Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Putin 'on side of the devil' Ukraine says, as UN prepares vote for access to site

Russia, one of the permanent Security Council members getting ready to vote on a UN resolution calling for access to the site, said that some forces were using MH17 for political ends

The Ukrainian Prime Minister has said Russian President Putin is "on the side of the devil."

In a news conference today, Arseny Yatseniuk blamed Vladimir Putin for his part in allegedly supplying weapons and fighters to the pro-Moscow insurgents.

"I do not expect anything from the Russian government. They supplied weapons, they sent in fighters.

"Russia is on the dark side, on the side of the devil," he added.

It follows Mr Putin's condemnation of what he says is the exploitation of MH17 for “mercenary objectives.”

Rescue workers are continuing to plough through the remains of the downed plane, while the UN Security Council prepares to vote on a resolution demanding full access to the Ukraine crash site.

In a statement posted to the Kremlin website, Mr Putin said that the crash was being manipulated by forces keen use it for their own purposes, without hinting as to who that might be.

He also said that his government supports an investigation run by a “full team of experts” working at the behest of UN agency the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

He criticised Ukraine for reigniting fighting with the rebels and said: "We can say with confidence that if fighting in eastern Ukraine had not been renewed on 28 June, this tragedy would not have happened.

"Nobody should or does have a right to use this tragedy for such mercenary objectives.

"We need to do everything to ensure the security and safety of the observers and the experts working at the crash site."

Video: International anger over MH17 crash

His comments come on the day that UN Security Council members consider an Australia-proposed resolution calling on separatists to make way for international experts, as well as a ceasefire in the vicinity.

Permanent council members will convene at 7pm GMT, with Australia’s foreign minister, Julie Bishop, expecting all 15 members to support the vote.

However, as a permanent member of the council, Russia has the power to veto the proposal.

The vote follows accusations that pro-Russian rebels had been looting, tampering with evidence and even removing bodies from the remnants of the Malaysia Airlines passenger jet, which carried 298 people.

Russia and Australia have been engaged in last minute negotiations, with British Ambassador to the UN, Mark Lyall Grant, accusing Russia of “tactical procrastination.”

Vitaly Churkin, Russia's UN ambassador, had said that they were concerned the draft “does not accurately reflect the need for an impartial, international investigation.”

Mr Churkin said Russia had proposed the cease fire, which Australia accepted, though it is unknown how large this area encompasses.

“It looks like a typical Russian delay in tactics, and one can guess why they want delay,” Mr Lyall Grant said.

A caveat of the resolution is also demanding that armed groups do not interfere with debris or victim’s remains and that “those responsible for this incident be held to account and that all states cooperate fully with efforts to establish accountability.”

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said his country would view a veto by Russia “very badly” as “no reasonable person” could object to its demands.

Video: Aftermath of MH17 crash
READ MORE: Pro-Russians accused of blocking access
Vital clues may have been moved, experts say
Victims’ bodies bundled in black bags
'Make Putin's oligarchs pay'

“This is still an absolutely shambolic situation. It does look more like a garden clean-up than a forensic investigation,” he said.

British Prime Minister David Cameron spoke with President Putin last night, in a conversation that Downing Street said “made clear that if Russia wants to put the blame elsewhere they would need to present compelling and credible evidence.”

Wide-reaching EU sanctions may be unfurled on Russia, it has been revealed, should Mr Putin not use his influence on the armed rebels to placate and force them to cooperate with independent crash site investigators.

Chancellor George Osborne said this morning that the UK would be prepared to take a hit "economically" if sanctions were placed on Russia.

Speaking on ITV's Good Morning Britain, Ms Osborne said that Russia holding the "key" to the pro-Moscow region was an "open secret."

"What I would say to people at home - obviously it is a terrible tragedy - why does it matter? It matters for our security and our economy.

"We have got to live in a world where international borders are respected, where commercial airlines aren't at risk of being shot down.

"When you do sanctions, of course, there is always a potential for that to have an economic impact on you, but you have to consider the much bigger economic impact if you don't act."

European foreign ministers will be meeting in Brussels on Tuesday to discuss these possible sanctions, which could include asset freezes and travel bans on anyone deemed to be supporting the “Putin regime.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
Smart phones, dumb reading: Rebecca and Harry from ‘Teens’
tv
News
people
News
Amazon's drones were unveiled last year.
business
Arts and Entertainment
Russell Tovey, Myanna Buring and Julian Rhind Tutt star in Banished
tvReview: The latest episode was a smidgen less depressing... but it’s hardly a bonza beach party
Life and Style
Worth shelling out for: Atlantic lobsters are especially meaty
food + drink
Sport
Gareth Bale
footballPaul Scholes on how Real Madrid's Welsh winger would be a perfect fit at Old Trafford if he leaves Spain
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Junior Estimator

£17000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has ari...

Recruitment Genius: Motor Mechanic / Technician / MOT Tester - Oundle

£11 - £13 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Small friendly Ford dealership based i...

Recruitment Genius: Development Worker

£18300 - £20300 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive - New Business - OTE £25,000

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The flat management structure a...

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss