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    US, Russia tug of war on Kiev continues

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    US President Barack Obama has once again blamed Russia for the escalating tension in Ukraine.

    During a news conference with President Benigno S. Aquino III of the Philippines on Monday, Obama said, "These sanctions represent the next stage in a calibrated effort to change Russia’s behavior."

    He admitted that sanctions could not necessarily do any good. "We don’t yet know whether it is going to work."

    The US president said Washington is not targeting Russian President Vladimir Putin but it is trying to change his policy toward the current crisis in Ukraine.
     
    "The goal here is not to go after Mr. Putin personally," Obama said. "The goal is to change his calculus with respect to how the current actions that he's engaging in could have an adverse impact on the Russian economy over the long haul."

    The United States and its European allies have already imposed a number of sanctions against Russia.

    US Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken says sanctions already in place are projected to push the Russian economy into negative growth.

    Putin has acknowledged that sanctions were hurting the Russian economy but that the damage was not critical. He says the sanctions are "dishonorable."

    KQ/HSN