Russia may need to be 'coerced' to stop bullying its neighbors: Clinton

By Christine Murray MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Friday criticized Russia for trying to intimidate its neighbors and said Moscow needed to be persuaded or even "coerced" into looking to the future rather than the past. Clinton, who has been critical of U.S. President Barack Obama's foreign policy in recent weeks, said she was concerned about Russian President Vladimir Putin's approach to relations with Ukraine and other nations. "I do worry about President Putin's view that Russia should dominate its borders and intimidate people beyond its borders using gas and oil as a weapon, even where we're seeing now with Ukraine, military force," Clinton said in Mexico City. Western nations have accused Putin of supporting a pro-Russian rebellion in eastern Ukraine that has killed more than 2,600 people since April. The conflict followed Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region earlier this year. "It's very important that Europe remain whole, stable and at peace and that Russia be persuaded or somehow convinced, even coerced into looking toward the future, not the past," Clinton said at an event hosted by Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim. Clinton, the wife of former U.S. President Bill Clinton, pushed as secretary of state the Obama administration's "reset" of relations with Russia, which had soured in the final years of President George W. Bush's presidency. Seen as the frontrunner for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, Clinton, 66, has remained coy on speculation of whether she would make another White House bid, after losing out to her fellow Democrat, Obama, in 2008. She told the audience in Mexico City that she likely would make a decision after Jan. 1, 2015. "I do have a unique vantage point and set of experiences about what makes the United States operate well and what doesn't, and what a president can do and should be doing," Clinton said. (Editing by Paul Simao)