News / Europe

Malaysia, Dutch PMs to Discuss MH17 Access

Dutch investigators examine pieces of the crashed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in the village of Rassipne, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, July 25, 2014.
Dutch investigators examine pieces of the crashed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in the village of Rassipne, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, July 25, 2014.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said on Saturday he would meet his Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte next week to discuss how to secure full access for investigators to the site in Ukraine where a Malaysian airliner was downed.

Pro-Russian separatists remain in control of the area in eastern Ukraine where the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 was brought down last week on a flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, killing all 298 on board.

Najib helped clinch a deal with separatist leaders to secure the return of the victims' remains as well as the aircraft's two “black boxes”, critical to determining what happened to the flight. It was now time, he said, to proceed with the full investigation.

“My priority now is to ensure the third part of the deal is honored, and that international investigators are given full and secure access to the site,” he said in a statement.

“This will require the cooperation of those in control of the crash site and the Ukrainian armed forces.”

The statement said Najib would fly to the Netherlands for talks on Wednesday, after Malaysia has marked the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

Difficult situation on ground

Malaysian experts believe at least 30 investigators will be required to cover the full site of the crash, the statement said, in addition to Dutch investigators and an expert from the United Nations' civil aviation body, the ICAO.

“Unfortunately events on the ground - including ongoing fighting between Ukrainian and separatist forces - prevent such a large contingent of investigators being deployed,” it said.

Ukraine's armed forces have been trying to dislodge separatists from towns in eastern Ukraine since April.

The United States and other Western countries suggest the separatists downed the plane with a surface-to-air missile supplied by Russia. The separatists deny shooting down the plane and Russia says it has provided no such weapons.

A total of 193 Dutch nationals and 43 Malaysians were among the victims aboard MH-17.

The Dutch Safety Board said this week it had taken control of an investigation into the crash and would coordinate a team of investigators from Ukraine, Malaysia, Germany, the United States, Britain, Russia and the ICAO.

The European Union reached an outline agreement on Friday to impose the first economic sanctions on Russia over its annexation of Ukraine's Crimea peninsula in March and suspicions that it is actively involved in destablising eastern Ukraine.

The 28-nation EU also imposed travel bans and asset freezes on Russian intelligence chiefs and other officials accused of undermining Ukraine's sovereignty.

One official added to the list, Alexander Tkachyov, the governor of Russia's southern Krasnodar region, said he had no regrets about any action he had taken. He said the West was “settling scores” for the success of the Winter Olympics at Sochi in his region in February.

“I have no regrets because of the sanctions,” Tkachyov said on Twitter. “Even if I had known about this beforehand, I would do what I did.”

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Comment Sorting
by: Jessye A. from: Japan
July 26, 2014 10:54 PM
What are they waiting for, all those countries involved should bring armed military-police and forensic experts and claim their way thu.Putin doesn't want any more blood on his hands so rebels won't kill innocent people again... By the way I blame Ukraine too, they should have fought harder to keep rebels out in there first place.I hope all remaining body parts left on crash-site can be flown to The Netherlands asap.Furthermore I totally don't get it those terrorists-culprits get impatient but if they give access to experts it could be over even sooner.I truly hope Holland will be able to investigate who gave the order to shoot and who pushed the button... they must be punished.I praise the Netherlands for their swift determination to get to the bottom of all of this and sure I give them credit to succeed.Thanks Holland.
In Response

by: john mercieca from: moscow
July 27, 2014 2:51 AM
Rightly said .. I am not Russian ,,, but this tragedy could have been avoided . I beleive that it is not just the one who pressed the button . The EU. The Americans should have known better before they pushed themselves into a country which even The Russian federation have been having trouble with Ukraine for many years ,
But then there is money in this . BIg money . I also state that the avaiation authorites should have instigated rules. On the other hand I also beleive that the downing of this jet was pre planned .
Why was it ordered to change path . There was no bad weather .
Why was a Ukramian fighter following it .
I grieve deeply with those families who have lost their loved ones .
Yet who are we to rule . We are all in the hands of certain individuals ... The same way John Kennedy was assassinated . The Septemebr 11 and one can keep going on and on .This is what it is . May God give peace

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