President Obama on Wednesday said there would be consequences for Russia if it continues its apparent efforts to move into Ukraine.
"Each time Russia takes these kinds of steps that are designed to destabilize Ukraine and violate their sovereignty, there are going to be consequences," President Obama said in an interview with CBS News. "Mr. Putin's decisions aren't just bad for Ukraine. Over the long-term, they're going to be bad for Russia."
Obama also downplayed a report made over the weekend by Pentagon officials that a Russian jet made several close-range passes by a Navy destroyer in the Black Sea, a move a U.S. official called "provocative."
"They're not interested in military confrontation with us; we don't need a war," Obama said. "What we do need is that countries like Ukraine can have relationships with their neighbors."
The administration has been working on a package of non-lethal assistance for Ukraine's military. The assistance, which was expected to be finalized this week, could include medical supplies and clothing for Ukraine's military, but was expected to stop short of providing body armor and other military-style equipment.
Ukraine has asked for military assistance from the U.S., a request that was believed to include lethal aid like weapons and ammunition. But Obama administration officials said they were not actively considering supplying Ukraine with lethal assistance, a step they said could be viewed as an escalatory act by the U.S. in the midst of an already tense situation.
Administration critics have been pressing Obama to arm the Ukrainian military in order to bolster its efforts to reassert control of its eastern region from pro-Russian insurgents who have seized numerous government facilities.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.