WASHINGTON, July 18 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday spoke by phone with leaders of Germany, Britain and Australia to discuss the downing of a Malaysian airliner in eastern Ukraine.
In Obama's telephone talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the two leaders emphasized that Russia bears a "clear responsibility" to deny rebels in eastern Ukraine continued access to heavy weapons from inside Russia, according to a statement issued by the White House.
Obama and Merkel reaffirmed their determination to remain in close contact as they consider what additional actions may be required in response to the situation in Ukraine. Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron expressed a similar message in their call.
In an address at the White House on Friday, Obama said the downing of the airliner would be a "wake-up call" for Europe and the world that there are consequences to an escalation of the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
In the call with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Obama offered condolences for the loss of Australians on board the Malaysian airliner MH17, which crashed in eastern Ukrain on Thursday, killing all the 298 people onboard.
"The two leaders discussed the importance of a prompt, full, unimpeded and transparent international investigation, and they stressed the need for immediate access by international investigators to the crash site," said a separate White House statement.
On Friday, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden also discussed the event over phone with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk.