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Republicans: Obama must show leadership in Ukraine crisis

US President Barack Obama makes a statement on Ukraine from the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, DC, July 18, 2014US lawmakers demanded Friday that President Barack Obama show strong leadership and take swift action against Moscow in response to the downing of a passenger jet over Ukrainian territory. Obama accused the Kremlin of fomenting violence in eastern Ukraine and providing pro-Russian separatists with “sophisticated equipment” such as the surface-to-air missile used to shoot down the Malaysia Airlines plane, but he stopped short of accusing Russia of direct involvement in Thursday’s attack, which killed all 298 people aboard. As the administration weighs what to do, lawmakers have been urging Obama to get tough — not just on the plane disaster but in the broader Ukraine crisis, ongoing nuclear negotiations with Iran and Israel-Gaza violence. “It’s important for the president to step up today and mobilize Western support as far as economic sanctions” on Russia, he added on CNN.

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