Transcript for Crisis in Crimea: John Kerry on New Sanctions
This is a special room. President New York we -- -- get you know latest of what's going on from -- secretary of state John Kerry addressed in the latest. On it rains -- emotions. Now let me say a word. The subject that I know. Is on -- that's the question Ukraine. Just a few moments ago president Obama's vote in Washington. And made these steps he has ordered. With respect to the situation -- is -- keeping with precisely. What we said last week. We do as a consequence of the steps that -- decided today with prospective. As you have heard me -- all week. The choices that Russia is made. It escalated. This situation we believe that Russia. Has the opportunity now. Together with the rest of us but Russia particularly -- the opportunity now to make the right choices. In order to idea especially. The United States also has choices. And -- has been clear. We cannot allow. Russia or any country. To defy -- international law with impunity. There's no place in the community of nations. The kind. Aggression. Steps that we've seen taken. Via Ukraine. These last days. So today. As we announced we would last week. We have taken specific steps in the State Department also has taken specific steps. In response. To what is -- Starting today president Obama's direction the State Department is putting in place tough visa restrictions. Number of officials in other individuals. In the United States. -- not grant visas. To those who threaten the sovereignty or territorial integrity of Ukraine and if they authority one. It will be -- vote in those individual cases. Let me remind you this decision comes on top of our existing policy. To deny visas to those who are involved in human rights abuses. Or political pressure. In Ukraine. And it is also. On top other steps that the United States story today in which we have -- The same time president Obama's issued an executive order gives the Treasury Department. The legal framework. To sanction those who threaten Ukraine's sovereignty security and democracy. Those who contribute. To the misappropriation. Ukraine's state aspects. And just as importantly. Those who tried to assert government authority. Over any part of Ukraine without authorization. From the legitimate government in -- I want to emphasize. There's a reason why only the legal framework was put in place. Not the specific. Designations. And that reason is that even as we will keep -- with what we have said -- -- do. We want to be able to the dialogue. That leads to the DS. We want to be able to continue the intense discussions. With both sides in order try to normalize. And end this crisis. And we will absolutely considered we have to reduce those steps. Beyond what we've done our preference the president said this sentences. Is to emphasize. The possibilities for the dialogue that can lead to normalization. Defusing this crisis. Yesterday at Paris. We had lengthy discussions. And we've -- also. Obviously with art Ukrainian counterpart the foreign minister -- And discussed with him. Ukrainian thoughts about what should. Form. The centerpiece of our approach. To this effort to -- negotiate. And with the Ukrainian view -- and with the input of all of our allies. In the European community. We made suggestions. To foreign minister. Which he is currently taking personally to present and -- believe. We have agreed to stay in close touch. In order to see if others away forward. That's right two get to the negotiating table. The parties. Necessary -- stabilizes. We've been very close touch all day. Is our European counterparts. Both those -- -- here in Rome as well as by telephone. For those who were in Brussels. And we agreed that over the -- next hours six days there is imperative to try to move quickly. In order to prevent -- -- the state -- interpretation. Or any other measures. Might. Preclude our opportunities -- -- The political solution that we believe is the best way to proceed. The Ukrainian people we -- -- engines beyond any doubt whatsoever. Wants nothing more than the right to determine their own future. And they want to be able to live free Lyonnais safe and prosperous country. Where they can make the choices people -- in other countries the world. And they have the international community's full support. And while we reserve the right to take steps beyond those things -- announced today. We want to President Putin Russia. Every one others. Our preference. Is to get back to normality. And get back to a place. In the rights of the people -- Ukraine will be respected in the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the nation will be respected. The United States will continue to stand with the Ukrainian people as will our allies and friends European community and elsewhere. In order to stand up for the values that we all believe. In our fellow. That -- our fellow democracies. So thank you and you're right. -- listening to secretary of state John Kerry for all address CEU leaders on a variety of issues. -- -- -- As well as -- crisis in Crimea right now I want to bring an ABC news chief foreign correspondent Terry Moran he's in the Crimea with the latest. Terry thank you very much for joining us give us an idea first of all how is this the news at this referendum. Deal. -- there. Well no question that the majority of people in Crimea -- not not an overwhelming majority support -- Russian -- Trenton. And lean towards Moscow. The other part of a graduate of the revolution last month billion toward the west they -- to be part of Europe and the west but that -- Equation here and so that -- What Ukrainian parliament today which is to declare actually speak from Ukraine -- they wanted to join Russia. -- -- -- With the -- there were protesters demonstrators in front of the -- building waving old Soviet battle flag proudly. Strong and great when they were part of the Soviet Union. And I think they'd -- that those that we -- do. Feel that going with Russia is the better short. Now whether that would be a majority. In its targets but certainly. It was dated in the immediate -- that it was. -- -- -- -- on the history of course in that region or what is unfolding now do you get a sense from people there that they feel. That they have to side. With this referendum. Are -- I don't. Shell I think it is partly -- -- street this part of Ukraine's Crimean peninsula had -- -- part of -- 1954. It has. Very very long history and times with Russia which Moscow the majority of people here are Russian speaking. Ask the question even -- national. Until Saturday strong strong tried to Russia I do get this feeling -- talking to people. That those who disagree with the Russian -- threaten our power so more. That they aren't sure dated someone they know little violence more -- -- -- -- pushing around. Why that you would almost built to elect a bullying -- Oh Russian demonstrators. That could get nasty. So -- dirt there's no question tried Russia -- deep and strong. The argument on behalf of Russia is controlled by the fact that they've got troops all over the place controlling it and that don't support them are probably want to -- And Terry you mentioned yesterday that this place to use seems like it tender box give us any idea has that changed there -- -- one direction -- the next based on. What you've heard worldwide. It feels right now like this is a -- -- -- -- animation holding its breath to see what will happen next because. -- is Doug distract our. What they are the Russians are here they're in control they have strong popular support. Those who oppose them ourselves what college the question is what -- connect. And now. Is a question all potential dangerous for the people here potential civil war. Perhaps even a war between nation. Or everyone is hoping that the talking shop. Began in Paris this diplomacy. Can -- -- kind of creative way to avoid files. Terry we heard a short time ago from President Obama on -- -- speaking directly about that referendum and also. Of how he and that he says his allies in the international community are. Talking with one voice and that. They feel that Russia has violated international law they have imposed some sanctions against individuals as well as. A corporations and also restrictions on travel. You've also seen John Kerry speaking in Rome as well as meeting with Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov how important. Are these international relationships. And also these talks with Sergey Lavrov. What got -- the action is right now -- in those talks in those international relationships how well. -- -- -- what I was driving event here make no mistake about it response. To -- sanctions to the international pressure -- condemnation. That -- backed down at all to the troops go back to their Barrett. -- allow international monitors in here -- It doesn't seem like. That's going to happen any time soon but that is really where -- -- how much pressure -- they bring to bear on them and there's one more thing to remember. Which has been for many of the people here who do you lean towards Moscow put yourself from their -- -- The people they won the election in Ukraine. Three years ago. Their candidate won it was overthrown by revolution in another part of the country and one of the first things that that revolution did. Was passed a bill stripping the Russian language of the official status -- know that bill was vetoed. What there -- some this year. Stoked by Russia stoked by the media that Russia -- But. Some fear on the part of Russian nationals -- -- this year to -- -- outfitted their country doesn't represent. And show they will have a say in whatever comes next there are -- concerns will need to be addressed. And Terry just to give us that an idea here how important is the Crimea region there. Obviously there's a port. Who controls it who gets what. -- -- -- -- -- -- This is peninsula the Korean Peninsula is strategically crucial and has -- for 200 years we were impact -- About the always -- a Russian naval base. -- hundred years. This -- and glorious Russian. Military history. And there's absolutely no question that Russia sees -- as critical to its national security. Think about Russia they don't have a lot of warm water or. And -- basketball has been one for 200 years it's also. Overwhelmingly. Russian speaking and very very close is that. True D'Amato it. And so Russia has very strong national interest -- there will also need to be addressed. In what we all hope is some creative diplomacy over the next few days away. -- we also heard from President Obama asking that human rights organizations international community's he allowed into that area. What is -- have to gain by not allowing them at this point. Control. Control of Ukraine won't be allowed international monitors in the -- They wouldn't be able to see and report back -- the probably actually there are no physical -- violent threats against. The Russian speaking population in this art you're pregnant there's no evidence of that but we've -- more Kurt. Once you much international -- then he loses some control. Over this part of Ukraine over Crimean peninsula. So why should think that Chad that people walk the international monitor. Our -- Nonmilitary. -- regular. Local militias and ended. Question how much Latimer would actually completely controls as there are certain people back to the road. It may -- because they're gearing up for their own fight that he may not be entirely able to control. Moving from a tinderbox to a powder keg so to speak one last question I want to ask you Terry. What is the likelihood that this referendum might pass. I'd say pretty good it's but it -- Serb artillery. -- -- all -- Russian presidential candidate Viktor Yanukovych was overthrown and -- last month. He would -- -- they want something -- -- percent of the vote in this part Ukraine in the -- commit so that's. One thing it looks like they've already voted in a pro -- -- Joseph. -- got Russian troops here -- about it one they're when they're controlling between military installation. And that the key intersections in the border. And three I do feel of that period that sense that intimidation here. Nothing explicit. But there's a feeling in the air that would be -- Ukrainian premiere is a risky thing. ABC's Terry Moran and Crimea thank you for join in us and giving us. Your report stay with abcnews.com. For the latest developments on Ukraine and the rest of the headlines we have to -- streams going on at this time. You have Jay Carney at the White House -- the briefing as well as. Secretary of state. John -- still speaking in -- For now I'm Michelle Franzen. Here in New York -- BC news digital special report.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.