WWL>Topics>>7-18-14 10:50am President Obama Press Conference

7-18-14 10:50am President Obama Press Conference

Jul 18, 2014|

President Barack Obama speaks about the Malaysian plane crash in the Ukraine.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

The more nobody. Yesterday. Malaysian airlines flight and make seventeen. Took off from Amsterdam. It was shot down over Ukraine near the Russian border. Nearly 300 innocent lives were taken. Men women. Children. Infants. Who had nothing to do with the crisis in court. Their deaths are okay. Outrage of unspeakable proportions. We know at least one American citizens. Quinn not Lucas shots man was killed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family for this terrible loss. Yesterday I spoke with the leaders of Ukraine Malaysia and the Netherlands. I told them our thoughts and prayers are -- all the families and that the American people stand with them during this difficult time. Later -- be speaking with -- mr. Evans of Australia. Which also suffered a terrible loss. By far the country lost the most people on board the plane was the medalist. From the days profound reduction of close friends and stalwart allies the United States of America today I want to -- people. To know that we stand what your shoulder to shoulder. In our grief and in our absolute determination. To get to the bottom of what happened. Here's what we know so far. Evidence indicates that the plane was shot down by surface to air missile. It was launched from an area that is controlled by Russian backed separatists inside of Ukraine. We also know that this is not the first atomic plane has been shot down in the eastern Ukraine. Over the last several weeks Russian backed separatists have shut down Ukrainian transport plane and Ukrainian helicopter. And they claimed responsibility for shooting down Ukrainian fighter jet. Moreover we know that these separatists have received a steady flow of support. From Russia. This includes arms and training. It includes heavy weapons. And it includes anti aircraft weapons. Here's what must happen now. This was. A global threats. And Asian airliner was destroyed in the European skies fill with citizens. From many countries so there has to be a credible international investigation into what happened. UN Security Council has endorsed this investigation and we will hold all its members including Russia. Through their work. In order to facilitate that investigation. Russia. For Russian separatists and Ukraine must adhere to an immediate cease fire. Evidence must not be tampered -- Investigators need to access the crash site. And the solemn task of returning those who were lost on board the plane to their loved ones needs to go forward immediately. -- the United States stands ready to provide any assistance that is necessary. We party offered the support of the FBI and the National Transportation. Safety Board. Which has experience in working with international partners on these types of investigations. They are on the way personnel from the FBI and the National Transportation Safety Board. In the coming hours and days I'll continue to be a close contact with leaders from around the world as we responded to this protester. Our media focus will be on recovering those who lost investigating exactly what happened and putting forward facts. Wanna point out you'll likely be misinformation. As well. It's very important for folks to sift through. What is factually based and what is simply speculation. No one can deny the truth as revealed in the awful images that we all have seen. In the eyes of the world are on the eastern Ukraine. And we are gonna make sure that the truth is out. More broadly. I think it's important for us. Recognized that. This outrageous event. Underscores. That it is time for peace and security to be restored in Ukraine. For months -- support a pathway to peace. And Ukrainian government has reached out to all ukrainians. Put forward a peace plan and lived up to a cease fire despite repeated violations by the separatists. Violations that took the lives of Ukrainian. Soldiers and personnel. More over time and again Russia has refused to take the concrete steps necessary to -- escalate the situation. I spoke to president -- yesterday. In the wake. Additional sanctions that we had imposed. He said he wasn't happy with them and I told him. That. We have been very clear from the outset. That we want Russia to take the that would result in peace in Ukraine but so far at least Russia has failed to take. That path. Instead it has continued to violate Ukrainian sovereignty and to support violent separatists. It is also failed to use its influence to press the separatists to abide by cease fire. That's why together -- our allies we've imposed -- calls on Russia. So now it's -- -- a somber an appropriate time for all of us to step back and take a hard look. At what has happened. Violence and conflict inevitably lead to a perceived consequences. Russia. These separatists. And Ukraine all have the capacity put an end to the fighting. Meanwhile the United States is gonna continue to lead efforts within the world community to be escalate the situation. To stand up for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. And the support the people of Ukraine as they courageously work. To strengthen their democracy and make their own decisions about. How they should move forward. Before I take just a couple of questions -- me remark from 1 other issue this morning I spoke. -- live prime minister Netanyahu of Israel about the situation in Gaza. We discussed Israel's military operation in Gaza including its efforts to stop the threat of terrorist infiltration through tunnels. Into Israel. I reaffirm my strong support for Israel's right to defend itself. No nation should accept rockets being fired into its borders. Or terrorists tunneling into its territory in fact while I was having -- conversation with prime minister Netanyahu. Sirens went off in Tel Aviv. I also made clear that the United States and our friends and allies are deeply concerned about the risks. Of further escalation in the loss. Of more innocent life. And that's why we vindicated although we support. Military efforts by the Israelis to make sure the rockets are not being fired into their territory. We also upset that. Our understanding is the current military. Ground operations are designed to deal with the tunnels and we are hopeful. His role will continue through. Approach. This process and where that minimizes. A civilian casualties. And that. All of us are working hard to return. To the ceasefire that was reached in November of 2012. Secretary Kerry is working to support the Egypt's initiative to pursue that outcome. Told prime mister Netanyahu that John is prepared traveled region following additional consultations. -- -- put -- make one additional common. On board Malaysian air lines flight and -- seventeen there were apparently nearly 100. Researchers and advocates traveling to an international conference. In Australia dedicated to combating aids -- HIV. These were men and women who have dedicated their lives to save the lives of others. And they were taken from us in a senseless act of violence. In this world today. We shouldn't forget that in the midst of conflict of killing -- people like these. People were focused on what can be built rather than what can be destroyed. People are focused on. How they can help people that they never met. People define themselves not by what makes them different from other people but by the humanity that we hold in common. -- -- about and to -- Their lives. And it's time for us to keep your example. The United States America's gonna continue to stand for basic principle that people have the right to live as they choose the nations have the right to determine their own destiny. And it went terrible events like. This occur in the international community stands on the side of justice and on the side of true. So that when we take just couple questions also would you do it's just I've had. That does happen. After Jack was. Broadly it's. Escalate the pressure from Ukraine pulled up we. -- change your health. That's in terms of what the US. Well. I think it's too early for us to be able to guess what the intentions of those who might have launched. The surface to air missile might have had. Bill investigations of the ongoing -- we'll see is additional information. Surfacing. Over the next 44 us cents -- two hours next week the next month. What we know right now. What we have confidence is saying right now is that they surface to air missile was fired and that's what brought the -- -- We know. We have confidence -- -- that that shot was taken within a territory that is controlled by the Russian separatist. But I think it's very important for us to make sure that. We don't get out ahead of the facts. And at this point in terms of identifying specifically. What individual or group of individuals. -- Personnel. Order of the the strike how it came about those are things that I think just over be subject to additional information that we're going to be gathering. And were working with the entire international community. To make sure that the focus is on. Getting to the bottom of this thing. Big -- and then my concern is obviously that there's been a lot of misinformation. Generated in the eastern Ukraine generally. They should snapper bodies. Heads to attention and make sure that we don't have time for propaganda we don't have time for games. We need to know exactly what happened in and to everybody needs to make sure that were holding accountable those who who committed this outrage. -- respect the second question. As you're aware before this terrible incident happened we had already ratchet up sanctions against Russia. And I think we're concerned not just. Russian officials but the markets about. The impact -- this could have on the Russian economy is it fair for all to see I made clear the president for. That our preferred path as to resolve this diplomatically. But that means that he. And the Russian government have to make a strategic decision or are they going to continue to support. Violent separatists. Whose intent is to undermine. The government of Ukraine. Or are they prepared to work with the government of Ukraine. Through arrive at. Cease fire and a piece. That takes into account the interest of all ukrainians. There has been some improved language at times. Over the last month. Coming from the Kremlin and coming from president -- but what we have not seen is an actual transition. And different actions. That would give us confidence that that's the direction they wanna take. And. -- we will continue. To make clear that. As. Russia. You know engages in efforts that are supported. The separatists. That we have the capacity to increase. The cost that we impose on. And we will do so. Not because we're interested in. Hurting Russia for the sake of -- in Russia but because we believe in standing up for the basic principle that. Country's sovereignty and territorial integrity has to be respected as not. The United States or Russia or Germany or any other country that should be deciding. What happens in that country -- We don't see him US military role. Beyond what we've already been -- and working away. Our NATO partners. And some of the Baltic States giving memory assurances that we are prepared to do whatever it. Is required to meet our alliance obligations. Steve -- Coverage like this you -- -- -- -- We don't know exactly what happened and I don't want. As I said before get out ahead of the facts. But what I do know is that we have seen a taking up of violence in the eastern -- plan. That despite the efforts. Ukrainian government to. Abide by the cease fire and two. Reach out. And agree to negotiations. Including with the separatists. That has been rebuffed by the separatists. We know that they are heavily armed and -- they are trained. And we know that. That's not an accident that's happening because Russian support. So. You know. It is not possible for these separatists to function the way they're functioning. To have the equipment that they had. Set aside what's happened to. -- respect the Malaysian airlines. A group of separatists can't shoot down. Military. Transport planes or they claim. Shoot down fighter jets without sophisticated equipment that's -- training and that is coming from Russia. So. We don't yet know exactly what happened with the respect to -- Malaysian airlines although obviously were beginning to draw some conclusions given. The nature of the shot that was fired. They're only. Certain types of antiaircraft missiles that can reach up 30000. Feet and shoot down passenger got. We have increasing confidence that it came from areas controlled by the separatists. But. Without having a definitive. Judgment on those issues yet. What we do know is that. The violence that's taking place there is facilitated. In part in large part because of Russian support and they have the ability. To move those separatists in a different direction. If mr. Putin makes a decision that we are not going to allow. Heavy armaments. It and and the flow of fighters. Into Ukraine across. The Ukrainian Russian border that it will stop. And if it stops then the separatists. Will. Still have the capacity to enter into negotiations and try to. Arrive at the sort of political accommodations that. Mr. -- himself says he wants to say. He has the most control over the situation. And so for at least is not exercise. Well. I think that. This certainly will be a wake up call. For. Europe and the world that. There are consequences. To an escalating. Conflicted eastern Ukraine that it is not going to be localized it is not going to be contained. You know what what we've seen here this. Just in one country alone or are great allies. The Dutch. -- 150. Or more. Their citizens. Being killed. And that I think sadly brings home the degree to which. The stakes are high for your. Not simply for the Ukrainian people and that we have to be firm in our resolve and make sure. We are. Supporting. Ukraine in its efforts to bring about. Just cease fire. And that we can move towards a political solution to this I'm -- make this last question we -- former three. -- -- As -- talking about. We. We have been pretty methodical over the last. 24 hours and working through the flight manifests. And identifying. Which passengers might have had a US passport. At this point. The individual that I mentioned. Is the sole. Person that we can definitively say was a US or dual citizen. Because events are moving so quickly. I don't wanna. Say -- absolute certainty. That there might not be additional. Americans but at this stage having -- through. The list. Been in contact with the Malaysian government which. Due process the passports. You know as folks were ordering. This is our best assessment. The number of Americans that were killed obviously. That does nothing to lessen our outrage. About. All those cameras regardless of nationality. It is it is -- corporation about. What -- -- effect of sanctions on the economy. We have. Consistently tried to tailor these sanctions in ways that would have an impact on Russia. They're coming on their institutions or individuals that are. Aiding and abetting and the activities that are taking place in the eastern Ukraine. While minimizing the impacts on. Not only the US economy but the global. It is a relevant. Consideration. That we have to keep in mind. The world economy is integrated. Russia is a larger economy. There's a lot of financial. Flows between Russia and the rest of the world. But we feel confident that at this point the sanctions through we put in place. Are imposing costs on Russia. That their overall impact on the global. Economy is his middle. We have to obviously pay close attention to but I think treasury. In consultation with our European partners have done a good job so -- that -- --