by William M. Reilly
UNITED NATIONS, July 21 (Xinhua) -- The UN Security Council on Monday unanimously adopted a resolution demanding access to the crash site of Malaysia Airlines MH17 and "a full, thorough and independent international investigation" into the incident.
Expressing grave concern at reports of insufficient and limited access to the crash site, the resolution demanded an end to all military activities near the site to allow for the investigation.
The resolution also demanded those responsible for this incident be held to account and full cooperation among participating countries.
The Boeing 777-200, en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, went down Thursday in eastern Ukraine, killing all the 298 passengers and crew aboard.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop of Australia, which took the lead in drafting the measures, called the resolution "an unambiguous response from the international community to an utterly deplorable act."
"Our nation is devastated by the loss of so many Australians -- 37 people who called Australia home," the foreign minister said. "They were travelling home from Europe."
"Russia must use its influence over the separatists" to ensure cooperation and bring the conflict in Ukraine to an end, Bishop said.
Kiev and the West have been blaming Russia for escalating the violence in eastern Ukraine, while the Kremlin accused Ukraine for failing to stop the bloodshed in its country.
Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans of the Netherlands, which suffered the greatest loss in the crash, said the demise of nearly 200 compatriots has left a hole in the heart of the Dutch nation, and has caused despair after witnessing the "excruciatingly slow process of securing the crash site and recovering the remains of the victims."
Ambassador Liu Jieyi of China, said Beijing "supports an independent, impartial and objective investigation into this incident," recommending the United Nation's International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) play "a crucial role in this international investigation."
But he said "all sides should not jump into any conclusion, or engage in conjecture or mutual recrimination."
Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin echoed calls for an independent inquiry and Liu's caution against finger-pointing.
"It seems Kiev is attempting to draw on the shock of the international community given the downing of MH17 to step up its punitive operations in the east of the country. Indiscriminate artillery and air strikes are hitting cities and killing civilians," he said.
Kiev claimed that the rebels used weapons supplied by Russia to shoot down the airliner, a charge that Russia denied.
"It would be very frivolous to give Kiev a lead role in conducting an international investigation," Churkin said. "Let us not forget that the reason for the July 17 incident was an armed clash in Ukraine. The priorities today are swift halting of clashes and violence (and) establishing peaceful negotiations."
Ukraine's Ambassador Yuriy Sergeyev said Ukraine has already yielded to the Netherlands to share leading the inquiry.
"In openness Ukraine invited ICAO, Interpol and representatives of nations who had lost their nationals to participate in the investigation, as well as the Russian federation," the Kiev envoy said.