Kerry: Putin Will Suffer for 'Stunning' Move Against Ukraine

Outlines possible consequences, looks to pull out of G-8 meeting in Sochi
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 2, 2014 8:29 AM CST
Updated Mar 2, 2014 10:40 AM CST
Kerry: Putin Will Suffer for 'Stunning' Move Against Ukraine
Secretary of State John Kerry gestures as he speaks during a news conference at the State Department in Washington, Friday, Feb. 28, 2014.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Even as Russian troops were moving in Ukraine today, John Kerry was busily blasting Vladimir Putin's "stunning, willful" invasion in Crimea as "an incredible act of aggression." Speaking this morning on Meet the Press, the secretary of state says that he's spoken to his G-8 counterparts and that all are ready "to go to the hilt" in isolating Russia. On the table as possible consequences Moscow could face, as per the AP: asset freezes, trade penalties, and visa bans. In addition, Kerry is contemplating a boycott of the G-8 meeting in Sochi in June. The UK has already pulled out, notes the BBC. "You just don’t in the 21st century behave in 19th-century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped up pretext," Kerry said. Elsewhere on the Sunday dial, as per Politico:

  • Ukraine ambassador to the UN Yuriy Sergeyev: "We are preparing to defend ourselves. Naturally, if aggravation is going in that way, when the Russian troops are enlarging with every coming hour, naturally we'll ask for military support and other kinds of support."

  • Lindsey Graham: President Obama should "stop going on television and trying to threaten thugs and dictators. It is not your strong suit. Every time the president goes on national television and threatens Putin or anyone like Putin, everyone’s eyes roll, including mine."
  • Dick Durbin: "We’ve got to remember Putin developed his political finesse as the head of the Soviet secret police, and his idea of invading countries, occupying them and really daring people to go to war, those are the tactics of a bully."
  • GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger: "You’re going to find a House that’s very cooperative with the administration on this. I think it’s important to stand very strong with the president and say, ‘We may not be able to respond militarily, but we are going to make it clear that Russia is a pariah state, and not just for the next year but for the next decade.'"
(More John Kerry stories.)

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