Rada ratifies agreements on international police mission for Boeing crash inquiry
The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine at a closed emergency meeting on Thursday ratified the agreements with Australia and the Netherlands on the access of the international police mission to the scene of the Malaysian Boeing 777 crash in Donetsk region and the protection of the crash inquiry, MP Serhiy Labaziuk of the Sovereign European Ukraine group told reporters.
On July 25, Ukraine and Australia signed an agreement on the deployment of Australian personnel in Ukraine in connection with the crash of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.
On July 28, the agreement on an international mission to protect the investigation of the Malaysian Boeing crash was signed between Ukraine and the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
According to the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, the agreement is aimed at facilitating the investigation of the plane crash, securing its scene and ensuring the remains of people, who died in the crash, should be returned to their relatives.
The Australian contingent is not part of the armed forces of Australia, and its main function is to ensure the protection of the crash site. The Australian personnel team will be made up of no more than 250 armed people, who will be licensed to bear arms and use force if necessary, including to use lethal force in self-defense, according the agreement.
The Australian personnel will be free to move in the area related to the investigation of plane crash. At the same time, they will need Ukraine's consent to move in the areas that are not related to the investigation of the crash. The Australian personnel will coordinate its activities with the OSCE special monitoring mission.
The costs of the mission's stay in Ukraine will be covered by Australia. The agreement shall enter into force on the date Australia receives a diplomatic note from Ukraine on the completion of the domestic procedures necessary for its entry into force.
The text of the agreement with the Netherlands says that the multinational mission to protect the investigation of the Malaysian Boeing crash led by the Netherlands is set up to facilitate the recovery of the remains and the investigation of the crash in Donetsk region, as well as for other activities that may be agreed between the parties.
The agreement stipulates that the mission will include no more than 700 armed people.
The mission will consist of military and non-military personnel from the Netherlands, Australia and, where appropriate, other countries whose nationals were aboard the MN17 flight.
The mission personnel are allowed to bear arms, as well as use force in self-defense.
The mission will work in Ukraine until the end of the crash inquiry.
On July 17 a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 crashed near the village of Hrabove, Shakhtarsk district, Donetsk region. The plane was making the MH17 flight leg from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. There were 283 passengers and 15 crew members on board. All of them were killed.
According to the air carrier, the list of victims included 192 Dutch nationals, one of whom was also a U.S. citizen; 44 Malaysians, including the 15-member crew, 27 Australians and 12 Indonesians. Yet another ten victims were British, one of whom was also a South African national.
There were also four Germans, four Belgians, three Filipinos, one Canadian and one New Zealander.