Is this a strong threat? Will Putin back down?
Here are his statements. Do they show a strong threat for action?
“There will be a response of some kind to the referendum itself,” Kerry said. “If there is no sign of any capacity to respond to this issue ... there will be a very serious series of steps on Monday.”
Note that there will be "some kind" of response; and the language then changes to:
"very serious series of steps"
“Our hope is to have Russia join in respecting international law. ... There is no justification, no legality to this referendum that is taking place,” he said. “The hope is that reason will prevail but there is no guarantee of that.”
The word "but" sets up a contrast with that which preceded it. This contrast is stronger in the words that follow "but", and can, at times, even refute that which preceded it. There is no guarantee that "reason" will prevail, in his language.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican and a top critic of President Obama's foreign policy, asked what the administration would do if Russian forces advance farther into the eastern area of Ukraine, and the new government in Kiev asks the U.S. for weapons to fight the Russians.
Kerry responded: “we have contingencies – we are talking through various options that may or may not be available.”
Note that "contingencies" are then "various options"
Note that they "may or may not" be available. Everything or anything "may or may not" be available. This is to water-down, or weaken the language.
“Our hope is not to create hysteria or excessive concern about that at this point in time,” he said. “Our hope is to avoid that, but there's no telling that we can.”
That which is reported in the negative is very important; often more important than that which is in the positive. Note "not to create hysteria" is in the negative. It is very important.
U.S. authorities are closely monitoring the number of Russian troops in Crimea, as well as their movements, he said, noting that Moscow is allowed to have a total of 25,000 troops in Crimea.
He said that currently Russia does not have the assets positioned to “march in and take over all of Ukraine but that could change and we recognize that.”
“I've been impressed on how united our European allies are on this… to a person, to a country, they are very, very committed to make sure there is accountability,” he said.
Note that "person" comes before "country"
Note that the commitment that the "person" and "country" has is sensitive with "very, very committed." This sensitivity may indicate weakness within the European allies about what Monday's deadline will bring...
Will Putin pull his troops out Monday?