2014-03-29T104709Z_1_CBREA2S0TYO00_RTROPTP_2_OBAMA-SAUDI

Obama ends four-nation trip in diplomatic limbo over Ukraine

U.S. President Obama speaks while presenting executive director of Saudi Arabia's National Family Safety Program Al Muneef with U.S. Secretary of State's International Woman of Courage Award in RiyadhBy Steve Holland and Jeff Mason RIYADH (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama ended a four-nation foreign trip on Saturday in the same situation as he began it – facing great uncertainty about a diplomatic way out of the Ukraine crisis. His diplomatic consultations in The Hague, Brussels and Rome over the past week all resulted in a strong show of unity between the United States and Europe that Russia must face consequences should it move against southern or eastern Ukraine. But it remains an open question whether the European allies would be able to stomach the kind of crippling sanctions required to significantly undermine Russia’s economy since some of their own economies would be jolted as well. A late-night phone call on Friday between Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin raised the possibility that Moscow might be willing to negotiate a diplomatic outcome.

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