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Obama Cautious on More Russia Sanctions Unless Europe Agrees

  • Reuters

President Barack Obama speaks while meeting with the President’s Export Council, Dec. 11, 2014, in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in the White House complex.

President Barack Obama speaks while meeting with the President’s Export Council, Dec. 11, 2014, in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in the White House complex.

President Barack Obama expressed caution on Thursday about the possibility of the United States adding more sanctions against Russia for its
incursion into Ukraine because it could cause divide Washington
and Europe.

With some lawmakers on Capitol Hill considering more sanctions, Obama told the President's Export Council that the current path he is taking, in which the United States operates largely in lockstep with Europe, eventually will force Russian President Vladimir Putin to reconsider the wisdom of going into
eastern Ukraine.

"The notion that we can simply ratchet up sanctions further and further and further and then ultimately Putin changes his mind, I think is a miscalculation," Obama said.

What ultimately will lead Putin to make a strategic decision, he said, is if Putin recognizes that Europe and the United States are standing together over the long haul.

"If they see that there aren't any cracks in the coalition, then over time, you could see them saying that the costs to their economy outweigh any strategic benefits that they get," he said.

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