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Putin walks the walk over Ukraine but not as Obama wants

Published on May 1, 2014 12:59 AM

MOSCOW (REUTERS) - Vladimir Putin has walked the walk since the West imposed new sanctions on Russia over the Ukraine crisis, but not in the way Barack Obama intended.

Announcing sanctions against Russian companies and individuals this week, the US president used the phrase in urging the Kremlin leader to do more than just talk the talk when it comes to finding a diplomatic solution to the standoff.

In a move that seemed designed to mock Obama's choice of words, state television lingered on Putin striding with knowing confidence across a vast hall to deliver his verdict on the sanctions to reporters during a visit to neighbouring Belarus.

Completely unruffled, Putin denied US charges that Russian troops are in Ukraine, blamed the crisis on the West and ratcheted up the war of words by warning that Moscow could bar some Western companies from involvement in Russia's economy.

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