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Will Putin stop with Crimea? Most say no

 

Nearly seven in 10 people believe Russia will not stop with its annexation of Crimea and will continue its march into eastern Ukraine, according to a new poll. 

A McClatchy-Marist poll released Monday found 67 percent of respondents believe Russia will send troops into eastern Ukraine, while another 25 percent believe the country will stop with Crimea. 

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The poll comes as tensions rise between the United States and Russia over its actions in the neighboring country. President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin talked by phone Monday. The president urged Putin to discontinue support of pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine — something Putin called speculation — and remove troops from the border between the two countries.

The poll found 55 percent of people believe Ukraine is important to U.S. interests while 39 percent disagree. 

A plurality, 48 percent, believes the U.S. should continue with economic sanctions and political diplomacy with Russia, while 42 percent think the U.S. should not be involved. Only 7 percent say the U.S. should consider military options, something the administration has consistently rejected. 

The Obama administration has levied economic and travel sanctions on a number of officials with ties to Putin and has threatened broader sanctions on sections of the Russian economy if Moscow does not deescalate. 

The public is split on Obama's handling of the situation. Forty-six percent of people approve, while 45 percent disapprove. 

The poll surveyed 1,212 people from April 7-10 and has a 2.8-percent-point margin of error.