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Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Russian president Putin vows to press rebels, help crash probe

Published on Jul 22, 2014 9:12 PM
 
Russian President Vladimir Putin heads a meeting of the Security Council in Moscow's Kremlin on July 22, 2014. Russian President Vladimir Putin promised Tuesday, July 22, 2014, to do everything possible to influence pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine and help ensure a full probe into the Malaysia Airlines crash last week. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

MOSCOW (AFP) - Russian President Vladimir Putin promised Tuesday to do everything possible to influence pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine and help ensure a full probe into the Malaysia Airlines crash last week.

However he added that it would not be enough with Kiev's continuing military operation against the rebels, adding that the West must push Ukraine's authorities to declare a ceasefire.

"Russia will do everything in its power for a full, comprehensive, deep, and transparent investigation," Mr Putin told a meeting of the national security council, according to excerpts broadcast by Russian state television.

"We are asked to exert influence on the militants of the south-east (of Ukraine). Of course we will do everything in our power.

"However this would be absolutely inadequate" given fresh attacks by Ukrainian troops, said Mr Putin.

"Tanks broke through to the train station," he said of Monday's clashes on the outskirts of Donetsk. "International experts who came to the tragedy could not lift their heads." Ukrainian "authorities must be called upon to abide by elementary decency, to introduce a ceasefire, at least for a short time for the investigation," Mr Putin added.

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