President Barack Obama has called for an immediate,unimpeded investigation at the crash site of Malaysia AirlinesFlight 17, which was shot down four days ago near the Ukrainianborder.
Speaking on Monday at the White House, Obama expressedfrustration at pro-Russian separatists for hampering aninternational investigation at the crash site to determine who wasresponsible for shooting down the plane. He said Russian PresidentVladimir Putin had a "direct responsibility" to use his influencewith the rebels to stop hindering the probe.
"Separatists areremoving evidence from the crash site," Obama said. "Which begs thequestion: What exactly are they trying to hide? The burden now ison Russia to insist that the separatists stop tampering with theevidence."
He also noted that Russian trained and armed the separatists whichno one denies.
Obama said heappreciated Putin's comments supporting a full investigation, buthe said it was now on Putin to act.
"President Putin has adirect responsibility to compel them to cooperate with theinvestigation," Obama said. "The world deserves to know exactlywhat happened."
If Putin doesn'tcomply and Russia continues to back the pro-Russian separatists ineastern Ukraine, Obama promised additional "costs."