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World Leaders Comment on Downing of Plane Over Ukraine

As news broke of the downing of a Malaysia Airlines plane over Ukraine, killing all 283 passengers and crew on board, world leaders were quick to come forward with their condolences, interpretation of events and denouncement of the culprits.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden

"(The plane) apparently has been shot down — shot down, not an accident, blown out of the sky."

Pakal Koban / Reuters

Russian President Vladimir Putin

"This tragedy would not have happened, if there had been peace on that land, or in any case if military operations in southeastern Ukraine had not been renewed. And without doubt the government of the territory on which it happened bears responsibility for this frightening tragedy."

"We will do everything that we can so that an objective picture of what happened can be achieved. This is a completely unacceptable thing."

Michael Klimentyev / Kremlin

German Chancellor Angela Merkel

"We need to start an independent investigation as quickly as possibly. A ceasefire is needed for that and it's important that those responsible are bought to justice. There are many indications that the plane was shot down, so we have to take things very seriously."

"(I am making) a very clear call for the Russian president and government to make their contribution to bringing about a political solution."

Francois Lenoir / Reuters

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak

"If it transpires that the plane was indeed shot down, we insist that the perpetrators must swiftly be brought to justice."


Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko

"(The) tragedy showed again that terrorism is not localized, but a world problem. And the external aggression against Ukraine is not just our problem, but a threat to European and global security."

Mykola Lazarenko / Reuters

Ukrainian separatist leader Aleksander Borodai

"Apparently, it's a passenger airliner ... truly shot down by the Ukrainian Air Force."

Shamil Zhumatov / Reuters

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott

"We all know that there are problems in Ukraine. We also know who is very substantially to blame for those problems, and the idea that Russia can somehow say that none of this had anything to do with them because it happened in Ukrainian airspace frankly does not stand up to any serious scrutiny."

Stefan Posties / Reuters

See also:

World Leaders Demand Probe Into Malaysian Plane Crash in Ukraine

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