Volodymyr Groysman: Tomorrow contact group will travel to Minsk for consultations to get access to MH17 crash site

Kyiv, 30 July 2014 – “Ukraine’s President requests immediate access to MH17 crash site for the international taskforce. It is a fundamental position of the President and of the government. President delegates a contact group from Ukrainian side to fly to Minsk tomorrow and hold consultations to make sure these demands are met,” stated Volodymyr Groysman, Ukraine’s Vice Prime Minister, Head of the government taskforce for MH17 crash investigation at a briefing in the UkraineCrisisMediaCenter. “Ukrainian side regrets that the international experts are still unable to conduct investigation directly on the crash site as well as to take away the bodies that as the working group members suspect still remain on the territory. We are being artificially impeded to get to the place of this terrible tragedy,” he added.

According to Mr. Groysman expert group members made two attempts to get to the crash site however each time were turned back. Ertugrul Apakan, Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, also present at the briefing noted that “the most important thing now is to get safe access ways to the territory.” He also informed that Alexander Hug, Deputy Chief Monitor is on the tragedy site and is in contact with various negotiators in the region regarding the issue.

At the same time Ukraine’s Vice Prime Minister assured: “We do not intend to regain control with military means over the territory on which MH17 wreckage is found. According to the decree Ukraine’s President issued the Ukrainian side fulfils its commitment to not conduct combat action in the 20-kilometer zone around the crash site. We would like OSCE to make sure everyone is informed that not a single shot is fired on Ukrainian side at this zone and at experts’ travel routes. We suggest using technical means to monitor the situation on the territory.”

Apart from that Volodymyr Groysman informed that the working group has decided today to locate the bases at which international taskforce experts will be placed in maximum proximity to the investigated territory with necessary security measures provided.

Mr. Groysman underlined that the Ukrainian side implements all its commitments made, continues to closely cooperate with OSCE partners, representatives of the Netherlands, Australia and other countries.