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President Obama stands in front of The Night Watch. / Frank Augstein, AP

President Obama took in a little art from the Dutch Golden Age as he launched a week-long trip to Europe focused largely on the crisis in Russia and Ukraine.

After landing in Amsterdam, Obama received a tour of the Rijksmuseum from Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Amsterdam Mayor Eberhard van der Laan.

At one point, Obama posed in front of the recently rebuild museum's major attraction, Rembrandt's The Night Watch, a massive painting of militia members from the 17th Century.

Obama and Rutte later met, discussing trade, Syria's chemical weapons, and Russia's annexation of the Crimea region from Ukraine.

"We're united in imposing a cost on Russia for its actions so far," Obama said after the meeting with the Dutch prime minister.

The leaders issued a statement about climate change and the need for investment in low carbon energy sources.

Obama and Rutte spoke with reporters in front of The Night Watch.

"I'm proud to be here with some of the Dutch masters I studied in school," Obama said. "This is easily the most impressive backdrop I've had for a press conference."

Obama travels later to The Hague, Netherlands, where his schedule includes a meeting with President Xi Jinping of China and the Nuclear Security Summit.

There is also a special meeting of leaders from the Group of Seven (G-7) nations, as they discuss the likelihood of canceling a June summit in Russia because of its incursion into Ukraine.

Obama stays overnight in the Netherlands.



Copyright 2014 USATODAY.com

Read the original story: Obama takes in some art before Europe meetings

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