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Putin vows Russia will use influence on Ukraine rebels

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Putin vows Russia will use influence on Ukraine rebels


The Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his government will use its influence with separatists in eastern Ukraine to allow a full investigation into the downing of flight MH17.

But he told a meeting of defence and security chiefs in Moscow that the West must also put pressure on the Ukrainian government to end hostilities.

“We are asked to influence the rebels. We will do all we can for sure. But that will not be enough,” Putin said.

Citing an alleged attack by Ukrainian tanks in Donetsk, Putin continued: “We have to urge Kyiv to respect elementary norms of decency and introduce a ceasefire at least for a short period while the investigation is ongoing.”

Putin’s comments were his first detailed public response to Western criticism of Russia since the crash.

The president said that Moscow would stand by separatists, whom he described as part of a popular uprising against an illegal coup.

But he did not comment on whether Russia has been arming the rebels, although he has previously denied such accusations.

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