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Putin Wants 'Unbiased Probe' Into Ukraine Plane Crash

Russia's President Vladimir Putin (R) talks to Russia's Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev before a meeting on economic issues at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow.

President Vladimir Putin, in a phone call with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, demanded a "thorough and unbiased" investigation into the downing of a Malaysian airliner in eastern Ukraine, the Kremlin said Friday.

"The head of the Russian state underlined that the tragedy yet again highlighted the need for the swiftest peaceful solution to the acute crisis in Ukraine and noted that a thorough and unbiased investigation into all the circumstances of the air catastrophe was needed," it said.

A majority of the 298 people killed on the plane on Thursday were Dutch citizens.

The Boeing 777 passenger plane came down in area near the Russian border close to the city of Donetsk, where Ukraine's army is fighting a pro-Russian separatist rebellion.

Kiev accuses pro-Russian separatists of shooting down the airliner with help from Russian intelligence representatives. Putin put the blame on Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko who refused to extend a shaky ceasefire with the rebels.

See also:

Malaysian Plane Crash Could be Turning Point in Ukraine Crisis

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