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Cameron to meet families of British MH17 victims

David Cameron will meet relatives of British MH17 victims today.
David Cameron will meet relatives of British MH17 victims today. Credit: PA

David Cameron will meet the families of British victims of the downed Malaysia Airlines plane today as officials push for far-reaching economic sanctions against Russia.

The Prime Minister will meet the families at Downing Street to express his condolences and to discuss the international response to the plane's crash in eastern Ukraine earlier this month.

Families of Brits killed in MH17 disaster to meet PM

Families of the British victims of the Malaysian MH17 disaster will meet the Prime Minister tomorrow.

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@itvnews understands the families of British victims of the MH17 plane crash will meet David Cameron in Downing st tomorrow.

Ten Britons were killed when the MH17 flight crashed after being shot down over eastern Ukraine.

Read: MH17 black boxes show 'plane destroyed by shrapnel'

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Aviation chiefs to discuss flying over conflict zones

The risk of passenger planes flying over war zones after MH17 downing will be discussed at a special meeting of international aviation chiefs tomorrow.

Radar pictures
Radars show a number of planes flying over conflict areas in Iraq. Credit: Flightradar24

The need for clarification on safe routes was emphasised when it emerged that some airlines were flying over war-torn areas that other carriers were avoiding -- such as Iraq.

Malaysia Airlines commercial director Hugh Dunleavy said: "Against the backdrop of increasingly volatile political situations around the world, such as Ukraine and Gaza, we as an industry must act now to create a system of approval that guarantees safe air passage for all commercial airlines."

Read: MH17 black boxes show 'plane destroyed by shrapnel'

MH17 black boxes show 'plane destroyed by shrapnel'

Black boxes from the downed Malaysian jet show it was destroyed by shrapnel coming from a rocket blast and went down because of "massive explosive decompression", a Ukrainian security official said.

Black boxes from MH17
A pro-Russian separatist handles a black box belonging to MH17. Credit: Reuters

The spokesman for Ukraine's Security Council, Andriy Lysenko said the information came from experts analysing the recorders.

Experts in Britain were tasked with downloading the data from two black boxes recovered from the crash site and handing that information over to international investigators for analysis.

Kiev and the West accuse pro-Russian rebels of shooting down the plane. Moscow says the Ukrainian government is responsible for the crash, which killed all 298 people on board.

Read: Experts cancel MH17 site visit over disputed security threat

Investigators fail to reach MH17 site due to fighting

Fighting in eastern Ukraine has stopped an international police team from reaching the MH17 crash site for a second day running, officials said.

MH17 debris
Some 298 people died when flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine. Credit: Reuters
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Due to security reasons SMM was unable to reach #MH17 crash site today along w/Australian and Dutch experts. Convoy has returned to Donetsk

A delegation of Australian and Dutch police and forensic experts stopped in Shakhtarsk, a town around 20 miles from the fields where the aircraft was downed.

Read: Experts cancel MH17 site visit over disputed security threat

Civilians killed in fighting in eastern Ukraine

At least eight civilians were killed in overnight fighting in eastern Ukraine as government troops pressed ahead with their campaign against pro-Russian rebels, taking a strategic point close to where Malaysian flight MH17 crashed, officials said.

MH17 crash site
Armed pro-Russian separatists guard a crash site of MH17. Credit: Reuters

Fierce fighting in the vicinity of the airliner crash site prevented international monitors from reaching it yesterday to investigate the downing of the plane with the loss of all 298 people on board.

Experts are due to renew their efforts to reach the crash site, still in rebel-held territory.

Read: Experts cancel MH17 site visit over disputed security threat

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Sanctioned Russia will 'not take tit-for-tat measures'

Moscow will not take tit-for-tat measures or act "hysterically" in response to sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union over the Ukraine crisis, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov Credit: Associated Press

"We're not preparing to act on the principle of 'an eye for an eye'," Mr Lavrov told a news conference. "We want to tackle the situation with a sober head and the president has already said that of course we can't ignore it. But to fall into hysterics and respond to a blow with a blow is not worthy of a major country," he said.

Read: Experts cancel MH17 site visit over disputed security threat

Russia 'hopes for objective investigation into MH17'

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow was hopeful the investigation into a downed airliner over eastern Ukraine would be "objective and respect a presumption of innocence."

An armed pro-Russian separatist guards the site of MH17 crash.
An armed pro-Russian separatist guards the site of MH17 crash. Credit: Reuters

"Only the honest, open participation of all those who have access to information about the crash can be regarded as normal. Anything else we will consider deceitful attempts to influence the investigation, putting presumption of innocence in doubt," he told a news conference.

Mr Lavrov also said Russia was hopeful that international monitors from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe could be deployed along the Russia-Ukraine border.

Read: Experts cancel MH17 site visit over disputed security threat

Russia: Sanctions 'will not achieve their goal'

The U.S. and EU sanctions imposed against Russia over the conflict in eastern Ukraine will "not achieve their goal," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

Speaking to reporters in Moscow, Mr Lavrov said the sanctions may result in Russia becoming more economically independent.

"(Sanctions) simply cannot achieve (their aim) ... I assure you, we will overcome any difficulties that may arise in certain areas of the economy, and maybe we will become more independent and more confident in our own strength.

– Sergei Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister

Read: Experts cancel MH17 site visit over disputed security threat

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