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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia Ready to Discuss Police Mission to MH17 Crash Site in Eastern Ukraine

RIA Novosti

20:50 28/07/2014

MOSCOW, July 28 (RIA Novosti) – Russia is ready to discuss issues of granting foreign police officers access to the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash site in eastern Ukraine, but Kiev authorities should primarily stop the military operation in the area, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told international news agency Rossiya Segodnya Monday.

"We are ready to discuss key issues precisely and actively, so that the [mission's] activities are acceptable for everyone," the Russian diplomat said.

The main obstacle on the way of organizing such international mission is "the reluctance of Kiev authorities to secure a ceasefire and more importantly to launch a genuine and inclusive dialogue with the self-defense forces, with the republics of Donetsk and Luhansk," Ryabkov stressed.

"Because of that … it's impossible to establish the truth and calm down this tragic situation. Unfortunately, we do not find any proper response from Kiev, or from the capitals that are actually pushing the current Ukrainian authorities to continue the confrontation, to continue the so-called anti-terrorist operation ... We believe that it's absolutely essential that Kiev undertake a rigorous review of this approach,' the Russian diplomat concluded.

The Kiev government has earlier called on countries whose citizens were killed in the disaster to send police teams to guard the crash zone and help investigators.

Last week, Dutch Foreign Minister Mark Rutte said his country would send a group of 23 investigators and experts, accompanied by 40 police officers.

On Sunday, the Netherlands, leading the investigation into the MH17 catastrophe, said that the team of forensic experts heading to the crash site did not reach its destination and would remain in the city of Donetsk "until further notice." Rutte said that deployment of an international military unit in Ukraine to ensure security of the plane crash site is impossible given the risks that the experts may get involved in the ongoing conflict in the country.

A total of 298 people, including 85 children and 15 crew members, died on July 17 as Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed in the Donetsk Region of Ukraine. The tragedy claimed the lives of 193 Dutch citizens.

The cause of the catastrophe remains unclear and the investigation into the circumstances is still underway, seriously obstructed by continuing clashes between independence supporters and the government forces in the region.

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