MOSCOW, July 29 (RIA Novosti) – Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has called on Kiev authorities to stop its military operation against independence supporters around the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash site in eastern Ukraine, Agence France-Presse reported Tuesday, citing a government representative.
"The prime minister this morning called the Ukrainian president with a request to halt hostilities around the crash site," Jean Fransman said.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko told Rutte that he would take all measures “to allow investigators access” to the scene, according to the government spokesman.
"Rutte expressed his concern about the fact it appeared the investigators may today yet again not reach the site. This is important because we want to get to the crash site as quickly as possible to get the victims and bring them home," Fransman said.
Earlier in the day, a group consisting of Dutch and Australian specialists for the third time failed to reach the crash site near the city of Torez due to ongoing fighting in the region.
On Monday, a spokesman from Ukraine’s National Security Information Center, Andriy Lysenko, claimed that the Ukrainian National Guard gained control over a number of cities in eastern Ukraine, including Torez.
A total of 298 people, including 85 children and 15 crew members, died on July 17 as a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed in the Donetsk Region of Ukraine. The tragedy claimed the lives of 193 Dutch citizens.
The cause of the catastrophe remains unclear and the investigation into the circumstances is still underway, seriously obstructed by continuing clashes between independence supporters and the government forces in the region.