Agence France-PresseMarch 7, 2014 21:53
Now it's personal.
By upping the ante with his threat to isolate Russia with sanctions over Crimea, Barack Obama risks setting off a cycle of confrontation with Vladimir Putin.
And despite his reluctance to play Cold War-style chess with the Russian president, a degeneration into a new great power rivalry cannot be ruled out.
Since Russia's move into Ukraine, President Obama has steadily upped pressure, while offering Putin a diplomatic "off ramp" to defuse the crisis.