MOSCOW, July 18 (RIA Novosti) — Russia is ready to provide logistics support to the investigation into the Malaysia Airlines passenger plane crash in eastern Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Friday.
"We said we were ready to render any assistance, if something is needed from the Russian Federation in terms of logistics," Lavrov said in an interview with the Rossiya-24 television channel.
The minister said Moscow would insist on an independent and transparent investigation into the accident.
A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed near the town of Torez in the Donetsk Region on Thursday, killing all 283 passengers and 15 crew members on board.
Kiev blamed independence supporters in the turbulent Donetsk Region for downing the passenger plane with a surface-to-air missile. Militia forces said they had no missile systems that could hit a target flying at an altitude of 10,000 meters.
Ukraine has repeatedly accused Russia of supplying arms to resistance forces in the east of Ukraine, although there has been no evidence to this effect.
Ukraine has closed its airspace in the eastern Donetsk, Luhansk and Kharkiv regions and called for an international investigation. Both Kiev authorities and militia leaders promised to ensure the safety of specialists working in the troubled region.
Ukrainian authorities, Malaysia Airlines are already investigating the incident with several international agencies, with the Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC), Interpol, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) expected to join.