Obama calls on separatists, Putin to cooperate with crash recovery

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WALB) - International investigators are on the ground at the scene where the Malaysian airliner crashed after being shot down last week.

President Obama says these teams need unfettered access to the crash site, but the work is being blocked by pro-Soviet separatists, and they are even removing bodies and evidence from the scene.

He says this must stop, and calls on Russia to exert its considerable influence to make the separatists cooperate. Obama called on Russian President Putin to assist the recovery efforts.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.

The A. P. contributed to this report

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