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Iran Press TV

Pro-Russians vows safe access to MH17 crash site

Iran Press TV

Fri Jul 18, 2014 2:44PM GMT

Pro-Russians in Ukraine's volatile eastern regions have agreed to ensure safe access for investigators to the crash site of the Malaysian passenger flight MH17.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said Friday that pro-Russians had vowed to provide safe access and security guarantees to the national investigation commission, including international investigators, in the area under their control.

The OSCE said that pro-Russians also agreed during a video conference with a "contact group" of senior representatives from Russia, Ukraine and the organization to provide assistance in the investigation into the downing of the Malaysian passenger flight MH17.

In addition, the OSCE said "as a matter of priority" pro-Russia forces were to close off the crash site and allow local authorities to begin preparations for the recovery of bodies.

The Malaysian Boeing 777-200 was reportedly shot down on Thursday over Ukraine's volatile Donetsk region, while en route from the Dutch city of Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, killing 298 passengers and crew on board.

Pro-Russians in eastern Ukraine have accused Kiev of shooting down the plane. The government of the Lugansk People's Republic has said in a statement that witnesses watching the flight of the Boeing 777 passenger plane saw it being attacked by a battle plane of the Ukrainian forces.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, however, has said a "terrorist attack" caused the passenger plane to crash.

Russian President Vladimir Putin commented earlier on Friday on the downing of the Malaysian plane, saying the government of the territory in which the tragedy had happened bears responsibility for it, adding that the incident would not have occurred if Kiev had not resumed its military operation against the pro-Russia forces in the country's east.

Ukraine launched its military operations in eastern regions in mid-April in a bid to crush the pro-Russia protests there. Hundreds of people have been killed in the military campaign while tens of thousands were forces to escape to Russia.

CAH/AB



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