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Malaysian Defence Minister to discuss probe into MH17 crash with Russian officials

Hishammuddin Hussein is to meet with representatives of a number of Russian ministries and agencies, including Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu

MOSCOW, September 10. /ITAR-TASS/. Malaysian Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein is to discuss in Moscow Wednesday the course of investigation into the causes of the crash of the Malaysinan Boeing 777 airliner in Ukraine's skies in July this year. Almost 300 people were killed in the crash.

The Minister is to meet with representatives of a number of Russian ministries and agencies, including Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu, a source at the Malaysian Embassy told ITAR-TASS.

The Embassy official expressed hope for a possible meeting between the Malaysian Defence Minister and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. However, the Russian government staff did not confirm that such a meeting would be held. "There was a request it but a final decision has not been taken yet," a government source said.

Prior to arriving in Moscow, Hussein visited Kiev from September 9 to 10. Over there, he met with Vladimir Groisman, Ukraine's Vice-Premier and chairman of the state commission for investigation into the causes of the Malaysian airliner's crash, and with Igor Kabanenko,Ukraine's Deputy Minister of Defence.

As a result of the contacts, the Malaysian Defence minister said that the Ukrainian government had reaffirmed its obligations concerning the air crash probe. Hussein said, "An understanding in principle has been reached that the international commission consisting of representatives of Australia, Malaysia, and the Netherlands must get a safe access to the air crash area as soon as possible".

Upon studying the data provided by the Ukrainian side, the Malaysian Defence Minister expressed an opinion that the situation in the area of the Malaysian passenger airliner's crash in Donetsk region remains "dangerous and it is impossible to get access to the area at present".

After visiting Moscow, Hussein intends to head for Amsterdam where the process of investigation into the Malaysian airliner's crash will be discussed as well.

Meanwhile, on September 9, a commission of the Security Council of the Netherlands presented preliminary data on the causes of the airliner's crash. Commission Chairman Tibb e Joustra said the crash had been caused by extraneous circumstances: the airliner was hit by high-velocity objects, and that resulted in its destruction in mid-air.

However, the Dutch experts did not mention any conclusions about the nature of those objects, leaving unanswered the question as to who is responsible for the death of the passengers and crew members aboard the airliner.

The Boeing 777 of the Malaysian Airlnes Company, which was on a flight along the Amsterdam - Kuala Lumpur route, crashed in Donetsk region on July 17. All the 298 people on board died.