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Isa Soares Tonight

Macron Sparks Ukraine Debate; Israel And Hamas Seem To Contradict President Biden Who Raised Hopes That A Gaza Ceasefire Is Imminent; Congressional Leaders Meet With Biden; Russia's War In Ukraine; Russia Claims It Captured Two More Ukrainian Villages; Polish Farmers Protesting Against Ukrainian Imports And European Union's Green Deal; Ukrainian Highway Border Crossings Blocked By Polish Farmers; Farmers Throughout Europe Go To The Streets In Protest; "Unimaginable Horror" In Gaza; War In Gaza; Amid Fears Of Widespread Famine, Food Airdropped Over Gaza; Food And Clean Drinking Water In Short Supply For Gazans; Worsening Humanitarian Predicament Warned By MSF Head; Head Of MSF Demands Urgent Ceasefire In Gaza; Odysseus Mission To The Moon; Today, Flight Controllers Anticipate Losing Communication With Odysseus. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired February 27, 2024 - 14:00   ET



ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: A very warm welcome to the show everyone, I'm Isa Soares. Tonight, French President Emmanuel Macron sparks

major debate in Europe after saying he's not ruling out Western troops in Ukraine, the rest of Europe says otherwise.

Also ahead, Hamas and Israel seem to contradict President Biden who raised hopes that a Gaza ceasefire could be possible by next week. This, as the

reality on the ground worsens every day. The head of MSF joins me this hour.

And then later, the White House today talks of incredible importance as Mr. Biden and top congressional leadership try to break the deadlock on foreign

aid and a looming government shutdown.

But first, this evening, President -- French President Emmanuel Macron has come under fire for suggesting the West might deport troops to Ukraine. But

despite that backlash, the Elysee isn't backing down. A palace source says Ukraine's allies must debate the issue.

The source says there are all kinds of things ruled out two years ago that are no longer ruled out. And that France fears giving credence to the

possibility that Russia can win. All this after Mr. Macron's comments -- if you remember, on Monday, and to be clear, the French President didn't

actually say he wants to send troops to Ukraine.

He only said, it's been discussed with other leaders. Here's what he told reporters after Ukraine Aid Summit.


EMMANUEL MACRON, PRESIDENT, FRANCE (through translator): There's no consensus today to officially send support and to take responsibility for

troops on the ground. But as things develop, nothing should be off the table. We will do everything necessary so that Russia cannot win this war.


SOARES: Well, most European leaders agree on board with the part about defeating Russia, but the idea of sending in their own troops -- well, that

drew backlash. Officials from a growing list of countries -- you can see there, including U.K., Germany, Spain, Italy, Slovakia and Poland all say

they have no plans to send their forces to Ukraine.

And NATO official tells CNN the alliance won't be deploying combat troops either. And the Kremlin has also responded following Mr. Macron's comments.

A spokesperson says conflict with Russia is inevitable if the West sends troops to Ukraine. And we've just seen the last few minutes, in fact, that

the State Department has also commented on this.

The State Department reiterating that President Biden has ruled out sending U.S. troops to fight in Ukraine, in response to Macron's comment saying,

sending Western troops to Ukraine cannot obviously what Macron had cannot be ruled out.

So, we have response now from the U.S. State Department. Our Melissa Bell joins me now for more. And Melissa, I mean, it's clear that -- as we've

just outlined there, the European leaders have been pretty swift in their response to Macron's comments. Before we talk about how they're responding

individually, just frame for us what Macron said and how it's being received at home.

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Essentially, what he had to announce in his press conference, and this was, Isa, in response to a question that was

asked about whether this issue had been raised and debated over the course of the conference that was held here in Paris.

He had said -- had he said, because it was time that debate began, the idea is that this should be the beginning of a debate about whether any

individual countries, and we've been speaking to Elysee sources since some of that backlash that you mentioned.

And what Emmanuel Macron is suggesting is not that France should encourage Germany or Poland or other countries who have now said they will not be

sending troops to Ukraine to do so.

On the contrary, that individual countries should be considering whether or not they are willing to send perhaps not so much initially combat troops,

but things like de-miners, people to help with the maintenance of western equipment, border guards for instance, to help liberate some Ukrainian

troops that they can be redeployed for combat.

That is the initial suggestion that was behind Emmanuel Macron's comments. And I think it's important to note that, there have been words of support,

for instance, Lithuania's Foreign Minister has said that it is time to consider all the options that there may be amongst western allies about

what may come next.


The idea is that, two years into this war and with things stagnating as much as they are, that Western allies should be willing to consider

individually whether or not they want to get further involved. And I think what the Elysee sources have been saying is that this is important from the

point of view of sending a signal to Moscow of strategic ambiguity that nothing should be off the table in order that Moscow should not assume that

what has been will continue to be.

And essentially, as you mentioned, Macron's point is that, there have been so many issues that have been on the -- off the table so far. Things that

have now been agreed to, F-16s, the sending of long-range missiles, and the sending of troops should be amongst that, Isa.

SOARES: But the way he framed that, that line that we heard there, sound like that wasn't discussed at this summit, and at least from what we've

heard as well, the kind of push-back we've heard from some European leaders, was this even discussed at all? He says it's time, it's discussed,

was it even discussed?

BELL: We've understood that it began to be raised during this conference, but of course, it will be a question for individual countries, for instance


SOARES: Yes --

BELL: France is about to begin debating in its parliament at how it goes forward with this war, what its consequences are for France, and we

understand that this may be a part of the future discussions. The suggestion was that debate began about this issue, and this should now be a

debate and a consideration for individual countries, not that NATO or the European Union should send troops in.

But that individual allies may now consider something that until now had been something of a red line. And I think the response from Moscow, the

very strong response. So, this was what inevitably lead to a confrontation between NATO and Russia.

Is an indication from the point of view of Elysee that, that message has been heard, that everything is possible, and that they need to be paying

attention, Isa.

SOARES: Very important context there from our Melissa Bell in Paris, great to have you on, Melissa, thank you very much. Let's get more analysis on

this. I'm joined now by Rym Momtaz; she's a Research Fellow for European Foreign Policy and Security at the International Institute for Strategic


Welcome back to the show. You would have seen -- you would have heard them, Melissa Bell talking about this in detail, but you would have seen Rym, the

European leaders being kind of very swift, very quick as well, and tough on their response themselves, really trying to distance themselves, I should

say, from Macron. What do you make first of all, Rym, of how Macron framed it here?

RYM MOMTAZ, RESEARCH FELLOW FOR EUROPEAN FOREIGN POLICY & SECURITY, IISS: So, for -- you know, unlike his usual way of talking, Macron was pretty

prudent in the way he answered the question, what had happened is that before this conference that he had organized with about 20 heads of state

and government, mainly from Europe to look at how European countries can do more to support Ukraine in its fight for survival.

The Slovak Prime Minister had raised this issue of possibly sending Western troops to Ukraine. He had not talked about Western troops engaging in any

kind of frontline combat, of course, against Russian troops. And so, at the presser, Emmanuel Macron was asked to comment on that statement by the

Slovak Prime Minister, and he basically said this had come up during their conversations.

And there are discussions during that conference, and that nothing could be ruled out. And that the main message should be to send to Russia is that

the Europeans are going to do everything that is necessary in order to ensure that Russia doesn't win. So, he was quite non-committal because --

go ahead, Isa, yes.

SOARES: No, I was going to say -- I mean, that is a message that we keep. We have been hearing that there has been -- it does seem to be a shift at

least in tone, Rym. I mean, I don't know if you heard Melissa saying that for Elysee Palace source telling CNN, the question of key allies sending

troops to Ukraine is quote, "a debate that we must have".

So clearly, not backing down at all. But we've all -- we have heard in the last -- well, few hours, I should say, support or so, Rym, from some

allies. Well, a friend of the show here, the Lithuanian Foreign Minister who said -- I'm going to bring it up, "Europe's fate is being decided on

the battlefields of Ukraine, times like these require political leadership, ambition and courage to think out of the box.

The initiative behind the Paris meeting yesterday is well worth considering." So, not complete. I mean, some believing like Landsbergis,

this might -- this might be the moment to start talking about it.

MOMTAZ: To be honest, some aspects of this idea have been discussed among the allies for the past couple of weeks in various fora, not necessarily at

the highest levels, but there have been some testing grounds to see who might be willing to do this and what they might be willing to do.

Of course, everyone has in mind that they don't want to lead to any kind of escalation, any kind of direct combat, any kind of direct contact between

Western military and Russian military.


So, that is front of mind. They're also looking about -- at the rules of engagement. If they send in trainers, for example, to train Russian troops

-- which by the way, they have been doing in Poland, they have been doing in the U.K., they have been doing in Germany. If they decide to move that

training, say to the western side of Ukraine, country -- you know, parts closer to the Polish border.

Does that really change things? And how can they do it in a way that is safe and that does not escalate the situation with Russia, very serious

people are looking at this. They're also looking at doing, as Melissa had said --

SOARES: Yes --

MOMTAZ: You know, any kind of support with de-mining and other such activities.

SOARES: And I suppose his comments, it took some of us by surprise because his comments do stand and they remain kind of in stark contrast to the more

cautious, I should say, cautious stance that's been adopted in the last two years by many of Ukraine's allies, including France, I should say.

And I -- this stood out to me from "The Guardian". It says "French officials have become worried, there' been no single galvanizing Western

force responding to Vladimir Putin putting his economy on such an effective war footing, and insufficiently clear practical responses had emerged from

the West."

So, you know, to the point that you make -- you were making earlier, I mean, is this Putin -- is this Macron trying to send that message to Putin,

trying to stand up to Putin?

MOMTAZ: Yes, and there has been a very marked shift in the position of Emmanuel Macron, but also France. As you were saying, for the past few

years, he's been slow to, you know, send a very resolute message to Putin.

He's talked about the need to avoid humiliating Russia, but now we've seen a real change in his position, and that is by the way, because French

officials say there has been an escalation by Russia of its attacks, not only against sort of the eastern flank or outside of the eastern flank of

the EU at the border. But rather, EU member states themselves and France included were talking about cyber-attacks --

SOARES: Yes --

MOMTAZ: Were talking about disinformation in the lead-up to the European parliamentary election. But we're also talking about incidents like Russian

troops threatening to shoot down a French war plane, AWACS plane in international airspace over the Black Sea.

And so, there's a realization in France that there needs to be a tougher stance against Russia, and also to counter all of this narrative about

Europe having fatigue related to --

SOARES: Yes --

MOMTAZ: Ukraine, and not being able to help Ukraine as the U.S. Congress hasn't been able to give more help to Ukraine.

SOARES: Yes, that aid still very much in desperate need for the Ukrainians on that long frontline. Rym, always wonderful to get your analysis,

appreciate you coming on. Thank you very much.

MOMTAZ: Thank you, Isa.

SOARES: Well, both Israel and Hamas are distancing themselves from the U.S. President's optimistic prediction for truce in Gaza. Joe Biden says there

could be an agreement as soon as Monday. While it does appear that both sides are inching closer to a deal that would pause the fighting in

exchange for release of dozens of hostages, an Israeli official said Mr. Biden's remarks came as a surprise. Have a listen to what the president

said in New York.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I hope by the beginning of the weekend -- I mean, the end of the weekend. At least, my National

Security adviser tells me that we're close, we're close. It's not done yet. And my hope is by next Monday, we'll have a ceasefire.


SOARES: I want to bring in Jeremy Diamond who is live in Tel Aviv for more. And Jeremy, just putting aside if we could the optics of that clip, I mean,

any idea where the president got this timeline from and what the reaction has been to that comment from the Netanyahu camp?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT: Well, I can tell you that Israeli officials certainly don't know where it came from. A couple of

Israeli officials actually today told me that they did not know where the president was getting that information.

And certainly, while, there is some guarded optimism that progress is being made, that these talks are continuing here from the Israeli side, there

certainly is not a sense that a deal is imminent or that it could come as soon as this coming Monday.

And frankly, from the other side of things, the other side of the negotiating table, Hamas is also -- has also been pouring cold water on

some of the reports of progress in these negotiations with Osama Hamdan; a senior Hamas official saying that the leaks that have come out of these

talks are portraying a quote, "false sense of progress."

Now, it's important to keep in mind, of course, that both of these sides are negotiating in public as much as they are negotiating in private.


And so, those statements have to be viewed through that lens as well. But I also spoke with an American official today who told me that progress is

being made, but there is no deal yet. And we do know throughout the course of these negotiations, as was the case before the last pause in the

fighting that sometimes it seems like things are very close and then it still takes significantly longer period of time to actually get to a deal.

But what we do know in terms of the details of these negotiations is that, this could see the release of some 40 hostages, mostly women, elderly

individuals, and Israel is also looking to get Israeli female soldiers released as a part of this, which is something that it seems Hamas is still


But nonetheless, there is at least a framework on the table. The question now is how will Hamas respond to that latest framework? But certainly, the

facts -- fact that talks are still continuing is a positive sign as we hit crunch time here with less than two weeks to go until Ramadan, Isa.

SOARES: Indeed, Jeremy Diamond there for us. Thanks, Jeremy. And in about 20 minutes, we'll hear more from Jeremy Diamond on the devastating effects

of starvation in Gaza with aid groups reporting that some people are resorting to eating leaves as well as animal food.


DIAMOND: This is what they're fighting over, ration packs, a lifeline for the lucky few.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I was lucky to get one of these aids. But what about all those other people who will not be able to get

this aid. Look, this one didn't get aid, and this one didn't get aid.


SOARES: Bringing you that report from Jeremy Diamond. I'll also be speaking with Secretary-General of Medecins Sans Frontieres Christopher Lockyear.

We'll discuss the lasting consequences of political inaction in Gaza, which he warns it's turning into complicity. You don't want to miss that into in

about 20 minutes or so.

Well, President Biden is calling the need for additional U.S. funding for Ukraine urgent. Biden met a short time ago with top congressional leaders

at the White House. U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson has thus far tabled the prospect of Ukraine aid, once again, calling on Congress to make solving

the issues on the U.S. southern border its top priority. In response, his counterpart in the Senate said this after the high stakes meeting. Have a



SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): And so, we said to the speaker, get it done. I told him, this is one of the moments I said had been around here a long

time. It's maybe four or five times that history is looking over your shoulder. And if you don't do the right thing, whatever the immediate

politics are, you will regret it.


SOARES: Well, let's bring in CNN White House reporter, Camila DeChalus for more. And Camila, I mean, I wonder how that consequential meeting then with

the leaders and with President Biden, how that went? Was that -- was President Biden able to move the needle at all here?

CAMILA DECHALUS, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, look, at this point in time, congressional leaders say -- especially on the Democratic side, say

they're optimistic that something will get done in order to pass funding to keep the government afloat and open.

You heard Schumer talk about how the meeting was intense, but he also called it productive. Now, he said that Biden in this meeting really

emphasized what's at stake when it comes to the government shutdown, Biden emphasized that it will really do significant harm and damage to our


And when it came to passing aid to go to Ukraine in its fight against Russia, they really emphasized -- this is what Schumer said was that Biden

was really talking about how Ukraine really needs this aid. And if they do not get the necessary funding from the U.S., then they will potentially

lose this war against Russia.

So, as you can see in the days ahead, lawmakers say that they're going to come together and really try to negotiate a deal where both sides are

happy. But at this point in time, Schumer says what's urgent and what's important is passing funding to keep the government open and to be very

fast and to try to pass something when it comes to Ukraine aid.

Now, House Speaker Mike Johnson stressed the importance that he's focused on these two priorities as well, but he made it clear that he wants to see

something happen at the border, and that addressing issues at the border is his top priority.

So, Schumer and Johnson are going to have to come together at some point in time and try to work out this deal on where both sides are going to get

kind of what they want or meet in the middle or compromise to try to make something good happen when it comes to providing aid for Ukraine and also

providing the necessary funding to address some of the issues alongside the border. Isa?

SOARES: Yes, some very real life consequences here that will determine this and everything, as you said, hinges on Speaker Johnson. Camila, appreciate

it, thank you very much. And still to come tonight, voters in the U.S. state of Michigan are casting their ballots for who they want to see in the

White House. Details ahead on what's at stake for each of the presidential candidates. That is next.



SOARES: Well, U.S. President Joe Biden is facing a big test today in the crucial battleground state of Michigan. Right now, polls are open in that

state's primaries for both Republican and Democratic presidential candidates. Biden is being tested on his refusal to call for a permanent

ceasefire in Gaza. As we've been reporting, he did tell reporters, he hopes there will be a temporary ceasefire.

He said, if you remember, by next Monday. But there could be a significant number of voters choosing the option uncommitted. Have a listen to this.


REP. RASHIDA TLAIB (D-MI): We must protect our democracy. We must make sure that our government is about us, about the people. When 74 percent of

Democrats in Michigan support a ceasefire, yet, President Biden is not hearing us. This is the way we can use our democracy to say, listen.


SOARES: Well, on the Republican side, Nikki Haley is hoping to show that she can continue to be competitive with Donald Trump despite losing to him

in her home state of South Carolina this past weekend. Let's put all of the strands together, our Stephen Collinson will help us make sense of it all,

he joins us now from Washington on today's primary.

Stephen, great to see you. Look, I think it's fair to say that Biden is poised to easily win, right? The Democratic primary, but he is facing -- we

played a little clip there some resistance at least from some Democrats pushing for this uncommitted protest vote.

How much do you think this will be a test here of Biden's policies or when it comes to Israel-Gaza. What should we expect?

STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN POLITICS SENIOR REPORTER: I think a lot of Democrats are looking at this and they're quite nervous including the Governor of the

State, Gretchen Whitmer; the Democratic governor. She's been talking about how the party doesn't really know how many people are going to tick that

uncommitted spot on the ballot paper.

I think what we need to see -- to assess this is just how many uncommitted votes there are, as what -- by way of guidance in 2012, when Barack Obama

was running for re-election, he was uncontested in the primary in Michigan, and 20,000 people even then voted uncommitted.

So, you would think that if this protest has any legs, it's going to be much bigger than that. And I think a lot of Democrats are going to be

watching that number, and if it's say 50,000, 70,000, I think it will be in for another round of Democratic panic about the Biden candidacy.

SOARES: Yes, and look, one campaigner telling CNN, and I'm quoting here, "this is not an anti-Biden campaign, it's a protest vote. A vote that tells

Biden and his administration that we believe in saving lives." I mean, that may be so, but I mean, this would obviously benefit the opposition and

primarily Trump here. Wouldn't it?

COLLINSON: Yes, if this protest is extended until November, and people in the Democratic coalition decide not to start showing up and voting for the



This is a very key state in the election. It could be the state that decides whether Biden or Trump get a second term in the White House. If you

think about it, back in 2020, Biden won the state by about 157,000 over Trump. In 2016, Trump won it over Hillary Clinton by about 11,000.

So, it doesn't take too many defections from the Democratic coalition here for Biden to be in a great deal of trouble. And I think that's one of the

reasons -- you mentioned the remarks yesterday, he said about hoping, there'll be a ceasefire by Monday. He really needs this conflict to end

very quickly well before the November election.

And it's interesting how the president's political goals and perhaps Prime Minister Netanyahu's political goals are actually going in opposite

directions here.

SOARES: Yes, let's talk about those goals and maybe messaging, because we are starting to see a shift in the president's messaging and strategy and

what relates to his age. I want our viewers to have a listen to what he told Seth Meyers. Have a listen to this.


BIDEN: We've got to take a look. The other guy is about as old as I am, but he can't remember his wife's name.



BIDEN: And number one.


BIDEN: Number two, it's about how old your ideas are. Look, I mean, this is a guy who wants to take us back. He wants to take us back on Roe v. Wade.

He wants to take us back on a whole range of issues that are 50, 60 years, they've been solid American positions.


SOARES: It's about how old your ideas are. I mean, what do you make of that line of attack. There's -- will this resonate you think with voters?

COLLINSON: I think it's a much preferable strategy --

SOARES: Yes --

COLLINSON: Than the one he adopted a few weeks ago when he had a very contentious news conference in the White House, when he was hitting back

about questions about his age, he needs to defuse this issue. Obviously, he needs to get off the defensive, and I think it's one way that presidents

and candidates often do this is through humor.

Dating back to Ronald Reagan in the 1984 campaign when he was facing questions about his age, and he made one of the great jokes of all time in

presidential debates about it. But the question is, will voters buy it? I think it's a deep concern of many voters, not just about Biden's age now,

but the fact that he would be 86 by the time that his second term would end.

I don't think the White House is addressing that effectively so far, and they've been late to this question, which I think is really quite pervasive

among people throughout the country. The problem is Biden isn't going to get any younger, and it's going to be something that follows him all the

way to November. But this is a better way of addressing it, I think than anyone he's actually come up with so far.

SOARES: Indeed, Stephen Collinson, great to see you, thanks, Stephen. Appreciate it. Well, an emergency meeting is underway involving Donald

Trump's election subversion case in the U.S. state of Georgia. The former president's attorneys are trying to get the lead prosecutor disqualified.

To do that, they must prove Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis financially benefited from a romantic relationship with one of her top

prosecutors, Nathan Wade. Well, you're looking at now live pictures from Atlanta Fulton County courtroom, Wade's divorce attorney, Terrence Bradley

is testifying right now.

Trump attorneys have been asking when he knew the relationship started between Fani Willis and Wade. We, of course, we are monitoring, we are

listening if there are any developments here on this legal story, we'll of course -- we will bring that to you.

And still to come tonight, farmers in Poland are facing off against police as they protest new regulations. We will have a live report for you from

Warsaw with more on the change these farmers are demanding. That is next. And then later, a new air-drop of food and other lifesaving supplies over

Gaza amid warnings of mass starvation. Both those stories after this short break.



SOARES: And returning now to our top story, Russia's war in Ukraine. More than a week after taking a town in the eastern Donetsk region and raising

the Russian flag, as you can see there, Russia's defense ministry claims its troops captured two more Ukrainian villages.

Russian forces are intensifying attacks and continuing to push west as U.S. aid stalls in Congress and NATO allies argue about troops on the ground.



SOARES: While borders blocked, bottles thrown, and banners waved, thousands of farmers in Poland are protesting against Ukrainian imports and the

European Union's Green Deal. They have also blocked road crossings into Ukraine, arguing that there is now unfair competition. This anger is just

the latest flashpoint in weeks of agitation over E.U. regulations, as I found out.


SOARES (voice-over): Farmers are angry and have had enough. The piercing sirens echo through Warsaw streets as thousands of farmers gather to

demonstrate against E.U. measures imposed on them. The latest demonstrations escalate an ongoing dispute for weeks where farmers, in over

a dozen E.U. countries, have been disrupting highways, border checkpoints, and city centers against what they say is unfair competition from outside

the E.U., particularly Ukraine, as well as restrictive environmental policies.

KAMIL WOJCIECHOWSKI, POLISH FARMER (through translator): We protest because we want the Green Deal to be lifted because it will bring our farms to

bankruptcy as the costs of the Green Deal are not comparable to what we harvest and what we're paid for it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking in a foreign language).

SOARES (voice-over): Earlier this month, Polish farmers began a series of protests throughout the country. Blocking highway border crossings to

Ukraine, and spilling at least 160 tons of Ukrainian grain. Intentionally dumping corn across train tracks, which angered Ukrainian officials.

Demanded that those involved be punished.

Now, their rally cries are being heard within Warsaw city center for marching straight towards the Prime Minister's office.


In an act of defiance, Polish farmers blocked a key highway to the German border on Monday, which they say is a fight for all citizens of the E.U.

DARIUSZ WROBEL, POLISH FARMER (through translator): We are fighting on behalf of all citizens so that they have access to healthy food produced in

the European Union so that food is not a luxury good and is available to all consumers throughout the E.U.

SOARES (voice-over): E.U. ministers huddled together on Monday trying to streamline rules and reduce red tape as police and protesters clashed

outside. Belgium's streets were also paralyzed with some 900 tractors backed up in the capital. Over in Catalonia, tractors blocked a busy

highway between France and Spain with union leaders demanding more noise.

CROWD: (Speaking in a foreign language).

SOARES (voice-over): But despite the weeks-long dispute, there has been no resolution yet.

CROWD: (Speaking in a foreign language).

SOARES (voice-over): And as the anger grows, so does the test for E.U. unity.


SOARES (on camera): Let's get more on the story. Our senior anchor at CNN's sister network in Poland, TVN24. Michal Sznajder joins me now from Warsaw,

a well-known face here on the show. Michal, great to see you again. Just put this into context for us. I mean, we have seen, we have been showing

viewers here, Michal, for weeks, right, on and off these protests. Talk to the mood in Poland.

MICHAL SZNAJDER, SENIOR ANCHOR FOR TVN24: Good evening, Isa. Thank you very much for having me on your show. Well, in front of me, I have a new opinion

poll which confirms what the previous opinion polls already stated quite clearly. And in fact, those newest numbers, according to the authors, are


So, almost 80 percent of those surveys support the protests and 46 percent strongly support those protests. 79 percent say that the influx of

Ukrainian food needs to stop and they don't accept the argument that this decision could hurt Ukraine, which is fighting Russia. And according to

that new survey, I'm quoting the survey for and Tok FM, the people surveyed support the farmers more than they support the E.U.'s Green

Deal. In another survey, almost 70 percent of participants blamed the E.U.'s decision to open the European Union market to Ukrainian agricultural

imports for the difficult situation of Polish farmers.

Now, the Polish Prime Minister, Donald Tusk, said that the E.U. has to solve the problems created by that decision. "No one has the right to think

that the Czech Republic and Poland do not support Ukraine, but, but we will work together in Brussels for corrections that will protect our market

against the negative effects of this decision," Tusk said.

The Speaker of the Lower House of the Polish Parliament, Szymon Holownia, met with the farmers today. He said that all of the problems they

highlighted will be solved, but that -- also the undoing of some of those decisions at the E.U. level will take weeks. He also stated that the E.U.

should create a mechanism which would allow the food surplus to be bought from the farmers, and that mechanism could perhaps allow for those products

to be moved somewhere else, perhaps to Africa.

He also said that perhaps European bureaucracy created a situation where some unnecessary burdens have been placed on Polish farmers. Also, he added

the E.U. subsidy system should be improved. After meeting with representatives of the government, the protesters said that no agreement

was reached and that they would protest again one week from tomorrow.

SOARES: And I'm sure you'll be monitoring that, keeping a close eye on those protests in a week's time. Michal, great to see you. Thank you very


And still to come tonight, the head of Medecins Sans Frontieres says every day his team witnesses unimaginable horrors in Gaza. Christophe Lockyear

will join us live when we return.



SOARES: Well, this is mass starvation of an entire people, causing children and families to die in slow motion, that's how the aid group, Save the

Children, describes the extreme hunger in Gaza after nearly five months of war. For the second day in a row, Jordan and Air France -- and France I

should say, dropped food and other aid to people in Gaza. This time helped by the UAE, Egypt, as well as Qatar.

Jeremy Diamond shows us how desperate operations led to some very desperate scenes.


DIAMOND (voice-over): Gaza's humanitarian crisis looks like this. Palestinians desperate for food, paddling and swimming out to sea, after at

least one plane airdropping aid appeared to miss its target, sending pallets of food crashing into the sea.

In Central and Southern Gaza, hundreds crowding the beaches to try and secure their piece of the rations. But this is the other side of

desperation. Groups of men wielding whips and bats, steering crowds away from their precious cargo. Months of hunger and war triggering fights for

survival, when there is not enough for everyone.

This is what they are fighting over, ration packs, a lifeline for the lucky few.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I was lucky and able to get one of these aids. But what about all those other people who were not able to get

this aid? Look, this one didn't get any, and this one didn't get any.

DIAMOND (voice-over): But so much more is needed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I'm asking from the Arab nations, we are thankful for the aid through the parachutes, but we need more, and

we need it distributed in a better way. This will not stop our hunger. We don't need a capsule, because when we eat this, we will eat it. And that's

it. It's finished.

DIAMOND (voice-over): But nowhere are people more desperate for food aid than in Northern Gaza, where women and children wait in long lines for what

now passes for food. A cloudy soup mixture made with dirty water and whatever grains can be found.

AMAL MOHAMMAD NASEER, GAZA RESIDENT (through translator): There is no food or drinking water. No flour or anything. There was no cooking oil. Not even

drinking water. Death is better than this.

DIAMOND (voice-over): Humanitarian aid deliveries this month dropped by half compared to January, according to a United Nations relief agency,

which blamed Israeli military operations and the collapse of civil order in Gaza.

In Northern Gaza, aid groups suspending aid delivery amid looting and attacks on aid trucks, leaving many with few options to stay alive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Look, we are eating animal feed against our will, but have to eat it.

DIAMOND (voice-over): Without food or clean water, their voices are all they have left.

AHMAD ATEF SAFI, GAZA RESIDENT (through translator): The suffering of Gaza is extremely difficult. Where are the authorities? Where is the government?

Israel made us hungry, and our government made us hungry, and people are stealing. Shame on you, Arabs. Where are you?

DIAMOND (voice-over): But after nearly five months of war, is the world listening?

Jeremy Diamond, CNN, Tel Aviv.


SOARES: Just absolutely heartbreaking. Well, the head of Medecins Sans Frontieres, or Doctors Without Borders, accuses Israel of waging war on the

entire population of Gaza.


Calling it a war of collective punishment, a war without rules, a war at all costs. Listen to what Christophe Lockyear told the U.N. Security

Council just last week. Have a listen to this.


CHRISTOPHER LOCKYEAR, SECRETARY GENERAL, DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS: Medical teams have added a new acronym to their vocabulary, WCNSF. Wounded child,

no surviving family. Children who do survive this war will not only bear the visible wounds of traumatic injuries, but the invisible ones too. Those

of repeated displacement, constant fear, and witnessing family members literally dismembered before their eyes. These psychological injuries have

led children as young as five to tell us that they would prefer to die.


SOARES: Well, Christopher Lockyear is joining us now live from Geneva. Christopher, welcome to the show. We played a bit of what we heard at the

U.N. from you last week, so it's important that we get you on the show. We are grateful for your time.

And I'm hoping that you heard that report that we played just before we came to you from our Jeremy Diamond, where we saw aid being dropped --

airdropped. And really the utter desperation and chaos really on the ground. Talk to what you were -- to this unimaginable -- you said,

unimaginable horror from your teams. Just -- what have they been seeing?

LOCKYEAR: Well, I think, the images that you've been showing and the testimony that we've been hearing is a real illustration of what they've

been seeing. I mean, bear in mind that the vast majority of our teams, our Gazan staff, our Gazan people.

So, they are living this as well as trying to carry out basic medical assistance. And they have been killed. Their family members have been

killed. Just last Tuesday, one of our staff shelters was hit by a 120- millimeter tank shell, as I said to the U.N. last week. And this is on the back of a series of incidents where our convoys have been attacked. Our

houses have been hit by rocket fire and convoys and vehicles bulldozed.

SOARES: And, of course, just for our viewers, who may have missed the top of the show when we were talking about this ever-growing humanitarian

crisis. The death toll is, you know, is fast approaching, Christopher, 30,000. We heard the World Food Programme say it's suspending aid

deliveries amid what they called a collapse of civil order.

And as a result, we are seeing -- we're playing some video of these airdrops. Surely, Christopher, I mean, as we look at this, there must be

another way. How are your teams on the ground? Talk to the medical aspect of it. How are you getting, are you getting any medicine to treat those who

are severely injured?

LOCKYEAR: It's really literally a drop in the ocean. We are struggling to be able to get medicines in, supplies in. Being able to get the products

that we need to be able to treat people. But aid -- giving aid, giving high quality aid is much more than simply trucks crossing borders or airdrops.

Essential, yes, but being able to have humanitarian workers who can carry out sustained high quality medical care is a complicated thing in any

resource poor setting. Let alone one where there's ongoing indiscriminate bombing.

And that's really why we keep coming back to the point of making this really exceptional call for MSF, which is to call for an immediate

ceasefire, a sustained ceasefire and a ceasefire without conditions. Because without the indiscriminate bombing stopping, civilians are going to

be arbitrarily killed in the way they have been for the last few months, and we're not going to be able to provide high quality medical assistance.

SOARES: Look, there have been free votes at the U.N., as you all know, for a ceasefire on each occasion. The U. S. vetoed it. You talked about this.

You said three times this council has had an opportunity to vote for the ceasefire that is so desperately needed, and three times the United States

has used its veto power.

You went on to say that we no longer speak of a humanitarian scale up. We speak of how to survive even without the bare minimum. I mean, it's just

incredible that we are at this juncture. You also say the people of Gaza need a ceasefire, not when practical, but when now. When you hear President

Biden say, you know, a deal may be happening soon as Monday, it gives you hope, but obviously it's -- it should have come many months ago.

LOCKYEAR: It gives me hope, but it comes with a great deal of anticipation about what it may mean. Because I would go back to say, we need to have a

ceasefire which is sustainable and unconditional and starting right now. We don't want a ceasefire that maintains the status quo. It will take time for

aid agencies to rescale up, to get their expertise back into the Gaza Strip.


So, we really need, the people of Gaza really need, first and foremost, and secondarily the humanitarian workers need a ceasefire, which they can rely

on. A ceasefire which is unequivocal. A ceasefire which is unconditional and starts now. We've got some hope from what President Biden is saying.

It's far too late. Let's hope it's not far too little.

SOARES: Yes. Look, all eyes, not just on hopes of a ceasefire here on this deal, but also on Rafah. And this possible assault by the Israeli forces.

We know that Netanyahu has presented his plans to his cabinet. CNN has not seen his plans. But he said on Saturday, I'm going to quote him here,

Christopher, "There is a lot of space north of Rafah in order to unmoving people." What do you say to that? What are conditions like in the north?

LOCKYEAR: We don't know. In a nutshell, we don't know because it's too dangerous for us to -- it has been too dangerous for us to be able to

operate there. And although there are thousands of people still in the north, many of them trapped in the north, the vast majority have moved

south on commands from the Israeli military to do so.

So, what does it then mean for them to then head north again? We don't know. What we do know is that there are 1.5 million people trapped in this

small strip of land, within the Gaza Strip, that is -- that we're -- called Rafah. And we're terrified about what happens to those people who have gone

to one of the only places that they -- has been remaining for them to go to.

What happens to them if there is a ground offensive there? It's not just simply a case of moving from neighborhood to neighborhood and being able to

find a safe space. There are no safe spaces in Gaza at the moment.

SOARES: And this is something we've heard time and time again from NGO workers on the ground, including many from your teams who have been being

so gracious with their time. I mean, speaking at the U.N., Christopher, you were -- I don't know if I could say this. You were clearly very frustrated

and angry that we are here. Talk to that. Talk to the fact that you needed to sit there and plead -- not -- oh, not plead, but really give the

reality, you know, on the ground. What was that moment? Have you seen anything like this?

LOCKYEAR: I mean, I think you will hear aid workers over and over again, saying that they have never seen a situation like this. And there are other

crises ongoing around the world at the moment, which we shouldn't forget about.


LOCKYEAR: You know, the situation in Sudan needs a huge amount of attention. But then the nature of the -- this conflict in Gaza, the

indiscriminate bombing for a population that is absolutely trapped is making it extremely complicated for us to be able to work.

And that's really why we made the exceptional choice to brief the U.N. Security Council. It's only the 3rd time in our 52-year history. And we're

making the exceptional choice to call for a ceasefire. We work in wars and conflict zones all around the world every day. We're used to that. We're

experts in that. But this situation is pushing us to the very limits.

Our teams are moving from hospital to hospital, trying to provide basic medical care when actually what they need is really high quality,

sophisticated medical care, which can last and be able to rehabilitate people as they recover from complex fractures, shrapnel wounds, gunshot

wounds and the like. It's not a simple thing to organize this high-quality medical care in a war zone.

SOARES: Christopher Lockyear, appreciate you taking the time to speak to us. Thank you very much.

LOCKYEAR: Thank you.

SOARES: We're going to take a short break. Be back after this.



SOARES: Well, Ody's mission to the moon is coming to an end earlier than expected. Within a day, flight controllers are expected to lose contact

with the first American spacecraft to land on the lunar surface in more than half a century. The private company that deployed Ody, short for

Odysseus, says it intends to keep collecting data until the lander's solar panels no -- are no longer exposed to light. It was suggested that would

happen after nine days, not five.

Intuitive machines released these images from Ody's descent. We have yet to see any images taken after the historic touchdown. If you remember last

week, the antennas on Odysseus may be pointing in the wrong direction because it tripped when it landed and ended up on its side. It happens to

many of us.

And that does it for us for this evening. Thanks very much for your company. Do stay right here. "Quest Means Business" up next. I shall see

you tomorrow. Bye-bye.