Russia's actions in Crimea and Ukraine are prompting the U.S. to fundamentally rethink its relationship with Russia, President Obama's national security adviser said Friday.
Asked from the White House Friday whether the Ukraine crisis is prompting a "fundamental reassessment of U.S.-Russian relations," National Security Adviser Susan Rice answered shortly: "Yes."
"In the years since the ending fo the Cold War, the United States and Europe -- and indeed, the international community -- have proceeded along a path where our interest was in more fully integrating Russia, politically and economically, into Europe and into, indeed, the fabric of the international system and the global economy," Rice said ahead of the president's trip to Europe next week.
"But that was predicated on an expectation that Russia would play by the rules of the road ... What we have seen in Ukraine is obviously a very egregious departure from that," she added. "And it is causing the countries and people of Europe and the international community and, of course, the United States to reassess -- what does this mean, and what are the implications?"
U.S.-Russian relations are as tense as any point since the Cold War following Obama's efforts to impose "costs" on Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin, following the invasion of Crimea. The White House earlier this week announced sanctions against top Putin allies, which it characterized as the most severe action against Russia since the Cold War.
The U.S. has also sought to freeze Russia out of participation in the G-8, suspending preparations for a major meeting slated to be held in Sochi, Russia this year. Deputy National Security Advisor and spokesman Ben Rhodes pointedly referred to "G-7" meetings awaiting Obama in Europe next week during Friday's briefing.