July 19, 2014 – Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today issued the following statement following a call with Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop:
“As we mourn the loss of the passengers and crew members aboard Flight MH17, Canada joins Australia, Malaysia, the Netherlands and other friends and allies around the world in insisting on a credible and unimpeded international investigation into the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17.
“We demand that armed pro-Russian forces immediately withdraw from the crash site to allow Ukrainian and international authorities to conduct their investigative and forensic work.
“It is increasingly clear that this was an outrageous crime perpetrated against hundreds of innocent civilians, of many nationalities. Evidence suggests the airliner was brought down by a surface-to-air missile from an area controlled by pro-Russian provocateurs in eastern Ukraine.
“The conflict in eastern Ukraine is both generated by, and perpetrated by, the Putin regime. Evidence of Russian financial and material support to illegal armed groups in eastern Ukraine is both clear and compelling.
“President Putin has the ability to end this war. He can do so by ending his support to pro-Russian forces, ending the build-up of troops on the Ukrainian border, withdrawing his troops from Crimea, and using Russia’s considerable influence to broker a ceasefire. This would be the most appropriate response from Russia, in light of the MH17 tragedy.”
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