Obama, Rutte again push Russia sanctions
American President Barack Obama wants stronger sanctions to be imposed against Russia, and has pressed this to Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte. According to a White House statement, Obama states that Russia has made no steps to de-escalate the situation in Ukraine since the crash disaster last Thursday that killed all 298 passengers. Pro-Russian separatists in the area are blamed for shooting down the plane with a surface-to-air missile, and the White House says that there is strong evidence that these rebels are still being armed by Russia, despite strong international criticism. This allows rebels to keep the area destabilized. According to Het Parool, Obama and Rutte are in agreement about the need to take further measures to ensure that Russia pays a price for its inaction in the matter. Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has also received a phone call from President Obama, and is also behind the President's proposal. International investigators must have secure access to the crash site to be able to execute their investigation as quickly and efficiently as possible, with their safety guaranteed. This is something Prime Minister Mark Rutte has also pressed.