On Malaysia Airlines MH17, Obama Calls For Ceasefire In Ukraine, Names One U.S. Victim
Just one day after Malaysia Airlines MH17 was shot down flying over the Ukraine border, President Obama spoke out once again regarding the circumstances surrounding the incident. Speaking from the White House, Obama confirmed at least one U.S. citizen, Quinn Lucas Schansman, was among the 298 victims aboard the plane, and called for a ceasefire in the region. "It’s time for peace and security to be restored in Ukraine," Obama said.
Of the Netherlands, which lost almost 200 citizens in the crash, President Obama said: "Today I want the Dutch people to know: We stand with you shoulder to shoulder."
This is the second plane from the airline to have an incident this year — in March, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared from radar, causing rumors of its whereabouts to run rampant. And, in the case of Flight 17, there are plenty more rumors — speaking on Friday, Obama said there was misinformation surrounding the flight, but "We're going to make sure truth gets out."
Though it's still not clear who is responsible for shooting down Malaysia Airlines MH17, Obama said he has "confidence in saying that shot was taken in territory controlled by [pro-Russian] separatists.” It's too early to guess who may have shot the plane down, he continued, but called for a "credible international investigation" surrounding the downed flight. "Russia, pro-Russian separatists and Ukraine must adhere to an immediate cease-fire. Evidence must not be tampered with," he said.
In a phone call to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Obama continued, he'd told Putin that "time and time again, Russia has refused to take the concrete steps necessary [for peace]."
Turning attention away from the culprit and to the victims, Obama named the one confirmed U.S. citizen aboard the flight as Quinn Lucas Schansman.
Obama's words on Friday mimicked his statement on Thursday, when he told an audience at a pre-schedule transportation conference: “[The United States will] offer any assistance it can to help determine what happened and why. As a country our thoughts and prayers are with all the passengers and families.