Saturday

3rd Dec 2016

EU calls for 'international investigation' into Ukraine air crash

  • Several airlines have suspended flights to the region in response (Photo: Andy Mitchell)

An airliner carrying 295 people has crashed in a conflict zone in east Ukraine, with all on board presumed dead.

The Malaysian Airlines flight, from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, disappeared from radar screens at approximately 16.20 Kiev time according to Ukrainian authorities.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

Early reports indicate it was carrying Dutch, French, and US citizens among other nationals, with several airlines suspending flights to the region in response.

The Russian, Ukrainian, and US leaders, as well as the EU foreign service, quickly put out statements of condolences.

The EU service also called for an “international investigation”, adding: “We call on all parties in the region of the crash to provide full access to the crash site, so that it can be secured immediately, to co-operate fully and to share all relevant information.”

The crash occurred in an area where Ukrainian forces are fighting with pro-Russia rebels.

The Ukrainian foreign ministry said in a statement it has “evidence” that the plane was “shot down by a Russian Buk missile system”.

But one rebel leader, Andrei Purgin, told the New York Times by phone “We don’t have the technical ability to hit a plane at that height”.

The Reuters news agency reports that European and US stock markets fell on fears the disaster will enflame geopolitical tensions.

The US and EU one day earlier imposed financial sanctions on Russia after accusing it of sending heavy weapons into east Ukraine.

The US also imposed a ban on trade with eight Russian arms firms, including Almaz-Antey, which makes Buk missile systems.

Speaking to European press in Brussels on Thursday before news of the air disaster, the US State Department’s top diplomat on the Ukraine crisis, Victoria Nuland, had said: “These companies make or sell the kind of weapons or materiel that we are seeing in east Ukraine”.

The EU foreign service added in its communique: “This is another stark illustration of why it is so urgent to bring this conflict to an end”.

“Without prejudging the facts behind the crash, we call on all parties to stop the senseless loss of life in eastern Ukraine, to refrain from any escalatory acts, and to agree to an immediate ceasefire."

Commission won't call Castro a dictator

The EU executive says that a statement decribing the former Cuban leader as a "hero for many" is balanced and suggests that the use of the word dictator by a commissioner doesn't reflect its position.

News in Brief

  1. Talks on wholesale roaming rules to start
  2. Lead MEP Dieselgate committee: Italy and Slovakia will cooperate
  3. Transparency NGO sues EU commission on Turkey deal
  4. Pro-EU liberal wins UK by-election
  5. Finnish support for Nato drops, Russia-scepticism grows
  6. Cyprus talks to resume in January
  7. Documents from German NSA inquiry released
  8. Transport commissioner 'not aware' of legal action on emissions

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. CESIElects Leaders and Sets Safety & Health at Work and Gender Equality Among the Guidelines For Next Term
  2. European Gaming & Betting AssociationContinues to Grow its Membership and Welcomes its Newest Member Association
  3. ACCASupports the Women of Europe Awards, Celebrating the Women who are Building Europe
  4. European Heart NetworkWhat About our Kids? Protect Children From Unhealthy Food and Drink Marketing
  5. ECR GroupRestoring Trust and Confidence in the European Parliament
  6. UNICEFChild Rights Agencies Call on EU to put Refugee and Migrant Children First
  7. MIRAIA New Vision on Clean Tech: Balancing Energy Efficiency, Climate Change and Costs
  8. World VisionChildren Cannot Wait! 7 Priority Actions to Protect all Refugee and Migrant Children
  9. ANCI LazioRegio-Mob Project Delivers Analysis of Trasport and Mobility in Rome
  10. SDG Watch EuropeCivil Society Disappointed by the Commission's Plans for Sustainable Development Goals
  11. PLATO15 Fully-Funded PhD Positions Open – The Post-Crisis Legitimacy of the EU (PLATO)
  12. Access NowTell the EU Council: Protect our Rights to Privacy and Security