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Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Ukraine crisis puts Europe back at center of U.S. foreign policy

Ukraine crisis puts Europe back at center of U.S. foreign policy

WASHINGTON – When President Obama surveyed foreign priorities in his State of the Union speech, Iran topped the list, along with Mideast peace and the administration’s shift of attention to East Asia.

Europe got only glancing mention, with nothing about threats to its security.

Suddenly, Russian troop movements in Ukraine, which U.S. officials now are calling an invasion, have shuffled the president’s foreign policy priorities and set up what Nicholas Burns, a former undersecretary of state, called “the most difficult international crisis of his presidency.”

“This goes directly to vital American interests,” said Burns, who has...

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