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Biden Speaks to Ukraine's President, Offers 'Help of Our Expertise'

Thu, 17 Jul 2014 20:53:57 +0000

Drew Angerer/Getty Images(DETROIT) -- Vice President Joe Biden, who is traveling in Detroit Thursday, spoke with Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko on the phone, offering the United States' assistance to help to determine the circumstances behind the downed Malaysia Airlines flight.

Biden said he and Poroshenko were on a call for abut 30 minutes, during which the vice president said he "offered Poroshenko the help of our expertise… he accepted that help and they will be on our way rapidly to see if we can get to the bottom of this."

The Malaysia Airlines plane was carrying 295 people when it went down in Ukraine near the Russian border on Thursday.

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 had been traveling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lampur, Malaysia with 280 passengers and 15 crew members. It is not known if there were any Americans on board.

"It's important to get to the bottom of this because of the possible repercussions that can flow from this beyond the tragic loss of life," Biden added. "My heart goes out to those families."

President Poroshenko said in a statement, "we are not calling it an accident, or a disaster, but an act of terrorism."

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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