The Foreign Secretary chaired a further meeting on the MH17 disaster this afternoon. Officials from across Whitehall, the police and representatives of the agencies attended. They discussed the ongoing efforts by international experts to gain access to the crash site and progress towards a credible investigation into the accident.
Though OSCE special monitoring experts have had some access to the site, this has so far been limited. As set out in the UN statement, it is vital that specialist investigators are given unhindered access to the site as quickly as possible to establish the facts and to ensure the recovery and repatriation of victims. Six UK Air Accident Investigation Branch investigators are now in Ukraine and working with their international counterparts on next steps. And experts from the Met Police are due to arrive in Ukraine tomorrow to assist with the recovery, identification and repatriation of those killed.
The Prime Minister spoke to Prime Minister Abbott of Australia and Prime Minister Rutte of the Netherlands this afternoon in 2 separate phone calls. All 3 leaders are clear that President Putin needs to actively engage with the international community and use his influence on the separatists to ensure they allow access to the crash site. The FCO in London has called in the Russian Ambassador to make these points.
The PM also agreed with PM Abbott that the UK and Australia should work together to secure further pressure at the UN Security Council for swift and unhindered access to the crash site.
The PM and PM Rutte agreed that the EU will need to reconsider its approach to Russia in light of evidence that pro-Russian separatists brought down the plane.