Clinton: Putin ‘bears responsibility'

 

Hillary Clinton believes Russian President Vladimir Putin is at least partly to blame for the recent downing of a Malaysia Airlines flight.

In a CNN interview scheduled to air on Sunday, the possible 2016 front-runner and former secretary of State said Russia “bears responsibility” for arming and supporting Russian separatists in Ukraine.

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“I think if there were any doubt it should be gone by now that Vladimir Putin – certainly indirectly through his support of the insurgents in eastern Ukraine and the supply of advanced weapons and, frankly, the presence of Russian special forces and intelligence agents – bears responsibility for what happened to shoot down the airline,” she said on “Fareed Zakaria GPS.”

The comments come just more than a week after the crash, which killed all 298 passengers onboard. Pro-Russian separatists have been blamed for shooting down the plane using arms supplied by Russia.

In reaction to the crash, Clinton called for countries in Europe to follow the United States’ lead and impose sanctions on entire sectors of the Russian economy, which they have so far been reluctant to do out of dependency on Russian energy.

“They need to understand they must stand up to Vladimir Putin,” she said.

Clinton, who has had multiple encounters with Putin during her time in office, called the Russian president “a very arrogant person to deal with” because of both his “vision of Russia and some fundamental insecurity,” which could make relations between the two nations hard to repair for the time being.

“I would be delighted if the United States could have a positive relationship with Russia and I would be thrilled if the Russian people, who are so capable, had a normal country that they could chart a different future,” she said. “I think that will be next to impossible, at least for the short-term, with Putin.”