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updated: 7/18/2014 7:00 PM

Kirk: 'Russia should pay a significant cost' over plane crash

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  • Video: Kirk talks about jet crash

  • U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk wants the U.S. to file a wrongful-death suit against Russia after this week's plane crash in Ukraine.

       U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk wants the U.S. to file a wrongful-death suit against Russia after this week's plane crash in Ukraine.
    Bill Zars | Staff Photographer

 
 

U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk on Friday urged strong economic retaliation by the U.S. against Russia after the shooting down of a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet over Ukraine.

The Highland Park Republican said on CNN the U.S. should bring "one hell of a wrongful-death suit against Russian assets that are located in the United States to make sure there's a significant cost paid by Russia."

"Russia should pay a significant cost inside the United States for this act," he later said.

Kirk also offered the idea of putting expensive missile defense systems on planes to try to fend off future missile attacks, though he said the particular defense -- called DIRCM -- might not have worked in this case. The Directional Infrared Countermeasures system is made by Northrop Grumman at its Rolling Meadows plant, Kirk said.

"DIRCM costs about $2 million each to blind a heat-seeking missile that's coming at you," Kirk said.

Back in May, Kirk wanted the U.S. to further sanction the Russian government. And in March, Kirk and other senators asked President Barack Obama to stop sharing missile and defense information.

Kirk said he thinks Russian officials at least helped shoot the plane down because the missile systems needed to do so are complicated and not easily used without military backup. Russia denies involvement.

On Thursday, Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was reportedly shot down by a missile over an area of eastern Ukraine held by Russia-backed separatists, resulting in the deaths of 298 people.

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