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QUESTION: Secretary Blinken, welcome to the program. I just wanted to ask you, because you just met with your Ukrainian counterpart —

PASTOR BLINKEN: Christiane, nice to be with you.

QUESTION:  — who told you all they needed weapons faster, faster, faster. So is it true that NATO has run out of ammunition for, for example, the guns that the Ukrainians are using?

BLINKEN: Christiane, from day one – in fact, even from day one, before the Russian invasion started but we saw it coming – we worked with the Ukrainians to get what they got. needed to defend themselves and push back the Russian invasion. At every step along the way, in negotiations with them, in negotiations with partners and partners, we have adapted because the nature of the attack has changed to make sure that they reach their hands as soon as possible enable exactly what they need. dealing with Putin’s war. And that process continues.

We are now focusing on measures to protect the air – not only us – many other countries. And we are working to make sure that Ukrainians have access to those systems as soon as possible, but also as efficiently as possible, to make sure that they are educated, to make sure that they have the skills to take care of it. And all that must come, and it is. We have a special system established by the Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, in Ramstein, Germany that meets regularly to make sure that the Ukrainians have what they need when they need it.

QUESTION: So let me ask you, about the uncertainty from the Pentagon and from all of you at NATO about the American Patriots. As you said, they definitely need air defense systems, and obviously you have to think they’ll need more as Putin ramps up his airstrikes and anti-urban missiles. Will the United States also provide Patriot systems, and if not, why not?

DEPARTMENT BLINKEN:  So I’m not talking about specific practices. The Pentagon is focused on that. What we are working on is to ensure that, at any given time, they have the most effective measures that can meet the threat that they are facing. We have recently, for example, given them a very effective system called NASAM that they are using very well. Before that, of course, there were HIMARs, which they used a lot in the south and east of Ukraine.

Almost every day, Christiane, the Pentagon is looking at this, listening to the Ukrainians, consulting with partners and partners, and, if there is nothing, try to find something else. That is part of this whole coordination process.

QUESTION:  What do you think when you see the transformation of President Putin and the Russian military from what you call both defeats on the battlefield and territorial losses to this invasion? continuous and constant urbanization? And again, are you satisfied as many anti-air and the use of professional systems that reach them in time?

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Christiane, what we’re seeing is, to put it in one word, terrifying. And precisely because Putin cannot succeed on the battlefield, he is taking the war to the people of Ukraine. And he is doing it in a very predictable way – he goes to full power and electric power to turn off the lights, turn off the water, turn off the heat, and at the time of the fact that Ukraine is moving to the winter.

The head of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, talked about buying the winter, and this is exactly what Putin is doing. This is also the reason that we are not only arrested with the certainty that Ukraine has the necessary measures to protect itself, but we are also arrested with the assurance that we are doing everything possible. – again, as soon as possible – to help them recover. and replace everything that is being destroyed by the Russian invasion.

And just as we put together this system a few months ago in Ramstein, Germany so that they would have the defensive weapons they needed, we will do the same with power, with tools, with transformers, with engines. engine, and special parts. We met here in Bucharest not only the NATO Allies but the G7 countries and other countries to put a very coordinated approach to ensure that, as soon as we can, we get Ukraine what it needs to pass the winter. , to ensure that men, women, and children do not freeze to death.

We heard from the Minister of Foreign Affairs Kuleba, my friend and colleague, who just came from Kyiv and explained to all the ministers here the life under this Russian attack. And by the way, it’s unusual. This is destroying a country and directly attacking everything its citizens need to survive. And I hope the world will understand it and see it that way. We are caught up in this and we are working on it to get Ukraine everything we can to get through the winter.

QUESTION: Just one last question, on this topic of weapons and what they need. You know The New York Times reported that all of you in NATO are considering investing in, for example, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria – factories where Soviet weapons were made – for missiles that appear to be used by Ukraine. Is that correct?

DEPARTMENT BLINKEN:  We’re looking at all the options to make sure, again, they get what they need and what works best for them. Some of those things go to Soviet-era systems that they have had in their study for many years and, for example, make sure that there is a gun for those systems. And in some cases it may be necessary to produce things that have not been produced for a while. So we’re looking across the board at all of that.

And Christiane, even as we are working to get Ukraine what they need urgently, we are also working to ensure that, in the medium and long term, we help them build their capacity to prevent and protected from the future. attacks, because when this war finally ends, one of the things that will be very important is to make sure that we do everything possible to make sure that it doesn’t happen again, Russia will not renew its attack. against Ukraine. Part of that is to ensure that Ukraine has in the long term the ability to deter attack and defend itself if attacks do come.

QUESTION:  Can I go to Iran? Because on the one hand, you and others clearly blame Iran for providing the Russians with many weapons, especially these kamikaze drones that caused a lot of damage and death. But I also want to ask you about your response to the reports that Iran told you and the international community and the IAEA that it plans to improve and increase its production and clean – power – of uranium close to bomb strength, placed in an area. that is difficult for all of you to attack – I believe Fordow – and to increase its production of nuclear fuel in other places where both the United States and Israel are accused of sabotage.

What is your answer to that? Have they told you that?

ADVISER BLINKEN: Well, first of all, Christiane, I think the world is focused right on what’s happening on the streets in Iran all over the country, and it’s very brave young people – but mostly women – who standing up to speak for their rights. . And that’s what happened since the killing of Mahsa Amini a few months ago. And that’s where the world focuses; that is what we focus on. We have taken steps, as you know, to punish those responsible for trying to suppress peaceful protesters. We have also worked to ensure that the Iranian people have, to the best of our ability, the communication technology they need to continue communicating with each other and communicating with the outside world.

At the same time, we continue to believe that the best way to deal with Iran’s nuclear program is through diplomacy. As you know, we had an agreement, the JCPOA, which put Iran’s nuclear program in a box. Unfortunately, the decision was made to pull out of that agreement, and what we’ve seen almost since then is Iran rebuilding its program. We have been very clear to them – and not only the United States, but others, including European partners – that they should not take additional steps to increase their nuclear capacity, including enrichment at high levels. And if they pursue that direction, we will be ready to respond.

QUESTION:  Regarding internal protests, we have seen some Iranian protestors in real sports in Doha – the World Cup – fighting on the ground for wearing women’s life – Women, Life , Freedom t-shirts and other similar items. We know that the game between the United States and Iran last night, which the US won, was so charged that President Biden, who is not known as a football fan, said the following ane: USA, USA; that’s a big game, man; they did; God loves them. So it’s all around these serious issues that you’re talking about. Is there anything the United States is going to do to support the opposition, other than to allow some of the people that you said you allowed?

BLINKEN: Well, first, Christiane, I watched the game last night. I think Team USA did a great job. I must also commend the performance of the Iranian players throughout the tournament, as well as in yesterday’s game. And yes, it was a very high atmosphere, but I’m happy that the players had the opportunity to play the game and we got the result we got.

But this is it – what is happening in Iran is first and foremost about Iranians, about their future, about their country, and not about us. And one of the serious mistakes that the administration is making is to try to point the finger at others – in the United States, Europe – saying that we are responsible for fueling or fanning the flames of protest. It means that they really don’t understand who they are.

But as I said, not only have we allowed them to be responsible for harming the protesters, we have also worked to ensure, again, to the best of our ability, technology, communication technology that the Iranian people need. to continue. to be able to communicate with each other and communicate with the outside world that is available to them. And now we focus on that.

There are other steps that we are taking specifically, in international organizations and in many other countries, to clarify how the world sees the repression that is happening in Iran to try to stop those who are trying to express their opinions quietly. But the main focus should remain on the Iranian people. It’s about what they want, what they need, what they expect.

QUESTION: And finally, your next trip to China. I believe this is your first trip as Secretary of State. And President Biden was there, and he was trying to, as he said, lower the temperature and make sure we don’t enter a new Cold War. But I want to ask you, because of what China has done together with Saudi Arabia to block any meaningful words on fossil fuels and oil spills at COP27 – and in fact everything they talk a lot about international security relations with Taiwan – if they will not play ball in the weather and if they are angry about Taiwan, especially the visit of Nancy Pelosi, what should because you talk about it? What do you hope to gain from visiting China?

PRESIDENT BLINKEN: Well, first of all, Christiane, President Biden and President Xi, I think, had an important meeting in Bali, and one that was useful in that it was very important that we communicate clearly and directly with each other. to the other about our interests, about our hopes, about our policies because – precisely because we are in a competition with China, the possibility of not getting along, because it is not small to understand what each other is trying to do, something we must protect. And it is necessary especially if, as President Biden said, we want to ensure that the competition in which we are participating does not lead to conflicts. Nobody likes that.

First and foremost, the trip I’m going on early next year is about continuing that relationship, making sure we have open lines of communication, obviously even if we disagree and, yes, strongly disagree. The world also expects us to manage this relationship well, to make sure – again, to the best of our ability – that we avoid any conflict and, of course, where we can work together, especially on issues that affect not only Americans. and not only China but people all over the world, let’s try to do that.

It will be left to China to decide whether it wants to engage in that kind of cooperation on things like climate, on global health, on the macroeconomic environment that we all live in as we try to get behind the COVID and pursue an economy. repair. We cannot decide that for China. We can make it clear that we are ready to participate and cooperate in what we like to do and what the world expects from us. China will have to decide if it wants to do the same.

QUESTION: Well, I’m told that time is up, Secretary Blinken. I was just wondering if you would answer another question about the French president’s visit. Do you have time?

PRIEST BLINKEN:  Go, Christiane.

QUESTION:  Okay. French President Macron is hosting President Biden. The first dinner of the Biden administration, the state visit. And at the same time, there is a – quite a difference between what Europe and the United States are saying – for example, on trade; Macron accused the US of a protectionist policy, along with the overall price of gas – they want a lower price of gas. What do you think will come from this visit for Europe, and what are you hearing from your European friends now?

PRIEST BLINKEN:  Well, we’re really looking forward to this visit. As you said, it’s the first state visit for President Biden, and I think the fact that President Macron is the first person that the President welcomes in a state visit to speak a lot about the value we attach to the relationship. In addition, what I have seen in the last two years – with France, Europe in general, including the European Union – is more and more communication on the most important issues, whether it’s Ukraine, or going to China. , or dealing with everything from climate to food insecurity to energy.

And do we have differences in some things? Of course. We always do, but we always work on them. And so, for example, when it comes to some of the concerns that we’ve heard in Europe about some of the provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act that go toward creating incentives for investing in the United States — we’ve heard some of the concerns expressed by our European partners – we immediately set up a task force with the European Union to address those concerns, and that’s exactly what’s going on we do.

QUESTION: Secretary of State Antony Blinken, thank you very much for being here.

PRIEST BLINKEN:  Thank you. Nice to be with you.

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Bianna Golodryga
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Bianna Golodryga is a senior global affairs analyst and fill-in anchor for CNN based in New York.

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