March 29 - President Barack Obama sought to drum up unity and support for preventing further escalation between the West and Russia over Ukraine. Nathan Frandino reports.
After a four-nation tour that started in Europe and ended in Saudi Arabia, the song remains the same for President Barack Obama and Ukraine. Obama ended the trip in the same situation, facing great uncertainty about a diplomatic solution. European allies are skeptical about further economic sanctions against Russia, fearing backlash against their own economies. Now with Ukrainian troops gone and Russia having annexed Crimea, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov signaled Saturday a desire to ease tensions. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER, SERGEI LAVROV, SAYING: "We have absolutely no intention of - or interest in - crossing Ukraine's borders. Absolutely none. We only want for the work to be multilateral." This comes after Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke via phone on Friday. Putin raised the possibility of negotiating a solution, but U.S. officials remain wary. In the meantime, Lavrov and his U.S. counterpart John Kerry will meet on Sunday in Paris. Among the topics for discussion is a plan to ensure safety of ethnic Russians in Ukraine, Russian troop presence on the border, and direct Russia-Ukraine dialogue.