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First Move with Julia Chatterley

Scholz: Everybody must Abide by the Minsk Agreements; Scholz: We talked "Comprehensively" about Russian Troops on Ukraine Border; Scholz: It's Urgent that we have De-escalation; Putin and Scholz hold News Conference ; Russian and German Leaders hold Talks on Ukraine. Aired 9-10a ET

Aired February 15, 2022 - 09:00   ET




ELENI GIOKOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Live from Dubai, I'm Eleni Giokos in for Julia Chatterley, this is first move. And here's your need to know.

Military maneuvers, Russia say some troops returned to base as Ukraine diplomacy intensifies. Market moves, investors respond positively to

Ukraine headlines and must give away he gives $5.7 billion to charity.

It's Tuesday, let's make a move. A warm welcome to first move, it's great to have you with us this Tuesday. As we continue to follow the fast moving

developments in the Ukraine crisis. Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz have been holding crisis talks in Moscow that

continue at this hour.

Today's meeting comes as Russia announces that some of its troops positioned near the Ukraine border are returning to bases after completing

drills. That news has helped boost sentiment on global markets.

U.S. stocks look set to rally in early trading as you can see up over 1 percent across the board, European stocks are also higher after a volatile

Monday driven by Ukraine related headlines. Oil which of course is a key gauge of investor sentiment in the crisis is sharply lower.

Brent crude touching $95 a barrel Monday on Russian invasion, fears brand currently down 2.3 percent. All right, let's get more on the latest Ukraine

developments in our drivers. Earlier today NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is striking a slightly optimistic turn for de-escalation on

Ukraine's border. Take a listen.

All right, we're going to be going to a Moscow, we will be hearing from Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. They're

holding a press conference after a meeting that was held today.

VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT: --to Moscow for the first time but being the mayor of Hamburg, he helped a lot in establishing good relations with

some Petersburg and this relation. Today were 65 years old. Today we have discussed bilateral relations and prospects of their development.

And obviously we paid a lot of attention to the international agenda. Germany is one of the key partners of Russia. We always strive to

strengthen ties between our countries. I have an impression that the Federal Chancellor and other German officials would like to continue


Germany keeps their second after the Czech Republic of China plays among the trade partners over Russian. Despite the volatile market in 2021, our

mutual trade was increased by 31 percent and reached $57 billion.

German investments into the Russian economy are at $20 billion and Russian investments into Germany economy is about $10 billion. We - meet with the

management of the largest German companies.

And these meetings will be continued and will take into account the opinions of our German partners in order to shape the business environment

in our country. And we hear and listen to the proposals regarding the improvement of the business climate in Russia. We take into account and

work on those proposals and implement them. The specific blaze in our economic partnership is given to the energy.


PUTIN: Even last century, we have implemented a very large project which is about to supply gas into Europe. And now we cater for almost 1/3 of energy

consumption in Germany, 35 percent of gas supplies and 30 percent of oil supply.

We supplied last year 50.7 billion cubic meters of gas to Germany. And in this situation when we have increased prices on the spot market in world,

we continue to supply gas at the contract prices.

And we have also completed in December the pipeline Nord Stream 2 and this is the largest project, which is designed to secure the energy safety in

the continent. I always told that this is a purely commercial project and it is not tinted politically.

And I also mentioned that we will continue to supply gas through Ukraine within the framework of the current contract even after 2024. We see a

serious process in order to increase our cooperation in other areas of energy sector.

That means the development commercialization and usage of the renewable energy sources. Dialogues on all of those directions are conducted in

working groups on stable sustainable energy. We also propose to monitor the co2 emission usage of hydrogen as a green fuel and we have real mutual

interest in the development of the cultural and business relations.

Obviously, we had a quiet friend - relations, exchange of opinions regarding the legal warranties of security guarantees of security from the

side of NATO and the United States. We also discuss the impossibility of further expansion of NATO to the east.

And in the framework of the Basic Act, which was signed between Russia and NATO, we cannot interpret the principle of the integrity of security and

safety which includes the free choice of the countries to join any defense alliance.

But also which includes the principles that you don't have to strengthen your security at the expense of other countries. At the previous press

conference, on the results with our European partners, I have mentioned it. It has stated that they can invite new members, but they are not obliged to

do this.


PUTIN: The extension of NATO is perceived as a direct and real danger to our security. I would repeat that the answers which we have received from

the United States and other member states of NATO do not correspond to our expectations, but in those answers, there are some considerations which

could be discussed.

And this was proposed by ourselves in the previous years, Senate European security is smaller and medium range missiles and other issues, we are

ready to discuss them, we are also to take negotiations. But we have to discuss all the issues in a single complex without a divide in it.

We also discussed the European securing in the context of the Ukrainian conflict, as it is now the key of government refuses to implement Minsk

agreement, which was achieved in 2015 and later on, in the Normandy format.

There are no developments in terms of the amnesty special status of Donbas, and also the formula of Mr. Steinmeier, who was at that time, the Minister

of Foreign Affairs and now the president of Germany. And this formula was proposed as a compromise.

And we would like to preserve the territorial integrity of the countries through the direct dialogue with Luhansk and Donetsk, we also touched upon

are the international problems. And I would like to mention uranium a nuclear program, we are on the level of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The construct is gone. And I believe that our positions are quite close in the solutions. And I would like to thank once again, Mr. Chancellor for

fruitful and useful dialogue.

OLAF SCHOLZ, GERMAN CHANCELLOR: It's very important to be here in Moscow; I would like to thank you for hosting me and the detailed talks. We have -

excluded any topics as we have heard, European relations and international relations have been talked about. That's good.

It's very important that we talk with each other. Our countries are very much linked historically. And this is shown by the 90 connections of youth

and also city exchange, and it's about 1000 events we've had in 70, towns and cities.

And they discussed all of our cultures, diversities and exchanges. Our economies have a great potential you have heard about it. It's about topics

like de-carbonization renewable energies, hydrogen.

Our responsibility is in terms of climate change is something we can only do if we do it jointly, the relationship between Russia and Germany remains

a central focus. The question is how we manage it, that in such an industrial world, we do something what is necessary so that we can live

well on this planet.

A pillar that is important for our relations is the permanent dialogue, especially after the Second World War. We need to promote this

relationship. We talked about the Peter Berger dialogue for years it stands for the Russian German understanding is and it's more important even today.


SCHOLZ: Talks in future must be for a solution in terms of the blockage. We need a dialog where we can talk about all topics. We are concerned about

the difficulties the civil societies have now.

And this is especially in terms of our partners, partnership organizations in Germany. There is no understanding for some of the organizations that

they cannot continue to work at a social contribution, for example, for Nazi Germany, has been shown and we hope we have a positive perspective


And we hope that those journalists can continue to work in Russia. We talked about a wide spectrum and also focused on critical issues. And it's

important for talks. My visit today is in the sign of the threatening crisis we have right now in Europe.

Military troops assemble the Russian troops at the Ukrainian border. And we talk comprehensively about this, and also the issues in terms of security

guarantees Russia talked about. I explained my view and how we European partners assess the situation.

And why we sense this is a threat. In this connection, you cannot stress more how concerned we are. A 100,000 Russian troops, what will happen, we

cannot see an appropriate course for assembling these troops.

This is why it's urgent that we have de-escalation. It's very important to do this so that we won't have a war in Europe. President Putin talked about

his discussions with his foreign minister and defense minister, and I agree. Diplomatic options are still there.

We need to be courageous that we work on a peaceful solution here. Troops should or are withdrawn. And that is definitely a good sign. We are

prepared together with all our allies and partners within NATO and Russia to discuss concrete steps how we can improve it.

The NATO has already invited for talks. And there are also bilateral talks on the part of Russia; the presidency of OSC has also another dialogue

channel. In this spirit and also with the commitments and responsibilities as we have agreed with them within OSC, borders of Europe must not be


And in terms of the Ukraine, this is not negotiable. This is why I wish that we can continue to talk about this, have a dialogue and there must not

be a deadlock. For Germany, it's clear that a further military aggression on the part of Russia will have severe strategic consequences for Russia.

And everybody knows that. Such an escalation must be averted with all our strength. We need to look for diplomatic solutions. And this is why I

traveled to Kyiv yesterday and I'm here today in Moscow.

President Putin and I agree that the Normandy format and also talks with the U.S. and Russia, and also the OSCE as part of a very important path to

avoid this conflict.

This is why it's good that President Zelensky promised yesterday that the Trilateral Contact Group within the framework has been fixed, so that all

involved parties come together and look at the draft bills in terms of a constitutional change in the Ukraine. That's a good progress and we must

continue that.


SCHOLZ: I encourage the constructive mandate so that we can achieve progress. At the end, I would like to say, first Germans and also for all

Europeans, it's quite clear that we can only achieve this with Russia, within the NATO and the European Union.

We agree on that. This is why it must be possible to find the solution in this serious situation; I would not say this is lost. It's necessary for

all of us to be courageous, and take responsibility for my generation, in terms of war in Europe. We don't want that and it is our duty as heads of

states that we will not have a war like escalation in Europe.

PUTIN: Now, we'll start the joint press conference. Gentlemen, the Russian journalists will have an opportunity to ask two questions.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: President Putin, you at the same time signaled that you see a dialogue. But at the same time you expressed criticism, has the

chancellor not taken enough or given you enough in terms of --? What about the close relationship with Russia? Will there be a war in Europe? Can you

exclude war right now?

Will you rule out war in Europe, Chancellor? What is your assessment of the situation after your talks? Have you had progress as you imagined and what

should the next step be?

PUTIN: Regarding the war in Europe, Mr. Federal Chancellor just said that people of his generation and of my generation, how difficult is to imagine

any war in Europe. And it is said in relation to the situation in Ukraine.

But we have witnessed war in Europe launched by NATO against Yugoslavia. A large military operation with bomb strikes on Belgrade and we had the

sanctions of the Security Council of U.N. in relation to Yugoslavia. This is a very bad example.

But it we have it secondary or whether we would like it or not, obviously not. That's why we proposed to start a negotiation - says in the end of

which will have the agreements regarding the equal security of everybody including our country.

On the fortunate to our proposals, we have not received a constructive answer. But we come out nevertheless that even the documents which we have

received from our partners from NATO and the United States; there are some elements which can be discussed.

But we are ready to do it all together with the basic issues, which or will be guaranteed our security. And I mentioned it to the Federal Chancellor

that dependent upon the development of the situation, all our competition on all other tracks will develop which are of concern to us and to our



SCHOLZ: I believe we have a situation where we rely on using any option and to take care that we have a peaceful development. This is the reason why I

reported on the Minsk agreement that we have announced important preconditions.

And also the bill draft, it's important that the Trilateral Contact Group can have talks, we have proposals which can be the start for a peaceful

situation in Ukraine and this in relation to the Donbas region and the Ukrainian government.

To me, it's important that the Trilateral Contact Group will have these talks and this has been agreed on with the Minsk agreement and we work on

this. I believe that Yugoslavia had a different situation. There was genocide and that had to be prevented.

I am pleased that we now have a peaceful situation and that the countries have found a different way of dealing it and I think that's a good sign.

PUTIN: I would like to add that on our estimates and assessment. What happens in Donbas area is genocide.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: --and I have large question, Mr. Chancellor, --from Kyiv where you have met Mr. Zelensky. And what is your impression whether

Kyiv will implement Minsk agreement in the form in which Duma concluded.

And Mr. Putin, we had today the news about the withdrawal of Russian troops from the Ukrainian border. And we had news regarding the decision of the

Russian Duma regarding the recognition of Luhansk and Donetsk People's Republic.

And second question is regarding the Nord Stream 2. Second question is to Mr. Putin. And it's about Mr. Schroeder; your old friend was included into

the board of Gazprom. And after that he was heavily criticized in Europe. What can you say on this issue?

PUTIN: First of all, vote in the State Duma, I have just received this information from my reconcile my administration, and also some partial with

the role of our troops from the exercise area. I cannot comment anything about the decision of our military authorities.

That is a decision made regarding the partial with - troops, but about the decision of the State Duma. I will tell you that our lawmakers, they are

oriented to the opinion of the common people in Russia.

And our people are compassionate towards the people of Donbas, and they hope that the situation will change for the better. And I know that our two

draft laws, which were presented by the party --and another one which was stricter.

And we had an open vote and there was no partisan discipline and the majority of the deputies, they supported the draft law which was proposed

by an opposition party by the Communist Party of the Russian Federation.


PUTIN: I believe that we have to do everything possible to solve the fate of the people of Donbas. But first of all, to implement or realize the, on

the use opportunities, which are included into the Minsk agreement. And we are coming out with all the persuasion that our partners will influence our

Ukrainian partners.

Then regarding Mr. Schroeder, not to look, I talked about this to Mr. Chancellor. In the beginning of those thousands, we have agreed with

Ukraine and at that time, Mr. Kuchma was the president of Ukraine.

And the German government was represented by Mr. Schroeder and I was doing on behalf of Russia. And we have concluded an agreement regarding the

recreation of a consortium with the participation of Germany, Russia and Ukraine, which would take into their management, their guest transportation

system, and - in the west and money into the maintenance of technical capacities.

But then, the new government of Ukraine, in the personnel - this consortium was not realized. But after that, we had this idea of building not

streaming pipelines, and later on this pipeline was built.

And today, Germany receives 55 billion cubic meters of natural gas through this --. And you know, that Germany receives guess, five at the price,

which is five times or lower that then on the spot market, and our households in Germany, they receive natural gas, five times cheaper than on

the market.

And a German citizen will open his wallet and see how much money he pays for the guests and if he does not want to pay more expensive prices, he has

those done, Mr. Schroeder because it's his results.

Regarding the membership in the board of Gazprom, many people in Europe are concerned about the regularity of the supply of natural resources through

Europe. And I believe that if we made this decision that Mr. Schroeder is made the member - a member of the board or the directors of Gazprom.

Then his role of independent expert is having very decent personnel on board, who is well respected and who moves forward. First of all, the

protection of the interests of his own country of Germany, then we'll have a person who will influence on the decision making and also will receive

directly from Gazprom objective information, I think that it will be useful for our cooperation.

And we should be happy for this. Whether he will be included or not included into the board, it's the decision of Gazprom. And Mr. Schroeder

also was involved in the organization of Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines.

And he was a member of the Board of Nord Stream 2. And I would like to remind you that five large German companies took part in the construction

of Nord Stream 2. And I would like also to remind you that Nord Stream 2 is ready since last December to supply gas on this route.


SCHOLZ: First, your question on Minsk agreement. Everybody has to abide by, so that applies to the Ukraine, to Russia, to Germany to France, all who

are involved in the political process. This way, it's important that everybody contributes.

One contribution is that there will be draft bills that will be important for being able to talk about how we can solve the three large tasks I

mentioned. The special statute, the elections, the Steinmeier formulas, the constitutional issues, the trilateral format, Ukraine, Russia, and OSCE

will talk about this.

This has been agreed, and this process should be supported by everyone and should not be halted. Of course, you can interpret it in different ways.

However, I wish that everybody gets going and then on the basis of an understanding to - it.

However, there's a lot to discuss. This is what I wished for, we have all the precondition, preconditions and everybody gets going, then it can be

done. If that doesn't happen, then it means the Minsk agreement is breached. All those involved know about it, and this is why it's not about

this resolution, then the process would be stopped.

And that would be a political catastrophe; we all need to go back to the Minsk agreement with clear criteria. In terms of Nord Stream 2 there are

private, private matters for somebody private, he talks for himself, not for Germany.

In terms of the pipeline, everybody knows what's going on. We are committed that the gas transit in Europe will work via the Ukraine, Belarus and

Poland and with Nord Stream 1. We have the agreement and we will take care of it.

We want to make sure that we have a peaceful development in Europe that we won't have military confrontations in the Ukraine. If that happens, then

there will be comprehensive consequences. Everybody is quite clear about it.

We know what to do then. My impression is that everybody else knows about this too. They know what, what's up; they know what kind of political

realities we have.

This is why we need to do everything possible to avoid this situation, to have a peaceful development to have all these contributions so that we

don't have a blame game. But that everybody contributes to preserving peace, this is our task. - DPA.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Many thanks, Chancellor, first a question to you. You mentioned that you discussed difficult topics with the Russian German

relations. You talked about Deutsche Welle, about memorials.

Today, procedure started, the compulsory tests for foreigners, and then they are Russian cyber-attacks. Did you also talk about this and what

response that you get from President Putin? How would you describe the situation of Germany and Russia altogether and to President Putin?

The steps for withdrawal of troops today, what will happen in the next couple of days and weeks? Will you withdraw more troops? And you exclude an

attack on Ukraine today in terms of NATO accession of Ukraine.


Chancellor Scholz and other heads of state are not ready to give you a guarantee that Ukraine will not be admitted through nature. Can you think

of --? It's mentioned that in the coming years or decades, it's not realistic to have an ex session.

SCHOLZ: We talked about many topics and I have mentioned a couple of them. My stance is clear. It's this conviction is not right. And I have made my

positions clear on that.

PUTIN: As far as I understand, our guest has given me the opportunity to answer your questions. First of all, regarding how Russia will work next.

On, we'll do it on the plan and this plan will be formed on the basis of the real situation on site. Who can answer your question how the situation

will develop?

It depends not only upon us. But our intention is and we strive to negotiate with our partners on other issues which were raised to resolve

them by diplomatic means.

First of all, it's the non-extension of NATO more when of the military infrastructure of NATO to the situation, which was before 1997 and non-

deployment of offensive weapons near our board models.

We are ready to discuss the issues which were indicated in the response which we have received but only in the complex with other measures. Then

regarding what was the second part of your question?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was about the troop withdrawal from the Ukrainian border and also the nuclear agreement.

PUTIN: Regarding the withdrawal of Russian troops, I think I have answered your question regarding the expansion of NATO. You said that there are

rumors that you're creating that will not be included into NATO in the near future.

What are the rumors? What is - what are rumors in international relations? We are told for certain yes, as that there will be no expansion of NATO

towards the Russian borders, but we see the NATO structures next to our doors.

If somebody says that it will not happen tomorrow, when it will happen, as the day after tomorrow, what changes for us in historical perspective, it

changes nothing at all.

We hear that Ukraine is not ready today to join NATO, we know about it. But immediately we hear that it will not be accepted today, but it will be

accepted when it is ready, but it will be too late for us.

And we would like to solve this issue now in the process of negotiations through peaceful means. We come out of this and we believe that our

concerns will be understood and heard by our partners and will be taken seriously.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good afternoon. First question I would like to ask, President Putin, you yesterday is cost international issues with Foreign

Minister Lavrov. And you agreed that there is a prospect of further negotiations and diplomatic solutions. And second question to Mr. Scholz

regarding the ban of other tea broadcasts in Germany?

Yes, some constructive solution and approach possible, how this situation could be resolved, whether it's through the formation of a joint venture in

order for us to be able to continue our broadcasts in Germany.

PUTIN: Yes, we discussed with the Federal Chancellor, the issues of Deutsche Welle, - in Russia and the operations of --in Germany. I don't

want to develop on the details, not to make the situation more complicated, but we'll think about how to resolve the situation.

Second part of your question regarding its lengthy process of negotiations, which will result in nothing, that's to get our way as our Foreign

Minister, Defense Minister were thinking about it and August, they have such concerns.

We are afraid that the negotiation process on the proposed on the essential issues which in our opinion could be delayed by our partners. And the

decisions will be made, which will deteriorate our position as it was the case during many, many preceding years.

That's what we see what we understand which is in our field over you and which will be discussed with our partners and which we shall not allow.

SCHOLZ: Close to your question, it is an application of rule of law, so you can have applications and the authorities will process it. This is

according to laws that exist and everybody can rely on it.

However, there's procedure in terms of rule of law, and we need to have the precondition. In terms of our talks the positions vary. That became clear,

and this is why we had a very long talk. And this is right.

However, we are talking and I think its right that NATO and the European Union have responded to Russia. And it's a good sign that Russia agrees to

that. And we have a lot of things in there. Russia phrased it, and there are certain things the NATO and we do not agree with it.

However, there are points and we have to talk about it. What is important now is that we don't have a dangerous situation in Europe, we must avoid

it. Everybody knows we have little approaches for talks, and we need to hold talks for our all important questions.

It starts with the issue of Ukraine, the Minsk agreement, and also the process everybody has to abide by. And there is a will that we have a

success after our talks, and this applies also to NATO and the eastern expansion.

We have a certain strange situation; it's not on the agenda. Everybody knows that. This is not a topic that will happen again, why we have our

mandates. I'm not sure for how long the president wants to be in power. I think it could take longer but not an eternity.


SCHOLZ: We have the task now to look at this point and make something out of it. So have we had a political understanding, and that we manage it

without giving up our principles. And this means it's a political leadership.

And we have this cooperation and peace in Europe. We need to talk about the questions in terms of Cooperation in Europe, in terms of transparency, arms


It has been phrased the NATO has responded positively although in a different way than wished for, we need to justify our responsible


PUTIN: Thank you. This conference is over.

GIOKOS: Right live from Moscow, a press conference between Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz wrapping up

right now. Really interesting to hear both sides, talking about mutually beneficial projects, oil and gas, supplying into Europe, coming up quite


And I guess the big question is what Russia's next move is? What is Germany going to be doing in terms of trying to help find a diplomatic solution,

but lots to unpack here?

And I've got CNN's Fred Pleitgen in Moscow with us; I've got Sam Kiley, in Kyiv, in the eastern Ukraine near the Russian border. I know you're both

listening to this. And honestly, it was really quite fascinating.

And to be honest, over the past few weeks, as we're seeing a lot of these meetings with Vladimir Putin to try find some kind of solution. I'm

fascinated by the fact that business deals climate change, change deals, gas is discussed quite a lot.

And then, you know, you start talking about what is happening on the military side. And the big question is are we going to find a diplomatic

solution to the crisis that is worrying, I guess, so many people around the world? Fred, I'm going to start with you.

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think that it was that, one of the things that the two sides agreed upon, which I

think was not necessarily remarkable, but certainly something that was probably positive to hear is that both of them said both leaders said that

war must be avoided at all costs.

I think it was Olaf Scholz words, who said that it was the damn responsibility of everyone, all the leaders in Europe to prevent a war from

happening. And obviously, Vladimir Putin said exactly the same thing.

But then, of course, there were a lot of those disagreements with Olaf Scholz, saying that, that NATO and its allied countries, Germany and other

countries, they required to see some sort of de-escalation on the Russian side to see troops get pulled back to see a clear signal from Russia.

Whereas the Russians are saying that they are still waiting to hear more about the security demands that they've made. And the Russians are seeing

that so far, the answers that they've gotten from NATO, and also from the United States, as far as their demands are concerned, have not been


President Vladimir Putin was saying that a lot of them did not address the concerns, he felt that the Russians had raised the demands that they met.

But he also said that there were some positive moments in there that could lead to further dialogue.

And that could actually move things forward. Which is also, of course, Eleni one of the reasons why yesterday, Vladimir Putin said that he

believed that further dialogue was in order. So that could be seen as something positive that came out of it. But there were also, of course, a

lot of disagreements, especially as far as the Minsk accords are concerned and how to move forward with that.

But in general, the situation security situation in Europe, also when they talked about Ukraine, and NATO, where the Russians are saying they want

that to be resolved immediately, where the German Chancellor is saying, it's not really something that's on the agenda right now yet, Eleni.

GIOKOS: Yes, and you make such a good point, Fred. And Sam, I mean, you know, no constructive answer to the proposals. That's what Vladimir Putin

says. And then you have Olaf Scholz saying, well, they're preconditions that need to be adhered to.

And then in the meantime, we're seeing movement of Russian troops. And what does that actually mean? Are they just cycling into various border posts or

various posts? Why are we seeing a true movement of troops from the Ukraine border and into Russia? And did we hear anything from Vladimir Putin that

is encouraging on that front?

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think what's been encouraging in the last 24 hours Eleni is this repeated, a notion

being expressed by Vladimir Putin first in rather staged almost pre scripted dialogue he had with Sergei Lavrov,

Yesterday, which he asked his foreign minister, is there any chance for diplomatic breakthrough? The foreign minister said well, if you want to

approach it, then yes, there are opportunities and then Putin said well, OK, I'll give it a go and he is giving it a go.

He is talking at length clearly to the new German Chancellor. He is talking continuing to talk again about the wider security issues that Russia has

with regard to NATO's expansion in the view of the Russians into Eastern Europe.


KILEY: But he did also reference something that I think is much more dangerous potentially, which is that he said rather off handedly, that what

was going on in the Donbas was genocide. Now, genocide is it causes felon by any standards.

GIOKOS: Alright, Sam thanks you very much. Fred Pleitgen and Sam Kiley, appreciate it. All right. We've got Colonel Cedric Leighton standing by for

us. I know that you've been watching very closely those border movements.

And does this show this movement that we're seeing in forces? Is it showing us any kind of sign that the Russian plan has changed?

COL. CEDRIC LEIGHTON (RET.) CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Eleni, that's a really good question. I think it may actually show that they are at least adapting

to the operational and diplomatic realities of the moment. So that I think is a very big deal.

You know, when you look at the fact that Chancellor Scholz has made it to Moscow, and you know, clearly, as Sam and Fred have mentioned, they are,

you know, really talking about this, I think there's a bit of a pause in the action right now.

And because of that pause, perhaps there is a window of opportunity to bring people back, you know, from the brink, but you know, it's a window


GIOKOS: Yes. So Colonel, very quickly, I just want to find out, I mean, you're not seeing like a write up commitment from either side about what

the next move is going to be. I get that these negotiations are tough. But surely there must be an easier way and quicker way to sort this out.

COL. LEIGHTON: Well, the quickest way would be for the Russians to withdraw from the border. That would be the quickest way; I don't see that happening

right now. In mass, there are certainly things that are that are going on, but there also are movements toward the border. So until all of that is

sorted out, we really don't know what the Russian intention is.

GIOKOS: Alright, Colonel, thank you very much for your insights. That's Colonel Cedric Leighton, a military analyst for us, unpacking the press

conference between Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

And we're going to be continuing this conversation in the coming hours as we're trying to unpack the crisis in Ukraine. Thank you so very much for

joining me. "Connect the World" with Becky Anderson is up next, stay with CNN.