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Originally published March 4, 2014 at 12:48 PM | Page modified March 4, 2014 at 9:11 PM

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Obama: Ukraine can be a friend of the West, Russia

President Barack Obama says Russia's military invasion of Ukraine could end up driving countries away from Russia, instead of closer to it.


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WASHINGTON —

President Barack Obama says Russia's military invasion of Ukraine could end up driving countries away from Russia, instead of closer to it.

He says there is room for Ukraine to be a friend of both the West and of Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has sent Russia forces into the Crimean region of Ukraine, saying he needs to protect Russian interests there.

Obama also says Putin must be guided by a different set of lawyers making different determinations about his actions. Obama says there is a strong belief around the world that Russia's actions are violating international law and that force shouldn't be used to exert influence inside Ukraine.

Obama commented Tuesday in Washington after discussing highlights of the $3.9 trillion government budget he's sending to Congress.



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