Kerry: No Point in Asking if Response to Crimea Annexation Was Too Weak — Russia’s Not Doing Anything on Climate

During an interview with CNN International Correspondent Paula Newton that was aired on Friday’s broadcast of CNN International’s “Amanpour,” Special Presidential Envoy for Climate and former Secretary of State John Kerry said that Russia is doing “almost nothing sufficient…with respect to emissions reduction” and it’s hard to have any climate talks with them due to their invasion of Ukraine. Kerry also responded to a question on whether the Obama administration should have responded more strongly to Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 by stating, “I don’t think that takes you anywhere with respect to what the situation is today.”

Guest host and CNN International Correspondent Paula Newton asked, “You were one of the last people, in fact, in Biden’s cabinet…to go to Russia. I know that was some time ago now, but how do you feel about keeping the lines of communication open with them?”

Kerry answered, “Well, that’s been very difficult. The war in Ukraine has really eliminated any kind of direct communication on this issue. And, with respect to this issue, Russia is one of the great problems that the world faces right now. There’s nothing, almost nothing sufficient happening with respect to emissions reduction in Russia, and obviously, this illegal, unprovoked, senseless war that they are prosecuting against Ukraine, has really made it extraordinarily difficult for any other kind of intervention to take place with Russia.”

Newton then asked, “You were Secretary of State when Russia first annexed Crimea in 2014, was there a red line there that was crossed that should not have been? I mean, if you look back on it now, what should have been done then, perhaps, to avoid what’s happening now in Ukraine?”

Kerry responded, “Well, I don’t think that takes you anywhere with respect to what the situation is today. The entire world did — I think 90-whatever percent, 98% of the world did not agree with President Putin’s unprovoked, illegal entry and illegal annexation of Crimea. And the policy of the United States at that time was that we didn’t recognize it and we were going to work to undo it. And that was where we were at the time, that’s where the world was at the time that President Putin decided to invade Ukraine.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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