World

Dutch Premier Decries 'Utterly Disrespectful Behavior' At MH17 Crash Site

NPR | July 21, 2014 6:02 a.m.

Contributed By:

Scott Neuman

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte during a news conference at the Ministry of Safety and Justice in The Hague, The Netherlands, on Friday. Rutte says he's shocked by the behavior of pro-Russian rebels at the MH17 crash site.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte during a news conference at the Ministry of Safety and Justice in The Hague, The Netherlands, on Friday. Rutte says he's shocked by the behavior of pro-Russian rebels at the MH17 crash site.

EPA/Landov, Bart Maat

Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte is expressing shock and anger over the chaotic scene at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines MH17, where nearly 200 Dutch citizens were killed, saying Russia has “one last chance” to use its influence with Ukrainian rebels to provide access to the scene.

Reuters quotes Rutte as saying he had a “very intense” conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“I was shocked at the pictures of utterly disrespectful behavior at this tragic spot,” he said, referring to allegations that bodies of the passengers, including 193 of his countrymen, were being dragged about and allowed to rot at the scene, Reuters says.

“He has one last chance to show he means to help,” Rutte said after the two leaders’ chat.

The Dutch premier said the leaders of Germany, Britain and Australia – all of whom had citizens who were killed when the plane crashed in eastern Ukraine — shared his view.

Meanwhile, Rutte and Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron also discussed the matter over the phone on Saturday afternoon, according to a statement from the British prime minister’s office.

“The PM and PM Rutte agreed that the EU will need to reconsider its approach to Russia in light of evidence that pro-Russian separatists brought down the plane,” it said.

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