HomeUnited StatesDepartment Press Briefing – January 3, 2023

Department Press Briefing – January 3, 2023

QUESTION: And Iran’s bringing – has been bringing this subject up at least during the last three, four weeks, at least – and at least once every week. Have you – have they communicated anything? Do you see them bringing the subject up as maybe something to overshadow what’s going on in – with the demonstrations? Or do you see any seriousness? Have you seen any indication of any seriousness?
MR PRICE: We have been routinely engaged, and we will remain very much engaged, with the parties bilaterally, trilaterally, through the OSCE, through other partners as well, to help bring about that end state.
While traditionally the holidays are a time of celebration and peace, Russia chose to ramp up its campaign to weaponize winter, subjecting the people of Ukraine to a barrage of missile and drone attacks on cities and critical infrastructure. But the Kremlin’s attempts to instill fear and hopelessness in the hearts of Ukrainians are failing. Amid the sounds of warning sirens and the uncertainty of daily life, the people of Ukraine honored their heroes and celebrated their successes on the battlefield. We will stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes. As we have said, President Putin can choose to end this war today. We call on Russia to stop its attacks, to withdraw its troops from Ukraine, and to commit to peace in 2023.
QUESTION: Yeah, two questions. Going back to your opening statement, you said that we will stand with Ukraine as long as it takes, which is appreciated, but also it sounds like a borrowed talking point from last year. We heard French president yesterday say that France will stand with Ukraine until victory. Are you prepared to say the same by reflecting the U.S. policy towards Ukraine?
Kylie, go ahead.
The Kremlin’s plans to splinter transatlantic unity have had the opposite effect. We look forward to Finland and Sweden joining an expanded NATO Alliance, which is stronger and more purposeful than ever. EU and NATO member states remain fully committed to standing with and supporting Ukraine. On December 29th, President Biden signed the Additional Ukraine Supplemental Appropriations Act that will provide .9 billion in emergency funds to support Ukraine and other partners, and to address the global impacts of the war.
MR PRICE: It sounds like we’re moving there, so we’ll – yes, go ahead.
QUESTION: Just a final point. Maduro himself has said that he is open to a better relationship with the United States. Do you take that seriously? Do you – is the United States interested in engaging, in any way, to that end?
MR PRICE: Again, that is a hypothetical that we’re just not entertaining —
You said you are going to judge these people by their actions. I think you said that, the Secretary of State said that, everybody said that in government. So that is the action. This is the action. How are you going to deal with this government?
Anything else on this before – we’ll take one more question on this.
QUESTION: May I follow up with –
MR PRICE: Afghanistan? Sure.
QUESTION: Any seriousness with which the Russians engaged in the dialogue?
MR PRICE: Well, that is really a question not for us. It may not even be a question for Ukraine. In fact, it probably is not one. It is really a question for Russia, because it is ultimately Russia that is going to have to make the decision regarding putting an end to the war that Russia itself started.
QUESTION: Follow-up —
QUESTION: And a second question.
QUESTION: And a second question.
QUESTION: And a second question.
QUESTION: And a second question.
QUESTION: And a second question.
QUESTION: And a second question.
QUESTION: And you think the WHO has sufficient tools to pressure China to share that information?
MR PRICE: Well, there is an institution in the form of the 2015 National Assembly. Now, the 2015 National Assembly is going to have discussions amongst its members to determine precisely what that entity looks like. If there is one individual who personifies the 2015 National Assembly, who represents the 2015 National Assembly, whether that’s some sort of consultative body, whether it’s a group of people, these are discussions that the 2015 National Assembly will need to make, and we’ll remain in close contact with them as they make those decisions.
MR PRICE: Well, as you know, late last year there was a planned meeting of the Bilateral Consultative Committee. We were very much looking forward to the meeting of the BCC. We are grateful to Egypt for hosting that meeting on Egyptian soil. But at the very last minute, unfortunately, Russia decided to cancel that engagement.
QUESTION: Okay. And look, you – of course, well, happy new year to everybody.
QUESTION: Just you say that they’re discussing among themselves how to administer assets. I mean, is it – is there a sense there actually is still an interim government, there’s actually still an institution – even if you consider that to be legitimate in terms of free and fair elections, that there actually is a body, a government that can administer the assets?
MR PRICE: We’ve made very clear to all of our allies and partners that now is not the time to normalize relations, now is not the time to upgrade relations, and countries should be mindful of the atrocious human rights record that the Assad regime has inflicted upon its people over the past 12 years.
MR PRICE: I’m not going to characterize what we’ve heard precisely from our Israeli partners, but I can confirm that we have had direct conversations today with representatives of the prime minister’s office regarding this visit, and the message we’ve conveyed is entirely consistent with the message I’ve conveyed to all of you.


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