According to Russian news agency Interfax, Vladimir Putin remarked during a government meeting today that:
- *PUTIN SAYS UKRAINE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR MALAYSIA JET CRASH: IFX
- *MALAYSIA CRASH WOULDN'T HAPPEN IF UKRAINE WAS AT PEACE: IFX
But ordered Russia's government to all it can to investigate the crash.
You know that today in the skies over Ukraine was terrible event, a terrible tragedy - killed a civilian plane, 285 people, according to preliminary data, were killed.
We, on behalf of the Russian government and the Russian government to express condolences to the bereaved families, the governments of those countries whose nationals were on that plane. I ask you to honor their memory.
(Moment of silence.)
In this regard, I note that this tragedy would not have happened if it was on this earth peace, in any case, would not be renewed hostilities in the south-east of Ukraine. And, of course, the State over whose territory it happened, is responsible for this terrible tragedy.
I already gave instructions to the military departments that they have all necessary assistance in the investigation of this crime. And also ask the Government of the Russian Federation through the available opportunities civilian agencies to do everything for a thorough investigation of this event. We will do everything - everything depends on us, anyway - that was the objective picture of what happened and our public domain, and the public in Ukraine and all over the world. This is completely unacceptable things, and no one has the right to pass this without the appropriate conclusions and without having to have all of us there, objective information about the incident.
While we will not speculate, his comments appear oddly defensive (similar to how Obama played down the event in terms of blame) - perhaps they know how serious this could get if anything is ever proven.