White House National Security Adviser Susan Rice insisted Sunday that President Obama was acting tough with Russian President Vladimir Putin even though he was trying to shy away from any "Cold War" rhetoric.

"The president is very plain and very forceful in his dealings with Putin, but it's not necessary, nor is it in our interests, to return to a Cold War construct, which is long out-of-date, and that doesn't reflect the realities of the 21st century," Rice said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

On Wednesday, Obama reminded Americans that his approach to the uprising in Ukraine was not "some Cold War chessboard" in which the United States was competing with Russia.

Rice added that any foreign policy views in a "Cold War" context was a "dated perspective."

"This is not about the U.S. and Russia, this is about whether the people of Ukraine have the opportunity to fulfill their aspirations and be democratic and be part of Europe, which they choose to be," she said.