THE HAGUE, Netherlands - With no sign of Russia abandoning the Crimean Peninsula, US President Barack Obama said Tuesday he's concerned that Moscow will move deeper into Ukraine and warned Russian President Vladimir Putin that the international community is prepared to impose punishing sanctions against his country's economy.
Obama stood fast on his insistence that Crimea remains a part of Ukraine, even as the fledgling Ukrainian government in Kiev ordered its troops to pull back from the disputed territory. He dismissed Russia as a "regional power" that was acting from a position of weakness.
"We're not recognizing what is happening in Crimea," Obama said at his first news conference since Russia annexed Crimea after a referendum 10 days ago. Obama rejected "the notion that a referendum sloppily organized over the course of two weeks" would "somehow be a valid process." (AP)