Kerry Gives Risch 'Taste of Reality' on Russia Sanctions

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Secretary of State John Kerry gave Idaho Republican Sen. Jim Risch a "taste of reality" regarding America's response to Russian aggression against Ukraine during a recent Senate hearing, NBC News reports.

During Kerry's testimony, Risch told Kerry, "Then we sit down at the table, make some kind of an agreement, and [Russia] misbehave[s] even worse after the agreement. So give us a little taste of what you're going to tell [Russian Foreign Minister Sergei] Lavrov when you meet with him next week."

Kerry's response was curt. 

"Let me give you what I consider a taste of reality about our foreign policy and the realities of the world," Kerry said.

The secretary of state pointed out that the Russian annexation of Georgian territory took place under President George W. Bush, and that sanctions against Russia are "having an impact." 

Risch's remarks come after long, widespread protests ousted pro-Russian Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and the Russian annexation of the Crimean peninsula—a territory of Ukraine that has long been a base of Russian military and commercial maritime operations, and where the majority of the inhabitants are ethnic and cultural Russians.

For a transcript of the exchange, click here.