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CNN Live Event/Special

CNN International: Port City of Odessa Braces as Russian Forces Close in; Oil Prices Surge as Russia's Invasion of Ukraine Counties; Ukrainian Ambassador: Russia's Goal is not only an Occupation; Russian Ambassador Speaks at U.N. Emergency Session; Western Nations United Against Russia's Invasion of Ukraine; CNN Speaks to Turkish President's Chief Adviser. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired March 02, 2022 - 11:00   ET



LINDA THOMAS-GREENFIELD, U.S. AMBASSADOR: Those were President Putin's choices, now it's time for us to make ours. The United States is choosing to stand with the Ukrainian people.

We are choosing in coordination with our allies and partners to impose severe consequences on Russia. We are choosing to hold Russia accountable for its actions. And we will soon turn to vote on a resolution that does just that.

We believe this is a simple vote. Vote yes. If you believe you and member states, including your own, have a right to sovereignty and territorial integrity. Vote yes. If you believe Russia should be held to account for his actions. Vote yes. If you believe in upholding the U.N. Charter and everything this institution stands for, thank you very much.

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST: Well, you've been listening to the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. At what is an extraordinary moment, she said for the first time in 40 years, the Security Council has convened a special emergency session of the U.N. General Assembly.

She noted that most of the soldiers fighting for their country for the country of Ukraine today will not have been born. But many of the older generation will remember the actions of Hitler.

She did not name him but she made the point that now more than any other time the U.N. is being challenged. And if it has any purpose, she says it is to stop war, a war she said that's being fought with cluster bombs with vacuum bombs that are banned under the Geneva Convention. Munitions the Russians denied are using I must add. Appealing directly to members in the chamber today ahead of a non-binding vote expecting shortly on a resolution condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine vote yes, she said if you believe states, including your own have a right to sovereignty and territorial integrity.

That vote of course, so maybe just symbolic, it's non-binding in nature, but it is significant nonetheless. Well, you're watching CNN. I'm Becky Anderson in Abu Dhabi. We continue with our special coverage of the humanitarian crisis and economic cost of war in Ukraine.

JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN HOST: And I'm Julia Chatterley in New York coming up this hour will take you to Moscow is the Kremlin admits the economy has taken serious blows quote and will speak to a small business owner in Kyiv, who says the EU is turning a blind eye to Ukrainian blood.

ANDERSON: Like Ukrainian second largest city Kharkiv is enduring another day of what the emergency service calls massive Russian bombarding. This video is showing the city council building hit by a strike.

Russian missiles have been targeting government buildings and residential areas for Ukraine's defense ministry is denying Russia's claims that its troops have taken full control of the southern port city of Kherson.

The city council there reports at least 36 deaths including a 14 year old boy. Social Media Video confirmed by CNN shows Russian military vehicles moving through kits and apparently unopposed.

In a second round of ceasefire talks happening today, these are pictures from the first round of talks in Belarus that ended Monday without any signs of progress. Earlier Ukraine's Foreign Minister voiced doubts about continuing talk saying Ukraine is not prepared to accept any Russian ultimatums.

Well, CNN's International Security Editor Nick Paton Walsh has recently been in Kherson. He joins me now live about 200 kilometers as I understand it, Nick West in Odessa, a city that is bracing for a Russian invasion. What is ahead for Odessa at this point, Nick?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR: Possibly at this stage and they would hope another period of continuing edginess here. I mean, we are hearing from the Ukrainian defense ministry that there are Russian ships off the coast here contemplating a landing inside the town itself.

We spoke to the mayor earlier on this morning. He was deeply concerned not only the possibility of the troops that are moving along the Black Sea coast trying to get into the city but also to and this is where it starts to get quite disturbing, Becky.

The idea that Russian "peacekeepers" that's the name they put up the forces who are in a part of Moldova that is not recognized that neighbors this part of Ukraine - that those peacekeepers might also be dragged into some sort of move against Odessa as well.


WALSH: That would essentially be a third state or an unrecognized part of the third state potentially being dragged into this as well as the aggressor against Ukraine. All of this on verifies, but feeding into the broader concerns in the center of this city that something awful is imminent.

They were showing us pictures yesterday of how the last time they saw fortifications like this at the Opera House in central Odessa was in 1941 when the Soviet government here rallied civilians to push back the Nazis.

Across the Black Sea coast though, Becky, we have seen this push consistently during the last two days by Russian forces, particularly exemplified in Kherson, where we've seen videos from yesterday of Russian troops carrying away goods they seem to have stolen in shopping carts, moving away civilian males at gunpoint.

Firing it seems shells into civilian buildings, a deeply distressing suggestion of what might be to come in those cities, which the Russian forces feel they need to move into. Kherson, particularly significant because of that strategic bridge to its east, which we reported on the back and forth between Russian Ukrainian forces to try and take it after Russia game that seemed the upper hand there, the question was, would they bother going into the population center?

The answer was they did. And as you mentioned, in before we began speaking here, the 36 dead, including a 14 year old boy. That's just in about 36 to 48 hours a sign of how bitterly they seem to be being received by the local population.

And it seems also to the clumsiness of Russia's, you might even call it counterinsurgency, but its plan for trying to retain control of areas that it's blundered its way into with military force. Becky?

ANDERSON: Nick, just the benefit of our viewers, I just want to get a sense from you of exactly why this area of southern Ukraine is so strategically important in Russia's calculation in this invasion of Ukraine and just how tough it is to get information on the ground at this point?

WALSH: Look, you have to be there. And we've been fortunate enough to be able to move around parts of the Black Coast over the past five days whether that will maintain its ease, we'll have to see.

Certainly the Black Coast is vital because while the Sea of Azov has been the focus of a lot of tension before this invasion. Because it's near the separatist areas it has Mariupol back down to other places too, they're either hand heavy bombardment or been taken by the Russians.

The Black Sea is Ukraine's gateway to the rest of the world sees a desert as its main port; it's only real massive kind of global port and maritime traffic to the rest of the world. And so they have to control this, the Russian invading force if they want to have lever leverage over the Ukrainian economy. And so the fight for this area combines a mix of taking on Ukraine's naval defenses, a lot of its fortifications here concerned to for regional neighbors, Turkey, other occupants of the Black Coast shoreline seeing this happen and thinking what does this mean for us.

What does this mean for Russian influence over this entire region? And so somewhere like Odessa is also remember, Russian speaking a lot of it. And was a scene of clashes between pro and anti-Russian protesters back in 2014, when the Yankovych - government originally fell off the process in Maidan.

So it's sort of seminal to the idea Russia has that it can storm in here and makes everyone suddenly decide they like it. And so I think yes, people are deeply concerned about whether this amphibious landing that's been warned off sometime maybe imminent. Becky?

ANDERSON: Nick Paton Walsh live for you in Odessa. Nick, thank you. Well, that is the view on the ground right now. We're going to be doing a lot more this hour. We'll take a look at who from the international community has condemned Russia's invasion and perhaps more critically, who has not as it is so often in war, it's hard to know where things will lead to next.

What is clear, though, is the painful impact. All of this is having on Ukrainians and more than 800,000 people who have now fled since the invasion began. We'll get you to a border crossing a little later in this show. For now, let's take a look at the economic toll. Julia has that for us from New York, Julia.

CHATTERLEY: Thanks, Becky uncertainty sanctions. It's all reflected in the soaring prices of wheat, natural gas and oil and that of course has global implications. And give you a look at what we're seeing the rise in oil prices is relentless.

In Europe, Brent has surpassed $110 a barrel that's seven year high U.S. crude in the meantime, multi-year highs too. We've got fresh records for European natural gas. It's the same story in wheat.

Remember 30 percent of world's supplies come from these two nations. So that price continues to rise too. The latest junk although it's the key focus and it's a product of three things I think disappointment over the strategic oil reserve release yesterday that was effectively a drop in the barrel as expected.


CHATTERLEY: Today, OPEC plus decided to stick with their ongoing plans for pretty modest output rises. And then I think we can add to that the White House not rolling out energy sanctions on Russia too. What's fascinating here is that the market though, is already anticipating them.

There are reports that Russia is struggling to sell its energy. And I think that makes sense. It's the chilling effects that we discussed on the show on Monday. If you think something's about to be sanctioned, you avoid it.

And right now, that's anything Russian just today, the Kremlin spokesperson admitted the Russian economy has taken "serious blows" with Moscow now imposing emergency measures to stem capital flight; we're talking more measures, this time forbidding citizens from transferring money abroad.

Nic Robertson joins us now from Moscow, Nic, great to have you with us. These are the things that you can't hide from people spiking interest rates, limits on what they can take out of ATMs, what they can transfer abroad or a currency collapse. How are people responding, Nic, are they feeling it?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, I think to a degree, the Kremlin is trying to control what you know, what's filtering through to the people in terms of sanctions. There are times in the day when certain ATMs for example, will get dollars, and everyone will rush over there to get dollars.

But by and large, you don't see people on the streets, panicking, you don't see them rushing off and lining up at all the ATMs, a lot of ATMs, you pass will not have a big line of people at them.

The reality is that the problem at the moment is stuck with the government. It's yet to bite into people's real lives here. Yes, they're concerned about will they be able to take that overseas holiday that middle class family here has grown used to taking?

How's it going to affect their savings? Are they going to be able to pay back their mortgage? Is it tied somewhere in its system to dollars? Are they going to be affected in that way?

That has all yet too fully bite, where it's sitting in a tough place at the moment is clearly with the Kremlin. And they kept the stock market shut for a third day. They really hadn't come up with counter sanctions, which was something that they were going to do, they don't have the full access to the rainy day fund.

They've been stymied, essentially surprised, shocked even by what's happened to them, and they haven't given a really clear view and way forward at the moment. And I think that tells you that the problem the Kremlin is yet to grapple with the problem.

It will grow on the streets. But it's not. It's not a sense of panic. And it's not a sense of disaster and doom, I think it's a, it will become a growing sense of realization. And of course, add into the way people are sort of protected at the moment from understanding the full possibilities of what's going on in terms of sanctions.

They're also really being protected from any kind of narrative that we see about what's happening in Ukraine. So the full weight of what's going on globally, is not sitting on Russians shoulders at the moment, I would say.

CHATTERLEY: Yes and the loss of Russian life to over in Ukraine as well. Nic Robertson, thank you so much for that. Now, the next question is where the sanctions on the energy sector will soon follow. Richard Quest is in Saudi Arabia.

Richard, you and I always talk about this investors anticipate. And if the reports are correct, the private sector is already reacting to the possibility of energy sanctions and the trying to find alternatives to Russian energy. And that has huge implications.

RICHARD QUEST, EDITOR-AT-LARGE: Yes, it does. And what's interesting is when we look today, Julia at how OPEC and OPEC plus, which of course, the plus is mainly Russia, how they have responded, they held an emergency meeting.

And they basically said that they would continue they were not going to release extra reserves or extra fuel into the market more than the 400,000 barrels a day per month that they were planning to do anyway.

And this is a bit that'll get you because they say that the price of oil by and large meets, if you like the demand, the price is in - coordinates with the market. They then go on to say, however, the highest elevated price that we're seeing today is because of geopolitical issues.

Well, guess what, that's a fine argument maybe on the economics of oil, but for the countries that have got to buy it that now have to work out higher deficits as a result. It's unhelpful.

But then we shouldn't Julia have expected help from OPEC, because OPEC plus has got Russia. And as we've seen from the various statements from Saudi Arabia and the UAE and large parts of the region they are not prepared to come off the fence fully call it an invasion and go against Russia.


CHATTERLEY: Yes, there's a lot here isn't there? There's the geopolitics has also not wanting to have knee jerk reactions amid so much uncertainty. Richard very quickly, Airbus Boeing is now saying that they're not going to service Russian airlines.

What does that mean, in terms of implications? What's your sense of, of what we're seeing? It's a broader message among many corporates that they're, they're staying away from the country.

QUEST: I can deal with this quickly. Firstly, they had no choice. The sanctions mean that they have to do away with much of the business from Russia. Secondly, let's see how they go further. Do they start?

I mean, they talk about keeping businesses going. Airbus, for example, is still looking at whether it can keep its engineering domestic business going. No, I think Boeing is the stronger one in the message. It's basically said, because of what's happening in Ukraine.

We're now saying touched by for the time being to Russia. Let's see Airbus follow through with that, and then see what happens as it goes forward. As for the Russian airlines, they'll need spare parts. They'll need equipment, they'll need maintenance. If Boeing and Airbus aren't providing and they can't get it elsewhere, the aircraft will soon be on the ground. There'll be AOG as the industry says, Aircraft on Ground.

CHATTERLEY: Yes, Richard Quest, thank you so much as always. OK, coming up after the break I'll be speaking to the U.S. Ambassador to the United States as the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine grows, stay with us.


CHATTERLEY: Welcome back. I'm Julia Chatterley. President Joe Biden began his State of the Union address by expressing solidarity with the Ukrainian people and welcoming the Ukrainian Ambassador to the United States.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Let's each of us if you're able to stand and send an unmistakable signal to the world of Ukraine. Thank you, thank you. Thank you. Yes, we the United States of America stand with the Ukrainian people.


CHATTERLEY: This comes after Ukrainian President Zelensky received a standing ovation after his address to the European Parliament. Both the United States and the EU are offering support to the Ukrainian people.

The question is, is it enough Ambassador Stavros Lambrinidis joins us now. He's the Ambassador of the European Union to the United States, Ambassador, good to have you with us. While foreign politicians clap the shelling continues in Ukraine.

And I think many people are looking at the situation and saying if the sanctions or the purpose of the sanctions was to stop Vladimir Putin and so far they failed. Is it time for the EU to consider energy sector sanctions and simply deal with the consequences?

STAVROS LAMBRINIDIS, EU AMBASSADOR TO THE U.S.: Well, the sanctions that we have placed on Putin are precedent and they're hurting his economy as we speak. But they will be devastating his economy in the medium term because they're not just sanctions in the financial sector.


LAMBRINIDIS: They're not just sanctions on individuals and oligarchs, but also sanctions on technology that Russia imports. You were talking before about Airbus and Boeing sanctions that will ground its economy. And everything else is on the table.

We've taken nothing off the table, including NFC sanctions. But we've made it very clear also, that as Putin continues to kill people in Ukraine; the European Union will support the Ukrainians also militarily.

And we announced close to half a billion Euros of military aid, lethal aid, defensive aid to Ukraine, to shoot down their Russian aircrafts to hit the Russian tanks. We stand by their side in every possible way. And finally, let me say, also on the humanitarian field, I mean, Julia this is--

CHATTERLEY: Ambassador, forgive me.

LAMBRINIDIS: Yes, I am sorry.

CHATTERLEY: No, please. I'm sorry for interrupting you. My concern there is the word medium term, because the Ukrainian people don't have the medium term. It's the short term. And as you said, lives are being lost. We don't have the luxury of waiting surely.

LAMBRINIDIS: Well, which is why we're sending the weapons in as we speak and which is why what you're seeing now in the Russian economy, and what the companies there and the people will be seeing very, very, very soon, is spiked inflation to levels I've never seen before, a Russian currency that is collapsing, creating major insecurity in, in everyone in Russia and very, very high borrowing costs for the companies.

We are hitting them in every which way. And we will continue doing so it's as simple as that. And if we need to spike and escalate, we will do so.

CHATTERLEY: Ambassador, I have to interrupt you because I need to get to our viewers over to the United States where the U.N. Ambassador to Ukraine is speaking.

SERGIY KYSLYTSYA, UKRAINIAN AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: --the bombs and missiles fighting in the face of our mothers of hardware and in countless crowds of enemies. They have come to the Ukrainian soil, not only to kill some of us not only to shift our course and priorities.

They have come to deprive Ukraine of the very right to exist. They have come to resolve the Ukrainian issue. As their propagandists claimed, just stop and think whether these wars remind you of something.

Yes, more than 80 years ago, another dictator tried to finally resolve the issue of another people. He failed when the world responded in a resolute and united manner. It was happened immediately.

And the delay coasted dozens of millions of people. Are we ready to pay such a price now? Or is it time to demonstrate the unity of purpose and deeds already now? We appreciate all manifestations of such unity and solidarity with Ukraine.

I would like to express gratitude to all member states that support Ukrainians in their battle for freedom. I would also like to thank those member states that accepted Ukrainian refugees, mostly women and children. More than half a million have already fled from Russian missiles and shells. I will not recite all facts of new war crimes and crimes against humanity that the Russian troops have committed since my previous statement two days ago. The list is so long that it will run out of time.

The crimes are so barbaric that it is difficult to comprehend. Facing the total resistance of the Ukrainian population, Putin's regime has proceeded to widespread use of indiscriminate weapons such as multiple rocket launchers and aerial bombs against the residential areas.

Ukrainians are being killed by Russian ballistic missiles and thermo Berek weapons. Just yesterday Kyiv, Kharkiv, - Mariupol, Melitopol and many other cities and towns sustained heavy shellings that killed dozens of innocents including children.

Ukraine deeply regrets that a student from India has become a victim of this shelling by the Russian Armed Forces in Kharkiv. We offer our deepest sympathies to India and the relatives of the victim.


KYSLYTSYA: A Chinese citizen was also injured in another Ukrainian city because of Russia's deadly attacks. The Ukrainian and foreign citizens have become hostages of the Russian armed aggression against Ukraine. In Kyiv, Russian murderers hit the city TV tower, killing five passerbies.

One of the missiles dropped on the Babi Yar Holocaust memorial is sacred place of commemoration of Jews, Ukrainians, Roma, and representatives of other ethnic groups killed by Nazis during the World War II.

What an irony when the victims of Nazis are being killed for the second time by Nazi module followers. As the president of Ukraine asked, what was the point of repeating the slogan never again in 80 years?

It's already clear that the goal of Russia is not an occupation only. It is genocide. On seventh and eighth of March 2022, the International Court of Justice will hold public hearings in the case concerning allegations of genocide under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, Ukraine versus Russian Federation.

Also, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has decided to proceed to his opening for a formal investigation into the situation in Ukraine. Unprovoked escalation of Russian aggression against Ukraine gives reasons to believe that crimes within the jurisdiction of the ICC continue to be committed on the territory of Ukraine.

Along with the situation in Crimea, and Donbas recent events suggest that aggressor's troops continue to commit war crimes and crimes against humanity. Dear colleagues, one might consider observing the bloodshed in Ukraine that it is not my war. It is a mistake. The evil will never stop it requires more and more space to conquer. If tolerated it advances further and further. The draft resolution is one of the building blocks to build a wall to stop it, to stop in Ukraine and not to let it go further, the wall that will protect all of you, in particular, younger generations.

Distinguished delegates, by voting today, you also reconfirm your country's commitment to the U.N. Charter. After the vote, I invite you ambassadors and representatives to stop by the Indonesian lounge and to sign these little blue book, little bot of global magnitudes.

Every vote in favor of the resolution and every signature of country that voted in favor would be a historical reconfirmation of the charter. It is very easy, ladies and gentlemen to sign the charter at time of peace.

It is the duty to sign and reconfirm and implement the charter at the time of war. So stop by the Indonesian lounge. Put the name of your country if you voted in favor. And after you sign this book, I will hand it over to the Secretary General for keeping the book in his office in front of him.

So at every single moment, the secretary general will get an inspiration from the overwhelming majority of nations who still trust in the U.N., who still trust in the U.N. Charter.


KYSLYTSYA: There is a very fragile gentleman, a very old one. He was born in a territory that was part of the Kingdom of Hungary. He will celebrate his 102 years birthday in nine days. His name is Benjamin Ferencz. Benjamin Ferencz was an investigator of war crimes, a chief prosecutor at one of the 12 subsequent trials of Nuremberg.

Later he became an advocate of international rule of law, and for the establishment of the International Criminal Court. With the permission of the producer, I would play a couple of seconds of his words. And I want you to listen, very carefully.


BENJAMIN FERENCZ, PROSECUTOR AT THE NUREMBERG TRIALS OF NAZI LEADERS: Three words, law, not war. If you can do that, you save everyday billions of dollars, which you can use to deal with the legitimate complaints of all people who need medical care, students who have to pay for the tuition, all the legitimate complaints, which could be solved if we didn't spend the money on weapons to kill them, instead of helping them.

And that is the current system. Now how you're going to do it, I will end by telling you how to do it. And the principle which I have guided me three principles one, never give up, two, never give up, three, I heal, never give up. Good luck, I wish you the best of luck.

(END VIDEO CLIP) KYSLYTSYA: Please show respect. Show respect to the charter. Show respect to the Secretary General. Show respect to these gentlemen who will celebrate 102 years since his birthday. I call upon all responsible member states to support the draft. Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thank the distinguished - I thank the distinguished representative of Ukraine.

CHATTERLEY: A powerful plea for help there from the Ukrainian ambassador to the United Nations. A plea to for them to stand by the U.N. Charter and respect the purpose upon which it was created. He called what's going on in Ukraine genocide.

And he also questioned the phrase never again 80 years after the World War, what is the purpose of the United Nations if not standing against what we're seeing in Ukraine now?

I want to bring back in the Ambassador of the European Union to the United States. Ambassador, I know you were listening to that, too. And I guess I asked the same question again, in the face of what Ukraine is facing.

And the tearing up of the international order that we've seen in has been written over the last 80 years. And he made a reference. He didn't say Hitler specifically. But he made a reference to what we've seen in the past to what we're seeing today. And he has a point so surely.

LAMBRINIDIS: But of course, he has a point. And what I was impressed by in the speech was the fact that he went and he focused on two major points. We don't discuss that often. The first one is the micro level. This is not just a war.

CHATTERLEY: Ambassador, I am sorry to interrupt you. Russia is now speaking, the Ambassador of Russia, I want to listen in to him.

VASSILY NEBENZIA, RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: It was open and cynical threats. And we know about it. This document will not allow us to end military activities. On the contrary, it could embolden Kyiv radicals and nationalists to continue to determine the policy of their country at any price holding peaceful civilians hostage.

But not in the figurative sense of the term but in the literal sense of it now that is what is happening in a series of cities in Ukraine where people are being used as human shields.


NEBENZIA: Today, we've learned that the Ukrainian military are not forgiving citizens of allowing citizens of Mariupol to leave the city. They are keeping them there, including women and children, one of the schools in Mariupol and forcing them turning back all civilians who are trying to leave the city along humanitarian corridors.

We also know about planned nationalist where Italians are planning provocations, which they have been preparing with the participation of civilians, so that then they can accuse Russia of having carried the mat.

Running against norms of international humanitarian law and military hardware is being placed in residential areas as well as rocket launchers and artillery. Today, we will provide examples of this to the U.N. leadership who are still asserting that they don't have this kind of evidence.

Although videos taken by Ukrainian citizens are freely available on the internet, responsibility for this fully lies with the Ukrainian authorities, much like for the irresponsible and criminal distribution, to weapons to anyone who wants one, including those who have been released from prison.

This has already led to many cases of robbery, murder and plundering colleagues, your refusal to support today's draft resolution as a vote for a peaceful Ukraine free from radicalism and neo Nazism living in peace with its neighbors and refusing from to be managed from outside.

This was the aim of our special military operation who the sponsors of this resolution tried to present as aggression. We heard from the Ukrainian representative words about Nazism. But he didn't mention rampant neo Nazism in Ukraine itself and the rampant Neo Nazis and Neo nationalist radical organizations about totally processions and those who support Hitler.

Those who are interested in the development of the Ukrainian crisis and how it was developed, very much understand where it came from. Actions today we are seeing in action today we're trying to stop the eight year war of the Maidan regime on the people of Donbas.

The last year that country has done everything it can and things are impossible to avoid this kind of scenario. We, according to Secretary General has left no stone unturned, and knocked on every door.

However, we were not listened to. Living in Donbas are still being bombed. They don't plan on stopping at 14,000 victims the vast majority of which are living in the LPR and DPR were living in the LPR and DPR.

The aim of special operation is announced on the basis of article 51 of the U.N. Charter and will be achieved. However, we are not carrying out strikes on civilian facilities and civilians don't believe the large number of fakes spread around the internet on this, these fakes have only distributed like biscuits.

Operation centers, special operations of Ukraine and this center was destroyed. A peaceful scenario of Ukraine could happen if the radicals concern about preserving civilian lives in their country and rather than hiding behind them.

This is a call in the text before the - there was no reference to this call in the text before it's to vote on. Nothing is mentioned about the illegal coup in Kyiv in February 2014 with the connivance of Germany, France and Poland.

And with a supportive United States, where they legitimately elected president of the country was overthrown. This draft has not mentioned anything along the lines that the new nationalist authorities are limiting the rights of citizens to use a Russian language.

This was a start Green light for a large chain of events of violations of the basic rights of those living in the east of the country, not only in the east of the country including the most valuable right, that right to life.


NEBENZIA: Many of you don't want to hear about this, about the tragedies happening in Ukraine after the Maidan coup in 2014. And those people who burnt alive in Odessa and the crimes of those who didn't agree, I guess, those didn't agree with them and most blatant example of this was the war against Donbas rolled up by Kyiv.

There's nothing in a document either, that over the last eight years Europe and the U.S. have been pumping up the Ukraine with weapons so that those people can kill civilians in Donbas.

And the loyal authorities in Kyiv are fully ignoring the Minsk agreements on sabotaging Security Council resolution 22, 02. Finally, this draft is a clear attempt of those who have a less decades have committed net human huge numbers of aggressions illegal and international law as well as coups.

One of the which, indeed was the Maidan coup in Ukraine, they present themselves as champions of international law. Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thank the distinguished representative of Russia. Now I give the floor to the distinguished representative of Serbia.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Most sincerely regrets events taking place in the east of Europe, Russia and Ukraine has always been friendly country, to the Republic of Serbia. And Serbian people, perceived Russians and Ukrainians as fraternal nations, we fell loss of life for rich man in Ukraine is true tragedy.

The Republic of Serbia is committed to observing principles of territorial integrity, and political independence of states as one of the basic principles of international law based on U.N. Charter.

ANDERSON: Well, you've been listening to ambassadors, specifically from Ukraine and Russia speaking ahead of a vote at the special emergency session of the General Assembly.

This of course is the first special emergency session of the General Assembly in 40 years. Countries will now be considering what their vote will be, and considering the long term costs and repercussions perhaps, of their response in the chamber today.

Nic Robertson, joining me now, from Moscow, I think it's important, Nic, at this point, just to explain what is going on at the U.N. that we've been listening to, and why what's the significance of what we've been listening to today? ROBERTSON: This is significant because it's calling into question Russia's position at the United Nations. And as we heard from the Ambassador from Ukraine, if you believe in the U.S. ambassador, if you believe in the fundamentals of what the United Nations was designed to do, which is stop war, then you'll support this amendment.

And as we - this decision rather, and we heard from the Ambassador from Ukraine, that this is essentially a moment in history that come by the Indonesian booth, I think he said, and sign this document.

And I'll give this document then to the Secretary General of the United Nations something for him to look at it this document is obviously not that, you know, not part of the process. But he is making a point there, that the decisions that they'll take today is an important one for the values of the United Nations. And I think that's, that's the key to it here.

ANDERSON: The session will of course, involve the participation of all 193 member states. This will be a non-binding resolution of course, unlike the Security Council, which issues legally binding resolutions and therefore can authorize you know, actions such as military actions, et cetera.

This can't happen at the GA but this is, but this is symbolic, of course. So we are waiting to see the result of that vote for the time being, Nic Robertson, thank you. We're taking a very short break back after this.



ANDERSON: Russia's invasion of Ukraine may have shaken up the geopolitical spectrum. But if Western nations have found one small silver lining to the crisis, it is that the U.S. and Europe aren't remarkably united against Vladimir Putin's actions working in lockstep to coordinate a common response.

But where they fall short is in securing unequivocal condemnation of the invasion from many countries outside of the west, some traditional western allies.

Now U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken referenced this in an address to the U.N.'s Human Rights Council on Tuesday, saying and I "council members should stop using language implying that all sides bear equal responsibility for the unprovoked attack of one side".

This isn't even handed its wrong and failed to place accountability where it belongs, those words well falling on deaf ears. Shortly after his address, CNN learned that Russia's President and Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince for example; it's spoken in a phone call.

The UAE state run news agencies say Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed stress they "peaceful solution to the Ukraine crisis in a way that guarantees the interests and national security of all parties". Well, the Security Council vote on Friday. The UAE which holds the council revoking presidency this month chose to abstain on a vote on a resolution condemning Russia's invasion of Ukraine along with China and India.

UAE remains one of Washington's strongest and most important allies in this region, but it also operates the OPEC plus oil production deals in coordination with Russia alongside its Gulf neighbor, Saudi Arabia.

It's complicated folks, Israel, another country that has been very careful with its response to the crisis in Ukraine. The Israeli government has had good relations with Russia and Ukraine over the years.

And Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has offered to act as a mediator between Moscow and Kyiv. But it hosted German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Wednesday; the two men visited Israel's Holocaust Memorial, Yad Vashem and spoke about how they can work to end the suffering of civilians in Ukraine.

Let's bring in CNN's Hadas Gold. She's in Jerusalem for more on Israel's role in all of this. Zelensky Jewish has called on Jews worldwide to speak out in the wake of a Russian missile attack that appears to have damaged an important Holocaust memorial in Kyiv. So why has Israel been reluctant to more forcefully denounce Russia's actions, Hadas?

HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Israel is engaging in sort of very delicate diplomatic dance here. One partner, you could say is Foreign Minister - he's the one that's coming out condemning the Russian invasion.

He's the one that's announcing that Israel signing on to that U.N. resolution condemning the invasion. On the other hand, you have Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who's being a little bit more careful.

Now, while he is saying that he that Israel is supporting the Ukrainian people that they're sending three planes full of humanitarian aid and calling for a ceasefire. In his remarks earlier today, alongside the German chancellor, he didn't even mention the word Russia. Take a listen.


NAFTALI BENNETT, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: Our policy is measured and responsible and we're thinking about all the various dimensions and considerations. First of all, as a country who itself has much experience unfortunately in war; we call for an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine. And we identify with the citizens that are under considerable danger and stress in Kyiv, in Kharkov, in the South and in other locations.


[11:50:00] GOLD: So, Becky, why is Israel being so careful here, there's a mixture of economic, cultural, there's a lot of Jews and Israelis in both Russia and Ukraine. But importantly, there's a lot about security because Israel considers its northern border with Syria, to for all intents and purposes, be a border with Russia.

Those are the exact words that - the foreign minister has used as because of Russia's military involvement in Syria, and Israel needs Russia's tacit approval whenever they want to conduct airstrikes on Iranian targets in Syria.

So there may be a fear that if they lose that tacit approval, if they lose that cooperation, the name lose their freedom to strike targets in Syria that they see as essential to their security. But Becky, the pressure is building not only domestically from Israeli, but also internationally.

We've heard from Senator Lindsey Graham and others calling on Israel to do more to support Ukraine, Becky?

ANDERSON: Yes, absolutely. Thank you, Hadas. Hadas Gold is in Jerusalem. Turkey says it's not planning any sanctions against Russia and it is not closing off communications with Moscow.

Ankara also took a few days before it started calling the Russian invasion of Ukraine a war. Well, right now you may be asking why the kick - gala gloves? Well, Turkey has good relations with Moscow, it also gets along with Ukraine, and it's a NATO member.

So it's got an awful lot to juggle in all of these relationships, while it says avoiding retaliation. I've been speaking to the Turkish President's Chief Adviser Ibrahim Kalin.

And I asked him for his take on sanctions against Russia, whether Turkey supports NATO expanding to include Ukraine. And if Ukraine should be neutral, we got an awful lot of ground, have a listen.


IBRAHIM KALIN, CHIEF ADVISER TO TURKISH PRESIDENT ERDOGAN: Certainly, we are very much concerned about the escalation of violence in Ukraine, the increased Russian attacks. That's what we've been calling for a cessation of these attacks. Of course, it will be a huge mistake, I think on the part of the Russians if they continue this path of attacks, and not give diplomacy and negotiations a chance.

ANDERSON: Turkey officially recognize the Russian invasion in Ukraine as a war. Will Turkey join other countries in sanctioning Russia, and implement airspace restrictions on Russian planes?

KALIN: You're not planning to apply any sanctions to Russia at this point, because we don't want our economy to be affected negatively. By this we have strong economic ties, like many others, we have, you know, energy ties, we have tourism, we have agriculture and other sectors of business. But more importantly than that, is the fact that we want to keep our lines of communications with the Russians open. When I talk to my Western counterparts, Americans, Europeans and others, in fact, they do say to me and to our officials that it is important that Turkey maintained his lines of communication open with Russia, because someone needs to talk to them.

Someone needs to; you know, encourage them and then apply pressure on them to come to the negotiating table.

ANDERSON: Does this risk becoming a nuclear conflict seriously?

KALIN: Well, President Putin talked about this. And I think it will be catastrophic to resort to that in any way or shape and form. I think NATO has responded rather calmly and maturely by saying that they're not going to raise the level of alert in regards to the nuclear weaponry.

And that's the right thing to do. I think we need to deescalate there. And I hope it was just only a verbal threat. And it was just maybe a statement out of frustration on the part of President Putin and it will be catastrophic for everyone for Russia, more than anyone else.

ANDERSON: President Erdogan has said that Turkey is not opposed to NATO enlargement; does that mean that Turkey would support Ukrainian membership?

KALIN: Not at this point, the President was referring to a larger issue of EU membership and NATO enlargement for other countries in Europe, in the Balkans and other places. We understand how sensitive this issue is.

That is Ukraine's membership to NATO. In fact, this is one of the reasons why we have ended up with this unjust, unlawful, unlawful war unfortunately, there. That is something I think the Ukrainians understand.

ANDERSON: Russia has said that Ukraine neutrality and demilitarization is key to ending the conflict. Do you agree with that?

KALIN: The three Russian proposals so far that we've heard, which came up I believe in the negotiation ceasefire negotiations are rather maximalist and not reasonable. That is you know recognizing Crimea as part of Russia that is recognizing the annexation of Crimea as a condition.


KALIN: That's not acceptable at this point. Demilitarization for any other sovereign country independent country, that that is not acceptable, unless they mean that, you know, we don't want to see any kind of military threat coming from Ukraine to Russia, that may be something that can be considered.

But in terms of talking, you know, talking about demilitarizing a sovereign country that is not acceptable, obviously. As far as neutrality is concerned, again, I think their main concern there is Ukraine NATO relationship, how that relationship will shape up that can be a point of consideration or discussion.

And the Russians have raised this issue in the past. And I think we have to take a realistic approach.


ANDERSON: That's Ibrahim Kalin speaking to me earlier, Chief of Staff, Special Adviser to President Erdogan of Turkey, taking a very short break folks, back after this.