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Lavrov: The U.S. and Ukraine Will Have To Answer Questions About MH17

Dec. 26, 2014 (EIRNS)—Speaking on the Rossiya-1 television news channel yesterday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov emphasized that neither the United States nor Ukraine have replied to pointed questions raised by the Russians about the crash of the Malaysian aircraft MH17, which the West blamed on Russia and which became the trigger for escalating sanctions against Russia.

Lavrov said:

"We still have no replies to the questions: Where are the data from the U.S. satellites that monitored the area on that day? Where are the data from U.S. planes that were flying over that area? Where are the testimonies by Dnipropetrovsk air traffic controllers who were responsible for keeping track of flights in that part of Ukraine’s airspace? We have long requested a logbook of all sorties Ukrainian combat planes based on that area flew on that day,"

Lavrov said, adding that nothing has been done.

"We only hear accusations that Russia is to blame for everything, that the militias are to blame for everything, and that our questions are being asked for the sole purpose of misleading the investigation."

"It is impossible to pretend ignorance on and on, when very specific questions are asked again and again. We have opened a criminal case. It will be impossible to ignore this process. The questions will have to be answered."

Earlier in the week, the Russian Investigative Committee opened an investigation following the revelation to Komsomolskaya Prava newspaper by a Ukrainian airbase worker that he witnessed a Ukrainian SU-25 loaded with air-to-air missiles take off the day of the crash and return without the missiles. The witness reported that on his return the pilot was frightened and said "wrong plane."

On Dec. 24, the airbase worker who gave the interview to the newspaper was interviewed by the Russian Investigative Committee.

Ukraine has confirmed that there is a Ukrainian Air Force pilot surnamed Voloshin, the name provided by the witness. However, the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) has climaed that Voloshin did now fly on the day when the Boeing crashed in the Donetsk Region.

Vladimir Markin, a spokesman for the Investigative Committee, has suggested testing the Ukrainian pilot Voloshin using a lie detector. Markin told TASS: "The fact that the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) admitted that pilot Voloshin exists is an achievement. It is easy to check whether he conducted a flight on July 17. Present the so called operations record book to Dutch competent bodies, which are conducting an official investigation, or, which is better, give an opportunity to Voloshin, who, as it turned out, exists, to undergo a test on polygraph under control of Dutch or Malaysian specialists."

Markin also said it would also be advisable to question and test air traffic controllers who for some unknown reasons led the Boeing away from the route.

Markin also said that "as the witness may be endangered, the investigation is considering granting him state protection under a witness protection program." He said that "if representatives of the international commission investigating the air crash are interested in establishing the truth and turn to us, we are ready to provide [them with] all available materials."