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Moscow creates team of experts for MH17 probe
July 28, 2014, 3:52 am

International investigators from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe were finally granted access to the crash site last week [Xinhua]

International investigators from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe were finally granted access to the crash site last week [Xinhua]


Russia on Sunday announced the formation of a team of aviation and forensic experts who are expected to take part in the international probe investigating the crash of Malaysian Airlines MH17 in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine.

“A group of experts has been formed. They will participate in the investigation of the crash of a Malaysian Boeing 777, which happened on the territory of Ukraine on July 17, 2014. It has been headed by Oleg Storchevoy, the deputy head of Rosaviatsiya [Federal Air Transport Agency],” a statement from the Transport Ministry said.

Malaysian Airlines MH17 Boeing 777 was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it went off radar in eastern Ukraine, some 50km from the Russian border. It was carrying 280 passengers and 15 crew.

Ukrainian and US officials said that pro-Russian separatist rebels used advanced former Soviet surface-to-air missiles supplied by Moscow to shoot the commercial airliner down.

Both Russia and the rebels have denied such claims and instead blamed the Ukraine military.

On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin exchanged ideas on a means to conduct an objective investigation with both Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbot in separate phone conversations.

Twenty-eight Australians and 193 Dutch passengers were among those who perished in the downing of the jet.

A Russian government website said that the three leaders agreed to maintain “effective coordination through their foreign ministries and within the UN”.

UN Resolution 2166 passed on July 21 in part urges “all States and actors in the region to cooperate fully in relation to the international investigation of the incident, including with respect to immediate and unrestricted access to the crash site”.

Meanwhile, Washington on Sunday released satellite images it claimed proved that rockets have been fired into Ukraine from Russian territory.

Earlier, the EU imposed travel bans and froze the assets of senior intelligence officials who Brussels claimed had contributed to the instability in Ukraine.

Russia reacted by accusing the EU of harming a series of cooperative initiatives between Moscow and Brussels in the area of fighting terrorism and proliferation of banned weapons.

“The additional sanction list is direct evidence that the EU countries have set a course for fully scaling down cooperation with Russia over the issues of international and regional security,” Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Source: Agencies

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