© RIA Novosti / Andrei Stenin
Crash site of Malaysian Boeing 777 in Ukraine
Australia's number one priority is getting access to the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash site
in eastern Ukraine, rather than imposing further sanctions on Russia, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Wednesday as quoted by The Star.
"I am not saying that we might not, at some point in the future, move further," Abbott said. "But at the moment our focus is not on sanctions, our focus is on bringing home our dead as quickly as we humanly can."
Australia has not stopped attempting to gain access to the Boeing crash site, the prime minister stressed.
"If it doesn't happen today we will try again tomorrow, if it doesn't happen tomorrow we will try again the next day," Abbott said.
On Tuesday, a group consisting of Dutch and Australian specialists for the third time failed to reach the MH17 crash site near the city of Torez due to ongoing fighting in the region. Tony Abbot expressed concern over the armed conflict around the crash site, adding that "it's not just the separatists, it's the Ukrainian government as well."
A total of 298 people, including 193 Dutch citizens and 27 Australians, died on July 17 as a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed in Donetsk Region of Ukraine.