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Moscow to keep pressing for proper investigation of MH17 crash — Lavrov

March 19, 2015, 20:51 UTC+3
Russia will keep on insisting on the examination of all related facts and on pursuing all lines of inquiry all along, the country's foreign minister says
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© Mikhail Pochuev/TASS

MOSCOW, March 19. /TASS/. Moscow will keep pressing for the investigation of all facts behind and all leads that might help clear up the cause of the Malaysian Boeing's crash in Ukraine last summer, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said after talks with his Iraqi counterpart Ibrahim al-Jaafari on Thursday.

"We have been insisting on the examination of all related facts and on pursuing all lines of inquiry all along," Lavrov said. "And we will keep doing so not because we would like to see any specific explanation gain the upper hand, but because we want the truth to be determined. This is top priority."

"Unfortunately, one has an impression that some of our partners are interested in something else," he said. "What they are interested in is this: once they have failed to prove that their interpretation of the affair, made public days after the crash, is the right one, the whole investigation should be mothballed at any cost and possibly shelved altogether."

Lavrov said that Reuters’ article citing some witnesses who said that the Malaysian Boeing had been downed by militias looks like ‘injected information.’

"The reports published by Reuters are a sort of ‘injection of information’," Lavrov said. "Some eyewitnesses counteracting one another were telling something rather amusing for any specialist. For instance, a wiggling rocket, some kinds of rocket stage separating from it, and a blue cloud of smoke. According to the evidence, the witnesses were capable to see the plane crash while being about 25 kilometres away from the scene and in the conditions of thick clouds."

The Russian foreign minister pointed out that his Western counterparts and media for some reason "do not pay attention to numerous records of witnesses’ evidence — not anonymous people — who were saying in front of cameras that they saw a fighter jet over the scene of crash."

"There is a witness who worked at one of Ukraine’s military airports and who said in front of camera that one combat jet was scrambled on that day and later returned without one of its missiles. What is more, the Ukrainian authorities reiterated that military aircraft had no flights on that day."

"No-one pays attention to this fact," he said. "We are tired of asking the same questions the Russian Federal Air Navigation Service and the Defence Ministry formulated soon after the crash. In my opinion, no-one is going to give answers to them."

"We have been insisting on the examination of all related facts and on pursuing all lines of inquiry all along," Lavrov said. "And we will keep doing so not because we would like to see any specific explanation gain the upper hand, but because we want the truth to be determined. This is top priority."

"Unfortunately, one has an impression that some of our partners are interested in something else," he said. "What they are interested in is this: once they have failed to prove that their interpretation of the affair, made public days after the crash, is the right one, the whole investigation should be mothballed at any cost and possibly shelved altogether."

The Boeing 777-200 of the Malaysia Airlines en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed on July 17 in Ukraine's eastern Donetsk Region, some 60 km (over 37 miles) from the Russian border, in the zone of combat operations between the Donetsk self-defense forces and the Ukrainian army. All the passengers and crewmembers aboard the aircraft — 298 people — died. Most of the passengers — 196 people — were Dutch citizens. In early September, the Dutch Safety Board, which led the investigation and coordinated the international team of investigators, said in its preliminary report that flight MH17 with a Boeing 777-200 operated by Malaysia Airlines 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. The final report is expected in summer 2015.

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