MOSCOW, July 27 (RIA Novosti) – Deployment of an international military unit in Ukraine to ensure security of the MH17 crash site is impossible given the risks that the experts may get involved in the ongoing conflict in the country, Reuters reported Sunday quoting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.
“We concluded with our international partners that there's a real risk of such an international military mission becoming directly involved in the conflict in Ukraine,” Rutte was quoted as saying at a press conference in the Hague.
The Prime Minister also added that “getting the military upper hand for an international mission in this area is … not realistic.”
The announcement comes soon after the Netherlands, leading the investigation into the accident, said that a team of forensic experts heading to the crash site earlier on Sunday did not reach its destination and would remain in the city of Donetsk “until further notice.”
The work of the experts was halted due to the fighting that started in the city of Shakhtarsk located only 10 kilometers away from the Malaysian MH17 crash site.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko earlier urged to stop all the fighting within a 40-kilometer range around the crash site. Independence supporters came up with a similar proposal but shelling and air strikes in the region persisted.
Earlier the same day, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak announced that Malaysia and the authorities of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) had reached an agreement granting international police forces access to the crash site.
A total of 298 people, including 85 children and 15 crew members, died on July 17 as Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed in the Donetsk region of Ukraine. The tragedy claimed the lives of 193 Dutch citizens.
The cause of the tragedy remains unclear and the investigation into the circumstances is still underway, seriously obstructed by continuing clashes between independence supporters and the government forces in the region.