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Ukraine to complete MH17 crash technical investigation by August 10 — foreign ministry

July 21, 2015, 15:57 UTC+3 KIEV
The report’s final version will be presented for all the countries linked with the catastrophe
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© TASS/Mikhail Sokolov

KIEV, July 21. /TASS/. Ukraine will prepare a report on the results of technical investigation of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 crash in Ukraine’s south-eastern Donbas region by August 10, 2015, Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister for European integration affairs Yelena Zerkal told a briefing on Tuesday.

"The work on the report is actually nearing completion, and by August 10 the report’s final version will be presented for all the countries linked with this catastrophe," he said.

The report "explains the circumstances of this catastrophe," in particular, "how the pilots and ground services were communicating, what caused the explosion and fall," the deputy foreign minister said. "It’s a technical investigation determining all the circumstances from the beginning of the flight to its end," she said.

According to her, the Ukrainian investigation takes into account conclusions of Russian experts. "Statements made by Russian specialists were taken into account," Zerkal said.

The Ukrainian deputy foreign minister said that a criminal investigation that is "closed and confidential" was also underway. According to her, "a working group was created" to this end. "Its [investigation] results will not be brought up for public discussion," she said.

The Malaysia Airlines MH17 passenger Boeing plane crashed in Ukraine’s south-eastern Donetsk region on July 17, 2014. All 283 passengers and 15 crew members - citizens of 10 countries, were killed in the crash. The basic version of the catastrophe causes was that the airliner was hit by a "ground-to-air" or an "air-to-air" missile. Ukrainian authorities and representatives of the militia of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) have blamed each other for the tragedy.

The majority of those who were killed in the crash were citizens of the Netherlands, so the incident is investigated by the Dutch Safety Board. Dutch experts got to the plane fall site two weeks after the tragedy and started the search efforts. Prior to that, in the absence of experts and amid hot weather with air temperatures rising to 30 degrees Celsius the DPR militias organised the collection of bodies. The investigation that is still not over was launched then.

Various versions of the MH17 crash have appeared over the year since the tragedy, blaming first Donbass militias, then the Ukrainian armed forces, and then some "third force." And every time these supposedly "reliable data" were giving rise to new accusations by the sides and the demands to bring those responsible to trial. Shortly before the anniversary of the tragedy, Malaysia with support of Australia, Belgium, the Netherlands and Ukraine demanded to create an international tribunal for punishing those responsible for the airliner crash. The UN Security Council may put this issue to a vote on July 21.

On the eve of the anniversary of the tragedy, Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte called Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss the investigation. Putin said the proposal to establish an international tribunal was early and counterproductive," the Kremlin press service reported.

"The focus was made that to adopt a decision on judicial mechanisms and to bring those guilty in this crime to justice, an active work is needed to complete the international investigation that should be thorough and objective and have an independent and comprehensive character," the statement said. This should be in full compliance with the provisions of Resolution 2166 of the UN Security Council adopted on July 21, 2014 upon Russia’s initiative, the press service stressed.

The Kremlin press service also said that politicised smear campaigns in the media regarding the causes of the crash were inadmissible.

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