December 22, 2014
Obama vows US will seek justice in downing of Malaysian jet
The United States will not rest until justice is done in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH-17 over eastern Ukraine, President Barack Obama vowed in a condolence book for the nearly 300 victims today.
Obama visited the Netherlands Embassy in Washington to sign the book. Of the 298 people killed in the July 17 shootdown over an area controlled by pro-Russian separatists, 193 were Dutch.
"No words can adequately express the sorrow the world feels over this loss. It is made more acute by the deep ties of friendship between our two countries," the president wrote in the book.
"Bound by that friendship, we will not rest until we are certain that justice is done," he wrote.
The White House said the United States welcomed news that victims' remains and the airplane's black boxes were being transferred to the Netherlands.
But White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters, "I don't think we've seen yet the level of cooperation with international investigators that we'd like to see."
International investigators still need full access to the crash site, Earnest said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country would try to ensure that Ukrainian separatists cooperate with an investigation into the downing but said the West must do more to persuade Ukraine's government to end hostilities.
At a news briefing, Earnest called on Putin to live up to his commitment to intervene with the separatists on the investigation.
More broadly, he said, "We do need to see Russia demonstrate some respect for Ukraine's territorial integrity."