WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) — President Barack Obama is blaming Russia for the escalating violence in eastern Ukraine.


Obama is speaking at the White House amid escalating tensions between Russia and the West. He said Russia is training, arming and funding pro-Russian separatists in Russia. Obama said new images of Russian forces inside Ukraine make that plain to see.


Obama said Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko will visit the White House next month. It’s Poroshenko’s first visit since becoming president and a major display of unity between the U.S. and Ukraine.


Obama said he spoke by phone Thursday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. He said Russia’s incursion into Ukraine will bring additional consequences.


Ukrainian officials said two Russian military columns have rolled into the southeastern part of Ukraine after missiles were fired at a border post.


Obama says Russia responsible for Ukraine violence