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Obama: Violent clashes not ‘Cold War chessboard’

February 20, 2014

TOLUCA, Mexico (AP) — President Barack Obama says he doesn’t see violent clashes in Ukraine and Syria between the governments and their people as part of a “Cold War chessboard” where the United States competes with Russia.

Obama says that although Russia has influence on both governments, the turmoil in the two countries has risen among the people insisting on fundamental rights.

Obama says he wishes Russia will eventually back those values, but, quote, “Right now there are times when we have strong disagreements.” He says he hasn’t been shy about voicing them to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Obama was speaking at a news conference in Mexico Wednesday night at the end of the North American Leaders Summit.

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