WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama said Wednesday there is currently no military option on the table in Ukraine following a decree by Russian President Vladimir Putin making Crimea part of the Russian Federation.
"We do not need to trigger an actual war with Russia," Obama said in an interview with KSDK-TV. "The Ukrainians don't want that, nobody would want that.
"But what we can do is stand up for principle, stand by the Ukrainian people."
He expressed support for legislation that would give aid and assistance to Ukraine, as well as stricter economic sanctions against Russia.
"We've sent a clear message to Mr. Putin that we'll probably be doing more stuff over the next several days, and ultimately, if we see the continuation of the process, then in coordination with our European allies, you can expect even more disruptive economic actions that could end up having a significant impact on the Russian economy."
Ukraine's government said Wednesday it will pull its troops from Crimea, where Russian troops and Crimean allies are seizing military bases and officers.