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Fareed Zakaria GPS

The Global Shockwaves Of The War In Ukraine; Putin's War And Rising Food Prices Around The World; The World's Response To Russia's Invasion Of Ukraine; The Negative Outcomes Of China's "Zero-COVID" Policy; "INSIDE THE MIND OF VLADIMIR PUTIN" Premieres Tonight. Aired 10-11 a ET

Aired May 15, 2022 - 10:00   ET



MCMORROW: -- issue that is fundamentally about women and their doctors making a choice.

BASH: Got to end it there. Thank you so much for that very lively discussion.

Thank you for spending your Sunday morning with us. Fareed Zakaria is next.

FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN ANCHOR: This is GPS, the GLOBAL PUBLIC SQUARE. Welcome to all of you in the United States and around the world. I'm Fareed Zakaria coming to you live from London.


ZAKARIA (voice-over): Today on the program, Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine in part to weaken NATO. Now the leaders of Finland say they want their nation to join the Western alliance and Vladimir Putin is not pleased. I'll talk to the former British prime minister Tony Blair about this big move and much else.

Then I'll talk to Ian Bremmer and Zanny Minton Beddoes about the world's other crises, COVID, the economy, food and more.

Finally, I'll take you inside the mind of Vladimir Putin. It's a preview of my latest special premiering tonight at 8:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific.


ZAKARIA: But first, here's "My Take." The Biden administration deserves huge credit for the economic measures it's been able to take against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. As an essay by (INAUDIBLE) and Megan Hogan note, they are the most comprehensive imposed against a major power since the Second World War. On a punishment scale, they rank them as at least an eight out of 10.

But the unprecedented nature of these measures is producing concerns around the world that the United States has weaponized its financial power and could lead over time to the decline of the dollar's dominance, which is what gives America its financial superpowers in the first place.

Let me tell you about three reports from three good sources that I trust. One comes to me from New Delhi, reporting on a conversation that took place at the highest levels of India's government. The topic, how to make sure that the U.S. could never do to India what it has just done to Russia.

The second from Brussels, where staff for the European Commission have been tasked even while working with Washington on the sanctions to find ways to reduce the role of the dollar in its energy imports.

The third, a shrewd Asian observer of China speculated that the overly severe lockdowns in Shanghai, which even involve the rationing of food and basic supplies, might be part of an effort by Beijing to experiment with a scenario in which it faced economic sanctions from Washington. Perhaps after an invasion of Taiwan.

There is a raging debate going on right now about whether the dollar's total dominance of the international financial system is waning. Even Goldman Sachs and the IMF have warned that it might well happen.

I tend to disagree. In my view, you can only beat the dollar with something better and for the foreseeable future, there's no effective alternative. But it's clear that many countries from China to Russia to even friendly nations like India and Brazil are working hard on ways to reduce their vulnerability to Washington's whims. None of these efforts have so far gained much traction, though it's worth noting that the share of global foreign reserves held in dollars has declined from 71 percent to 59 percent over the last two decades.

Now partly this is because the United States appears less stable and predictable in the use of its extraordinary privilege. In the two decades preceding Russia's recent invasion, Washington massively ramped up sanctions for all kinds of reasons by more than 900 percent. Many of these measures have been overreactions and should be rolled back. After 9/11 Washington put in place highly intrusive measures aimed at tracking money going to terrorists. It has imposed harsh punishments on banks that do not adhere to all U.S. sanctions.

It has sanctioned Iran, Venezuela, North Korean, Cuba and others often simply to satisfy domestic critics who wanted to do something but not pay much of a price. This kind of economic warfare has failed to change the regimes in any of these countries but has caused widespread misery for ordinary people. Note that sanctions against Russia are aimed at policy change, not regime change, and, therefore, could be much more effective.

Sanctions jumped up sharply during the Trump administration, which unilaterally withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal and then threatened to impose sanctions on anyone who traded with Tehran, even though the Iranians had adhered to the deal, which took place under a U.N. framework.

And then there are the measures pursued domestically by American regulators and judges like the almost $9 billion penalty against the French bank BNP Paribas in 2014. Again, all these only work because of the power of the dollar.


I support the sanctions against Russia, but President Biden needs to make a speech explaining them. He needs to make clear that the Russian invasion of Ukraine marks the most serious assault on the rules-based international system in decades. If it succeeds, it could tear apart that system. That is why Washington has worked with its allies to impose these extraordinary measures.

He needs to detail the legal basis for America and its allies' actions. For example, how exactly can governments seize privately owned property for which the owner, even if he is a Russian oligarch, has clear, legal title? How can people be sure these powers will not be abused? Biden needs to emphasize that the U.S. will only take such measures in the future when there are blatant violations of international law on the scale of Russia's actions.

The dollar maintains its crucial role in the international system because the U.S. is the world's largest economy. It has the most liquid debt markets. Its currency floats freely and crucially. It is regarded as a country based on the rule of law and not one prone to arbitrary and unilateral actions.

That last criterion is not one that Washington has lived up to in recent years. President Biden should make sure that in fighting this battle against Russia, he does not erode America's unique financial superpower.

Go to for a link to my "Washington Post" column this week. And let's get started.

This morning Finland's prime minister and president jointly announced that their nation would apply for NATO membership. Finland shares an 830-mile border with Russia. Unsurprisingly, Vladimir Putin has expressed his displeasure with the idea, calling it a mistake.

I wanted to talk to the former British prime minister Tony Blair about this and much more. Blair's today the executive chairman of the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change.



ZAKARIA: So tell us what you think about this move. Finland and probably Sweden becoming members of NATO. This is a huge change. Finland has been neutral for, you know, decades and decades. Do you think NATO should let them in?

BLAIR: Yes, and I think it's completely sensible move from their perspective. You've had an act of unprovoked and brutal aggression against Ukraine and obviously all of these countries are looking for the solidarity that NATO membership gets you. And it's an interesting example of how the very thing that President Putin wanted to prevent, which is NATO becoming stronger and enlarging is going to be the very outcome of what he's done.

ZAKARIA: But what do you say to people who worry that this is the kind of Westward expansion of NATO that has put a lot of Russians, not just Putin, ill at ease, that, you know, part of what -- into the kind of combustible stew that produced this problem is NATO expansion and then offering Ukraine and Georgia membership and this is one more kind of provocation that we should be mindful of Russia's security concerns?

BLAIR: I mean, a little bit of history here, because when I was prime minister, for the first part of my time, we were on good terms with Russia. Russia would attend NATO summits. There was every attempt to involve Russia in discussions to make sure that any fears were allayed. Russia was part of the G8 in my time, not the G7. And so this paranoia or paranoid anxiety about the expansion of NATO being aimed at Russia always has been wrong and misplaced.

However, now, with what has been this, as I say, this unprovoked aggression against Ukraine, of course it's unsurprising that countries like Finland and Sweden now want the protection NATO gives. And I was a strong advocate of countries like Poland and Czech Republic coming in both to the European Union and to NATO after the fall of the Berlin Wall. And a few of the leadership of those countries today must be pleased they did that.

So I think, you know, at some point we'll have to work out what the right security structure is and how we deal with Russia on a long-term basis. At some point we'll have to do that. What's the right architecture? What are the right guardrails to have in place? Because with the old Soviet Union, there were graduated responses, even though there was hostility, it was a Cold War precisely because there were certain rules and I think at some point we'll have to go back and explore all of that.


But for the moment, if you're Sweden or Finland, you're thinking I need to be part of NATO because that is the protection should the type of thing that's happened in Ukraine be visited upon us or we be threatened by it.

ZAKARIA: Does it strengthen NATO to have these two countries as part of it?

BLAIR: Yes, I think it does and it also -- you know, NATO has rediscovered its sense of purpose. I mean, it's back on its feet again. I think there will be major increases in defense spending in NATO. You see what the Germans have already pledged to do. And to be fair I think President Biden has done a really impressive job of pulling everyone together in a pretty coordinated way.

ZAKARIA: People have often said that Europe lacks a kind of strategic orientation, strategic focus that it doesn't coordinate on many issues. Do you think this could be the kind of event that triggers something even larger, a kind of coming together of Europe and thinking about its eastern border as its core strategic objective?

BLAIR: Well, I think it's a really good point and I think that, yes, I think it will mean that Europe thinks much more strategically about its future and tries to get a set of common positions across a whole range of issues. But I also think it will encourage America and Europe together, that Trans-Atlantic Alliance I think also can undergo a revival and what is important is that we learn from this and that we pivot to what I call a more strategic view of the world.

Not just around Russia but around our attitude to China, to the Middle East, to Africa where I spend a lot of my time with my institute and you can see how China's obviously expanded its power and influence there. Russia also moving in recently. You know, we need a whole recalibration of Western policy and the way that we've assembled this unity on this issue of Ukraine is a good lesson for the rest of the world.

ZAKARIA: All right. Stay with us. When we come back, we're going to talk about when Tony Blair met Vladimir Putin for the first time. I'll ask to him about what he thinks the world needs to know about Vladimir Putin and much more when we come back.



ZAKARIA: Vladimir Putin's first visit to the West after he was elected president of Russia landed him in London in April 2000. There he was welcomed to 10 Downing Street by the then-Prime Minister Tony Blair. Blair met with Putin many, many more times.

We are back here in London with Tony Blair. So --

BLAIR: The aging process is a little bit visible from those old pictures. But anyway --

ZAKARIA: Not of Putin, by the way, more of you.

BLAIR: Exactly.

ZAKARIA: What did you -- tell us, you know, everyone is wondering about this question. He seemed rational, incremental, calculating, logical. He now seems emotional, you know, angry. What is your sense of the trajectory?

BLAIR: So the first Putin I met was Western facing, anxious to have a good relationship with the West. He used to insist we net in St. Petersburg because it's the west facing great city of Russia. Then I think he found the challenges of reform and change in Russia too great and he decided to consolidate power in a more autocratic way and then become a nationalist.

And so the second incarnation of Putin, if you like, was cold and calculating and brutal but still I would say entirely rational within his own terms. The anxiety I think everyone has is that he's now completely detached from reality and surrounded by people who won't tell him the truth and this is why this incredible miscalculation, I mean, leave aside the wickedness of it, I mean, the miscalculation, strategically and in every possible ways been enormous, I mean, how he could ever have thought anyone who knows Ukraine, and we both know Ukraine.

I mean, anyone who knows it knows that there was never any question of Ukrainians agreeing to be subjugated to Russia in this way. So I think that's the worry, the trajectory has been away from the reforming Western oriented leader who could have allowed Russia to become part of the West. And people even used to talk in the old days, I'm talking those times when I was there and people were even talking about could Russia become a member of the European Union?

ZAKARIA: That's right.

BLAIR: Was there a way Russia could become accommodated literally within the structures of NATO? And it's very important people remember this because this myth that Putin perpetrates that we somehow always trying to push him and humiliate Russia, Russia's problem is not the result of our humiliation of Russia, it's the result of bad government in Russia.

ZAKARIA: Joe Biden says that his worry is that Putin is cornered and he doesn't have a way out. So what should the Western, you know, Ukraine do? Should there be an active search for an off-ramp, or are you of the view let's first make sure that Ukraine kind of prevails in this and not worry so much about giving Putin a face-saving way out?

BLAIR: OK, so I think we've got to be guided by the Ukrainians and their leadership because their leadership has been incredibly impressive. I don't just mean President Zelensky but others as well. But it's been impressive not merely by the courage but they've showed a real intelligence about how they've approached it. And I think in the first weeks of this conflict, before it became extraordinarily brutal, I think they would have taken a way out and offered that off- ramp.

But I think their attitude now, because of the way that Putin is trying to take that hole southern corridor and block Odessa really from Ukraine, I think now the Ukrainians will believe they have done well militarily, much better than anyone expected.


They're going to get more support from the West. I think they will have to choose the moment, if there is one, at which they look at the possibility of a negotiated settlement but it's a lot harder to do now because there is no way any Ukrainian leader is going to agree that Putin should get anything out of this invasion at all.

Now I do think there are larger issues, we were talking about them before, around what is the type of insecurity structure, architecture rather, we need for the future relationship with Russia, but I don't -- I don't favor pushing the Ukrainians into a premature negotiation just as I wouldn't hold them back if they consider there is an optimum moment maybe after the summer months. ZAKARIA: And then you get to the game of what does the West ask for in

return for the relaxation of sanctions, which is presumably one of the key Russian demands is going to be. And it just strikes me that this is going to go on for a long time. That, I don't, again, one of Putin's miscalculations is I don't think this somehow magically all disappears. These sanctions have been put in place.

The energy -- the West is going to take its time rolling this back. So would you agree we're looking at a new world and that this is not going to get resolved in years?

BLAIR: Yes, I mean, 100 percent. And the thing is, you've got the sanctions, the actual legally enforceable sanctions, but then you've got a couple of other things. You've got first of all the fact that there's no one going to do business with Putin and I think is it 1,000 companies that have withdrawn from Russia, I don't think they're going to go back in whilst Putin remains in power. So that isolation which is as much voluntary as it is mandated will remain.

And the second thing is Europe -- I mean, it's learned its lesson now. It will change its energy policy fundamentally to release itself from dependence on Russian oil and gas. Now it may take some time in the case of gas and so on and so forth, but that's going to happen, it's absolutely inevitable, because no one will want to be in the position again where there's any question of having a conflict between what you need to do and your dependence on Russian energy.

ZAKARIA: All right. Before I let you go, I have to ask you, you were so instrumental in bringing stability to Ireland, to Northern Ireland, what does it mean that you now have a party in power there that in some ways is part of the old hope of a united Ireland? Is there now a possibility that Ireland and Northern Ireland will be united?

BLAIR: Well, it's back on the agenda, let's say, in a way that it wasn't before. But the key immediate thing, because that's a whole longer play. The key immediate thing is to get this dispute between the U.K. and the European Union resolved. It's very, very damaging. It really arises out of the fact that the U.K. entered into an agreement back in October 2019 that it doesn't really want to keep to and unsurprisingly the Europeans are saying you do have to keep to it.

I think there is a way through. There is a way through the technical and practical problems of how you organize trade between Britain, the island of Britain and Northern Ireland, but it's going to require the Prime Minister Boris Johnson will have to work out what he thinks is a sensible final negotiating position and then he's going to have to go and sell it and persuade the European leaders.

This isn't going to get solved by the system, it's not by the commission system, not by the U.K. system. The only way you resolve something like this in my experience of dealing with Europe is elevate it to the leaders' level and get it settled there.

ZAKARIA: One more example of the damage to Britain that Brexit has caused. BLAIR: Well, it was inevitable we would have this problem because the

moment you take the whole of the U.K. out of the single marketing customs union of Europe, where we've been for four decades, then the hard external border of the European Union is between the north of Ireland and south of Ireland. So it was always going to be a problem and you know, we just, look, it's happened, Brexit. Obviously I disagreed with it. We've got to make the best of it. But we need to resolve this because otherwise we will put the union of the United Kingdom at risk.

ZAKARIA: Tony Blair, always a pleasure.

BLAIR: Thank you.

ZAKARIA: Next on GPS, Putin's war in Ukraine is of course not the only crisis facing the world. I will talk about COVID, the economy and much more with a terrific panel when we come back.


ZAKARIA: The war in Ukraine might be garnering the majority of the headlines but there is still a pandemic raging. The U.S. just marked one million COVID dead this week and one-third of the world remains unvaccinated. And those two crises, the pandemic and the war, are lighting a fire under a growing global economic crisis.

So what is to be done?

Joining me now here in London is Zanny Minton Beddoes, the editor-in- chief chi of "The Economist" and Ian Bremmer is with us from New York, he's the president of the Eurasia Group and the author of a terrific new book, "The Power of Crisis: How Three Threats and Our Response Will Change the World."

Ian, let me start with you and let me ask you a question about crises since you are now a world expert on crises.


Why is it that the Russia/Ukraine crisis or 9/11, you know, the sort of geopolitical crisis, trigger huge global responses. But this enormous crisis of the pandemic, 1 million dead in the United States, what is it 5 million dead around the world, it hasn't really gotten us to change much of anything. What do you think explains that?

IAN BREMMER, PRESIDENT, EURASIA GROUP: Probably 15 -- probably 15 million according to the CDC but your point is all the stronger. Look, in the case of the Russia crisis, the information space is in the West completely altogether. They're with Zelenskyy, they're with Ukraine. And that certainly makes a difference in terms of being able to compel western response.

And secondly, over time the level of concern about the crisis only grew. I mean, if the Russians had actually taken Kyiv in the first few days and had ousted Zelenskyy, it would have been much less of a problem, frankly. And you wouldn't have seen Finland and Sweden joining NATO. And you wouldn't have seen the same level of support for the Ukrainians or the sanctions.

In the case of the pandemic, in the early days, Fauci was lionized, the CDC great concern. But in the relatively short order you politicized the crisis and you also lost the same level of concern. Once you had therapeutics, once you had a vaccine, suddenly it became less of a concern for everyone, and you actually lost that momentum.

What you need, Fareed, is what I call in the book a Goldilocks crisis. You don't want it to be so big that you curl into a ball in the corner and wait for the world to end. But it can't be so small that you can be politically divided and not inconvenience yourself. Russia/Ukraine is a Goldilocks crisis and, frankly, the pandemic is not.

ZAKARIA: Zanny, let me ask you, first you agree with the Goldilocks crisis idea but more importantly it may be a Goldilocks crisis in the sense that it's not so big that it overwhelms and there is a response to it, but it does feel like it has follow-on crises, energy crisis, economic crisis. Europe is almost certainly going to go into recession, food crisis. How bad are these follow-on crises that are going to come out of the Russia/Ukraine crisis?

ZANNY MINTON BEDDOES, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, THE ECONOMIST: So I think they're pretty big. I mean, I like Ian's idea of a Goldilocks crisis. You kind of want to Goldilocks everything. You want to Goldilocks the economy. You want to Goldilocks, you know, global financial system. You want everything not to be too hot and not to be too cold.

But I actually think Ukraine is a huge reshaping of the global geopolitical order. And we can talk about that. And that will have very, very big consequences. We're obviously seeing them in the likely expansion of NATO now but there are very big, immediate crisis coming on top of that. And the one that really worries me right now is the global food crisis. And this, I think, is something that is just coming onto the agenda. It is going to be dominating, I predict, the conversation in the next few months.

And let me just tell you why, long before Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine, 2022 was already set to be one of the most dangerous and worst food crisis in the post war period. We've had a lot of droughts around the world. Latin America has two years running of very poor harvest. North Africa, Africa, very poor harvest. The U.S. harvest doesn't look so great. The early predictions --

ZAKARIA: And these are mostly climate related?

BEDDOES: This is climate related, absolutely. And so things with global grain stocks were already very low before Putin invaded. Now Ukraine and Russia between them, it's hard to exaggerate how important these countries are.

They are 30 percent of globally traded wheat. There are equally big proportions of barley, corn, 80 percent of sunflower oil, which is a big, you know, edible oil. You put all of it together, I think it's something like 12 percent of global calories traded come from these two countries. And what you have seen in the last few weeks is essentially a dramatic reduction both because Ukraine has been blockaded, as you know, the ports of Odessa by the Russians.

They've been mined. They can't get any exports out. That means all of the harvests from last year that haven't been already exported can't get out.

They have been, you know, many farms have been hit by Russian shelling, Russian ordinance. So the likely production is going to be lower. Russia is not going to be able to export as much.

And then just to add to this, both countries but particularly Russia, are huge sources of energy and imports for fertilizer which means that next year's harvest around -- Brazil gets a ton of its fertilizer imports from Russia. All of this stuff is going to be hit. And people who are in this world are increasingly alarmed that we are going to be facing the biggest food crisis since the First World War, not just recent decades, it's a huge, huge deal. And so I think that is not to use Ian's terminology a Goldilocks crisis.

ZAKARIA: So, Ian, this raises an interesting problem. We have found a kind of military political response to the Russian/Ukraine crisis but do we have anything near the kind of global coordination, you know, the kind of sense of a near humanitarian crisis to deal with the crisis Zanny is talking about?


BREMMER: Well, we don't even have a global response to the Russia crisis because it's about advanced industrial democracies. Poorer countries, middle income countries around the world are not with the United States. It's not democracies versus autocracies. But the West is together and that matters. Will the West be together in the global food crisis?

I agree complete with Zanny about the order of magnitude of concerns here. But I also fear that the western response to global food crisis is going to be akin to where we were on climate 10, 15, 20 years ago, which is a big deal. We really should worry about it, but it's mostly about poorer people and poorer countries.

In the United States and Europe we'll have enough to do things for ourselves. And how much do we care about Sri Lanka or Tunisia or Egypt or Lebanon or some of the countries that are really going to be under the gun here, have been for the last two years with the pandemic, and now even worse?

I'm concerned that the West does not feel that this is an urgent crisis for them and as a consequence this is likely to get much worse before it gets better for the average person. And there will be hundreds of millions of people that are going to be seriously food stressed over the coming two years minimum because of the level of disruption from Russia and Ukraine and the supply chain knock-on that we see from both the direct food stuffs, from fertilizers and from global energy.

ZAKARIA: All right. We are going to have to take a break. When we come back, we'll get back to this. But also China, COVID, economic growth. All of that when we come back.



ZAKARIA: And we are back here on GPS with Ian Bremmer in New York and Zanny Minton Beddoes here in London.

Zanny, you talked about this food crisis, which sounds -- you said the worst food crisis since the First World War. So basically in almost 100 years. What to do about it?

BEDDOES: Well, I think the most important thing is to get the world together to try and alleviate the things that can be alleviated. The quick things are, can you get the border of Odessa open? That will get the stuff that is currently -- the grains that are currently in Ukraine right now, that's impossible. The Ukrainians have mined it because they're worried about -- well, the Russians are trying to shell it. But that is a consequence of the Russian action.

And I think there is a chance --

ZAKARIA: That's not sanctions, in other words.

BEDDOES: It's not sanctions. And I think there's a chance as a result to change the narrative. Because much of the narrative in the global south, if you will, is a narrative that they are being hit by a war that has nothing to do with them and the sanctions that the West has imposed.

Russia has been very good at politicizing this narrative in the global south but in fact a lot of this has nothing to do with the sanctions. It has to do with Russian actions. And I think if the West, if the United States is clever about it, it can bring countries on board. Whether it's the South Africas, whether it's the Brazils, even India can be brought in to try and put pressure or to come up with the plan to get these supplies out because they are the biggest losers, North African countries, Turkey.

But unfortunately right now we see that actually we're going in the opposite direction. India, as you know just yesterday imposed an export ban on wheat. And many, many people have been relying -- India has a lot of stocks right now. They've been relying on India to supply the global wheat market.

So right now it looks as though we're going in the opposite direction. That of beggar-thy-neighbor, protectionism each country banning export which would really mean we end up in a global disaster. But if you can bring countries on board to find a way -- and it will be hard -- to find a way to get the grain that is in these countries, particularly in Ukraine out then I think there is some way perhaps not just of alleviating the crisis but of giving a sense that the global south has a stake in this, which is really, really important.

ZAKARIA: Ian, I've got to ask you --

BREMMER: I'd want to jump in on that.

ZAKARIA: Yes. Do it quickly because I have got to ask you about China and Chinese economic growth, which seems veering, you know, very, very low because of the insistence on zero-COVID.

BREMMER: Absolutely true. The quick point I wanted to make is so much of the narrative we've heard from the developing world is, you know, you care about Ukraine because they are European, because they are White, 6 million refugees.

You didn't care about the Syrians. You don't care about Yemen or Afghanistan. The reality is this is a vastly more important conflict for the developing world because of the inter dependence of the global economy.

They should care more about Russia/Ukraine. They should be more invested precisely because this is going to hurt them in a way that Yemen and Syria and Afghanistan really didn't. And the world isn't there today. We have to spread that narrative.

But China, I mean, this is a huge problem. This is the second largest economy in the world and they were the most effective in responding to COVID once they admitted that COVID existed for the first year. They're the only ones that had growth. But they have stuck with it and they have stuck with the same exact zero-COVID policy when they don't have the vaccines, when they don't have the therapeutics. And now that's really causing more supply chain challenges on top of everything we've just been discussing.

And, by the way, this is fixable. The fact is that the single greatest excess commodity we have in the world right now -- it's not energy, it's not food, it's not fertilizer, it's mRNA vaccines for COVID. We can't get them in the arms of Africans because we don't have the infrastructure on the ground. The Chinese do but they refuse to accept international coordination and help because they're so angry at the way they were blamed. And they're so angry about the way that COVID has gone through the rest of the world while the Chinese locked it down. As a consequence we are all suffering. We can't coordinate on COVID.

ZAKARIA: Thoughts on China. You know, it's aiming for zero-COVID. It appears to be getting zero economic growth. I mean, that's an exaggeration but how bad is that?

BEDDOES: I think it's pretty bad and I think it is clearly you cannot have zero-COVID. This is a strategy that in the long run cannot work. But unfortunately in a year where Xi Jinping wants to become the national party Congress later this year, effectively ruler for life, I think we're getting to the stage where no one dares tell him, no one dares say this is not going to work.


And if you mix that -- if you add to that -- the clamp-down on tech that he did in the last few months, I'm increasingly worried that China is moving towards sort of slightly erratic, autocratic culture, personal autocratic system of government. And so I'm deeply worried about China.

But just to end on a really good note and particularly to you, Fareed, I have just been in India. And I am much, much more upbeat in India.

ZAKARIA: You have an amazing cover story.

BEDDOES: Our cover story this week in India is they could blow it. You know, the Modi government could blow it but India has the ingredients both luck -- because of China's travails and because the world wants an alternative supplier. Because they benefited from their huge investment in digital tech, because a lot of things that are going right for them, I'm very, very upbeat on the potential for India. This year is going to be the fastest growing economy in the world and it could be the next 10 years if they play things right.

BREMMER: One hundred twenty degrees Fahrenheit in Delhi right now, Fareed. I don't know.

ZAKARIA: All right. We are going to have to leave it at that and I'm going to tell people to read the current issue of "The Economist" and buy Ian Bremmer's new book or read it if you can find a way to do that without buying it, but I think Ian would like you to buy it.

Next on GPS, inside Putin's mind. I'm going to take you there. It's the title of my latest special which premieres tonight at 8:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific. When we come back, you'll get a sneak peek.



ZAKARIA: Ever since Vladimir Putin ascended to the world's stage in the late 1990s I've been curious about him and what makes tick. I've met him and have private conversations with him a handful of times. I've only interviewed him once for TV at a conference in Saint Petersburg. But the crucial question of whether Putin has changed from a cold, calculating incremental rational actor to someone emotional, out of control, wild, maybe ill, is at the center of this crisis because the only way we are going to get out of it is if there is some kind of negotiated settlement, something that Putin is willing to accept, some kind of deal where he is rationally able to see that he gets something and he gives something.

So all of that makes it important, more important than ever, that we try to understand the Russian leader's motivations, his mind. So I've spent the last few months working on a new special called "INSIDE THE MIND OF VLADIMIR PUTIN." It premieres tonight at 8:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific. In this clip we take you back to 1990, when Putin was still working for the KGB and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev was opening up that nation internally and to the world.


ZAKARIA (voice-over): Suddenly Russia began to look like the United States.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Today we are opening the first McDonald's in Moscow.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's very nice. I like it.

ZAKARIA: Almost overnight new freedoms, capitalism, western values. It all looked great from the West. To Vladimir Putin, it was a catastrophe.

DAVID SANGER, NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT, NEW YORK TIMES: Vladimir Putin views the breakup of the Soviet Union, as he said himself, to be the greatest geopolitical tragedy of the 20th century.

ZAKARIA: But it wasn't just geography to Putin. To break up, he said, tore millions of Russians away from the country they loved, the country in which they belonged.

DAVID REMNICK, EDITOR, THE NEW YORKER: Tens of millions of Russians, Russian speakers, were -- quote -- unquote -- "abandoned and ripped away from us." It didn't have to be. The Soviet Union was our common past.

ZAKARIA: The most painful separation for Putin --

ROBERT GATES, FORMER SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: Of all of the former parts of the Soviet Union, Ukraine mattered the most.

ZAKARIA: -- Ukraine, the loss Putin never got over. Part of not just the Soviet Union but also the czar's empire.

GATES: And because it had belonged to Russia for 300 years.

ZAKARIA: Putin's brutal assault on Ukraine may be the fulfillment of his greatest dream. The world sees an unprovoked bloodbath. Putin sees a chance to restore the core of the Russian empire.

GATES: I think that down deep in Putin there is this sense of extraordinary humiliation over the collapse of the Soviet Union, because it wasn't just the Soviet Union, it was the Russian empire.

JULIA IOFFE, FOUNDING PARTNER, PUCK NEWS: He has seen the collapse of empire once. I think in his mind, he is rebuilding what was lost in 1991.



ZAKARIA: Please make sure to set your alarms for 8:00 p.m. Eastern or Pacific so that you can watch this new special "INSIDE THE MIND OF VLADIMIR PUTIN." Our international viewers can watch at 1:00 a.m. London or 4:00 a.m. Abu Dhabi or 8:00 a.m. Singapore or whatever 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time in the United States translates to for you.

Thanks to all of you for being part of my program this week. I will see you next week -- tonight and next week.