MOSCOW, July 18 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin conveyed his condolences to Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte over the Malaysia Airlines passenger plane that crashed in eastern Ukraine and said the tragedy needs to be investigated objectively.
“The head of the Russian state emphasized that the tragedy that occurred once again confirms the necessity of a quick peaceful settlement to the acute crisis in Ukraine and said that all of the circumstances around the aircraft disaster need to be investigated carefully and objectively,” the Kremlin’s press service said.
Earlier, Putin also expressed his condolences to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.
A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed near the town of Torez in the Donetsk Region on Thursday. There were 283 passengers and 15 crew members on board.
Various sources speculated that the plane was shot down by a Buk surface-to-air missile.
Soon after the crash, an adviser to the Ukrainian Interior Minister wrote on his Facebook page that a Buk surface-to-air missile system was indeed used to down the plane, but insisted that the independence supporters had done that.
Ukraine has repeatedly accused Russia of supplying arms to resistance forces in the east of Ukraine, although there has been no evidence to this effect.
Ukrainian authorities and Malaysia Airlines are investigating the incident.