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Obama: ‘Russia doesn’t make anything,’ West must be firm with China

Published on Aug 4, 2014 6:05 AM
US President Barack Obama salutes from the steps of Marine One helicopter as he arrives at Fort McNair in Washington after spending a weekend in Camp David on August 3, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) – President Barack Obama dismissed Russia as a nation that “doesn’t make anything” and said in an interview with the Economist magazine that the West needs to be “pretty firm” with China as Beijing pushes to expand its role in the world economy.

Mr Obama has tried to focus US foreign policy on Asia, a response to China’s economic and military might. But for months, that “pivot” has been overshadowed by a flurry of international crises, including Russia’s support for separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Russia is the world’s third-largest oil producer and second-largest natural gas producer

Europe relies heavily on Russian energy exports, complicating the West’s response to the Ukraine crisis.

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