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tv   Secretary of State Blinken on U.S.- Russia Tensions  CSPAN  January 27, 2022 1:05am-1:36am EST

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and -- >> presidential recordings, available now on the c-span app or wherever you get your podcasts. >> secretary of state antony blinken also spoke about the situation with russia and ukraine today. he outlined the u.s. written response to russia on de-escalating the situation in ukraine, saying it laid out a serious diplomatic path forward should russia choose it. the secretary provided details on the u.s. and allied assistance, both military and economic to ukraine in preparation for military attack by russia, saying it remains up to russia to decide how to respond. we already either way. here are his full comments.
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good afternoon, everyone. discuss the crisis and steps to de-escalate tensions and pursue diplomacy. russia had previously outlined its concerns and proposals in writing and last week i told the foreign minister that the united states would do the same. today, ambassador sullivan delivered our britain response in moscow. all totaled it sets out a serious medic path forward should russia choose it. the document was delivered and includes concerns of the united states and our allies and partners about russia's actions that undermine security and a principal and pragmatic evaluation of what russia has been raised and our own proposals where we might find common ground. we made clear that there are core principles that we are committed to uphold and defend including ukraine sovereignty and territorial integrity and the right of states to choose
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our own security arrangements and alliances. we addressed the possibility of reciprocally transparent measures and also military exercises and maneuvers in europe, and we address other areas where we see potential for progress including arms-control related to missiles in europe, our interest in a follow-on agreement to the new s.t .a.r.t. treaty. we put these ideas forward because they have the potential if negotiated in good faith to enhance our security and that of our allies and partners while also addressing russia's concerns through reciprocal commitments. our response reflects what i said in berlin, and geneva. we are open to dialogue, we dip -- we prefer diplomacy and we are prepared to move forward where there is a possibility of communication and cooperation. if russia de-escalate's, stop
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the rhetoric and approaches discussions in a spirit of reciprocity. our responses were fully coordinated with ukraine and our european allies and partners with whom we have been consulting continuously for weeks. we sought their input and incorporated it into the final version delivered to moscow. additionally, nato developed and will deliver its own paper with ideas and concerns about collective security and updates that fully reverses -- enforces ours and vice versa. we shared our response paper with congress and i will be briefing leaders on this later today and consulting on them -- and consulting on our approach. there is strong bipartisan interest when it comes to the ukraine and russia and we appreciate having congress as a partner as we move forward. we are not releasing the
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document publicly because we think that diplomacy has the best chance to proceed if we provide space for confidential talks. we hope and expect that russia will have the same view and will take our proposal seriously. i spoke -- i am set to speak with the foreign minister as soon as russia has a chance to read the paper. there should be no doubts about our serious of purpose and we are acting with equal force to volta -- to bolster defenses and prepare a swift and united response. free deliveries of u.s. defensive military systems arrived. missiles and other anti-arm systems. 283 tons of ammunition. more deliveries are expected in the days to come. we provided more defensive security systems in the past year than any year previous. last week i authorized u.s.
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allies including estonia, latvia, and with a mania to provide equipment and their inventories. we also notified congress of our intent to deliver the mi 17 helicopters currently held in defense department inventories, five of them. additionally the secretary of defense announced that 8500 u.s. service members currently stationed in europe and united states have been placed in heightened readiness to deploy to ensure that we are able to support the nato response force swiftly if it is activated by the north atlantic council to harden the eastern flank. other nato allies have announced steps that they are prepared to take and we expect more and the coming days. we have taken this step out of prudence, we hope that those forces do not have to be activated. if they are we will be ready.
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we are continuing to coordinate with allies and partners on economic sanctions to hold moscow accountable for its actions. we developed a quick action response that would inflict significant costs on the russian economy and financial systems. as part of our response, we are prepared to impose expert -- export controls. it will deny russia the products it needs to fill strategic ambitions. our allies and partners are stepping up to provide assistance to the ukraine in various and neutrally reinforcing ways. as we have done many times before the alliance and individual allies are coming together to support our partners and to defend what should be principles that help provide unprecedented security, stability, and prosperity for decades in europe and around the world. finally, working to support our allies and partners in dealing with a secondary negative consequences of russia's destabilizing acts.
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we know that ukraine's economy is being affected by this crisis, and just as we are bolstering ukraine security, so too are we looking on how we can support its economy the on the assistance we are providing. our european partners and allies are doing so as well that is another matter which i will discuss with congress later this afternoon. as we take steps to ensure that the global energy supply is not disrupted, that too is an important focus should russia choose to weaponized its natural gas by cutting supply to europe more than it has already done. we are in discussions with governments and producers around the world about surging their capacity. we have detailed conversations about coordinating our response including how best to an -- to deploy existing energy stockpiles. this is to ensure that people in the united states, europe, and around the world have the energy they need no matter what russia
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decides to do. all told our actions of the past week have sharpened the choice facing rationale. we have laid out a diplomatic path, we have lined up steep consequences should russia choose further aggression. we have stepped forward with more support -- support for ukraine security and economy. we end our allies and partners are united across the board. now, you will continue to press forward and prepare, it remains up to russia to decide how to respond. we are ready either way. one final note before i take questions. regarding american citizens and ukraine. earlier this week i authorized the voluntary departure of a limited number of u.s. employees and ordered the departure of many family members of embassy personnel. this is a decision based on one factor only. the safety and security of colleagues and their families. and given the continued massive
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buildup of russian forces which has many indications of preparations for an invasion these steps where the prudent ones to take. i want to be clear that our embassy will remain open and we will continue to maintain a robust presence to provide diplomatic, economic and security support to ukraine. the state department has issued an updated travel advisory due to the potential for security conditions to deteriorate rapidly and without warning if russia invades or commits other destabilizing actions. our message for any americans in the ukraine is to strongly consider leaving using commercial or other privately available transportation options. these remain readily available. in the embassy may extend loans to those who might not be able to afford the cost of a commercial ticket. while the state department will provide consular services wherever possible. russian military action would severely impact our ability to perform the work.
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if russian invades civilians including americans could be caught in a conflict sound between combatant forces. the u.s. government may not be in a position to aid individuals in the circumstances. this has long been the case in conflict zones around the world. so, while we do not know whether russia will continue its aggression towards ukraine, either way we have a responsibility to provide this notice to americans. with that, i am happy to take questions. reporter: thank you mr. secretary. i realize that you do not want to get into the specifics on what is actually in the document, although i am sure i and my colleagues will try and get them. can you say more broadly, when you said the core points that you are committed to, does that mean that in this document you told the russians point-blank that no, that is the answer to
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their demands for a formal bar on the expansion of nato and the permanent exclusion of ukraine, and the withdrawal of certain forces and equipment from eastern europe? is that what this says? is there anything different in this document and what we have heard publicly over the course of the last couple of weeks? sec. blinken: without going into the specifics of the document i can tell you that it is what we said publicly for many weeks, and in a sense for many years. that we will uphold the principle of nato's open-door. and that, as i have said repeatedly in recent weeks, a commitment that we are bound to. and so, the document, as i have
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said, makes very clear some of the basic principles that we are standing by, committed to, and will uphold, much of which is stated in public including me -- stated by me in recent weeks. reporter: to say that there is no concessions? sec. blinken: there are no concessions. reporter: there is no change in the nato position in this document. sec. blinken: first of all, there is no change and there will be no change. second, we reiterate that principle, of course, it is for nato, not the united states unilaterally to discuss the open-door policy. these are decisions that nato makes an alliance, not the united states unilaterally. from our perspective, i cannot be more clear, the door is open, it remains open and that is our
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commitment. reporter: do you have any reason to believe that the document submitted will in any way lessen the chance of russian action where was this to show that you tried? sec. blinken: what we do in this document besides laying out our core principles, besides sharing her concerns in terms of allies and partners about things that russia is doing and that we believe undermine security and stability, we also do layout areas where we believe that together we could actually advance security for everyone including for russia based on some of the stated concerns as well as for us and for our allies and partners and saw there are a number of areas based on what russia has said that i think would make a
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difference if done out of reciprocal cases, and approached in good faith. for example, as we said, an offense of mississippi -- systems in ukraine and military exercises and maneuvers in europe, potential arms control measures, greater transparency, various measures to reduce risk, all of these things would address mutual concerns including concern stated by russia and by advanced collective security. i think there are important things to work with if russia is serious about working with them. and that is up to president putin and we will see how response. and in a spirit of reciprocity, with a determination to enhance collective security for all of us. there are very positive things
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in this document that would be pursued. we cannot make that decision for president putin, only we can make it. we have said throughout and we started the process with the conversations that took place in our strategic stability dialogue between russia and the united states 10 days ago at the nato-russia council at the organization for cooperation security in europe, that, again we understand russia has stated concerns about security. we have our own very clear concerns about security and the actions that russia is taking that undermine ir and -- it and we are prepared to discuss and negotiate steps to enhance everyone's security and i have laid out some of the areas where i think we can do that. right now that is about the areas and ideas that we can
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pursue. and, we will see how russia responds. reporter: secretary, have you considered the russians are just buying time to find a place to invade ukraine. maybe you jump through hoops like get delivering handwritten questions to answer and meanwhile there stabilizing ukraine from human -- from within. at what point do you stop playing russia's game and take preemptive action now. sec. blinken: first, we are not standing still, and we can walk and chew gum at the same time and that is what we have been doing. we have made it clear to russia that they are -- that there is a path of diplomatic and deterrence, and if russia chooses aggression it will lead to massive consequences. even though we engage in diplomacy which is my job and
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responsibility, we have been resolutely preparing for russia to take the path of aggression. and as i laid out the work that we have done over the past couple of months and bringing allies and partners together around massive consequences for russia shuddered new its aggression in the very detailed report on that. the shoring up in very significant ways of our support for ukraine including the defensive military support, the drawdown that the president issued in december, which is now being delivered to ukraine, the additional steps to make sure that defensive military systems are being mailed -- made available including the authorizations i signed a week ago to allow other countries to have u.s. military equipment to share with ukraine the work we are doing to bolster ukraine's economy and to shore up europe on energy if there are disruptions as a result of
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conflict, and of course, the orders that the president gave, the secretary of defense gave earlier this week to make sure that i am fully prepared on a moment's notice to reinforce the eastern flank. russian aggression. all of those things have been happening deliberately and effectively. over the last many weeks. these two paths and the approach we have taken, these are mutually reinforcing. the work we are doing on defense, on deterrence, bringing out partners together, i think reinforces our diplomacy. at the same time, it is important that we pursue the diplomacy whether or not -- you may be right that russia is not serious about this at all. but we have an obligation to test that proposition, to pursue the diplomatic path, to leave no diplomatic stone unturned. it is far preferable to resolve these differences peacefully, consistent with our principles
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then it would be to have renewed conflict. we are prepared either way. >> hello, mr. secretary. i want to ask you about the unified approach with europe. what do you make of germany. they rule out sending lethal weapons to the ukraine, and today, there was news that they are sending helmets to ukraine and delivering was a joke. when you say you are satisfied with the germany sending helmets to ukraine instead of arms shipments? if i may ask about the president's comments yesterday, he said you would consider sanctioning putin personally if he decides to invade. how advanced are these planes? going back to unity with europe, has the united states discuss this with europe and are they on board? thank you. >> let me say as a general
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matter, and at the risk of patting ourselves on the shoulder, i was struck when i spoke to the council of the european union a couple days ago. partner after partner, i've heard the same thing at nato. they have referenced -- the word that was used was unprecedented, coordination and consultation with allies and partners on this issue and challenge. one result of that unprecedented coordination and consultation is, as i see it, very strong solidarity in terms of the consequences that will default to russia if it renews aggression against ukraine. that is across the board. that includes germany. and i was just in germany, as you know very well, meeting with chancellor scholz and spending a lot of time with my german counterpart.
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as i said before, i am absolutely confident in german solidarity in being together with us and other allies and partners in confronting renewed russian aggression against ukraine. different countries have different authorities. they have different capabilities. they have different areas of expertise. and we are bringing all of those to bear, but doing it in a way that is come women re-. -- that is complementary, and speaks to the shared commitment we have to ensure ukraine's sovereignty and territory, and its independence. when it comes to sanctions, i think as you heard of the president say, everything is on the table. i can tell you this. the steps that we will take together, swiftly, will go directly to things that president putin cares deeply about. including russia's ability to
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engage economically and financially, including its ability to develop technology for the sectors that it cares most about, like defense, like high-tech. and as the president said, everything is on the table and i will leave it at that. >> final question. >> secretary, i was wondering if this document should be considered a proposal from president biden to president putin? and if you could shine light on president biden's role in crafting this message? >> sure. again, the document that we have shared with russia today does a few things. first and foremost, it states very clearly the principles that were committed to end up that we will defend one way or the other.
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second, it lays out our own concerns and ally concerns about actions that russia has taken, is taking, not just with regard to ukraine, but more broadly in the european theater that we believe undermines security. third, it addresses concerns that russia raised in the document that it provided to us. a couple weeks ago. finally, it finally, it suggests where, based on reciprocity, we believe we could advance our collective security, again, in ways that address our concerns and ways that address some of rush's concerns. that is what this does. it is not a formal negotiating document. it is not an explicit proposal. it lays out the areas and some ideas of how we can advance
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selected -- collective security. president biden was intimately involved in this document. we have reviewed it with him repeatedly over the last weeks. and just as we were getting -- as you know -- comment, input, ideas from allies and partners, it was vital we work on this document, even though it goes to bilateral matters and what nato is providing presumably goes to broader issues that involve nato and russia. but allies and partners were intimately involved as well, and we took on board many of the comments they had made and integrated them into the document. but the president has been deeply involved in this from the get-go, reviewing various drafts of the proposal. making his own edits, and of course blessing the final
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document that was delivered to russia today. >> given that biden himself, administration officials have said an invasion is imminent, the stakes are high. you have also said that putin is the decision-maker, so why not direct this to him? sec. blinken: i'm not sure what you mean. this is a document that was prepared on behalf of the united states by its government, being delivered to russia and to its government, upon which president putin presides. i have no doubt that our russian counterparts in my counterpart, mr. lavrov, will share the document with president putin. of course, these are also complex issues, and putting
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things in writing is also a good way, as we do all the time, across-the-board, is a good way to make sure we are as precise as possible and the russians understand our positions, our ideas as clearly as possible. right now the document is with them and the ball is in their court. we will see what we do, as i said repeatedly, whether they choose the path of diplomacy and dialogue, whether the -- whether they decide to renew aggression against ukraine, we are prepared either way. thank you. thanks, everyone.
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and we discussed policy issues that impact you. sarah collins from the commonwealth fund talks about a new report looking at employer-based health care in the u.s. maryland congressmen jamie raskin on her book. and we will talk about the biden administrations diplomatic options will over tensions with russia and ukraine with diplomat bill bowman. join the discussion with your phone calls, facebook comments, text messages and tweets. coming up thursday on c-span, a discussion about the biden and restrictions -- administrations foreign policy in the middle east. at 11:00, the house majority whip talks about democratic
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