(CNN) — U.S. President Barack Obama didn’t speak very long at the White House on Friday, but his message was clear: Russia should not use military force to change the fate of Ukraine.
“The United States will stand with the international community in affirming that there will be costs for any military intervention in Ukraine,” Obama said.
The president made his remarks as events moved quickly in Ukraine, with troops believed to be from Russia moving into Crimea, the southern section of Ukraine that favors close ties with neighboring Russia. Other parts of Ukraine and the new government leaders want to align with Europe.
“We are now deeply concerned by reports of military movements taken by the Russian Federation inside of Ukraine,” Obama said. “Russia has a historic relationship with Ukraine, including cultural and economic ties, and a military facility in Crimea, but any violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity would be deeply destabilizing, which is not in the interest of Ukraine, Russia, or Europe.
“It would represent a profound interference in matters that must be determined by the Ukrainian people. ”
He said Ukraine must be autonomous.
“Throughout this crisis, we have been very clear about one fundamental principle: The Ukrainian people deserve the opportunity to determine their own future,” he said.
Earlier in the day, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power called for an “urgent international mediating mission to Crimea.”
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