2014-12-16 08:04:00

Ukraine's president: 'Malaysia airlines downed by Russia'

(Vatican Radio) Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko claims to have satellite footage of a rocket that he says recently downed a Malaysian Airlines plane over eastern Ukraine. The president made the remarks in a television interview, in which he also pledged not to turn Ukraine into a nuclear armed nation.  

Listen to Stefan Bos’ report:

Poroshenko told Australia's ABC television he has evidence that a Russian rocket downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 on July 17. "Preliminary results is already delivering the information that the attack was done from the territory controlled by the terrorists sponsored by Russians," he claimed.

"The surface-to-air missile which were delivered from Russia, and we have a satellite photo of this rocket launch," the president added.

The crash in eastern Ukraine killed all 298 people on board, including 38 Australians.


Wrapping up his visit to Australia, Poroshenko said he hopes the results of a Netherlands-led investigation into the disaster will be published in the first half of next year so that immediate action can be taken against those responsible. 

Ongoing clashes between government forces and pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine had hampered the investigation and the identification of victims.      

The fighting, which has killed thousands, has led to energy shortages in Ukraine as it is more difficult to rely on coal or Russian natural gas supplies.  

Poroshenko confirmed that he has discussed with Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott buying Australian uranium for Ukrainian nuclear energy, to meet demand.  


Asked whether he has the ambition to turn Ukraine into a nuclear military power, Poroshenko said: "No. This would be absolutely irresponsible." 

"Believe me that the strongest security in the modern world in the 21st Century supply, but not nuclear power," he added. 

"This is technology from the 20th Century. We can win the aggressor only when we will be united and when the whole world demonstrates exactly what we have now: solidarity with Ukraine."

His former Soviet nation gave up what was the world's third largest nuclear weapons stockpile 20 years ago, in exchange for security guarantees from the international community, including Russia. 

Yet, Poroshenko says Russia has become "an aggressor" in his country, charges Moscow angrily denies. 

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