Click photo to enlarge
President Barack Obama speaks while standing in front of a printed version of a stained glass window known as the Sun Man, from the Cosmovitral Botanical Garden, at a news conference at the state government palace in Toluca, Mexico, Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, after the seventh trilateral North American Leaders Summit Meeting. This year's theme is North American Competitiveness.
TOLUCA, Mexico—President Barack Obama says he doesn't see violent clashes in Ukraine and Syria between the governments and their people as part of a "Cold War chessboard" where the United States competes with Russia.

Obama says that although Russia has influence on both governments, the turmoil in the two countries has risen among the people insisting on fundamental rights.

Obama says he wishes Russia will eventually back those values, but, quote, "Right now there are times when we have strong disagreements." He says he hasn't been shy about voicing them to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Obama was speaking at a news conference in Mexico Wednesday night at the end of the North American Leaders Summit.