July 18, 2014 4:22 am

Australian PM berates Russia over its denial of responsibility for downed MH17

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott addresses the media during a press conference at Parliament House on July 18, 2014 in Canberra, Australia. 27 Australians were on board the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 which was reportedly shot down over Eastern Ukraine. Reports that a surface-to-air missile brought the Boeing 777 down remain unconfirmed. (Photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images)


CANBERRA, Australia – An angry Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott is demanding an independent inquiry into the downing of a Malaysian jetliner and says Russia’s response is “deeply, deeply unsatisfactory.”

Abbott criticized Russia’s Ambassador to Australia Vladimir Morozov, who met earlier Friday with Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.

According to Abbott, the ambassador’s initial response was to blame Ukraine for Thursday’s downing of the Malaysia Airlines aircraft, which killed all 298 aboard, including 28 Australians.

Abbott told reporters that the idea that Russia can somehow say that none of this has anything to do with them because it happened in Ukrainian airspace “frankly does not stand up to any serious scrutiny.”

He added that because Russian-backed rebels appear to have used Russian-supplied heavy weaponry, Australia wants the fullest possible investigation.

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