July 21, 2014 / 6:40 AM / 3 years ago

Putin demands access for experts at Ukraine crash site

MOSCOW, July 21 (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday the downing of a Malaysian airliner in east Ukraine must not be used for political ends and urged separatists to allow international experts access to the crash site.

“Everything must be done to guarantee the security of international experts at the site of the tragedy,” Putin, wearing a dark suit and a black tie, said in televised comments.

He reiterated his belief that the incident would not have happened if Ukrainian government forces had not ended a truce and resumed a military campaign against the pro-Russian separatists who have risen up in eastern Ukraine.

“However nobody should - and no one has the right to - use this tragedy to achieve selfish political ends. Such events should not divide people, but unite them,” he said. (Reporting by Timothy Heritage, Editing by Elizabeth Piper)

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