Kerry talks crisis in Ukraine with ABC7
(WJLA) - Secretary of State John Kerry seems concerned, yet confident that the U.S. has an ultimately effective plan for dealing with Russia and averting major conflict – even as Vladimir Putin scoffs at U.S. sanctions:
"Oh, I think the russians are concerned about what may come, it's not that the first of sanctions were calculated to be a...you know, the be all and end all, but there's a quick way to get to that if they continue down this road."
ABC7: "As far as criticism from people like your old colleague john McCain who thought that this would only encourage Vladimir Putin?
KERRY: "What John doesn't know is the substance of the private conversations we've had and the warnings that have been delivered and the realities on the table. Those often work, just as well, not everything has to be a high-pitched shrill message on television -- sometimes you can send one quietly from president to president and it has a lot of meaning."
Though if the message were truly received, Russia isn’t blinking.
ABC7: The deputy foreign minister is calling the president's decree something written by a 'jokester'. Is that the kind of defiance you ignore because it's rhetoric?
KERRY: "I think it's just silly, you know, the reality is that this message was clear they understand what it means, they may have a face of bravado and scorn, but the truth is there are consequences to what they're doing and they're going to feel them."
ABC7: "You testified that we cannot calculate the costs of inaction -- in other words, sometimes being proactive can save us a lot in the long run."
ABC7: "Do you believe there was some sort of inaction with this case?"
KERRY: "No, no, I don't think that's the case here, this is something that's a reflection of Russian aspirations."
Aspirations, he claims, will come back to haunt Russia and Putin’s possible dreams of a reborn Soviet Union:
"I think that what he's done is isolated Russia and put them in a damaged position; even though he may be occupying Crimea, he's not exactly playing a winning hand in the long haul in my judgement."