By Kyle Balluck - 03/02/14 11:22 AM EST
Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday blasted Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “stunning, willful” choice to invade Ukrainian territory and warned of possible sanctions.
“It’s serious in terms of the modern manner in which countries resolve problems,” Kerry said. “That’s not the act of somebody who’s strong, “ Kerry added, saying Putin is acting out of “weakness” and “desperation.”
When asked if a 90-minute call between President Obama and Putin on Saturday had any impact, Kerry said “we’re going to have to wait and see.”
Obama made it clear during the call that Russia’s military intervention is “absolutely unacceptable,” Kerry said.
"President Obama wants to emphasize to the Russians that there are a right set of choices that can still be made to address any concerns they have about Crimea, about their citizens, but you don’t choose to invade a country in order to do that," Kerry added.
"There are all kinds of other options still available to Russia. There still are."
Kerry also said Putin’s pretext of moving troops to the Crimean peninsula to protect ethnic Russians was “trumped up,” saying Russia could have gone to the United Nations or engage with the Ukrainian government with concerns.
“This is a democratic process that has placed this new government where it is, and Putin ought to respect that,” Kerry said.