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Netherlands decides not to send armed mission to Malaysian MH17 crash site in Ukraine

July 27, 2014, 23:12 UTC+3 THE HAGUE
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THE HAGUE, July 27. /ITAR-TASS/. The Netherlands has decided not to send its servicemen to the site of a Malaysian Boeing crash in eastern Ukraine, which killed 194 Dutch nationals, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Sunday.

He said that after scrutinizing all possible scenarios with military experts they had decided that a Dutch military mission might deteriorate the situation in the region and pose a threat to the process of retrieving the bodies of the crash victims.

The Netherlands however is ready to send from 60 to 160 unarmed servicemen of the royal military police who would be tasked to help Dutch forensic experts recover the bodies of those killed in the air crash. Apart from that, Australia and Malaysia said they were ready to send their policemen to Ukraine. It is not yet clear when this will take place and whether policemen would be armed. According to the Dutch government, representatives of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) are in talks on these matters with the militia of the self-proclaimed Donetsk.

On Friday, the Netherlands sent a team of 20 experts and 40 unarmed servicemen to Ukraine, Thirty people were expected to reach the crash site on Sunday but failed due to security considerations. Currently, the group is in Donetsk waiting for the situation to improve in order to be able to finally reach the crash area.

A Boeing-777 of the Malaysia Airlines (flight MH17) en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed on July 17 in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk Region 60 km from the Russian border, in the zone of combat operation between the Donetsk self-defence forces and the Ukrainian army. All the passengers and crewmembers onboard the plane - 298 people - died. Travelling aboard the plane were citizens of ten countries, including 194 Dutchmen, 27 Australians and 10 British nationals.

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