Putin should "understand that we are prepared to respect his interests and rights"
Somehow I don't think that's much of a problem. Not from the least threatening Secretary of State in American history. Hillary Clinton was more threatening in her sleep than John Kerry is after four cups of coffee and three Belgian snubs.
But still John "Unbelievably small strike" Kerry took the time out to reassure Vlad that America was not threatening him.
"We hope President Putin will recognize that none of what we’re saying is meant as a threat. It’s not meant as a – in a personal way. It is meant as a matter of respect for the international multilateral structure that we have lived by since World War II and for the standards of behavior about annexation, about secession, about independence and how countries come about it."
It's not personal Vlad, we're just committed multilateralists which means that our threats are meaningless unless you decide to vote against yourself in the UN Security Council.
Kerry pathetically assures Putin that it's not personal. It's not a threat. It's just hot air.
I was clear with Foreign Minister Lavrov that the President has made it clear there will be consequences if Russia does not find a way to change course. And we don’t say that as a threat, we say that as a direct consequence of the choices that Russia may or may not choose to make here. If Russia does establish facts on the ground that increase tensions or that threaten the Ukrainian people, then obviously that will beg an even greater response, and there will be costs.
There are going to be consequences, but it's not a threat. It's just going to happen. Possibly. But not as a result of American action, but some mystical multilateral law.
"So we very much hope that President Putin will hear that we are not trying to challenge Russia’s rights or interests, it’s interest in protecting its people, its interests in its strategic position, its port agreement. None of those things are being threatened here. They can all be respected even as the integrity of Ukraine is respected, and we would hope that President Putin would see that there is a better way to address those concerns that he has that are legitimate, and we hope he will make that decision."
This is probably the most muscular speech that wasn't given by Neville Chamberlain.
QUESTION: Thank you. Mr. Secretary, Foreign Minister Lavrov just told reporters in London after your talks that there’s no common vision between the West and Russia on Ukraine, that international mediators are not needed in this situation, and that Russia will respect the results of Sunday’s referendum in Crimea. Despite your message just now to President Putin that this is not meant as a threat, do you believe that in fact that diplomacy is failing here and that they are just going to go ahead with what you just termed as a possible backdoor annexation of Crimea?
SECRETARY KERRY: I think it’s more important for the president – for President Putin to understand that we are prepared to respect his interests and rights
And if he doesn't, he can always send you out for a cup of coffee.