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Obama: US needs world unity on Russia sanctions

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – President Barack Obama says the United States will be in a stronger position to deter Vladimir Putin once Putin sees the world is unified in sanctioning Russia.

Obama is pushing back against suggestions the U.S. should levy sanctions on its own against broad sectors of Russia’s economy. He says the U.S. and Europe must act collectively.

Obama says Russia wants to portray the Ukraine crisis through a Cold War prism that pits Washington against Moscow. He says that’s not the issue. He says the issue is Ukraine’s independence and sovereignty.

Obama says Russia isn’t abiding by a deal reached to de-escalate the conflict. He says, quote, “Russia has not lifted a finger to help.”

He also says there’s strong evidence Russia is encouraging destabilizing activities in eastern and southern Ukraine.

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