Kerry to Russia: ‘This is not Rocky IV’

February 26, 2014

Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday urged Russia to avoid confrontation in Ukraine, saying the country doesn't present a proxy battle in a some kind of new Cold War.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday reportedly ordered 150,000 Russian troops to commence exercises, including some within a few hundred miles of Ukraine, where pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych was recently overthrown.

"So we're hoping that Russia will not see this as a sort of a continuation of the Cold War," Kerry said on MSNBC's "Mitchell Reports." "We don't see it that way. We do not believe this should be an East-West, Russia-United States. This is not Rocky IV, believe me. We don't see it that way."

In "Rocky IV," the title character travels to the Soviet Union to take on Soviet boxer Ivan Drago.

Kerry said Russia needs to recognize Ukraine's sovereignty.

"It would be very difficult for me to understand how Russia would reconcile its position on Libya, its position on Syria, its warnings against intervention in another country and then not respect the sovereignty of Ukraine and the will of the people there," Kerry said.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.
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