(USATODAY.com) - President Obama has told a Dutch newspaper that despite Russia's annexation of Crimea he does not want Europe to be viewed as a battleground between the East and West.
"Nor do we see the situation in Ukraine as a zero-sum game," Obama said. "That's the kind of thinking that should have ended with the Cold War."
The president was speaking to the de Volkskrant newspaper ahead of his arrival in Amsterdam, where he will kick off a six-day overseas trip that will also take him to Belgium, Italy and Saudi Arabia.
Obama's comments were published as reports said pro-Russian forces on Monday seized control of a third Ukrainian military base in Crimea. Russia has been steadily taking over most of Ukraine's military bases on the Black Sea peninsula.
"If Russia continues to escalate the situation, we need to be prepared to impose a greater cost," Obama said, conceding that the sanctions the U.S. and Europe have unleashed on Russia may affect the global economy.