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Obama back in D.C. amid crises; as if he never left

First Published      Last Updated Aug 25 2014 08:13 am

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The convoy returned to Russia on Saturday, easing some of the immediate strain.

But NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the convoy crossing was especially troubling because it coincided "with a major escalation in Russian military involvement in Eastern Ukraine since mid-August, including the use of Russian forces."

A crucial moment could come Tuesday when Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Minsk, Belarus.

Reinforcing Europe's role, German Chancellor Angela Merkel went to Kiev on Saturday and pledged $660 million in loan guarantees to support private investment in infrastructure and schools in war-struck areas. The day before, Obama and Merkel spoke by phone about Ukraine.

The latest worries over Russian intentions in eastern Ukraine come ahead of a NATO summit next week in Wales where the border crisis is one of the dominant themes. Obama will attend the summit, but not before traveling to Estonia where he will reaffirm security commitments to Baltic nations that have been unsettled by Russia's provocations in Ukraine.

By then, however, it will be September.


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