Earlier Friday, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko announced that he had instituted a cease-fire following an agreement with pro-Russian separatists in the eastern part of the country.
On Wednesday, Obama said it was too early to tell what proclamations about a cease-fire between Ukraine and Russia will mean for the crisis embroiling that region.
Poroshenko had announced Wednesday morning that his country reached a "permanent cease-fire" agreement with Russia, but then backtracked on the permanence of any deal. For his part, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that a conflict resolution may be "very close," according to Reuters.
Read More Ukraine president orders army to observe cease-fire
In Wednesday remarks, Obama criticized Putin and Russia's actions in Ukraine, saying that "unrestrained nationalism is the last refuge of those who cannot or will not deliver real progress and opportunity for their own people at home." Obama also emphasized that his administration will continue to oppose Russia's "illegal annexation of Crimea or any part of Ukraine." This sentiment was echoed by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen on Thursday.
In his Friday speech from Wales, Obama also addressed the crisis in Iraq, and any action that the international community might take against Islamic State (also known as ISIS, or ISIL) militants.
"There was unanimity over the last two days that ISIL poses a significant threat to NATO members, and there was a recognition that we have to take action," Obama said. "There's great conviction that we have to act as part of the international community to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL."
Read MoreUkraine cease-fire: Sunset on conflict or false dawn?
Obama said the overall goal must be to dismantle the Islamic State, which he acknowledged has "significant capabilities." He emphasized that the strategy should be to go after its leadership.
"We have been very systematic and methodical in going after these kinds of organizations," Obama said, adding that he has no intention of deploying U.S. ground troops to Syria to fight the Islamic State there.
—By CNBC's Everett Rosenfeld