Tillerson: Russia’s Seizure of Crimea Was Illegal

‘I think what Russian leadership would have understood is a powerful response’

CARDIN: "I want to get your view on the sanctions that the United States applied. Maybe I’ll drill down if I might by asking you this first question. You stated in your statement that part of the reasons why Russia — or we were ineffective in preventing Russia is that we didn’t exercise strong enough international leadership. What would you have done or recommended to have been done to prevent Russia from doing what it did?" 
TILLERSON: "Well, senator, in terms of the taking of Crimea, I think my understanding is that that caught a lot of people by surprise. It certainly caught me by surprise as a private citizen. I think the real question was the response to the taking of Crimea that then led to subsequent actions by Russia which I mentioned. The next action being coming across the border of eastern Ukraine with both military assets and men. That was the next illegal action." 

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