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tv   Velshi  MSNBC  March 5, 2022 5:00am-6:00am PST

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eastern european borders. what do you know about that and what is being done about that? >> we've heard the first time about that last sunday. and we immediately investigated that because these are really strong allegations and there could be a major problem. we talked to a lot of how we call them third country nationals, most of them are from african countries like nigeria or congo or sudan. some of them told us they have no problem, they were in the country within a few minutes. others had to stay sometimes 12, 24, even 36 hours when they have no documents. what is very important for us is there were no so-called -- so in one was sent back to ukraine, no one was sent back to this awful situation in a war torn country and this is probably the most important point. >> chris, thank you. i will be at another border crossing tomorrow morning and i hope to speak to one of your
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people there. chris meltzer, is a senior relations officer for the united high commission for refugees live at the border of poland and ukraine. don't go anywhere. another special hour of velshi from the hungaran border begins right now. good morning, i'm ali velshi, it is saturday, march 5th. day ten of the russia invasion of ukraine. it is 8:00 in the united states and 3:00 p.m. in kyiv and near the border crossing from ukraine which is where i am. it is here that some of the refugees fleeing from the war are arriving on foot. 157 have -- a thousand have so far fled to hungary from ukraine. according to the u. high commission for refugees, more than 1.3 million people and counting have fled ukraine for neighboring countries including hungary, slovakia, romania and
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moldova. hours ago the adviser to the office of president zelensky along with the kremlin announced a temporary cease far in the city of mariupol on the sea of azav, below donbas along with a smaller city due north of that to allow humanitarian corridors for civilian evacuations and to bring in medication and other essential supplies. however, ukraine now said that russia has broken that cease-fire agreement. roughly half a million people are believed to be in mariupol who ch has been without heat and water for several days because of russian attacks. it is still under kreefrn control. but in russia they have banned facebook which outlaws any deef
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aniation in reporting by the media from the official russian state version of events in ukraine punishable by up to 15 years in prison. anybody in russia is subject to that. the move is forced many western media organizations to suspend operations in the country, including the bbc, which days ago in a separate move revived a relic from the cold war and world war ii and is once again started broadcasting on short wave radio into parts of ukraine and russia. people with short wave radios could now receive bbc world service broadcast. tim davie, the director general of the bbc, said in a statement in part, quote, it is often said truth is the first casualty of war. in a conflict where disinformation and propaganda is rife, there is a clear need for factual and independent news that people can trust, end quote. more western companies are
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pulling their businesses from russia including ups, hermes, samsung, microsoft, cogent, more countries continue to enact additional sanctions on russia. and on russians close to the president, including singapore and switzerland. which is a move deviating from the historic norm. geneva has imposed banking sanctions. people with bank accounts in switzerland, a safe place to keep your money away from the prying eyes of other governments. if you're russian, it is no longer safe. at an emergency meeting of the united nations security council, the u.s. called russia's attack on the nuclear power plant, madness and a threat to civilization. russia has seized control of the nuclear power plant. that is not a nuclear weapons plant. it creates electricity for nuclear power. it is the largest nuclear power plant in europe. international monitors do not believe the integrity of the
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actual nuclear reactors were compromised in the attack. though damage was sustained. and back home in the united states, the senate is hosting ukrainian president voloymyr zelenski for a virtual meeting at 9:30 a.m. that is coming after last night zelenskyy pleaded to enact a no-fly zone over ukraine and criticized the nato alliance for not doing so, saying it giving the green light for continuing bombing of nonmilitary targets. molly hunter is in lviv, we spoke an hour ago about this humanitarian corridor, this cease-fire that was supposed to occur in southeastern ukraine to allow people out, medical supplies in. ukraine said russia has broken the agreement. what do we know? >> reporter: that is right. residents in mary opal in
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russian bombardment, still under ukrainian control, families woke up in the city this is morning thinking they were going to get in cars, get on government buses and head west. get out safely. i've had an hour after that was announced, that was announced from a kremlin on a telegram channel and a statement from the adviser president zelenskyy, both said there is a cease-fire in place, there was going to be a humanitarian corridor until 4:00 p.m. today. about an hour after that was announced it was clear that russian bombing and russian assault had not stopped according to the city council and they said absolutely do not leave your homes. there will be no buses at the three locations. do not get in your cars. go find shelter. so imagine waking up as a family in mariupol without electricity or power or heat or water thinking today would be the day you would get out. well it is not happening any more. and they were going to move westward of course. west -- excuse me it is very cold here.
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west to where i am in lviv, ukraine, and this city, this is as close as we could get to the train station because the signal is not very strong. there are tens of thousands of people coming in and out of the train station. this is how people are coming in from the east and going out to safety of the west to poland ore other countries boarding ukraine like where you are. we got inside yet and we went around the back and they let us inside a huge room with just mothers and children. of course we've been talking about how so many of these mothers have had to leave their husbands, their brothers, their fathers behind in the east to fight. well take a listen to what natalia and her 5-year-old had to say about their journey and about what it was like. >> what does it feel like to be here without your husband? what does it feel like to be in this new place?
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>> um -- [ speaking foreign language ] >> reporter: her daughter, 5 years old, was enjoying her first hot meal in days. they arrive and just sleeping on the floor trying to figure out the me. move. have no idea whether they're going to leave country or where they're going to go. but we'll keep you posted on that humanitarian corridor if an agreement is reached today. according to the city council, negotiations with russia are underway but there is no pause in the assault right now and certainly no safe humanitarian corridor at this hour. it is noon local, we'll keep you
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posted. >> molly hunter in lviv, ukraine. thank you, molly. tay safe. joining me now is ian bremer, co-founder of the ur asia group. also with me is jane harman, extinguished fellow and a congresswoman from california who served on the house armed service an intelligence committee. she's the author of "insanity defense, while our failure to con front national security makes us less safe." for those of you that watches my show, these are two people who i most closely depend on to understand the global order, the new world order and, jane, i have to start with you. we have since the destruction of world war i and world war ii and the cold war, come up with international structures like the league of nations and the
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united nations and the g countries, all of which were to maintain peace and world order through trade and through military alliances and now where i am standing right now, i am 500 feet from the end of the nato alliance. it ends right behind me. and yet somehow we are not seeing these global organizations be able to keep the world safe. what is wrong, jane? >> well, the liberal world order that was invented right after world war ii, that i was born into, i think we all were, is dissolving in front of our eyes. let me say a couple of things, ali, and hello to ian. we were both in munich in weeks ago at the security conference when zelensky flew in to tell us how horrible things could be unless we rallied together. i salute his bravery. i think we have rallied together and the fact that you are in hungary, hungary which is
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welcoming some refugees tells me that the west is united. but we have to do more. it is a good idea to avoid a hot war with russia in ukraine. and i think that the u.s. position on the no-fly zone, sad as it is, it is the right position. but let me put out there four more things that we should be doing. one, we should rally a worldwide tech army to tell the truth to the russian people. this is not so hard. we've got the resources in the world to do this and once they learn the truth, i think things will change on the ground for putin. number two, we have to stop all energy imports. speaker pelosi, i'm sure will say this on the call with zelenskyy in another hour, but we have to toughen up and do this other wise a hot war in europe and three we have to back channel better with china. president xi in my view doesn't want an embarrassing leadership in russia doing this to the world, it will not help his plans for future.
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and four, we would roll in batteries, trash trucks, with anti-missile batteries on them into ukraine. the ukrainians could drive these trucks. this is how we set up the iron dome system initially in israel and that would give the ukrainians a lot more leverage to shoot down the russian planes. >> all right. so ian bremer, that is an interesting concept. the iron dome situation in israel. we have stinger missiles and javelins going into ukraine. at what point does vladimir putin say that is an act of war. you guys have declared a war on us and he's mentioned his nuclear power a couple of times in the last ten days. how far can the west and nato and europe and america push this without getting into a war? >> well two points here. first is i have no truck as it were with any of the suggestions that my friend jane has just made.
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but i also firmly believe they're not going to the change the situation on the ground in ukraine. doesn't mean we shouldn't do them but it will not change the situation on the ground. and i believe at this point and i think it is clear from all of the actions from russia on the ground as well as all of the engagements diplomatly like with macron and schultz and biden won't talk to putin at this point, and i think that is appropriate given what happens. putin intends to remove zelenskyy and kyiv and that makes impossible to have a climb down with russia and impossible to return to a world precold war that we are now and again with a peace dividend. it is gone. it is absolutely gone. now i do think it is important to understand, there is a reason why jane just said that a no-fly zone is a bad idea. it is the same reason why nato has said they will not put troops on the ground in ukraine. and that is because the west believes that with those two actions, that creates the
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potential for world war iii. that means western troops are directly fighting against the russians. what i want to be clear here is putin doesn't see it that way. putin believes that every sing jane just mentioned aside from engagement with the chinese, what we're already doing in terms of providing advanced capabilities from nato to ukraine, providing realtime intelligence updates on the disposition of russian forces so the ukrainians could better blow them up, as well as trying to destroy the russian economy, putin considers all of those things acts of war and what we need to be ready for is the fact that he will retaliate against nato. and at a time of choosing and with different ways, different mechanisms. but with you should not pretend unfortunately, that this is a battle that only involves ukraine directly. that is absolutely not the case. and i'm fairly certain jane agrees with that. >> i agree with that. >> jane, i was going to ask you. go ahead. please. >> what is putin's ultimate
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mission. yes, to make russia great again. i'm missing his red hat. but at any rate, to make russia great again. but what is the ultimate mission. to survive. if his own people come in on him and the oligarchs that have lost their yachts and bank accounts close in on him, he won't be able to survive and yes in a mad gesture sitting in a bunker he could try to blow up the world, there is a movie about that lately, but i think maybe, just maybe then, ian, we could push him back. agree there is no settlement obvious now. it is really got to be russia and china against putin in addition to the west. and that is where we are. and oh, by the way, these institutions like nato an the e.u. have stepped up considerably. this is a gigantic wake-up call and it all started two weeks ago which is quite amazing.
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>> ian, is there any possibility in which vladimir putin backs down and is able to save face and back out of this thing and ends up not the president of russia. >> because there is no scenario in which putin is not dramatically weakened in his position, domestic politics, his economic position and his geopolitical position in europe, there is no situation where that occurs compared to where he was before he started the invasion. i think a voluntarily climbdown is extremely unlikely. that doesn't mean he can't be removed from power and there is a lot of people clearly that have to be unhappy with what putin is doing with russia right now, including inside his own security council. but what i will say is that the likelihood that putin is removed from power is going to be extremely small until right after it happens. this really is no way to assess it differently. >> i'm grateful for your time, both of you. and your expertise.
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decades of it. ian bremer is founder of asia group and jane fellow from the wilson center. i'm in hungary near the border across from ukraine. hungary has so far welcomed 157,000 refugees from ukraine since the start of this war. after the break, i'm going to explain, why, as jane harman just said, that is so surprising and i'll talk to a krefrn member of parliament, who has gone brave with their picture defending with their own weapons from the russian invasion. ( ♪♪ ) ( ♪♪ )
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one of the reasons i'm here in hungary on the border of ukraine is because thousands of ukrainians who have been driven from their homes are seeking safety in this country.
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hungary has welcomed about 157,000 refugees. since the start of the conflict in ukraine. it is about 12% of the people who have left ukraine so far. on thursday night, i was at a train station in budapest and which thousands of refugees were arrived. hungaran civilians and the red cross and other rescue organizations set up a mission to feed, transport and help house the asylum-seekers. some who have been immigrants to ukraine themselves. what is interesting about hungary, is that just hours after the hostilities with russia began, the russian prime minister reversed his hard-line border policies opening up the country's doors to people of ukraine, saying, quote, we're prepared to take care of them and rise to the challenge quickly and efficiently, end quote. that is an uncharacteristically empathetic outlook coming from him. his far right policies make
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recent american responses to border crossings look saintly. and there are major change from the way hungary has handled the last migration challenge seven years ago. hungary has some of the strictest and cruellest border laws in the european union, much to his credit. when immigrants in the middle east begun to take refugee in greece, hungary, he's branded himself as an anti-migrant as muslim invaders calling the influx a poison to hungary. but if actions speak louder than words you'll be convinced of his xenophobia. back in 2015, ifoch poorly scrambling to figure out how to accept and integrate the asylum-seekers, he launched a multi-million dollars anti-immigrant campaign in hungary.
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borders with were closed to not white, nonchristians. a razor wire fence was installed along the serbian border. criminal code was strengthened to call for harsher jail sentences for unauthorized border crossings. in 2016 they established a puckback law which made it legal for law enforcement to push gnts back over the border and they did so with remarkable force and violence. then in 2018 they passed the stop soros bill based on a right-wing lie about the american george soros, it created a new category of crime promoting and supporting illegal migration, making it illegal to provide any kind of assistance what so ever so undocumented immigrants. that is hungary. but things have changed. or have they. there is a stark difference between victor orban hospitality toward refugees and past
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treatment of muslim refugees. to him the difference lies in the difference who he considers migrants and refugees. he told al jazeera this week, migrants are stopped, refugees could get all of the help. he added, quote, we're not living in a comfortable west. we're living in the midst of the difficulties not just now but throughout our history so we are able to tell the difference between who is a migrant and who is a refugee, end quote. in other words, who deserves hungary's help and who doesn't. it is worth noting that even in this crisis, while the rest of europe agreed to extend residency and work permits to those entering in ukraine, hungary said that asylum policies in place are good enough. but eventually relented under pressure from fellow european nations an in the face of stinging criticism from at home and abroad. this country has become so anti-immigrant that even the white christian ones scare them
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a bit. not as much as muslims, but still. i witnessed hungarian civilians, not the government, welcoming those from ukraine of all colors and faiths at that train station in budapest. though many of the volunteers made a point to tell me they were not there because of the hung arian government policies but in spite of them. of them who said only this is good? and this is bad? i'm doing it my way. meet plenity. an fda -cleared clinically proven weight management aid for adults with a bmi of 25-40 when combined with diet and exercise. plenity is not a drug - it's made from naturally derived building blocks and helps you feel fuller and eat less. it is a prescription only treatment and is not for pregnant women or people allergic to its ingredients. talk to your doctor or visit to learn more. (man 1 vo) i'm living with cll and thanks to imbruvica
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♪ everybody dance now ♪ get 5 boneless wings for $1. with any handcrafted burger. only at applebee's as a struggling actor, i need all the breaks that i can get. with any handcrafted burger. at liberty butchumal- cut. liberty biberty- cut. we'll dub it. liberty mutual customizes your car insurance so you only pay for what you need. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ for ten days regular working people from ukraine have joined forces with the military to resist the russian invasion of ukraine. my next guest tweeted yesterday, a somewhat surreal reality for so many ukrainians. kira ruddic, holding her cat michelle alongside her loaded rifle, in ten days of war we learned not to worry about the air raid sirens. we're still hiding but this is
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just a normal part of life now. kira joins me from kyiv and a member of the parliament and a member of the holos party and she posted this tweet she just learned to use a firearm so she and other civilians could defend their country. good to see you again. thank you for being with us. what changed in the week since you and i talked. you were planning to plant your flowers and took up military gun training and you are armed ant in the city of kyiv which is in a much more serious position than a week ago. there is russian troops surrounding your city. >> hello. thank you for having me. so yes, in ten days we learned a lot. well first of all we learned that we could keep them back and we are good in fighting on homeland. in ten days, i learned to fire a gun and i learned to run with it and stand with it and like just hope that when the time comes i will be able to be useful to my
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country. in ten days, we learned that putin plans to surround the city and starve us. so that now we are preparing for a siege. we packed storage of food, water, supplies and we know that this is what is going to come. we are helping others, other units that are working here in kyiv as a resistance unit to do the same. so we will be able to survive and give him very good fight. we also learned that i can learn to fire a gun, i can be a useful for my country, ukrainians could fight putin in all major cities and don't give it up. however, there is nothing that we can do to protect ourselves from the sky and that is why we're asking our nato allies to provide a no-fly zone over ukraine and i know they said no, but i hear not yet. because otherwise it will be
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hard for ukraine to stand up and hard for us to win. and the third thing we learned is that putin is definitely crazy. because the bombing of the nuclear plant facility is something that i believe to tyrant in the world would do. this is the first time the country is at war instead of not touching the nuclear plants and nuclear stations. this is what all of the countries in the world were doing. they are deliberately attacking the nuclear plant, threatening world that there will be another nuclear crisis. as a person who lived near chernobyl for 30 years, i could tell you right away, radiation doesn't care what passport your holding or if your a member of the nato or e.u., nothing. this is something that will be a world level tragedy. so today putin made another thing -- >> right. >> which we expected he wouldn't do. he fired his -- he fired his
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peaceful convoy that were evacuating from the city. this is the beyond from the beyond. there is again no rule that he's obeying. so why nato is trying to obey some rules that they've written for themselves when the war and everybody is involved. it already began. it is already here. do you think that putin will stop in kyiv? do you think he will stop? ukraine? he will definitely not and that is why it is time for everybody to realize and give him a good fight back. because this is what we are doing. and we need just a little bit of support. the support to close out skies and to make sure that we can protect ourselves from the bombs that are coming from the air. this is nothing that i can do here with my rifle. when there is something coming from the air. that is why we need this support so badly. >> today your -- voloymyr zelenski is going to be speaking with the united states senators
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but we keep hearing america will not get into a fighting war and he said it in the state of the union the other day, with russia on the ground, what do you have to say to nato, you keep saying no-fly zone, what do you have to say to nem to convince them that is what you need and that is what they should change their rules for to provide? >> nato and stoltenberg have been saying they don't want to get involved into the third world war. well i have a surprise for you. that world war has already here and already been started and everybody is already involved. putin is crazy. he wouldn't stop. we all know that he wouldn't stop and he was very adamant that he wouldn't stop in ukraine. he will be moving further, rebuilding russian empire and ussr and a new world order he
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thinks for himself. we need to stand up to him. and the ukrainians will gave up the aim to become a member of nato. at the same time, nato is saying, no, we're not going to protect you. so how is this possible in the world and then putin said i will stop fighting if you will give up this aim and nato again is saying, well we are not sure if we're going to be here. so i could tell you, we should learn one thing from putin is that he doesn't care about rules. he cares about his aim. and if there is a need, if there is a need to say we are not here, if there is a need to say it is not our place, if there is a need to say it is not us helping out so let's -- but protect ukrainian people who are so brave and who have been holding our borders, holding our cities for ten days, do you remember us talking with everybody, the whole world was thinking that we will not stand more than 48 hours.
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and now it is ten days and we are still standing. and this bravery, and this -- this ability to give a fight to one of the largest armies in the world deserves help. deserves support. deserves a chance to live. and this is what we are asking. give us a chance to win this war. give us a chance to get back our country. to get back our soil. give us the chance that all they are making right now is not for nothing. protect us from the skies. this is what allies do. and if we are fighting not russia with ukraine but the freedom versus tyranny. the past versus future, david versus goliath, protect us because we're fighting on the same side here. >> cara ruddic, you're right about that. the u.s. intelligence was right about almost everything except the fact that kyiv would fall in very short order when the russians got there. and you are right, we are now in
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day ten. kira ruddic is a member of the ukrainian parliament, the leader of the holos political party joining us from kyiv. please stay safe. one of the biggest ongoing fears with the war in ukraine is the threat of nuclear weapons or a nuclear accident. we'll get into that on velshi live from hungary, across the border from ukraine.
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it's still the eat fresh refresh™ and subway's refreshing everything like the new honey mustard rotisserie-style chicken. it's sweet, it's tangy, it's tender, it never misses. you could say it's the steph curry of footlongs. you could, but i'm not gonna. subway keeps refreshing and refreshing and re... one of the more alarming developments of the russian invasion of ukraine has been russian president vladimir putin's nuclear menacing. throwing around mentions of russia's nuclear capability and last sunday ordering his nuclear deterrent forces to be on high alert. so the world has been left trying to decipher what is posture and what represents a genuine threat. while there are no concrete signs that were in danger or on the brink of a nuclear war, those of us around for the nuclear war this carries a familiar fear and feeling.
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here is a look at all of the countries in the world that have nuclear weapons. this is not nuclear power generation, this is nuclear weapons. russia, china, france, the united states, the u.k., pakistan, india, israel, and north korea. now, nine of those countries, only the ones in blue are part of the nuclear nonproliferation treaty which was made to top the threat of nuclear weapons. not in the treaty are india, israel and pakistan. they never signed onto it. north korea withdrew from the treaty in 2003. we should note that iran is not on the map because it does not have a nuclear weapon. however, fears remain that it is moving toward procuring one. but crucially, some 3 decades ago there was another country in this group. that was high on the list of nuclear weapons capabilities. and that country is the one right over there.
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ukraine. in 1991, when the country sought to gain independent, they inherited thousands of nuclear arms stationed here by the soviet union. at the time ukraine held the third largest nuclear arsenal in the world. but in the years following, it made the decision to denuclearize in exchange for signed guarantees from the international community and ensuring that the newly independent nation of ukraine would have security and sovereignty of its borders. that became known as the budapest memorandum. then under the strategic arms reduction streety or start, ukraine gave up control of all of its weapons transferring them to russia. ukraine then joined the nonproliferation treaty. the history is dense and there were other agreements made but long story short, ukraine gave up nukes to russia in exchange for protection and independence and sovereignty of its borders.
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ironically, those same nukes are being controlled by vladimir putin and are now putting ukraine and potentially the entire world at risk. coming up after the break, i'll speak to someone qualified to discuss this topic, the former united states energy secretary under the obama administration, earnest moniz joins me many a moment. clinically proven to give strongest hold, plus seals out 5x more food particles. fear no food. new poligrip power hold and seal. with unitedhealthcare medicare advantage plans, there's so much to take advantage of. like $0 copays on virtual visits... - wow! - uh-huh. ...$0 copays on primary care visits... ...and lab tests. - wow. - uh-huh. plus, $0 copays on tier 1 & tier 2 prescription drugs. - wow. - uh-huh. unitedhealthcare medicare advantage plans. including the only plans with the aarp name. most plans have a $0 premium.
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go to now to get started. inner voice (furniture maker): i'm rubbing the arms of my chair... ...admiring the craft and detail i've put into it. that way i try to convince myself that i'm in control of the business side of my business. intuit quickbooks makes it easy for you to get a complete view of your business. so you can sit back and... ...relax. joining me now is earnestmonnize, the secretary has many titles. in fact by trade he is a nuclear physicist. he's also the co-chairman and ceo of the nuclear threat initiative and the ceo of the energy futures initiative. good to see you. thank you for being with us. i want to have two discussions here with you when it comes to nuclear. one about nuclear weapons and one about nuclear power because in the last seven days we've had to become smart about both of them. so let's talk about nuclear weapons. vladimir putin has made reference to his nuke arsenal a
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few times since the beginning of this war. no surprise to most people. everybody alive probably knows that russia has a massive nuclear arsenal. but he's brought it up and he has mentioned that anything that nato does that looks like an act of war, hey, guys, remember, i'm nuclear armed. how do you interpret that? >> well, i think that is a really very negative development. i might add, ali, that there is a certain irony that it was only in january when putin signed along with the leaders of the united states, the u.k. and france and china, a declaration that nuclear war could not be won and should not be fought. this is obviously something of a reversal. now, as you indicated earlier, we have not actually seen physical movements that would threaten a higher alert status. however, damage has been done. we've been working hard, we
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collectively, has been working hard for years to have nuclear weapons have a smaller role, if you like, in countries overall security posture. the statement that he's made reverses that trend dramatically and as i say, it is quite a negative statement. now, the other issue is even with that statement, we are not anticipating, you know, a major nuke exchange between the united states and russia for example. we have the largest arsenals in the world by far. however, in the fight of war, miscalculation, blunder, incidents between militaries could easily lead to an escalation and that is the major concern that we have right now. >> i want to ask you about nuclear power now. the power plant in ukraine, the largest nuclear power plant. a lot of countries including
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where i'm from in canada use nuclear energy to create electricity and power. that came under attack the other day and there were some fears in the moment that there is a fire, it is not at the reactors, it is in an out-building but they couldn't stop the fighting around it so that firefighters could get in and put out the fire and create a safety zone. how big, how worried were you about this when you saw this unfolding on thursday night? >> i was very, very concerned. and the concern was in a certain sense not directly about the actual nuclear reactor core, in the united states it least, the containment buildsings with built to with stand an airplane crash into them but there are many other systems on which the safety of the plant depends. back-up power generation, all of the fuel required to run those generators for in the united states for days. of course, the people themselves, the trained
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operators trying to work under the stress of the fog of war. so, i was really very, very concerned particularly as to how these so-called peripheral systems, by the way, i would add in there, the pools add in ther the pools in which the radioactive spent fuel is being stored. they have to be cooled, as well, continuously. so there are so many -- >> secretary muniz -- >> you know? >> stay with me for a moment because i want to switch you, you're an energy policy expert and i want to switch gears and talk to you about oil policy. i want to be right back with you, secretary moniz, "velshi" from the hungarian border. from the hungarian border. and every new business that just opened!
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the price of oil has been steadily climbing since the russian invasion of ukraine began amid worries that the oil supply can't keep up with demand. you can see here on my trusty oil barrel back in the studio in new york, the price of crude settled at just over $115 a barrel friday afternoon, $8.01 up from the day before. those numbers are for west texas intermediate, that's what we call light sweet crude. oil is a huge part of russia's economy and the nation has a large sway over the price of oil globally. back at home, president biden
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has been widely criticized from all angles for not doing more to financially punish russia's energy sector from the invasion. on the right, conservatives have been especially vocal for leaving russian oil off the financial sanctions list. they've argued that targeting moscow's exports could cripple its economy and also they argue biden should increase domestic energy production to offset potential shortages of oil. however, doing so wouldy is varily cut against the administration's climate goals. moderates on both sides of the aisle are taking issue with this, as well. joe manchin, republican senator lisa murkowski, from energy-producing states have introduced a bill to prohibit russian import oil to america, and ed markey who drafted the green new deal also seeks to cut russian oil, this is where the biden administration finds himself stuck. gas prices in america would
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likely go higher than they are now, roughly $3.60 a gallon is what the average is right now. most americans will continue to feel the impact and if he doesn't ratchet up the afrpgzs he'll continue to be soft on rush a a refrain as we get closer to the midterm elections and 2024. back with me is former u.s. energy secretary for president barack obama, earnest moniz. secretary moniz, what's the way to handle this? because if you cut off oil exports, america can frac more and in the meantime, everyone is paying more for heating oil and gas. what's the solution? >> first of all, we should, of course, recognize that you can't just turn on the faucet and produce more oil and gas. that would take some time and a major part of the united states not ramping up more, actually comes from the financial sector which is asking the oil and gas
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companies to return more profits, if you like, to the investors. with regard to russian oil, the irony in a certain sense is that while president biden has not sanctioned the oil exports, the reality is russia is having a hard time selling its oil because customers are not buying it. they're doing their own sanctions programs in a certain sense, and furthermore, opec which has asked also, they do have spare capacity that they could ramp up pretty quickly, but they have chosen to stick with their program of very incremental increases as time goes forward. that's all combining together with the uncertainty to drive up prices. the reality is that -- that the -- sorry.
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we have background noise here. the -- the reality is that the futures prices for oil are actually much lower than the current prices, so the oil markets are expecting the prices to go back down in the -- in the next months. >> i think that might be the ceo of an oil company having heard your comments. let me ask you, you make an interesting point. countries that produce oil, they don't really mind that oil prices are high right now. 115 bucks a barrel is too high because people start to change the way they drive and they start to look at more energy-efficient cars and oil at $100 a barrel it's possible to frac in the united states and profitable for companies and not everyone has the right motivations here, but the longer this war goes on and the higher oil prices stay, the more unpopular prosecuting this war becomes for citizens of nato
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countries or the european union. germany already has issues with this and american consumers will get fed up with it, as well. how does president biden -- he can't manage the price of oil, so what is he supposed to do? >> well, i think, frankly, i think there is a case to be made for american producers to increase production and the financial institutions will start encouraging that again because it takes quite a bit of debt servicing to -- to drill in the shale formations. the president, obviously, has to balance many, many factors here and survey the price at the pump is one of those. as you said, by the way, i think the 115 is probably beyond that which even the oil producers would like to see in a steady
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way. i believe saudi arabia has always said that something around $80 a barrel they would view as fair, supporting their economy and not driving demand down too much. so there's going to be a balance in there, but the reality is, until this war stops, russia is having a hard time selling its oil and it exports probably 8 million barrels a day of crude, plus refined products and that's a lot of oil and products to make up, and if they are short by a few million barrels, well, we are seeing the consequences. >> secretary, always good to talk to you. thank you for joining us and explaining two very important, complicated issues to us. eric moniz is the former united states energy secretary under the obama administration. don't go anywhere. another special hour of "velshi" from the hungarian-ukrainian border begins now.


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