MOSCOW: Russia has not supplied Ukrainian separatists with Buk missile systems or any other weapons, a senior defence ministry official said Monday.
"I want to stress that Russia did not give the rebels Buk missile systems or any other kinds of weapons or military hardware," Lieutenant-General Andrei Kartapolov said at a special briefing.
Kartopolov also said the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 strayed north of its planned route, adding that a Ukrainian SU-25 fighter jet, which is typically equipped with air-to-air missiles, had been recorded in the proximity of the Boeing 777.
The Malaysian plane "deviated from its route to the North ... The maximum deviation was 14 kilometres," he said.
"An altitude gain was recorded for a Ukrainian armed forces plane," he said.
"Its distance from the Malaysian Boeing was three to five kilometres (two to three miles)," he added, noting that the SU-25 is capable of reaching a height of 10,000 metres "for a brief time."
"With what aim was a military plane flying along a civilian aviation route practically at the same time and at the same flight level as a passenger liner?" said Kartopolov. "We would like to receive an answer to this question."
A total of 298 passengers including 15 crew members were on Flight MH17 that was en route to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam when it was shot down over Ukrainian air space.