Russian President Enflames Ukraine
KIEV – Outrage and sadness over the apparent deliberate missile attack on a Malaysian Air civilian airliner over the Ukraine is growing.
As floral tributes to the victims of flight MH17 grew further on Monday at Schiphol Airport, so did the international battle over who was to blame for shooting it down. All 298 people on board the Malaysia Airlines flight were killed when it came down over Ukraine on Thursday. The largest contingent was Dutch citizens.
Ukraine’s prime minister says he’s certain of Russian involvement rather than pro-Russian rebels fighting the Ukraine government.
Ulrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk stated, “It’s absolutely clear that the drunken pro-Russian terrorists couldn’t guide such a system. Those are people who’ve been trained and we have information confirming that such training took place on Russian territory which got financing, weapons and education from Russia.”
Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird states, “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.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin is warning the disaster should not be used as a political tool.
In a statement issued this morning (Moscow Time) Putin said, “In response to the terrible tragedy that took place over Donetsk, I want to reiterate Russia’s position with regard to the current situation in Ukraine. We have called repeatedly on all parties to the conflict to stop the bloodshed immediately and begin negotiations. I believe that if military operations had not resumed in eastern Ukraine on June 28, this tragedy probably could have been avoided.”
“At the same time, no one should and no one has the right to use this tragedy to pursue their own political goals. Rather than dividing us, tragedies of this sort should bring people together. All those who are responsible for the situation in the region must take greater responsibility before their own peoples and before the peoples of the countries whose citizens were killed in this disaster.
“Everything possible must be done to ensure that international experts can work in safety at the crash site. Representatives from the Donbass region, Donetsk, Ukraine’s Emergency Situations Ministry, and Malaysian experts are already working at the site, but this is not enough. It is essential that a full-fledged group of experts under ICAO aegis, an appropriate international commission set up for the task, be able to work at the crash site. We must do everything possible to ensure their complete and guaranteed safety and provide them with the humanitarian corridors they need for their work.
“For its part, Russia will do everything within its power to move the conflict in eastern Ukraine from the military phase we see today to the negotiating phase, with the parties using peaceful and diplomatic means alone,” concluded the Russian President.