Obama opens Europe trip in Netherlands; Russia dispute to dominate agenda

Global News

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands – President Barack Obama begins a week of international travel with Russia’s Crimean incursion at the top of his agenda, even as he simultaneously seeks to re-emphasize U.S. influence abroad.

As he arrived in the Netherlands Monday on a sunny and brisk morning, no issue commanded more of Obama’s and Europe’s attention than Russia’s annexation of the Crimean peninsula and the fear that Moscow could decide to expand further into Ukraine.

But Obama also is attempting to use his weeklong trip to personally reconnect not only with Europe but Asia and the Middle East, all strategically crucial regions with their own tensions and qualms about the U.S.

That outreach will be underscored by Obama’s meeting Monday with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of a nuclear security summit. On Tuesday, Obama has planned a joint meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Park…

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