Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 | 9:24 p.m.
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is ruling out use of the U.S. military in the West's dispute with Russia over Ukraine.
Obama says nobody wants to "trigger an actual war with Russia" because that would serve no one's interests. He said the U.S. and its allies will continue to turn up the pressure on Russia in hopes of reaching a diplomatic solution to the crisis.
Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula this week after residents there voted overwhelmingly to join Russia. The move came despite warnings by the West to Russian President Vladimir Putin that annexation violated international law and would be ignored by the world.
Obama says Putin acted out of weakness, not strength.
Obama commented Wednesday during interviews with TV stations NBC 7 in San Diego and KSKD in St. Louis.