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Obama Calls For Immediate Access To Crash Site

Pablo Martinez / AP
 

Pablo Martinez / AP

UPDATED 8:30 A.M. 

(AP) -- President Barack Obama is calling for international investigators to have "immediate and full access" to the site in eastern Ukraine, where a passenger jet was shot down last week.

Obama accused pro-Russian separatists in the area of removing evidence and bodies from the crash site. He says that raising the question of "what exactly are they trying to hide?"

The president says the burden is on Russia and President Vladimir Putin to compel the separatists to cooperate with the investigation. Obama says that if Russia continues to violate Ukraine's sovereignty, Moscow "will only further isolate itself" and the economic costs will continue to increase.

The White House says the missile that brought down the Malaysia Airlines plane was fired from an area controlled by the separatists.

Meanwhile, Dutch experts are calling for a full forensic sweep of the site where Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 went down.

Members of the Dutch National Forensic Investigations Team toured farm fields Monday near the eastern Ukrainian village of Hrabove, where they observed some of the victims' remains that had not yet been removed.

The plane was shot down Thursday. Of its 298 victims, 193 were Dutch citizens. Forensics team leader Peter Van Vilet said seeing the site was an emotional experience that gave him goose bumps despite the heat.

Investigations at the site have been hampered by the armed pro-Russia separatists who control the area.

8 A.M. (AP) -- President Barack Obama will speak about the downed plane in Ukraine from the White House Monday morning.U.S. officials have been seeking to build a case that the plane was shot down by pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Officials also say it is unlikely the separatists could have fired a missile without assistance from Russia. The Malaysia Airlines plane was brought down Thursday with nearly 300 people on board. 

The White House has been calling for an international investigation into the crash and a cease-fire around the area.