Ukraine government suspends MH17 crash site truce

The Ukrainian government has suspended a ceasefire in the area surrounding the MH17 crash site after the recovery mission was halted yesterday, Reuters reported.

The Netherlands halted the operation because of fighting in eastern Ukraine, the Dutch prime minister announced yesterday.

Mark Rutte told journalists in The Hague the risk posed to the team of 70 Australian, Dutch and Malaysian experts was too great to continue working in the area.

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Dutch PM: Russia still arming Ukraine separatists

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte. Credit: Reuters

Russia could avert EU sanctions if it stops arming pro-Moscow rebels in Ukraine, the Dutch Prime Minister has said.

"All indications are that Russia is continuing to arm the separatists," Mark Rutte told a parliamentary committee on Friday.

The PM, who is seen to have a key role in the EU's response to the downing of airliner MH17, said: "There's an easy way out for Russia: to distance themselves from the separatists, and stop arming them."

He added that the Netherlands would support sanctions if Russia did not do so, and would also do so if it were proven that Russia had been behind the downing of the airliner, in which 298 people, including 194 Dutch, lost their lives.

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