Rinkēvičs: too many coincidences raise suspicion about separatists’ responsibility for the plane crash
There are too many coincidences that raises suspicion about Pro-Russian separatists’ responsibility for the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 catastrophe in Donbas, says Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs, stating the need to secure an independent international investigation of this incident.
An independent international investigation is necessary. But even now there are plenty of indications that the plane was shot down. And if it is confirmed ‘the entire Ukrainian separatist movement will be considered terrorists’, – said the minister in his interview to Panorāma programme of LTV.
There are also a lot of questions for Russia, which has basically supplied separatists with anti-tank and anti-air launchers, says the minister. He also said that the commander of Ukrainian separatists had proudly reported this Thursday that yet another Ukrainian army aircraft had been shot down. However, after reports of the catastrophe of the Malaysian passenger airliner, Strelkov’s statements were hastily erased from social networks.
A lot that ‘this increases suspicion about responsibility of these people’, and one cannot imagine a situation for the European Union to continue cooperation with Russia in military technology field under such conditions – it would be madness, says the minister.
Director of Civil Aviation Agency Māris Gorodcovs has told Panorāma programme that the crashed plane was flying in international airspace, at 10 km altitude. Statistics show accidents at this altitude are equal to only 4% of all accidents.
He also notes it is not possible to shoot down a plane at this altitude using hand-held launchers, you stationary launchers. Gorodcovs adds that many countries employ an early warning system on their airliners that raise an alarm when a plane is targeted or shot at. Gorodcovs does not know whether or not the Malaysian plane was fitted with such systems.
According to initial information, there were 154 Dutch, 27 Australians, 23 Malaysian, 11 Indonesian, 6 British, 4 German, 4 Belgian, 5 Philippine and 1 Canadian passengers on board the crashed passenger plane. The nationality of the remaining passengers has not yet been determined, BBC reports.
BNN had previously reported that a Malaysia Airlines passenger aircraft was shot down in Ukraine on its way from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. 280 passengers and 15 members of staff were on board the plane; no survivors.
Communications with Boeing 777, which was 10,000 km above ground over Ukraine, went down at 16:20. It is reported that the plane crashed near the village of Hrabove, not far from the Russian border.
This disaster has been confirmed by Ukrainian Interior Affairs Minister’s assistant Anton Gerashenko. According to him, the passenger aircraft was shot down by ‘terrorists’ in Donetsk.