Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has said the MH17 crash site is an “absolutely shambolic situation” which “looks more like a garden clean-up” than a forensic investigation.
He said access to the crash site in the Russian-rebel controlled area of the Ukraine has been better today than it was over the weekend but it is “imperative that we get a properly secured site”.
There are about 45 Australian officials, including retired Air Chief Marshall Angus Houston, deployed to the Ukrainian capital of Kiev to support investigations into Malaysian Airlines flight which was shot down on Friday, killing all 298 passengers and crew on board, including 37 Australian citizens and residents.
Abbott also signalled Australia’s intent to sponsor a motion at the UN Security Council calling for full and unfettered access of international investigators to the crash site. He said it should be passed by acclamation.
“Over the next 24 hours, there’s going to be an Australian-sponsored resolution at UN Security Council,” he said.
“I don’t know how our resolution will go. Decency and justice requires that this resolution should be carried by acclamation.
“We will not rest until we have done all we humanly can to retrieve the bodies, secure the site and ensure justice.”
He said he has spoken to international leaders including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, UK Prime Minister David Cameron, US President Barack Obama, as well as Russia’s Vladimir Putin overnight.
“The mood of the leaders I spoke to is firmer and sterner now than it was in first 24 hours,” the prime minister said, adding he will not go into details about the conversation he had with Putin.
Abbott said he has called two of the victim’s families and is “available to them at a time like this”. The government is also seeking advice into declaring the disaster an act of terrorism which would pave the way for the families of victims to receive up to $75,000 in compensation.
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