The President Gives an Update on the Situation in Ukraine

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This morning, President Obama made a statement on the current situation in Ukraine, in the wake of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 being shot down last week over territory controlled by Russian-backed separatists in Ukraine.

Following his press statement on Friday, the President restated today that "our immediate focus is on recovering those who were lost, investigating exactly what happened, and putting forward the facts. We have to make sure that the truth is out and that accountability exists."

He also noted that international investigators are already on the ground, prepared and organized to conduct "the kinds of protocols and scouring and collecting of evidence that should follow any international incident like this." President Obama then called on Russia -- and President Vladimir Putin in particular -- to "insist that the separatists stop tampering with the evidence, [and] grant investigators who are already on the ground immediate, full, and unimpeded access to the crash site."

At the beginning of his statement, the President also took a moment to address the situation in Gaza. He reiterated that Israel has a right to defend itself against rocket and tunnel attacks from Hamas, but that we also have "serious concerns about the rising number of Palestinian civilian deaths and the loss of Israeli lives."

"That is why it now has to be our focus, and the focus of the international community," he said, "to bring about a ceasefire that ends the fighting and that can stop the deaths of innocent civilians -- both in Gaza and in Israel."

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President Obama Responds to Malaysia Airlines Flight 17

Update at 10:38 p.m. ET: The Press Secretary released a statement on Malaysian Airlines Flight 17.

President Obama calls to President Poroshenko of Ukraine aboard Air Force One

President Obama calls to President Poroshenko of Ukraine aboard Air Force One to discuss the tragic crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. July 17, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

This afternoon, aboard Air Force One, President Obama placed separate telephone calls to President Poroshenko of Ukraine and Prime Minister Najib of Malaysia to discuss the tragic crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.

Here's a readout of the President’s call with President Poroshenko of Ukraine:

President Obama spoke with Ukrainian President Poroshenko this afternoon to discuss the tragic crash of flight Malaysian Airlines 17. President Poroshenko welcomed the assistance of international investigators to ensure a thorough and transparent investigation of the crash site. President Obama assured him that U.S. experts will offer all possible assistance immediately. The Presidents emphasized that all evidence from the crash site must remain in place on the territory of Ukraine until international investigators are able to examine all aspects of the tragedy.

And a readout of President Obama’s call with Prime Minister Najib of Malaysia:

President Obama called Malaysian Prime Minister Najib today to express condolences to the people of Malaysia for the terrible loss of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in Ukraine, as well as all the families who lost loved ones in this tragic event. The President told the Prime Minister that United States has offered immediate assistance to support a prompt international investigation. President Obama reaffirmed the strength of the friendship between the United States and Malaysia and underscored that the United States stands ready to provide any assistance or support necessary.

Bernadette Meehan is Deputy Spokesperson of the National Security Council.

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President Obama’s Final Day at the G-20 Summit

President Barack Obama, with China's President Xi Jinping, delivers remarks prior to participating in their bilateral meeting at the G20 Summit, Sept. 6, 2013 in St. Petersburg, Russia. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson) ... Read more »

President Obama Meets with Baltic Leaders

President Barack Obama, with Vice President Joe Biden, delivers a statement to the press before meeting with Baltic Leaders

President Barack Obama, with Vice President Joe Biden, delivers a statement to the press before meeting with Baltic Leaders in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Aug. 30, 2013. The meeting included, from left, Latvia President Andris Běrzinš, Estonia President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, and Lithuania President Dalia Grybauskaite. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

Today, President Obama hosted Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė, and Latvian President Andris Bērziņš for a meeting at the White House.

The visit underscored the close ties between the United States and the Baltic states, which are grounded in our shared values, ideals, and interests.  The leaders highlighted ongoing cooperation on issues including defense and security, trade and investment, energy and the environment, and global development.

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