July 18, 2014 / 2:52 PM / 5 years ago

Leaders of Russia, Malaysian urges ceasefire for probe into downed airliner: Kremlin

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The leaders of Russia and Malaysia spoke by telephone on Friday stressing the need for an objective probe into the downing of a passenger jet, saying a stop to military operations in eastern Ukraine would help achieve this, the Kremlin said.

President Vladimir Putin offered Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak his condolences over the tragedy that befell the country’s airliner, which killed 298 people when it went down in an area where separatists are fighting Ukrainian forces.

“Both sides stressed the importance of an objective international investigation into the cause of the tragedy. This would be helped by an immediate end to military operations in southeastern Ukraine,” the Kremlin said in a statement.

Reporting by Alissa de Carbonnel, editing by Thomas Grove

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