March 4 - Obama ridiculed Putin's reason for sending the Russian military into Crimea, and says the U.S. has been working with international partners to build a package to help stabilize Ukraine's economy. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) U.S. President Barack Obama said that Russian President Vladimir Putin's aggression in Ukraine is not a sign of Russian strength but rather a reflection of the deep concern Russia's neighbors have about Moscow's meddling. In remarks to reporters, Obama ridiculed Putin's reason for sending the Russian military into the Crimea region of southern Ukraine. Putin said the move was aimed at protecting Russian nationals but Obama calls the incursion a violation of international law. "President Putin seems to have a different set of lawyers making a different set of interpretations," Obama said. "But I don't think that's fooling anybody." "Over the past several weeks, we've been working with our partners and with the IMF to build international support for a package that helps to stabilize Ukraine's economy. And today, we announced a significant package of our own to support the Ukraine's economy and also to provide them with the technical assistance that they need," Obama said. "So, it includes a planned loan guarantee package of $1 billion. It provides immediate technical expertise to Ukraine to repair its economy. And importantly, it provides for assistance to help Ukraine plan for elections that are going to be coming up very soon."