The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

March 2, 2014

U.S. prepares tough response for Russia over Ukraine

(Continued)

He played down concerns that the new schism between Washington and Moscow will have an effect on efforts to end the war in Syria and limit Iran's nuclear program.

In Syria, Wilson said, Russia relied on a "bankrupt plan" in its failure to convince President Bashar Assad to embrace peace. "There's nothing happening there that's credible in a positive way,' he said.

With Iran, the bulk of negotiations already have been between the U.S. and Iran, said Wilson, who described Russia as mostly playing in the background.

Even so, officials said the U.S. and the West would not be able to roll over Russia on any number of global diplomatic or economic fronts.

Russia has made clear it is ready to provide weapons and military equipment to governments across the Mideast that have irked Washington. Russia's permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council gives it veto power over major world deliberations.

"The challenge is, we do need to have some kind of working relationship with Russia," Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said Sunday. "And while we can impose these costs and take these steps, we've got to be mindful of the fact that they can impose their own costs on us."

Kerry appeared on CBS' "Face the Nation," ABC's "This Week" and NBC's "Meet the Press." Rubio was NBC, while Graham and Schiff were interviewed on CNN.

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