Hollande, Cameron, Merkel demand Putin obtains access to Malaysia Airlines crash site

Hollande, Cameron, Merkel demand Putin obtains access to Malaysia Airlines crash site

Sun 20 Jul 2014 at 15:20

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NNA – French President François Hollande have threatened action against Russia unless Vladimir Putin obtains free access to the site of the MH-17 crash in a joint statement British Prime Minister David Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, according to RFI.

Amid accusations that Russian separatists could be removing evidence from the scene, the three European leaders “agreed to demand that Mr Putin obtain from the Ukrainian separatists that rescue services and investigators have total and free access” to the site of the disaster.

“If Russia does not immediately take the necessary measures, consequences will be drawn by the European Union (EU) at the Foreign Affairs Council which takes place on Tuesday,” a statement on the French presidential website said.

Britain is to try to persuade its EU allies to slap new sanctions on Russia because of its involvement with the separatists, who are accused of shooting down the plane using a ground-to-air missile.

Putin has called on the rebels to cooperate with observers and denied any Russian involvement in the affair.

The pro-Russian separatists who control the area had removed all the bodies from the scene on Sunday.

US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki on Saturday said that bodies had been removed, debris taken away, and potential evidence tampered with.

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Press Releases: Lack of Access at Crash Site of MH17


We are deeply concerned by the Russia-backed separatists’ refusal to allow OSCE monitors safe and unfettered access to the crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17. Yesterday, the monitors were allowed only 75 minutes at the site. Today, they were allowed less than three hours. Thus far, the separatists have only allowed monitors to have limited access to a small area. The site is not secure, and there are multiple reports of bodies being removed, parts of the plane and other debris being hauled away, and potential evidence tampered with. This is unacceptable and an affront to all those who lost loved ones and to the dignity the victims deserve.

It is critical that there be a full, credible, and unimpeded international investigation as quickly as possible. Russia-backed separatists committed Thursday to allowing full access to international observers and response teams and Russia supported an OSCE statement calling for the same. We urge Russia to honor its commitments and to publicly call on the separatists to do the same.