(AP Photo)
(AP Photo: Russian Warship "Moskva" sails the Black Sea outside Myrnyi, Western Crimea, Ukraine)

President Obama made a statement in the White House briefing room on Thursday about the situation in Ukraine. The President authorized financial sanctions, aimed at punishing Russia for military intervention in Ukraine and he's urging Congress to quickly approve a billion dollar loan guarantee for Ukraine's acting government. The House passed the measure by a vote of 385 to 23 on Thursday afternoon.

(AP Photo)
(AP Photo)

President Obama also reacted to a scheduled referendum vote in Crimea to join Russia, due to take place on March 16th-- saying this move violates the Ukrainian constitution and international law.  Crimea's parliament has already voted separately to withdraw from Ukraine and join Russia.

Listen below to the President's statement followed by a report from FOX News Radio's Jessica Golloher in Crimea-- as part of FOX News Radio's special coverage of the Ukraine crisis:

Play Audio Clip Listen to audio clip.

Editor's note: The U.S. Navy announced it is sending a guided-missile destroyer to the Black Sea as part of a "scheduled" deployment. The European Union has also authorized sanctions in order to try to push Russia into talks with Ukraine.

Click HERE to read President Obama's Executive Order blocking access to some bank accounts, setting up trade sanctions and restricting visas of persons contributing to the crisis in Ukraine

Click HERE to read the President's memo regarding the Executive Order to Congress