"This certainly will be a wake-up call for Europe and the world that there are consequences to an escalating conflict in eastern Ukraine; that it is not going to be localized, it is not going to be contained," US President Barack Obama said of the downing of a Malaysian jetliner in a Ukrainian region controlled by Russian-backed separatists.

The president said Russia failed to stop the violence that made it possible to shoot down the plane.

Obama spoke by phone later with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister David Cameron and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott. The White House said they discussed Ukraine and the downed jet and the need for an unimpeded international investigation into what happened.

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