tv Inside Politics With Abby Phillip CNN March 6, 2022 5:00am-6:00am PST
♪ horror in ukraine. its cities are under siege. >> i don't want to have war, we want just peace. >> putin threatens nato with a wider war. can russia be stopped? >> if the conflict comes to us we're ready for it. we will defend every inch of nato territory. plus president zelenskyy pleads for help and calls out nato for refusing to impose a no
fly zone. this is the self-hypnosis of those who are weak, insecure inside. >> what more should the u.s. do to help? and inside the white house, has the russia invasion transformed the biden presidency? >> when the history of this era a written putin's war on ukraine would have left russia weaker and the rest of the world stronger. welcome to "inside politics sunday" i'm abby phillip. at this hour a second attempt is being made to evacuate tens of thousands of civilians from the hard hit ukraine cities of mariupol and villanova. attempts are also being made to get civilians out yesterday and those came to a halt when ukraine yan officials say russia's forces began shelling the area. against all odds 11 days into this conflict ukraine is still standing, but there is widening fear and destruction around the key cities as civilians are
increasingly under fire in new and ruthless ways in this phase of the war. >> we do not have electricity in whole city, we do not have water supply, we do not have -- they are destroying our city. >> saturday was a day of diplomacy for ukraine yan president volodymyr zelenskyy starting with a zoom call with u.s. senators and members of congress and ending with a conversation last night with president joe biden. while zelenskyy's pleas for a no fly zone went unanswered secretary of state antony blinken says the u.s. is working on poland with the possibility of poland providing fighter jets. the ukraine yan leader created a message for his people telling them not to give up. >> translator: ukrainians, in all our cities where the enemy invaded, go on the offensive. go out on the streets. we need to fight every time we have an opportunity. and cnn's alex marquardt is
outside of the capital city of kyiv. alex, you are in an area that has been destroyed. what are you seeing around you and what do you know about what the russians are doing as they approach kyiv? >> reporter: well, abby, it is extraordinary to see this level of destruction anywhere, let alone in a tiny village like this one. we are not near any military targets for miles, this is a village that has no real strategic value and yet it was the subject of a fierce russian air strike on friday afternoon, just take a look at this. houses all around this area were hit in that russian air strike. what you're looking at here is the remnants of the house of a man named igor who we spoke with earlier. there is a huge crater here in the ground. he lost five of his family members as well as a friend. his wife and his wife's friend and his mother-in-law were in a
car when the strike happened. they were killed. his daughter was in the house in her wheelchair and she was also killed. we spoke with him earlier today, he said obviously that he is just empty. he seemed disoriented. he is horrified by what's going on and he said he doesn't know what he is going to do now. so this destruction all over this village and that goes to show, abby, this is happening all across this country. the russians clearly trying to get closer and closer to the capital of kyiv. we know that they are making pushes down from the northern part of the capitol as well as the west in their efforts to encircle it and to strangle the city and to try to cut it off. we've been keeping a close eye on that column that has been getting closer to kyiv, but it is as far as we know still at a standstill, but, abby, the fear now is because of the lack of progress that the russians have
made on the ground, because of that fierce ukraine yan resistance that the russians will step it up in the skies, a carry out more and more air strikes just like this one, not only on the cities to then allow ground troops to go in, but also on the general population, on civilians, to get people to submit, to get people to leave. and as the kremlin continues to say that they are not targeting civilians, they are not striking residential areas or civilian infrastructure, it is examples like this that just show you how indiscriminate these attacks are and how badly ukraine yan civilians are suffering. abby? >> and, alex, where you are, i mean, to be clear, is there any military significance to what you are seeing around you that could justify this kind of attack? and what does it tell you about the intensity of the attacks as we go into this week on the city
of kyiv? >> reporter: it says two things, abby. i think it says that it's completely random, we don't know where and when attacks are going to happen, and that they are indiscriminate. so as we said, the russians have said that they are only going after military infrastructure. that is clearly not the case. this home has nothing to do with the military. there is nothing within miles that has anything to do with the military. so that begs the question, are the russians really bad at aiming? is that why they've killed hundreds of civilians and hit all these residential areas or do they simply not care? is it that they are simply just trying to bomb the ukraine yan population into submission, and it looks more and more like that may be the case. now, the russians have said that they have agreed to allow people out through humanitarian corridors, but we've already seen today bombing north of near
near an area where people are trying to get out, where people have been killed. so it does certainly appear, abby, that all bets are off. that certainly we cannot believe what the russians are saying when it comes to their intentions here. very clearly not just going after the military infrastructure, but hitting civilians as well, abby. >> thank you for your excellent reporting, alex marquardt, stay safe out there. joining me now is retired marine general john allen, the former commander of the u.s. and nato forces in afghanistan. general allen, what alex just described to us, we have -- where he is physically today is in this sort of southwestern city just outside of kyiv. we also, as we just mentioned, have seen shelling in a northeastern part of the city. we know there's also been fighting near the airport as well. what do you see that the russians are doing? they have struggled to take this city.
what are they doing now? >> first, thanks to all of the work that cnn and other networks are doing with brave reporters like alex in the field. what you're seeing is the response to alex's rhetorical questions, are they bad at aiming or making war on the ukraine yan people. it's both. we've discovered that the russian military is far less capable than we perhaps proposed or believed that they were, but they've also now shifted because of their limited capacity to take the objectives that they need, to set themselves up ultimately for the westward encirclement of kyiv they've now begun to attack the people themselves, hoping to break down their willingness to oppose the russian threat the. >> what is it about kyiv that made it difficult for the russian toss advance. they are coming down from the north and also now they are attacking the west but it has been more challenging. why is that? is it the geography or something else? >> it's both. first this military is road bound, they don't get off the roads and the availability of
the terrain for wide open maneuver is really limited. so they are on the roads and that has created both a congestion on the roads, the logistics and supporting their columns has been poor and they've taken casualties. the ukraine yan military has fought. the initial russian thrust down that main axis towards kyiv, which was the principal axis of the russian advance in the entire country, they believed that the ukraine yan military would fold, that the ukraine yan people would accept the russian presence in their country and that the government would unravel. none of those things has happened and with this frankly marginally capable military they've had to resort to the russian reflex, which is a lot of firepower to accomplish their objectives. >> and the cities in the south and parts of the east have already experienced that. just to show our audience here, we have seen intense fighting in the cities of kherson, mariupol.
kyiv has been under siege. as you've heard in our intro to this block, they are talking about a lack of food, a lack of water, potentially a lack of electricity. are these just simply war crimes that are being committed and is this what we can expect to see as they try to finally take the cities -- the city in the north, kyiv? >> the answer to your question is yes, these are war crimes. and there should be a long list of people who could be susceptible to indictment as a result of the war crimes being committed every single day against the ukraine yan people. it's not just the firepower, it is the human misery that is being inflicted on these populations in the towns that you have just listed. coming out of the donbas was one thrust, going after kharkiv was a second thrust and coming out of crimea and attempting to control the southern coast of ukraine along the black sea and the sea of ozav was a third
thrust. they have had some success there but less success than they had hoped and really the success on the principal thrust against kyiv has been hung up because of resistance. >> they are going for odesa next. >> i don't think there is a question. >> odesa is quite close to moldova potentially creating a humanitarian crisis. you have president zelenskyy saying to his people they are coming for odesa. what is the significance of that city and the russians potentially taking control? >> it's one of the principal connections still into the black sea. the fall of odesa really isolates ukraine from the black sea and of course it isolates the entire southern coast, if you will, of the ukraine from the capacity for us to support them across the black sea. it is part of the strangulation of the country, which is inherent to the campaign the russians are waging. >> you know, the secretary of state antony blinken says he believes that ukraine can win.
what does that even mean? what does it mean for ukraine to win in this scenario? what does it mean if the russians win? what does it mean for nato if they do? >> in terms of winning i think the potential that they could hold out long enough that the russians reevaluate the entire campaign, where they take constant casualties, the enormous economic stress being placed on the russian economy, the growing domestic opposition, all of those things together in the end if the ukrainians can hold out and they can continue to inflict damage on the russian campaign, eventually the russians may well have to come to the table to have some kind of a long-term agreement with the ukrainians that ends their aggression, that creates a ceasefire and a withdrawal from the country, but the opposition of the ukraine yan people, the courage of the ukraine yan president, our capacity to support the ukraine yan resistance is going to be
critical in combining to convince putin that this is a lost cause. >> before you go on that point about our support of the ukraine yan effort, the provision of planes how significant is that? >> it's not an insignificant consideration. the whole idea of a no fly zone is complex in ways that we could spend an hour talking about, but the idea of putting a ukrainen flash on formerly owned high performance aircraft with ukrainian pilots and getting them back in the skies to deny russia the ability to be in the skies and inflicting a massive devastation on the ukrainian population. >> contesting the skies could be significant at preventing further humanitarian catastrophe. general allen, thank you so much. coming up next, putin's threat, he says economic sanctions are akin to an act of war.
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vladimir putin is threatening the u.s. and its allies, insisting that their economic sanctions are the equivalent of a declaration of war. putin also claimed that a no fly zone would also be considered an act of aggression. >> translator: in movements in this direction will be regarded by us as participation in the military conflict from a country from which territory threats will be posed towards us. we will immediately regard them as parties to the military conflict, regardless of which organization they're members of. >> and joining us now beth saner, the former deputy director of national intelligence and josh rogin for the "washington post." josh, a lot of threats coming from putin as per usual but it
seems that he's saying anything that you do, europe or the united states will be considered war, will be considered aggression. is he setting the terms here? >> he's trying to set the terms, abby. there is no doubt that we are in economic warfare with russia right now, the moves we have taken are intended to punish the russian economy and punish all of the people in the russian government, that's economic warfare, full stop. of course, there will be retaliation, the question is whether or not we believe that we are continually deterring putin from attacking us. in other words, he knows if he goes to war with nato he's going to lose so he is not going to do that. he is playing a game of escalating to test our response and doesn't mean we have to fold every time, but it also means that we can't overreact and that's a calculation that i think our government is making with a lot of analysis and care, but at the end of the day if we just take all of his threats at face value we will do nothing and ukraine will lose and we
can't do that. we have to take his threats seriously but not let them paralyze us. >> is there a concern -- there's been some reporting that the u.s. is to some extent concerned about taking too many steps, whether it's the provision of intelligence or, you know -- zelenskyy has been asking for planes, they may be getting those planes, but is there apprehension that taking some of these steps could provoke putin further? >> absolutely. i think that the whole idea of the no fly zone is where we're seeing this clear red line that's been consistent with the biden administration and i think wise. as much as it is heartbreaking and i think it truly s but the whole idea of u.s. forces or nato forces coming in direct conflict with russian forces, that definitely can lead to escalation. so i think josh put it very well, you know, we have to take threats seriously but we also can't capitulate. i just think on the economic side, you know, we definitely have to keep the pressure up.
>> i would just say very quickly, you know, if we're going to wage economic warfare we might as well do it full bore. >> have we done that? >> no, we've left the biggest part of the russian economy untouched, the energy sector. how can we drain few pin's coffers while filling them at the same time. >> it's not sufficient, though, to say we are not going to import oil. you are talking about sanctions. >> i'm talking about -- >> -- blocking anybody else -- >> if the western world cuts off oil and gas. what the biden administration will say is that will drive up gas prices but what experts will tell you first of all the private sector is already doing that because russian supplies are becoming unreliable, also there is ways to mitigate it, also the winter is almost over. i think we have to realize that there is a way to move off russian oil and gas that we have to do anyway that would be helpful to the war effort if we did it now and the biden administration just won't go there but the pressure is mounting. >> beth, the spectre of all of this is putin as a nuclear
power, he is attacking ukraine's nuclear plants, it seems intentional whether as a means of threatening ukraine or just warning the west, but also he is himself threatening nuclear retaliation. what are the prospects realistically of that? >> well, i think that we have to separate these things, the nuclear plants in my view are much more about them controlling critical infrastructure in order to put a siege on the population in ukraine. so i see that as very different than this idea of nuclear war. i do not think that putin wants to go there because certainly with us, but i would not take off the table this idea that has been discussed among a lot of experts about putin maybe having to resort to some kind of battlefield tactical nuclear device in order to blow the stalemate. >> that would be extraordinary. >> it would be extraordinary. i think not a huge likelihood, but you just can't take these things off the table. >> no, i think there's been a
lot of loose talk in washington this week about is he crazy, is putin off his rocker. if we look at his actions we will see that he is rational, evil but not suicidal. if we just watch what he's doing there is a logic to it, evil as it may be. we can't base a strategy on the idea that putin is crazy, we have to look at his actions and respond accordingly. >> this week also the senator lindsey graham put on the table this idea of, quote, unquote, taking putin out, but at the same time you're seeing putin tightening control over the russian society. what are the prospects that there is any pressure that will come to bear on him, to influence his actions? >> well, i think that in terms of the russian population if you look at what's happening on the streets of moscow today, there are barricades everywhere, there are police everywhere, the crackdown is under way and the russian population is not getting any good information. i don't think that there is a high chance at this point in time for, you know, a population
uprising, but we still have the chechen mothers, the afghan mothers, you know, as things start filtering in we could see a tide changing there. the bigger risk for him is the oligarchs and the military but, again, they have a lot of skin in the game to stick with the system for now. >> i don't think lindsey graham was suggesting that we take out putin, he was suggesting that someone around putin take him out. i think that's wishful thinking. we should be so lucky. there is no doubt if putin were to gasp his last breath that would be great for ukraine, for russia, for the world. he's killing people every day. >> no one is getting close to putin. >> it's not going to happen because -- >> at the same time, i mean, this is a man -- you said he is rational and in a different kind of way. he is literally on a call with the german chancellor saying we're not bombing ukraine. what is going on? >> he is a liar. he's lying and that's part of what totalitarian dictators do, they pop began dies. >> and he is a spy. >> >> once a kbg agent always a
kbg agent. russia cracking down in moscow. russians are fleeing as their entire society crumbles around them. are we looking at a totalitarian state and what does the world do about that? >> well, it has been authoritarian for a long time, it's getting worse and worse and worse. there are no limits really on putin's ability to do what he wants inside that society. and i do worry about this brain drain, you know, the people who have means, the people who are smart, the people who might challenge putin over time are the ones leaving and the people left are the ones who believe state tv. so i do think that we have to look ahead at what we might be dealing with and frankly we do need to figure out how we can have a discussion about european security. >> i would put a finer point on it. i think we need to examine the idea that democracies and dictatorships can coexist. >> can coexist you're saying. >> even should coexist.
>> they have to. >> is it desirable that they coexist because in the end this project of bringing putin into the fold and we can apply this to china, too, has failed. the idea that they would participate in our system, which is based on an order that's meant to preserve our values, has failed. that's clear on the battlefields of ukraine. how we go forward is we realize these dictatorships are not in the business of working with us. >> that's very interesting. thank you, josh and beth for being with us this morning. coming up next for us, how the ukraine crisis is shaping and reshaping joe biden's presidency. cozy and precocious. with 465 fresh, clean, craveable pairingsgs, find a you pick 2 for any mood. enjoy a 1 dollar delivery fee when you order on our app. plaque psoriasis, the tightness, stinging... ...the pain. emerge tremfyant®. with tremfya®, adults with moderate to sere plaque psoriasis... ...can uncover carer skin and improve symptom.
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at helpfosterchildren.com he thought the west and nato wouldn't respond. he thought he could divide us at home in this chamber and this nation. he thought he could divide us in europe as well, but putin was wrong. we are ready. we are united and that's what we did. >> in just 11 days an international crisis has replaced the global pandemic as the defining issue of joe biden's presidency. he's gotten bipartisan praise for his handling of putin's invasion of ukraine, but lawmakers in both parties are pushing for more. >> no more russian energy should come into the united states for the duration of this bloody, horrifying, and unprovoked war
against ukraine. so the president has said i'm going to use every tool in the toolbox. mr. president, this is a tool. >> and joining me now with their reporting and insights cnn's kaitlan collins, tarini parti of the wall street partner and alex burns of the "new york times." kaitlan, biden is now effectively a war-time president, we don't have boots on the ground but we are in this sort of battlefield mode, but at the same time the white house is worried about the domestic front, worried about the impact on gas prices and on americans' pocketbooks. >> they've been very blunt about that. what you're hearing from senator murkowski saying that there is this other step that they can take, they do have other tools in the toolbox. the white house feels like that is really the extreme step. their concern if they do ban russian oil imports it's going to affect the global market and raise prices at home when we also saw the new national
average over 4 a gallon. they are weighing that. congress may force their hand here because you are seeing this bipartisan push coming up against this. house speaker nancy pelosi saying she favors a ban on russian imports. the white house has said they're listening to that is correct of course, talking to these lawmakers behind the scenes. i think questions about sanctions on the russian energy market is another step that they feel -- >> and that would be a step -- >> even further. >> much further as we were just discussing. but we don't import actually that much russian oil. >> right. >> it's a pretty small portion of what we consume as a nation. however -- and it may already be priced in, frankly, but the white house is still concerned about the effects of it. yet this has 80% support among the american people as you mentioned pelosi supports it. why won't the white house take the win if it will have a minute impact on gas prices. >> two reasons here. one, because we import such a
small percentage of russian oil they don't think it will have that much of an effect on putin because he can sell that oil to india or china. the drawbacks -- or advantages of americans facing potentially rising gas prices wouldn't really have that much of an effect on putin. that's sort of part of the calculation. the other thing of course is also republicans are already attacking democrats on gas prices while also then calling on biden to ban russian oil. so, you know, there's sort of a weird -- >> both sides of the game here. which is not the first time. but president biden is also, you know -- he is long-time chair of the foreign relations committee. foreign policy he views as his thing. what's your sense of how he is approaching this moment, which, as we discussed, is a big deal. i mean, each beyond just the domestic considerations, we could be facing a pivotal moment for the global order. how does he see it? >> look, i think that really
hits the nail on the head. i remember during some of the dark months of the biden for president primary campaign hearing him -- i think it was at a high school auditorium in north las vegas talking about russian interference in the donbas. >> people were like what? >> this is a moment when you look at the long sweep of his career very much in his wheelhouse. i think that his focus on european alliances and on the unity of the west has been a characteristic of senator biden, chairman biden, vice president and president biden. i do think that clearly plays into the thinking on fuel imports, too, that the white house has been very careful to not do anything that gets too far ahead of what our allies in europe is willing to do. cutting off russian energy all together is not a place they've been willing to go yet. i would just add when you look at the first year of the biden presidency you see a guy not historically a big thinker on
economic issues trying to present himself to the country. it is a tough political moment but a more natural role for him to be playing. >> this is potentially his core competency, although, you know, plenty of people will quibble with biden's, you know, foreign policy judgment in the past, but this latest poll post state of the union from npr seems to indicate that americans are giving biden the benefit of the doubt, more than the benefit of the doubt, on ukraine, a change of 18 points on his handling of ukraine, and, you know, maybe this is impacting their perception of him in other ways, the pandemic, the economy, he's getting a bit of a bounce. we know that this sometimes can be temporary and fleeting, but is this an opportunity for americans to give biden a second look? >> i think it's also interesting for the white house because this is not where they expected to be. they did not think this was what was going to be looming over the second year of his presidency. they had viewed the state of the union as this chance to reset,
to try to improve the numbers on the economy, improve the numbers on covid-19 and now they have the russian invasion being first and foremost. it's looming over every aspect of his presidency. he held a cabinet meeting in week and it was extraordinary to see this would be the topic at hand. this is not what they predicted a year ago. to hear how it's affecting the treasury secretary ri department, state department, pentagon as well. it's affecting every single part of his schedule. the aides typically they have set assign a time to give a briefing on covid-19. ukraine is looming every everything, he is getting near constant updates for t i do think there is a chance for that. i think there is a real question of the united response to this and how that is affecting people seeing biden's leadership as they've been able to effectively unite europe, which is not something that they were totally confident they were going to be able to do. >> i just want to raise something because the state of the union this week he gave two
speeches, there was the ukraine part and the rest of the speech which was about a list of domestic concerns and where he notably pivoted to the middle. is this what he was hoping to do and are there risks for that strategy with his base, with progressives? >> it does seem like what the president is trying to do here is using this sort of relative unity that we're seeing on ukraine to push this more sort of centrist image, he's trying to reclaim kind of how he ran in 2020. you know, we saw in 2021 talk of transformational agenda, especially on the domestic economy front, and now we heard him talk about prescription drug prices, child care, things that have sort of more broad bipartisan support. he also talked about, of course, not defunding the police, which is something that he might face some opposition from his own party on, but he did take a very clear position there, which was interesting, of course, ahead of the midterms. >> look, i think it's crucial if the president continues this pivot that he actually deliver
the items that he's talking about. if you're telling your own party, look, folks, we are not going to transform the domestic economy, we are not going to implement the most ambitious social justice agenda in generations but we are going to get prescription drugs and child care and renewable energy done, you had better get prescription drugs and renewable energy and child care. >> you better get the pieces you're promising. coming up next for you, thousand, a criminal conspiracy? the january 6th committee says there is evidence that ex-president trump broke of laws with his attempts to stay in power. ion boost eye e drops. biotrue e uses naturally inspired ingredients. and no preservatives. try biotrue!
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new developments from the january 6th committee investigation could signal deeper trouble for former president donald trump. in a court filing this past week, the committee said there is evidence that trump and his allies engaged in a criminal conspiracy to overturn the election. and meanwhile, in a speech to gop donors in new orleans on friday, trump's former vice
president seemed to take another swipe at his old boss. mike pence said there is no room in the party for, quote, apologists for putin. so pence once again may be creating some distance between himself and trump. what is the strategy here at this point? for someone who -- i mean, it seems clear that if trump runs again he is not going to be anywhere near the ticket. >> safe to say. >> very clear. >> or maybe not. maybe he will be -- >> under the campaign bus i think is the more appropriate spot. look, this is in the sort of very gradually shaded mike pence transformation away from being a sort of trump footman into whatever he wants to be next. i think this is definitely a new shade. for the longest time the pence way of disagreeing with trump was to pretend that trump had said something different than what he had said and respond and agree with that. now we are at a place where he's
willing to disagree with something thee mat clee that donald trump said though he's not going to say that he said something wrong. trump is emblematic of all the presidential candidates, the folks willing to take on trump directly are larry hogan, chris christie, people who come much more from the ideological middle of the party and the big question to me going forward, you talk to any republican strategist and this is sort of looming large for 2024, is there somebody who is a down the line ideological conservative who will say point-blank donald trump is wrong and there is a better way of doing this? >> and i think one of the most interesting things about his comments was not even the putin apologist part which obviously is talking about trump, but before that he said where would we be in this situation right now with ukraine if nato didn't exist, if more countries were not in nato, if nato had not expanded. >> he knows as well as anyone else -- >> trump's number one target.
you hear from people who even worked in the administration who said they don't know if the u.s. would have stayed in nato had trump won a second term. so it's unclear what that situation would be like. obviously it's a hypothetical, but pence taking that, something that trump railed against all the time was really notable, i thought, as well. >> i just want to play this because, you know, with the point that you're making in part is that pence doesn't have a whole lot of credibility on this. listen to pence back in 2016 as he was the nominee for the republican vice presidential position. >> i think -- i think it's inarguable that vladimir putin has been a stronger leader in his country than barack obama has been in this country. >> so, i mean, look, he is maybe not going to be the best messenger if the goal is to distance the gop from trump, especially on this issue of putin and russia. >> and also to be clear, he didn't actually mention trump. it's clear he's making sort of not so subtle digs at the former president, but he didn't quite
call him out explicitly. it will be interesting to see if he gets anywhere close to that as we get closer to 2024, but also, you know, the filing that was mentioned that related to the january 6th committee, we saw a lot of pence aides cooperating with the committee on that. we're seeing sort of some daylight, a little bit at least, between trump and his allies and pence and his former staffers, january 6th of course being one of the places where there's clear daylight between the two and then russia. >> exactly on that point, the filing is sort of riddled with all these interviews including from pence deputies, but it is strongly signaling that this is a committee well-organized, full of very organized and detailed lawyers, teeing up potentially a criminal investigation to send to the justice department. what will that do for garland, what will the administration do if there is potentially a criminal referral from this
committee? >> the pressure on far land is only going up, that is how i read this. obviously the january 6th committee is not charging anyone with a crime, they don't have that power, but they are going to basically lay it out and make it really difficult for attorney general merrick garland in this position of basically saying here is what we do believe could be criminal activity, could be charged with that and it's an audience of merrick garland, i think, when you read this filing and the pressure that has already existed on him in the last year that he has been in this position, but it's only going to increase, i think, as the january 6th committee becomes more public with what they know. >> there is a lot of questions, i think, now about whether any of this will really have an affect on trump, his decision-making or the republican party, but a criminal referral is a criminal referral and that's still something to be contended with. thank you all for being here with us this morning. coming up next for us, from seized yachts to financial crackdowns, sanctions are making life a little tougher for
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yachts, and this is a nearly 300-foot ship seized in the south of france, and it's valued at $120 million. right now the administration is debating whether to block russian energy imports. joining me now is greg ipp, chief economics commentator for the "wall street journal." greg, a big question here not just about whether sanctions can work against putin, but really do they work at all? this is probably the most significant effort to curtail a major nation, a major economy. do you think this will have an effect on putin's decision making? >> it's got to have some kind of effect. it's true that in the past sanctions do not have a great track record. we put them on north korea, no effect. pe put them on svenezuela, no effect. we put them on iran, no effect. putin clearly knew there would be economic punishment for invading ukraine, so he was in some sense prepared for this.
i don't think he was prepared for the extent of the sanctions, how sweeping they've been, the fact that his war chest of reserves has been basically taken away from him, that so many companies would withdraw. we're looking at a catastrophe for the russian economy. it's got to play a role in his calculus right now. if he's looking for a solution, a cease-fire, this has got to be playing a part there. i think the big question, what we don't really know, is how determined is he to achieve the aims he started to get in there, to basically destroy ukraine as a viable independent counted. >> i think he seems pretty determined frankly. his demands are we want everything. there are downsides to this for the west. sanctions go both ways, impacts on energy, but just the war itself in ukraine having an impact on global food supply. there's a big question how long can the west hold on that these sanctions when they're affected
as well? >> it's a great question. there's a reason why we carved out energy and commodities from the sanctions. it wasn't baz we were trying to spare the russian economy. it's because we were trying to spare our economy, especially the european economy which is very dependent on imports of european gas and oil. if we actually tighten the sanctions or voluntary embargoes, which we're seeing, tend to cause more upward pressure on inflation, it means weaker growth in europe, higher inflation in the united states. i think a few months from now when some of the current urgency wears off, does this start to chisel away at the unity and the public support in the west. it's a delicate balancing act. >> in today's world, i think there was a view in the past that globalization would produce peace because we're all dependent on eacher. is that going away? are we moving to a more protectionist world? >> i think it's clearly
happening. it started with the decoupling in the trade war between china and the united states which was driven by china's aggressive behavior on the diplomatic front. the current president wants to make more stuff in america. britain leaving the european union. this is dynamics under way for a while. this is the coupe degra. we're looking at what divided us in the cold war when the east and the soviet block and the west didn't do business at all. >> one more reason why this is such an extraordinary moment, not just for russia and ukraine, but the entire globe. greg ip, thanks for with with us. that's it for "inside politics" sunday. scan the qr code at the bottom of your screen. coming up next for us on cnn, more coverage at "state of the union" with jake tapper and dana bash. jake's guests include secretary of state antony blinken and
♪ ♪ putin's war. russia is issues threats and targets ukrainian schools, hospitals and civilians. >> humanitarian consequences will only grow in the days ahead. >> with no signs that sanctions are slowing the attack, can putin be stopped? i'll speak to secretary of state antony blinken and undersecretary of defense under president obama, michelle flournoy next. pleading for