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Quest Means Business
Russia Agrees To De-escalation Around Kyiv And Chernihiv; Pentagon Gives Update On War In Ukraine; I.M.F. Chief Says World Economy Still Recovering From COVID; Five Killed In Israel Shooting Attack; Russia To Reduce Military Activity Around Kyiv And Chernihiv; Allies: Judge Russia By Actions, Not Words; Biden Budget Seeks Billions For European Defense; E.U. Officials Warned About Cyberattacks. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired March 29, 2022 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Good evening to you. I'm with Richard Quest tonight reporting from Dubai and slightly different start to
Breaking News: In just a moment or two, the Pentagon is due to hold a press conference. The Press Secretary John Kirby is going to give a briefing. It
is an important briefing because it has been a pivotal day for the conflict in Ukraine.
You'll be aware perhaps that Moscow has announced a dramatic shift in its strategy. Russia says it will reduce its military activity around Kyiv, the
capital and Chernihiv following peace talks with Ukrainian negotiators. Apparently, this is a good faith effort they say to build trust.
Moscow's lead negotiator says it is not a ceasefire, however. In Europe, the markets welcomed the development. In Germany, the DAX finished the day,
nearly three percent higher, which is a good, strong indication. For some reason, the numbers are not being reflected on your screen there, but take
it from me all the markets were higher.
And then there's Wall Street for you. So Wall Street has had its strongest day with the NASDAQ getting the best of the session, up one and -- just
over one and a half percent on the back of these peace talks.
Now, the major averages are off their session highs, also oil, that is retreating and quite substantially. A barrel of Brent is down almost two
percent today, around $107.00 a barrel, as the tensions are appearing to ease somewhat, but of course, this is very small. It's very tentative, in a
sense of the news that we've been following.
So, the Russian troop activity in northern Ukraine that's going to be affected by this. The Russians have got close to Kyiv, and they've
encircled Chernihiv, you can see it on the map here. An aide to Vladimir Putin said Russia now wants to lessen the risk to Ukraine's decision makers
in the capital, President Biden said he is taking a wait and see approach to this latest Russia offer to de-escalate.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We'll see. I don't read anything into it until I see what their actions are. We'll see if they
follow through on what they're suggesting. There are negotiations that have begun today or not begun -- continue today, one in Turkey and others.
I had a meeting with the heads of state for allies in NATO.
There seems to be a consensus that, let's just see what they have to offer.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Now the Pentagon briefing is about to get underway. I believe, John Kirby has now taken to the podium, Oren Liebermann is at the Pentagon at
the moment and listening for us. But we're going to go to the Pentagon briefing to hear what he is saying.
JOHN KIRBY, PENTAGON PRESS SECRETARY: ... things in Ukraine.
There's been a lot of reporting today on withdrawals and Russian decisions, and I think it is really important that we put a little bit of this into
So first, again, we've seen that Russia has attempted now for going on a month to sell this war of theirs to its domestic audience as a quote,
"liberation of the Donbas," however, the intensified rhetoric over the last year and in the lead up to Russia's invasions demonstrated that the
Kremlin's real intent was to overthrow the democratically elected government and to occupy or annex large portions of Ukraine.
The posture of Russian forces around Kyiv, along much of the Black and the Azov Sea coasts and in central and northeastern Ukraine indicates the
geographic scale of this ambition. They've been attacking Ukraine as we have been talking about now for several weeks on multiple lines of axis.
Russia's intent was to replace Ukrainian regional and national authorities and create so-called People's Republics, as displayed recently in Kherson
Province. The rapid advance to Kyiv in the initial days of the war showed very clearly for all of us, that Kyiv and a capital city was a key
objective for the Russians.
So we ought not be fooling and nobody should be fooling ourselves by the Kremlin's now recent claim that it will suddenly just reduce military
attacks near Kyiv or any reports that it is going to withdraw all its forces.
Has there been some movement by some Russian units away from Kyiv in the last day or so? Yes, we think so, small numbers.
KIRBY: But we believe that this is a repositioning, not a real withdrawal and that we all should be prepared to watch for a major offensive against
other areas of Ukraine.
It does not mean that the threat to Kyiv is over. Russia has failed in its objective of capturing Kyiv. It has failed in its objective of subjugating
Ukraine, but they can still inflict massive brutality on the country, including on Kyiv. We see that even today in continued airstrikes against
the capital city.
Mr. Putin's goals stretch far beyond the Donbas. The Russian Ministry of Defense's recent talking points, maybe an effort to move the goalposts,
moderating Russia's immediate goals and spinning its current lack of progress as part of what would be next steps, but it's too early to judge
what additional actions the Kremlin may take.
No amount of spin can mask what the world has witnessed over the past month, and that is the courage and the military prowess of Ukraine's Armed
Forces and its people, which are proving to be more than what Russia bargained for in its unprovoked and unjustified invasion.
Now that prowess is not accidental. We've talked about that a little bit. It's partly a result of the training and the support we and other allies,
over the last eight years have been given to the Ukrainian Armed Forces the United States together with our allies and partners and we are going to
continue to provide that support going forward to meet their security needs as they bravely stand up to this Russian aggression.
I thought it was really important to kind of set the level straight there on that because I've seen again, lots of reporting here on the so-called
Now in other news, Balikatan '22 started this week. This is a long standing annual bilateral military exercise conducted between the U.S. military and
the Armed Forces of the Philippines. It's a key component of our alliance cooperation.
The exercise features planning, operations, exchanges, and activities that increase both our nation's military capabilities to provide for the mutual
defense of the Philippine Archipelago. Exercise activities will occur at multiple locations throughout the Republic of the Philippines, and will
consist of three primary components, a bilateral staff exercise, joint interoperability events, and combined interoperability events, as well as
humanitarian and civic assistance efforts.
With more than 3,800 members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and 5,100 U.S. service members, this will be the largest iteration of Balikatan
to date. We look forward to a meaningful, productive exercise and we're grateful for that terrific relationship that we have with the Armed Forces
of the Philippines.
And then last but not least today, the final COVID-19 response teams in active duty status, who are supporting 59 cities across 30 states completed
their mission at the University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City.
Since the onset of the outbreak, more than 24,000 military members in active duty status have provided support to the whole of government effort.
The support included approximately 5,800 military and medical providers in supported hospitals and other civilian medical facilities, more than 5,000
military and medical personnel administering vaccines at Federal community vaccination centers, as well as military personnel who assisted citizens
when they were initially repatriated back to the U.S. in the very, very early days of the outbreak.
In January of this year, the Department activated more than a thousand service members in support of the President's direction to mobilize
additional military and medical personnel. And of those service members, DoD deployed nearly 700, who supported 25 hospitals in 14 states just from
January to March.
The rest of these military members were on standby throughout that time period ready to deploy at the request of F.E.M.A., if they were required.
It's important to note that while the Title X COVID-19 response may have come to a close as of this morning, there are still more than 10,800
National Guard soldiers and airmen supporting COVID-19 response efforts in at least 43 states, territories, and the District of Columbia. And I also
want to add that NORTHCOM remains postured as well to deploy more personnel if requested.
And of course, the Secretary wants to take this opportunity to pass on his personal gratitude and that of all senior leaders at the Department for the
extraordinary work that the men and women of this department have done throughout the pandemic, but certainly in just the last few months to work
so hard in support of our of civilian medical practitioners.
And with that, we'll take questions -- Bob.
QUESTION: Thank you, John. On Ukraine, when you say you are seeing small numbers of Russian troops moving, you say, they are repositioning, would
that be by small -- do you mean like less than a battalion tactical group?
KIRBY: I would -- this is very early on, Bob, so we don't have a number estimate, but it's certainly not a significant chunk of the multiple
battalion tactical groups that Russia has arrayed against Kyiv.
So we can confirm that we've seen a small number start to reposition, but I'd really be reticent to get into an exact number or try to put a unit on
it. It's not anywhere near a majority of what they have arrayed against Kyiv.
QUESTION: When you say repositioning, can you say -- I mean, are they moving like north into Belarus or are they repositioning for what you
described as potentially an offensive somewhere else?
KIRBY: I would say at this early stage, we see the movement more northward. But again, it's too early to tell, Bob, what the destination is, what the
final purpose is, and where exactly these troops are going to go long term.
We believe -- we believe, we assess that it is likely more repositioning to be used elsewhere in Ukraine. Where exactly? We don't know. I would just
note that the Russians themselves have said in the same breath, they're saying they are withdrawing, that they are reprioritizing the Donbas area
in eastern Ukraine.
QUESTION: But we could move there --
KIRBY: Again, that's a question better put to the Russian Ministry of Defense, if they'll ever give you a straight answer. But again, they have
said themselves that they are reprioritizing that part of Ukraine.
QUESTION: All right.
QUESTION: You mentioned obviously that they are redeploying. Have you seen any signs that Russia has pulled back and actually sending supplies into
Ukraine? Are they still basically continuing their own convoys of moving supplies, fuel, food, anything like that or if they stopped doing that, it
is just the troops that basically are moving --
KIRBY: Again, very early stages here. They've only just recently, in the last few hours, made this proclamation. So we have seen a small number
begin to move away from Kyiv. That's about the most I can give you.
I don't have any information on their resupply efforts for troops that are still arrayed against Kyiv. I would remind that the Russians still have a
significant majority of their assembled combat power to include logistics and sustainment capability available to them inside Ukraine.
QUESTION: Thank you, John. So just -- I am trying to understand something. If you're talking about a small number, do you think just what you're
seeing now or do you think there is going to be more numbers? Because you're saying they might be pulling out these forces to redeploy somewhere
else. If they are small numbers, are they going to make any difference if they were redeployed? Is it the beginning of something --
KIRBY: It is a great question for Minister Shoygu. I don't know, Fari (ph). All I can tell you is what we're seeing. We're seeing a small number now
that appears to be moving away from Kyiv, this on the same day that the Russians say they are withdrawing, but we're not prepared to call this a
retreat or even a withdrawal. We think that what they probably have in mind is a repositioning to prioritize elsewhere.
QUESTION: Do they still have enough forces on the ground around Kyiv in case they decided to basically relaunch some kind of attack on the city?
KIRBY: Again, I'm not going to predict what the Russian military plan is here. My answer to Bob, very, very small numbers that we've seen move at
this point. They still have the vast majority of the forces that they had assembled around Kyiv are still there. As I've said before, we largely
assess that they are in a defensive posture, they have several days ago, stopped trying to advance on Kyiv and sort of took up defensive positions.
QUESTION: Thanks, John. Three questions, please. Can you update us on --
KIRBY: Let me start writing.
QUESTION: Can you update us on the number of missiles? I'll just ask one at a time, if that's easier.
KIRBY: That's actually much easier.
QUESTION: The number of missiles that Russia has launched into Ukraine at this point.
KIRBY: I don't have an update on the missiles. You know, we know that they -- since the beginning of this, launched more than a thousand, but I don't
have an exact number.
QUESTION: Okay. Secondly, does the Pentagon still consider Russia a near peer competitor?
KIRBY: I think you can take away from what we talked about yesterday, when we released the budget, and we talk about Russia as an acute threat, and
that's how we're looking at Russia right now.
QUESTION: But that's not the same as what you've been saying. You've been saying your peer competitors, Russia and China, and now we were hearing
acute threat. So has it changed in the Pentagon?
KIRBY: We consider Russia as an acute threat based on certainly about what we've been seeing happen over the last month.
QUESTION: Okay, and then my last question is about Ukraine's peace proposal. It seems like they envision some sort of security guarantee, like
Article V with NATO with a country like Poland or Turkey or Canada.
So my question is, does the Pentagon think that's feasible because these are NATO countries, and establishing some sort of collective defense with a
NATO country would essentially bring in all of NATO with this. So does the Pentagon find a proposal like that feasible?
KIRBY: I think we're not going to get ahead of where Ukraine and Russia are on their discussions. This has got to be a negotiation between Russia and
Ukraine, and we're certainly not going to get in the middle of that or get ahead of where that is right now.
I would just say a couple of things, Carla (ph), Russia should negotiate in good faith. They have an opportunity here, an opportunity they have missed
many, many times over the last month to end this war and to do it responsibly and to negotiate in good faith. So we hope that they'll do
But the war could end today if Mr. Putin did the right thing and actually did withdraw all his forces from Ukraine and respect Ukrainian sovereignty.
And again, as for what that settlement looks like, that is really between Russia and Ukraine. We wouldn't dictate the terms and we wouldn't want to
get ahead of that process.
Let me go back over here, David.
QUESTION: As I understand --
QUEST: So there we have John Kirby, the Pentagon Press Secretary giving a briefing on the latest, an important day, as you're well aware, because
it's the day that Russia says that it is no longer targeting in the same way with the same ferocity, Kyiv, the capital and the other city of
Now, what John Kirby said is that the U.S. and the department have seen some movement, some small movement of troops away from Kyiv by Russia, but
he questions whether that is a repositioning, not a withdrawal, and he says nobody should be fooling themselves about this, that the Russians could
just be spinning the lack of progress.
All of this at the same time as Russia and Ukraine are holding talks there which have now come to a daily conclusion in Istanbul.
CNNs Ben Wedeman is with me from Mykolaiv in Ukraine.
Ben, you I'm not sure that you could hear much of what John Kirby was saying, but the gist of it is that there is movement, which A., suggests
negotiations have made progress and B., this idea that Russia is withdrawing, pulling back whatever we say, a small number of troops.
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, as far as progress made in the negotiations that took place in Turkey today, I think
we'll just have to wait and see what comes out of it. Certainly the atmospherics are somewhat better than previous rounds of negotiations.
As far as this question of possible redeployment of Russian troops to elsewhere in Ukraine, with what appears to be at least some sort of pull
back by their forces around Kyiv, it is hard to say. I mean, if you just look at the map of Ukraine, and you look at the areas where Russian forces
are located, for instance, if they even want to go to Donbas, that is hundreds of kilometers away.
So logistically, in terms of ground forces, it would be quite an effort if they were to take the concentration of forces around the Ukrainian capital,
move them to Donbas, or perhaps, to where we are, Mykolaiv, which just not long ago was a hot front in this war.
They could on the other hand, in terms of air assets, in terms of air power, in terms of drones, in terms of missiles, that would could be more
easily focused on other areas, but it is so early at this moment, it's only today we're hearing about this talk of a drastic reduction of Russian
forces around Kyiv -- Richard.
QUEST: And Ben, what everybody says and then suddenly Zelenskyy has said on numerous occasions that the Ukrainians and partners need to guard against
Russia creating a breathing space to regroup. Now, that would be the ultimate, if you like, bad faith, but then President Putin did on numerous
occasions say he had no intention of invading, right up until -- even to President Macron, right up until the night he did it.
WEDEMAN: Yes, and in fact, nobody, certainly not here in Ukraine has any confidence in the good faith of the Russian leader. They've seen it in the
lead up to this war in terms of pronouncement that it's only an exercise on the border that we have 150,000 plus troops there, and then his repeated
statements that he had no intention to go to war with Ukraine.
But of course today, here we are, what -- I think 34 days into this war and the clarity of his dishonesty, if you want to put it that way, is clear
particularly to people in Ukraine.
WEDEMAN: Now for instance, here in Mykolaiv, just within the last 45 minutes, we've been hearing what sounds like some very heavy bombardment of
this city's suburbs, or at least the outskirts.
And so whatever small gestures, perhaps statements coming out of Moscow that might point in the direction of de-escalation; on the ground, it
doesn't really feel like there's any de-escalation on the cards -- Richard.
QUEST: Ben Wedeman, I like the turn of your phrase, the clarity of his dishonesty.
Thank you, sir.
QUEST MEANS BUSINESS tonight. We are in Dubai.
The head of the I.M.F. tells me Russia's invasion of Ukraine is costing it dearly. Kristalina Georgieva also on how much damage has been done to the
country, in a moment.
QUEST: Glorious evening here in Dubai, 21 degrees Celsius, although some of my colleagues here in Dubai are claiming that's a bit chilly, a bit cold.
I'm sure my colleagues in New York where it is minus four would not agree with them.
The head of the International Monetary Fund says the war in Ukraine has caused huge damage to the Russian and Ukrainian economies. I spoke to
Kristalina Georgieva about what it means for global growth at the World Government Summit being held here in Dubai.
KRISTALINA GEORGIEVA, MANAGING DIRECTOR, INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND: The world economy is still recovering from the COVID-induced pandemic. So we
start from a weaker point. We were hoping for the world to grow more and to suppress inflation.
We got, Richard, the exact opposite -- growth down, inflation up. The war in Ukraine is devastating for Ukraine. It will shrink probably about one-
third. It is very bad for Russia. Russia is going to be in deep recession this year, but it also spills over to the rest of the world. It goes far,
it goes fast.
QUEST: You can move very fast when you want to.
GEORGIEVA: Yes, and we do.
QUEST: Ukraine is a good example of this. So as you now look to the next 12 months, what's your priority?
GEORGIEVA: Number one priority to clearly identify countries at highest risk and be ready for them. We have created virtually on the first day when
the war started a crisis room at the front to do exactly that, be ahead of the curve, and be able to act swiftly for countries that need us.
QUEST: And your home country?
GEORGIEVA: But my home country is highly dependent on imports of primarily gas from Russia. Inflation has started climbing, it is now seven percent.
People are anxious, and they are actually more anxious about the risk of a war spilling than anything else.
My granddaughter, 11, she calls me and asked me to explain to her why are children dying in Ukraine? Why there is a war.
So, again, for many of us in Europe, a war is an unthinkable event, but it happened.
QUEST: Are you the right person in the right job at the right time? Specifically because you come from Central and Eastern Europe, you have a
background. You remember communism, you grew up in that era.
QUEST: Are you the right person in the sense that you have an understanding?
GEORGIEVA: Richard, I feel very uncomfortable to praise myself for anything, but the answer is yes.
GEORGIEVA: And let me tell you why. In the mid-90s, I lived through hyperinflation in Bulgaria. My mother's savings evaporated in 48 hours, and
I had to get up at four o'clock in the morning to queue for milk for my daughter. I know the pain people are experiencing now in countries where
food is becoming scarce and too expensive to buy.
QUEST: The Managing Director of the I.M.F. talking to me earlier today here in Dubai.
The program is coming to you tonight from EXPO 2020. It is the last day by the way of EXPO tomorrow. After the break, we'll be in Israel.
We will have the breaking news where at least it's now believed four people have been killed in a shooting. The details in a while.
QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.
QUEST: To Israel now and breaking news: five people have been killed in a shooting in Tel Aviv. At least one assailant used an assault rifle against
civilians in several locations.
Israeli media is reporting there have been several attackers and may have been on motorcycles. Hadas Gold is in Jerusalem.
What more do we know?
HADAS GOLD, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: What we know this attack took place in Bnei Brak. It's a mostly ultra orthodox city just east of Tel
Aviv, a suburb of the greater Tel Aviv area.
It started around 8:00 pm local, about two hours ago, when one assailant, perhaps more, began shooting at people along the streets, civilians along
the street in the Bnei Brak area.
We know there were several locations where these shootings took place, we understand five civilians were killed. At least one of the attackers, if
there are multiple attackers, used an assault rifle before he himself was killed by police forces.
The mayor of the city of Bnei Brak has asked people to stay inside their homes because other attackers may be out and about. So Israeli police and
authorities asking people to stay inside homes.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett issued a statement saying Israel is facing a wave of murderous Arab terrorism, that his heart goes out to the families
who lost loved ones. He says security forces are working to fight terror with perseverance, stubbornness and an iron fist. They will not move us
Why is he saying it's a wave?
Because this is the third such attack in Israel in the past week. Now these attacks have been taking place in Israeli cities that are not normally hot
spots of violence, like perhaps in Jerusalem where we are now.
On Sunday, two assailants shot two, killed two and wounded six others in Hadera, a city north of Tel Aviv. And last Tuesday, a man stabbed and ran
over people in Be'er Sheva, killing four. Those last two attacks were done by people affiliated with ISIS. ISIS has not claimed responsibility for an
attack in Israel since June of 2017.
So this is very concerning. We do not know yet whether the person or persons who carried out these attacks is affiliated with ISIS or any other
sort of other organizations. We know Palestinian militant organizations praised the attack in Bnei Brak.
Hamas called it heroic but there is concern over the rising levels of violence. These attacks leaving at least 11 Israelis dead just over a week
but there also have been stabbing attacks in Jerusalem over the past month.
There's also been rising tension in the West Bank as Israeli forces have killed Palestinians there.
And keep in mind, Richard, in the next few weeks, the holidays of Ramadan, Passover and Easter are all coinciding, which does not happen every year.
So a lot of concern the tension will boil over.
QUEST: Hadas in Jerusalem, thank you.
Our top story tonight, when the foreign ministers of Russia and Ukraine met earlier this month in Turkey, the talks went nowhere. Now after negotiators
spoke today in Istanbul, they expressed some optimism. Mainly, they said, here's what's on the table.
QUEST: Security guarantees for Ukraine, possibly backed by five permanent members of U.N. Security Council; protected and permanent neutrality on the
part of the Ukraine. Kyiv would give up on NATO membership and seek fast- track entry to the European Union -- it would be like swap NATO for E.U.
Halyna Yanchenko is a member of the Ukrainian Parliament and secretary of the National Investment Council of Ukraine and joins me now.
When you listen -- first of all, what do you make -- the most pressing idea, what do you make of this story tonight, that Russia says it's going
to ease off, if you will, the attacks on Kyiv and other places and withdraw its troops?
HALYNA YANCHENKO, UKRAINIAN MP: Well, one thing you should remember is that you should not be fooled by what Russians are saying. This negotiation is
worth nothing until they will be implemented.
And, actually, we have been witnessing that Russians did not follow their previous negotiations. Three weeks ago, we negotiated we will have
humanitarian corridors to let people, civilian people, mainly women with their children, out of the cities and the shelling.
Mariupol is a well-known example. But another 2,000 (ph) of cities were in the same situations.
And do you know what Russians did after they negotiated humanitarian corridors?
They were shooting women and children dead, women and children, who were moving through these humanitarian corridor. So Russians are liars. They
don't understand any negotiations, any diplomatic language.
The only thing they understand is the language of wars. And in this regard, I should tell you that Ukrainian army, Ukrainian president, territory
defense are fighting back severely. They are real heroes.
But you know, heroes cannot fight, you know, massive annihilation (ph) and massive missiles (ph) attacks with a few Javelins. And in this regard, I
should tell you that personally I am very disappointed with American politics and with what -- with the scant of help that Joe Biden provides to
I should tell you, and this is really important, I really want you to know this, that the attacks of weapon that U.S. provides to Ukraine did not
change the time before, large scale invasion of Russia in Ukraine and nowadays.
However, we need a much more serious weapon. We need jets, we need tanks. We need air defense and we need much more ammunition because it's --
QUEST: OK, wait, wait, so I hear you --
YANCHENKO: -- the thing is that --
QUEST: I hear -- well --
YANCHENKO: -- we would receive -- if we would receive all the ammunition we needed in the first week, the war will already be stopped. But we did not
receive that help from U.S. Moreover, I should tell you, that a number of countries in the world are ready to provide Ukraine with more weapon. But
they are waiting for what U.S. --
QUEST: Halyna, I'm going to interrupt you, please. I'm going to interrupt you, because I hear what you say, I hear what you're saying and you're
making valid points.
But we need to talk about the other issues which are on the table this evening, which is what are those -- what are those parts of a negotiation -
- everybody says that this will only be ultimately resolved through unpalatable negotiation.
So what will people like yourself accept as part of an agreed cease-fire?
YANCHENKO: The only thing that we accept is for Russian army to put their weapon down, leave our country, take all their weapon and all their
(INAUDIBLE) aviation out of our country and give, like, return us the territory that they occupied.
As of now, they occupied not only, you know, part of Luhansk and Donetsk region as well as Crimea but they occupy some other cities. You don't
imagine what is going on in occupied cities.
Russian soldiers are raping Ukrainian women in front of their children. They are robbing apartments, they are robbing stores, they are real
murderers. They commit massive executions and, again, all this happens because America did not provide enough ammunition on time. It's 34 days of
YANCHENKO: And we are still not getting the ammunition we need from U.S. and from number of other countries. And this is not acceptable.
So I want to address to all American cities and who are watching us now, please, take your phones, take your laptops right now. Write a message,
write a letter to your senator. Write a letter to Joe Biden and tell them that you are not happy with the fact that Russian occupant, Russian
QUEST: Halyna --
YANCHENKO: -- killing Ukrainian children --
QUEST: Halyna --
YANCHENKO: -- are raping Ukrainian women.
QUEST: Halyna --
YANCHENKO: Ask them, ask your politicians.
QUEST: I hear what you say -- I hear your message. I hear --
We're going to leave it there, because I do hear what Halyna is saying and these are extremely important points that she is making.
And no disrespect is meant by saying that, to you, Halyna, we do need to talk -- we did need to talk about the issues of the negotiation and, to be
fair, you have made the point several times on the question of the U.S. and your views on the provision of armaments before the war took place.
I'm grateful that you joined us tonight. You did get the point across in detail and you did urge U.S. viewers to write to senators and congressmen,
to put further pressure on. Thank you for joining us on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.
The question of Western leaders and the skepticism that Russia will reduce its attack on Kyiv. We'll talk about President Biden's call with European
leaders and Russia's latest comments in just a moment. It's QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, good evening to you.
QUEST: QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.
The U.S. and its European allies are skeptical of Russia's claim that it will scale down its assault on Kyiv and a nearby city. President Biden held
a call this morning with his counterparts in France, Germany, Italy and the U.K.
He said afterwards, "We'll see if Russia follows through on its pledge."
And the leaders agreed to keep in raising the economic costs to Russia for its aggression. They also pledged to keep helping Ukraine defend itself.
QUEST: The Biden administration itself has proposed new major military support packages. The White House budget proposal seeks almost $7 billion
for defense in Europe. The money will be used to, in their words, "counter Russian aggression to support Ukraine."
Joining me now, is Heather Boushey, a member of the White House's Council of Economic Advisers.
Good to see you, ma'am. Thank you for joining us. It's a really difficult budget, now, isn't it, because on the one hand, there's all the domestic
priorities, hence we have the billionaire tax and we have this extraordinarily large budget.
But at the same time, you have the war to pay for and the help and assistance given to Ukraine without, at the same time, blowing through the
deficit, it can't really be done.
Well, what gives?
HEATHER BOUSHEY, MEMBER, WHITE HOUSE COUNCIL OF ECONOMIC ADVISORS: Well, certainly, the president has put forward a budget that focuses on building
on the success domestically in the past year, of strengthening the economy and bringing unemployment rate back down and seeing historic growth here in
the United States, 5.7 percent over the past year.
Faster growth than at any time that in 40 years, building on that and success of that growth and bringing down the deficit, this budget aims to
continue to make those investments that are so needed to keep the economy going while being fiscally responsible and making these historic
investments in defense, both here and abroad.
QUEST: The billionaire tax, you'll forgive the colloquialism but that's what we all know it as now, the billionaire tax, the consensus is, it
stands almost no chance.
So I wonder, where the hope is for that level of compromise?
BOUSHEY: Well, you know, one of the things that is popular among the American people is a tax system that is fair and that rewards work and not
wealth and that's, you know, the reasons behind why the president is putting forward this robust minimum tax on billionaires.
It would tax the very richest among us, those with wealth greater than $180 million a year and it would make sure that they pay a fair tax. You know,
in research we did here at the White House, we found that the richest Americans paid an average of only 8 percent of their income in taxes over
the past decade.
This would make sure that they pay a 20 percent minimum tax. I'm not saying this will be easy. But it is certainly something that, you know, polls show
the American people want. And it's really important to making sure we have the revenue we need to make those investments that the American people need
to keep our economy going.
QUEST: The economic environment -- I was discussing it today, here in Dubai, with the head of the IMF. And there's no question, the difficulty it
Now the Fed says, it could raise rates up to six times this year. Don't worry, I'm not going to ask you if that's the right decision. I can hear
your answer telling me they're independent so we won't go down that road. But -- I saved you the time on that -- but the difficulty of avoiding
stagflation in the economy at the moment seems to be fairly real.
BOUSHEY: Well, here's the thing. We are starting from a strong place in terms of the labor market; again, unemployment rate back down to 3.8
percent. So that's a strong foundation from which to move forward in the economy.
Certainly, we continue to see these challenges, we spent a lot of time this year working on fixing America's supply chains, you know. And there's money
in the budget that the president just announced for making sure we're enforcing the laws on the books to ensure fair competition, more money for
folks at the Department of Justice, more money for folks at the Federal Trade Commission to make sure prices people pay are fair.
So those are some of the tactics the president has taken to keep prices down. But these investments can help to make sure that, while the Fed is
doing its job in keeping an eye on inflation generally, that the president and Congress are doing their job to make sure that we're making those
investments that can lower direct costs for families on everything from prescription drugs to child care and making sure that we're keeping this
recovery on track.
QUEST: Heather, it's the first time I think you and I have had a chance to speak on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, I most certainly hope it won't be the last,
I'm grateful you joined us tonight from Washington, D.C. Thank you.
BOUSHEY: Thank you.
QUEST: As we continue tonight, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, we'll show you how the markets are changing toward the end of the day, very bullish through the
course of the week. All of that to come.
QUEST: A new audit says the E.U. must do more to protect itself against cyber threats after a sharp rise in attacks. Of course, Ukraine's internet
provider has also said it suffered a powerful cyberattack at the hands of Russian forces, it's believed, it's the second major such attack on a
Ukrainian telecom since the invasion began.
In doing so took out 87 percent of the operating capacity. To give you an idea what we're talking about. Robert Herjavec is an investor on the "Shark
Tank" and the CEO of the global cybersecurity firm Herjavec Group. He joins me now.
It is good to see you sir. The problem with these cyberattacks is the invidious way in which you don't know you've been attacked, unlike a
missile, until it happens. And you can't work out the ramifications or even when it's over.
ROBERT HERJAVEC, FOUNDING SHARK, "SHARK TANK": Richard, it's a great point. You know, the average breach, the intruder was inside the network for
anywhere from eight to 10 months.
So I think President Biden did everybody great service across the world by highlighting how important a threat this is. You know, people tend to
forget about cybersecurity when the tanks start rolling. But Russia is not going to go quietly into the night. To your point, we've seen attacks on
infrastructure and we are seeing continued attacks.
QUEST: Robert, do -- what do we do, since, at the end of the day, let's be grownups about this, we're doing it to them, whatever it might be; they're
doing it to us, the Chinese do it to Americans, the Americans -- and so on and so.
So what are we supposed to do to either protect ourselves or defend ourselves for attack?
HERJAVEC: Well, Richard, this is the new normal or the new Cold War, if you will. By the way, a lot of people may not know that 52 percent of all
attacks, even before this, were instigated from Russia. So this is not new.
We talk about China a lot and other areas. But only about 12 percent of attacks actually come from China, which is still a lot. The way to protect
ourselves is with diligence. I mean, one of the things that we always talk about -- because what our company does is we watch the networks.
HERJAVEC: And we watch people make sure they're not being attacked. And we're seeing a real spike in these kinds of things.
So what we always recommend is defense in depth. There is no one solution that's going to keep you safe. It's a layered approach to multiple
different things. And by the way, it's not just companies; it's consumers. I mean, Russia's been attacking and trying to influence North America for a
very long time.
QUEST: So I find it all extremely fascinating but deeply worrying, simply because I'm just waiting for the day when they get in, you know, when they
get in and actually do real damage, if you like.
HERJAVEC: Well, interestingly, COVID has really accelerated the cybersecurity business or the threat. And it's not what you might think of.
The attacks that you've talked about today and some of these other things. But the acceleration of connectivity in the last three years is greater
than at any other time in history.
And what we worry about in the cyber industry is the attack to infrastructure and mechanical systems.
As everything becomes more connected, guess what we're doing with our mechanical systems, with our power plants, with our hospitals?
We're attaching mechanical systems to a network and that's really good. It makes it convenient for consumers but what that means is those typical
mechanical systems can now be breached. Four years ago, there was a massive attack in South America, where the power plant system for a major country
was brought down for over 24 hours.
HERJAVEC: Those are the kind of attacks we worry about.
QUEST: Sir, thank you, we will talk more about it. We will -- what -- we would love to have you to talk more about it and come back on QUEST MEANS
BUSINESS. Grateful that you talked to us tonight.
HERJAVEC: Thank you.
QUEST: This is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, the market's about to close. It's a strong day on the market.
QUEST: Tonight's "Profitable Moment": I'm determined to leave on an optimistic note from Dubai. I was here in December for Expo and it was a
jolly good time it was had by all but being here this time and seeing Expo, which closes in 48 hours from now, has been quite an eye-opener.
Packed days, people thoroughly enjoying themselves, the numbers here will be over 20 million, which is what they had hoped for. All and all, Expo has
been a tremendous success and it's been a delight and a pleasure to be able to present from here and to see a glimpse into the future and realize that,
even when nasty, horrible things happen like COVID, as the head of Expo said to me, you pick yourself up, you change your plan and you get on with
it regardless, which is what we're going to do as I head to Brussels tomorrow for more coverage at the end of the week.
And that's QUEST MEANS BUSINESS for tonight. I am Richard Quest in Dubai. Whatever you're up to in the hours ahead, I hope it's profitable. I'll see
you in Brussels.