MOSCOW, July 19 (Xinhua) -- Top diplomats of Russia and the United States agreed on Saturday that the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) should be guaranteed leading role in investigating the Malaysian plane crash in Ukraine.
"In the course of a frank, straightforward discussion, the minister and the secretary ... agreed on the main point - the need for an absolutely unbiased, independent and open international investigation into the crash of the Malaysian airliner," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement, citing a telephone conversation between foreign minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
The diplomats agreed that "all evidence, including flight data recorders, should be made available for examination as part of an international investigation and that all necessary conditions should be created on the ground to ensure access for the international team of experts," said the statement.
They called on the conflicting parties in Ukraine to adhere the Geneva agreement of April 17, when Russia, Ukraine, the United States and the Europe Union set tasks for the stop of violence and constitutional reform.
Also on Saturday, Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel emphasized the importance of a "thorough and impartial" investigation into all circumstances of the Thursday crash in eastern Ukraine, which claimed all 298 lives on board.
The two leaders said bloodshed must be stopped immediately in eastern Ukraine, and that contact group talks involving representatives from conflict-hit regions should be resumed.
They also agreed that it "would be of fundamental importance" to implement Russia's initiative on the presence of Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe monitors at two checkpoints on the Russian-Ukrainian border.
Donetsk insurgent leader denies finding MH17 black boxes at crash site
DONETSK, Ukraine, July 19 (Xinhua) -- Donetsk insurgent leader Alexander Borodai denied on Saturday that black boxes of the crashed Malaysian airliner MH17 had been found.
Borodai said they had not touched the site where the passenger flight crashed but they reserved the right to begin the process of taking away the bodies since the bodies would decompose in the scorching summer heat.Full Story