As the world reacts to the tragic crash of Malaysian civilian aircraft MH17, euronews presenter Sabrina Pisu has spoken to correspondent Sergio Cantone, who’s in Kyiv gauging the mood in Ukraine’s capital.
Sabrina Pisu, euronews: Moscow and Kyiv continue to blame each other. What are the reactions of the inhabitants of Kyiv after the tragedy and has there been a further escalation of geopolitical tensions in Ukraine?
Sergio Cantone, euronews correspondent: There are many concerns but there is also the notion – the Ukrainian point of view – that this incident may shake the stance of the European Union who so far here, people in Kyiv think, has been very soft with regard to this crisis and rather conciliatory towards Moscow. With a shock of this magnitude in which several citizens of the European Union have lost their lives, it could lead Brussels and other European countries to change their stance regarding Ukraine.
euronews: Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said that he had to bring the perpetrators of this tragedy before the International Criminal Court. But are there the conditions for international experts to access the site of the disaster?
Cantone: Currently there are no new clear outcomes regarding the site of the crash. First the place is under the control of separatists and therefore the investigation under international law, should be conducted by the Kyiv authorities who, for the moment, are officially the authorities in this area. The experts of a Commission created for this purpose, will have difficulty entering the site of the tragedy where they need to study and analyze parts of the plane and recover the victims remains.
euronews: The pro-Russian separatists have promised a ceasefire for 2-4 days to allow for the recovery of the remains of the plane. What is the situation right now at the site of the accident?
Cantone: It is a tense situation, we talk about ceasefire, but for the moment the fighting continues, not at the crash site but nearby. Sources from the Ukrainian security services insist they are looking, for example, to strengthen the border to prevent infiltration of militants from the Russian Federation and this requires, of course, a continuation of fighting. So there were clashes in the night too, despite the crash of the aircraft.
euronews: Putin said “This tragedy confirms the urgent need for a peaceful solution to the crisis” Could the plane crash lead to international pressure to help resolve the crisis in Ukraine?
Cantone: There may be a turning point in this crisis, which is becoming extremely serious. There could be a de-escalation of violence in this crisis. But we have to wait and see what the outcome of the investigation is and how the international community reacts to those found responsible after an investigation has been conducted.