News / Europe

Obama, Putin Discuss Ukraine in Phone Call

Members of OSCE mission to Ukraine examine the area of the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 plane crash near the village of Hrabove, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine Friday, Aug. 1, 2014.
Members of OSCE mission to Ukraine examine the area of the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 plane crash near the village of Hrabove, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine Friday, Aug. 1, 2014.
VOA News

U.S. President Barack Obama has spoken by telephone with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, with Obama saying the United States remains deeply concerned about Moscow's increased support for separatists in Ukraine.

Speaking to reporters at the White House Friday, President Obama said he discussed his preference for a diplomatic solution with the Russian leader.  Mr. Obama, however, said there are limits to what the United States can do.

"Right now what we've done is impose sufficient costs on Russia that objectively speaking they should, President Putin should want to resolve this diplomatically.  Get these sanctions lifted.  Get their economy growing again and have good relations with Ukraine; but sometimes people don't always act rationally and they don't always act based on their medium- or long-term interests.  That can't deter us though.  We just have to stay at it," said President Obama.

The White House says the two leaders "agreed to keep open their channels of communication."

The Kremlin, for its part, said Putin told the U.S. president in the telephone call that fresh sanctions imposed on Russia this week for its support for the separatists were "counterproductive" and would cause "serious damage to bilateral cooperation and international stability."

Also Friday, several dozen international investigators began working at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in eastern Ukraine.

Investigators from the Netherlands and Australia, along with officials from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, or OSCE, began combing an area now designated as a crime scene.

They will focus on recovering several dozen bodies still missing and retrieving the belongings of the 298 people killed when the Boeing 777 was shot down last month.

In another development, 10 Ukrainian paratroopers were killed Friday in an ambush by pro-Russian separatists near the town of Shakhtarsk, which is located not far from the crash site.

The acting commander of Ukraine's airborne troops, Colonel Yuriy Halushkin told reporters in Kyiv 13 other paratroopers were wounded and 11 are missing.

Ukraine and Western governments blame rebels for the shootdown.  U.S. analysts say the jetliner was likely downed by pro-Russian separatists launching a Russian missile.  There were no survivors.

Rebels intent on establishing autonomous republics near the Russian border have been battling Ukrainian troops for three months.

You May Like

US States Where Women Work for Free

Women earn less than men in all 50 states More

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

At a recent even in Seoul, border communities promoted benefits of increased cooperation and North Korean defectors shared stories of life since the war More

Video VOA EXCLUSIVE: Iraq President Vows Fight to Death Against IS

In wide-ranging interview, Fuad Masum describes new type of fight that will take time to win More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Jill from: Pennsylvania
August 03, 2014 2:50 PM
In our country, we have the writ of habeas corpus, as you know, meaning that a person arrested may not be held without sufficient evidence. Furthermore, if held, he is to be considered innocent until proven guilty. In the U.S. news, we are now reading reports by a German investigator, pilot-cum-air-technology expert,Peter Haisenko, who says the holes in the plane were not made by a missile, but a close range weapon like the ones owned by the Ukrainian govt, SU-25 fighter planes, 2 of which were spotted near the Malaysian airliner at that time by the Spanish air traffic control, as reported in Investment Watch. Until this is confirmed , however, the only one to blame for this tragic accident is the Malaysian passenger plane who flew through a civil WAR ZONE!!
In Response

by: AL
August 04, 2014 9:16 AM
Perhaps forensic examination of the fuselage components may also assist identification. However it is possible that satellite imagery has identified what may have struck the plane. What is really required is that Russia extradite those involved in the downing of MH 17 to the Hague. Habeas Corpus in criminal acts such as this are akin to war, in which case, it is irrelevant. Nobody should be exonerated for a dastardly deed, such as shooting down this aircraft. It is up to Russia to make the choice. The world is waiting.

by: Gennady from: Russia, Volga Region
August 02, 2014 12:08 PM
To Anonymous
It is counterproductive, superficial and provocative to jump into hasty conclusions about somebody’s guilt in the shotdowning, as it is not still proved without doubts that there was a rocket. There are different assumptions about “Who did this?”
By analogy, Kalashnikov machine guns are being used in military conflicts all over the world after having been produced in dozen of countries without Russia’s license. There were cases when the guns were stolen or captured from depots of the weak governments. Will you blame Russia for the deaths caused by the outstanding machine guns in wrong hands? The same with the rocket in question. It was an obsolete one, the remnant of 1980-s and had been stockpiled in Ukraine as a former ally of the USSR. It is known fact that the rockets were not properly stored by Ukraine government and were repossessed by rebels and could have been captured by anybody.

by: Igor from: Russia
August 01, 2014 10:47 PM
Waging war and blaming each other will not solve the Ukraine civil war. The war has come as the result of different opinions between the West and the East of Ukraine. Firstly those in power in Kiev must withraw all troops from Eastern Ukraine to give ways for dialogues and to break the ice of distrust. A concilliation dialogue between Ukaine's government representatives and the representatives of Eastern Ukraine must be held in a neutral country to find out the most suitable solution for Eastern Ukraine. It is high tine for Ukraine to stop the use of force, to reconcile, to respect different views, to forgive. All sides must not get stucked with threats, killings, hatred, using the language of sactions and blaming each other for that. Innocent people has suffered enough!.

by: Anonymous
August 01, 2014 2:37 PM
Counterproductive really? what would Mr Putin have us believe, that the downing of that aircraft was not done with a Russian manufactured missile battery? No sir, you really have to be courageous enough to ensure that those responsible for this atrocity are extradited to the Hague. Only then will Russia's credibility be restored and perhaps the sanctions aspect seriously reconsidered by the EU and lifted.
In Response

by: Jill from: Pennsylvania
August 03, 2014 3:03 PM
Nothing has been proven, and , even if it were, there will never be proof that it was intentional and not an accident by one of the disparate factions in the Ukrainian Civil War fearing a overhead bombing by the other. For honest people, this one will for ever remain an accident, albeit a very tragic one, but still an accident. There should be no sanctions, as the our U.S. govt. gives missiles and weapons to plenty of countries that aren't even on our border and don't even have any Americans in them. I used to be proud to be an American. However, at the present time, I am ashamed of our hypocrisy. Although a Democrat, unless things change drastically, I, and everyone with whom I have spoken, will definitely be voting Republican in the next election.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

VOA Blogs