Washington, March 20: President Barack Obama said Wednesday that the US would not take military action in Ukraine against Russia.
“We are not going to be getting into a military excursion in Ukraine,” Xinhua quoted Obama as saying during an interview with KNSD, a California-based broadcaster.
“I think even the Ukrainians would acknowledge, for us to engage Russia militarily would not be appropriate and would not be good for Ukraine, either,” Obama said.
“What we are going to do is mobilise all of our diplomatic resources to make sure that we’ve got a strong international coalition that sends a clear message.”
In response to the Ukraine crisis, the Obama administration has focused on providing economic aid to Ukraine and imposing sanctions against Russia.
On Monday, Obama announced sanctions against 11 Russian and Ukraine officials who the US said were responsible for threatening Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. He indicated that further sanctions could be on the way.
In defiance of condemnations and further sanctions by the West, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a treaty Tuesday with leaders of Crimea to accept the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol as part of the Russian territory.
The accession treaty followed Monday’s decision by the Crimean parliament to declare independence from Ukraine and Sunday’s referendum in the peninsula of Crimea showed an overwhelming 96.77 percent of Crimeans in favor of rejoining Russia.
Crimea, home to the Russian Black Sea Fleet and historically part of the Russian Federation, was transferred to Ukraine in May 1954, then a republic of the Soviet Union.
The White House said Wednesday that Russia was “directly responsible” for casualties in Crimea amid reports that two people had been killed by sniper shots in Simferopol.