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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

MH17 tragedy must not be politicized: Putin

Iran Press TV

Mon Jul 21, 2014 7:42AM GMT

Russian President Vladimir Putin says the tragic crash of a Malaysian passenger plane in Ukraine must not be politicized, calling for safe access for international experts to the site.

Putin made the comments on Sunday, urging all warring sides in Ukraine's Donetsk region to provide the required conditions for the full investigation of the plane crash.

"We must do everything to provide security for the international experts on the site of the tragedy," said Putin, adding, "In the meantime, nobody should and has no right to use this tragedy to achieve their 'narrowly selfish' political goals."

Putin also said that there is a need to send "a full-fledged expert group" to the crash site under the guidance of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the relevant international commission.

Furthermore, Putin noted that if combat actions in the area had not "been resumed on June 28, this tragedy would have not happened for sure."

The Russian president continued by saying that Moscow would do everything in its power to "make the conflict in the east of Ukraine transfer from today's military phase to the discussion phase at the negotiating table by peaceful and exclusively diplomatic means."

On July 17, Malaysian Airline Flight MH17, was reportedly shot down over Ukraine's volatile Donetsk region, while travelling to Kuala Lumpur from the Dutch capital, Amsterdam. All 298 people on board died.

Ukraine and pro-Russia forces accuse each other of firing a surface-to-air missile at the passenger plane.

Ukraine launched military operations in the eastern regions of Donetsk and Lugansk in mid-April to crush the pro-Russia protests there. Violence intensified in May after the two flashpoint regions held local referendums, in which their residents voted overwhelmingly in favor of independence from Ukraine.

Hundreds of people have been killed in the ongoing military campaign in the country. Tens of thousands have been forced to escape to Russia, while over 4.5 million people remain in the conflict zone, according to a UN report.

CAH/HJL



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