The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Kerry says ‘Russia is going to lose’ if Putin’s troops continue to advance in Ukraine

Updated 10:40 a.m.

Secretary of State John F. Kerry went on the Sunday shows to talk about Ukraine, and he called the Russian troop intervention in Crimea "an incredible act of aggression."

“He's going to lose on the international stage," Kerry told David Gregory on NBC's "Meet the Press." "Russia is going to lose, the Russian people are going to lose, and he's going to lose all of the glow that came out of the Olympics, his $60 billion extravaganza."

Besides speaking on "Meet the Press," Kerry also spoke about the situation in Ukraine on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" and CBS's "Face the Nation."

Kerry told Stephanopoulos that he was "absolutely" willing to impose sanctions on Russia if they do not back down. "We think it’s very important for the international entities, the OSCE, the U.N., NATO, the North Atlantic Council, the E.U. Foreign Affairs Council, which will meet tomorrow, all need to weigh in," he said on ABC. "And I believe they will weigh in heavily."

Kerry also said that the United States and its allies would consider asset freezes, visa bans and trade penalties if Russian troops continued their incursion in Crimea.

“It’s really 19th century behavior in the 21st century," Kerry said. "You just don’t invade another country on phony pretexts in order to assert your interests."

The ongoing revolution in Ukraine has developed rapidly in the past week, and U.S. politicians have been nearly unanimous is denouncing the actions of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has dispatched 6,000 more troops this weekend after asserting a Russian right to invade Ukraine. President Obama spoke to the nation about his administration's stance on the situation this Friday:

"It would represent a profound interference in matters that must be determined by the Ukrainian people. It would be a clear violence of Russia’s commitment to respect the independence and sovereignty and borders of Ukraine, and of international laws. And just days after the world came to Russia for the Olympic Games, it would invite the condemnation of nations around the world. And indeed, the United States will stand with the international community in affirming that there will be costs for any military intervention in Ukraine."

Obama spoke to Putin on Saturday, asking him to withdraw troops and saying that the United States would not take part in the Group of Eight conference in Sochi in June if Russia did not comply. The United States hopes the situation can be resolved through diplomatic overtures instead of stronger action, as both the White House and the State Department have repeatedly conveyed. As Kerry said on ABC this Sunday, "We are not looking for a U.S.-Russia, East-West redux here. What we want is for Russia to work with us, with Ukraine."

After the conversation with Obama, Putin's office released a statement saying, “In the case of any further spread of violence to Eastern Ukraine and Crimea, Russia retains the right to protect its interests and the Russian-speaking population of those areas.”

Kerry also told several of the Sunday show hosts that he is willing to stand in solidarity with Ukraine by visiting the country and that Congress is considering sending aid. "The people of Ukraine will not sit still for this," he told Bob Schieffer on "Face the Nation." "They know how to fight. They’ve demonstrated remarkable bravery."