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Home Obama urges Trump to stand up to Russia


17 November 2016 Europe.

US President Barack Obama has urged his successor Donald Trump to stand up to Russia if it deviates from US "values and international norms".
Speaking in Berlin, Mr Obama said he hoped the US president-elect would "not simply take a realpolitik approach" to dealing with Russia.
He also warned against a cyber arms race, saying there was clear proof Russia had engaged in cyber attacks.
Mr Obama was speaking after talks with the German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The two close allies stressed the need for continued close co-operation between their countries, as well as between the US and EU as a whole.
Germans are due to go to the polls in the autumn of next year after three consecutive terms in office for Mrs Merkel.
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Mr Obama said he hoped Mr Trump would seek a constructive relationship with Russia, "finding areas... where our values and interests collide".
But he added that he hoped Mr Trump was "willing to stand up to Russia when they deviate from our values and international norms".
This meant, he said, refraining from taking a "realpolitik approach" and cutting deals that could "hurt people or... violate international norms... leave smaller countries vulnerable, or create long-term problems in regions like Syria".
On the issue of cyber attacks, Mr Obama said there was a difference between "Russian intelligence-gathering" and "meddling with elections or going after private organisations or commercial entities".
He said he had "delivered a clear and forceful message that.... we're monitoring it carefully and we will respond appropriately if and when we see this happening".
He also had this warning for young people: "Do not take for granted our systems of government and our way of life... Democracy is hard work."
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Why Germans will miss Obama: By Jenny Hill, BBC Berlin correspondent
When Barack Obama came to Berlin in 2008 he was greeted like a rock star.
Hundreds of thousands of cheering Germans turned out for the then presidential candidate and roared their approval of his vision of a new America - one which would be open to, and co-operate with, the rest of the world. His liberal and diplomatic tone struck a chord with many in the excited crowd.
Few here are cheering now.
Click here to read the rest of Jenny's article
Both Mr Obama and Mrs Merkel praised each other's leadership and talked of the value of their close working relationship.
Before he arrived in Berlin, they wrote a joint piece in which they voiced their support for the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the US and the EU - something Mr Trump is fiercely critical of.
"There will be no return to a world before globalisation," Mr Obama and Mrs Merkel wrote in business magazine Wirtschaftswoche (in German).
"We owe it to our companies and our citizens, indeed to the entire world community, to broaden and deepen our co-operation."
During Thursday's talks, the two leaders also discussed the crises in Ukraine and Syria and the fight against so-called Islamic State.
Mr Obama is expected to hold talks with UK Prime Minister Theresa May and the leaders of France, Italy and Spain on Friday, before flying to Peru.

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