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Obama wants Ukraine to ‘deesclate,’ focuses on campaigning for Democrats

President Barack Obama says he’s hoping to “deescalate” the Crimean crisis, which would help him focus on his top priority — escalating U.S. political fights so his base turns out to vote in November.

By advancing into the Crimean region of the Ukraine, “the Russians are engaging in a fundamental breach of international law,” Obama told donors Tuesday night. “We may be able to deescalate over the next several days and weeks, but it’s a serious situation and we’re spending a lot of time on it,” he said at a fundraiser in the McLean district of Northern Virginia. Obama did not tell the donors that he hoped to reverse the Russian takeover.

The modest goal of deescalation reflects Obama’s desire to downgrade the crisis. In recent days, he’s tried to downplay the prospect of a further escalation. He’s also tried to rally European leaders to impose some sanctions on Russian trade and banking, and on travel by wealthy Russians.

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