Russia Urges End to Military Action in MH17 Crash Area
MOSCOW, July 22 (RIA Novosti) – The Russian Foreign Ministry said Tuesday it believed that an end to military hostilities around the crash site of the Malaysian airliner in eastern Ukraine would prevent such tragedies from happening in the future.
"We remain convinced that a stop to military actions in the area around the crashed plane, as well as in eastern Ukraine as a whole, would guarantee that such tragedy would never happen again, thus saving many innocent lives," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
It added Russia was keeping tabs on the investigation into the cause of the Malaysia Airlines' Boeing 777 crash in Ukraine's airspace. The lead in the probe has been given to the International Civil Aviation Organization, which is a United Nations agency.
"We commend the handover of 'black boxes' to Malaysian representatives by militia. We expect them to be forwarded to the group of international experts under the auspices of the ICAO, with whom the Russian side is willing to cooperate," the ministry said.
The foreign office added that the efforts of the Trilateral Contact Group – consisting of Ukrainian and Russian senior representatives, and the OSCE Chairperson-in Office – to approach local self-defense forces were successful and allowed for the transportation of crash victims' bodies to the government-controlled city of Khrarkiv in eastern Ukraine.
"We believe this will enable an impartial and objective investigation into the cause of the Malaysian Boeing disaster in the sky over Ukraine," the ministry stated.
A Malaysia Airlines' passenger plane en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed on July 17 near the city of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board, including 283 passengers and 15 crew members.
On Monday, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution demanding that those responsible for this incident be held to account and all military activities be immediately ceased near the crash site to ensure safety of international investigators.
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