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Quest Means Business

U.S. Warns Russian Invasion Could Begin Any Time; Stocks Extend Losses, Oil Rises As White House Issue Ukraine Warning; U.K. Prime Minister Tells Allies He Fears For Security Of Europe; U.S.: Russia Could Invade Ukraine During Olympics; U.S. To Send 3,000 More Troops To Poland; U.S. Tells Its Citizens To Leave Ukraine Within 48 Hours. 3-4p ET

Aired February 11, 2022 - 15:00   ET



ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.


I am Richard Quest, a different hour together we have this Friday.

Tonight, there is growing alarm in the United States and Europe that Russia could be on the verge of an invasion of Ukraine. And the reason for this

increasing alarm, the White House National Security Adviser said only moments ago at the White House, Moscow could launch an attack at any time.


JAKE SULLIVAN, U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: We continue to see signs of Russian escalation, including new forces arriving at the Ukrainian border.

As we've said before, we are in the window when an invasion could begin at any time should Vladimir Putin decide to order it. I will not comment on

the details of our Intelligence information, but I do want to be clear, it could begin during the Olympics despite a lot of speculation that it will

only happen after the Olympics.


QUEST: Jake Sullivan advise U.S. citizens to leave Ukraine within the next 48 hours. The U.K. government has similarly advised British nationals to

leave while they can.

The British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told allies at a quick meeting earlier today, he fears for the security of Europe.

Kylie Atwood is in Washington, Alex Marquardt is in Kyiv in Ukraine.

Kylie, the tonal difference from Jake Sullivan. If I look at the words, there really is nothing dramatically different, it was the same, it could

launch at any time, don't know when they will, don't know if he has made the decision. Troops are massing. So what was different this time?

KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN U.S. SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think it's a fair point, but his descriptors here were different. He said that even though

the United States has not determined that President Putin has made a final decision as to if he will invade Ukraine or not, he said there is a very

distinct possibility, using the word "very" multiple times throughout this briefing to describe how distinct this possibility is that Putin could

decide to invade, and that he could also do so in short order before the Olympics are over, which is on February 20th.

He also had similar messages for Americans at the State Department has been telling them, if you are in Ukraine now, please leave. But he was more

explicit in telling them exactly what is on the line, if they stay essentially warning them that they could potentially be killed if Russia

does choose to invade because he said, essentially, what the United States believes is that they would begin that invasion by using aerial bombings

and missile attacks that would kill many civilians, and it wouldn't discriminate. It could potentially kill Americans who decide to stay


So he gave some more descriptors around some of these warnings that we have seen, and it is significant that he chose to come to the podium today and

warn Americans to leave and also warn the American people that a Russian invasion into Ukraine is possible in the short term.

QUEST: To Kyiv, in Ukraine, the capital. Alex is there.

This is surreal, Alex. You're standing there in Kyiv, which is a modern city -- bustling, thriving. There are leftover festival lights behind you

and we're talking about an invasion that could be imminent.

How will this -- how will today's warning from the N.S.A. be met in Kyiv?

ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, Richard, I'm in Dnipro, Ukraine, which is another city more or less in central

Ukraine, a little bit to the southeast of Kyiv, and you're absolutely right, it is so stark when you listen to the language coming out of the

White House, coming out of European capitals and NATO leaders compared to what we are seeing in the ground, both in terms of what Ukrainian civilians

and people on the street are saying, as well as Ukrainian Ministers and leaders all the way up to the President.

It is just after 10 o'clock on a Friday night and it feels like a Friday night here in Dnipro. People are out and about. They are in cafes, they are

in bars and in restaurants.

I have gone out into the streets and spoken with people asking them to what extent this is weighing on their minds, and from what I have gathered, it

isn't. That is something that we have heard from people from both officials and people on the street over the course of the past few weeks that they

have been living under this possibility of an imminent attack for the past eight years ever since Russia invaded Crimea in 2014.

You of course, have had an ongoing war in the eastern part of the country with Russian-backed separatists fighting against Ukrainian forces.


Today Richard, we have heard from the office of the presidency who said that the security situation has not escalated to the point where we should

be talking about these travel advisories and these embassy drawdowns that the U.S. Embassy -- that the U.S. and the Biden administration has been

talking about, that the British government has been talking about.

I spoke with a British diplomat who said that they will also be reducing their footprint and pulling out non-essential personnel and keeping a core

embassy staff. The E.U. -- the European Union, I'm told they're going to also be keeping a core embassy staff here while allowing nonessential

personnel to work outside of the country.

Richard, the Defense Ministry was much more blunt when we went to them earlier today with our new reporting that there was new Intelligence,

showing that the threat is growing of a Russian invasion, the response from them was, "Again?"

So there is still this massive disparity that you're seeing between the Ukrainians and between the NATO allies, particularly from the Biden

administration, which as we just heard from Jake Sullivan, said that there's a very distinct possibility in the coming days of a Russian

invasion -- Richard.

QUEST: Back to Kylie at the State Department. Kylie, the West, the Allies, whatever you want to call them, NATO could not have made it clearer that

there will be a heavy sanctions price to pay, but it sounds as though, this is not even in President Putin's factoring at the moment. So, what what's

the West's appetite for a military response?

ATWOOD: Well, the Biden administration still continues to say that they have no plans to send U.S. troops into Ukraine. They are just not willing

to do that. They have already sent, of course, thousands of additional U.S. troops to countries in the region to provide more support to NATO allies

who are close to Russia.

But of course, President Biden being very clear that he doesn't want to put U.S. soldiers on the ground for any potential war fighting in Ukraine,

between Ukraine and Russia. I think you make a good point, the Kremlin has shown no indication that they are at all intimidated by what has been very

aggressive messaging threats from the Biden administration and their allies.

But the Biden administration believes that it is important to send those signals because they want Russia to know that they are serious. And then,

of course, on another track, they're also continuing to say that we want to engage diplomatically with Russia and National Security Adviser, Jake

Sullivan also said today that we should expect that there could be a phone conversation between Biden and Putin sometime soon.

So that is clearly something that we will be watching for because of course, one of the things that President Putin wants here is to be seen as

an equal on the world stage with President Biden.

QUEST: Kylie Atwood at the State Department. We will return to you, I'm going to finish with Alex Marquardt, who is in Ukraine.

Alex, I appreciate you're not one of our defense analysts, per se, but you've looked at this, and you've spoken to the people and you -- what's

the timing on this?

I remember, when we listen to people talk about, you know, the ground being firm, there's a certain window of opportunity, what are they talking about?

MARQUARDT: Yes, the other one that they talked about was the Olympics, whether President Putin would want to tick off his good friends, closer

friend these days President Xi Jinping of China by carrying out any sort of invasion during the Beijing Games, and essentially, stealing the spotlight

away from Beijing with a much more negative story.

Not to be glib, Richard, but we've driven all across this country over the course the past few days. The ground in many places is not frozen. So, if

you believe that theory, then it's not quite ready yet.

But I do think to your point about the fact that there wasn't a huge amount from Jake Sullivan just now, you know, when you do zero in on those things

that Kylie was talking about, that were new, one of them, that was much more definitive from the U.S. side was the timing, was this question of

timing. You know, will he or won't he during these Olympic Games?

And now, the U.S. is saying firmly this could very much come before February 20th. February 20th is the day of the closing ceremonies. It's a

Sunday, but it is also the last day of the joint exercises between Russia and Belarus that are taking place right now as of February 10th.

Thirty thousand Russian forces up in Belarus, the biggest deployment of Russian forces since the Cold War, and those are underway right now and we

have not gotten a firm answer from the Kremlin that those Russian troops will go back to Russia once those exercises are over.


So Richard, I would say that tonight, while the U.S. is saying there is still no Intelligence that Putin has made a final decision, one of the most

significant points that we heard from the White House is that if it's going to happen, there's a very significant chance that it is going to happen

before February 20th -- Richard.

QUEST: Now, both of you stay. I need you to both listen for a second or two of you would. I'm going to read something out. You haven't -- since

you've been talking to me on air, you won't have had a chance to look down, feel free to look down at your phones, and see this yourselves.

So apparently, according to the Defense Department, the Pentagon, the Defense Secretary Lloyd, do forgive me from looking away from you. I'm

reading myself, the Defense Secretary has ordered 3,000 more soldiers from the 82nd Airborne to deploy to Poland amid rising concerns, et cetera et


They'll leave in the next couple of days joining 1,700 members of the unit that are already there. Now, we had 3,000 that went to Europe just a couple

of weeks ago or that were announced a couple of weeks ago. This is another 3,000.

Let's not get hung up on the numbers, because some probably will be double counted from previous. So, let's not -- you know, the gist of the number

isn't relevant. The fact is more troops are going over there.

Start with you, Kylie, give me the U.S. domestic side of this. What will be -- how will this be seen within the United States? Is this ramping up creep

-- mission creep?

ATWOOD: You can't deny that this is ramping up. If you are sending thousands more troops to Europe, of course, the United States is ramping up

its defenses of its NATO allies, and I think that that's the key here. You continually hear from the Biden ministration that what they are doing with

these troops is doubling down on Article V of NATO, which is an attack on one is an attack on all.

They are preparing, of course, for the possibility that any fighting between Russia and Ukraine could then lead to tremendous problems in those

other countries that are close to Ukraine and potentially fighting in those other countries as well.

So that is why they want to be in a strong position here and prove to those NATO allies that this is not just talk that there is action that is

following that up.

QUEST: Kylie, thank you. Alex, if you can stay with me for a few more minutes. Obviously, if you can't, we will understand but we'll come back to

because I want to get your take on that.

I'm going to deviate just slightly off for a second or three.

The U.S. markets were already heading much lower today. Then things were really -- things were unhappy and then they got a great deal worse. You

don't need me to ramble on about it a great length.

What you're looking at on your screen tells the story in a nutshell. In a moment, in a second.

We were up a little bit. We were tinkering around, and then we fell sharply.

On oil, similarly, crude is up three and a half percent, $93.00. Brent is over $94.00. That's the main international Brent crude blend, and many

people expect a hundred can't be far off.

Matt Egan is with me. Matt, well. I mean, we know why. Now, the difference is or the question is, how far?

MATT EGAN, CNN REPORTER: Yes, Richard, this is a scary moment. I mean, we're talking about a potential full scale military conflict on European

soil by a nuclear power. One that happens to be the world's number two producer of both oil and natural gas.

We know investors don't like uncertainty, and it doesn't get much more uncertain than this. So we can't be surprised by the fact that we're seeing

the stock market and oil prices go in completely opposite directions here.

We also have to note that, you know, we're already in kind of a tricky situation for the market. Investors are worried about high inflation and

the Federal Reserve's response to high inflation, and if oil prices continue to shoot up, that's only going to make inflation worse.

You know, U.S. oil prices briefly topped at $94.00 a barrel just a few moments ago, for the first time since September of 2014. And that, of

course, would only drive prices at the pump higher -- Richard.

QUEST: But Matt, there is a perversion here as well, isn't there because this higher oil price will actually benefit Vladimir Putin, who can charge

more for his oil?

EGAN: Yes, that's right. Assuming that Vladimir Putin is still sending as much oil overseas as he has been, then yes, of course, this would be a

benefit to Moscow. It is also kind of -- it is kind of being used as a bargaining chip here, right? Because we keep talking about well, how will

Western powers respond and we know they are considering sanctions.

They say punishing sanctions, but the question is whether or not they really want to hit Russia where it would hurt the most -- energy.


QUEST: Matt Egan, thank you.

If the markets turn turtle further, we will have you back before the end of the hour. I promised to return to Alex because I need to hear Alex

Marquardt's response to those extra troops that are being sent now.

Following on from what Kiley Atwood was saying, these troops, these 3,000 or so troops are not being sent in a sense to defend where you are, they

are being sent to reinforce the Article V commitment to Poland and others.

MARQUARDT: Yes, so keep in mind, there are tens of thousands of U.S. troops that are based in Europe full time, many of them in Germany. This is

the Biden administration saying, "We are with you, NATO allies. We are with you Eastern European NATO countries. We want to show Putin that we are not

rattled, that we are one, that that Article V is very much in place." As Kiley said, an attack on one is an attack on all.

Richard, I don't think you'll find many analysts saying now that there is really a threat of Russia invading any NATO countries. So, we shouldn't

expect to see these thousands of American troops who have been sent to Eastern Europe to be fighting really anytime soon.

At the same time, those Eastern European NATO countries are certainly rattled. And, you know, obviously they joined the NATO Alliance because

they felt a certain level of threat from Russia.

The Biden administration has been very clear that they do not intend to send U.S. troops into Ukraine to fight for Ukraine. Ukraine is not a NATO

country, they are not entitled to Article V defense. Other NATO countries have said similarly.

So what you have here is a Ukrainian force that is far smaller, far weaker than the Russian military, which is the biggest land army in Europe. And

they will essentially, if this invasion happens, be fighting against them alone.

You will have the Ukrainian military. They will call up reservists. We can expect to see some kind of militia activity. This will not be the Ukraine

of 2014 when Crimea was annexed without taking a shot. This will be bloody. This will be protracted.

This will be in the words of the top General in the U.S. "horrific." The U.S. is projecting tens of thousands of casualties and hundreds of

thousands of refugees if this happens.

Now, the U.S. and no one else is saying that this is going to happen definitely, but if it happens, it will be a horrific situation. The Biden

administration saying they have sent $660 million of military aid in the past year more than any other administration. But at the same time,

Ukrainian Generals who I've spoken with, officers who I've spoken with say they need more.

When you hear the administration talking about the prospect of this invasion starting with an aerial assault, missiles and fighter jets, one of

the main things that Ukrainians say they don't have are significant air defenses, precision weapons to take down planes, to take down missiles.

They have been sent stingers, shoulder mounted surface to air missiles, which can take down some aircraft. But in terms of weaponry that they have

gotten from the U.S. and others, they say it is not enough certainly to take on a Russian force. So that is something that will be very interesting

to watch, Richard.

If the Biden administration is saying that we are moving closer and closer to the prospect of this Russian invasion, will they significantly ramp up

the kind of weaponry that they're sending in because for now or until now, it has been a debate of do we send in weaponry that's going to provoke

Russia? Or do we just send in the minimal -- the weaponry that Ukraine needs to defend itself and sort of intimidate Russia for an hour or make it

seem like to them that it's not worth their while?

QUEST: Alex Marquardt, I'm grateful to you, sir. You've got much more duty to do this evening. We'll come back to the moment there is more to report.

Thank you, sir.

We will continue. We will be following throughout the course of the more on the Ukraine crisis.

This is CNN.


QUEST: The Breaking News that I bring you this Friday evening, the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has told world leaders he fears for the

security of Europe as he was discussing Ukraine during a virtual meeting with the leaders of NATO, the U.S., the E.C. and several European allies,

the Quint group.

Downing Street says, the PM emphasized, they had to make it clear, sanctions were ready to go if Russia invades.

Nic Robertson is in Moscow, he joins me now. How will they be regarding and receiving what they will have heard from Jake Sullivan today? How will they

interpret it?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: They are going to interpret it and it is very hard to know exactly how President Putin is

going to interpret it, of course, because everyone is still waiting for his decision on what is actually going to do and that weight has been a long


But they're going to interpret it as more pressure coming from the United States and NATO. They are going to pressure -- they're going to interpret

it publicly as the United States creating a destabilizing situation.

They're going to interpret it with the additional troops being sent as the United States and NATO destabilizing Europe. That's what the British

Defense Secretary Ben Wallace heard from his opposite member here, the Russian Defense Minister, Sergey Shoygu, saying that it's NATO and the

Europeans that are destabilizing the situation, that they're putting weapons into Ukraine, that they're that they are making this an unstable

environment. So, I think that's the way it's going to be played out publicly.

Behind the scenes, does this effort from the United States to make clear what they see part of an intent to disrupt President Putin's thinking to

say that they have got these satellite images, essentially, but they're also developing lines of essentially Intelligence.

This is designed to get into President Putin's thinking at this time, when he has got all his troops in place on those military maneuvers to try to,

you know, send the biggest signal they can, the maximum pressure that we're watching, if you go ahead, we've called you out already not to go ahead and

invade because short of physical engagement, this is the maximum they can do, engage in -- try to engage in diplomacy, which not working out at the

moment or try to engage and pushing Putin to make a strategic decision not to invade. This is where we're at.

QUEST: So, I mean, they don't invade, if only for the sheer number of deaths on both sides that would happen, but if -- what's the end game for

Putin here? Let's just say invasion happens in two or three weeks or a week or so. The sheer overwhelming level of force does mean he takes over


What then? You have now -- you are an occupying force in a country that doesn't want you there.


ROBERTSON: So I'm going to start at the opposite end of that question -- what does President Putin want? He is going to be President until 2036, so

he probably wants to remain President until then.

He wants Russia to be a massive and influential global power. He wants to have it -- he wants for it to have international respect. He doesn't want

to be unseated because of an unpopular move to invade a country that's then going to cause him to get bogged down and have high casualties among

mercenary forces and among Russian troops and Russian soldiers. That's a narrative he doesn't want that.

But what does he actually try to achieve? He tries to achieve a government in Kyiv that is sympathetic to him. He tries to achieve that, perhaps by

pressuring them into becoming a sort of a non-aligned country, if you will, an independent state that's not going to hook itself to NATO, and not

necessarily going to hook itself to Russia, let's say in the same way that Finland did during the times of the Soviet Union.

To protect itself, to keep its neutrality, to not invite Russian invasion, you know, but then there's all the other gradations from that. If he takes

Kyiv, he doesn't have the troops to maintain it. He is going to have a bloody Civil War on his hands. He's going to have a war of attrition. He

knows what these look like.

QUEST: Nic, let's pause for a second. It's Friday night. Can you believe - - you and I have seen so much on Europe during the Balkans enjoying all of that, can you believe that we're actually sitting here on a Friday night,

talking about Russia invading Ukraine with the U.S. saying it could happen at any time.

ROBERTSON: It's an odd sort of thing. I remember being in Berlin, when the Berlin Wall was coming down around the Brandenburg Gate going to Romania,

which was under the Soviet sphere of influence and, and the dictator, Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife on Christmas Day 1989, being dragged out of

a Palace and shot as part of, you know, the overthrowing of the old sort of Soviet sphere of influence.

So, yes, on this Friday night, it's hard to imagine we're in a place where we're contemplating the possibility of Russia using force to regain some of

that territory, an influence that was once under the Soviet sphere of influence.

But the best military experts that we know are saying that Russia has assembled a very compelling and able force, ready to do part of that or

enable part of that to happen, and as Ben Wallace said today when he was here in Moscow, you cannot overlook those facts on the ground, whatever the

Russians are saying that they don't intend to invade.

QUEST: Nic Robertson in Moscow. We will watch more closely and we will be back with you shortly.

We will continue to follow this, obviously, in great detail. We'll have more on the Ukrainian crisis after this break.



ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

QUEST: And returning to the main story tonight, the U.S. and its NATO allies tonight are expressing fears of an imminent Russian invasion of

Ukraine. The White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Moscow could launch an attack at any time. And that would include before

the end of the Olympics next week. Oren Liebermann is our correspondent at the Pentagon. Oren is with me now.

What's different tonight about this interpretation? This analysis of the situation?

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: The level of urgency, far more urgent, far more pressing than anything we've heard from the White House

before. Anything we've heard from the National Security Adviser, there were no hedges here, there was no qualification. It was simply this could happen

very soon now. And that led to a warning to Americans to get out.

Even a scenario of how Russia could invade from an aerial attack to a ground invasion to electronic warfare, cyber-attacks, as well as the

warning that once that starts, it could be very difficult to move. That level of language, that level of urgency, rhetoric is not what we've heard

before. And I'll point out that just moments after Jake Sullivan finished, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announcing 3000 more U.S. troops from the

82nd airborne headed to Poland. So, all of this builds on the urgency that the White House is putting out right now.

QUEST: That urgency, the risk, of course, is the boy who cried wolf. For several weeks now, we've had -- I mean, it ratchets up but the message is

essentially the same. It could happen at any time, number of troops getting there or near what it would take to do a full-scale invasion with a certain

degree of confidence, but we don't know what's in Putin's mind. How long can that go on?

From a NATO point of view if only before people say, oh, please, it's not going to happen or it is?

LIEBERMANN: How long could it go on? That's a heck of a good question. And one frankly, we don't know the answer to because the government has been

watching this build up. You're absolutely right. For months, going back to late November, the numbers simply kept growing higher. 50,000 60,000. We're

now well, north of 100,000 is the latest number we've gotten. Part of that urgency comes from these numbers.

But Sullivan was asked, how do we know this is legitimately the worry that you're seeing? And his answer was simply, look at the numbers and listen to

the statements not just from the U.S. but from the other governments in Europe who are equally as concerned about what might be coming here.

QUEST: So, assuming God forbid that they do go over the line and the deaths and the -- will be just horrific on both sides. Let me make it clear. What

does the Pentagon do then? I mean, it's up to others of what military assets are sent. The U.S., the President has made it clear, U.S troops are

not going -- NATO troops are not going to fire -- to fire a shot in anger to save Ukraine. So, what do they do?

LIEBERMANN: The idea is not for U.S. troops to save Ukraine. And you're right, the White House, the Pentagon have made it clear troops are not

going into Ukraine. And Jake Sullivan even said today troops are not going into Ukraine to get out American citizens because of how clear and how loud

the call is to get out now within the next 24 to 48 hours. The purpose of U.S. troops is to safeguard, to reassure and to reinforce NATO to make it

clear to Putin that if he steps one inch over Ukraine into NATO and sort of crosses that Eastern Flank of NATO, he will have triggered Article Five.

He will have brought the -- essentially a declaration of war through Article Five on to him. That is the goal of the White House beyond simply

deterring Putin's invasion of Ukraine. If that were to happen, the next step is to make sure Putin decides or doesn't go any further.

QUEST: I'm going to say, Putin knows Article Five. Putin knows one for all and all for one. If I

One foot over into Poland or any of those other neighboring states, I will bring the wrath down on top of me. But that's not his goal here.


His goal is to build up sufficient forces in Ukraine to create a new Western Line.

LIEBERMANN: Absolutely right. Part of his goal -- and it's not a military invasion of NATO. It is a weakening of NATO. And he's getting just the

opposite here. And this has been pointed out from a number of officials we've spoken with. NATO has, in fact only grown more united here, and more

of a single entity in terms of responding to Russia. It's not that Putin thinks he's going to move troops into Ukraine, at least we have no

indication of that.

But he's trying to find fissures within NATO between the countries. And there, he's only managed to cement them closer together.

QUEST: Oren is at the Pentagon when there's more on you will come back to us. Now, of course, there's a huge economic aspect to this geopolitical

maelstrom. In a sense, the concerns are impacting market confidence, we're just about at session lows, as you can see in the bifurcation of the day,

makes it clear. The market fell as soon as the we're leaking reports of what Sullivan was going to say.

Now think of it this way. On the one hand, the biggest tool against Russia, that NATO or the west or the U.S., E.U., whatever you want to call it, as

is sanctions. The ability to put -- as the President said yesterday, the ability to put -- and as the British Prime Minister said, have them ready

and ready to go now if he moves. So, it's an economic story as much as a military one at the moment.

Myron Brilliant is the Executive Vice President and Head of International Affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He joins me now. Clearly,

obviously, sir, extremely disconcerting what we're hearing. But if you look at it from an economic point of view, from a sanctions point of view, from

an oil point of view, in energy prices, what do you see?


all of us hope that there'll be a diplomatic solution here, right? That's the best outcome. But as tensions increase, as the prospects outlined by

our national security adviser warns us that there could be in fact, an invasion. There are economic consequences to that.

First and foremost, there are huge economic consequences for China -- for Russia's economy. What we really want to focus on is how we prepare U.S.

companies. And I would say that in our consultations with the administration, and with Congress, the other important stakeholder here in

Washington, we have been very clear just tell us where the sanctions are heading. Because there's going to be an economic cost to Russia's invasion,

if in fact, that's where Vladimir Putin goes.

And I think there'll be areas around banking and other sectors that are going to be impacted, including the tech sector. You mentioned energy

prices earlier in your show. Certainly, that would be a factor and, of course, supply chain challenges. We are going to see a cost for Russia's

invasion. And we want to work with our companies to make sure they're best prepared to address that.

QUEST: So, the White House has just released -- White House released -- this has just happened -- the transcript of President Biden's conversation

as part of the Quint group earlier. He says they agreed on the importance of coordinated efforts, including their readiness to impose massive

consequences and severe economic costs on Russia. Now, you just made it clear, severe economic costs on Russia will have knock on economic effects.

Let's just take for example, let's say they ban Russia from the Swift international exchange or banking system. That brings their international

business to a stop. Let's say they put a moratorium on Russia. Oh, how does that affect your members? Do you shoot yourself in the foot when you do it?

BRILLIANT: Well, I'm not sure they're going to go there with Swift. But regardless, if you have limitations on the Russian banks, obviously, U.S.

companies operating -- or European companies operating in Russia are going to have problems with payments to their employees, right? Just practical

considerations. If you have export controls that impact tech -- buying supplies, minerals, neon gas from Russia, you're going to have an impact on

the supply chains.

So that's going to affect the semiconductor industry. So, these are things that U.S. companies are thinking about working with our administration,

working with our Congress, we've only had a few weeks, the administration has been pretty good in its outreach. But obviously, time is ticking

quickly to a decision point and U.S. companies have to operate under the assumption that they have to have safeguards in place.

QUEST: And one final point, of course, look, there's never a good time to have this situation. I appreciate that. But --


QUEST: -- if you take -- if you take what's happening on the northern border with Canada, where we've now got you U.S. automakers, car makers

saying we're going to have to shut down because the supply -- just in time all the policies, all the policies of the last 20 years are now militating

against because of what we're seeing with existing supply chain problems and the truckers' dispute or the truckers' problems in Canada.

BRILLIANT: Well, Richard, look, we have high inflation. We have a worker shortage in this country. We clearly have supply chain challenges going

into the year, some of that coming on the West Coast, coming from China and other places in Asia. Now you have a border challenge with Canada, right?

The U.S. Chamber, the Business Roundtable, National Association of Manufacturers have called on the Canadian government to resolve this issue.

Twenty-five or 27 percent of two-way trade on that border comes through that bridge, the Windsor Bridge, the Detroit- Windsor Ambassador Bridge,

right? 27 percent. Canada is the leading trading partner of 32 states in the United States. It's not just the auto industry, they're badly impacted.

The workers are badly impacted. But this has ramifications across the United States. If the result is not to get this deal done quickly. I do

think we'll see a resolution of that.

There's some science today, there are obviously three bridges that have been impacted that the Canadian government needs to move.

QUEST: Sir, I'm grateful. We've talked on issues in different ways than we intended to within the day took an extremely unusual turn but that's the

way it is. Thank you, sir. Have a lovely weekend (INAUDIBLE)

BRILLIANT: All about.

QUEST: It's QUEST MEANS BUSINESS Press. President Biden to speak to Vladimir Putin soon we understand, we don't know when but soon. A former

U.S. ambassador to Ukraine will be speaking to us. We do know when, next.


QUEST: Delving further into the detail of what we now know from today, the U.S. National Security Adviser says President Biden will speak to President

Putin amid fresh warnings over Ukraine. We don't know when or we don't know the details. Over an hour ago, the White House warned of the distinct

possibility that Russia could invade -- could invade. William Taylor is the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine. The ambassador is with me now.

When you've heard the news today, I mean, do you see this taking us one step closer? Do you now -- is it -- is it of your view that it's not on if

it's a when?


WILLIAM TAYLOR, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO UKRAINE: Richard, I'm not quite there. I'm not quite there. We are one step closer, there's no doubt about

that. And all the -- all the actions on both sides that you would expect are happening. However, President Putin has not according to Jack Sullivan,

as far as we know, has not made the final decision to send troops, tanks, aircraft over the border.

When he does, the costs will be very high, and they'll come down very hard. But he hasn't yet --


QUEST: In your view -- in your view, Ambassador, what will determine that decision?

TAYLOR: In my view, it will be his evaluation of the costs and benefits. And the costs, as we just said, are very high. The benefits, at least to

most people in the world are not obvious. What is he going to get for this? He's going to try -- he's concerned about Ukraine joining a defensive

alliance, the cost and benefits just don't pan out. So, I hope and expect him to make a decision not to invade.

QUEST: If he does, and he takes over Ukraine, which mathematically, it's just about a certainty, although there'll be a guerrilla or underground

maverick, fighting back for continuously. But if he does, what does he do then? So, he turns around, and he says, right, I've now got Ukraine, I can

install a puppet government. I can turn it into another Belarus. I've moved my Western border further towards the E.U. But can he keep it? Can he --

can he -- can he manage that?

TAYLOR: He cannot. The Ukrainians will fight. Even before that guerrilla warfare that you talk about every night will come but you're exactly right.

But even before that the Ukrainian military will inflict great damage on the Russian military, there's no doubt about that. There'll be a lot -- as

we know, there'd be a lot of Russian soldiers killed, even more Ukrainians killed. But if he does take over and he could, you're exactly right.

He could do that if he makes a bad decision. He won't be able to get out. I mean, he got into Afghanistan, he had a hard time getting out and went out.

And in a -- in a defeat, that will be very similar in Ukraine.

QUEST: So, if we -- if we just call a map up full screen, so that I can sort of see it properly. And so, I'm looking at a map now. We've got

Ukraine. Let's just say again, God forbid, but assume he goes in, well, Belarus to the north is his friend, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania,

Moldova, certainly Poland, Hungary and the others. I mean, the NATO countries, 3000 troops to Poland to try and reinforce the Article Five

message. Surely Putin is by no means ever even thinking of going against the NATO country.

TAYLOR: Surely, he won't. Surely, he won't. And those 3000 are just in addition to the 60,000 that are already in Europe. And that are moving

towards those countries that you just mentioned, Richard, moving towards Poland, moving towards Romania, Bulgaria, moving towards the Baltic states.

So, surely, he would not -- Putin would not attack those. If he does, it's terrible.

QUEST: And the -- the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, he basically told The Quint Group, look, we need to have what we're going to do in the

event of an invasion. We need to have it ready to go now. So, there's two prongs to this. Firstly, what do you believe would be sanctioned severe

enough to merit the occasion? And secondly, since you've obviously know this backwards, can you see Europeans squabbling over implementing or even

installing them?

TAYLOR: So, on the second question, I think if Putin makes this horrible decision to invade, then I think the Europeans and the Americans and the

Canadians, the West will be unified. I think it will be very clear. I think they're unified now, Richard. But I think if he comes across the border, he

will solidify that unity. Number one, and just this -- your first question about sanctions, the United States, by itself can sanction the three

largest Russian banks.

And you know better than I what the effect would that be. That would hit Russian people across the country on their ability to use credit cards to

pay -- to pay their bills, to get their pensions, this will hammer sadly the Russian people. And it will be immediate, and it's even worse for the

rest of people. If the Europeans and the rest of the world rejoin. Joins those sanctions but it's not just that, he will -- we will sanction Putin

and we will sanction people around him and deny him the components for his industry.

That will be a longer-term effect, that denial of those -- of electronic components but it will be a cumulative effect.

QUEST: Good to have you, Ambassador, on such serious matters. I apologize that we'll probably have to talk about these things but please we'll talk

about -- have a good weekend as best we can (INAUDIBLE) we've got. Thank You, sir.


It's -- as I say, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, there's a lot of business and there's a lot of geopolitical tensions and we'll take a break.


QUEST: Breaking news tonight. U.S. and its NATO allies are expressing growing fears of an imminent Russian invasion of Ukraine. Jill Dougherty is

CNN's (INAUDIBLE) Moscow Bureau Chief. Jill is with me from Washington. Good to see you, Jill. And so, I was talking to Ambassador Taylor, you may

have just heard me a moment ago talk to me. He doesn't believe that when push comes to shove Putin will, because of the rolling consequences of a

trench warfare battle that will take its toll at home. What do you think?

JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN MOSCOW BUREAU CHIEF: You know, I think Ambassador Taylor is making a lot of really good points. As I look at Russia, you

know, continually they have said, we have no intention of attacking. Now, if they did attack, it would seem that they'd have to have a reason. So,

what would be the reason? Now it could be, you know, an attack on their compatriots in Ukraine.

The Russian speakers in the -- in the eastern part, or it could be that now that the West believes that something might happen, imminently. President

Putin could say nothing's going to happen. That -- and this would be -- this would work perfectly with what Russian T.V., the Russian media have

been saying which is the West is paranoid, they're hysterical. We are not going to attack. So, I could also see -- I mean, we're all trying to scope

this out and nobody knows.

But I could also see them saying, you know, they're crazy. We're not going to do this and not do but keep the west, keep it in a state of panic.

QUEST: Right. So, Jill, we just heard that the President Biden and President Putin expected to speak on Saturday. Now bearing in mind that

we've already had the most deliberate and strong statements from Biden in the past. What more would turn Putin away?


DOUGHERTY: I think it's almost impossible to say what would. I mean, he has been very maximalist, you know, he's talking about rewriting the rules at

the end of the -- of the Cold War. So, what would satisfy him? I mean, there has to be -- if he has to pull back, then he'd have to get something.

And that -- and what could he get that would look as if he won something. I mean, he's won something which is the West is certainly paying attention.

And he is talking to President Biden once again, that's what he wants. So, he's getting some things. But are these things enough?

QUEST: Finally, what started this? I mean, why, all of a sudden, on random months in 2021, did Vladimir Putin decide to ramp up and use Ukraine as the


DOUGHERTY: I think if you were to talk to President Putin he'd say, it didn't happen overnight. I've been saying this for years. In fact, you

know, President Putin was saying some of this back in 2007 at the Munich Security Conference. In fact, that video was just replayed on Russian T.V.

yesterday. So, what he would say is, I told you, I told you, you know, you can't -- Ukraine can't be a member that you didn't listen, and it's almost

a quote, he's now saying, listen to me now.

QUEST: Jill Dougherty. Always good to have you. Always (INAUDIBLE) at you. Have a lovely weekend. Thank you. We will return in about a minute or

three. I will update you with the news headlines and I'll show you where the markets are going to close for the day.


QUEST: A lot has happened over the last two hours and this is where we stand tonight. The U.S. is sending 3000 more soldiers to Poland amid rising

concerns about the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The goal in the words of a Pentagon official is to reassure NATO allies. It's in the face of a massive

Russian buildup that continues on the Ukrainian border. The White House now says Moscow could launch an attack at any time possibly before the end of

the Olympics.

Joe Biden's national security advisors urging Americans to leave Ukraine within 48 hours he says. If Russia attacks civilians are in danger from

aerial bombings. And a source tells us that President Biden and President Putin will talk tomorrow on Saturday.

And the markets swell as the closing bell rings on Wall Street.


Let me show you, we're just nearly off the lows of the day but we're up over 500 points. Those are the markets.