President Barack Obama spoke with German Chancellor Angela Merkel Thursday and both agreed that the violence in Ukraine was the fault of Russia.
“There is no doubt that this is not homegrown, indigenous in Ukraine. The separatists are backed, armed, trained and financed by Russia,” Obama told reporters Thursday.
Obama talked to reporters before going into a meeting of the National Security Council. He is set to visit Estonia next week. He affirmed that the United States “takes our NATO commitments seriously” for large and small countries.
But, he assured Americans that this would not be a military confrontation.
“We are not taking military action to solve the Ukrainian problem,” Obama said, adding that the U.S. and allies were putting heavy economic pressure on Russia. “A military solution from this country is not forthcoming.”
The United Nations Security Council called an emergency session Thursday to talk about the Russian government’s support of rebels. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko earlier called them a “Russian invasion” of his country.
Two columns of tanks and military vehicles have reportedly gone into Ukraine from Russia after Russian missiles were fired at a Ukraine border post.
Ukrainian Col. Andriy Lysenko, a senior NATO official, said about 1,000 Russian troops have entere Ukraine with military equipment, erasing any doubt of an invastion.
The Russian-backed rebels have opened up a new area of conflict in southeast Ukraine town of Novoazovsk.
Poroshenko actually met with Russian President Vladimir Putin this week.
Poroshenko cancelled a scheduled visit to Turkey amid the new eruptions.