Kerry: ‘This Is A Time For Diplomacy’ But All Options On Table

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March 2, 2014 10:40 a.m.

Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday said that for now, the United States will pursue diplomatic options first in order to convince Russia to pull back after it initiated military presence in Crimea, Ukraine.

“This is a time for diplomacy, and we will engage diplomatically as much as we can in order to steal this away from the increase in the tension of the level of the crisis. Nobody wants this to spiral into a bad or worse direction,” Kerry said on ABC’s “This Week.” “It seems to me that if Russia were to step back and look at where its interests are, we ought to be able to work this out through the diplomatic process. If Russia chooses not to, there will be serious repercussions.”

Kerry said the administration is prepared to ask Congress to prepare aide for Ukraine.

“We will call on Congress immediately to the degree that they are prepared to be helpful that they immediately lay down with us an economic package in order to assist Ukraine,” he said. “We’re prepared to work very closely with Russia in order to address whatever legitimate concerns may exist. We believe there are many alternatives before you get to an invasion, and none of those have been tried at this point in time.”

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