Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 takes off from Schiphol airport near Amsterdam
Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 takes off from Schiphol airport near Amsterdam

Dutch PM meets with grieving MH17 families

DUTCH Prime Minister Mark Rutte is expected to meet on Friday with the families of those killed in the Malaysia Airlines atrocity as part of his two-day Australian visit.

Thirty-eight Australian citizens or residents were among the 298 passengers and crew aboard MH17, which was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur on July 17 when it was blown out of the sky above eastern Ukraine.

It is understood Russian-backed separatists shot it down after mistaking it for a military plane.

Mr Rutte, who arrived in Canberra on Thursday, met with Prime Minister Tony Abbott at Parliament House where the two leaders discussed the ongoing MH17 criminal investigation.

Both leaders believe Russia has not done enough to help the investigation.

Mr Rutte reiterated comments he made in Malaysia earlier this week, when he vowed to bring those responsible for downing MH17 to justice.

"I had the chance two weeks ago in Milan to speak with Vladimir Putin and I told him I expected him to do everything he can to put pressure on the separatists to allow unlimited access to the crash site," he said.

"I reminded him about the Kursk (submarine) disaster where the Dutch helped retrieve the ship because the Russians promised they would bring back all the dead and deliver them back to their loved ones.

"I said this is comparable to the Kursk, it is comparable to what we are now experiencing with MH17.

"I said we needed his help and needed his involvement."

Mr Abbott had earlier continued his tough talk towards Russian President Vladimir Putin ahead of this weekend's APEC Summit in China and next weekend's G20 World Leaders Summit in Brisbane.

He told The Australian he would be speaking to the Russian leader about the MH17 atrocity.

It is understood the meeting could take place as early as this weekend.

"He will not be able to avoid the conversation, so one way or another we are going to have the bilateral (meeting) whether it is in the corridor or in a more formal setting," he said.

Mr Abbott made international headlines last month while visiting the Bowen Basin claiming he would "shirt-front" the former high-ranking KGB officer turned politician over the MH17 issue.

- APN NEWSDESK.



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