Russia lays responsibility for MH17 crash on Ukraine

Updated: 2014-09-10 21:48


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MOSCOW - Ukraine is fully responsible for tragedy of the Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Wednesday.

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"The tragedy happened in Ukraine's airspace and it bears full responsibility for that," Shoigu told his Malaysian counterpart Hishammuddin Hussein, who was on a visit to Moscow for the investigation of the MH17 crash.

If Ukraine had solved its domestic problems without using heavy weapons, the tragedy would not have happened, Shoigu said.

Russia is ready to provide all the necessary assistance to investigate the causes of the tragedy, he said, adding that "the investigation must be independent and unbiased, its results must be open to world public."

Hussein, for his part, said that Malaysia would do everything to prevent incidents similar to the Ukraine crisis from happening in Southeastern Asia.

The Boeing 777 jetliner, en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, crashed in eastern Ukraine on July 17, killing all the 298 passengers and crew aboard, among whom 44 were Malaysian citizens.

The cause of the tragedy was yet to be determined, but Ukraine and Russia have laid the blame at each other's door.

The Malaysian authorities Tuesday urged all parties to work closely together to facilitate further investigation on the plane crash.

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman on Tuesday expressed hope that a ceasefire between Ukrainian forces and independence-seeking insurgents would allow resuming an international recovery operation on the crash site.