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Obama Says Putin Trying To Undermine European Unity

U.S. President Barack Obama warns that Russian President Vladimir is trying to undermine European unity.

U.S. President Barack Obama has said Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin views European unity as a threat and is trying to undermine it.

In an interview with CBS News due to air on April 26, Obama cited Europe's migrant crisis as an example.

"The strain it's putting on Europe's politics, the way that it advances far-right nationalism, the degree to which it is encouraging a break-up of European unity -- that in some cases is being exploited by somebody like Mr. Putin," he said.

Obama said he has sought to disabuse the Russian leader of his belief that NATO and the European Union are threats.

"I think he's mistaken," Obama said. "I've indicated to him that, in fact, a strong, unified Europe working with a strong, outward-looking Russia, that's the right recipe. So far, he has not been entirely persuaded."

Obama was speaking at the end of a visit to Europe, which he said is facing a "defining moment" as it deals with the migrant crisis and threat of Islamist terrorism, and needs to show greater unity.

Based on reporting by AFP and AP