Readout of the President’s Call with Prime Minister Rutte of the Netherlands
President Obama spoke this evening with Prime Minister Rutte of the Netherlands. The President recalled the moving images seen around the world as the first victims of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 returned to the Netherlands and again offered his condolences on behalf of the American people. The two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to assure that the crash site is properly secured, that all remains are found and returned home, and that a full, transparent, and unhindered international investigation can proceed. In addition, they reviewed the current situation on the ground in eastern Ukraine and the ongoing fighting and agreed that Russia still has not met the conditions set forth earlier by the leaders of the United States and European Union. Instead of deescalating the situation, they agreed that all evidence indicates Russia is still arming and supplying separatists who continue to engage in deadly acts of aggression against Ukrainian armed forces. The President and Prime Minister agreed that Russia must not be permitted to destabilize the situation in Ukraine without incurring costs and that, accordingly, the international community will need to enact additional sanctions.