tv State Department Spokesperson Holds Briefing CSPAN March 11, 2022 5:58pm-6:59pm EST
care that you have taken in discharging your consultation on duty and service of our democracy with all that is going on in the world today. >> president biden nominate judge ketanji brown jackson to the u.s. court of appeals, to succeed the retiring justice stephen breyer on the court. if confirmed she would become the first average american woman to serve on america's highest court. watch the confirmation hearing starting monday, march 21, live on c-span, c-span.org, or by downloading the >>, state department spokesperson neil price takes questions on sanctions on russia, detaining citizens of russia in venezuela, and missile
launches from north korea. this runs about an hour. neil: good afternoon. one item at the top and i will take your questions. president putin has renewed his siege of ukraine, expanding his attacks upon a free and sovereign state to target additional cities. we continue to see reports of intentional targeting of civilian infrastructure and buildings resulting in even more injuries and deaths. more than 2.5 million people have fled the country seeking refuge from this needless war. while waging an unjustified war on a peaceful neighbor, putin is also tightening his chokehold on russian defense back at home.
ngo's report russia has detained nearly 13,000 antiwar protesters since late last month. the u.s. acting in concert with our g7 partners today took further steps to hold russia to account. we announced additional actions against wealthy russian elites to ensure the government of russia pays a severe economic and diplomatic price for its invasion of ukraine, including actions against individuals that sit on the boards of major russian financial institutions. we are also designating 12 members of the russian dumont that led the effort to recognize people's republic's as well as the lives in adult children of spokesman dmitry peskov. we will ensure those propagating this word of choice cannot enjoy or benefit from these u.s. products.
we have also imposed an import ban on russian alcohol, seafood, and nonindustrial diamonds. and we are working with congress to revoke russia's normal trade relations comically -- commonly referred to as favored nation status. our commitment to supporting ukraine and countering russian disinformation is steadfast. we will not waver in our clear support for the right to secure european aspirations. the kremlin does not and cannot dictate the foreign policy decisions of other countries. that simple principle is at the heart of the world steadfast support for ukraine. the russian federation called the un security council resolution today in an attempt to use the security council as a platform to further so disinformation about biological and chemical weapons.
as ambassador thomas greenfield said, russia asked the security council for today's meeting for the sole purpose of lying and spreading disinformation. using the security council as a venue for spreading lies is repugnant, but it is also part for the course for president putin and his cronies. putin might be counting on the u.s. and international community to move on and lose focus. we will not lose focus. we will not move on. the world will not lose focus, nor will it move on. we are and will remain committed and united with ukraine. there will be no relief from sanctions or other costs we will compose -- impose until putin reverses course and relents and his brutal aggression. >> i don't want to be accused of losing focus but i want to start with iran rather than ukraine.
i think it can be dispensed with fairly quickly. what is your understanding of the situation with russia's relationship to the pause? ned: the special envoy and his team have returned today for consultation. they have just returned to d.c.. as we have said before, these are complex negotiations. we are still working through a very small number of what are undoubtedly difficult issues. i made this point yesterday, but when you are at this stage of the negotiation 11 months in, these are in direct negotiations that started last april. you are going to get down gradually to a very small number of the hardest issues. and these issues are hardest because they are complex. they are challenging.
but we continue to believe that we are close to a potential deal. now is the time for all parties to demonstrate that seriousness of purpose. we can and should be able to reach a mutual understanding and return to the jcpoa. but there is very little time remaining to do that. you have heard from joseph perella that we are close, but there are external factors which are now interceding with these negotiations. but delegations are returning to capitals. there will need to be decisions made in places like tehran and moscow. and if that political will is there and that seriousness of purpose is there, we remain confident that we can return to a mutual compliance in fairly short order. reporter: but decisions need to
be made in washington? you guys are satisfied with where things are? and it's up to the iranians to resolve that small number of issue and the russians to resolve their sanctions? ned: i don't want to parse too much this set, this small number of remaining issues, but i will leave it at the fact that we are confident that we can achieve a mutual return to compliance with the jcpoa if there is seriousness of purpose and those decisions are made in places like tehran and moscow. reporter: you mentioned external factors, but is it really plural? or is it just one external factor? can you explain? ned: speaking of things i'm not going to parse, i'm not going to parse the negotiation -- >> can you just put a fine point on it if the russians demand
ukraine related sanctions not interfere? ned: we have been very clear including from this podium yesterday that the new russia related sanctions are holy and entirely unrelated to the jcpoa. should not have any impact on a potential implementation of the jcpoa. we have been clear that we have no intention of offering russia anything new or specific as it relates to these sanctions. there is nothing required to successfully reach an agreement on a mutual return. reporter: moving to russia, i wonder if you can respond to a couple things president putin has said. there is a comment about a shift. do you have any idea what that might be that he is referring
to? that something could come out of the meetings between lavrov. he mentioned the volunteers from the middle east that are going to fight alongside russian forces in ukraine? ned: in terms of diplomacy, we would certainly welcome a positive reorientation of the various diplomatic tracks. i call it reorientation because it would require a shift in what we have seen today. of course we weren't party to yesterday's discussions, but you heard from the foreign minister before he went into those talks, and you heard from him after. he said ukraine appropriately had low expectations. and it seems like those low expectations may or may not have been met.
he said after the fact that moscow, it seems, the impression he was left with, continues to, essentially, ask for, advocate, demand the complete surrender of ukraine. of course, that is not genuine diplomacy. that strikes us as something much more akin to what we talked about before. going through the diplomatic motions, taking part in meetings. doing so occasionally at senior levels to include a ministerial level as what took place yesterday without having any genuine intent of seeking to make progress on the underlying issues. that is what it now seems quite clear that we solve prior to the russian invasion and what we were concerned and warned about potentially seeing prior to the russian invasion. it seems like that's what we
might be seeing now. if there is positive movement, we would welcome that. but we would want to hear that not from the russian federation which has continually mischaracterized its intent, objectives, and goals. and we would want to hear that from our ukrainian partners. we have seen these reports, we have seen putin's comments about syrian foreign fighters. if true, this would represent an even further escalation and russia's unjustified, unprovoked , premeditated aggression. and the brutal war against ukraine. russia is and would be pulling from its destructive, destabilizing playbook that has brought havoc to places like syria. russia's focus should be on stopping the war that it started
needlessly on an unjustified and premeditated basis rather than adding to the further suffering of ukrainian people, further casualties that moscow has experienced, and this also speaks to the fundamental miscalculations that putin has made in choosing the path of war over the path of diplomacy. it seems quite clear from a number of indications including that the russian federation feels the need to pull so-called volunteers from other theaters. that president putin and those around him severely miscalculated if they thought that they would aggress against a sovereign, independent country, and not encounter fierce resistance. it is clear they are encountering fierce resistance and you can see that in the fact
that even russian state media, russian government officials are now admitting to the fact that russian soldiers, husbands, brothers, sons are dying. that they are coming home in body bags. if the russian government bothers to bring home the remains at all. we have seen that discussed in russian media. this is something as you know, the russians have hesitated to do. they went to great lengths to avoid doing it in terms of their aggression against ukraine that started in 2014. as you know, they went to great lengths to obscure the casualties russia was facing. there is no hiding these losses. they are quite profound in terms of their scale. that doesn't speak to the full
toll of human suffering that this invasion, this needless invasion has precipitated. they innocent ukrainian civilians are suffering, dying. ukrainians are being forced to flee their houses, their homes, their country. and the toll on the russian people. the actions are not aimed at the russian people, but the actions as we promised have been consequential. have been profound in terms of their impact. president biden pledged that if president putin went forward with this aggression, we would, together with partners and allies, and ask these series of amendments. -- of measures. big nations don't bluff. we were not bluffing at the g7 and we were not bluffing today. countries that came together to
counter this needless aggression. they were not bluffing in this case. and because the response has been so unified, of course it has had a role on everyday russians. president putin, his cronies, his oligarchs, his lieutenants, these measures will be felt and are being felt across russia. reporter: there is reporting that the ukrainian odysseus helping americans going to fight. we have seen more about that, other nations. is there any change to your advice on that? ned: we have not changed our advice. our advice on that has been clear from when we first started talking about this. the ukrainians, it is true, have shown their courage and bravery in taking on this aggressor.
and they are calling on every resource they have to defend themselves. the u.s. is standing with them in the provision of our security assistance and in the form of our humanitarian supplies. and in the form of our broader support. we applaud. we are inspired by their bravery. at the same time, our guidance remains the same and our travel advisory remains. u.s. citizens should not travel to ukraine. those in ukraine should depart immediately if it is safe for them to do so using commercial or other privately available options for ground transportation. u.s. citizens who travel to ukraine, especially with the purpose of participating in fighting there, they face significant risks including the very real risk of capture or death. the united states, as you know,
is not able to provide assistance to evacuate from ukraine including americans that may decide to travel to ukraine to participate in the ongoing war. in addition to this risk of personal safety. russia intends to treat foreign fighters as mercenaries as opposed to lawful combatants or prisoners of war. while we expect russia to respect all of the obligations, in the light of this very concerning statement. u.s. businesses detained by russian authorities may be subject to potential attempts at criminal prosecution and may be at heightened risk for mistreatment, given the obligation to the american people to speak clearly about what we know. we wanted to communicate that in no uncertain terms. while we continue to urge u.s.
citizens to not travel to ukraine for their own safety, regardless of the underlying purpose, we continue to encourage them to divert their energies to safe, constructive volunteer or civil society activities. we know that the ukrainian people need humanitarian assistance. they need funds. they need advocates for their cause around the world. and we applaud americans across this country and those around the world that are using their skills, passion, energy, and resources to assist the various ngos that are working to support this important mission in the u.s. or around the world. as you may know, we have a public page on our how to help section of our united with ukraine webpage that americans can find additional resources. reporter: what is the physical danger they might get into or
have incurred? treatment by the russians if they are captured. americans that travel to ukraine to fight, do they risk any kind of penalty from the u.s.? ned: this is a question from the department of justice. generally, the risk of prosecution is not one we are seeking. this is just a risk to their safety and security. i would refer you to that apartment of justice but my understanding is that there is not that particular risk. there are other grave risks that we are highlighting. reporter: [indiscernible] russia using chemical in ukraine, and it may find those materials, blaming ukraine and here is what we thought about.
to make them public, i would like to ask your position and understanding. is it possible? >> we are not speaking to classified information, but we have spoken our profound concern that this may be a real possibility. and there are really two underlying reasons that inform that concern. first, we know that moscow has used these banned substances in the past. it has used them against dissidents at home. the most prominent are notorious example of that. using a banned chemical agent on british soil. the other concern, the other element is what we discussed yesterday.
if you were to diagnose the tactics of the russian federation, you might call it projection. moscow has a tendency to blame others, to blame ukraine, blame the united states, blame the west. of the very activities in which it is engaging. so we take the track record, the tactics, and we marry those two things together. we see that russian officials in recent weeks and even more so in recent days with the un security council sessions that they called today, have been speaking to the possibility of employing chemical weapons and biological weapons. of course, that is totally false. that is baseless. our concern, however, are that these baseless accusations do point to potential plans, and we
have been very clear about that concern for a couple reasons. and to do all we can through public messaging and through every means we can to deter any such use of chemical weapons. also to make sure that the world operating with eyes wide open, if russia in the coming days are coming weeks claims to have been the victim, claims that russian speakers and citizens have been the victims of this type of attack, to have a good sense of what this is all about. this is pulled directly from the kremlin's playbook. this is the playbook that was employed in the lead up to the invasion. it's the playbook that secretary blinken sat in that stair kitty -- security council chamber and warned about. it is a playbook that we need to be concerned russia will call upon.
in the conduct of this unjustified aggression. reporter: do you have any evidence in the session they called, china supporting this proposition? does that tell you about any hope of president xi trying to pull putin back from this invasion? ned: i will say generally, the session was called by russia. it was a session that, as he heard from ambassador thomas greenfield, in many ways, we embraced. we took advantage of the forum, to fight disinformation with the best antidote. and what you heard where the facts. . simple.
and what you heard from the russian federation, i think it's fair to say, it rivals what you might see or what you might find in some of the darkest corners of the internet. we heard too many lies. too many pernicious and corrosive lies. i don't want to go through them one by one to give them even more oxygen. but there was one in my effort to review what the russian representative said that really stuck out because of its vividness. he spoke about the strike at the maternity ward. we have all seen the harrowing images with our own eyes. we have seen video footage from the ground. many of your outlets have capture that imagery. we heard the representative refer to this allegedly destroyed maternity hospital, claiming that it wasn't
destroyed. we heard him point to photos allegedly taken from inside the building that, according to his account, showed little more than what he called this order. an overturned chair, overturned furniture. claiming that the building was otherwise intact. not in any way addressing the fact that this was a brutal strike against a maternity hospital. it killed innocent ukrainians. there were pernicious lies about suppose of chemical and biological efforts. but the fact is, any country that stands with, espouses,
backs up these lies, they, too, are associating themselves with whatever the russian federation may enact in ukraine. we have deep concerns about what the russians may be plotting in this regard. we think all responsible countries should speak out against this. any sentiment country could listen to what was coming from the perm rep today and diagnose it for what it isn't and what it was. the fact that any country would lend any bit of credibility is disturbing. it will, again, associate the country with any actions that the russian federation takes in ukraine.
reporter: do we have any confirmation of something that may have happened in moscow? the assistant director of the fsp in charge of intelligence including ukraine. they are protective services, and that some people may be at the house arrest? >> i'm not in a position to speak to that particular report. i'm not aware of this. it sounds like it may have just come out. in the weeks leading up to russia's aggression against ukraine, we saw thousands upon thousands of russian citizens, private russian citizens take to the street. more than 10,000 have been detained for doing nothing more
than peacefully exercising their rights that are as universal and russia as they are anywhere else in the world. we also saw senior policy heavyweights in russia speak their opposition to what was then president putin's plan. we have seen defense in the streets. we have seen dissent in elite policy circles in russia. i can't speak to this report but i have certainly seen a broader pattern. reporter: any idea how seriously long the ground game went? ned: i would hesitate to speculate on a report that i haven't seen. but what i will say is that president putin has claimed that
his plan is going according to plan. i did not think any political leader or military explainer or strategist worth any salt would devise a plan that would be met with stiff opposition, that would be met with fierce and unified international opposition , and that would be met with almost universal condemnation. a plan that is leading russia into strategic filmmaking with economy in freefall, financial systems that have now given up the gains of integration over the past 30 years. and the strategic positioning in the world that is a far cry from
what it might have been before this. and given expert controls, given the diplomatic isolation, given the financial and other economic measures, will be appreciably weaker for some time to come. reporter: is the state department aware of any americans that have gone to fight alongside the ukrainians? ned: when americans travel abroad, they are not required to register in any way. these are not metrics that we would track. our goal has been to be very clear with any americans that would be interested in traveling to ukraine for any reason but especially to take up arms with the profound risk that they would undertake for their health, safety, and security. reporter: do you have any update on britney greiner? has she been granted consular
access? this is continuing to deteriorate. have there been specific warnings from the embassy to moscow? ned: i will say that anytime a u.s. citizen is detained anywhere around the world, our diplomats spring into action to provide any and all forms of assistance that we can to those americans. when it comes to britney greiner, we have been working very diligently on this case. we have been in close touch with those around her, providing forms of appropriate support. when it comes to paul whelan and trevor read, they have since been held on an unjustified wrongful basis. we have been in a position
we have been in a position to provide them with various forms of support. the embassy was able to pay visits to both of them this year, they spoke with them earlier this week when the president traveled to texas. we are not going to comment on reports of mr. reed health, of course we are monitoring their welfare, all americans that are detained in. for fair treatment from russian authorities and we continue to call for their immediate release. reporter: they have not heard back after the conversation, the conversation came only after they threatened to protest outside of the vineyard in texas where he appeared. do you have anything further about trevor?
ned: i can tell you that these are cases that this department is locust on every single day. secretary blinken, roger, the president, jake sullivan have had the opportunity to speak to the families of wrongful detainees around the world including those who are held in russia. we continue to make it a priority to secure their release. we have done that since the very first day of this administration. in fact, our point person is someone who has worked to these issues long before january 20, roger was working these cases in the last administration. the continuity that we thought given the paramount importance and the priority attached to these cases speaks to the fact that he has been a through line across and missed rations. reporter: understandably is
coming back, not the very day, are there any details about what might've been, there are there late -- there are a lot of charges for senator rubio. ned: there is no quid pro quo, we have been working to determine the release of americans wrongly detained in venezuela since the start of this administration. there cannot be a trade-off. the release of americans around the world is something that we advocate for, work for, pulling every lever at our disposal. reporter: concluding on the first, venezuelan opposition has said that the administration should not by any venezuelan oil unless the regime makes
commitments within talks. you sort of left the door open to purchase it after they committed verbally to talks. would you rule out purchases until they actually take some sort of irreversible steps? ned: let me make a couple of points. the delegation in caracas a few days ago had two priorities in mind. one, the release of these americans we have been discussing. special envoy was able to return home with two of those americans, there are 2 -- or americans whose safe return we are working on as a overriding priority for this department and we will continue do that until all of them have been reneged with their families. -- have been reunited with their families.
the second is championing the democratic aspirations of the venezuelan people. making it very clear in a frank and candid way to the regime that we continue to stand with and support the venezuelan people and their aspirations for a government that is responsive to their needs. we have been clear since this visit and long before this visit. that our current venezuelan related sanctions remain in full effect. these sanctions deny the regime the revenue stream that would finance repression and line the pockets of regime officials as well as protect the u.s. financial system from exposure to what would be otherwise corrupt and illicit financials. we do not speak to previous sanction actions. we also said we would review
some sanction policies if and only if the venezuelan party made meaningful progress in the venezuelan negotiations in mexico towards achieving and fulfilling the aspirations of the venezuelan people for a genuine democracy. reporter: have you seen any indication that some of the syrian forces have been brought by russia to ukraine? ned: that is not something i can speak to from here. the reports from the russian federation and president putin calling on recruits from other conflict zones is a sign of deeply troubling signs of further as police -- escalation. reporter: on diplomacy, you said yesterday there had been no outreach to the russian of a government, why hasn't not been? you championed diplomacy throughout this time and you said russia was not engaging in good faith.
if it would make any kind of difference to at least have a letter, call, whatever from the administration to the russian government why not take that opportunity? ned: the moment that we thought our intervention in that particular way could lead to progress, could lead to a breakthrough, could diminish the violence, could save lives we would do so. right now there are number of close partners who are engaged directly with the russian federation. that includes the french. we saw present macron in person earlier this week on her way home from europe. that includes prime mr. bennet from israel. that includes our turkish allies. the president had an opportunity to speak to present at a one yesterday to hear about -- present everyone -- to hear about that engagement and that includes the germans.
we have been in close touch with the foreign chancellor as well. all of these diplomatic efforts have been done in full coordination and consultation with the united states. there is not been -- to the contrary the united states is not been absent from this process. this process involves a number of different steps. we are supporting our ukrainian partners, we are supportive of the diplomatic engagements that our close partners are taking in full consultation and coordination with us. just as we are working, and in many ways leading the international community to imposing increasing costs on the russian federation for its aggression against ukraine. we see these various missions as, mentoring. -- complement tree. reporter: there is a petition on south korea and north korea,
china, he said he would take decisive actions against north korea illegal and unreasonable behavior. what is your assessment of the defensive efforts against north korea? ned: the advantage we have in terms of our relationship with countries like south korea is that it is a relationship, in this case an alliance that transcends little parties. -- political parties. it transcends individuals and is bigger than that. we look forward to and have congratulated the president-elect on his election. we look forward to working with him and his full government. we know that together will be able to continue to deepen the economic ties, the people ties
between our two countries, and our cooperation on matters of regional, broader, national security. as we discussed yesterday, there is no more pressing challenge two-piece and security in northeast asia than the dprk's illicit ballistic missile and nuclear missile program. just as we have worked very closely on a bilateral basis with our south korean allies and a trilateral basis that our south korean allies in our chinese allies together, we will continue to do that with our new trent -- government going forward. reporter: -- yesterday and pretend to -- tend to launch an icbm missile soon. do you have any information? -- ned: that is not something i can
speak to. reporter: there is a list of sanctions against north korea. designate states have any plans to lift the sanctions with north korea? ned: we are focused on substantive, practical, pragmatic diplomacy. working in full coronation with our allies in the indo pacific, in this case the japanese and south korean allies. we seek, together with them, to make progress to what is our share overall objective, the denuclearization of the north korean pens a -- peninsula. we are willing to engage with dialogue for the dprk. we have made our willingness to engage abundantly clear.
i did so again yesterday from here. we also made it abundantly clear that wii's -- harbor no hostile intent towards the dprk. we underscore our willingness to engage. it is up to the dprk to determine if they wish to engage. in recent days, rather than engagement we have seen additional provocations. even in recent days we have worked with our partners and allies in the u.n. and of course with arnel -- allies in northeast asia. to ensure that we take appropriate action to hold the dprk accountable for these publications. reporter: north korea and china are not cooperating with russian sanctions. what disadvantaged do you have for considering these companies
-- because china is not participating in sanctions against russia? ned: was the question about the p.r.c.'s sanction up against russia or the dprk? it is incumbent upon, when it comes the dprk, and much of the same can be said of russia for that matter. it is incumbent on all countries, especially all responsible countries, to fully implement the international sanctions, regimes that are in place. in the case of the dprk, the dprk's illicit ballistic missile and nuclear weapons program, it is not our security interest to be sure, not in the security interest in the allies of the indo pacific and is not in the interest of the p.r.c..
it is incumbent upon all responsible actors to enforce the sanctions that are on the books. to contain this program, confinement, to hold the dprk accountable for its violations of multiple un security council resolutions over the course of many years. reporter: today they announced that the initial sanctions against -- everything about that -- do you have anything about that? ned: we do not preview sanctions, in response to additional provocations from the dprk in recent days, i would not be surprised if we have more to say. reporter: as you know, yesterday president biden announced the designation of columbia as a nato non-nato ally. what is this designation and doesn't make any difference between the relationship between the two countries? ned: this designation is notable
for a number of reasons. and makes columbia only the third major non-nato ally in the americas. we recently bestowed the status upon qatar and other countries. columbia is now only the third country in the eye states to be afforded the status -- the united states to be afforded the status. this designation provides a long-term framework for security defense cooperation and reinforces the already strong cooperation and bilateral defense cooperation and relationship between united states and columbia. and helps to support our joint defense planning, procurement, training activities. some of the advantages of this status also includes eligibility for collaboration for develop mental various defense technology. privileged access to the u.s. defense industry. increase joint military exchanges, training, as well as
special access to know terry crimmins and financing. the fact that we are able to grant this status to columbia speaks to the fact that together we did enjoy one of the closest defense and security relationships in the hemisphere. we have a vigorous military to military partnership. we share any number of interest in the hemisphere and in some cases, well beyond. reporter: what would be the message to venezuela? ned: the messages sense is that we value columbia as a partner, what comes to venezuela, colombia has been very generous in terms of opening its doors. opening its collective arms to millions of venezuelans who have been forced by repression, economic deprivation to flee their homes and to cross the border into columbia. we are deeply appreciative of
the generosity the colombian people and government have demonstrated to their venezuelan neighbors. there is a process that is involved in each one of these announcements. so i suspect it will be the earliest opportunity. reporter: a couple things on ukraine. there were some reports yesterday, claiming that the u.s. is looking at the possibility to deliver russian made as 300s to ukraine. greece, slovakia -- are you talking to these countries on these issues, delivering the s 300s to ukraine? ned: we do not detail every system that we have provided or potentially provide to our ukrainian partners. what we have detailed is the
aggregate amount of that security assistance. right now exceeds $1 billion over the past year. it exceeds $250 million in the recent days alone. in parts -- in terms of broader categories, we have provided our ukrainian partners with what they need for self-defense,'s -- , anti-armor systems antitank systems, small arms munitions, other munitions that would allow our ukrainian partners to effectively defend themselves against russian aggressors. reporter: everybody knows that kyiv is under siege from russian forces, nobody knows what will happen the next couple weeks. does the biden demonstration have a plan b in case the government falls? ned: we have been in close consultation with president
zelensky and others, we know they have undertaken the appropriate planning and i believe that that. one final question. reporter: i was gonna ask about turkey's recent effort. they have been acting in line with major alliance and at the same time speaking with moscow and kyiv at the same time. what would you say about the role of turkey as a mediator between moscow and kyiv for now? ned: we have welcomed it. our turkish allies have done in full consultation and coordination with the united states. as i said a month -- a logo president biden was able to speak with the turkish president. he was able to speak with -- just a little bit before the discussion. any diplomatic effort that is
conducted, just as we had conducted our diplomacy with the russian federation, in full consultation and coronation with our allies and partners. reporter: let me ask you about the war crimes of the vice president mentioned today. she says that any intentional attack or targeting of civilians is a war crime period. does the united states believe that the attack on the trinity hospital was intentional or an accident? and the attacks on the civilians trying to leave in the humanitarian corridors that were violated intentional or accidental? ned: that is a challenging aspect and it comes a potential war crimes designation. there is no doubt that civilians have been killed by russian bombs, missiles, forces.
the element that requires due diligence and investigation is that element of intentionality was the intent of russian fighter jets, the intention of russian commanders at sea to dropping emissions -- drop munitions, fire missiles, use force against civilians. that is what we are in the process of documenting, the support of documenting it around the world whether there is a potential targeting of civilians in the context. reporter: in context of 39 countries that would go much further, as the british foreign secretary said and washing yesterday, that these were war crimes period. is a distinction here because the united states is trying to preserve some abilities you
compromise a way out in the future a negotiation vladimir putin that has not already been labeled a war criminal? ned: i think the actions that the united states as organize, galvanize, implemented against the russian federation edgers from sanctions to export controls, designations. that has had a devastating effect on the russian economy. it should speak to the fact that we are not trying to reserve currency with the russian federation. we are doing every thing we can to impose pressure on vladimir putin and those around him to bring him to the negotiating table. i can tell you that the only criteria in our mind when it comes to war crimes is whether it meets the definition, as defined in the geneva conventions. you put your finger on what can be a challenging element to ascertain. we are using every resource at our disposal and we are
supporting the various investigative efforts out there to determine, attempt to determine if these are war comics -- crimes. reporter: a question about north korea, north korea has tested an icbm system. will there be any policy change on north korea, resulting in additional sanctions which is supposed to be announced today. do you think it will have negative effects, possibly die with north korea? -- possibly dire with north korea? ned: the testing of an icbm system they referred to is something north korea attempt to hide and something the night state announced to the world yesterday -- the united states announced to the world yesterday.
the decision to hide testing, these last two tests, rates tensions, are destabilizing to the broader region. the door remains open to diplomacy as i said before, we are ready and willing to engage in practical, pragmatic diplomacy with our allies and partners. we will take all necessary measures to ensure the security of our homeland and ensure the security of our allies including in japan and south korea. to give a couple of examples from this week. earlier this week the u.s. into pacific command ordered intensified isr, and tonnage -- intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance activities as well as enhanced readiness on our ballistic this'll defense forces -- missile defense forces in the region. we have a number of authorities at his disposal. we have previously held those
that have supported the perforation of these technologies, those that have supported dprk's illicit ballistic weapons and missile programs, to account we will have no doubt that -- all those disposable that may be supporting this program. reporter: saudi arabia said it free from captivity to u.s. citizens from a special scary operation. the state department did not use that same language. you call that the safe departure of u.s. city of -- u.s. citizens. as warning if you could provide clarity if these women were in captivity or otherwise obstructed? >> we released a statement on that yesterday, and additional details in their, we do not have -- we are not to be giving a full so the details due to privacy. reporter: where they being
detained? ned: we issued a statement and you noted the statement we used. we provided it yesterday. reporter: can ask you one thing on saudi? ned: sure. reporter: do you have a thing to say about his release? ned: these are issues that we have addressed at senior levels with our saudi partners. we have made very clear that human rights are at the center of our foreign policy. i think you'll see that in our gay twins in the middle east and around the world -- in our engagements in the middle east and around the world. it helps us advance and even closer partnership and relationship with our partners and allies. i certainly would welcome this release. reporter: you do not seem overjoyed about it.
is it because you think it sort of happened a long time ago? ned: we will get you more details. thank you very much. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2022] >> first ladies in their own words, our eight part series looking at the role of the first ladies, their time in the white house and the issues important to them. >> it was a great advantage to know what it was like to work in school. education was such an important issue both for a governor, but also for a president. so that was very helpful to me. >> using material from c-span's award-winning biography series first ladies. >> i am very much the kind of person that believes you should say what you mean and mean what you say and take the consequences. >> and c-span online video library featuring first ladies lady bird johnson, betty ford,
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