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Hala Gorani Tonight
Joe Biden, Boris Johnson Meet for First Time at G7 Summit; Biden Pledges to Donate Additional 500 Million Vaccines; Uganda Struggles to Get Vaccines As COVID Cases Spike; Myanmar Military Charges Aung San Suu Kyi with Corruption; U.S.-Russia Tensions; Prince Philip's 100th Birthday. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired June 10, 2021 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
HALA GORANI, CNNI HOST: Hello, and welcome everyone, I'm HALA GORANI TONIGHT. On the eve of the official start of the G7 Summit here in
Cornwall, England. The first in-person meeting of world leaders since the start of the pandemic, we are coming to you live from Cornwall, I'm Hala
Gorani. The U.S. President Joe Biden has met British Prime Minister Boris Johnson for the first time in person.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Wait a minute, wait a minute. Next question. We have some in common now.
JILL BIDEN, FIRST LADY: Hi, good to see you.
JO. BIDEN: You're welcome.
CARRIE JOHNSON, FIRST LADY: Nice to rather see you.
JO. BIDEN: We're excited to seeing you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, you saw it there, elbow-bump greetings and Joe Biden initially wearing a mask, offering us clues to how extraordinary and
changed the world is right now. Mr. Johnson of course playing host to what is Mr. Biden's first foreign trip as U.S. President. As COVID-19 had
confined leaders to video meetings before this week's summit.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JO. BIDEN: Really good, yes.
JI. BIDEN: You don't say.
BORIS JOHNSON, PRIME MINISTER, UNITED KINGDOM: That is --
JI. BIDEN: Oh, yes
B. JOHNSON: It changed their world.
JI. BIDEN: Yes --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, it is the G7 eve, it's taking place in Carbis Bay, just a few miles away from our position here in the picturesque of rugged county
of Cornwall on England's southwestern tip. The so-called special relationship was on display when the two leaders looked at the Atlantic
Charter signed initially, the original version in 1941 by Winston Churchill and FDR which set out British and American goals for the world after the
end of World War II.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With his son along, be helping him of course in the day and the key advisors, masters and commanders. Off --
BIDEN: This one, yes --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, crucial --
BIDEN: I spoke with -- before he passed away yesterday in a little bit --
JOHNSON: You never know -- yes --
BIDEN: About this meeting --
JOHNSON: Did you really?
BIDEN: This one, and at the very end of the work -- anyway, we've got to talk about --
JOHNSON: Because this was the beginning --
BIDEN: Yes, I know, this was --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Oh, much has changed since 1941, so Joe Biden and Boris Johnson have agreed to sign a new charter, the two had plenty to discuss for their
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: All right.
JOHNSON: Wow, well, either what? it's a great pleasure, Mr. President to welcome you to Cornwall.
BIDEN: It's a great pleasure to be here --
JOHNSON: Fantastic to see you here, you know, on what I think is your -- is your first big overseas trip since you've been --
BIDEN: It is.
JOHNSON: Since you've been president.
BIDEN: Left my great country many times, but this is the first time as president of the United States.
JOHNSON: Oh, everybody is -- everybody is absolutely thrilled to see you.
BIDEN: We're thrilled to be here. Thrilled to meet your wife --
JOHNSON: Yes, and they've gone off to do something else --
BIDEN: They do --
JOHNSON: Yes --
BIDEN: I told the prime minister we have something in common. We both married way above our stature --
JOHNSON: Yes, I'm not going -- I'm not going to do -- I'm not going to dissent from that one, I'm not going to disagree with the president on that
or indeed on anything else. I think -- I don't know, are we going to -- are we going to have a -- we can just continue --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, do you see it as a task that Vladimir Putin has banned Alexei Navalny's political organization --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you, thank you --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will you resume travel?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you very much
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: That's how it goes at the summit by the way, the shouted questions sometimes drown out the actual participants. It was a lot of participants -
- it was a light-hearted moment. If you didn't hear Joe Biden said both he and Mr. Johnson married up.
The British Prime Minister responded he wouldn't disagree on that or anything else. The multitude of questions that followed reflects the scale
and number of challenges that the leaders are facing as President Biden promotes the notion that America is back. It's back in the fold. It's back
to lead. He made an announcement on a commitment to share more vaccines with the world.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: Today, we're taking a major step that will super charge the global fight against this pandemic. The United States will purchase a half a
billion doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine to donate to nearly 100 nations that are in dire need in the fight against this pandemic. That's a historic
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, Boris Johnson may have cut foreign aid, but the Prime Minister said something similar about vaccines and the U.K.'s commitment to
distributing extra doses around the world. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHNSON: The talks were great. They went on for a long time. We covered a huge range of subjects. And it's wonderful to listen to the Biden
administration and to Joe Biden because on -- there is so much that they want to do together with us, from security, NATO, to climate change. And
it's fantastic. He's a breath of fresh air. A lot of things they want to do together.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Interesting. He's a breath of fresh air. Senior White House correspondent Phil Mattingly is with us here in Cornwall. We're back kind
of to the old world order, aren't we, with Joe Biden --
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes --
GORANI: After four years of Trump.
MATTINGLY: Yes, and I think that's the message that he wants to get across this entire week. It might seem simplistic, but I think after the way
relationships, traditional allies kind of frayed over the course of the four years with President Biden's predecessor, he believes it might be low-
hanging fruit, re-establish things that have been in place for the better part of several decades.
But that this is a crucial moment, obviously, tightening the binds and bonds that have long been there is a huge part of what we're going to see
over the course of the next 10 days. Starting his first foreign trip off with a meeting with the Prime Minister of England.
Kind of underscoring the special relationship and then moving through to kind of all of the largest western democracies in the lead up to that
crucial meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. This is all by design and this all underscores kind of the broader message that the
president is bringing here.
GORANI: So, it was a very friendly, the leaders with their spouses there joked, they fist-bumped and the rest of it. But President Biden through his
-- one of his top diplomats in the U.K. did say that, you know, the British Prime Minister is playing with fire when it comes to Northern Ireland for
instance. And he believes that it's possible that some of the inflamed rhetoric could be putting in jeopardy the Good Friday agreements which Joe
Biden has many times said he -- the U.S. is very committed to.
MATTINGLY: No question about it, probably more forthcoming about his views related to this issue than maybe any other U.S. president would be in his
position at this time obviously. He has -- he is of Irish heritage. He talks of it quite fondly quite often. But also has been very committed to
the Northern Ireland protocol, obviously, the Good Friday agreement as well, I think it's interesting what we see publicly is obviously very
carefully choreographed. Everything is wonderful, everybody is great, we're very happy to be together again.
But there's no question about it, going into this meeting, the president's advisors made clear to the Prime Minister's advisors that this was an issue
that he cared deeply about, and that if he was asked about it, he would likely state his public position, which he said before that the protocol
needs to be recognized, that the Good Friday agreement is paramount of importance, and that whatever the Prime Minister does should not negatively
impact those things. That's obviously kind of runs into some domestic politics over here, but that's kind of the president's view and they've
made clear that, that's -- he's not going to back off.
GORANI: There is such a difference in tone between former President Trump and President Biden, where if there are disagreements, they're communicated
MATTINGLY: Yes --
GORANI: Very differently. Phil Mattingly, thanks very much for joining us. Joining me now is Ian Bremmer; the president and founder of both the
Eurasia Group and "GZERO Media". Ian, first of all, your impressions. Day one, Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister of Britain there meeting with the
U.S. President Joe Biden. What did you make of this the day before the G7 starts in earnest.
IAN BREMMER, PRESIDENT & FOUNDER, EURASIA GROUP: A lot of talk about shared values. A lot of effort to show alignment, not a lot of news being
broken. The big news, really, we heard yesterday in terms of the significant leadership finally shown by the United States in terms of
vaccines being provided to the rest of the world.
What I will say is that the United States enters this G7 in the driver's seat in way that has not been the case for some time. Because the U.S.
economic recovery is among the world's most robust. The position of the United States in coronavirus domestically looks a lot better and faster
than that of our allies, and the ability to export vaccines is unprecedented. All of that is kind of a generational opportunity the G7
couldn't come at a better time for this President Biden. So, in that regard, this is a little bit of a lay-up in preparation for the broader
GORANI: Right. There is the broader stage tomorrow, we have President Macron, who is now joining the United States in saying he believes that
patents should be waived on the COVID vaccine. And we have very interesting discussions coming up not just on the pandemic, but on what to do about
China, what to do about Russia. I mean, we have very important obviously Biden-Putin meeting in Geneva next week. What do you anticipate will happen
and how all of that will unfold?
BREMMER: Well, the problem for the Americans and the Europeans is most significantly China, because the Europeans do not see China the way the
Americans do. For the U.S., for the Democrats and the Republicans, you see legislation working its way through Congress right now, $250 billion on a
wrap to sanctions against China. China is seen overwhelmingly as the most important national security threat for the U.S. You just saw Curt Campbell
from the White House a week ago saying the era of engagement is over.
No one in continental Europe would describe it that way. For them China is principally an economic opportunity, not a national security threat. That
is very different from alignment on Russia. In NATO for example, it's very different than -- in the way we think about the global order.
On Russia, the Americans and the Europeans are a little bit misaligned. Now, the Germans certainly want to move ahead with more extreme too. Biden
is like that's going to happen anyway, we can work, we can cooperate, we can figure out to get together on our general policies.
And you saw that on Belarus, too, the Americans allowing the Europeans to take the lead in response to the state hijacking of this Ryanair plane. I
think this is also going to be easier because Biden wants -- and he's described this a couple of times now, a predictable meeting with Vladimir
What that means is if China is the principal antagonist of the United States, Biden doesn't want to be fighting on a lot of different fronts.
That's going to help the meeting with Erdogan, and it's going to mean that less news than you think is going to come out of this first face-to-face
between Biden as president and Putin as president in Geneva next week.
GORANI: But I mean, it's going to be tricky for Biden, right? Because you mentioned the state hijacking of that commercial airliner, just to arrest a
dissident. Navalny as well, imprisoned, and the Kremlin, essentially describing his political movement as extremist, which means that, that is
taking him out of the equation politically. Do you think that those things are down as a -- were done now as a message to send to Biden ahead of this
BREMMER: I think it's going to be less tricky -- I think it's going to be less tricky than you think, Hala. We can come back and talk about it in a
week. But you know, the Navalny arrest, I mean, that was done before the working meeting between Secretary of State Blinken and Russian Foreign
That meeting went quite well. Much better than the working level meeting with the Chinese counterparts in Anchorage a couple of months ago. It was
by far the worst meeting the Biden administration had on the global stage heretofore. We mentioned Belarus, that was Belarus, that was Lukashenko,
Putin has been supporting him, but it's not like he ordered it.
And I do that -- I think the biggest problem that Biden has to navigate is the cyber attacks which the Russians aren't doing directly in terms of
ransomware, but they're allowing it.
And here, I think Biden got a little lucky in terms of the FBI with a significant success, albeit anecdotal in grabbing that ransom back from the
Russian criminal company that went after Colonial Pipeline. But that's not going to be enough. And he does need to find a way to tell Putin that there
will be consequences, this won't be tolerated, and to have that incredible on the global stage.
So, I have to tell you, Hala, so far, even though Trump wanted to be best buds with Putin, the Trump administration's --
GORANI: Yes --
BREMMER: Orientation towards Russia overall was actually more hawkish than what we've seen from the Biden administration so far.
And that is a potential vulnerability from Biden, especially here at home in the United States.
GORANI: Good point. Quick last one on Northern Ireland. Joe Biden has made it very clear that he doesn't want Boris Johnson threatening the Good
Friday agreement by, you know, messing with the protocol that was established, that was agreed upon between the United Kingdom and the EU
during Brexit negotiations. Will it make any difference at all what Joe Biden has to say about this?
BREMMER: I think it matters a bit because of course the U.K. does want that bilateral trade deal to start moving ahead with the United States, how
credible and whether or not Congress would support it is another question. But Boris Johnson is flying much higher domestically right now on the back
of his successful vaccination rollout, and his relationship with the EU is in disastrous shape.
He feels like being hard-lined on the Northern Ireland question actually benefits him at home. And I don't think that, that calculation changes
after Biden. I think that Boris Johnson is hoping that Biden can knock some European heads towards more cooperation in the next couple of days. That
might be the most significant open question over the next couple of days that we should be watching coming out of the G7.
GORANI: Ian Bremmer, always a pleasure, thanks so much for joining us on the program this evening. A lot more to come tonight. Desperately needed
vaccines are going to reach countries around the world soon. We'll tell you all about the new U.S. pledge next. Is it enough? And is it also in time?
Plus, a brutal second wave of COVID infections rips through Uganda. Why the government suggests wealthier nations could have done a lot more earlier to
help prevent the crisis.
GORANI: We talk a lot about how poorer countries have not had access to COVID vaccines. President Biden's pledge to donate half a billion Pfizer
COVID-19 vaccines around the world can't come fast enough for many countries. Uganda, for example, is fighting off a brutal second wave, and
it's warning that it's close to running out of vaccines completely. Larry Madowo is there.
LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Kampala's main stadium now a temporary hospital for COVID patients. The Ugandan government says this
makeshift treatment center is only for mild to moderate cases. But CNN witnessed a body being carted away. Last week, the World Health
Organization says cases here were up 137 percent, the second straight week of triple-digit spike in infections. Across town, 40-year-old Stephen
Ntambi was finally well enough to be taken off a ventilator just hours before we arrived.
STEPHEN NTAMBI, COVID-19 PATIENT: Now that I have a second chance, people shouldn't play with their lives recklessly when it comes to COVID. The way
I feel now, I feel like God has given me a thousand more years.
MADOWO: It's all hands on deck at this hospital. The ICU has been over capacity for the last two weeks, even after adding 50 percent more beds.
They keep turning away new patients who need critical care.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I believe we had a bed, but then we got emergencies, and we may have used up the bed.
MADOWO: The calls keep coming.
MADOWO (on camera): How many similar calls have you had today?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know. I would say about 15 calls just since morning.
MADOWO: Every patient in this wing of this small private hospital is on life support. It's also taking a strain on the staff, some of whom have had
to do 24-hour shifts because the need is far greater than the medical professionals available.
MADOWO (voice-over): The average age of the patients is 40, doctors tell us. The youngest was only 18.
MADOWO (on camera): Why exactly are we seeing young people?
ERASMUS EREBU OKELLO, TMR INTERNATIONAL HOSPITAL: One is that for sure, a more aggressive strain. But the other thing also could be that, you know,
after they passed away, we might have gotten quite excited enough to slacken on our, you know, on our preventive measures.
MADOWO: It's a crisis that could have been avoided, says Uganda's top health official.
DIANA ATWINE, PERMANENT SECRETARY, UGANDA MINISTRY OF HEALTH: If we got this vaccine at the end of last wave, our community would be much better
than what we are experiencing now.
MADOWO: Considering you have only vaccinated 2 percent of the Ugandan population, when will you have enough people vaccinated, that life can
return to normal here?
ATWINE: I cannot answer that because I'm not in charge of -- I cannot access the vaccines. If I could access the vaccines, even tomorrow, we
would conduct -- could conduct, you know, nationwide campaign and vaccinate.
MADOWO: With almost all Ugandans unvaccinated, the government warns that each positive person could infect between 80 to 100 people.
Uganda has strict social distancing guidelines, but it's business as usual here in downtown Kampala. People have to be here to make a living. It's
impossible to work from home.
(voice-over): But they may have little choice for the next six weeks as Uganda is now in partial lockdown again. Larry Madowo, CNN, Kampala.
GORANI: Well, my next guest is Lily Caprani; she's the COVAX vaccine's lead for UNICEF. Thanks for joining us. First, we've heard from the U.K.
that they will be donating some vaccine doses. The U.S. is pledging half a billion doses over the next year and a half or so. Is it enough?
LILY CAPRANI, COVAX VACCINES LEAD FOR UNICEF: Well, the most recent announcement from the U.S. government that they'll contract Pfizer to buy
vaccines for COVAX is going to go a long way to helping to close the supply gap that we have right now. But we're going to need all of the G7
wealthiest countries to step up and do the same if we're going to have a chance of protecting vulnerable groups in all of the countries in the
world. We can't afford not to do it. We just heard, you know, these hot spots and surges that are happening around our worst fears coming true.
If we leave lower income countries unprotected without that insurance policy of vaccination, we'll see surge after surge. And it's -- every time
that happens, there is a risk of new variants emerging that put everybody at risk. We can't afford as a global community to let this keep on
GORANI: And I guess it's important to explain to richer countries and people who have been vaccinated twice, who might think, this isn't my
problem, why it's important for the whole world to be vaccinated. If you had to explain it, how would you do it?
CAPRANI: Yes, you feel -- if you're lucky enough to be in a country like the United States or -- right now I'm in London, it's a great relief that
our loved ones have been vaccinated, and we start to feel like life is getting back to normal.
But we must realize that it's not the case in so many parts of the world. There are hot spots in south Asia, we're seeing surges in Brazil, surges in
Africa as you just reported. And when I see that, I worry about my loved ones because that puts my family at risk as well. This is a global
pandemic. If we can't get out of it by vaccinating one country successfully.
Every time someone transmits the virus to someone else, it has a chance to mutate and grow stronger and potentially evade vaccines. That's dangerous
for absolutely everyone where ever you are in the world. So, it's in our own interest. This is not just an act of charity or a nice thing to do. It
is a smart thing to do. We need it for everyone's safety.
GORANI: That's such an important message to underscore. Now, one of the issues with some of the developing nations is distribution. I mean, the
Democratic Republic of Congo for instance a few weeks ago returned over a million doses to COVAX, saying they would not be able to roll these -- to
go through with that particular rollout before the doses expired. How do you overcome that?
CAPRANI: That is a very important issue, too. The reason UNICEF is involved in COVAX in the first place and rolling out vaccines is that in
pre-pandemic times, we were already the world's biggest vaccinator delivering childhood immunizations. And so we know what it takes to get the
vaccines off the tarmac and actually into arms. And it's a big logistical challenge, especially when you're delivering to war zones or urban slums or
remote Pacific islands, you know, really tough places to get to. And it does require its own dedicated funding.
And there is a big risk that if we don't match the vaccines with the funding to roll them out, not only could they go to waste, the other risk
is that countries might end up having to kind of take that money out of their existing health care systems which could have a knock-on effect on
other parts of health, on children's health, on, you know, the midwives to safely deliver babies, all of those essential services that need to carry
on running at the same time as the vaccines are being rolled out.
So, we're doing lots to help countries prepare investing in things like the cold chains that you can keep refrigerating the vaccines wherever you're
taking them. But it's true to say that the poorest countries, they've got quite a fragile healthcare systems do need more support to make sure they
can roll the vaccines out.
GORANI: Yes, now the COVAX target is 20 percent, I understand?
CAPRANI: Well, that's -- I mean, we've always said that the only way out of the pandemic is going to be to protect at the very least the most
vulnerable groups and the priority groups, especially health care workers in every country. If you don't protect healthcare workers and they get
COVID, you get system collapse. And that has huge ripple effects for the rest of the country. So, a couple of weeks ago in Nepal for example, 40
percent of healthcare workers in one area had COVID.
So, you can imagine the effect it has on everyone else in the country. So, 20 percent is just a minimum we think as COVAX and as UNICEF, that would be
ending the very acute phase, but only if you do it everywhere. If we can't vaccinate one country at a time to get out of the global problem, it has to
be simultaneous. So, we're saying to the G7 countries, vaccinate populations at home and donate doses now to those low income countries. Do
it at the same time.
GORANI: Right. Thank you very much for joining us, Lily Caprani; who is the COVAX vaccine lead for UNICEF. And everything we've discussed just
brings to the fore again and again that we're not out of this, that it's complicated, that many people around the world have not received a single
dose of any vaccine, and that it's going to take some time before we get back to normal.
Thanks very much for joining us. Still to come tonight, we'll have more on the talks between Joe Biden and Boris Johnson, including the challenges
both leaders agreed to address. We'll be right back.
GORANI: A symphonic introduction to the G7 there for you. Back to our top story this hour, the leaders of the U.S. and U.K. are meeting in person for
the first time which I -- I had assumed because both men have been in politics for so long that they had at some point crossed paths. But they
This is the first time that Joe Biden and Boris Johnson met in person. They tried to underscore the special relationship between their two countries.
They agreed to work together on several issues from vaccine distribution to economic development.
It was a friendly conversation, they agreed to revitalize the Atlantic Charter, which seeks to address common challenges like climate change and
security threats. Of course revising the Atlantic Charter originally agreed between the leaders of the U.S. and U.K. in 1941, when the world was
facing the Nazi threat and was in the middle of a world war.
We will have a lot more on what is happening here in Cornwall a little bit later. I want to take to you Myanmar. The military government has formally
charged deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi with corruption. She is accused of illegally accepting cash and gold and bribes, charges her supporters are
calling politically motivated. CNN's Paula Hancocks has more.
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is just the latest in a string of charges against the former leader of Myanmar Aung San Suu Kyi by the
military junta who overthrew the democratically elected government in February of this year.
According to the junta led media, "Global New Light of Myanmar," they say she has been charged under the anti-corruption law, saying she had misused
her authority on renting land and building to Open the Door Kimchi Foundation headquarters, a group that she was chairperson of and also said
that she had illegally accepted $600,000 in gold from the former Yangon region chief minister.
There were also three other individuals charged alongside her. This has been very swiftly rejected by Aung San Suu Kyi's lawyers, saying the
accusations against her are absurd and groundless, saying, in his long career within the legal system and also in the human rights arena, he said
he has never found a statesperson that is less corruptible than Aung San Suu Kyi, saying, alongside her many supporters, that these charges we have
been seeing over recent months are trumped up and that they are politically charged.
So at this point we know that she is still under house arrest. We know that she will have a number of different cases continuing against her. There is
also a case that she violated the official secrets act even, one that she illegally possessed walkie-talkies. So it shows what the military junta is
doing, increasing the amount of charges against her.
HANCOCKS (voice-over): Knowing that that will keep her behind closed doors for far longer and the chances of her being able to come back and run in an
election against the military junta, which they claim that they will hold a free and fair election, which nobody believes will be free and fair.
But the longer that they can keep her behind closed doors, the less likelihood that they will have any challenges if an election were to even
take place. Aung San Suu Kyi still enjoys remarkable support from within the country -- Paula Hancocks, CNN, Seoul.
GORANI: Back to the G7. Both the U.S. and U.K. are condemning Russia's latest effort to suppress dissent. On Wednesday a Russian court declared
that two groups tied to imprisoned Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny were, quote, "extremist organizations."
It is now forcing them to shut down and preventing members from running in elections. The U.S. has called the move "a disturbing crackdown on
political opposition." Even so, it will not stop the American president Biden, of course, from meeting his Russian counterpart next week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KATE BEDINGFIELD, WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: He has every intention of having this meeting with President Putin. And what he would
say is that he sits down with President Putin not in spite of our differences but because of our differences.
He is somebody who has done, of course, diplomacy on the world stage his entire public career. And he has known President Putin for a long time. He
has met with him face to face before.
So this conversation with President Putin is going to be direct. It is going to be candid. He's going to talk about -- he's going to raise our
issues of concern, including, as you say, human rights violations, including incursions on the Ukrainian border, including these cyberattacks
from outfits who are based in Russia.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, this is how the U.S. is preparing for that Biden-Putin meeting.
But how is the Kremlin preparing?
What are their expectations?
CNN's Matthew Chance is in Moscow with more.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Hala. I think, to answer your question there, I think their expectations are pretty low in
the sense that Vladimir Putin has already said he doesn't expect the relationship between -- I am paraphrasing him here -- the relationship
between the United States and Russia to transform as a result of this meeting.
But they have expressed concerns at the Kremlin that they can also stabilize the relationship because there has been such a -- from the
Kremlin point of view -- relations are at a sort of an all time low, certainly post Soviet low with Washington at the moment.
At the same time, we are not seeing any sign from Vladimir Putin or the Kremlin that he is prepared to capitulate or back down on any significant
issue. In fact, to the contrary, within the past 24 hours, the courts here in Russia, which are essentially controlled by the Kremlin, have designated
Alexei Navalny's main opposition group, its anti-corruption campaign, as an extremist organization, which basically outlaws it.
So it means anybody who is a member of it, has supported it or has funded it, potentially -- well, first of all, can't -- potentially could face a
criminal prosecution with up to six years in jail if they are found to be members of this now outlawed organization.
But I think more importantly from a domestic political point of view, it means that people who are associated with it can no longer stand in any
kind of an election. That's significant because, in three months from now, September, there are important parliamentary elections in Russia. The main
pro government party, pro-Kremlin party, has been beaten down in the polls somewhat over recent months because of the anti-corruption campaigns in
part that Navalny has led but also because of the malaise in the economy and the fact that the COVID pandemic in his country is still raging.
But it essentially means they won't be able to stand for election. So it removes that threat to the governing parties in a single stroke, sends a
The other message it sends on the eve of the Biden summit is that Putin is not going to not back down but he is also doubling down on the autocracy
over which he presides.
GORANI: A quick one, beyond tone, beyond everything else -- obviously Joe Biden is pretty much the polar opposite of Donald Trump in how he
approaches his meetings with world leaders.
But does America have any leverage over Russia on any of these things or not?
If so, in what way might they have some leverage?
CHANCE: Well, it's hard to know. Look, they have already imposed huge amounts of sanctions against Russia in a bid to punish it for its malign
activity around the world on various issues and in a bid to get to it change its actions, which has not worked.
CHANCE: Russia has continued to crack down on its opposition, it's going to continue to pose a military threat to Ukraine and to stay in annexed
Crimea, which is annexed, of course, from the neighboring country of Ukraine.
It is difficult to know what in terms of punitive measures the United States could impose on Russia to get it to reverse its position. The
Russians are very much digging in their heels.
There is one thing that Russians want more than anything -- what Putin wants more than anything -- is to be seen as a big player internationally,
to be seen at the top table diplomacy. The opposition here in Russia have suggested this.
They said the way to exert leverage over Vladimir Putin is to deny him any further international deals or agreements or meetings until he has met his
current international obligations.
GORANI: All right, thank you, Matthew Chance.
Still to come tonight --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRINCE EDWARD, EARL OF WESSEX: It's -- it's just -- families are families, aren't they, really.
MAX FOSTER, CNN LONDON CORRESPONDENT: They are.
GORANI (voice-over): Prince Edward sits down with Max Foster to discuss his father's legacy and the royal family rift.
A CNN exclusive on what would have been the 100th birthday of Prince Philip, the Duke of . His youngest son is speaking on his father's legacy.
He sat down with Max Foster to share how the queen is doing after a tumultuous year.
FOSTER: Your Royal Highness, thank you for speaking to us. It is a poignant time of course but I know you want to focus on celebrating your
father's life at this point.
PRINCE EDWARD: Indeed. Absolutely. I mean it's -- not just such a broad life but a life that was involved in so many different interests and he
traveled so much of the world saw so much.
Not only that but he was the sort of person that, you know, once met, never forgotten.
FOSTER: It would've been your father's 100th birthday.
How do you think he'd look back on his public work?
PRINCE EDWARD: He was always, always incredibly self-effacing. It wasn't about him. It was about other people. He just gave them the nudge of
encouragement and off they go.
And tragically, it wasn't until he passed away that everybody went, wow, that is what he did. And, of course, it is too late that they ever find
PRINCE EDWARD: But then, I suspect that, if he had made it to his 100th birthday, that a lot of that would've come out. And it would've been lovely
to -- for him to have heard it himself.
But then again, because he was just so self-effacing, he just wouldn't have wanted the fuss and the bothering. And I don't think he ever really
necessarily wanted to reach this -- because I think, due to (ph) -- I just think he'd thought that it would be too much fuss. And that wasn't him.
That was just not him at all.
FOSTER: You're very focused on the Duke of Edinburgh Awards scheme which people may think of it as an outward bound scheme. But actually it is more
than that, isn't it? It's almost a motivational self-confidence exercise.
PRINCE EDWARD: Well, it's a framework. It's a framework of activities. It was to encourage young people and adults to get involved in non-formal
activities, out-of-classroom learning and, of course, it empowered both adults and young people to take control of their destinies.
And it doesn't matter where in the world, that young person or that adult is, it is the same. And hence the reason why I think it spread to 130
countries. And it is doing particularly well in the states, it was a bit of a late start at that but it is brilliant.
And what is really exciting about what's going on in happening in the states is that nearly 50 percent of the young people involved are from what
we would call at risk or marginalized young people and disadvantaged young people which is brilliant because those young people can really benefit
FOSTER: We should also talk about his other role, which a bigger role, arguably, his role as consort and, you know, probably the biggest influence
on arguably one of the greatest reigns in British history, away from the queen.
Can I ask how she is coping without him?
PRINCE EDWARD: Well, you know, thank you for asking. And I think actually, doing remarkably well. But then, I think that yes, it was a fantastic
partnership. But over the last couple of weeks, life has gotten considerably busier.
Things are beginning to opening up. There are more activities. So sort of weirdly that sort of fills any particular void, I think there are going to
be other times, further on in the year, where I think that it will become a bit more poignant and a bit harder.
But at the moment, thank you very much indeed for asking but I think everyone is in pretty good shape, really.
FOSTER: I don't want to pry to much in private matters but this is a private matter which is also very public, which you'll be aware of. But
that must have been, the family rift is something there, that must have been very difficult for her, too.
How is she coping with that, can I ask?
PRINCE EDWARD: Well, it all depends on what -- are you euphemistically referring to Harry and Meghan?
FOSTER: Yes. Yes. I mean yes, the divide between the Sussexes and the rest of the family currently.
PRINCE EDWARD: You know, yes. I mean it's very sad. We have all been there before. We've all had excessive intrusions and attention in our lives. And
we've all dealt with it in totally different ways.
Listen, we wish them the very best of luck. It is a really hard decision. Fantastic news about the baby. That's great. I hope they will be very happy
with that. It's -- it's just -- families are families, aren't they, really.
FOSTER: They are. I think you're right. They do happen in all families. It's just the very public nature of this. I wonder how difficult that had
been for her?
PRINCE EDWARD: Listen, it's difficult for everyone. It is difficult for everyone. But as I said, that is families for you, sir.
FOSTER: We talked about how she just carries on in this remarkable way and very inspiring way and the President of the United States, currently in the
United Kingdom, and the queen, as the longest serving head of state in the world, she's met so many presidents, as I've said, and so many heads of
state around the world.
I mean, I wonder what it must be an opportunity also for those heads of states to speak to someone who has been there, done that and had that
experience as well?
PRINCE EDWARD: When you meet some of the who's who at that level of personal experience and knowledge, -- you can say overall some people, you
know and I think most people come away wishing that they had a little bit longer.
That's usually the response. God, I just so would have liked to have a little bit longer, because that was fascinating.
FOSTER: They always stay private these conversations, don't they.
PRINCE EDWARD: Yes.
FOSTER: So that's -- it is almost like a high level of counseling, in many ways. And prime ministers have spoken about that.
PRINCE EDWARD: And It is very, very important. That fact that -- the fact that they all say it private is something that is a bit very strange in
this world. You know, if you communicate to appear almost instantly or a press conference. That fact that nothing like that happens doesn't mean
that actually people really do respect the fact that this is a genuinely private, off the record, conversation.
PRINCE EDWARD: So they really can talk about things. And get to the heart of things in a very genuine fashion because they know it is not going to
FOSTER: Has she let slip tears in any way?
PRINCE EDWARD: Of course not. Of course not.
FOSTER: So you wouldn't hear anything about the maids --
PRINCE EDWARD: Well, even if I did, I've forgotten about it the next day.
FOSTER: Thank you very much for speaking to me.
PRINCE EDWARD: Pleasure. Thank you for your interest.
GORANI: Max Foster there.
Still to come tonight, Clarissa Ward later joins me to talk all things G7, all the world leaders, meeting in person for the first time in a very long
time. We will discuss that and more, coming up.
GORANI: Now to our top story, the gathering of world leaders at the G7 summit here in Cornwall, England. The American president, Joe Biden, is
calling it a, quote, "good first day."
Earlier he met face to face with British prime minister Boris Johnson and said they discussed a, quote, "broad range of issues."
Not many specifics there. After the meeting, Mr. Biden said he and the prime minister had, quote, "affirmed the special relationship between the
U.S. and the U.K." CNN's Clarissa Ward, our chief international correspondent, joins me now.
So explain to viewers, what do these in-person, big summit gatherings, what do they achieve in the end?
What are they designed to achieve?
CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think a lot of people are going to be asking just that question.
What will substantively be achieved here?
It's obviously a landmark G7. They haven't met in person for two years. The last time they did meet, we had president Trump saying the whole thing is
outdated. This is an opportunity for these leaders to come together and underscore that they still have a central and relevant role to play in the
It is also an opportunity, of course, for President Biden to try to build consensus, build support among other liberal democracies so that, when he
does sit down with president Vladimir Putin next week, he has already formed something of a united front, not just with the G7 but obviously also
with NATO allies and with E.U. allies as well, who he will be meeting in Brussels.
GORANI: Doing it in that order. He is meeting the allies first, he's having tea with the queen and then he goes to Brussels for NATO and then he
will meet Vladimir Putin. I wonder, what -- how will this be different from when president Trump was in the White House?
WARD: Well, I think everybody is hoping it will be very different. And in that sense, the bar is quite low.
WARD: You know, perhaps the expectation is simply that it just can't look like Helsinki did. It just has to look a bit different. But I think more
than that, I think President Biden will be trying to push this idea that multilateralism is not dead. International cooperation is not dead. The
U.S. is not done playing a role as a major global leader.
The question is, though, do people buy into that?
Or is there residual skepticism, even in a post Trump world, that that wasn't just an aberration, that it could happen again in four years' time
during the next U.S. election?
So I think President Biden has a lot of work that he has to achieve. Part of it he can achieve by simply showing up and saying the right things. But
part of it will be in the details and in the tangible deliverables that come out of this.
GORANI: It is a world that is changing so rapidly because, not at the table, of course, are all the big future superpowers. We don't have -- I
mean, India is invited. They will be joining virtually. But there is no China and all of these big emerging superpowers. This is not the G7 of our
WARD: The G7 started in the 1970s and it represented 80 percent of global GDP. Now they represent 40 percent of global GDP.
So what is the G7's role now?
This is kind of the existential question that the world will be looking for them to deliver, a strong, decisive, clear and substantive -- ad that's the
key here. It can't just be rhetoric. There has to be substantive deliverables.
GORANI: And with Joe Biden now in the White House and not Donald Trump, you have leaders who are kind of holding -- you know, who are holding down
the fort of leaders of the free world. You have Macron and Merkel. But now the U.S. is saying we are back. This is the America's back tour.
WARD: We are back, we're ready to lead and we need to form a united front because the world has changed a lot. Autocracies are on the rise, liberal
democracy is under threat and we need to stand together and take action.
GORANI: Clarissa Ward, thank you very much. We will be talking throughout the summit here in Cornwall. The weather hasn't cooperated.
WARD: No, it hasn't.
GORANI: We're all bundled up.
WARD: It wouldn't be England if it was sunny. Let's face it.
GORANI: We are all bundled up. Thanks very much. We will see you soon. I'm Hala Gorani. Stay with CNN. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is up next.