"I consider the actions that we've seen in the last week a continuation of what's been taking place for months now," Obama said, noting Russian President Vladimir Putin has ignored opportunities to find a diplomatic end to the dispute.

Sanctions by the United States and European allies on Russia have hurt the economy, and Obama said "there are ways for us to deepen or expand the scope of some of that work" that he wants to discuss with NATO allies at a summit in Wales next week.

But Obama ruled out military action against Russia for its actions in Ukraine. "I think it is very important to recognize that a military solution to this problem is not going to be forthcoming," he said.

He also said Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko would visit the White House next month.

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