White House: Putin, Russia are "culpable" in Ukraine plane crash

WASHINGTON Fri Jul 25, 2014 7:24pm EDT

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House said on Friday that Russian President Vladimir Putin was "culpable" in the downing of a Malaysian plane over a the war zone in Ukraine and reiterated it was working with the European Union and G7 to impose further sanctions on Moscow.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest made some of his strongest comments since the plane was shot down, tying the incident to Russia, which the United States has criticized for providing arms to Ukrainian separatists.

"What we also know is that the Malaysia Airlines jet was brought down by a missile that was fired from the ground. It was fired from the ground in an area that was controlled by separatists, and in an area where the Ukrainians themselves were not actually operating anti-aircraft weapons at that time," Earnest told reporters at the White House.

"So that is why we have concluded that Vladimir Putin and the Russians are culpable to this tragedy," he said.

Vice President Joe Biden spoke to Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko about the investigation into the crash as well as the country's political dynamics on Friday, the White House said separately.

"President Poroshenko underscored that despite the dissolution of the governing coalition in Ukraine’s parliament, the government would continue its work to address critical economic reforms," it said in a statement.

"President Poroshenko also informed the vice president that Russia continued to supply heavy weapons and equipment to the separatists, and that Ukrainian troops were increasingly coming under direct fire from positions on the Russian side of the border," it said.

Biden told Poroshenko the United States was working with the European Union and the G7 on imposing further sanctions on Russia for its "deeply destabilizing and irresponsible actions in Ukraine."  

(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Ken Wills)

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Comments (3)
prolibertate wrote:
Obama is culpable in the MH17 shoot-down, the on-going violence in the Middle East, the on-going Cocaine Import Agency’s attempted coups and regime change, the on-going looting of the American people to support his war crimes and the militarization of the American police.

Jul 25, 2014 10:30pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
marcopolooo wrote:
If so called “separatists” had a technology to shoot down an airplane flying so high up, the sky wood be closed for air traffic long time ago and there would be no military jets in the area… Something is fishy here…
Btw Ukrainian army have a hobby to shoot down civil aircrafts. Last one was attacked in 2001. Still not a word of apology or regret

Jul 25, 2014 11:35pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Let’s everything study BUK characteristics! Whether the AH-50 plane for distant detection flew up. Whether the rocket from Iskander flew up? Why to you laziness to study characteristics of BUK and what is necessary for the professional sitting in “ONE” installation?

Jul 28, 2014 11:59pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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