WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin has called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to accept responsibility for downing a MalaysiaU Airlines jetliner over eastern Ukraine.

Speaking on the floor of the Senate on Tuesday, the Illinois Democrat also said Putin should do what he can to ensure unfettered access to the crash site.

Nearly 300 people aboard Flight 17 died last week due to an alleged missile attack. President Barack Obama has said evidence indicates the airliner was shot down by a surface-to-air missile from an area controlled by Russian-backed separatists.

Durbin says “all signs point to Putin, the Russians and their supporters in Eastern Ukraine as being responsible.”

He calls separatists in the region “thugs.” And he says they’ve been “armed, financed and inspired by Vladimir Putin and the Russians.”

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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