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tv   Secretary of State NATO Secretary General Hold News Conference  CSPAN  June 1, 2022 9:58pm-10:36pm EDT

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biden. this is just over a half hour. sec. blinken: good morning everyone. it is a pleasure to welcome the nato secretary general jens stoltenberg a friend and colleague to the city and to washington. we have seen each other quite a bit over the last 15 months. mostly in brussels. we did a calculation, it turns out i spent more time in brussels and any other city other than washington dc. that is a coincidence. it's because nato is there, our friends of the european union as well. but it has been a center of our engagement, a center of our activity, and that has been made all the better by the
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exceptional partnership we have had with secretary-general stolt enberg. indeed, around the world in being grateful to the secretary-general for his strong and steady leadership during such a consequential period for the alliance and for the world. we are very, very glad he agreed to extend his tenure, their next fall. -- through next fall. today was the opportunity to touch base on the nato summit which will take place in madrid in a few weeks. there, the alliance will adopt a new strategic concept, the first since 2010, to make sure we are ready to meet the challenges of today and the challenges that went to the paid for tomorrow. that includes everything from malicious activity, occurring in cyberspace, the people's republic of china's rapid mattila relation -- rapid militarization.
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of course, security implications of climate change, which are profound. we will strengthen our relationships with the european union and with partners in the indo pacific. we will bolster nato's a budget and we will renew alliances of defense and deterrence capabilities. the concept will reflect what we are now dealing with and that is a new security landscape in europe and president putin's decision to launch a senseless war of aggression on ukraine. now in its fourth month. people of ukraine continued to fight with extraordinary courage and skill and with military, humanitarian and financial support from the united states and countries around the world, including virtually all of the members of nato. just this morning, president biden announced a significant new security systems package to arm ukraine with additional capabilities and advanced weaponry, precisely what they need to defend themselves
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against the ongoing russian aggression. that includes more advanced rocket system so they can strike key targets on the battlefield in ukraine, from longer distances. this is a continuation of the strategy that began, even before russia's invasion. we move quickly to send it ukraine significant amounts amount of ammunition so they can repel russia's aggression and in turn can be in the strongest possible position at any negotiating table that may emerge. this is not the only commended from the u.s., all nato allies remain engaged, line cash aligned and committed to make sure ukraine can protect its sovereignty, and independence. our countries along with our partners, imposed a severe consequences on the russian government and its enablers, with unprecedented sanctions, export controls, and diplomatic pressure. together, we responded to the humanitarian crisis provoked by russia's war and aggression. more than 6 billion ukrainians,
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forced to leave their homeland, many others displaced within ukraine. countries across europe, including the u.s. have welcomed ukraine. countries worldwide are providing essential services to communities close ukraine was taken on the most refugees. president putin hopes that his war in ukraine would divide nato. instead, he is uniting nato in support of ukraine. and in defense of its own members. he has brought countries around the world to support principles of sovereignty and independence. basically what is happening in the ukraine is a direct result -- assault on the foundation of their own peace and security.
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any allies are increasing their presence in south eastern europe. two long-standing partners of nato made the decision to seek nato membership. president biden has said, this decision was a victory for democracy. finland and sweden are seeking to join nato not because their leaders forced it, but because their citizens demanded it. anyone who wonders the difference between a democracy and an authoritarian state like russia need only look at russia, finland and sweden, one would like to its people to wage a war, to would listen to their people to prevent war.
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the united states strongly supports finland and sweden's applications, both countries are more than qualified to become full members of the alliance as soon as possible. by joining nato, they will strengthen nato. we look forward to quickly bringing them into the strongest defensive alliance in history. while finland and sweden's memberships are being considered, the united states will continue our close partnership with both countries, who remain vigilant against any threats to our shared security we will deter unnecessarily confront aggression -- and necessarily confront aggression. thank you again, for making this decision at washington as we prepare for the summit. i'm looking for to seeing you next time in a few weeks in madrid. and to the even stronger and more resilient nato that will help to shape. thank you. sec. gen. stoltenberg: thank you so much, it is great to see you again. thank you for your strong
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engagement for our transatlantic involvement. this is reflected in your frequent visits to brussels. you're welcome back there again. now, i really appreciate this opportunity to meet with you in washington. tonight -- the united states' indispensable role in our response to russia's invasion of ukraine. let me command the united states -- commend the united states for your support of ukraine which is making a difference on the battlefield every day. i welcome the latest package of the military assistance, announced by president biden this morning. this is a demonstration of real u.s. leadership. the strong support provided by nato and allies helps ensure
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that president putin's brute aggression is not rewarded and that ukraine prevails. at the same time, we must prevent the conflict from escalating. so we have increased our presence in the eastern part of the alliance to remove any room for miscalculation and the determination to defend and protect all nato allies. let me think the united states for increasing your military presence across europe. with over 100,000 troops backed by significant air and naval power. european allies in canada are stepping up with more troops and increased defense spending. for the seventh consecutive year, defense spending has increased. and more and more allies are meeting our guidelines of spending 2% of gdp on defense.
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president putin wanted less nato, he is getting more nato, more troops and more nato members. the decisions i finland and sweden to apply for nato membership are historic. and they will strengthen our alliance. we have to address the security concerns of all allies. i'm confident that we will find a united way forward. to this and i am in close contact with the president from turkey and with the leaders of finland and sweden. i will convene senior officials from all three countries in brussels in the coming days. today, we will discuss the important decisions we will make at the nato summit.
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we will agree on nato's strategic concept, strengthen our deterrence on defense and prepare for an age of increased strategic competition with a terrien powers -- with a taurean -- authoritarian powers like russia and china. we will also review progress on burden sharing. we must continue to invest in our defense and to invest in nato. because, only north america and europe are working together in a strong nato, and they can keep people safe in the more dangerous world. secretary blinken, thank you very much. chuck: we will not turn to questions --sec. blinken: we will now turn to questions. we will start with the wall street journal. >> thank you very much.
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secretary blinken, two quick questions. with regards to the long range weapons, what is being done to minimize escalation with russia? do you believe that there is an understanding in moscow about the nuance of the u.s. is trying to achieve with regards to the weapons that is sent ukraine? unrelated, on the president's forced the threats on syria, are you worried about turkey being an ally? two questions for you as well, cracks are appearing in the western front against moscow despite both of you saying that the alliance is very strong and we are seeing there is some disagreement over shipping more powerful weapons to ukraine. how does nato as an organization work to prevent the cooperation from going south i ukraine's expense? how does ukraine win, which seems to be a key point in this agreement?
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sec. blinken: i'm happy to start. first, in response to the question about escalation. let's start with this. it is russia that is attacking ukraine, not the other way around. simply put, the best way to avoid escalation is for russia to stop the aggression and the war that it started. it is fully within his power to do so. specifically, with regard to weapon system being provided, the cranium's have given us assurances that they will not use -- ukrainians have given us assurances that they will not use targets on russian territory. there is a strong trust bond between ukraine and the united states. i will also say that throughout this aggression, even before, president biden was very clear to president putin about what the united states would do if russia proceeded with its aggression, including continuing
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to provide security systems that ukraine needs to defend itself against the russian aggression. there was no hiding the ball. we have been clear about this from day one. with president biden communicating that directly to president putin. we have done exactly what we said we would do. it is russia, again, that chose to launch the aggression despite all of our efforts to prevent that, with intense of diplomacy for months. again, they started the conflict, they can ended at any time. we will avoid any concerns about these escalations. with regard to the other thing you referenced. any escalation there in northern syria is something that we would oppose and we support the maintenance of the currency fire line. the concern we have is that any
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new offensive would undermine reasonable stability, provide the lying actors with opportunities to exploit instability. if we continue effectively to take the fight to partners -- through partners to dodge isys with in syria -- dodge isis, with syria, we would not to see -- want to see anything to jeopardize it. i want to say one thing about the question you addressed to the secretary-general. at every stage of this russian aggression, before the aggression, one it started and in the months in, virtually every stage of her doubts expressed about what the alliance would do, what countries would do in terms of support for ukraine and whether that was actually going to happen. we have demonstrated that it would and that it has.
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concerns and doubts about whether we can really deliver, what we said we would do. consequences for russia's aggression with unprecedented sanctions, well we have delivered on that. i would suggest that there will always be stories about -- there's always going to be stories about differences and any moment, but when it comes to the strategic direction that we have taken together, as allies, partners, both within europe and beyond, this, at least in my experience has been unprecedented in solidarity, and the, determination both to support ukraine, with security assistance, economic assistance, humanitarian assistance to put extraordinary pressure on russia to cease its aggression and to shore up defenses of our alliance. so, again, i invite you to go back, look at the questions raised starting last fall. they have been answered. then again, one russia committed
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the aggression only the first place and even to this day. i'm confident that the common purpose we have shown over many months will continue. sec. gen. stoltenberg: to follow up on that. because what you have seen over the last months is an unprecedented level of unity among nato allies and partners in the response to russia's aggressive war against ukraine. we have seen that at the provisional military support, the economic support, but also we have seen nato allies, partners and the european union implementing the heavy economic sanctions. sanctions we are not seen anything similar to imposed on any major country ever before. so, what we have seen is a level of unity among nato allies and
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partners. of course, these are difficult decisions. hard decisions. therefore, there is a need for consultation. i would also like to commend the u.s. for consulting so closely with allies, not only after the invasion on the 24th of february but before. the u.s. consulted closely. secretary blinken consulted closely with allies. we shared intelligence. there has not been a military invasion more predictive than this one. the u.s. shared much intelligence with nato allies. in the months leading up to the invasion in february. european allies, of course, imposed sanctions. they are hosting millions of refugees.
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but, the alternative, not to support ukraine, that will actually enable president putin to win. that will be dangerous for all of us. the price to pay will be higher than to now invest in the support for ukraine. i will end by saying president putin made a strategic mistake. he totally underestimated the strength and the will and the ability of the ukrainian people and armed forces to defend themselves. he underestimated the unity of nato and its partners to support ukraine. again, what we see is due to leadership, helping, both on the political and economic level and when it comes to organizing coordinating the military support, through the support group for ukraine.
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the last question, i would just say, wars are unpredictable. we were able to predict that the invasion, and how this war will evolve, it is hard to addict. we know that wars will end at the negotiating table. this has been stated at president zelenskyy, this will end at the negotiating table. what happens there at the table is dependent on the strength, the situation on the battlefield. that is what we do. we support them in opposing russia. i have confidence in the political leadership in ukraine that they can make the hard judgments and decisions on negotiations and what to agree to, when negotiations will start.
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>> thank you. i have one question for each. secretary blinken, do you think it is possible to deter russia with weapons at this point? how far will the u.s. go? and for secretary stoltenberg we hear about nuclear exercises on the russian side, what scenarios are you ready for? sec. blinken: i would say that it is not so much a question of deterring russia at this point because they have committed the aggression and they're pursuing it. what we are working to do, as the secretary-general said, is to make sure the ukrainians have what they need to defend against this aggression to repel it, to push it back, and as well as a
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result to make sure they have the strongest possible handed any negotiating table that emerges. i agree, eventually that is what is likely to happen. you cannot say when or how. what we can say is the week will do having to make sure ukraine has the strongest possible hand. every step along the way, we have evaluated what we believe ukraine needs to do just that. of course that has changed the course of this aggression. what they need to deal with. the threats to kyiv are very different to what is now happening in southern and eastern ukraine. we have adjusted as this has gone along in terms of what we and other allies and partners are providing to ukraine. we will continue to do that as we go forward. again, it is fully within russia's power to stop what they started. and to end the aggression that is what we seek. but, as long as this goes on, who will support the ukrainians and make sure they have what
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they need to defend themselves effectively. sec. gen. stoltenberg: nato and its allies are working closely on what russia does including their nuclear exercises. we are also a political -- russian leaders have expressed it over the last few months. this nuclear rhetoric is dangerous. it is something that is increasing tensions. at the same time, we have not seen any changes in russia's nuclear posture. we also remind rusher on the fact that, i -- russia in january they agreed in the u.n., where they stated clearly that the nuclear war cannot be won and should not be fought.
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so, russia knows that any use of nuclear weapons would totally change the nature of the conflict, therefore, nuclear weapons should not be used. >> thank you. good morning. secretary blinken, two questions for you. first on the food crisis that is growing deeper because of the war. is there any way to get the 20 million plus tons of grain that are stuck in odessa out of the country without russia allowing those ukrainian ships to move? and what will be the cost for russia if they do not allow those ships to move? we know the u.s. is working on overland solutions here, but what is the cost for russians if they do not allow the sea routes to open? the second question is about the timeline. we have heard, biden
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administration officials talking about this conflict turning into a drawn out conflict. it's likely to go on for months. both russia making these gains in the east, what is the outlook? do you see this conflict going into next year without a resolution? then, secretary-general, you mentioned you're going to convene later in -- with finland, sweden and turkey. i wonder if you are expecting finland and sweden to come to the table with precise actions they are willing to take that could us waited turkey's concern . i'm also warning -- wondering if you're confident turkey is concerned about their membership, will it be addressed at this month before the g7 summit? thank you. sec. blinken: thanks very much. with regard to the food situation, a couple of things. we are dealing with what is a
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global food insecurity challenge and even crisis. pre-existing conditions, covid, climate, and now conflict. all of these together have helped create a perfect storm where food, particularly from some of the bread baskets of the world, ukraine, russia, are not available because of russia's aggression. and as a result as well, prices have gone out for the food that is available. we had a situation where a couple of years ago there were roughly one million people food insecure around the world for the russia aggression, that has gone up to 160 million. now in additional 40 million people. expert accounts are likely to be food insecure, as a result, directly of the russia aggression. to your point, what is happening is this, there are roughly 20 to 25 million tons of grain that
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are sitting in silos near russia and ukrainian ports in odessa that cannot even be moved to ships because there are ships at the port, 85 of them should -- full of the grain that cannot move because of the russian blockade of the ports. the united nations has been working, the secretary-general, i's efforts to see if he can find a way forward on this, to allow the ships out to end this blockade. that worker continues. we are looking at every other possible route to get we took, grains and other things out of ukraine and onto our markets. all of that work is ongoing. in terms of what russia risks, i would start with what -- with the reputation. it seeks relationships with countries around the world, including many countries that are now the victim of russian aggression because of growing food insecurity, resulting from
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that aggression. we were in new york 10 days ago. where the secured counsel for the month of may -- we had the security council for the month of may, i focused on the security challenges around the world. many countries pointed out that a big part of this is the russian aggression and the fact that food cannot get out of ukraine to where it is needed. there's a growing recognition of countries around the world that that the challenges they are facing now, compounded by conflict, compounded by russia's aggression are due to what russia is doing. i point out again, to those who are concerned about the sanctions we have imposed on russia are impeding the delivery of food, that is not true. the sanctions have exemptions for food. including services necessary to make sure that food moves, like banking services. we have had one of our senior officials go around the world to make that very clear to other countries and to help them with any questions they may have.
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this is on russia. regardless of anything else, you would think the lease the russians would do would be able to make sure other countries are not suffering from their aggression, with regard to timelines. the secretary-general said we cannot predict how this is going to play out, when this will play out, is best, we can assess right now, we are still looking at many months of conflict. that could be over tomorrow if russia chose to end the aggression. but we do not see any signs of that now. it is a moving picture. as a secretary-general said, that is by general -- definition, what wars are. i will repeat what i said, as long as this goes on we want to make sure you ukraine has what it needs to defend itself and we want to make sure russia is feeling strong pressure from as many countries as possible. that is the best way we think to bring the aggression to a close, as soon as possible, to end the
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war, to gets diplomacy, and to stop the suffering -- to get to a and to stop the suffering. sec. gen. stoltenberg: we are in close connection with turkey and other allies. in the two countries that have applied for nato membership, sweden, we have met with them to convene a meeting in a few days with senior officials and follow-up to ensure that we make progress on applications to join nato. my intention is to have this in place before the nato summit. at the same time, i know to make progress we need the lines to agree. finland and sweden have made it clear that they are ready to sit down and to address their concerns, and all nato allies are of course ready to sit down and discuss those concerns.
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including, -- this is something we are taking very seriously. we know it no other nato allies has -- have suffered more than turkey. turkey is an important ally, not least because of its strategic location, it was important against isis, and it is a black seat country close to russia. all of this makes a turkey an important ally. when they raise concerns we sit down and look into how we can find the united way forward. sec. blinken: we will take a final question. >> secretary blinken, two questions.
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what is the u.s. willing to do to facilitate negotiation's between it, sweden and finland? sec. blinken: one at a time ok. you've heard from the secretary-general. finland and sweden are working directly with turkey. nato is supporting this effort. nato is supporting this effort. we want to bring the parties together. we very much support those efforts. there is a strong consensus with anita broadly for the rapid reception of sweden and finland to the alliance. i remain confident that will happen, that we are going to move forward. as i said before, this is a process, and in that process, if allies have concerns, they raise them and we deal with them. nato was dealing with them, but
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in particular, concerns turkey has raised directly with inland and with sweden are being addressed with the assistance of nato. we want to make sure that all allies have their security concerns taken into account, and that of course includes turkey, but i'm confident this process will move forward. we have a long-standing and ongoing defense relationship with turkey as a nato ally and as we have in the past, as we are doing now, as we will in the future, we will continue to work through cases as they arise with regard to systems that turkey seeks to acquire. >> secretary stoltenberg, how confident are you that new to will approve turkey and sweden? secretary stoltenberg: i'm confident we will find a way forward, and i'm confident, of course, all allies will agree that nate would lodgment has been a success, helping to
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spread democracy, freedom across europe for decades, and therefore, we need to sit down as we always do, when there are differences in nato, and find a way to go forward together. this is not the first time someone has expressed concerns or there are differences, but we have a long track record on reconciling differences and agreeing on a track to move forward. >> that concludes the press conference. >> thank you. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2022] which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] >> c-span has unfiltered coverage of the u.s. response to russia's invasion of ukraine, bringing you the latest from the president and other white house officials, the pentagon, as well as congress. we also have perspectives from the united nations and statements from foreign leaders,
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all on the c-span networks, the c-span now free mobile app, and, our web resource page where you can watch video on demand and all journalists on the ground. go to on thursday, the house judiciary committee will debate and vote on a package of gun safety measures. among them, an increase in the age limit to buy certain firearms and a limit on high-capacity magazines. watch on our c-span networks, c-span now our free mobile app, or any time online at at least six presidents recorded conversations while in office. here many of those conversations on c-span's new podcast. presidential recordings. >> season one focuses on the presidency of lyndon johnson.
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here about the 1964 civil rights act, the 1964 presidential campaign, the gulf up shrunken incident, the march on selma, and the war on vietnam. not everyone knew they were being recorded. >> certainly, johnson's secretaries do because they were tasked with transcribing many of those conversations. in fact, they were the ones who made sure the conversations were taped as johnson would signal to them through an open door between his office and there's. >> you will also see some blunt talk. >> presidential recordings, find it now on the c-span now mobile app or were ever you get your podcast.
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>> there are a lot of places to get political information, but only at c-span do you get it straight from the source. no matter where you are from or where you stand on the issues, c-span is america's network. unfiltered, unbiased, word for word. if it happens here or here or here or anywhere that matters, america is watching on c-span, powered by cable. >> the defense secretary brief report is on the newly authorized weapons and military equipment for ukraine. after assurances from ukraine that the country would not use them to hit targets in russian territory. the briefing runs about 25 minutes.


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