Wednesday

25th Apr 2018

Merkel: Russia partly responsible for Ukraine crash

  • Merkel sees 'deep divergences' after talking to Putin (Photo: bundeskanzlerin.de)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday (18 July) said Russia must acknowledge its share of responsibility in the Ukraine plane disaster.

"It is important to have an international investigation as soon as possible. There are many indications that the plane was shot down, so we have to take things very seriously," Merkel said in Berlin during her traditional summer press conference.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

A Malaysian Airlines passenger plane flying at high altitude from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed on Ukrainian territory on Thursday, killing all 298 people onboard. According to leaked tapes and the US intelligence service, the plane was shot down by a Russian-made missile.

Merkel called on Russia to "acknowledge its responsibility" for what is happening in Ukraine, especially since it allowed weapons and tanks to cross the border into Ukrainian territories controlled by the pro-Russian separatists.

She said she spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday night and that they have "very diverging opinions" about the situation in Ukraine.

EU leaders on Wednesday agreed to widen the sanctions regime to allow companies to be blacklisted. Merkel said "we will continue on this path", especially after the plane crash.

"Those who shot the plane down must be brought to justice, that's why an international inquiry is needed. It's true that separatists are heavily armed and there is evidence that parts of this armament came from Russia. That is why the border regime is so important and for OSCE inspectors to be able to go and see what is coming across the border," Merkel said.

She added that Germany is pushing within the OSCE (a European multilateral body) to widen the mandate, for instance to use surveillance drones over the Russian-Ukrainian border.

"But there was not much progress, and here it is Russia's responsibility to move," Merkel said.

In a sign that the airplane tragedy may speed up a solution to the conflict, Merkel noted that "suddenly the contact group [between rebels and the Ukrainian government] was able to hold a videoconference, even though it would have been better if they had managed earlier."

No French warships?

Asked about the sale of French Mistral warships to Russia, Merkel said the current sanctions regime still allows it.

But she added that "Germany has put on hold the construction of a shooting centre in Russia, given the situation," in reference to an already-finished project which still requires some paperwork in order for the Russian side to use it.

This marks a shift from a month ago, when Merkel backed the Mistral sale, noting that the contract had been signed years ago and that only a further escalation of sanctions could stop it.

News in Brief

  1. UN expects over $4bn in pledges for Syria
  2. Commission wants more public data made available for reuse
  3. Study: Brexit will hit all European farmers
  4. European media face rise in 'verbal violence' from politicians
  5. Greenland PM to keep power despite poll slump
  6. Commissioner optimistic on FYROM name solution
  7. Italian court keeps NGO migrant rescue boat docked
  8. German Jews warned not to wear skullcap in public

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Sustainable Energy Week 2018"Lead the Clean Energy Transition"- Register and Join Us in Brussels from 5 to 7 May
  2. EU Green Week 2018Green Cities for a Greener Future. Join the Debate in Brussels from 22 to 24 May
  3. Nordic Council of Ministers12 Recommendations for Nordic Leadership on Climate and Environment
  4. Macedonian Human Rights MovementOxford Professor Calls for an End to the Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations
  5. ACCAPeople Who Speak-Up Should Feel Safe to Do So
  6. Mission of China to the EUProgress on China-EU Cooperation
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersWorld's Energy Ministers to Meet in Oresund in May to Discuss Green Energy
  8. ILGA EuropeParabéns! Portugal Votes to Respect the Rights of Trans and Intersex People
  9. Mission of China to the EUJobs, Energy, Steel: Government Work Report Sets China's Targets
  10. Martens CentreJoin Us at NET@WORK2018 Featuring Debates on Migration, Foreign Policy, Populism & Disinformation
  11. European Jewish CongressKantor Center Annual Report on Antisemitism Worldwide - The Year the Mask Came Off
  12. UNICEFCalls for the Protection of Children in the Gaza Strip

Latest News

  1. Whistleblowers could be enforcers of rule of law in Europe
  2. EU shelves Macron idea for 'European Darpa'
  3. Don't play EU 'games' with military HQs, Italian admiral says
  4. EU had a plan for Jordan - now it's time to make it work
  5. Time for EU to take charge of global health research agenda
  6. EU in race to set global Artificial Intelligence ethics standards
  7. Juncker delays air quality action due to busy agenda
  8. Spain makes bid for EU naval HQ