17 july / 2014

Press Release on MH17

In the light of recent media inquiries and requests from New Zealand citizens to express the position of the Russian Federation on the tragedy with the Malaysian Boeing we would like to state the following.

First of all we express our profound condolences and would like to pass our words of sympathy and support to all affected by the air disaster over Ukraine’s territory, in which a Malaysian Airlines plane went down with all on board killed.

As for Russian stance on the issue, it was clearly outlined by the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin who fr om the beginning demanded a comprehensive and objective international investigation into the circumstances and causes of the disaster. The Russian side was the first to do this. On 17 July it was the Russian leader who in a telephone conversation with President of the United States Barack Obama informed the latter of the report received from air traffic controllers about the crash of a Malaysian airplane over the Ukrainian territory.

We insist on conducting an investigation as open and independent as possible. Russia is ready to make its contribution, but, naturally, we think that the initiative should be taken up by the government of the country wh ere this tragedy took place.

As for the allegations from Kiev that practically say Russia itself did this, in recent months we have not heard any truthful statements from the Kiev authorities. They say whatever they want. As an example, Ukrainian president Pyotr Poroshenkohas pledged many times that the Ukrainian army will not do anything to pose a threat to peaceful civilians and that it will not shell cities. But you have seen with your own eyes what’s happening to the populated localities, cities and civilians in southeast Ukraine.

There are lots of other examples. The Kiev authorities are pouring a torrent of lies on the global community and its own people. They are blaming all and sundry except themselves. We hope the Malaysian Boeing crash will finally throw cold water on those who have staked on war, who is giving up commitments to pursue a political process and is refusing to hear the calls coming from Europe, hoping for the support from Washington. Russia calls it like it is - we do not feel that the United States is willing to send any signals to Kiev persuading it to search for a solution through negotiations.

The plane incident should make them stop and think. East Ukraine militia expressed their willingness for a truce during the plane crash investigation. It is essential for international experts to visit the crash site as soon as possible, and, among other things, collect the plane's black box recording devices. Russia, irrespective of what the Kiev authorities are saying, has no plans to take them, is not going to break the global community rules for such incidents. It is in the competence of ICAO and countries that are directly involved in the tragedy to decode the flight recorders. We welcome President Poroshenko’s decision to set up an international commission. The commission should be formed in order to assuage all doubts that intentions to carry out a full-fledged investigation are indeed genuine and sincere.

At the same time some of the statements by  Pyotr  Poroshenko  and a number of other heads of states are  of a deep concern and cause  a lot of raised eyebrows. Just after a few hours after the plane went down, without any investigation, accusation of  Russia’s involvement were already put forward. We regard this to be politically motivated and to put and unacceptable pressure on the investigation commission.

We would like to emphasize one more time that Russia is devoted to hold an independent, objective and transparent investigation. We would also welcome an OSCE initiative and the solution in this case.  We hope that this view is shared by many New Zealanders.