Malaysian defence minister in Russia to discuss MH17 probe

Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein (left) gestures as Malaysia's newly appointed Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai (right) looks on while addressing the media at his office in Putrajaya on June 30, 2014. Hishammuddin arrived in Moscow for talks ov
Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein (left) gestures as Malaysia's newly appointed Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai (right) looks on while addressing the media at his office in Putrajaya on June 30, 2014. Hishammuddin arrived in Moscow for talks over a probe into the crash of flight MH17 in Ukraine, which killed 298 people. -- PHOTO: AFP

MOSCOW (AFP) - Malaysia's Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein has arrived in Moscow for talks over a probe into the crash of flight MH17 in Ukraine, which killed 298 people.

"Just arrived in Moscow: another long day of back to back meetings," Hishammuddin said on Twitter, a day after Dutch investigators released a preliminary report on the July disaster.

He will meet with his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu and foreign ministry officials, a spokesman for Malaysia's Moscow embassy said.

"The visit is related to the events," the spokesman told AFP on condition of anonymity. "The visit will last less than a day."

Hishammuddin was in the Ukrainian capital Kiev on Tuesday and will then visit Amsterdam, the spokesman added.

Dutch experts on Tuesday released initial findings in their probe into the tragedy, saying MH17 "broke up in the air probably as the result of structural damage caused by a large number of high-energy objects that penetrated the aircraft from outside".

While the report from the Dutch Safety Board does not apportion blame over the July air disaster, it could heighten Western pressure on Moscow over its role in the bloody Ukraine conflict.