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Obama rules out military action in Ukraine

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is ruling out the possibility that the U.S. will take military action to address growing violence in Ukraine.

Obama says the U.S. will stand firm with its allies to address the conflict in Ukraine, where the U.S. says Russia is backing pro-Russian separatists. But Obama says a military confrontation between the U.S. and Russia in the region, quote, "is not in the cards."

But Obama is pointing to the NATO alliance as a deterrent for Russia. He says although Ukraine isn't part of NATO, other nearby nations are. He says the U.S. takes its commitment to defend NATO allies "very seriously." Obama will attend a NATO summit in Wales next week.

Obama spoke amid an escalation of violence in eastern Ukraine and fresh signs of Russia's involvement.