Kyiv, 16:00, 1 August 2014 – “Today the international taskforce comprising 101 experts got to the MH17 crash site at 11.25. A group of 53 experts from the Netherlands, 38 from Australia and 10 OSCE experts investigate the territory of MH17 crash site. Media representatives are present at the crash site as well,” informed Volodymyr Groysman, Vice Prime-Minister of Ukraine, Head of the government taskforce for MH17 crash investigation at a briefing in the Ukraine Crisis Media Center.
“Despite certain provocations the international taskforce is working and fulfils its functions. We hope that everything will be done in shortest time possible in order to find the bodies of victims and answer the question what happened in the air above Ukraine. It is also important to return back personal belongings for expertise, they still remain on the territory temporarily controlled by terrorists’. The experts will work until 16.30 today,” he added.
According to Mr. Groysman the working group keeps elaborating the options to shorten way to the crash site in order to save travel time and give experts a chance to work more at the crash site.
At the same time Ukraine’s National Bureau for Air Accidents Investigation has approved preliminary report that will be soon published and sent to the Netherlands for further work.
Volodymyr Groysman informed that today another working meeting will take place. “We are in permanent contact with our international partners. Yesterday Malaysian representatives joined our working group. Ukraine’s President controls the issue personally. Every two hours the President and the Prime Minister of Ukraine get respective report,” noted Vice Prime-Minister of Ukraine.
Answering the question on access for the police mission Mr. Groysman noted that “respective decision will be made directly by the international taskforce. As of today such a decision has not been made. All experts currently on the territory work unarmed”.
Volodymyr Groysman has also underlined that Ukrainian army conducts no combat action in the 20-km zone around the crash site and on experts’ travel way. Provocations that impede convoy movement including today’s fire on the way to the crash site according to the preliminary information were staged by militants.
Commenting on the possibility to have representatives of the Russian Federation involved in the investigation Mr. Groysman noted that Russia has got certain interest and involvement in the issue. “Answering your question, I would like to say that Russia has already participated… And now not only Ukraine but many other countries are involved in search works for bodies of the victims. In fact it doesn’t matter whether Russian experts will be involved in the investigation, main task is to find bodies of the victims. It is of utmost importance that the taskforce started working directly at the tragedy site as relatives of the victims got hope that bodies of their beloved ones will be found and returned back home,” said Volodymyr Groysman.