Secretary of State John Kerry complained on Sunday’s edition of NBC News’ Meet the Press that Vladimir Putin was playing by “19th century” rules, not 21st century norms, in his invasion of the Ukranian region of Crimea.
Insisting that “President Putin is not operating from a place of strength here,” Kerry lashed out:
You just don’t in the 21st century behave in 19th century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped up pre-text, It is serious in terms of sort of the modern manner with which nations are going to resolve problems. There are all kinds of other options still available to Russia. There still are. 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.
Meet the Press host David Gregory pressed Kerry about why the Obama administration did not acknowledge that Russia had invaded the Ukraine on Friday. Kerry did not answer, seemingly incredulous that Russia had ignored contemporary norms.
The trouble is that a “19 century” invasion is still more potent than a 21st century debate. Kerry dodged questions about military options, noting that NATO had issued a “strong statement.”