John Kerry is taking a tough stance with Russia and president Vladimir Putin after Russia’s military advanced into Ukraine, and plans a trip to Kiev this week to support the embattled nation
The United States Secretary of State warned that if Moscow continues its push toward war with the Ukraine, they could face economic sanctions and heightened defenses in Europe.
Hundreds of armed Russian soldiers surrounded a Ukranian military base in Crimea this week, prompting Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk to warn allies that Ukraine is “on the brink of disaster.”
John Kerry said he has spoken with other world leaders regarding the aggression, saying that “every single one of them are prepared to go to the hilt in order to isolate Russia with respect to this invasion.”
“There are very serious repercussions that can flow out of this,” Kerry said.
Kerry will even travel to Kiev this week in a high-profile show of support for Ukraine’s leadership.
If the aggression continues, Kerry said that Russia risks being kicked out of the powerful Group of Eight committee of world powers.
On Saturday, President Barack Obama had a 90-minute phone call with Putin, and then spoke with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron, Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski.
The leaders expressed “grave concern over Russia’s clear violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity, which is a breach of international law and a threat to international peace and security,” a White House statement said.
The situation between Russia and Ukraine also threatens to derail efforts in Iran and Syria, where the United States and its allies have become necessary partners with Russia.
John Kerry is not the only one expressing concern about the situation in Ukraine. On Sunday, Pope Francis used his weekly midday appearance in St. Peter’s square to urge world leaders to come to a peaceful resolution to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.