President Barack Obama called for Russia to make good on its claims of wanting an open investigation into the crash of the Malaysia Airlines flight in Ukraine last week.
"The burden now is on Russia to insist that the separatists stop tampering with the evidence, grant investigators who are already on the ground immediate, full and unimpeded access to the crash site," Obama said Monday.
Obama also threatened that the U.S. and the international community may further punish Russia if it does not cooperate.
"My preference continues to be finding a diplomatic resolution within Ukraine—I believe that can still happen, that is my preference today and it will continue to be my preference," Obama said. "But if Russia continues to violate Ukraine's sovereignty and to back these separatists, and these separatists become more and more dangerous and now are risks not simply to the people inside of Ukraine, but the broader international community, then Russia will only further isolate itself from the international community and the costs for Russia's behavior will only continue to increase."
Finally, the president made a plea for the immediate recovery of the crash victims' bodies, saying that allowing the international community to access the remains is "the least that decency demands" from the separatists.