Tuesday, Mar 31, 2015Tuesday, Mar 31, 2015

Obama ends four-nation trip in diplomatic limbo over Ukraine

Published on Mar 29, 2014 7:46 PM

RIYADH (REUTERS) - US President Barack Obama ended a four-nation foreign trip on Saturday at the same point that he began it, still facing great uncertainty about a diplomatic way out of the Ukraine crisis.

His diplomatic consultations at The Hague, Brussels and Rome over the past week all resulted in a strong show of unity between the United States and Europe that Russia must face consequences should it move against southern or eastern Ukraine.

But whether European allies would be able to stomach the type of crippling sanctions required to undermine the Russian economy in a major way remained an open question, since some of their own economies would be jolted as well.

A late-night phone call on Friday between Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin offered the possibility that Russia might be willing to negotiate a diplomatic outcome.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!