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Obama calls to remain firm on Russia policy amid Ukraine crisis

US President Barack Obama said on Monday in an interview with National Public Radio (NPR) that Washington will be firm on policy towards Russia amid the current crisis in Ukraine.

"When we look at an issue like Ukraine, we have to be firm with the Russians," Obama said, adding that the US should also make sure that it's got its own "fiscal house in order."

"We got to make sure that we are doing what we need to do to build our manufacturing base, because ultimately, the big advantage we have with Russia is we've got a dynamic, vital economy, and they don't. They rely on oil; we rely on oil and iPads and movies and you name it," he said.

The West has introduced anti-Russian sanctions over Moscow's alleged involvement in the Ukrainian crisis. Russia has repeatedly dismissed Western allegations that it could in any way be involved in hostilities in the south-east of Ukraine.

The Ukrainian conflict has killed more than 4,700 and displaced over one million people since April.

[Source: Itar Tass, Washington, 29Dec14]

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