Unidentified armed men patrol around a Ukraine's infantry base in Perevalne, Ukraine.
Unidentified armed men patrol around a Ukraine's infantry base in Perevalne, Ukraine, Sunday, March 2, 2014. Photo by AP
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Reuters
A man holds a sign during a protest march in support of peace in Ukraine in Times Square in New York, March 2, 2014. Photo by Reuters

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to Kiev, Ukraine, on Tuesday to stress American political and economic support after Russian forces' bloodless seizure of Ukraine's Crimea region, a senior U.S. official said on Sunday.

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Kerry on Sunday threatened a range of economic sanctions against Russia if it did not roll back its takeover of the peninsula.

"You just don't in the 21st century behave in 19th century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped up pretext," the secretary said in an interview on CBS News. 

Calling Russia's move ''an incredible act of aggression,'' Kerry urged Putin to seek diplomatic solutions to his concerns in Ukraine. While stating the U.S. has no interestin 'returning to the Cold War, the secretary issued repeated threats of "repercussions" if Russia didn't lay off Crimea and Ukraine. "American businesses may well want to start thinking twice whether they want to do business with a country that behaves like this," he said.

Kerry urged Putin to seek diplomatic solutions to his concerns in Ukraine, saying, "We don't want to return to the Cold War." Still, the secretary issued repeated threats of "repercussions" if Russia didn't lay off Crimea and Ukraine. "American businesses may well want to start thinking twice whether they want to do business with a country that behaves like this," he said.  

Meanwhile, a Western official, said, "This is probably the most dangerous situation in Europe since the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. "Realistically, we have to assume the Crimea is in Russian hands. The challenge now is to deter Russia from taking over the Russian-speaking east of Ukraine."

Ukraine has appealed for help to both NATO and, specifically, to Britain and the United States, both of which were co-signatories - with Moscow - to a 1994 accord guaranteeing Ukraine's security after the breakup of the Soviet Union.

Western countries are scrambling to respond to developments in Ukraine's Crimea, where Russian President Vladimir Putin has claimed the authority to deploy Russian troops in the biggest confrontation between Moscow