Channel NewsAsia

Ukraine to allow Malaysian personnel at MH17 crash site

Under a bilateral agreement, Ukraine will allow up to 90 Malaysian non-military personnel to join the Dutch-led team of experts at the crash site of flight MH17.

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia's government has announced that Ukraine will allow up to 90 Malaysian non-military personnel to access the crash site of flight MH17. They will join the Dutch-led team of experts in facilitating the recovery of victims’ remains and investigating the disaster.

The Malaysian Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement on Wednesday (Aug 13) that the bilateral agreement was ratified by the Ukrainian parliament, following discussions between Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. Mr Najib has met representatives from European governments in recent days. 

The Prime Minister’s Office said Malaysian police and investigators had earlier conducted operations at the crash site in Hrabove, but were unable to remain there due to “unsafe conditions”.

“I welcome this bilateral agreement, which formally authorises the deployment of Malaysian personnel at the site,” said Mr Najib. “I implore all parties to cease fighting and allow the international team of investigators safe and unfettered access to the crash site.”

Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was shot down over rebel-held east Ukraine on July 17, killing all 298 people on board.

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