Australian PM hints Putin may dropped from G20 summit over MH17 crash
The prime minister of Australia, currently presiding over the G20, has hinted the Russian president could be dropped from the next summit in Brisbane over the MH17 crash in Ukraine. This came even before international investigators made it to the scene.
“We take a very, very dim view of this and the idea that Russia can wash its hands of responsibility because this happened in Ukrainian airspace just does not stand serious scrutiny. We all know what's happening in the Ukraine,” Tony Abbott said at a press conference on Saturday.
It was “Russian-controlled territory, Russian-backed rebels, quite likely a Russian-supplied weapon. Russia can't wash its hands of this,” Abbott reiterated on Sunday.
The Malaysian Airlines MH17 flight went down crashed in Ukraine Thursday. Among the 283 passengers and 15 crew members on board the perished were 28 Australians.
The Australian government “takes a very dim view of countries which facilitate the killing of Australians, as you'd expect us to,” Abbott said.
International investigation of the MH17 flight incident has not started yet, but Kiev has already attempted to present questionable evidence against the eastern self-defense forces, accusing them of taking down the Boeing.
READ MORE: Unverified tape released by Kiev presented as ‘proof’ E. Ukraine militia downed MH17
READ MORE: 10 questions Russia wants Ukraine to answer over Malaysia MH17 crash
Asked about possible ban of Russia (and its leader) from the next G20 summit to be held in Australia’s Brisbane on November 15-16, Abbott stated:
“Australia is a self-respecting country. We are a self-respecting country. And obviously we want to ensure that visitors to this country have goodwill to this country.
“Visitors to [Australia] are people who have done the right thing by this country. And let's hope that that's exactly what we will find in the weeks and months ahead,” he said.
Just hours before the crash of Malaysian Airlines MH17 flight, Abbott was saying the summit is not a security venue.
“The G20 is an economic forum, but not a forum on security issues. Therefore the opportunities for cooperation in the field of economy remain stable regardless of what one country can think of other countries or their actions on the geopolitical arena,” Euronews quoted Abbott’s speech at the B20 Australia Summit.
“The investigation needs to take place,” Tony Abbott said on Saturday, in this regard being on the same page with President Putin, who was actually the first world leader to demand an international inquiry into the MH17 flight crash in Ukraine.
Commemorating victims of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash at a church service in Sydney on Sunday, Abbott demanded Russia's full cooperation so that a credible investigation into the causes of the accident could be conducted, AP reported.
On the day the catastrophe occurred, Putin called an emergency meeting of the national Security Council, saying the catastrophe must be investigated thoroughly and objectively.
Expressing condolences to the families of the victims, Putin stressed that he ordered Russian military to “provide all necessary help in investigation of this criminal act,” as well as demanding the Russian government to make everything within its powers to contribute to “thorough investigation of this event.”
Despite presence on international observers from the OSCE at the site of the crash, Abbott maintained that, “Quite possibly there are attempts in place to sanitize the site. The site needs to be secure.”
The OSCE observers monitoring the crash site complained about over-vigilant self-defense militia sealing off the crash scene, but observers admitted the self-defense fighters were providing security.
“What we see here is that there is certain security as you witnessed yourself at the perimeter, and that there is now also work being done on the bodies, they are being collected, being brought to the road,” Alexander Hug, deputy head of the OSCE mission told AP.
“My fear is that Russia will say the right thing, but that on the ground interference with the site, interference with investigators, interference with the dignified treatment of the bodies will continue. That's my fear,” Abbott said.
The fears of the Australian PM about the state of bodies are partially grounded, as the temperature at the crash site is reaching +29 degrees Celsius in the daytime. On Saturday, the emergency teams started to bring the already found bodies to five refrigerated railroad cars brought to the nearby Torez railway station, reported RIA Novosti.
Train wagons where the #MH17 bodies are being held. OSCE investigating. Heavy duty Berkut guarding. pic.twitter.com/D9ViwWK1d0— max seddon (@maxseddon) July 20, 2014
The carriages have reportedly been examined by the OSCE observers, before they departed for the city of Donetsk.
So far 198 bodies have been found and put into refrigeration, with 100 still missing.