Earnest said: "the president is mindful of the fact that there is not a military solution to this problem," but the Ukraine government is also entitled to defend itself.
White House spokesman said Obama has not signed off on the idea of lethal aid for Ukraine, amid concerns it would spark "greater bloodshed" in the area and possible retaliation by Russia. The Obama administration supports a diplomatic solution to the dispute between Russia and Ukraine
At the same time, Earnest said the administration remains concerned about evidence that Russia is actively supporting separatists in eastern Ukraine, and that are violating terms of a recent truce agreement.
"It does leave open this question about providing additional military assistance to the Ukrainian military," Earnest said.
Diplomacy remains the priority, however, Earnest said: "The goal here is to get the Russians to abide by generally accepted international norms when it comes to respecting the territorial integrity of another sovereign country."