WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama continues to evaluate the US policy on the Ukraine crisis with the objective of further isolating Russia and convince Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to reevaluate his strategy.
"The President's view continues to be that this administration needs to be continually assessing what our strategy is to further isolate the Putin regime in Russia to convince them to reevaluate their strategy in Ukraine," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters yesterday.
He was responding to questions about news reports that Obama is considering sending lethal assistance to Ukraine.
The strategy implemented by the US so far has succeeded in uniting the international community around this principle of respecting the territorial integrity and sovereignty of other countries, he said.
"It has caused longer-term projections about their economy to be revised downward and into negative territory.
And so just about any measure that you consider, the Russian economy has taken a big hit because of the strategic decisions that President Putin has made as it relates to Ukraine," Earnest said.
"So that pressure is only continuing to intensify, and it has served to isolate them. But it has not, as we've acknowledged, caused him at this point to live up to the kinds
of diplomatic commitments that he's previously made to deescalate the situation in Ukraine," he noted.
"For that reason, we're continually assessing what sort of options are available, but I certainly don't have anything new to announce at this point. And there are, of course, a wide variety of opinions about this," Earnest said when asked if the US has decided to provide lethal assistance to Ukraine.
At a separate news conference, State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki expressed concern over recent event escalating violence and separatists attempt to expand the territory they currently control.
"Naturally, we take into account events on the ground and events that are ongoing. Our focus does remain on pursuing a solution through diplomatic means, and we are always evaluating other options that will help create space for a negotiated solution to the crisis," she said.