From the August 9, 2018 briefing with State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert on Russia, Iran, Venezuela:
QUESTION: So you â€“ in the case of Iran, you have this 12-point plan of what behavior you want the government to implement in order to lift sanctions. You have a whole series of sanctions that are now revolving around Russia having to do with CAATSA, Magnitsky, now weapons. Can you give us some global sense of what these sanctions are trying to achieve from an American foreign policy perspective? What are you looking for from Russia? Why do we have sanctions on them? What’s your goal? And when’s the â€“ when’s the periodicity of these things?
MS NAUERT: Sure. I think I would start by answering that question with this: That we approach every country very differently. Every country that we have a relationship or even countries that we don’t have relationships with are viewed through a separate lens. So what may be appropriate for one country is maybe not necessarily appropriate for another country.
The United States Government has determined that sanctions can be a very effective tool in trying to bring various governments to the table to negotiate with us or try to encourage countries to comply or to return to a better set of behaviors. So this is one tool that we have in a very big toolkit. The State Department works closely with Treasury and OFAC and other entities to implement, study, and enforce sanctions, and that is part of what you’ve seen yesterday. Let’s remember that one of the things that has brought North Korea to the table is sanctions. And we have found sanctions to be very effective in many cases around the world. So the U.S. Government looks at that as an overall tool.
QUESTION: Right, so North Korea is a great example. Sanctions â€“ as a result, you want to get rid of their nuclear program. Again, Iran, you’ve got a list of 12 things. Venezuela, you’ve got sort of a clear list. I’m trying to understand what your policy is with Russia. You’ve got a variety â€“ myriad now of sanctions. What’s your goal?
MS NAUERT: Well, I think the President has addressed this and so has Secretary Pompeo. We’d like to have a better relationship with the Russian Government, recognizing that we have a lot of areas of mutual concern. It is a major country; we are a major country as well. And so when you have that, you are forced to have to have conversations with other governments. And sanctions is a way that we can try to encourage better behavior on the part of government. Now, I’m speaking in a broad-based sense, but that’s one way that we can encourage better behavior. Okay.
QUESTION: Same topic?
QUESTION: Could I ask a follow-up on that?
MS NAUERT: Sure. What is your name, miss?
QUESTION: My name’s Emily, I’m from Buzzfeed News.
MS NAUERT: Emily, hi.
QUESTION: So if these sanctions are in part meant to encourage better behavior with Russia, Russia today came out and said that these sanctions â€“ sort of as was expected â€“ that these sanctions are not in keeping with the spirit of Helsinki. So â€“ and I understand these sanctions were â€“ they’re in keeping with the law, et cetera, but does this â€“ or to put it a different way, is the cooperation that was sort of established at Helsinki â€“ is the U.S. Government still planning on having that with Russia after yesterday’s sanctions?
MS NAUERT: We tend to believe that dialogue is always an important issue. I think I had just addressed this with Gardiner, and that is trying to build a better relationship with countries that we need to cooperate with or we need to be able to have relations with, and that would be one example.
Full briefing: …read more