MH17: 'Russia can't wash its hands of this' - Australia PM Abbott

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MH17: 'Russia can't wash its hands of this' - Australia PM Abbott

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Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott has demanded Russia’s full cooperation with international efforts to investigate the MH17 crash in eastern Ukraine.

During an interview with Australian broadcaster ABC, Abbott said: “Yesterday I summoned the Russian Trade Minister to a meeting and I made crystal clear my concerns and dissatisfaction with the way this has been handled.”

“Russian-controlled territory, Russian-backed rebels, quite likely a Russian-supplied weapon – Russia can’t wash its hands of this,” Abbott continued.

Abbott also attended a memorial service at Saint Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney in honour of the MH17 victims, 28 of whom were Australian citizens.

Elsewhere in Australia, at the opening of the International AIDS Society (IAS) annual conference in Melbourne, a minute’s silence was held for the MH17 victims.

At least six people on board MH17 – including Joep Lange, a leading AIDS researcher and a former IAS president – had been heading to the Melbourne conference.

IAS President Francoise Barre-Sinoussi told conference delegates: “Tonight, for the next minute, let our silence represent our sadness, our anger and our solidarity.”