Russia reaction to crash 'unsatisfactory' - Abbott

2014-07-18 10:55
(File, AFP)

(File, AFP)

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Sydney - Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Friday called Russia's response to the downing of a Malaysian Airlines jet over Ukraine "deeply, deeply unsatisfactory".

"I have to tell you that the initial response of the Russian ambassador was to blame Ukraine for this, and I have to say that this is deeply, deeply unsatisfactory," he said, saying the crash was "not an accident, but a crime".

The Boeing 777 came down on Thursday, killing all 298 on board, including 28 Australians, and Abbott said it appeared that Russian-backed rebels were responsible.

"We all know that there are problems in Ukraine," he said.

'No blame shifting or excuses'

"We also know who is very substantially to blame for those problems, and the idea that Russia can somehow say that none of this has anything to do with them because it happened in Ukrainian airspace, frankly, does not stand up to any serious scrutiny."

"I want to say to the Australian people that as far as I am concerned, when you have a situation where Russian-backed rebels appear to have killed Australians using - it may well turn out to be Russian-supplied heavy weaponry - Australia takes a very dim view indeed and we want the fullest possible investigation."

He added that if Russia wanted to "maintain any international standing at all" it must fully cooperate in any investigation.

"No prevarication, no excuses, no blame shifting, no protecting of people who may be backed by Russia who may have been involved in this terrible event."

Read more on:    malaysia airlines  |  tony abbott  |  russia  |  ukraine  |  australia  |  malaysia  |  air travel  |  aviation  |  mh17  |  air crashes

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