Monday

4th Mar 2024

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.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Get the EU news that really matters

Instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

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."

EU docks €32m in funding to UN Gaza agency pending audit

The European Commission will release €50m out of €82m in funds for the UN aid agency (UNRWA) operating in Gaza. The remaining €32m will come pending an audit. The commission has received no evidence to support Israeli allegations against UNRWA.

Opinion

The macabre saga of Navalny's corpse

With Alexei Navalny's funeral in Moscow on Friday, Vladimir Putin's regime haven't just insulted his mother and widow with their treatment of his corpse — they've breached international treaties and conventions.

Latest News

  1. EU socialists fight battle on two fronts in election campaign
  2. EU docks €32m in funding to UN Gaza agency pending audit
  3. 'Outdated' rules bar MEP from entering plenary with child
  4. Commission plays down row over Rwanda minerals pact
  5. EU socialists set to anoint placeholder candidate
  6. Why are the banking lobby afraid of a digital euro?
  7. Deepfake dystopia — Russia's disinformation in Spain and Italy
  8. Putin's nuclear riposte to Macron fails to impress EU diplomats

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersJoin the Nordic Food Systems Takeover at COP28
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersHow women and men are affected differently by climate policy
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersArtist Jessie Kleemann at Nordic pavilion during UN climate summit COP28
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCOP28: Gathering Nordic and global experts to put food and health on the agenda
  5. Friedrich Naumann FoundationPoems of Liberty – Call for Submission “Human Rights in Inhume War”: 250€ honorary fee for selected poems
  6. World BankWorld Bank report: How to create a future where the rewards of technology benefit all levels of society?

Join EUobserver

EU news that matters

Join us