MOSCOW, July 18 Russian President Vladimir
Putin, in a phone call with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte,
demanded a "thorough and unbiased" investigation into the
downing of a Malaysian airliner in eastern Ukraine, the Kremlin
said on Friday.
"The head of the Russian state underlined that the tragedy
yet again highlighted the need for the swiftest peaceful
solution to the acute crisis in Ukraine and noted that a
thorough and unbiased investigation into all the circumstances
of the air catastrophe was needed," it said.
A majority of the 298 people killed on the plane on Thursday
were Dutch citizens.
The Boeing 777 passenger plane came down in area near the
Russian border close to the city of Donetsk, where Ukraine's
army is fighting a pro-Russian separatist rebellion.
Kiev accuses pro-Russian separatists of shooting down the
airliner with help from Russian intelligence representatives.
Putin put the blame on Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko who
refused to extend a shaky ceasefire with the rebels.
(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin, Denis Pinchuk and Gabriela
Baczynska, Editing by Timothy Heritage)