|(Flight MH17) EU to impose new Russia sanctions as fighting blocks probe
The EU is set to approve punishing sanctions against Russia Tuesday over its role in the Ukraine crisis, after Kiev seized control of part of the MH17 crash site in fighting that blocked an international effort to recover victims' remains.
Kiev said its troops had entered a string of towns around the scene of the July 17 Malaysian airliner disaster in eastern Ukraine, including Shakhtarsk which lies 10 kilometers away, AFP reports.
The fighting and explosions forced an unarmed mission of Dutch and Australian police to turn back for the second day running before reaching the site, where the remains of some of the 298 victims still lie in the fields.
"It's absolutely unconscionable that they remain out there,'' said Michael Bociurkiw, a spokesman for monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in rebel-held Donetsk.
A new attempt to reach the site and conduct a detailed examination was to be made on Tuesday.
Alexander Hug, the OSCE mission's deputy head, said: "We have made it clear to everyone involved that tomorrow we absolutely have to have safe access.''
But Dutch investigators leading the probe said it was now likely that some remains may never be recovered.
"I believe the chances are not very good that we will get it all,'' Dutch police chief Gerard Bouman told parliament in The Hague.
Data from the doomed plane's black boxes analysed as part of a Dutch-led probe showed that the crash was caused by shrapnel from a rocket explosion, Kiev said Monday.
The information from the flight recorders was decrypted in Britain after being handed over to Malaysian officials by pro-Russian rebels.