From the Washington Examiner:
John Kerry: Russia has until Monday to reverse course in Ukraine
By Susan Crabtree | March 13, 2014
Secretary of State John Kerry warned of serious repercussions for Russia on Monday if last-ditch talks over the weekend to resolve the crisis in Ukraine failed to persuade Moscow to soften its stance.
How many ‘red lines’ has Obama painted and Putin crossed so far? Is anyone keeping count?
Kerry will travel to London for a Friday meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov ahead of a Sunday referendum vote in the Crimea region to secede from Ukraine and join the Russian Federation.
U.S. and European officials argue that Moscow is orchestrating the referendum and waging an intimidation campaign with thousands of Russian troops controlling the region. If Russian-backed lawmakers in Crimea go through with the Sunday referendum, Kerry said the U.S. and its European allies will not recognize it as legitimate under international law.
The U.S. and Europe on Monday would then unite to impose sanctions on Russia, Kerry told a Senate Appropriations subcommittee Thursday during a hearing on the State Department’s budget.
Despite Kerry’s big talk there will be no meaningful sanctions against Russia. Because we now have such an interdependent global economy sanctions would hurt the US and Europe almost as much as Russia. And the bitter irony is we have always been told that having an economically interdependent world would make conflict and aggression less common.
Well, guess what? Being interdependent also stops countries from being able to use sanctions to punish aggression. So they either have to resort to military force or just accept things like what Putin has done. So the supposedly peace-inducing a global economy actually makes it easier for bullies to invade other countries and get away with it.
“There will be a response of some kind to the referendum itself,” Kerry said. “If there is no sign [from Russia] of any capacity to respond to this issue … there will be a very serious series of steps on Monday.” …
Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican and a top critic of President Obama’s foreign policy, asked what the administration would do if Russian forces advance farther into the eastern area of Ukraine, and the new government in Kiev asks the U.S. for weapons to fight the Russians.
Kerry responded carefully, saying “we have contingencies – we are talking through various options that may or may not be available.” …
How absolutely pathetic. Putin and everyone else knows Obama will do nothing.
U.S. authorities are closely monitoring the number of Russian troops in Crimea, as well as their movements, he said, noting that Moscow is allowed to have a total of 25,000 troops in Crimea.
[Kerry] said that currently Russia does not have the assets positioned to “march in and take over all of Ukraine but that could change and we recognize that.” …
Proving once again that John Kerry is a total jackass in all things. Here is a headline from yesterday’s New York Times: ‘Russian Troops Mass at Border With Ukraine.’