Russia claims MH17 crash investigation stalled

Russia claims MH17 crash investigation stalled

MOSCOW - Russia complained Monday of a failure to release details of the investigation into the Malaysian jet that crashed in Ukraine in July, accusing international investigators of lack of transparency.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov queried why the recordings from the plane's black boxes had not been released publicly and said he had the impression that "everyone else has lost interest in the investigation." Dutch investigators leading the probe said early this month that they would release an initial report "in a few weeks." A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 exploded over insurgent-held east Ukraine on July 17, killing all 298 on board, with the West accusing Russia-backed separatists of shooting it down and Moscow blaming Kiev.

The aircraft's black boxes have been shipped to Farnborough in Britain to be examined by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch.

"No one has told us anything coherent about the reasons why the recordings of the black boxes cannot be released fully," Lavrov said at a televised briefing in Moscow.

He also queried why Ukraine had not yet provided recordings of conversations between air traffic controllers in the nearby airport of Dnepropetrovsk.

He said that Russia had contacted the International Civil Aviation Organisation, the United Nations' aviation agency, which has set up a task force to draw up recommendations over the crash, but that "so far there is nothing transparent to be seen there either." Lavrov suggested that the probe had failed to find evidence of Russia's involvement in downing the plane in July as it flew over rebel-controlled territory of eastern Ukraine.

He said that those who had initially made "accusations verging on hysteria against Russia and the rebels" had now fallen silent and "seemed to have swallowed their tongues." The search for body parts at the crash site has been suspended since early August since investigators were unable to continue working amid heavy fighting in the area.

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