By Peter Sullivan - 04/16/14 07:00 PM EDT
President Obama said Wednesday that Russia realizes the U.S. military is “significantly superior” to its own and does not want war with the United States.
Asked in an interview with CBS News about a Russian fighter buzzing a U.S. Navy ship in the Black Sea on Saturday, Obama said, “They’re not interested in any kind of military confrontation with us, understanding that our conventional forces are significantly superior to the Russians.”
“What they’ve also done is supported, at minimum, non-state militias in southern and eastern Ukraine and we’ve seen some of the activity that’s been taking place there,” Obama said.
Asked about the possibility of further sanctions against Russia, Obama was not specific.
“What I’ve said consistently is that each time each time Russia takes these kind of steps that are designed to destabilize Ukraine and violate their sovereignty, that there are going to be consequences,” he said.
Secretary of State John Kerry will be in Geneva on Thursday for meetings with foreign ministers from Russia, Ukraine and a number of European nations.
Obama said Ukraine needed to be able to make its own decisions.
“We don’t need a war,” he said. “What we do need is a recognition that countries like Ukraine can have relationships with a whole range of their neighbors and it is not up to anybody, whether it is Russia or the United States or anybody else, to make decisions for them.”