2014-03-07T000314Z_1_CBREA26005G00_RTROPTP_2_TUNISIA

In U.S. strategy on Ukraine, a whiff of Kennan's 'containment'

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns addresses a news conference in TunisBy Arshad Mohammed and Patricia Zengerle WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns on Thursday laid out a strategy of patiently trying to counter Russia, including its intervention in Ukraine, reminiscent of legendary American diplomat George Kennan’s concept of “containment.” Testifying before Congress, Burns suggested that Russia’s seizure of the Ukrainian region of Crimea reflected Moscow’s weakness, not its strength, and that a resolution, if one is possible, will take time. As one of the U.S. government’s foremost experts on Russia, where he served twice, including as ambassador, Burns appeared to reach for Kennan’s language and thinking as he spoke about the Ukraine crisis and a Russian leader with little apparent appetite for cooperation with the West in what he sees as Russia’s traditional sphere of influence.

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