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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

On the Next Episode of The Lead

Continuing coverage of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. Plus, the latest on Mideast tensions.

Continuing coverage of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. Plus, the latest on Mideast tensions.

April 17th, 2014
04:20 PM ET

Ukraine crisis: Possibility 'that diplomacy may deescalate the situation,' Obama says

(CNN) – When it comes to the crisis in Ukraine, "I don't think we can be sure of anything. I think there is the possibility, the prospect, that diplomacy may deescalate the situation," President Barack Obama said Thursday at the daily White House news conference when asked about a meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, between top officials from the United States, Russia, Ukraine and the European Union.

He said there was "a promising public statement" to disarm all groups that have been occupying buildings in eastern Ukraine, and the Russians have signed on to that statement.

"We're not going to know whether there is follow-through on these statements for several days," Obama said.

The President stressed that he has emphasized to Russian President Vladimir Putin that the United States will continue to uphold the basic principles of sovereignty of all countries.

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