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Analysis: Ukraine tests Obama’s slow and steady approach

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WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama’s penchant for diplomacy and soft power is being tested by the burgeoning crisis in Ukraine, as he seeks to punish Russia for annexing Crimea while preventing a larger conflict should Moscow continue encroaching on its neighbors.

Lengthy phone calls between Obama and Vladimir Putin failed to persuade the Russian president to back off, despite Obama’s efforts to improve U.S.-Russia relations. Secretary of State John Kerry’s last-minute marathon talks with his Russian counterpart also got the U.S. no further.

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