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Kerry demands 'unfettered' access to Ukraine crash site

Sun 20, July 2014 Kategori World

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has spoken to Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov about concerns that the crash site of the Malaysian airliner brought down on Thursday night is being tampered with.

In a telephone call on Saturday, Kerry called for Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe investigators to be given full access to the site in eastern Ukraine, which is under the control of pro-Russian rebels.

According to a statement from the State Department, Kerry said: "The United States is also very concerned about reports that the remains of some victims and debris from the site are being tampered with or inappropriately removed from the site."

The OSCE team has only been granted very limited access to the scattered debris near Grabovo, close to the Russian border.

It has been reported that the site of the crash, which killed all 298 people aboard flight MH17, has been "looted” and bodies taken away. There have also been accusations that the ‘black box’ flight recorders have been removed although this has been denied by separatist leaders.

The State Department added: "The site is not secure and there are multiple reports of bodies being removed, parts of the plane and other debris being hauled away, and potential evidence tampered with."

Kerry urged Foreign Minister Lavrov to take all necessary steps to reduce tension in eastern Ukraine and call on separatists "to lay down arms, release all hostages and engage in a political dialogue toward peace with the Ukrainian government; to halt the flow of weapons and fighters into eastern Ukraine; and to allow OSCE observers to help secure the border."

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