Putin not welcome to G20 Summit in Brisbane if he doesn’t co-operate with probe into MH17, says Queensland premier

The crash site of MH17 in eastern Ukraine which killed 298 passengers and crew members, including 28 Australians

Queensland’s premier says Russian President Vladimir Putin isn’t welcome at this year’s G20 conference in Brisbane unless he co-operates with a probe into the MH17 disaster.

Flags across the state will fly at half mast on Saturday in tribute to the seven Queenslanders who were among 298 killed when a Malaysia Airlines plane was shot down in eastern Ukraine.

Suspicion has fallen on Russian-backed rebels armed with Russian artillery but Mr Putin has said Ukraine bears responsibility for the crash which left 298 people dead, including 28 Australians.

Launch site? The BUK missile system photographed in Torez hours before MH17 was downed

On Saturday, Queensland Premier Campbell Newman called on Mr Putin and the Russian government to fully co-operate with an independent international investigation.

“If Mr Putin’s not prepared to do that, well frankly I believe that Queenslanders don’t want him here at the G20,” Mr Newman said.

“He has the opportunity to demonstrate some good faith and that can be done by properly getting behind international efforts to get to the bottom of what is clearly, in my view, a crime, a terrible crime.”

Mr Newman said the Russian president’s presence at the summit was ultimately Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s decision, but he felt he was speaking for Queenslanders…

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I know some who read this site are Putin supporters but this is not his finest hour.

I cannot believe that either shot side down this passenger plane on purpose. What possible motive would Ukrainians or Russians of any persuasion have to do this?

Someone clearly thought it was a military plane.  It is that simple.  Attempts at denial and deflecting blame just make Putin look even worse.

Neither the passengers nor the airline company were connected even remotely to either country.

Moreover, accidental shoot-downs have happened before.  Even the US shot down an Iranian passenger jet in 1988 by mistake.  See list of shoot downs at Wikipedia.

Not all on this list are accidental – to this day there is controversy about the Soviets and Korean Air Lines Flight 007 (1983), for example.

The Professional Pilot’s Rumour Network Forum thread on this episode is here (Well worth reading if you want more a technical discussion of, for example, how surface-to-air missile launchers work, or why on earth was not the entire Ukraine declared off limits to passenger planes earlier.)