HAVANA TIMES — Russian President Vladimir Putin declared Thursday that the Ukraine is to be held accountable for the crash of the Malaysia Airlines plane that resulted in the death of its 295 passengers and crew, DPA reported.
“Without a doubt, the State in which this incident took place is responsible for the terrible tragedy,” the Russian leader said during a meeting with government officials in Moscow.
Putin underscored that the incident would not have taken place had war not been raging in eastern Ukraine.
“This tragedy would not have occurred if there were peace in this territory, if combat actions had not been resumed in southeastern Ukraine,” he stressed, adding that he has repeatedly urged Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to maintain the ceasefire.
Putin demanded that the facts of the crime be cleared up so that Russian and Ukrainian public opinion – as well as the international community – can know what happened.
Putin called the meeting of government officials at his residence in Moscow. Following a minute of silence, he opened the meeting in a quivering voice.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitri Peskov had previously described any association with the plane crash to Russia as “stupid.” The Moscow Minister of Defense also denied any involvement of his forces in the crash of the Boeing 777-200 and emphasized that the Russian air forces currently operating in the Ukraine border had nothing to do with the incident.
The Ukraine accuses Russia of supporting separatists in the country and the Kiev government blames the insurgents for allegedly downing of the plane, bound to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam.