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Quest Means Business
Disturbing Photos Show Damage From Strikes In Mariupol; U.K. Adds Seven Russian Oligarch To Sanctions List; Europe Seeks To Reduce Dependence On Russian Energy; U.K. Adds Chelsea Owner Roman Abramovich To Sanctions List; Countries Worldwide Rely On Grains Exported By Ukraine; Major Averages Down As Inflation Hits 40-Year High; UNWTO: Suspending Russia Will Take Up To A Month
Aired March 10, 2022 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN BUSINESS ANCHOR: There`s an hour to go with trading left of the market day, and the markets are off the lows of the session.
Look at the Big Board and you`ll see where we`re going with that. The year`s inflation numbers have hit a 40-year high today, but the market is
coming back slowly. So there`s all sorts of underlying currents and trends that we need to get to grips with today, along with the main event.
At long last Britain has slapped sanctions on one of Russia`s most powerful and well-known businessman, Roman Abramovich, who owns Chelsea Football
Club, we`ll talk about it.
The Red Cross is warning the situation in Mariupol is increasingly dire and desperate, and the destruction of Ukraine`s wheat crop threat threatens to
worsen hunger in Africa.
We`re live from London. It is Thursday, it is March 10th. I`m Richard Quest. I mean business.
Good evening. The international outrage over atrocities in Ukraine is now sparking new and fresh sanctions. Disturbing videos have emerged from
Mariupol that we`ve seen and they show the damage to a maternity hospital after what officials say was a Russian air strike.
The picture you`re looking at now have just become of course, a symbol of the awfulness that we have experienced or that they have experienced and we
In this attack, three people died, and that includes a child, and these pictures disturbing, showing bodies being placed in a mass grave in the
The British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says the hospital bombing cannot go unanswered.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: When you look at what is happening in Ukraine, and you look at the casual rejection of every norm of civilized
behavior in bombing a maternity hospital, I think people in this country can see that people connected to the Putin regime need to be sanctioned and
that`s what we`re doing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Now, we will be live in Ukraine in just a moment because I do need to bring you up to date. We also need to note, we are a business program,
to talk about the economic weapon that the West is deploying, using its most powerful weapons right now -- economic sanctions -- and this is the
There you go. Look at it. The consolidated list of financial sanction targets has just been updated. It goes back many, many months. It goes back
in fact, a couple of years, and the U.K. government has expanded their sanctions now to include seven Russian oligarchs. Their assets will be
frozen. They are banned from entering the country.
Perhaps the most notable and certainly well-known is Roman Abramovich, the owner of Chelsea Football Club. He had given stewardship of the club to its
trustees, whatever that means. We`ll talk about the details of that in just a moment.
Anna is with me. This list of -- so we have Sergey Vladimirovich (ph), Roman Abramovich, Sir Leonard Valentinovich.
ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: Quite a few added to the U.K. list. Seven in total, Roman Abramovich being the probably most well-known in the U.K.
because he owns Chelsea Football Club; six others, Richard, all of whom are already on E.U. sanctions list, U.S. sanctions list, or both.
So some of the key ones, in addition to Abramovich, Oleg Deripaska, and Igor Sechin, who is the CEO of Rosneft.
QUEST: Okay, so what does it mean? They`ve had a long time, since 2014, and arguably weeks since this all started to get the assets away.
STEWART: They`ve had essentially since 2014, with the annexation of Crimea when these sanctions first came about and particularly in the U.K., there
has been a lot of criticism that it has been two weeks since the invasion for the U.K. to sanction these people, these well-known people, that is
time to asset shed an asset sell.
So we`re looking at assets of course that are visible, super yachts, private jets, mansions, and we can show you some of the super yachts around
the world and they are moving. In the last few days, Roman Abramovich has two. We will bring these up for you there.
Two super yachts. The Eclipse we believe he owns, also the Solaris. The Solaris left Barcelona on Tuesday. It is tracking eastwards. The Eclipse
was in the Caribbean, it`s on the move.
So this is the problem, the assets that can move, but also trying to work out who owns what.
QUEST: Right. So if we take some of these assets, the Clio for example, one of two of the others. They use them, they charter them, they whatever
with them, but do they own them?
STEWART: Well, they probably do you own them. They are reported to own them, but it`s incredibly hard to figure it out. To give you an example,
there is one that is in Hamburg. It is called the Dilbar, we`ve got some lovely pictures for you.
And I can say this is a $600 million yacht. It is 156 meters long.
QUEST: It is one of the largest in the world, isn`t it?
STEWART: It`s the largest by weight with a nice big pool and so on, right, I tried to track down who owns this. It is alleged to be owned by Alisher
Usmanov. He is sanctioned by the U.K., the E.U., and the U.S. It is in Hamburg.
A lot of confusion as to whether it`s been seized or not. It is owned by a company called Klaret Continental Leasing Limited.
STEWART: You know it?
QUEST: Never heard of it.
STEWART: Right. Registered in Malta, one of the many, many, many directors that I went through was called, Demetrios Serghides, I think that`s how you
say it. He is listed on the company`s house. I could find a few companies all dissolved, all in Cyprus.
I searched for him through the Panama Papers, one of the many leaked documents we had. He is also a shareholder of a firm called U.S.M. Monaco,
registered in the B.V.I., the beneficiary, Alisher Usmanov.
So you go full circle. There are tentacles, you can find connections, very hard to prove who owns what.
QUEST: And so, this is interesting because you`ve got houses that could be on by anybody. I mean, it is hard to find the ownership. Same with your
sort of jets or whatever. So what do governments do in those situations? Do they just sequester them anyway?
STEWART: I suspect some will. But currently, the only super yacht that has actually been seized, and this is the easiest asset to seize, Richard, is
one in France. There is only one that has absolutely been seized at this stage. And you know what, the owner -- sort of not the owner, the ship
runner says it`s not owned by the oligarch it`s alleged to be owned by. So this is a mess we`re going to get into.
QUEST: So last bit, but you`ve got -- let`s have a look at those yachts again, where they are. If we look at where the yachts are, even if you
can`t seize them, you`ve got to get on them if you want to enjoy them, even in international waters and that means going through countries, arguably
where you would be sanctioned, and the boats have to be replenished, which again, I guess, could be done at sea.
STEWART: All the boats you`re looking at right here look like they are heading towards the likes of the Maldives and maybe the Middle East. In
terms of running them, millions a year.
If your assets are frozen, energy is getting pretty expensive, that will be harder to do.
QUEST: Anna, keep looking at jets, houses, and yachts.
STEWART: It would be my pleasure.
QUEST: Keep looking at that. Thank you.
Like any weapon, though, the economic sanctions we`re talking about will cause collateral damage -- blowback, if you will -- and that is something
Vladimir Putin was keen to point out arguably threatened when he was talking to his ministers in Moscow earlier today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): We know it well, they urge their citizens to tighten their belts, dress warmer, and point to
the sanctions they impose on us as a reason for their deteriorating situation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Brian O`Toole helped enforce U.S. sanctions when he worked for the Office of Foreign Assets Control, O.F.A.C. in Washington. He is me with
Brian, well, you heard that. I mean, you know this backwards, the difficulty of seizing these assets once these sanction lists are published.
What are you hearing now about the success that they are having?
BRIAN O`TOOLE, FORMER SENIOR ADVISER, U.S. OFFICE OF FOREIGN ASSETS CONTROL: Look at seizing yachts and planes is sexy and draws headlines
because there are big, flashy things you can point to, but fundamentally, they`re not anywhere near as important as the other restrictions that are
being placed on Russia, like the Central Bank sanctions, like restrictions on Russian banks themselves, and other companies, cessation of imports of
oil, drying down things that really hit the Kremlin, and its pocketbook. Those are what really matter to Putin.
But he doesn`t care that much of Alisher Usmanov`s $600 million yacht leaves that port or not. That`s not really his concern.
QUEST: And do those people who did these and as I`ve said, I`ve got the list here of the consolidated list. I mean, are these people like
Abramovich sanctioned, because there is a PR benefit in a sense? I`m not saying he isn`t worthy of sanctions, but you want to hold this as a sort of
look at what the rich are getting up to?
O`TOOLE: Yes, it is hard to say that you`re going after the entirety of the Kremlin`s kind of kleptocratic system without going after the guys who
benefit from it, even if they are not the ones who are going to be exerting any real influence on Putin.
So, you know, the way that I always think about is, it`s like, you drop a stone in a pond and you`ve got the concentric circles, right? The biggest
cronies for Putin are people like Timchenko and the Rotenberg brothers and then you get a ring out and you`re talking to Usmanov and Abramovich and
folks like that, Deripaska.
And so you always want to stay in those concentric circles and that`s kind of my view of it.
QUEST: Right. Okay, so there is a bit of an unspoken here. There is though, because the sanctions that we`re seeing now have never been done
before on a scale as we are doing now and therefore, I put it to you that we mean, the west, the democratic countries, we are going to feel an
effect, because essentially, the war is being felt on economic turf.
O`TOOLE: Absolutely. The Biden administration has laid out that prices at the pump here in the states have risen 75 cents a gallon over the last
couple of weeks. And that is going to be -- there are going to be effects to the West, whether those are supply chain disruptions, interruptions to
the business kind of transverse from the takeover to Russia, whether it`s the energy prices themselves.
The point of sanctions, though, is to hurt the other guy more than yourself, and no Western jurisdiction, no Western country is facing a
prospect of sovereign default and Russia very well may be there next tier. So Putin is saying that this is some harm to the U.S. or the West is a very
QUEST: You alluded to the Russian default and as of when it will happen. Brian, from what your friends and sources in Treasury and elsewhere telling
you or what you`re hearing, how badly are the sanctions hitting Russia at the moment? And when would you expect to see them really bite?
O`TOOLE: So they are hitting pretty hard now. The real tests are going to be if Russia ever opens up its stock markets again, and allows the ruble to
trade freely. It has not done so since the beginning of this crisis and that is going to bring with it a massive plummet in valuations.
The sanctions on the major Russian banks don`t fully take effect until March 25th. So that`s when Sberbank, the largest bank in Russia will be
formally cut off from the U.S. which essentially cuts it off from those cross border transactions, and when Russia has these sovereign debt
repayments, right, if the country is declared in default on their sovereign debt, that`s going to have a cascading effect across the economy.
So when those things trip, like that`s when you`re going to start to see kind of the biggest impacts reverberating across Russia.
QUEST: I said when we first spoke to you, we would need to speak to you many times during this crisis. I`m glad you`ve agreed to help us understand
what`s going on. Thank you sir. I appreciate your time tonight.
O`TOOLE: Anytime. Thank you.
QUEST: Thank you.
As we continue, it is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. Millions of Ukrainians have fled their country, others, many of them will be joining them. The
conditions rapidly deteriorating. We`re going to be in Kyiv after the break.
QUEST: Increasingly dire and desperate is how the Red Cross is describing the situation in Mariupol. The Russian air strikes have killed and injured
people at the children`s hospital. You would have seen the pictures that are just absolutely heartbreaking.
According to the U.N., more than two million people have already fled the country since the invasion began. The feeling is -- Matthew Charles, the
feeling is up to five million could eventually leave Ukraine.
Matthew is with me from Kyiv. Good evening, sir.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Richard. Yes.
So Matthew, the situation and the desperation from the pictures that we have seen. It`s starting to -- it is difficult for us outside versus you
there to sort of fully understand how close, how desperate, and what happens next? Tell me, please.
CHANCE: Yeah, no, sorry. I lost contact with you in the studio there briefly. But yes, I mean, it`s an absolutely desperate situation. You`re
right to sort of identify the humanitarian crisis that is taking place right now in Mariupol, in the southeast corner of this country where there
has been an exodus of people that has come under attack by Russian forces.
The day before, there was that gut-wrenching assault on a maternity clinic in the middle of the city and there have been these awful images of
pregnant women who are blooded, being carried out of that area, and the Russian response to that hasn`t been to apologize or even to acknowledge
that it happened. They`ve just said, that was not a maternity clinic. That was a base for a far right militia called the Azov Battalion, which was
essentially a legitimate target, not a war crime.
But there are many people watching the scenes or those scenes that will disagree very strongly with that. Elsewhere across the country, here in
Kyiv, for instance, there has been fierce fighting, but there has also been an outflow of thousands upon thousands of people from the northern parts of
the city, which have been under strong Russian attack, and to the city center, where they`ve been sort of getting on buses and cars and trains and
trying to get themselves west out of harm`s way as much as they can.
And again today, hundreds upon hundreds of people using this opportunity, this humanitarian corridor to escape the war zone and get themselves and
their families out of harm`s way.
CHANCE (voice over): In the chaos of this evacuation, the frantic search for a lost child. The rush to escape the fighting, an orphan has been left
behind. Each bus now desperately checked for a familiar face.
CHANCE (on camera): Hello, hi. You speak English?
CHANCE (voice over): For the journey across the front line, the children are well-protected against the cold, if not, the problems.
The older kids were terrified like Kara Natasha (ph) tells me, but the little ones didn`t understand the danger they were all in, she says.
This is a mass exodus from areas under heavy Russian assault, an agreed safe corridor, which hundreds of civilians, entire families are using to
escape before it closes leaving the horrors of the past few weeks behind.
NADIA: Nice meeting with you. My name is Nadia.
CHANCE (on camera): Nadia, where have you come from, Nadia?
NADIA: From Vorzel`.
CHANCE: From Vorzel`, which is a town up there.
NADIA: Yes. This is a place which was very dangerous and there are a lot of Russians and a lot of Chechens. I don`t know
CHANCE: Russians and Chechens.
NADIA: Yes. Russians and Chechens and they kill our -- the owner of the house where we --
CHANCE: They killed the owner of the house?
NADIA: Yes, yes. They killed the owner of the house.
CHANCE: And so you must have been -- and your family over here -- you must have been terrified.
NADIA: It is --
NADIA: It was terrifying. Absolutely terrified. But family is okay. Now, we are going to the --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE).
NADIA: Ten days in the underground.
CHANCE: You`ve been 10 days underground.
NADIA: Ten days underground.
CHANCE: Oh my goodness.
Well, there you have it. Yes, just one family that has taken this opportunity to escape the horrific situation they`ve found themselves in.
For the last 10 days or more, and again, take that chance to get themselves and their children out of here.
KONSTANTIN USOV, KYIV DEPUTY MAYOR: We have a lot of volunteers who helped with nutrition and --
CHANCE: And all of these salvages --
(voice over): And helping them do that safely, this embattled Ukrainian official tells me is now as much a part of fighting this war with Russia,
is killing the enemy.
USOV: Warm food and warm drinks. We have a medical crew that helps to manage people that were wounded. We`ve seen shelled people with broken and
ruptured legs here.
USOV: And we have a security force that actually interview people because we are afraid that Russians may have sent some of their own in this.
CHANCE: As spies.
USOV: As spies, as --
USOV: As saboteurs. Yes, right here.
CHANCE: And all this is happening, of course, all this is happening under the threat -- the threat of artillery strikes and gunfire.
CHANCE: That`s a real threat right now.
USOV: That`s a real threat, but we have no choice because we have thousands of people who really have spent more than a week in the basements
with no cellular coverage, with no access to medical assistance, with no food, no lights, no electricity, and they want to flee, they need us to
CHANCE (voice over): But as the buses leave for the capital, the boom of artillery fire resumes in the distance. The window for this escape from the
fighting is closing fast.
QUEST: The Russian Army is not that far outside Kyiv and the expectation is of an intensity, God forbid, the shelling of the sort of Mariupol or
elsewhere will be put on -- the full force will be heading your way. What`s the mood like?
CHANCE: It is pretty tense, I have to admit. And you know, a lot of people are very anxious.
In fact, the mayor of Kyiv a few hours ago said that he thought that nearly half of the entire population of the city had already left. The rest of
them are sheltering in their apartment blocks in their houses, or in bunkers, of course, that the city has got quite a lot of to shelter the
population, metro stations, if not actual kind of purpose-built bunkers.
And there is every reason, Richard, for them to be scared, because just 10 miles away, 15 kilometers. There is -- there was a massive battle earlier
today with a Russian armored column of tanks that was destroyed by Ukrainian Defense Forces with antitank missiles and things like that.
But it just shows you that there is this strategy that is underway and it is gaining strength bit by bit, as the Russians encircle the city with
their armor and their artillery, and they move to sort of tighten the stranglehold on it and threaten a massive all-out assault against the
I mean, we all hope that doesn`t happen, but it certainly seems to be what the Russian authorities, what the Russian Armed Forces are moving towards
being able to achieve.
QUEST: Matthew in Kyiv. Matthew, thank you.
Now, it is in response it seems like, you`ve just been saying that Britain`s Foreign Secretary is among those calling for a massive change in
The Foreign Secretary of Britain says that the West relies too heavily on countries like Russia.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LIZ TRUSS, BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY: We became dependent on authoritarian regimes. If you look at Europe and our dependence on Russian oil and gas,
that has been a huge problem. So what we need to do now is completely change our approach.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Now, Canada is the world`s fourth largest oil producing nation, possible source of liquefied natural gas.
Jonathan Wilkinson is its Minister of Natural Resources, the Minister is with me now. The difficulty with natural gas, you have sort of -- you don`t
have a huge amount of -- well, you have no LNG capabilities sort of east to send to Europe. So how are you going to assist if Europe does find as it is
likely Russian gas is no longer available?
JONATHAN WILKINSON, CANADIAN MINISTER OF NATURAL RESOURCES: So certainly, there have been lots of conversations with European countries that are
ongoing. I mean, in the short term, we`re looking about flowing -- looking at flowing more oil through existing pipeline networks to try to help on
that side of it.
In terms of liquid natural gas, you`re right, we don`t have liquid natural gas facilities on the east coast of Canada. There are a number of proposals
that have been made. And certainly we`re engaging the conversation with Europe about whether those are opportunities that they would like to see us
expedite. Of course, it`s also in the broader conversation around the energy transition where to a Minister at the International Energy Agency
meeting last week, all the European countries talked about the need to transition much more quickly to renewables and hydrogen and certainly
Canada is very interested in being a potential supplier of hydrogen in the longer term.
QUEST: Right. But I was reading today the concerns over whether Canada would export fossil fuels of one sort or another, which could -- I mean,
which would be replacing existing, but clearly, of course, is not towards the transition and just raise environmental questions.
But, Minister, let`s be clear, this really isn`t the time to be worrying about that, surely, when there might be a dire need for gas or fuel in
WILKINSON: Well, certainly we are very interested in supporting our friends and allies in Europe and certainly, we are engaged in those
But part of it, obviously, relates to the timelines within which Europe needs to secure supplies, because if we were to move forward with an LNG
facility on the East Coast, it takes time to go through the process and the construction phase.
So we`re looking to align those conversations and to see what can be done if Canada were to do it, though, we would obviously look to do it in a
manner that is sensitive to the issues around climate. I think everybody understands that, well, we have to address the energy security requirements
in the short term and do whatever we can to support our friends and allies. We also have to do it in a manner that is consistent with the long term
need to address the climate challenge.
QUEST: So the secret of -- the dirty secret that nobody really says is that, for the foreseeable future, no matter how quickly we transition,
fossil fuels of one sort or another are going to be the backbone of our energy supply and it`s how we handle that.
Do you think Europe has done a spectacularly bad job of weaning itself off Russian oil and gas?
WILKINSON: Well, I think we`re all learning lessons with this terrible, terrible crisis that is going on in Ukraine in terms of ensuring that there
is a greater degree of energy independence for all of us, but also that where you are looking to import energy supplies, that you are looking to
import them from countries that are stable, secure, friendly, and democratic countries going forward and I think everybody is learning
something in that regard right now.
QUEST: Can you give us an assurance tonight that Canada will do that which is necessary?
WILKINSON: I can give you an assurance that we are absolutely committed to supporting our friends in Europe. We are engaged actively in those
conversations. In fact, I`m going to be in Paris the week after next to continue those conversations with a number of countries in Europe.
And I met with a number of them this morning on a G7 call, so absolutely, those are our critical conversations and we are committed to supporting our
QUEST: And Minister, we`ll talk more as this goes on because obviously, Canada is going to play an important role in this transition.
Thank you, sir. I appreciate it. Thank you.
WILKINSON: Thank you.
QUEST: It is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.
No transfers, no contracts and no new tickets, and certainly no sale for Roman Abramovich`s Stamford Bridge as the sanctions are hitting Chelsea`s
QUEST: Hello, I`m Richard Quest, we have a lot more QUEST MEANS BUSINESS to bring you tonight.
Chelsea back in action on the pitch at the same time its owners are facing a freeze of assets. We`re at Stamford Bridge in a moment.
Goldman Sachs has become the first Wall Street bank to pull out of Russia. I`ll get to all of that but only after I`ve updated you on the news
because, this is CNN and, on this network, the news always comes first.
QUEST (voice-over): At least 549 civilians have been killed in Ukraine since the Russian invasion began, according to estimate from the United
Nations Human Rights Office. The agency says the actual death of dead and injured may be significantly higher as the reports are often slow to be
India`s prime minister Narendra Modi has secured a key victory in state elections. His party, the BJP, has retained power in Uttar Pradesh, the
most populous (ph) state. It`s the first time a party won two consecutive terms in the state since 1989.
Face masks will continue to be mandatory on U.S. flights and the airports and on trains and buses. The federal mask mandate for U.S. transportation
was set to expire next week. A U.S. official telling CNN that the Biden administration will extend the policy until April 18th and it will be
reviewed next month.
QUEST: An uncertain future for Chelsea Football Club tonight -- and I`m not talking about what`s happening on the pitch. Chelsea`s away at Norwich
City and it`s 2-nil at half time.
However, today the real action was before the whistle even started, as the British government added Chelsea`s owner, Roman Abramovich, to its list of
The telecoms company Three is suspending its deal to sponsor the club and taking its logo off the shirts. Abramovich was already trying to sell the
team before sanctions were announced, having already said he was going to hand it to the trusties for stewardship.
Now the government in the U.K. has given a special license, which allows the team to keep playing. He will -- Abramovich, that is -- will not be
allowed to sell the team and Chelsea can`t get new players, can`t issue new contracts, can`t sell players to other teams or sell new tickets or even
souvenirs in the souvenir shop.
Chelsea can pay employees, pay reasonable costs to travel, to host fixtures and for club maintenance. And broadcasters can show matches, too.
Amanda Davies is outside Chelsea Stadium, at Stamford Bridge in London.
In an interesting way, this, more than perhaps anything else, has brought home to people that this is a real war and that there are sanctions. And
collateral damage and people in places like Chelsea suffer.
AMANDA DAVIES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Absolutely, Richard. And, you know, when you see the horrors of war playing out in Ukraine, you can`t pretend
to put the day-to-day running of a football club anywhere in the same sentence, really, can you.
But the reality is Roman Abramovich is, as the U.K. government have said, a close confidante, adviser of the Russian president Vladimir Putin.
DAVIES: And they see him, because of his relationship with somebody who should be sanctioned, given the current climate. Abramovich has always
tried very, very hard, publicly, at least, since he took over here at Stamford Bridge some two decades ago, to distance himself and the club from
But the European champions, Chelsea, are now very firmly in the center of this conversation. You mentioned the sponsors, three. The (INAUDIBLE) here,
has pictures of all the players, some of the club`s biggest names, wearing the Chelsea shirt with the Three logo on their front.
Three have said they are going to suspend their club sponsorship as things stand. Hyundai are reviewing their sponsorship of the club. And we`re
looking to see what others do.
It has been a really strange day at Stamford Bridge. As you say the action isn`t happening on the pitch behind us here, it`s in Norwich at the moment.
But no doubt, you`re starting to feel the impact of what has happened today.
The club shop is firmly closed, a sign on the door saying, not open for the foreseeable future. There`s a hotel as part of this complex, unable to sell
rooms. And you can`t even get a coffee because there`s an uncertainty as to whether that means selling a coffee in the hotel on Stamford Bridge will be
lining the pockets of Roman Abramovich.
QUEST: So this is fascinating, because, for the first time, we are really seeing sanctions being hit at this level. Now the fans have called on the
government, the British government, to sort of, basically, let Chelsea continue and to get off its back.
But they`ve also asked for a restructuring of Chelsea, including a golden share that would be given to them, which is a nonstarter. But the fans are
wanting more of a say.
Do they get what this is all about?
DAVIES: I think they do, Richard. You know, fans wanting more of a role in their football club isn`t anything new. And it`s certainly something that
has been increasingly on the agenda, given the events of the ill-fated European Super League that we talked about, just, you know, a few months
ago, when fans, not only here at Stamford Bridge but Manchester United, Liverpool, other Premier League sites, who felt the foreign owners and
investors of their clubs weren`t necessarily putting the interests of their clubs at the forefront.
Roman Abramovich, you have to say, did try, you know, two weeks ago to sell this club. He put it up for sale because he saw the sanctions coming down
the line, didn`t he?
He has always very publicly talked about his love for the club. Yes, it wasn`t just about the results on the football pitch for him. There was the
bigger political picture as well.
But I think it`s difficult to deny the fact he had loved his time here at Stamford Bridge and led it into the most successful 20-year period of this
club`s history. And he certainly wanted to be remembered as the man who orchestrated that great success, not as the man who is, you know --
DAVIES: -- heading out of this club in a political storm.
QUEST: And he says he doesn`t want, that he`s going to write off the $1.whatever loans he`s made to the club. Quick question -- because it`s
awful, I feel awful even just asking this, Amanda.
But one moves forward and not backwards.
Who will buy Chelsea?
Who is out there salivating at the prospect of basically being ready to buy, once the sanctions lift?
DAVIES: I feel that`s a question I should be throwing to you, Richard, because, with your business connections in the United States, you`re
probably far better placed than I am.
What we know is there are not many people on this planet who, by themselves, can afford to buy a football club of the wealth of Chelsea
without some help, without the backing, perhaps, of a consortium behind them.
We understand that, when Abramovich and the Rain Group, a U.S. bank started looking for offers some, a week or so ago, a number of people within the
United States, in particular, started looking quite seriously and putting their names in the hat. Woody Johnson of the New York Jets is one.
DAVIES: Todd Boehly of the Dodgers is another. The U.K. businessman, Nick Candy, is another.
All of these names, though, are very much speculative at this stage. At the moment, as you very rightly said, this sale cannot go through.
Chelsea, we understand, are going to request another special license. In order for them to get that for any sale to progress, the U.K. government
have said they absolutely have to prove that none of the proceeds of a sale would go in the pockets of Roman Abramovich. But Chelsea are confident they
would be able to do that.
QUEST: Amanda, thank you, we`ll watch it closely and you`ll be there to help us understand. Thank you.
The economic effects, remember what I said at the beginning of the program, the principle weapon from the West is economic sanctions. And it`s
threatening to drive up food costs around the world, both collaterally and, of course, because the Russians themselves may simply stop supplying.
After the break, executives trying to keep the food shipments moving.
QUEST: The head of the IMF (INAUDIBLE) particularly vulnerable to the higher food prices as a result of the war. Other groups are warning
disruptions in the country of Ukraine could cause hunger and hardship around the world. The head of the World Food Programme telling CNN his
group has lost access to a key source of grain.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID BEASLEY, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, WFP: Fifty percent of the grain that we purchase to feed 125 million people a year is now stuck. We can`t get.
So now, can we acquire all the grain that`s stuck inside Ukraine and distribute it?
But let me tell you some of the problems. Like you`re saying, front lines and all the young men, guess where they are, they`re on the battlefield
right now. So getting truck drivers and people who can offload and upload all of these kind of issues in addition to moving these supplies into
cities like Kyiv and Kharkiv and many other places, because Ukraine is not a small country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: And Ukraine is a major grain exporter. It`s known as the breadbasket of Europe. And according to the International Trade Center,
most cereal products from Ukraine go to Egypt, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Tunisia, Libya, major customers. The biggest of course, is China from
QUEST: Petro Melnyk is the CEO of Agricom and president of the Ukrainian Agribusiness Club. He joins me now.
Petro, good to be talking to you this evening. So we have two issues here. The first is simply getting the crop that is already there harvested,
refined, distributed and out. And the second is just the difficulty of doing anything at the moment. The country has ground to a halt in war.
How bad -- tell me what your understanding of the situation.
PETRO MELNYK, CEO, AGRICOM, AND PRESIDENT, UKRAINIAN AGRIBUSINESS CLUB: You know, the situation is hard to explain -- and thank you for meeting
with me for this conversation. It`s hard to explain the situation because even, a few days ago, no one can even predict such war scenarios.
So I am completely lost, 80 percent of my agriculture divisions should we go under occupation, Lugansk under occupation, and I just can work with the
commerce side of land.
QUEST: So we`re going to see a dramatic increase in price, which, of course, is one issue in the market. But then we`re going to see a shortage,
aren`t we, in countries. And that`s going to lead to hunger elsewhere.
Can you see that line, can you see that continuum?
MELNYK: Of course, it`s direct line, because you correctly mentioned that Ukraine is a breadbasket. And Russian as well has interest on the grain
market. So we all understand that and we just understood this war should stop, (INAUDIBLE) because if we will not get access to our fields,
(INAUDIBLE), the next year we`ll be without harvest.
And it will influence not just the Asia (ph) or China but it will interest -- the interest for whole world. It`s not just Ukrainian fields; it`s the
same situation in Russian fields.
QUEST: So do you think we fully understand this?
I mean, when I say we, people like me, people outside of Ukraine, people outside of Russia, where the sanctions will hit, do you think it`s dawned
on the rest of the world that we`re looking at a food security crisis?
MELNYK: You know, I`m not forecasted so but it`s obvious that the situation changed significantly and I think our main task, to push
multinational (ph) companies to stop work with Russia and to stop this war feels (INAUDIBLE), because it really be -- have significant impact on the
whole food industry.
It`s not just talking about Ukraine. It will interest for the whole international market. So you`re correct. We have, now, as you know, last
year was the best for the Ukrainian harvest. We collect a new record, more than 86 million tons.
And we have now in storage a lot of corn, a lot of wheat, a lot of sunflower. But the main problem now, to deliver it to the whole of the
world, because Russians stop working power sea channels.
So and to -- now, we in the process to create new ones through the Europe but that is the one side. Another side, it`s hard to (ph) harvest these
seasons because there is a main problem. The consumption of Ukraine, just like 15 million ton, always we export more than 40 million ton for other
country. So it will have significant impact.
QUEST: I`m grateful you joined us tonight. We will follow this up as we continue. Thank you, sir.
This is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.
QUEST: The U.S. rose last month to a 40 year high and the Dow dropped. The CPI number came in at 7.9 percent, expected but you see how they fell
and then recovered and they are now heading back up again, giving back some of the gains yesterday.
But they are better and more companies are suspending business in Russia. Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase announced they are leaving Russia. And
Marriott says it is pausing investments in the country as well.
As Marriott leaves Russia, the World Tourism Organization, the UNWTO, could become the first U.N. agency to suspend Russian membership over its
invasion. Its executive council has endorsed the move and the secretary- general told me it would take up a month to finalize.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ZURAB POLOLIKASHVILI, SECRETARY-GENERAL, WORLD TOURISM ORGANIZATION: We`re talking about the war in part of Europe, in capital of Ukraine, and
not only capital, seven cities they are bombing.
And at the same time we`re talking about the largest crisis, refugee crisis in Europe since Second World War. It now happened, what is happening now we
only saw in books and in the movies the last 45 years.
But now it`s the reality and we follow this reality. And we need to stop. And this is one of the -- our, let`s say, supports and solidarity to
Ukraine. And not only to Ukraine, to peace.
We are standing next to peace and all the world need the peace. This is the main message and this is why we propose to exhibit the council to the
General Assembly to postpone -- to suspend the membership of Russian Federation.
QUEST: And how long will this process take?
I mean, when would you expect the suspension to be approved and go into effect?
POLOLIKASHVILI: Unfortunately, you know that the U.N. organization has some procedures we have to follow. We wanted to do it today, to hold the
General Assembly. But we need some time. We will do it, as soon as it will be possible. But we are talking about doing the next three, four or one
month, let`s say.
QUEST: Right. And that`s actually quite a long time --
POLOLIKASHVILI: -- first step is there, first step is done and now we will follow the procedures. I was very optimistic from the beginning, because
all of us, we need -- we don`t need any new crisis or new stories after pandemic.
We`re over with pandemic, as you see, climate crisis and now this is the third crisis. And economies and tourist sectors can survive (ph) from these
difficult times together.
QUEST: So if I`m not mistaken, this would be -- and please correct me if I am -- you would be the first U.N. organization to suspend Russia as a
result of their invasion of Ukraine, is that right?
POLOLIKASHVILI: Exactly. We started first, first day, when we started separating (ph) there and here are the results. Again, it`s the procedure.
It`s not easy to do it in one day or one night.
But yes, we are the first and we present, really, to be the -- it`s not an overnight showcase but the first stance to peace. And our duty is to aim
peace and to support peace in the (INAUDIBLE).
Can you imagine tourism and war together, these two words?
It`s impossible. So that`s why we have to allocate and we have to finish with it as soon as possible.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: That`s the head of the U.N. WTO. Tomorrow, I`ll be discussing the economic fallout with the managing director of International Monetary Fund,
Kristalina Georgieva will be on tomorrow`s night`s QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. Of course, it`s 8:00 in London, 9:00 in Europe and 10:00 in. But it`s here on
There will be a "Profitable Moment" after the break.
QUEST: Tonight`s "Profitable Moment:" the sanctions regime is designed to hurt the Russian economy. And we`re all going to feel the pain in some
shape or form.
So tonight, Chelsea fans are hit by the sanctions against Abramovich. And Europeans, the rest of us, will pay more through higher inflation. Large
multinationals like McDonald`s will have lower profits. And the stock market will make us all feel poorer in pensions and investments.
This is what happens when the main weapon is economic sanctions. They hit their target square on and the collateral damage blows back on the rest of
I say this tonight, because many people don`t realize the democratic world is at economic war with Russia in defense of Ukraine. And like with any
war, there`s a price to be paid on both sides.
Frankly, leaders have done a shoddy job preparing us for what economic fallout may come. Luckily, economies are in strong positions to weather
this. And whatever happens, Russia will be in a far worse situation.
And that`s QUEST MEANS BUSINESS for tonight, I`m Richard Quest in London and whatever you`re up to, I hope it`s profitable.
"THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER" starts right now.