Ukraine crisis to overshadow President Obama's trip

March 21, 2014 6:52 PM

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Ukraine crisis to overshadow President Obama's trip

President Barack Obama plans to use his trip to Europe next week to fortify U.S. relationships with key allies — but, aides acknowledged Friday, simmering tensions with Russia over its involvement in Crimea and a brief side trip to meet Pope Francis are likely to dominate the agenda.

“If there is a common theme to this trip, it’s the fundamental strength and the importance of our alliances,” National Security Adviser Susan Rice said during a briefing at the White House. “We are investing in our traditional alliances and building strong and flexible coalitions.”

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