Putin vows to press rebels, help MH17 crash probe

Putin vows to press rebels, help MH17 crash probe
Russia's President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting in the Kremlin in Moscow, on June 20, 2014.

MOSCOW - Russian President Vladimir Putin promised Tuesday to do everything possible to influence pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine and help ensure a full probe into the Malaysia Airlines crash last week.

However he added that it would not be enough with Kiev's continuing military operation against the rebels, adding that the West must push Ukraine's authorities to declare a ceasefire.

"Russia will do everything in its power for a full, comprehensive, deep, and transparent investigation," Putin told a meeting of the national security council, according to excerpts broadcast by Russian state television.

"We are asked to exert influence on the militants of the south-east (of Ukraine). Of course we will do everything in our power.

"However this would be absolutely inadequate" given fresh attacks by Ukrainian troops, said Putin.

"Tanks broke through to the train station," he said of Monday's clashes on the outskirts of Donetsk. "International experts who came to the tragedy could not lift their heads." Ukrainian "authorities must be called upon to abide by elementary decency, to introduce a ceasefire, at least for a short time for the investigation," Putin added.

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