cloudy
Monday May 25th, 2015 9:34AM

Kerry: Repercussions for Putin's 'act of aggression'

By The Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) - Western powers are prepared ``to go to the hilt'' to isolate Russia for its military incursion into Ukraine, ``an incredible act of aggression'' that may lead to visa bans, asset freezes, trade and investment penalties, and a boycott of a Russian-hosted economic summit of global powers in June, Secretary of State John Kerry said Sunday.

Kerry said Russian President Vladimir Putin should respect the democratic process through which the Ukrainian people ousted their pro-Russian president and assembled a new government.

But President Barack Obama had pressed his case in a 90-minute phone call Saturday with Putin, calling Russia's actions ``a clear violation'' of Ukraine's sovereignty, and asking for his forces to pull back, and still the situation only grew more dire Sunday.

Ukraine's new prime minister warned that ``we are on the brink of disaster,'' while hundreds of armed men in trucks and armored vehicles surrounded a Ukrainian military base in Crimea.

Despite the strong words Sunday from America's top diplomat, the Obama administration struggled to find a response that would might deter Putin, who contends that the turmoil in its neighbor posed real threats to the life and health of Russian citizens living in Ukraine and that Moscow has the right to protect them.

Russia's ``incredible act of aggression'' amounts to ``a stunning willful choice'' by Putin to invade another country on a ``trumped-up pretext,'' Kerry said.

Kerry said he spoke on Saturday with foreign ministers from the Group of Eight countries and a few other nations, and ``every single one of them are prepared to go to the gilt in order to isolate Russia'' because of the invasion.

``They're prepared to put sanctions in place. They're prepared to isolate Russia economically. The ruble is already going down. Russia has major economic challenges. I can't imagine that an occupation of another country is something that appeals to a people who are trying to reach out to the world, and particularly if it involves violence,'' Kerry said.

Kerry also mentioned visa bans, the freezing of Russian assets, trade and investment penalties. He suggested American companies ``may well want to start thinking twice about whether they want to do business with a country that behaves like this.''

He said the U.S. was ``absolutely prepared'' to boycott the G-8 meeting planned for June in Sochi, Russia, site of the just-concluded Winter Olympics, ``if we can't resolve it otherwise.''

Putin is ``not going to have a Sochi G-8. He may not even remain in the G-8 if this continues,'' Kerry said. Along with the potential loss of foreign business investment and other economic penalties, that would be ``a huge price to pay,'' Kerry said, calling Russia isolated. ``That is not a position of strength.''

The G-8 countries are the U.S., Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Russia.

Kerry also said the administration was ready to provide economic assistance ``of a major sort'' to Ukraine.

He made clear that a military response to counter Russia's action was unlikely.

``The last thing anybody wants is a military option,'' he said. ``We want a peaceful resolution through the normal processes of international relations.''

The U.S. and Europe are not obligated to come to Ukraine's defense because it does not have full-member status in NATO. Broader international action through the United Nations seems all but impossible because of Russia's veto power as a permanent member of the Security Council.

Kerry was interviewed on CBS' ``Face the Nation,'' NBC's ``Meet the Press'' and ABC's ``This Week.''
© Copyright 2015 AccessNorthGa.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Judge denies motions to move, delay Tsarnaev trial
Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to overturn a judge's decision to not move his upcoming trial out of state.
10:02PM ( 4 months ago )
High court to adopt electronic filing of cases
The Supreme Court is belatedly developing an electronic filing system similar to those used in courts around the country, Chief Justice John Roberts said Wednesday in his annual end-of-year report.
7:57PM ( 4 months ago )
Storm brings snow, cold to West for New Year's
A blustery winter storm dumped snow and ice across the West on Wednesday, making driving treacherous in the mountains from California to the Rockies and forcing residents and party-goers in some usually sun-soaked cities to bundle up for a frosty New Year's.
5:19PM ( 4 months ago )
U.S. News
Grass fire impacts rush hour traffic on 985
Rush hour traffic on I-985 was slowed by a grass fire Wednesay afternoon with one lane closed while firefighters fought the blaze.
10:19PM ( 4 months ago )
Hall County conviction, sentencing to be reviewed by SCOGA
The State Supreme Court has agreed to hear the appeal of a Hall County man when they reconvene in January.
2:37PM ( 4 months ago )
Local/State News
Committee leaves transportation funding to lawmakers
Georgia will have to cover a $1 billion to $1.5 billion transportation funding gap to stay economically competitive, a committee of lawmakers is warning in a report issued Tuesday.
5:36AM ( 4 months ago )
US off war footing at year's end, but wars go on
Taking America off a permanent war footing is proving harder than President Barack Obama may have suggested.
6:13PM ( 4 months ago )
GOP leader regrets talk to white supremacists; party leaders rally around him
House Republican leaders rallied around one of their own, Whip Steve Scalise, on Tuesday after he said he regrets speaking 12 years ago to a white supremacist organization and condemns the views of such groups.
6:08PM ( 4 months ago )
Politics
US rejects nuclear disarmament document over Israel concerns
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United States on Friday blocked a global document aimed at ridding the world of nuclear weapons, saying Egypt and other states tried to "cynically manipulate" the process by...
9:33PM ( 2 days ago )
Obama again avoids calling 1915 Armenian killings 'genocide'
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama will once again stop short of calling the 1915 massacre of Armenians a genocide, prompting anger and disappointment from those who have been pushing him to ful...
1:00PM ( 1 month ago )
Ex-NFL star Hernandez convicted of murder, sentenced to life
FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) — Former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison Wednesday for a deadly late-night shooting, sealing the d...
8:54PM ( 1 month ago )
Clinton kicks off 2016 campaign online, heads next to Iowa
WASHINGTON (AP) — Hillary Rodham Clinton jumped back into presidential politics on Sunday, making a much-awaited announcement she will again seek the White House with a promise to serve as the "champi...
7:56PM ( 1 month ago )
Hall, White, Jefferson schools recognized nationally for use of technology
Three school districts in northeast Georgia - Hall, White, and Jefferson - have received national recognition for their use use of innovative technologies. They earned top spots in the Center for Digital Education's and the National School Boards Association's 10th annual Digital School Districts Survey.
By Staff
1:00PM ( 1 month ago )