John_Kerry_Made_A_Troubling-6a02aa331b72451455f369446a336e60U.S.Secretary of State John Kerry listens to a question from a reporter during a news conference at the U.S. Embassy in Rome March 6, 2014. On Saturday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that the Kremlin annexing Crimea would “close any available space for diplomacy.” The warning is disconcerting because there are three general ways that this crisis could play out: Russia keeps advancing into east and south Ukraine, Russia annexes Crimea and then applies further financial and political pressure on the new government in Kiev, or Russia makes limited concessions and the crisis de-escalates. By Kerry saying that the diplomatic window is closed if Russia annexes Crimea — which is almost a forgone conclusion — then the best path for de-escalation is obstructed. MORE