US blasts Russia despite support for crash probe

By the Associated Press | July 21, 2014 | 4:05 PM EDT

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United States is blasting Moscow for its support of separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine where the Malaysia Airlines plane went down, while welcoming Russia's support of a U.N. resolution calling for an investigation of the crash site.

U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power said that Monday's unanimous vote at the Security Council would not have been necessary had Russia used its leverage to get the Ukraine rebels it supports to let international experts to visit the site.

Power charged that through Russia's failure to condemn the obstructive behavior of the "armed thugs" at the site, Russia has sent a message to the separatists: "We have your backs."

Power said there are now signs that rebels are allowing access to the crash site, but "access must be immediate, it must be full."