Skip to comments.Malaysia, Ukraine Rebels Reach Agreement to Allow "Safe Access" for MH17 Crash Investigators
Posted on 07/21/2014 3:32:08 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak reached a deal with the leader of the pro-Russian separatists in control of the MH17 crash site to allow "safe access" for international investigators.
"Under difficult and fluid circumstances, we have been discussing the problems that have occupied us all: securing vital evidence from the aircraft, launching an independent investigation, and above all recovering the remains of those who lost their lives," Razak said in a statement. "Tonight, we have established the basis of an agreement to do just that."
The remains of 282 victims of the crash, currently in Torez, will be moved by train to Kharkiv, where they will be handed over to representatives from the Netherlands. The train will be accompanied by six Malaysian members of the recovery team.
The remains will then be flown to Amsterdam together with the Malaysian team. Following any necessary forensic work, the remains of Malaysian citizens will then be flown home to Malaysia.
The announcement comes after President Obama urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to compel Russian-backed separatists to stop hampering the international investigation into the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17.
"It's now been four days since Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 was shot down over territory controlled by Russian-backed separatists in Ukraine," Obama said. "Our immediate focus is on recovering those who are lost, investigating what happened, and putting forward the facts. We have to make sure the truth is out and accountability exists."
International investigators are currently on the ground at the crash site, said Obama, but they lack "full and unimpeded" access to the crash site.
The separatists controlling the area of the MH17 wreckage are using the crash site as an international bargaining chip, declaring that they can only ensure international investigators will have access to the crash site if Ukraine agrees to a truce.
"We declare that we will guarantee the safety of international experts on the scene as soon as Kiev concludes a ceasefire agreement," said senior leader Andrei Purgin of the Donetsk People's Republic, the self-declared sovereign entity the rebels claim to have established in eastern Ukraine. He further urged the Ukrainian government to "immediately conclude such an agreement" with the movement.
"Russian-back separatists continue to prevent investigators to access the crash site and are removing evidence from the site," said Obama. "Which begs the question: What exactly are they trying to hide?"
"This is an insult to those who lost loved ones," Obama continued. "This is the kind of behavior that has no place in a community of nations."
Given Russia's direct influence over the separatists, Obama argued that Russian President Putin has responsibility to compel them to cooperate with international members of crash investigation: "The burden now is on Russia to insist separatists stop tampering with the evidence."
The horrible incident should be a watershed moment for Russia to "pivot away" and bring an end to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, Obama said. "If Russia continues to violate Ukraines sovereignty, then Russia will only further isolate itself and the costs will only increase."
"Families deserve to lay their loved ones with dignity," concluded Obama. "The world deserves to know what happened."
Closing the barn door after the horses have already escaped.
Separatists Have Full Control Over MH 17 Crash Site, Says Malaysian Minister
The Malaysian government expressed concern today that the crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17 is now under the full control of separatist groups.
A Malaysian team of 133 officials and experts arrived in Kiev on Saturday morning to investigate the MH 17 crash site but they have been unable to get to the area to recover victims remains and retrieve the aircrafts black boxes, the Malaysian government said in a statement released today.
According to the statement, armed rebels have prevented the Malaysian recovery and investigation team from getting to the wreckage of MH 17.
The Ukrainian government says it is unable to guarantee the safety of international investigators in and around the site.
Malaysia is very concerned that the sanctity of the crash site has been severely compromised, the statement read.
I trust Putin less and that is saying something.
Another way of saying : "After its been pillaged."