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Quest Means Business

Biden Visits Kyiv As Anniversary Of Russian Invasion Nears; Western Sanctions Having Limited Impact So Far; Meta Testing Subscription For Instagram And Facebook; Rijksmuseum Offers Art Lovers A New Look Into Vermeer; An Unprecedented Look At A Dutch Masters Works museum; Rijksmuseum On Amsterdam Is Hosting The Biggest Showcase Of Vermeer Paintings. Aired 3- 4p ET

Aired February 20, 2023 - 15:00:00   ET



RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: There is no trading on Wall Street. It's Presidents' Day. But you and I start a new week together and there are

plenty of things happening even if there not any trading.

President Biden has walked the war-torn streets of Kyiv in a landmark visit to Ukraine promising hundreds more millions.

Facebook and Instagram plan a subscription service to verify users.

And it's a once in a lifetime exhibition, the Vermeer's are out and about, the greatest works are gracing the Rijksmuseum. The director of the museum

will be with me tonight on the program.

We are live in New York. It is Monday, February the 20th. Don't blink, it'll be gone.

I'm Richard Quest, and back in New York, I mean business.

Good evening.

"The world stands with Ukraine," says President Joe Biden, as he makes his historic visit to Kyiv. The President pledged half a billion dollars in new

military aid. He first heard the firsthand sound of air raid sirens. The President said Russia's invasion is failing.

The unannounced trip comes days before the first anniversary of the war. The President spoke about the milestone.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: That dark night one year ago, the world was literally at the time bracing for the fall of Kyiv.

One year later, Kyiv stands and Ukraine stands, democracy stands. The Americans stands with you and the world stands with you.



Alex, I mean, it's a milestone in your own right in the sense of you were there at the beginning or near the start of the war, but this visit by

President Biden, we sort of were all debating whether it was going to happen. How did it go?

MARQUARDT: Well, it came off as a complete surprise, Richard. Obviously, there has been a steady stream of dignitaries and foreign and US officials

over the course of the past year. Obviously, President Biden is the highest profile.

We started to get a sense of things yesterday as we started to hear about security measures and see those security measures being put in place and

they did appear to be tighter than anything we'd seen, and there had been some speculation as you know, Richard about the potential for Biden to come

here to Kyiv.

Now, he is only able to come here because of the successes of the Ukrainian Armed Forces over the past year. This time, last year, right after the war

started, this was a completely different city. People had fled, people were hunkered down in their homes and underground.

There was an expectation that Russia might take the city, might be able to topple the Zelenskyy government, forcing him to flee or even killing him.

Of course, the Ukrainians very successfully repelled that attack. So this was an incredible moment that came as a complete surprise to those of us

who watch the story carefully, those of us -- those who live in this country, and it was hugely symbolic, not just because this is the week of

the first anniversary, but it certainly served to remind Ukrainians and the West and Russia in particular that the US has really supported Ukraine over

the past year and plans to continue to do so as we enter the second year of this war -- Richard.

QUEST: Alex Marquardt in Kyiv tonight for us. Thank you.

President Biden says the United States wants to make it clear, there is no doubt it will back Ukraine for the long haul. So the visit, even though

much forecast, but surprising nonetheless, here is how it went.


ISA SOARES, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Air raid sirens blaring throughout the streets of Kyiv, but unlike other alerts over the

past year, there were no reported incoming Russian missiles.


SOARES (voice over): Instead, what was seen was United States President Joe Biden's visit to the country, a first since Russia launched a full

scale invasion nearly a year ago.

Laying wreathes and paying tributes to fallen soldiers, Biden's visits showed the world yet again, which side of the battlefield the US is on,

cementing relations with a war-torn country by announcing half a billion dollars' worth of military equipment, along with the political and public

relations picture of a US President visiting a warzone to harden that relationship.


BIDEN: Putin thought Ukraine was weak and the West was divided. As you know, Mr. President, I said at the beginning, he is counting on us not

sticking together. He thought he could outlast us. I don't think he's thinking that right now.

SOARES (voice over): Biden's assistance means more howitzers, more ammunition for troops, and potentially long-range weapons. For Ukraine,

President Zelenskyy said Biden's visit would inch Ukraine closer to victory, and the generous package would impact the battlefield.

ZELENSKYY (through translator): I know, Mr. President, that there will be a very significant package of security support to Ukraine. And currently,

it will serve as a clear signal that Russia's attempt to relaunch will have no chance.

SOARES (voice over): As Biden's convoy pulled up, Kyiv locals were quick to take videos of the historic events unfolding, notably astounded to

witness Biden in real time. One 75-year-old resident said he was speechless at the visit.

(UNIDENTIFIED MALE speaking in foreign language.)

SOARES (voice over): And when asked what the visit means to him, he said it means everything, life and victory.

(UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE speaking in foreign language.)

SOARES (voice over): His words summed up by his wife who said, "Victory will be ours, there is no doubt about that."

Biden's trip may have caused momentum to be high, but with the Ukrainian resistance entering its second year, the question of how or when this will

end still remains.


QUEST: Phil Mattingly is in Warsaw, where President Biden has arrived for his two-day visit. So this is clearly that high, if you will, coming

straight from Kyiv. What does he need from Poland? What's the job while he is in Poland, besides just commemorating the anniversary or at least being

there for that date?

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, you know, Richard, what has been interesting in talking to US officials in the lead

up to this visit, obviously, we didn't have visibility into the visit to Kyiv, but they were very clear about the intentions to Poland, and it was

not that there were going to be some kind of deliverable coming out of the bilateral meeting with President Duda or that even the meeting with the B-

9, the eastern flank NATO members was supposed to deliver something specific.

What it was determined to do, or what was designed to do more than anything else, was to give the President an opportunity to say thanks, to give his

thanks not just to President Duda, not just to the Polish people, but kind of writ large to this area for the efforts that they've put in not just on

security assistance, of which there's been billions of dollars across the region, but also in terms of humanitarian aid, humanitarian assistance when

it comes to the millions of Ukrainian refugees, that's the primary intent here, to underscore the fact that it's not taken for granted just because

they're on the front line of things, and that is not lost in the grand scheme of the large Western Alliance that's been kept together so

definitively over the course of 561 days.

QUEST: But the thing here is, Phil, the, the longer the war goes on, and the more the President continues to say, we're with you all the way, it

ratchets up, quite considerably, the need to continue providing and increasing the arms money, et cetera et cetera which is fine, but they are

all putting themselves in the same boat, as Zelenskyy now.

MATTINGLY: I think there are two pieces right now that will be extraordinarily critical in the year ahead, even just the months ahead.

There are as you point out, there's clearly just been a constant evolution in terms of willingness of risk assessment of what weapons systems to

provide. We've seen it escalate almost month by month by month over the course of the first 12 months.

Weapons systems that US officials wouldn't even consider talking about 361 days ago, are now on their way to Ukraine. Ukrainians are in the United

States training to utilize those weapon systems and that is not just the United States in isolation, that's other countries as well. That is not

going to stop anytime soon.

President Zelenskyy, again, in his meeting with President Biden today, raising the issue of long range missiles, raising the issue, potentially of

fighter jets as well.

We talked to some officials involved in this, particularly European officials, they feel like those elements which the US is still saying they

still will not send, it's only a matter of time. The other element here, which I think is probably underappreciated is the fact that all of these

weapons are coming from somewhere and they are coming from US Defense industrial stocks, they are coming from European stocks as well. That is

going to be a major issue that has to be addressed in the months ahead.

US officials are quietly making clear they have a lot of work to do. There has been a significant drawdown over the course of the last year and it is

not just to make sure that they get weapons systems and weapons and ammunition to Ukraine, it is also to continue to protect their homeland,

their alliances, both in Europe and in the United States.


QUEST: Phil Mattingly in Warsaw tonight. Phil, thank you, sir.

Lithuania's President says the West could cross all the red lines and send military aid to Ukraine, saying they are often just perceptions in our

mind. He was speaking to CNN's Julia Chatterley and urged allies to waste no time.


GITANAS NAUSEDA, LITHUANIAN PRESIDENT: This is very important that the cross these red lines, which are in our minds and do not really exist, and

maybe sometimes Russia tries to set up those red lines instead of us, but we should not waste the time.


QUEST: Russia is now the most sanctioned country in the world. One year into the war and the West imposed more than 5,000 different measures, all

aimed at limiting Moscow's access to money.

For all of that, the Russian economy shrank only two and a half percent in 2022, which when you compare to Ukraine suffered a 30 percent contraction

in GDP.

The EU says sanctions are working. And today, European countries discussed a 10th package. The EU High Representative, Josep Borrell expects it will

be signed off in a matter of days.

With me, Valdis Dombrovskis, he is EU Executive Vice President and Trade Commissioner, joining me from Brussels.

Sir, good to see you, as always. I appreciate your time in busy days.

And the reality -- look, I know sanctions work over time, and it is a slow burn rather than a big pop. But the argument would say they are not really

working on Russia at the moment.


last year, despite record high energy prices, Russia's economy was in recession, and is expected by most forecast to be in recession also this

year. That's a direct consequence of the sanctions because energy exports is Russia's main revenue source.

So normally, when energy prices are high, Russia's economy is doing well and this was not the case this time. This is direct consequence of the


One can of course discuss that West was relatively slow to impose sanctions on Russia's oil like EU has imposed oil embargo, like G7 has imposed oil

price cap and more recently, now oil products price cap. But we see that those sanctions are giving it threat and also Russia's fiscal position is

deteriorating very quickly now.

QUEST: So what needs to happen next in the Commission's view? Because there is this 10th round that is being discussed, it is likely to be

passed, but where is the quantum leap that is going to make the significant difference, and arguably bring this horror to an end quicker?

DOMBROVSKIS: Well, first of all, we see that the effects of the sanctions are gradually accumulating, so we see rapidly deteriorating Russia's fiscal

position, we see problems in Russian industry due to our dual-use technologies, high-tech export controls, and so on. So I'd say with every

passing month, we will see the effect of sanctions are being felt more noticeably.

QUEST: The Europe, I won't say got away with it, but certainly was fortunate that the winter was not more brutal, and that stocks -- fuel

stocks remain high. As we sort of -- I mean, I'm looking ahead to the spring, I'm being a little optimistic here, that it's only around the

corner, but there really is no time to lose for you and the Commission to put in place the necessary things to completely obliterate the need for

Russian oil or gas over the summer.

DOMBROVSKIS: Absolutely. One can say we went successfully through this winter and our gas storages are now higher than typically in this season of

the year, but it's also the fact that in this winter, in gas storages there was still a lot of Russian gas pumped primarily in the first half of last

year. This is not going to be the case this winter, so we need to continue to work on securing alternative gas supplies.

For example, Norway is now our biggest gas supplier. US is sending very significant amounts of LNG gas, so I'm confident we will be able to ensure

this alternative gas supplies also for this winter and strategically, it is clear that we are moving away from this dependency on Russian fossil fuel



QUEST: The question of spending the Russian frozen assets, which has been somewhat bogged down. Do you still hold out hope that the union will be

able to provide any frozen assets or member countries will be able to provide frozen assets to help pay for the reconstruction in Ukraine?

DOMBROVSKIS: Well, indeed, there are already very substantial amounts of frozen Russian assets, and actually, as part of the 10th sanction package,

we also foresee for EU member states to how a reporting obligation on Russia's frozen and seized assets in each member states' territory and that

includes Central Bank assets, so that we have full overview on what is on EU territory, and in parallel, indeed, we are looking at the legal options

how to use confiscated Russian assets for Ukraine's recovery.

QUEST: Sir, we normally would spend more time talking about trade, and you know, various -- the minutia, but I think you'll agree today that the

war as it drags on, and now looks like it's going to go longer and more painfully than anybody could have wished or hoped or thought, the European

economy would you now say is well insulated from its effects?

DOMBROVSKIS: Well, European economy is certainly proving resilient in the face of current challenges. So actually, we recently upgraded our economic

growth forecast for this year to somewhere 0.8 to 0.9 percent growth, okay, it's still not a rapid economic growth, but in any case, we have avoided a


So there is a degree of resilience, but I would say in a broader context, also, in the context of President Biden's today's visit in Kyiv, that the

best way to deal with economic consequences of the war is to stop the war. And there indeed, if you are more forceful with our military support to

Ukraine, the faster we let Ukraine to liberate its territory and to win this war, the better it is also for the economy.

QUEST: Commissioner, always good to talk to you, sir. I'm grateful. Thank you.


Now the question, would you pay for the privilege of a blue tick on Facebook or Instagram? Meta is hoping. It is testing a Twitter sell, pay

for verification subscription model? Is it for revenue raising? Or is it for authenticity? We need to think about that, after the break, we'll talk

about it indeed.



QUEST: So Mark Zuckerberg and Meta now considering in getting on pay for verification a few months after Musk introduced a paid subscription model

for Twitter. It is about 15 bucks, $14.99 for Apple and Android, and slightly less on the web. Instagram and Facebook users can get this blue

badge of authenticity, and other perks like protection from impersonation.

Sara Fischer is our media analyst and she is with me from Austin in Texas.

When I read this, is this in your view authenticity, making sure that thing runs and covering the costs of doing it, or is it a money raising


SARA FISCHER, CNN MEDIA ANALYST: I definitely think it's an opportunity for Meta to make some money here, Richard, especially because as you know,

the advertising market is starting to show signs of slowed growth. But at the same time, I think this is also an opportunity for Meta to develop a

deeper relationship with creators.

Now, do I think that the price is so high to cover costs? Maybe. But I think they are eyeing profits here, too.

QUEST: Right. But is it important to have it? I mean, is the authenticity question on Instagram and other -- and Facebook so bad, like it is perhaps

on Twitter that they need it? That people will pay for it?

FISCHER: I don't think it's as bad as it is on Twitter, but there are definitely spam accounts on Instagram. I know tons of friends that have had

this problem. One thing I'll call out is that Meta is not going to remove your verified badge if you're already verified as somebody who is of

importance, maybe a local politician, an elected official, journalists, so this is not like you have to pay to continue to be authenticated like you

do on Twitter if you're somebody who could realistically be in the firestorm of misinformation.

But I do think that you have a lot of creators who are starting to launch businesses, especially in things like fashion and beauty, where they're

hawking a lot of goods and they feel as though their brand is being replicated in order to sell their stuff.

So I think one of the reasons they're launching this is so that creators don't get as frustrated with that, which has been happening. And then of

course, again, like I said before, it's also to make some money.

QUEST: Right, but Sara, do you think Meta/Facebook is going to be more competent at introducing it and executing it, so we're not going to have,

you know, some very strange people all claiming to be the Almighty and getting verified in the process.

FISCHER: Yes, yesterday, when they put out these guidelines, they're so robust, you have to have a government issued ID that matches that ID that's

in your handle, that needs to be submitted. They're going to review it to authenticate that you're actually the right person that you say you are.

So I definitely think this is going to be less haphazard than Twitter. The question though becomes, Richard, is it cool to have to pay for

authentication? Shouldn't users already be able to know that their accounts are secure and safe? The answer there is you're still going to get access

to two factor authentication if you're a regular everyday user. This is just an added layer of security for people who think they might be


QUEST: Sara, whenever I hear about monitoring, and all of these things at Facebook and Twitter, and well, maybe not so Twitter anymore, and now we've

got verification, the sheer number of people it takes to run these systems is phenomenal.

FISCHER: It is, but you have no choice if you're one of these big platforms. What we're starting to see is users have a ton of fatigue with

social media because of things like spam and impersonations. And so if you're Meta, you don't really have a choice but to invest in the thousands

of people to run these operations because if you don't, your users are just going to go into one of your competitive platforms, and they cannot afford

to lose them right now.

QUEST: So Sara, I'm assuming as a senior journalist in your own right, you may already be verified. If you were not verified, would you pay the

money to be verified?

FISCHER: I would on Instagram, but not on Facebook and that is because my audience tends to engage with me on Instagram and not on Facebook, so I

think it would be worth it there. But I think every business is going to have to sort of figure this out, what platform is worth investing the extra

money and especially, Richard, to your point, I'm now paying to say verified on Twitter. Now, it's coming to Instagram and Meta, like how much

budget do I have per month to stay verified on all these platforms?


It's like the streaming wars, right? So I eventually think that some of these companies will lower the price to ensure creators can actually

participate across the board, because otherwise, who's going to pay like $40.00 a month just for the blue checks everywhere?

QUEST: Very good point. There is always somebody somewhere, but perhaps not that many. Good to see you, very grateful. Thank you.

If Facebook has its way, new technologies will soon be taking us into new virtual worlds. They are also helping us understand more about the natural

world, mapping out the deepest depths of the oceans. It is helping scientists reckon with some of the hidden dangers that lie beneath.

CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar has the story in our new series. It's called "Transformers."


ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST (voice over): Late December 2021, in the middle of the South Pacific, an underwater volcano is active once


Two weeks later, a series of eruptions will reverberate around the planet and be visible from space. Tsunami warnings were issued across the Pacific,

and the next afternoon, a series of waves hit the island country of Tonga, some as high as 15 meters, killing three people and leaving mass

destruction in their wake.

When the dust had settled a few months later, a ship from New Zealand's National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research or NIWA, set sail to

find out what had triggered the eruption.

Marine geology technician Erica Spain was on board.

ERICA SPAIN, MARINE GEOLOGY TECHNICIAN, NIWA: The voyage up to Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha?apai to map the volcano was really exciting. It is a

multidisciplinary voyage, so you've got multiple science streams working together to try and figure out what was going on and why it erupted so


We've got the multi beams on either side.

CHINCHAR (voice over): Spain's mission was to map the seafloor around the volcano using a machine called a multi beam echo sounder.

SPAIN: An acoustic pulse, so a ping or sound is emitted or sent out from the bottom of the ship, and then it echoes effectively off the seafloor and

then we have hydrophones or a listening ear that receives that echo, and from that, we can determine how deep the seafloor is and build up an idea

of its shape and geometry.

Every volcano has a different trigger in terms of when it might erupt, and by mapping Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha?apai and then comparing that to other

volcanoes, we can begin to build up a better image of what these triggers might be or what they might look like on the seafloor.

CHINCHAR (voice over): Mapping, taking rock samples, and filming underwater, all helped build a bigger picture of what happened here.

SPAIN: So you have to become a seafloor detective to piece all those small parts together.

CHINCHAR (voice over): That detective work can help countries like Tonga better prepare for tsunamis to keep people safe.


QUEST: There are old masters and then there Vermeer's. A new exhibition in Amsterdam is the absolute cream of the art world. The Vermeer's, all of

them in one place at the same time and the director of the Rijksmuseum is with me next.




QUEST: If you're planning what you need to go and see in the art world while a blockbuster artists division is always worth a visit. And this

year, it's the Vermeer at Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum. The tickets quickly sold out and the museum says it's now looking for ways to let more people in.

Before we hear from the director of the museum, CNN's Nick Glass explains why the Dutch Master is such a huge draw.


NICK GLASS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): For a glorious 90 minutes, we had the place to ourselves. Vermeer's paintings, their beauty, their size

demand intimacy and quiet.

And here was an opportunity to spend quality time with his most famous creation.

GLASS (on camera): This is rare. I've been an arts score (ph), it's -- one for something like 20 years, and to be alone with a painting like this Girl

With a Pearl Erring, it's extraordinary and she's not alone.

GLASS (voice over): The Rijksmuseum has pulled off an astonishing artistic coup, the greatest Vermeer show of this or any other lifetime, 28 of the 34

to 37 attributed works. Vermeer himself would never have seen so many of his paintings altogether in one place.

TACO DIBBITS, DIRECTOR, RIJKSMUSEUM: It's very exciting. I've -- it kind of had this dream of having all the paintings together. Obviously, they're

only about 37 paintings by Vermeer but having 28 here is just something we would have never saw possible.

GLASS (on camera): The Lacemaker from the Louvre in Paris, Girl With the Red Hat from the National Gallery in Washington, Girl Reading a Letter at

an Open Window from the Gemaldegalerie in Dresden, Germany.

GREGOR WEBER, CO-CURATOR, RIJKSMUSEUM: Remember that I saw for the first time two paintings by Vermeer from the National Gallery, London, and I

think I fainted a little bit with such a glowing light in the paintings. And since then, I feel busy with Vermeer.

GLASS (voice over): Vermeer has been under intense scrutiny in another way in the lab under infrared and other light. They've adapted specialist

techniques first used by NASA to map minerals on Mars and the moon. It amounts to non- invasive fine art archeology.

IGE VERSLYPE, PAINTINGS CONSERVATOR, RIKSMUSEUM: It's as if you're looking over his shoulder and seeing what he's doing.

GLASS: We didn't know it, but Vermeer never stopped experimenting.

ANNA KREKELER, PAINTINGS CONSERVATOR, RIJKSMUSEUM: If you see the underlying paint layers for example, the underpaint, he really put on kind

of fast and rough brush strokes to define light and shadow. For example, in the tablecloth, you have areas where he -- where there's black underpaint

like here and here, right the darkest shadows, and then on top where the light hits the table, he used a wide underpaint.

GLASS: And behind her on the wall.


KREKELER: Here was a fire basket, a large element to dry your clothes, and then here was a -- was a jock rack with ducks hanging on it.

GLASS: We've known for a long time that Vermeer was a genius with paints and a brush, but only now are we beginning to understand how precisely he

did it.

Nick Glass, CNN, at the Riksmuseum in Amsterdam.


QUEST: Now you saw a brief glimpse of my next guest, Taco Dibbits, the Director General of the Rijksmuseum. He joins me now from Amsterdam. So, I

mean, gosh, it's absolutely superb. The only problem of course, is you're a victim of your own success now. You're sold out till March. And I guess

you're going to be sold out right through. How are you going to get more people in?

TACO DIBBITS, DIRECTOR GENERAL, RIJKSMUSEUM: Well, we're opening more evenings. So, we'll be open all evenings. And I think we will have -- we

will be able to host quite a few people more, but we will definitely sell out again. So, it's -- yes, it's 28 paintings. It's a dream.

QUEST: Right. And I guess you can't extend it. You can't suddenly say to all the people look, we're just going to keep your paintings until, you

know, through July and August. You don't really want them back that quickly. Do you?

DIBBITS: If only. I mean, that will be fantastic. But that's not going to happen. It's every for me to every museum is like your child, you want to

have them back at certain point.

QUEST: Why? Why is Vermeer so -- I mean, even whether a Rembrandt or Renoir, Monet but suddenly mentioned Vermeer and people go weak at the


DIBBITS: Well, I think because he depicts a world that we all long to. His paintings radiate a tranquility. A moment in time in which everything comes

together as -- and it just -- does kind of happiness. And I think in a world where you have so many images that come to you every day and this was

-- when looking at a Vermeer, things feel right, everything is OK. And they have this tranquility and intimacy. They're incredibly direct.

QUEST: We've talked on this program a few times, because we're a business show. The significance of the blockbuster exhibition. And, you know, I'm

old enough to remember the Tutankhamun traveling through London. And then the big Monets which had sort of the art gallery is backed up for a month.

For the Rijksmuseum which is such a well-known institution, how important is a blockbuster?

DIBBITS: Well, we're very lucky at the Rijksmuseum to have a great collection, which attracts many visitors every year. So, we can make shows

that we believe are good and we don't have to think directly and how much money isn't going to generate. So, we make shows which we feel add

something to the history of art and give the public view into the life of artists or into important subjects over history.

So, I'd never think about making a show that oh, that has to be a blockbuster. Also, the public isn't stupid. The public recognizes

immediately when you just do something to sell tickets. So, when you actually try to tell a story and with this for premier show, we try to tell

the story.

QUEST: Is this -- is this a pinnacle for you?

DIBBITS: I think the nice thing of life is that many high mountains and there are many, many beautiful values -- valleys and I think that will go

on and doing things that are incredibly exciting. So, this is definitely a moment in which there's so many people coming in, so many people loving it

which is always fantastic when everybody has worked incredibly hard to have such a result.

QUEST: Now assuming I had the power, which I don't, but if I did, I had the power to say, look, Taco, you can take one of them home tonight. Put it on

your wall, you'll enjoy it. You and the family could have a --can have a look at it over dinner. You can keep it for 24 hours. Which one would you

take home?

DIBBITS: Well, it's a question that's absolutely impossible because I love all these kinds of 28 temporary children that today and I also have --

every day I have a favorite but today it would be The Lacemaker from the Louvre which we just saw because I think the concentration with which he

works and the mystery because you can't see their face, which you often have been painted by Vermeer adds to this -- to the -- to the lure of the



QUEST: Well, unfortunately, I can't send it to you, so you have to just take a photograph and put it on the wall and imagine it installed.

Wonderful to talk to you, sir. Thank you very much. Good luck with it. I just -- it's going to be an absolute bonanza. Delighted that you have this

exhibition. Thank you, sir, for joining us tonight.

And that is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. The top of the hour there'll be no dash for the closing bell today. It's close for markets. It's close for

Presidents' Day. I'll get the words right eventually. We have Living Golf next.



QUEST: Hello, I'm Richard Quest. No closing bell today. Markets are closed for Presidents' Day. In Europe, there was business as usual, of course and

so why not show you how European markets closed for the day. The footsie was up just a tad staying above 8000. In Paris, the CAC Quarante was off

just a little bit. And the German DAX barely move. As you can see, there was a lack of direction from the U.S.

Friday we'll mark the year since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The U.S. Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis says the best way to end the wars

economic toll is to ensure Ukrainian victory.


Valdis Dombrovskis, E.U. TRADE COMMISSIONER: -- the context of Presidents Biden's today's visit in Kyiv that the best way to deal with economic

consequences of the war is to stop the war. And there indeed, if you are more forceful with our military support to Ukraine, the faster we let

Ukraine to liberate its territory and to win this war, the better it's also for the economy.


QUEST: China's central bank left interest rates unchanged as expected, it helped drive Asian markets up. Shanghai was up two percent. The Hong Kong

Hang Seng, well, you can see it just off by one percent.


So, that's your roundup for today. The dash to the bell but the bell doesn't exist. Well, it does sort of. We have the usual bell. I'm Richard

Quest in New York. Whatever you're up to in the hours ahead, I hope it is profitable. No closing bell on Wall Street. "THE LEAD" with John Berman

starts right now.