Daily Press Briefing on March 12 about U.S. want Vietnam to stop allowing Russian military craft from refueling at Cam Ranh Bay

SOURCE: U.S. State Department

Pen Psaki

Daily Press Briefing
Washington, DC
March 19, 2015

QUESTION: Apparently Russian military jets have been using Cam Ranh Bay Air Base in the – in Vietnam to refuel as part of their showing their military might in the Asia Pacific region. Has the U.S. talked to Vietnam about this? Does the U.S. want Vietnam to stop allowing Russian military craft from refueling?

MS. PSAKI: Well, we are certainly – we’ve urged Vietnamese officials to ensure that Russia is not able to use its access to Cam Ranh Bay to conduct activities that could raise tensions in the region. Obviously we’ve done that privately with Vietnamese Government officials, and certainly our preference is that they would not.

QUESTION: Has there been any inclination from the Vietnamese to comply with the U.S. request?

MS. PSAKI: I don’t have any other updates on that, beyond what I just conveyed.

QUESTION: Why is it a problem for the Russian military to be flying its jets along the southeastern edge of Asia?

MS. PSAKI: Well, again, as I referenced, I think our concern is about steps that raise tensions in the region.

QUESTION: Perhaps – so you believe that Russian flights have been raising tension —

MS. PSAKI: I don’t have —

QUESTION: — in the region?

MS. PSAKI: — confirmation that they have. I think there have been reports. We obviously don’t want them to use Cam Ranh Bay.

QUESTION: Right. But if they haven’t been raising tension, why would you ask the Vietnamese to stop? I mean, first of all, Cam Ranh Bay used to be yours, but hasn’t been since 1975, and it was the Russians’ more recently.

MS. PSAKI: Well, that’s why we’re talking to our —


MS. PSAKI: — counterparts in other countries. Right.

QUESTION: Well, yeah. But I mean, why can’t the Vietnamese – or why can’t they allow the Russian jets to refuel if you don’t – if you’re not accusing them – these flights of raising tensions, which I don’t think you are – maybe you are, but —

MS. PSAKI: We believe that they could. That’s why. That’s the issue we’re raising.

QUESTION: But that they could?

MS. PSAKI: I don’t have confirmation of what’s happened or hasn’t happened to date. We’re referring to conversations about concerns that allowing them to use Cam Ranh Bay could raise tensions in the region.

QUESTION: So – yeah. Okay. But you don’t have – you’re not basing that on anything that has actually —

MS. PSAKI: I just don’t have —

QUESTION: — already happened?

MS. PSAKI: I don’t have more details on what’s happened, Matt, but I’m —

QUESTION: Okay. Could you find out if there have been Russian flights that you believe have —

MS. PSAKI: Have landed? Sure. I can see if there —

QUESTION: — raised tensions? Well, no, no, not have landed, but that their activity in this area has been raising tensions?

MS. PSAKI: Sure. But regardless of whether it has to date, we could still express a concern about what it could do in the future, which is the point I’m making.

QUESTION: Sure. You could express that concern, but it’s a little – it’s a step from going to expressing concern to actually telling the Vietnamese: Hey, we don’t think you should refuel – you should allow them to – allow them access to this base. That’s – I —

QUESTION: Is there a concern that this is putting a strain on U.S.-Vietnamese relations?

MS. PSAKI: No. I wasn’t suggesting that. Certainly we raise concerns as we have them.

I can only do kind of two more here.


Spring Seed Shares

Since Ballot Initiative 71 passed last November, the DC Cannabis Campaign has received many requests for cannabis seeds. We’ve said all along, “ask a friend, they might have some seeds to give you.” Still, we know that not everyone has friends who have seeds available to share.

To address this need, on the 1-month anniversary of Ballot Initiative 71 becoming law, the DC Cannabis Campaign is organizing two seed shares to facilitate personal home cultivation of cannabis permitted under the new law. This will be DC residents’ opportunity to share seeds with other adults and start down the path of legally growing your own cannabis in the safety and privacy of your home.

The first seed share will take place at Libertine, an absinthe bar in the Adams Morgan neighborhood from 5:30pm to 8:00pm on Thursday, March 26 and the second seed share will take place a few days later on Saturday, March 28 from 4:20pm to 7:00pm at the DC Cannabis Campaign Headquarters.

WHO: Cannabis Seed Sharers and Seed Seekers
WHAT: Spring Seed Share
WHERE: Libertine, 2435 18th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009 and DC Cannabis Campaign Headquarters, 2448 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20008
WHEN: 5:30pm to 8:00pm, Thursday, March 26, 2015 @ Libertine
4:20pm to 7:00pm, Saturday, March 28, 2015 @ DC Cannabis Campaign Headquarters
WHY: To provide DC residents with the seeds to legally grow cannabis at home


1) No money may exchange hands while sharing seeds. This is a seed share, not seed sale! The law allows the gift of up to one ounce of cannabis, but not sales, trades, or any type of service in exchange for the cannabis. If we see money changing hands, you will be asked to leave. The only place money should be visible is when you buy something at Libertine’s bar. IMPORTANT: buying someone food or drink in exchange for cannabis is illegal!

2) Do not carry more than 2 ounces at anytime. The law allows you to carry no more than 2 ounces of cannabis (including seeds) outside your home. Do not leave the seed share with more than 2 ounces cannabis (including seeds) or you risk being arrested on your way home. If we see you with more than 2 ounces of cannabis (including seeds), you will be asked to leave.

3) Do not give away more than 1 ounce of seeds to any one person. The law allows a maximum gift of 1 ounce between adults. So if you showed up with 2 ounces of seeds, you could give 1 ounce to one person and 1 ounce to another person, or you can be truly generous and give a couple seeds to every person who attends the seed share. But under no circumstances, should anyone be giving away more than 1 ounce at any time.

4) All sharing must be between two adults aged 21 and older. You MUST bring your government issued ID. No exceptions. While we will accept out-of-state IDs, these events are intended for DC residents only.

5) Cannabis seeds must be in your possession at all times. You can bring a container to hold your bagged seeds, but you must stay with your seeds at all times and give them away to other adults. Unattended cannabis seeds may be given away.

6) The DC Cannabis Campaign will not share seeds. Rather each adult will share their seeds with another adult. There won’t be a seed donation jar because someone would need to be responsible for the jar being under 2 ounces at all times.

7) Be patient. We are instituting a maximum of 80 people inside the venues and as people leave, more people will be able to come inside to share their seeds. The law does not prevent adults from sharing seeds in public, so get to know others in the line.

8) Respect the venues. Having a lot of people inside to share seeds can result in damage to the venues. Please treat the venues as you would treat your own home. The seed shares are taking place on private property and the owners are being generous by allowing the seed shares to take place. Disruptive guests will be asked to leave.

9) No consuming of cannabis. No smoking or vaping is allowed. We ask that you go home or to a friend’s house to consume your cannabis. If you are found to be smoking or vaping cannabis, you will be asked to leave the premises.


Daily Press Briefing on March 19 about Meeting between Deputy Secretary Blinken and Vietnam’s Minister of Public Security Tran Dai Quang

SOURCE: U.S. State Department

Pen Psaki

Daily Press Briefing
Washington, DC
March 19, 2015

MS. PSAKI: I am, Matt. I have a limited number of opportunities left. So Deputy Secretary Blinken met with Vietnam’s Minister of Public Security Tran Dai Quang on March 18th at the Department of State. They discussed key bilateral and regional issues that reflect the strong and growing partnership between the United States and Vietnam. Okay. The 20th —

QUESTION: (Off-mike.)

MS. PSAKI: Do we know what the echo is from?

QUESTION: Seems to have gone now.

MS. PSAKI: Okay. The 20th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations in 2015 is an opportunity to advance the bilateral relationship through the comprehensive partnership that Presidents Obama and Sang launched in July of 2013.

With that, Matt.


MS. PSAKI: Hi, Arshad. Sorry I came out here a little early.


Counselor Shannon meets with U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Ted Osius

SOURCE: U.S. State Department

March 26, 2015

MARCH 26, 2015

7:45 p.m. Counselor Shannon meets with U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Ted Osius, in Washington, D.C.