Obama urges immediate access to Ukraine crash site

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama sternly called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to compel Kremlin-backed separatists to stop hampering the probe at the Ukraine site of a downed passenger jet and allow international investigators unfettered access.

“We have to make sure the truth is out and accountability exists,” Obama said Monday from the South Lawn of the White House.

Obama accused the separatists of removing evidence and bodies from the site, actions that he said raise the question of “what exactly are they trying to hide?”

The White House has been seeking to pin responsibility on the separatists for shooting down the Malaysia Airlines plane carrying nearly 300 people. Officials have also pointed a finger at Russia, arguing that it would be all but impossible for the insurgents to operate the sophisticated missile system needed to shoot down a passenger jet without some level of assistance from Russia.

Obama offered no new evidence Monday as to who was responsible for shooting down the plane.

Behind the scenes, the U.S. was also pressing the European Union to ratchet up economic sanctions on Russia for its actions in Ukraine. The EU has so far lagged behind the U.S. with its sanctions, resisting imposing penalties that would target wide swaths of Russia’s economy.

Europe’s reluctance is in part the result of fears that sanctions on Moscow could boomerang back and hurt the continent’s economy, which has close ties to Russia. However, given the large number of Europeans killed in last week’s plane crash, U.S. officials believe the EU may be more motivated to deepen its penalties.

Obama said now is the time for Putin to “get serious” about resolving the crisis in Ukraine. If he fails to take steps to do so, Obama said the economic costs to Russia will continue to increase.

More in Local News

Suspect sought in two Everett bank robberies

He’s described as 5-foot-10 to 6-foot-1, with dark hair and a goatee, and may have a neck tattoo.

Jogger unharmed after fending off attacker in Edmonds

Police released video of a man they believe to be the attacker.

Two missing men found, one alive and one dead

The man found alive was found in an apartment across the hallway and taken to a hospital.

Darrington School Board dealing with upheavals

The crux of the controversy seems to be the superintendent’s job.

Alaska Airlines has selected destinations for new service from Paine Field. (Alaska Airlines)
Alaska Airlines will fly from Everett to 8 West Coast cities

Two destinations that didn’t make the list were Spokane and Hawaii.

Three teens arrested for Marysville school vandalism

Windows were broken and a trash bin was on fire Sunday night at a Marysville middle school.

Langley mayor threatens newspaper with lawsuit

The mayor threatened to sue the paper over claims he withheld public records disclosure information.

Divers called to recover body after train hits pedestrian

The accident was reported by a BNSF crew near Woods Creek in Monroe.

Katharine Graham, then CEO and chairwoman of the board of The Washington Post Co., looks over a copy of The Daily Herald with Larry Hanson, then The Herald’s publisher, during her visit to Everett on Sept. 20, 1984. The Washington Post Co. owned The Herald from 1978 until 2013. (Herald archives)
A local connection to history

Retired Herald publisher Larry Hanson remembers The Post’s Katharine Graham, who visited several times.

Most Read