MOSCOW, October 15 (RIA Novosti) - Australia is hoping for hands-on help from Russia in determining the culprits of the crash of the Malaysia Airlines jet that was allegedly blown out of the sky over eastern Ukraine, Australian Ambassador to Russia Paul Myler told RIA Novosti on Wednesday.
"We are definitely hopeful that Russia will help to determine the culprits who are directly responsible for the air crash. There is an investigation going on, and conclusions are due next year. We need Russia's help in this case," Myler said.
The Malaysian Boeing 777 was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it crashed in the Donetsk Region in eastern Ukraine on July 17, killing all 298 people on board, including 38 Australians.
The official cause of the tragedy is still unclear, but according to a preliminary report issued by the Dutch Safety Board on September 9, the plane broke up in mid-air as a result of structural damage caused by a large number of high-energy objects that penetrated the aircraft from the outside.
The government in Kiev has blamed independence supporters in Ukraine's east for mistakenly downing the plane, but the latter say they do not have weapons capable of bringing down a high-flying jet.
In the interview with RIA Novosti, Myler said he hoped that Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is expected to attend the G20 summit in Brisbane in November, would come up with "a more thought-out approach toward finding those involved in this catastrophe and contribute to the investigation."
"I believe Russia should cooperate with Australia on the inquiry. As a country that suffered a terrible loss in the air crash, we have been closely cooperating on the investigation, and we certainly hope for Russia's help," the ambassador said.
Most recently, some Western countries have called for Russia's ban from the upcoming Brisbane summit over its handling of the Ukraine crisis.