US, Europe try to rally a strong Western front to persuade Russia to back down in Ukraine

  • Article by: LARA JAKES , Associated Press
  • Updated: March 3, 2014 - 10:20 PM

WASHINGTON — The U.S and major allies strained on Monday to rally a strong Western front to persuade Russia to step back from a military takeover of Ukraine's strategic Crimea region. But several acknowledged there are few options beyond already-threatened economic and diplomatic penalties, and critics said administration efforts were too little, too late after years of pressing for friendlier relations with Moscow.

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