World figures comment on the downing of Malaysia Airlines MH17 near the Ukraine-Russia border on July 18, 2014. (Reuters)
Vice President Joe Biden: ``(The plane) apparently has been shot down - shot down, not an accident, blown out of the sky.''
President Vladimir Putin: ``This tragedy would not have happened if there had been peace on that land, or in any case if military operations in southeastern Ukraine had not been renewed. And without doubt, the government of the territory on which it happened bears responsibility for this frightening tragedy. We will do everything that we can so that an objective picture of what happened can be achieved. This is a completely unacceptable thing.''
German Chancellor Angela Merkel: ``We need to start an independent investigation as quickly as possible. A ceasefire is needed for that and it's important that those responsible are bought to justice. There are many indications that the plane was shot down, so we have to take things very seriously. (I am making) a very clear call for the Russian president and government to make their contribution to bringing about a political solution.''
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak: ``If it transpires that the plane was indeed shot down, we insist that the perpetrators must swiftly be brought to justice.''