President Barack Obama on Monday called on Russia President Vladimir Putin to force Russian-backed separarists in Ukraine to allow international investigators to examine the crash area for Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in eastern Ukraine.
Obama said in brief remarks to reporters on the South Lawn said Putin has “a direct responsibility to compel them to cooperate with the investigation.”
If Russia fails to do more, Obama said Russia “will only further isolate itself from the international community” and “the costs for Russia’s behavior will continue to increase."
Obama called "immediate and full access" to the crash site as pro-Russia separatists block international workers' efforts to examine the site.
“They are prepared, they are organized to conduct what should be the kinds of protocols ... that should follow any international incident like this. What they need right now is immediate and full access to the crash site," Obama said from the South Lawn of the White House.
"Separatists are removing evidence from the crash site," Obama said. "All of which begs the question, what are they trying to hide?"
“What they need right now is immediate and full access to the crash site,” he said. “Families deserve to be able to lay their loved ones to rest with dignity."
“Our immediate focus is on recovering those who were lost, investigating exactly what happened, and putting forward the facts," he said.