Here Comes Obama's Press Conference...
Obama's press conference will likely touch on a range of topics that have come up at the summit, including crises in both Ukraine and Iraq. Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday that the U.S. was committed to "destroying" the extremist group calling itself the Islamic State (also ISIS or ISIL) within three years, and he announced a plan for an international coalition to confront the group in the Middle East.
"There is no contain policy for ISIL. They're an ambitious, avowed genocidal, territorial-grabbing, Caliphate-desiring, quasi state within a regular army," Kerry said. "And leaving them in some capacity intact anywhere would leave a cancer in place that will ultimately come back to haunt us. So there is no issue in our minds about our determination to build this coalition, go after this."
On Friday, however, there were reports of heavy shelling north and east of the key strategic city of Mariupol. The city Mariupol sits between areas occupied by separatists and the Crimean peninsula, which Russia annexed in March with the help of special forces. The fear is that Russia is attempting to create a land link between Russia and the strategic peninsula.
Russia has significantly escalated its direct involvement in the conflict recently, and the U.S. and European Union are preparing to hand down amped-up sanctions on Russia. NATO on Friday announced a new "rapid response" force to counter future Russian aggression in eastern Europe.