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Published: Wednesday July 23, 2014 MYT 10:40:02 AM
Updated: Wednesday July 23, 2014 MYT 10:41:10 AM

Obama tells fundraiser Russia is financing Ukraine rebels

SEATTLE (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama accused Russia on Tuesday of financing Ukraine rebels and said challenges overseas were causing anxiety among Americans at home.

Obama made his remarks during a fundraiser for Democrats in Seattle. The president been criticised for proceeding with a series of fundraisers outside Washington despite the crises in Ukraine and the Middle East.

While high-dollar donors sipped wine and ate finger food, Obama noted conflicts in Ukraine, Syria, Iraq, Israel and Gaza had created a sense of anxiety.

"People are anxious. Now some of that has to do with some big challenges overseas," he said.

"Whether people see what's happening in Ukraine and Russia's aggression towards its neighbours and the manner in which it's financing and arming separatists, to what's happening in Syria ... part of people's concern is just the sense that around the world the old order isn't holding and we're not quite yet to where we need to be in terms of a new order," Obama said.

Obama attended two fundraisers in the Seattle area and was heading to San Francisco later in the evening.

Contributions for the Democratic National Committee fundraiser ranged from $500 (£292.94) to $20,000, according to a DNC official.

Obama's second appearance was at a fundraiser sponsored by the Senate Majority PAC, which raises money for Democratic candidates running for the U.S. Senate. An official declined to comment on figures for that fundraiser.

Democrats are trying to hold on to control of the U.S. Senate in November congressional elections.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Paul Tait)

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