International leaders are now demanding an investigative probe to determine who was responsible for the downing of the Malaysian Air commercial jet that was headed from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.
The plane crash occurred less than a day after U.S. President Obama imposed a new round of sanctions on some of Russia’s largest companies for Russia’s provocations in Ukraine, a claim that Moscow denies.
Russian President Vladimir Putin had a recent telephone call with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and asked for a “thorough and unbiased” investigation into the Malaysian airliner crash in eastern Ukraine, according to Reuters on Friday.
Over 150 Dutch passengers were aboard the flight when it crashed near the Ukrainian-Russian border in Donetsk, a pro-Russian separatist controlled area that has witnessed fierce fighting in recent weeks along with an escalation of sophisticated weaponry.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte ended his vacation early in Germany to console family members of the Dutch crash victims back in Amsterdam.
“This beautiful summer day has ended in the blackest possible way” Rutte said at Schiphol Airport.
Valentyn Nalyvaichenko, the head of Ukraine’s Security Service, said that Ukraine’s government was able to obtain intercepted phone calls between members of Russia’s intelligence agency and pro-Russian separatists that includes a discussion of the plane being shot out of the sky, according to the Kiev Post.
Pro-Russian separatists near the crash site were opposed to allowing Ukrainian officials to approach the crash site to carry out an investigation but they are now considering a 3 day truce with Ukrainian forces.
Earlier in the week, pro-Russian separatists shot down a Ukrainian cargo plane using a surface to air missile fired from a Russian Buk launcher.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has denied that Russia is aiding and supplying the pro-Russian separatists that are seeking to control large areas of eastern Ukraine.
The United States along with its EU partners and a host of world leaders believe that Russia has armed and supported pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott demanded on Friday that Moscow respond to questions about the “Russian-backed rebels” that he said were behind the plane crash.
U.S. President Barack Obama said on Thursday in Delaware that the U.S. is prepared to offer any support to help figure out what happened with the plane crash.
“The United States will offer any assistance we can to help determine what happened and why” Obama said.