NEW YORK, July 21 (UPI) -- The United Nations Security Council convened Monday in response to the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over restive eastern Ukraine on July 17.
The 15-member Security Council, currently chaired by Rwanda's Ambassador to the U.N. Eugene Richard Gassen, voted unanimously on Monday to adopt Resolution 2166 which calls for "unhindered access to the crash site."
A team of international investigators is on the ground but have encountered problems gaining full access to the wreckage because of Russian-backed separatists who have blocked them, fired weapons into the air, and removed both evidence and bodies from the crash site.
The U.N. Security Council chair posted a photo on Twitter showing the Security Council members, with hands raised, voting in favor of the resolution.
In a televised address from the South Lawn of the White House on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama urged Russia to use its influence over the Russian-backed separatists who control the crash site area to allow investigators in and not to impede the investigation.
"What they need right now is immediate and full access to the crash site. They need to be able to conduct a prompt and full and unimpeded, as well as transparent, investigation. And recovery personnel have to do the solemn and sacred work of recovering the remains of those who were lost."