MOSCOW, July 18 (RIA Novosti) – The authorities from the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic in eastern Ukraine are discussing a ceasefire with Kiev in order to investigate the Malaysia Airlines passenger plane disaster, the republic’s prime minister told RIA Novosti by telephone Friday.
DPR Prime Minister Alexander Borodai said that a meeting would be held Friday afternoon with the participation of members from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
“We are doing everything in order to provide international experts access to the [crash] zone. Naturally, we have already suspended [battle operations] in that zone. We are presently holding consultations on this topic with a contact group out of Kiev. Consultations are being held with the OSCE’s participation and they will continue today,” Borodai said.
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 the 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.
"Since they [the Ukrainian Armed Forces] have such weapons ... while we do not, most likely the investigation will come to conclusions, which already seem obvious," a representative of the Donetsk People's Republic in Russia, Andrei Rodkin said.
On Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin stressed the need for objective investigation of the tragedy.
Ukrainian authorities and Malaysia Airlines are investigating the incident.
Rescue workers have allegedly recovered two flight recorders from the scene.
Meanwhile, Russian airlines are discussing the cancellation of scheduled flights to airports in Ukraine. Russia’s largest airline, Aeroflot, canceled two scheduled flights on Thursday to the cities of Odessa and Kiev, and another scheduled flight to Kiev on Friday.
Earlier, Russia’s Transaero Airlines also decided to carry on flights to third countries bypassing Ukrainian airspace, and Kazakhstan’s flagship airline Air Astana has suspended its flights from Almaty to Kiev.