U.S. President Barack Obama claps during a state dinner for Nordic leaders at the White House in Washington, U.S., May 13, 2016. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
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President Barack Obama toasted Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Iceland at a star-studded state dinner Friday, lauding the nations for their global influence on civil rights, humanitarian issues and curbing climate change.The red carpet glamour followed a White House summit where Obama and the leaders of the five nations presented a united front against Moscow's recent military aggression in Ukraine and the Baltic region.The summit was aimed in part at sending a message to a nation not on the guest list: Russia, which annexed Ukraine's Crimea region in 2014 and has stepped up its military posture.Obama has long expressed admiration for the pragmatic and liberal-leaning politics of the Nordic nations.
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