Obama warns Russia of 'costs' in Ukraine

By By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Delivering a blunt warning to Moscow, President Barack Obama expressed deep concern Friday over reported

military activity inside Ukraine by Russia and warned "there will be costs" for any intervention.

He did not say what those costs might be.

Obama called on Russia to respect the independence and territory of Ukraine and not try to take advantage of its neighbor,

which is undergoing political upheaval.

"Any violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and

territorial integrity would be deeply destabilizing," Obama said in a

statement

delivered from the White House. Such action by Russia would not

serve the interests of the Ukrainian people, Russia or Europe,

Obama said, and would represent a "profound interference" in

matters he said must be decided by the Ukrainian people.

"Just days after the world came to Russia

for the Olympic Games, that would invite the condemnation of nations

around the

world," Obama said. "The United States will stand with the

international community in affirming that there will be costs for

any military intervention in Ukraine."

As Obama prepared to speak, a spokesman for

the Ukrainian border service said eight Russian transport planes had

landed with

unknown cargo in Crimea, a pro-Russian region of southern Ukraine.

Serhiy Astakhov told The Associated Press that the Il-76

planes arrived unexpectedly Friday and were given permission to

land, one after the other, at Gvardeiskoye air base, north

of the regional capital, Simferopol.

Astakhov said the people in the planes refused to identify themselves and waved off customs officials.

Obama noted that Russia has a historic relationship with Ukraine, a former Soviet republic, including cultural and economic

ties and a Russian military facility in Crimea.

In recent conversations between U.S. and

Russian officials, including a lengthy telephone conversation between

Obama and Russian

President Vladimir Putin just last week, Obama said the U.S. has

made clear to the Russians that they can be part of an international

community's effort to support the stability and success of

Ukraine.

But, he said Friday, "we are now deeply concerned by reports of military movements taken by the Russian Federation inside

of Ukraine."