Solemn Obama Lectures Vladimir Putin on Plane Crash in Ukraine
President Obama reaffirmed demands for “immediate and full access” for international investigators to the flight crash site of Flight MH17 and called for Russian President Vladimir Putin to take immediate action.
In a press conference on Monday, Obama accused Russian separatists in Ukraine of blocking access to the crash site and tampering with the evidence.
"Separatists are removing evidence from the crash site," Obama said. "All of which begs the question, what are they trying to hide?"
Obama pointed out that Russia not only urged the rebels forward, but trained them and equipped them with missile technology.
“Given its direct influence over the separatists, Russia, and President Putin in particular, has direct responsibility to compel them to cooperate with the investigation. That is the least they can do,” Obama insisted.
Obama acknowledged that Putin had called for an investigation, but added that “while I appreciate those words, they have to be supported by actions.”
Obama also reaffirmed his preference that the conflict in Ukraine be solved by a “diplomatic solution.”
He also warned Russia’s support for the separatists would continue to isolate the country in the international community, but failed to suggest any actions that the United States would take should Putin fail to act.
“Now is the time for President Putin and Russia to pivot away from the strategy they’ve been taking,” he said.