Ukraine bears full responsibility for the crash of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing in the eastern part of the country on July 17, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said at a meeting with Malaysian Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein on Wednesday.
"The catastrophe occurred in Ukraine's airspace, and so it bears all and full responsibility for what happened," Shoigu said.
"I am convinced that if Ukraine had been resolving its internal problems without using its armed forces, without the bloodshed that has been in the past month, without using heavy artillery, including missiles, and without using air forces, including helicopters, attack and fighter planes, I am convinced that this tragedy would not have happened," Shoigu said, addressing Hussein.
Shoigu said the Malaysian minister's visit was unplanned and related to the Boeing crash.
He said Moscow is willing to provide all the necessary assistance to Malaysia in investigating the causes of the tragedy.
"On our part, we are ready to offer you all the necessary assistance, support, and aid in discovering the causes of the disaster," Shoigu said in addressing Hussein.
"The investigation must be independent and impartial, and its results should be available to the international community," Shoigu said.
The Russian defense minister also pointed out that, following a news briefing at the Defense Ministry at which Russia presented information concerning the Boeing crash from its recorders, all this information in English was passed via the Malaysian embassy to all those concerned, "all those who lost their citizens in this disaster."
"We are ready to do this once again. We are ready to answer questions that may arise concerning this presentation," Shoigu said.
He once again conveyed his condolences on the deaths of the aircraft's passengers and crew, including personally to Hussein, some of whose relatives were among the crash victims.
All rights reserved by Rossiyskaya Gazeta.