where I am including the UAE and from Jordan about what are described certainly by the Jordanian Foreign Ministry as racist

comments by Israel's Finance Minister in a speech in which he said the Palestinian people are a made up group that was only invented as a counter

to the notion of a Jewish statement.

To add insult to injury he made those comments while standing in front of a map of Israel that appeared to annex portions of Jordan. Firstly, what's

your response to those words and that action by Israel's Finance Minister? This is not just another Knesset member; this is the Finance Minister in

Benjamin Netanyahu's government.

YADLIN: OK, I think first that this is a foolish announcement. And in a way is--

ANDERSON: It is racist - foolish and to be ignored? With the greatest of respect, this is a man in government?

YADLIN: You have to be a lot with double standards. There are many ministers in the Middle East that are not recognizing the Jewish people are

a right to be a nation. So you should condemn both. And I think it's stupid, I think it is not important.


I think the Finance Minister is not the one who conducting the Foreign Ministry of Israel. The National Security Adviser for Prime Minister

Netanyahu who sits basically a couple of meters from his office, called yesterday, the Jordanian and he told them that this is not the government


I highly unhappy form the extremist right wingers in the government, and I condemn basically whatever they're saying, but they are not representing

the formal position of the State of Israel.

ANDERSON: You wrote in a recent piece, Netanyahu's faced with a political and strategic Rubik's cube to achieve his International goals containing

Iran and normalizing ties with Saudi Arabia, you wrote he will need strong support and understanding from Washington which in turn requires taking

steps opposed by his radical coalition partners, both domestically and on the Palestinian front.

But you said ultimately, to solve the most critical face of the cube, Netanyahu must prioritize coming to terms with the United States. Briefly,

should Netanyahu collapse government at this point, and if not, how does he come to terms with this government with the United States?

YADLIN: Becky, you are reading exactly what I think Netanyahu would have missed a huge opportunity, because he could have gone to Washington in a

very positive time for him. The JCPOA is died. President Biden said it is dead.

By the way I'm not sure it is dead but no doubt it is in calm. So Netanyahu don't have to fight with Biden over the JCPOA and if Netanyahu come to the

White House, with a change in the Israeli policy towards Ukraine which will be more identified with the West, will our values are identical.

If he will come with a change in Israeli policy on China, which is so important to President Biden, he could have got a welcome meeting. And he

could discuss after five minutes of niceties 40 minutes of how we stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and 20 minutes how we bring the Saudis to

join an Abraham Accord 2.0.

Instead of that he created the government that first he is not invited. And if he is invited, he will get 40 minutes on Palestinian issues, and 20

minutes on the judicial reform. And this is a huge mistake a huge, huge mistake by Prime Minister Netanyahu.

ANDERSON: A huge mistake which is causing enormous civil unrest in the country a situation that the President of Israel has described as verging

on Civil War at present. Sir, it's good to have you on. Thank you very much indeed, for your perspective today.

Well, already - military banned and the Russian and Chinese national anthems of Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping greeting each other at the Kremlin

in a grand ceremony no doubt meant to convey what both Presidents call their dear friendship.

After those talks on issues including security and trade, both leaders stressed their countries mutual cooperation. Comments made at the start of

today's meetings we could hear more lately on China's stated peace plan for the war in Ukraine which the West views with wide skepticism.

CNN's International Diplomatic Editor Nic Robertson joins me from London and the West does view this proposed peace plan with great skepticism. What

do we know about it and is that skepticism entirely warranted at present?

The Beijing's position will be here is a President emboldened by a recently brokered coming together of ties between two massive regional rivals Saudi

and Iran. Is this not the mediator? His supporters will argue who may provide some grist for an end to this war Nic, your thoughts?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, I mean, I think when you look at the Gulf context, isn't it that China has a relationship

with Iran because Iran sees China as the future and a country that will buy its oil and sell for much needed money.


Saudi Arabia has huge business transactions with China and both view stability in the region as key. So there's all the overlap right there,

there is no such overlap when you look at President Xi's points on peace in Ukraine, because he talks about respecting you know international law.

There's no reference or hint in his 12 point plan that Russia actually invaded Ukraine and no mention that Russia should pull back and leave

Ukraine merely talking about we shouldn't go back and reinforce the Cold War, which is clearly a slap at NATO.

But I think look, we've just had some comments from Xi and Putin. And I think they're a little bit instructive in the context of where things are

going? Like no surprises, Putin saying he's really ready for Chinese business to pick up the slide that sanctions have left you know, in

Russia's economy, when Western businesses Western enterprises have left.

So China moving in that we knew that was going to be said. And areas of cooperation between China and Russia increasing according to President Xi,

but here's like the important takeaway from these brief notes that we've had already.

Xi is saying that the consensus, the consensus between Russia and China is deepening. OK, consensus over the view of how the war in Ukraine should be

shaped in the future. If that's a consensus, that strengthening and deepening that doesn't bode very well for Xi's peace plan.

ANDERSON: Nic Robertson is on the story. We are watching this develop as we look at images once again, and these are very much about the optics of

course, Nic today, President Xi at the Kremlin with his counterpart Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Well, Xi's visit to Moscow coincides with a trip by another Asian Leader this time to Ukraine. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has paid his

respects in the Kyiv suburb of Bucha, where Russian forces are accused of massacring civilians. He is expected to meet with the Russian - Ukrainian

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

The trip being hailed by Ukraine as a strong show of support for Xi Jinping visiting Vladimir Putin just days after the International Criminal Court

put out a warrant for the Russian Leaders arrest. Well, now Ukrainian investigators say another war crime was committed. Ivan Watson is in

Kharkiv with that, Ivan?

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Becky, you know, the United Nations today published new statistics for its estimates of how

many civilians have been killed in Ukraine since Russia launched its enormous invasion of this country in February of last year?

At least 8,317 civilians killed in some 13 months of fighting at least 113 civilians killed in the first 19 days of this month alone and under 356

wounded. We've gotten a very rare look at one incident in which a civilian was gravely wounded by Russian troops during their invasion take a look.


WATSON (voice over): From a battlefield in Eastern Ukraine a desperate call for help as a Ukrainian woman pleads for her wounded husband's life.

Footage from last June shows the moment when a Ukrainian couple took a wrong turn towards an active frontline. Their car came under fire from

nearby Russian forces, badly wounding the driver Valeria Ponomarova's husband.

VALERIA PONOMAROVA, UKRAINIAN SHOOTING VICTIM'S WIFE: I said his head was injured and immediately began to bandage his head.

WATSON (voice over): The incident captured on video by a drone piloted by Ukrainian soldiers, and later compiled into a documentary by the Ukrainian

Director Lyubomyr Levytsky.

PONOMAROVA: I turned it fell on my knees and just screamed with the most agonizing cry. I didn't know whose drawn it was, our forces are the enemy?

WATSON (voice over): The pilot taped a sign saying follow me on his drone and directed Ponomarova to safety. She made the agonizing decision to leave

her wounded husband behind. As she followed the drone Russian soldiers emerged to approach her car. They took her husband Andrii (ph) and dumped

him in a ditch.

WATSON (on camera): This is the intersection where that terrible shooting took place in June. The Ukrainian military subsequently liberated the area,

allowing Ukrainian police to come in and launch an investigation into an alleged Russian war crime.

WATSON (voice over): Ukrainian Police Investigator said Bolvinov says he has gathered evidence to accuse use a 25-year-old Russian army officer of

the war crime of attempted murder of a civilian.


SERHII BOLVINOV, KHARKIV POLICE: He is a company commander of the second Motorized Rifle Division, first tank army Western military district. We

established his identity.

WATSON (voice over): For police to work here sappers first had to clear the area of land mines. Then police conducted forensic and ballistic analysis

of the crime scene.

WATSON (on camera): Ukrainian police say the Russian troops were stationed here on this side of this wall. And it's from here that they opened fire on

the car.

WATSON (voice over): Inspector Bolvinov shows me what he says are incriminating telephone intercepts of their chief suspect calling his wife.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I - killed a man today.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't - know. I don't know who the - he is.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey? Yes, yes, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What, did he go where he wasn't supposed to or what?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Anyway, the car was coming, and I hit it with a 30 millimeter - BMP and there were women there.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The woman survived and the - man didn't.

WATSON (voice over): Ukrainian police say the weapon was 30-millimeter cannon aboard this type of infantry fighting vehicle. Police say they've

also tracked down photos of the officer and his wife from their social media accounts. On that dark day - followed the drone to safety stepping

around deadly landmines until the Ukrainian soldier met her it was too dangerous for troops to retrieve Andrii Bohomaz.

WATSON (on camera): Is this where they bought the victim, the Russian soldiers?

WATSON (voice over): But that's not the end of Andrii's story. Miraculously, he somehow survived after spending the night badly wounded in

the ditch.

ANDRII BOHOMAZ, SHOOTING VICTIM: I fell through and fallen. I looked around and realized I was lying in some kind of a ditch.

WATSON (voice over): The next day he limped to safety.

BOHOMAZ: It took 30 or 40 minutes. I stopped a lot because I was in a lot of pain.

WATSON (voice over): Andrii is still in treatment for multiple shrapnel wounds to the head, chest and spine. The alleged attempted murder of

Ukrainian civilian at these crossroads just one of hundreds of potential war crime cases being investigated by police in Ukraine's Kharkiv region.

But it's perhaps the only incident that has been so incredibly well documented.


WATSON: Now, Becky, the police in this region in the Kharkiv region, they say they have more than 900 investigators on staff. And after every Russian

missile launch and artillery strike on a Ukrainian town or city, police officers then try to go in, gather evidence, gather information, ballistics

information, information about civilian casualties and damage to civilian homes and infrastructure.

And they compile that and are building cases to further attempt to prosecute the Russian military for alleged war crimes against Ukraine.


ANDERSON: Ivan Watson on the story for you, Ivan, who is in Kharkiv in Ukraine, thank you very much. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD with me,

Becky Anderson, coming up.


NOVAK DJOKOVIC, 22-TIME GRANS CLAM CHAMPION: Now, whether I'm going to be allowed to play or not. It's dependent on obviously on the highest

government decisions.


ANDERSON: Novak Djokovic tells me in an exclusive interview that whether he plays that the US Open or not is out of his hands, but that he doesn't

regret his anti-vaccine stance. And this is different from 2008. Those are the words of U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen talking about this

month's banking crisis, more on that is up next.



ANDERSON: More U.S. support for deposits at smaller banks. That is the word from Janet Yellen; the U.S. Treasury Secretary has been speaking about the

banking crisis. Investors are hoping it may be finally contained. Here's how U.S. European stock markets are faring as we speak. The arrows are

healthy the banking stocks that you saw there earlier looking OK.

And this is well; you could describe this as a relief rally. To a certain extent these gains though may be the calm before the storm. The Federal

Reserve is widely expected to announce another rate hike on Wednesday, which could shake the already delicate financial system. CNN's Matt Egan is

in Washington DC for us. There are two stories here, isn't it?

The state of the stock markets who are watching the Fed, they want to know whether the Fed is going to increase by perhaps a smaller amount than they

otherwise would have done. They'll have certainly factored in some sort of rate rise. So that's one story. The other story is what is the real state

of the U.S. banking sector and Janet Yellen certainly trying to come fears that everything is OK. Is she done enough, Matt?

MATT EGAN, CNN REPORTER: Becky, Janet Yellen is insisting that this is a confidence problem. It's not a solvency one. So, she really is trying to do

her best to boost confidence in the system, you know, talking a lot about how banks really are strong, they are resilient. And importantly, Janet

Yellen is talking about how the federal government is willing to play a big role to try to put this fire out.

Because remember, all of the depositors at Signature Bank and Silicon Valley Bank were rescued even above that $250,000 insurance limit. And

today Janet Yellen said the federal government could do the same thing, if other small banks face runs on their own deposits. And if officials believe

that there's a risk that this is going to infect other banks, I think that was previously implied.

I think she went a little bit further today in her comment. Janet Yellen also tried to stress that what is going on right now is miles away from

what we saw during the great financial crisis, listen to what she said about that.


JANET YELLEN, U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY: Our banking system is sound. Even as it's come under some pressure, as I indicated, this is different than 2008,

2008 was a solvency crisis. Rather what we're seeing are contagious bank runs.


EGAN: Yellen also went on to say that the banking system, the regulations are a lot stronger than they were. And she said that there are signs that

deposits at U.S. banks, that that is stabilizing. We know the share prices are rebounding today, which is also encouraging. And so now the question,

Becky, is what does the Federal Reserve do?

Because on the one hand, they want to continue this war on inflation by raising interest rates, they had been signaling that their job wasn't done.

On the other hand, they don't really want to do anything that's going to make this banking crisis worse. So, there is a lot of debate and suspense

heading into tomorrow's meeting where the Fed has to decide whether or not they're going to go ahead and keep raising rates.

ANDERSON: Always a pleasure, sir. Thank you all eyes on the Fed then coming up on CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson.


DJOKOVIC: You know, at times, I was really pissed off to be part of there with them.


ANDERSON: An exclusive with one of the tennis greats, where he explains why he wasn't always so happy to have such stiff competition. That and more is

coming up.



ANDERSON: Welcome back, you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD with me Becky Anderson. Your headlines this hour, the Chinese and Russian president

stressed their country's mutual co-operation as they met face to face in Moscow earlier. Talks today between Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin are

focusing on security and trade.

Well, they greeted each other ahead of their meeting in a grand ceremony in the Kremlin. The UN doubling down on its calls for international support

and a force in Haiti it says extreme gang violence has killed more than 500 people in the country since the beginning of the year, many of them in the

first two weeks of March.

The UAE has joined many Arab Western governments in condemning a speech given by Israel's far right finance minister. In that speech Bezalel

Smotrich said that there is no such thing as a Palestinian people claiming the concept was invented as a way to counteract the notion of a Jewish


Of course, we got a lot more expert analysis from across the region on this story delivered right to your inbox three times a week just go to newsletter and there you can click subscribe. It is a jolly good read. Well, one of the biggest tournaments in the U.S. tennis calendar

the Miami open is in progress but without one very famous player.

Novak Djokovic unable to compete because he is unvaccinated against COVID- 19 many cannot enter the United States without a waiver, is not the first tournament that he is missed out on for that reason. But the 22-time Grand

Slam champion says he has no regrets. Speaking to me exclusively in Dubai, Djokovic told us that he will stick to his guns but he's hopeful of playing

in the US Open later this year.

We also discuss his long running and legendary rivalries his respect for Serena Williams and his hopes for 2023 both on and off the court. Take a



DJOKOVIC: No, I have no regrets. I've learned through life that regrets only hold you back and basically make you live in the past and I just I

don't want to do that. I also don't want to live too much in the future. I want to be as much as in the present moment. But of course, think about

future create the better future.

So, I congratulate Alcaraz absolutely deserved to come back to number one. It's a pity that I wasn't able to play in Indian Wells and Miami. I love

those tournaments. I had plenty of success there. But at the same time it is the conscious decision I made, and I knew that there is always a

possibility that I won't go.


And it is the current state or current situation that I hope will change for later this year for the US Open. That is the most important tournament

for me on American soil.

ANDERSON (on camera): And the organizers have said that they hope that you will be able to play. Do you share their confidence?

DJOKOVIC: More of a hope than a confidence, I'd say, it's not really my, well; it's not really in my hands. That's, that's debatable, because

there's always something that I can do. But, you know, choose not to. And of course, now whether I'm going to be allowed to play or not, it's

dependent on obviously, on the highest government decision.

So, I'm just going to wait and see. And, you know, still, that's, I think, five, six months to eventual US Open participation for me. It's the

tournament where, you know, it's one of the most, fore most important events. And at this stage of my career, Grand Slams are the ones that value

the most. So, I really want to be - we want to be playing there.

I want to be there, I actually had in 2021 when I was finals against Medvedev, one of the probably that one of the best moments I've ever had

with the New York crowd. And you know I've been fortunate to win that tournament three times play many finals. But even though I lost that match,

I received a lot of love and appreciation from people.

And I want to go back and I want to reconnect with the crowd there. So that's something I'm looking forward to. And hopefully it will happen.

ANDERSON (on camera): Did the controversy that you have been through over the past couple of years with regard COVID and vaccinations, did that dent

your enthusiasm in any way for the game? You talk about how minded you are still on those grand slams.

DJOKOVIC: To be honest, not at all. I actually in country, I am as enthusiastic as ever, as motivated as ever, for the sport for, for my

family for, you know, for all the - for my foundation for all the projects and everything that I'm doing off the court for PTPA. I mean, there's a lot

that I can be and I should be and I am excited about.

And I just don't want to regret anything; I don't want to be thinking about the negative circumstances that occurred in my life, because it's going to

be so many more. And it's normal, you know, this is life and in the times of adversity you grow the most. And I know that because of my upbringing of

my childhood, growing up in a war-torn country.

So, I understand what you know, how you need to behave and how to stay strong. And I feel like, you know, the dignity and integrity and staying

true to myself. And my beliefs and my rights is above everything.

ANDERSON (on camera): Between now and the US Open that you hope, that you will be playing, what can we expect? What's your focus?

DJOKOVIC: Play season is starting, that's probably the most challenging surface for me. But I grew up on that surface. So, I like to play on the

surface. Roland Garros, Wimbledon US Open, those are the three biggest priorities this year. I'll do everything I possibly can in order to build

my form to be actually peaking in Paris. You know, Nadal, obviously king of play that's, you know, he's the number one favorite there without a doubt,

Alcaraz. So, we're in a good era.

ANDERSON (on camera): It's some of the Grand Slam finals that you have won, which are some of the standout games in tennis history, it has to be said.

You've 122; you share that record with Rafael Nadal. At present, you are arguably one of if not the greatest tennis player of all time, although

Serena Williams, of course, might argue the task - how good is she?

DJOKOVIC: How good is she? It's, it's, we don't have much time to speak about how good is she. I mean, it's, she's, she's amazing. First of all, as

a person, you know, I've been fortunate to know Serena, also, you know, privately and we get to spend time.

And we also actually did an investment together and so we had, you know, some of the initiatives to get it off the court so to say and you know, I'm

so happy to see her you know, accomplish herself as a mother.

And you know, we talk about the parenthood, we talk about sports, we talk about different you know, we talk about health. She's always interested to

talk about you know, nutrition or how to go to go next level with recovery and retraining with enhancing her.

Her skills and abilities even though I don't understand how, what else is there to enhance or to improve, but she keeps going. She keeps inspiring

myself, all the - you know, tennis players around the world. And she has been a really an icon of our sport for so many years.


ANDERSON (on camera): What has made you guys so good? You took on the mantle along with Federer, of course. And it's been a real generation of

success. What was it about your generation, do you think?

DJOKOVIC: Well, at the beginning of my professional career, when I was kind of breaking, breaking through, it was only about an unmanned side about

Federer and Nadal, really about their rivalry and such a, you know, opposite style of tennis and the epic matches they played.

So, it was kind of hard for me to get into the mix. You know, I had to really work, work and achieve some great things in order to be considered

to be in a conversation with the two of these guys. So, so it's really an honor to be part of the era with them. And you know, at times, I was really

pissed off to be part of there with them.

But at the same time now, when I reflect on everything that I've been through with these guys, I'm grateful because they've made me the player

that I am today. They made me stronger, both mentally, physically. My game was improved, because of all these matches that we played against each

other, mostly because of the matches that I lost them, you know, some big matches.


ANDERSON: Well, that's Novak Djokovic speaking to me earlier today. Let me get you over to the Kremlin, where the Russian and Chinese presidents are

speaking. They've spoken in the last couple of minutes about energy cooperation, about deepening their relationship and about developing ties.

And they talked about the challenges that the world faces at present. Let's listen in.

VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT: We went into detail of cooperation in energy, which is proceeding at a good pace. China is the leading

destination for the import of Russian oil. And Russia is determined to extend uninterrupted oil supply of energy resources, good results are

opening up in the gas fear.

In 2022 Russia increased the supply of this type of fuel to China by 50 percent, via the gas pipeline over Siberia. Gazprom met the needs of our

Chinese colleagues and supplied gas above contractual agreements, which, which confirms us as a stable supplier and a reliable partner.

Further growth in supplies to China will be helped by the agreement signed in January, on the far east pipeline and also to develop Siberia to

pipeline via Mongolia. We talked about this in detail. We have reached all the agreements with Mongolian party and this will be 50 billion cubic

meters of gas.

I will also recall that Russia is the fourth supplier of liquefied gas to China and the supply of liquefied gas will be increased. Co-operation in

nuclear energy is increasing. Russia is building nuclear plants in China working on the commissioning blocks. The seven and eight of one nuclear

plant and another nuclear plant are on share this construction is on schedule.

The agreements between Rosatom and the nuclear agency of China, our agreements of long-term co-operation, we give a lot of significance to

increasing industrial co-operation. Car manufacturers from China are increasing their presence. And joint projects are also underway in civil

aircraft building helicopter building, non-ferrous metals, the biotechnology, pharmacology and pharmaceutics and other promising areas.

Agriculture is another promising area, mutual trade and agricultural produce is increasing at a high rate. Last year it was up 41 percent. There

are also possibilities for a significant increase of exports of meat, grain and other produce from Russia. Russia and China are also determined to

develop international transport and logistics routes.

We are talking about maximizing the potential of the Trans-Siberian and the Bicol are more routes and the North maritime routes. The multi-Lane Trans-

Asian roads and guarantee their stable functioning, increase their efficiency, the efficiency of cargo and passenger traffic.


In order to meet the growing needs of cargo, transit and border crossing, we are extending the border infrastructure. Last year we commissioned two

trans boundary bridges, near - and in the Jewish Autonomous area of Russia, traditionally multifaceted as the bilateral humanitarian co-operation.

After COVID restrictions, we are gradually recovering the rate of cultural, scientific, educational and tourist exchanges, which promotes further

deepening of friendship and mutual understanding and sincere affection between Russian and Chinese citizens.

I will recall that the 2021, 2022 were declared in our countries as the years of Russian Chinese co-operation in Physical Culture and Sports. And a

plan of over 600 events was implemented encompassing Youth and Students sports, sports science and Paralympic sports.

And of course, we're looking forward to a delegation of Chinese athletes in Kazan next year at the first international sporting event in innovation

athletics. And these will be combined with digital and scientific elements. This is a very promising Youth Initiative, which we can promote together

with our Chinese friends.

So, we proposed in this regard for them to host the second games of this type in China. When we discuss international problems, we stated that

Russia's and China's views of convergence and very close on a number of them, tension in a number of regions in the world is increasing the

conflict and crisis potential is growing. The practice of using illegitimate politically motivated sanctions and other restrictions is


The other means of unfair competition are used and such principles as non- interference, the rights to sovereign development, freedom of trade and

access to modern technology are violated even the right to education. And in this context, China and Russia are resolutely against any states and

blocks of violating the interests of other countries for the sake of military, political or economic benefits.

Of course, we did not ignore the situation around Ukraine. We believe that many of the points on the peace plan put forward by China are consistent

with Russian approaches, and can be taken as the basis of a peaceful settlement when the west and Kyiv are ready for it. But this approach, this

readiness is not observed on their side.

Moreover, I have just been informed that while Chairman Xi and I were discussing the possibility of implementing the Chinese peace plan. And

Chairman Xi spent a lot of time discussing his peace initiatives in our yesterday's one to one meeting. Today, it became, we found out that Great

Britain through its Deputy Defense Secretary declared not only the delivery of tanks, but also shells with enriched uranium.

It looks like the west has really decided to fight Russia to the last Ukrainian not only in words, but in deeds. But I would like to know that if

this is to happen, Russia will be forced to react accordingly. I mean, that's the collective west is now using a weapon with a nuclear component.

And I will stress the China and Russia are conducting an independent foreign policy. We have solidarity in trying to form a multipolar fair

world based on the central role of the United Nations and its security council international law and the goals and principles of the UN Charter.


We believe it is important to continue supporting close co-ordination under the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and BRICS, and to work closely in the

G20, and other multilateral forums. And of course, the continued efforts to link interactional processes under the Eurasian Economic Union, and they

one road one belt initiative of China in order to create one great Eurasian partnership.

In conclusion, I would like to thank President Xi and all our Chinese friends for our productive joint work and to express the confidence that

the agreements reached during this visit, will serve the further strengthening of Chinese Russian friendship. And will promote the well-

being and prosperity of our countries and our peoples. Thank you for your attention.

XI JINPING, CHINESE PRESIDENT: Honorable President Putin and friends of the media, hello, everyone. It is a pleasure to be together with President

Putin to meet you. First of all, thank President Putin offered us myself and the Chinese delegation, hospitable treatment.

And this is the secondary three years of my previous visit three years ago. And this is also the first state visit to Russia after I was re-elected. In

the past 10 years, I and President Putin established a very close relationship; maintain strategic communication, pushed two countries

strategic - cooperation to be very fruitful.

Just now myself and President Putin held a friendly - and fruitful meeting. Our bilateral relationships and other important international and original

issues were both interested in exchanging our views and reached consensus, important consensus we signed.

China, Russia deepen New Era strategic partnership, joint statement, we just signed. And also, before 2030, China Russia economic co-operation

development plan - also signed. For the next stage of two countries relationship and economic development, we set out plans and also two sides

signed other co-operation documents.

Together with President Putin, revisited our two countries, fruit of our two countries relationship in the past 10 years we both think that two

countries relationship surpassed the bilateral relationship. Our relationship is very important to the international, international model

and the future of the planet, it's quite important.

We will deepen our co-operation between in different areas economic and convey to people. In the new area, we will be opening our eyes and long-

sighted view to treat and to maintain China Russia relationships to contribute more to the human's development.

Since last year, China is comprehensive - co-operation with Russia has achieved a very fruitful outcome. We will complement each other and the

characteristic, this characteristic keeps sowing.


Compared to 10 years ago, China biological bilateral trade has increased 116 percent. Not only it enhances our relationship, material foundation of

our relationships, and also it provides the economic development to both countries. And this has not come easily.

Together with President Putin, we reached consensus, both sides must enhance our coordinating design and plan to expand our energy resources and

mechanics, trade to increase our supply chain and industrial chains, capabilities and increase our digital economy, agriculture, and service


To promote traditional trade and new area, co-operation complement each other, develop at the same time and further expand our logistic cross

border logistics. We both think that both side keep continue, must continue our people to people exchange, to promote our two countries friendship,

cities or states or province to promote our China Russia sports here and provide facilities for people to people exchange.

With both sides pointed out that as a United Nation's permanent members of the Security Council, China and Russia will keep working with the

international community to maintain to uphold the principles of the United Nations Charter and basic rules of the large Nations Charter and to enhance

our Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

And G20 organizations, we must work even closer together to establish a real multilateral, multilateralism to promote the revitalization of

economic after the COVID. And increase - to be a construction force to the international economic structure. The - energy, industrial chain and supply

chain, we need to do contribute more to reasonably promote, to push forward the shared future of mankind.

Last year, China published about politically resolve Ukraine crisis and our Chinese position that document was published, I want to emphasize that when

it comes to Ukraine's crisis, China has been keep follow the United Nations Charter principle.

And we must be objective and fair stance to positively actively to piece, a broken piece and based on the right and the wrongs to decide our own

position. We have been keep maintaining on a piece on the side of the piece, on the side of dialogue, on the side of political history. Correct?


We hope that will be used other means different means to have close communications with President Putin together elite the China Russia

relationship to be steady and looking forward. Thank you very much.