On Thursday evening, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry issued a stern warning to Russia after the failure of a tentative agreement to bring closure to the clashes between pro-Russian separatists and the Ukrainian government.
“The window to change course is closing. President Putin and Russia face a choice,” said Kerry in a briefing with the press at the State Department.
According to Kerry, Russia must choose to urge Russian separatists to stand down or it will receive further sanctions for failing to cooperate. Kerry said that the U.S. and many of its allies are ready to implement harsher sanctions that will directly hurt the Russian economy.
“The world will make sure that the costs for Russia will only grow. As President Obama reiterated earlier today: We are ready to act,” continued Kerry.
Kerry also accused the Russian military of directly assisting and giving orders to the pro-Russian militants who have taken over government buildings in East Ukraine. The Kremlin has said that it wants to help to deescalate the situation, but this bombshell news shows that Russia is only trying to rally Russian nationalist sentiment in the region and help those who have committed crimes against the Ukrainian government and its people.
Kerry said that Russia is using “subterfuge and sabotage” through “gross external intimidation” in order to make the situation in Ukraine even more destabilized.
Kerry continued that the pro-Russian separatist groups are “well-planned and organized,” and that “we assess that is being carried out at the direction of Russia.”
“We have seen this movie before. We saw it most recently in Crimea, where similar subterfuge and sabotage by Russia was followed by a full invasion, by the way, for which President Putin recently decorated Russian special forces at the Kremlin,” said Kerry in a harsh critique of the black-ops tactics being carried out by the Russian government.
Russia’s use of internal forces to destabilize a region in order to prep the area for a full-scale invasion is exactly what happened in Crimea, and now that Russian forces are amassing on the border of East Ukraine, this exact situation may play out again in that region.
“Russia is actually mystified to see Ukraine’s neighbors and like-minded free people over the world unite with Ukrainians who want to build a better life and choose their leaders for themselves, by themselves,” argued
Kerry, who was referring to Russia’s claims that the West has been exaggerating Moscow’s involvement in the whole Ukrainian crisis.
Perhaps the sanctions placed on Russia have already started to work, as they have caused $70 billion in capital to flee the country in the first quarter of 2014 alone.