President Obama in a joint press conference late Wednesday said the U.S. did not view the violence in Syria and Ukraine as part of “some Cold War chessboard,” insisting that the administration’s response was not motivated by a competition with Russia.

Wrapping up the North American Leaders Summit in Toluca, Mexico, Obama was asked whether Russian President Vladimir Putin was partially responsible for the bloodshed in Syria and Ukraine — two nations with deep ties to Russia.

"Our view is not to see it as some Cold War chessboard where we are in competition with Russia," Obama said, adding that the events in Syria and Ukraine were “an expression of the hopes and aspirations of the people."

As for the recently declared truce between the Ukrainian government and the opposition, the president expressed cautious optimism.

“If the truce is implemented,” Obama said, “it could provide space for the sides to resolve their disagreements peacefully.”