Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Britain says Russia not providing enough support
Published on Jul 19, 2014 10:39 PM
LONDON (AFP) - Britain on Saturday said Russia was not exerting enough influence over pro-Moscow separatists in eastern Ukraine to get them to allow international access to the Malaysian plane crash site.
Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said it seemed increasingly likely that separatists had shot down the Malaysia Airlines plane, killing all 298 people on board.
"We're not getting enough support from the Russians, we're not seeing Russia using their influence effectively enough to get the separatists, who are in control of the site, to allow the access that we need," Hammond told reporters.
"This is not about Russia and the West - this is about the whole community demanding that the proper access is made available to this site, the victims are properly recovered and evidence is secured.
"The world's eyes will be on Russia to see if she delivers on her obligations in the next couple of hours.
"We are demanding that the Russians use their influence to ensure that access is granted. That's the only way we can get to the truth and bring those accountable to justice."
He said it was clear that monitors at the crash site had not been given full access by the separatists, and some areas were not possible to reach at all.
Hammond said Russia's ambassador to London would be called into the Foreign Office so Britain's views can be expressed in no uncertain terms.
"We still can't be categoric about the cause of this terrible accident but there's a growing body of evidence which clearly suggests a missile fired from separatists in eastern Ukraine," he said.
"Our focus now is on securing the site so there is a proper international investigation to identify the cause and the perpetrators and bring them to justice and making sure the victims are dealt with with proper dignity and respect."
Hammond said that while the total number of British victims was thought to be 10, London could not be "absolutely certain" that the investigation would not identify more British nationals.
Specialists from the Britain's Air Accidents Investigation Branch are in Ukraine, as part of an international effort to look into the crash.