UK & World News

  • 20 July 2014, 11:16

Russia 'Arming Thugs' Blamed For MH17 Crash

David Cameron has raised the prospect of further sanctions against Russia as anger grows over the apparent shooting down of flight MH17 by pro-Moscow separatists.

The Prime Minister said Europe and the West must "fundamentally change our approach" unless Russian president Vladimir Putin alters his stance.

All 298 people on board the Malaysian Airlines jet, including 10 Britons, were killed when it came down near the village of Grabovo, in eastern Ukraine last Thursday.

It had taken off from Amsterdam a few hours earlier and was heading for Kuala Lumpur.

Writing in the Sunday Times Mr Cameron said: "The growing weight of evidence points to a clear conclusion: thatMH17was blown out of the sky by a surface-to-air missile fired from a rebel-held area.

"If it is the case, then we must be clear what it means: this is a direct result of Russia destabilising a sovereign state, violating its territorial integrity, backing thuggish militias, and training and arming them."

"We must turn this moment of outrage into a moment of action."

World leaders have also urged Moscow to use its influence to get rebels in Ukraine to give observers full access to the crash site.

Separatists have said they would guarantee the safety of monitors at the scene if Ukraine agreed to a truce.

Mr Cameron clarified that he was not suggesting military action against Russia, but expressed his frustration with some European partners' apparent unwillingness to act.

"For too long, there has been a reluctance on the part of too many European countries to face up to the implications of what is happening in eastern Ukraine," he said.

Australian prime minister Tony Abbott, meanwhile, said he feared Russia would interfere with the investigation into the crash, despite "saying the right thing".

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