Kerry: Russia's 'invasion' of the Ukraine 'a brazen act of aggression'

Dylan Stableford
Yahoo News


Calling reports of Russia's military movement in the Ukraine an "invasion," "a brazen act of aggression" and "violation of international law," U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry hit the Sunday morning talk show circuit on Sunday, warning that the United States and President Barack Obama are "considering all options."

"Russia is engaged in a military act of aggression against another country, and it has huge risks," Kerry said on ABC's "This Week With George Stephanopoulos." "It’s a 19th century act in the 21st century. It really puts at question Russia’s capacity to be within the G-8.

"You just don't in the 21st century behave in 19th century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped up pre-text," Kerry said on CBS' "Face The Nation."

Kerry's comments came amid reports of Russian forces surrounding Ukrainian military bases in the Crimea. On Saturday, Obama spoke to Russian President Vladamir Putin and urged him to work with both the Ukraine and the United States.

"We are not looking for a U.S.-Russia, East-West redux here," Kerry said on ABC. "If [Russia has] legitimate concerns about Russian-speaking people in Ukraine, there are plenty of ways to deal with that without invading the country.  They have the ability to work with the government, they could work with us, they could work with the U.N. They could call for observers to be put in the country.  There are all kinds of alternatives. But Russia has chosen this aggressive act, which really puts in question Russia’s role in the world and Russia’s willingness to be a modern nation."

On NBC's "Meet The Press," Kerry said, "We want a peaceful resolution through the normal processes of international relations."

Earlier Sunday, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said his country was "on the brink of disaster" and called on the international community to put pressure on Putin.

"If President Putin wants to be the president who starts the war between two friendly and neighboring countries, he has [almost] reached this target," Yatsenyuk said. "We are on the brink of disaster. There was no reason for the Russian Federation to invade Ukraine."

Kerry called on Russia to "roll back" its forces and work with the Ukraine in order to avoid a military conflict.

"The hope of the United States and everybody in the world is not to see this escalate into a military confrontation. That will not serve the world well," Kerry said on ABC. "The president has all options on the table, but the president’s preference was clearly stated yesterday in his hour and a half conversation with President Putin.  President Obama made it clear that we are prepared to work with Russia."

Still, Kerry warned, "We are prepared to stand up against any hooligans, any thuggery, any individual efforts with Russians in order to create stability in Ukraine and allow the people of Ukraine to make their choices for the future."

But on CNN, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham called Obama "weak and indecisive."

"Every time the president goes on national television and threatens Putin or anyone like Putin, everybody's eyes roll, including mine," Graham said. "We have a weak and indecisive president that invites aggression."

Sen. Marco Rubio put the onus on Putin.

"Let's call it what it is, they are lying," Sen. Marco Rubio said on "Meet The Press." "This is a government of liars, the Russian government."

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