WBEN NewsRadio 930>Audio & Video on Demand>>President Obama Speaks 7/18/14

President Obama Speaks 7/18/14

Jul 18, 2014|

President Barack Obama speaks on Ukraine-Russian relations after a jetliner was shot down.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

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's. We also know that this is not the first -- my 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 tragedy. And Asian airliner was destroyed in the European skies -- 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 a 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 have lost investigating exactly what happened and putting forward the 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 present to -- 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 it failed to use its influence to press the separatists to abide by cease fire. That's why together -- our allies we've imposed -- costs on Russia. So now it's I -- 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 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 terrorist tunneling into its territory in fact while I was having a conversation in 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 and the loss. Of more innocent life. And that's why we've indicated 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. There is -- continued through. Approach. This process in a way 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. I told prime mister Netanyahu that John is prepared traveled region following additional consultations. Let me close -- 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 and HIV. These were men and women who have dedicated their own 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 there are people like these. People were focused on what can be built rather than what can be destroyed. People were focused on. How they can help people that they've never met. People define themselves not by what makes them different from other people but by the humanity that we hold in common. It's important for us to look them up and to a firm. Their lives. And it's time for us to -- 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 the international community stands on the side of justice and on the side of true. So that when we take a just couple questions also would you do it's just I don't matter. That does happen. After -- what. Military -- Broadly yeah. Escalate the pressure Ukraine pulled up -- -- -- -- -- 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. Self investigations of the ongoing -- to see -- additional information. Surfacing. Over the next point four us cents to 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 -- say that that shot was taken within a territory that is controlled by the Russian separatists. 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. Ordered the described how it came about those are things that are just over and 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 truth and then my concern is obviously that there's been a lot of misinformation. Generated from the eastern Ukraine generally. This should snapper bodies. -- 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 and and everybody -- 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 ratcheted up sanctions against Russia and I think we're concerned not just. Russian officials about the markets about. The impact -- this could have on the Russian economy is it -- for -- to -- I made clear the president for. That our preferred path -- to resolve this diplomatically. But that means that she. And the Russian government have to make a strategic decision 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. To 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 supportive. The separatists. That we have the capacity to increase. Of across the -- impose on. And we will do so. Not because we're interested in. Hurting Russia for the sake -- -- 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 going in working -- it. 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 Hall. Coverage like this you. WB he had -- -- -- 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 you play. 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 a 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 have. Set aside what's happened. -- would respect of 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 respect to the -- Malaysian airlines although obviously we're 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. -- makes a decision that we are not going to allow. Heavy armaments. It and and the flow of fighters. Into your -- 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. Conflict in the 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 -- for your. Not simply for the Ukrainian people and that we have to be firm in our resolve to 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 that make this last question we -- former. -- -- -- -- -- We. We have been pretty methodical over the last. 24 hours and working through the flight manifests. And identifying. Which passengers might have headed US passport. At this point. The individual that I mentioned. Is the sole. Person that we can definitively say was a US or dual service. 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 to work 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. Almost cameras regardless of nationality. It is citizen -- 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 they 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 -- we put in place. Are imposing costs on Russia. That their overall impact on the global. Economy is there's minimal. It is something that we have to obviously pay close attention to but I think treasury. In consultation with our European partners have done a good job so club -- Oh.