MH17: Australia focused on crash site not sanctions, says Abbott

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 30 Jul 2014

SYDNEY: Australia's priority is gaining access to the crash site of downed Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH17 in Ukraine, not imposing sanctions on Russia, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Wednesday.

The United States and Europe announced tough new sanctions targeting Russia's key financial, arms and energy sectors on Tuesday in response to Moscow's intervention in the Ukraine crisis.

But Australia said it already had some sanctions in place, having imposed travel bans and targeted financial sanctions in response to the Russian threat to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine in March.

"I am not saying that we might not, at some point in the future, move further," Abbott told reporters.

"But at the moment our focus is not on sanctions, our focus is on bringing home our dead as quickly as we humanly can."

Abbott's comment came after fighting between Kiev forces and pro-Russian separatists on Tuesday prevented international investigators from reaching the MH17 crash site for the third day.

More than 200 bodies have already been removed from the site, but a Dutch and Australian police mission wants to recover the remains of those victims still lying in the fields.

"We certainly want to have another go today to get access to the site," Abbott said.

"If it doesn't happen today we will try again tomorrow, if it doesn't happen tomorrow we will try again the next day."

MAS flight MH17 was carrying 298 people from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was apparently shot down over eastern Ukraine on July 17.

The Netherlands and Australia were home to most of the citizens on the flight, which the West alleged was brought down by separatist rebels.

Abbott said the situation on the ground was "very fluid".

"We don't take sides in the geopolitical contests of eastern Europe, at least at this time," Abbott said.

"All we want to do is to bring home our dead. We want to get in, we want to get cracking, we want to get out."

"As things stand, we expect to have another go at it today." – AFP
Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!

MH17 crash , Ukraine , MAS , Australia


Next In Nation

Body of foreigner found in bushes with head injuries
King, Queen grace dinner in conjunction with Conference of Rulers meeting
Repair works completed, train services back to normal on Kelana Jaya LRT line
New water tariff adjustments for non-domestic categories from Jan 1 in Penang
Boy dies after being crushed by falling electric poles
Poster on traffic summonses discount is false, says Home Ministry
Body of man who fell off Tenom bridge found after six days
GE15: BN, PH candidates to discuss campaign strategy for Tioman seat
Civil service committed to implement reform agenda under PM Anwar, says Chief Secretary to the Government�
DID issues flood preparedness notice in three states

Others Also Read