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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

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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

Chance of finding remains of all MH17 victims 'slimmer'

The chance of finding the remains of all 298 victims of the MH17 crash is growing slimmer as fighting in the area prevents international investigators from accessing the disaster site, officials said.

A joint Australian-Dutch probe team will renew efforts on Monday to gain access to the crash site of the Malaysian airliner in eastern Ukraine. The plans to visit the site yesterday had been dropped because of nearby fighting.

MH17 debris
MH17 site visit by the international investgators was dropped due to fighting. Credit: Reuters

"The fighting intensified overnight," said Australian Deputy Commissioner of National Security Andrew Colvin.

"There remains a possibility that we may not get there in the near future," he said. "I don't want to consider the fact that we may never get to that site."

Read: Experts cancel MH17 site visit over disputed security threat

Military mission to secure MH17 crash site ruled out

A military mission to secure the MH17 crash site has been ruled out by the Netherlands, Australia and Malaysia, according to the Dutch Prime Minister.

http://www.itv.com/news/update/2014-07-26/clegg-calls-for-russia-to-be-stripped-of-2018-world-cup/
Some 298 people died when Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine. Credit: Reuters

Mark Rutte said: "We concluded there was a real risk that an international mission would immediately be involved in the conflict in Ukraine."

He added that that it was "not realistic" to attain military dominance over heavily armed separatists in an area so near the Russian border.

A team of international experts were due to visit the scene where 298 people died but abandoned their plans for security reasons.

Read: Clegg calls for Russia to be stripped of World Cup after MH17 disaster

Ukraine blames rebels for 'fake' fighting claims

Ukraine's foreign minister has denied the country's army was engaged in fighting near the MH17 crash site after Dutch experts cancelled a visit due to reports of hostilities.

Pavlo Klimkin tweeted that rebels had prevented the international team from reaching the site where the passenger plane crashed in eastern Ukraine.

Terrorists back to their normal outrageous practice: they don't allow OSCE (the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) monitors to access the #MH17 site claiming Ukraine army is fighting nearby.

Their argument is fake. Ukraine is committed to its unilateral ceasefire within a 40 km zone.

– Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin

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Ukraine fighting 'will most likely affect MH17 crash site'

Fighting between pro-Russian rebels and Ukrainian troops will "most likely affect the MH17 crash site," the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said.

A team of international experts were due to visit the scene where 298 people died today but abandoned their plans for security reasons.

Deputy head of the OSCE mission in Ukraine Alexander Hug said: "We heard indications there's fighting going on.The situation on the ground appears to be unsafe ... we therefore decided to deploy tomorrow morning."

MH17: First victim is formally identified

Forensic experts have formally identified the first of 298 MH17 victims, AFP reported.

A woman whose daughter who is thought to have died on flight MH17 weeps at the site of the disaster.
A woman whose daughter who is thought to have died on flight MH17 weeps at the site of the disaster. Credit: Reuters

A statement from the Dutch Government said: “The first victim of the flight MH17 disaster was identified.

"It's a Dutch citizen and the victim's family and mayor of where they lived have been informed.”

A team of 200 specialists are involved in the identification process but it could take months for it to be completed.

The Dutch are in charge of identifying all the victims from the July 17 disaster over rebel-held Ukraine, 194 of whom were Dutch nationals.

So far 227 coffins with the remains of people from 17 countries have been flown back.

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