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A fly on the wall reports from the Kerry-Lavrov meeting

Russia's foreign minister Sergey Lavrov (left) meets with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at the U.S. Ambassador's Residence for talks on the current political situation in the Ukraine, March 14, 2014 in London.
Sean Dempsey/WPA Pool/Getty Images

I dreamed I was a fly on the wall Friday when Secretary of State John Kerry met in London with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov.

Russian troops were holding war games on the border of Ukraine. Tension was building by the minute. Kerry was all business in my dream:

He had come to deliver a message to the Russian -- a message with the bark off. He got right to the point in clear, unmistakable terms: If the Russians turned up the heat any more, there would be a price to pay. The United States was ready to act.

"Ah, yes," Lavrov responded. "I hear the first thing you're planning is to send a huge economic aid package to Ukraine. How's that going? Is it on the way?"

"Actually, it isn't," Kerry said. "The Senate was in a rush to go on vacation, and the aid package got bogged down in a Senate argument over campaign finance laws and some other stuff."

"Ohhhh," said the Russian. "So the Senate is not as worried about this so-called crisis as you are."

"Absolutely not so!" said Kerry. "Harry Reid, the Senate leader, has assured everyone the aid package is the very first thing the Senate will deal with when they get back from vacation in a week or so."

"Excuse my limited knowledge of how your government works," Lavrov said. "But vacation from what?"

Complete coverage: Ukraine in turmoil

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    Bob Schieffer is CBS News' chief Washington correspondent and anchor of Face the Nation.