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Obama, Cameron Take Hard Line on Russia Ahead of NATO Summit

Ahead of what could be a critical NATO summit meeting this week in Wales, U.S. President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron accused Russia on Thursday of having stolen Crimea and of threatening the sovereignty of Ukraine.

In an article under both leaders' names in The Times of London, Obama and Cameron said Russia had "ripped up the rulebook," making it necessary for the Atlantic alliance to "use our military to ensure a persistent presence in eastern Europe" to send the message to Moscow that the Western allies won't back down. The two leaders also vowed to aggressively take on Islamist extremists in Iraq and Syria, calling "the utterly despicable murders of two American journalists" by ISIS militants "the latest evidence of a brutal and poisonous extremism that murders indiscriminately and risks exporting terrorism abroad."

Obama arrived Wednesday night in Wales for the summit, which begins later Thursday. He stopped in Estonia on his way to Wales on Wednesday, telling reporters that NATO is "poised to do more to help Ukraine strengthen its forces and defend their country."

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— M. Alex Johnson