NEW YORK  - The Obama Administration has been shaping up a new long-term position on Russia since the outbreak of Ukraine’s crisis that applies an updated version of the Cold War strategy of containment, according to an US media report.

After World War II, the US locked horns with the Union Of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR)  in a bid to scale back the Moscow’s global ambitions, The New York Times wrote. By continuing that policy today, the US seeks to achieve the isolation of Russia and Russian President Vladimir Putin, the newspaper said.

“(President Barack) Obama has concluded that even if there is a resolution to the current standoff over Crimea and eastern Ukraine, he will never have a constructive relationship with Mr. Putin,” the Times said, citing his aides.  “As a result, Mr Obama will spend his final two and a half years in office trying to minimize the disruption Mr. Putin can cause, preserve whatever marginal cooperation can be saved and otherwise ignore the master of the Kremlin in favour of other foreign policy areas where progress remains possible.”

The report said that even if the Ukrainian crisis is settled, Obama will never restore relations with Putin to the previous level. Obama will therefore use his remaining 2.5 years in office to try to retain the restricted cooperation that can still be preserved and focus more on other areas of international relations, the areas that provide for achieving a greater success.

The newspaper quotes a former US Ambassador to NATO, Ivo Daalder, as saying that this is the kind of strategy that the US is going to stick to. According to Daalder, by doing nothing but displaying confidence and gradually raising the price that Russia will have to pay for its moves, one will hardly manage to settle the Crimean problem or the conflicts in the east of Ukraine. According to the Times, the Obama Administration has reached the conclusion that a reserved approach to Russia will prove the most correct in affecting Moscow politically and economically

, so as not to jump ahead of Europe, which remains undecided, and not to hamper the vulnerable economies on both sides of the Atlantic.

The report said, “While Mr. Obama’s long-term approach takes shape, though, a quiet debate has roiled his administration over how far to go in the short term. So far, economic advisers and White House aides urging a measured approach have won out, prevailing upon a cautious president to take one incremental step at a time out of fear of getting too far ahead of skittish Europeans and risking damage to still-fragile economies on both sides of the Atlantic.”

The White House has prepared another list of Russian figures and institutions to sanction in the next few days if Moscow does not follow through on n Thursday to defuse the crisis, Obama aides was cited as saying. But the president will not extend the punitive measures to whole sectors of the Russian economy, as some administration officials prefer, absent a dramatic escalation. “The more hawkish faction in the State and Defence Departments has grown increasingly frustrated, privately worrying that Mr. Obama has come across as weak and unintentionally sent the message that he has written off Crimea after Russia’s annexation,” the Times said. “They have pressed for faster and more expansive sanctions, only to wait while memos sit in the White House without action. Mr. Obama has not even imposed sanctions on a list of Russian human rights violators waiting for approval since last winter.

“They’re playing us,” Senator Bob Corker, the ranking Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee, said of the Russians, expressing a sentiment that is also shared by some inside the Obama administration. “We continue to watch what they’re doing and try to respond to that,” he said on CNN on Friday. “But it seems that in doing so, we create a policy that’s always a day late and a dollar short.”

“The prevailing view in the West Wing, though, is that while Mr. Putin seems for now to be enjoying the glow of success, he will eventually discover how much economic harm he has brought on his country,” it said. Obama’s aides noted the fall of the Russian stock market and the ruble, capital flight from the country and the increasing reluctance of foreign investors to expand dealings in Russia.

They argued that while American and European sanctions have not yet targeted wide parts of the Russian economy, they have sent a message to international businesses, and that just the threat of broader measures has produced a chilling effect. If the Russian economy suffers over the long term, senior American officials said, and then Putin’s implicit compact with the Russian public promising growth for political control could be sundered.