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TODAY   |  March 05, 2014

Russia agrees to special NATO meeting on Ukraine

Russian leaders agreed to a NATO request to hold a meeting today to discuss the crisis in Ukraine. Secretary of State John Kerry is expected to meet with Russia’s foreign minister in Paris. NBC’s Peter Alexander reports.

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>> president putin seems to have a different set of lawyers making a different set of interpretations. i don't think that's fooling anybody.

>> a former u.s. official described putin as emotional, showing off his angry side tuesday. the russian leader denied his troops occupied crimea, accusing the u.s. government from interfering as if they were running experiments on rats without any understanding of the consequences. it's the latest rift in a relationship strained in recent months by sharp disagreements over syria and nsa leaker edward snowden. the leaders' exchanges producing awkward photo ops. as for putin , the horseback riding , race car driving, former kgb spy seems to relish playing up his image of the strong man.

>> it's time we woke up about vladimir putin . it's time this administration got real.

>> helping fuel that criticism, this moment from the 2012 campaign where president obama mocked governor mitt romney for calling russia america's number one geopolitical foe.

>> in the 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back. you know, the cold war 's been over for 20 years.

>> still, experts say that cold war chill is back, leaving president obama with limited options for dealing with putin .

>> what we're looking at right now is nothing less than a potential total collapse of the u.s./russian relationship.

>> a little more about the relationship between those two men, a senior administration official said president obama does not see vladimir putin as irrational. explaining there's a consistency to putin 's actions. clearly they don't see eye to eye . the official says obama and putin spent much of that last phone call talking past one another. with president obama knocking down every claim putin made.

>> peter alexander with all the latest from the white house . thank you.