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‘Too good opportunity to miss’: MH17 blame game has political motives, may lead to war

Published time: July 20, 2014 20:55
Members of the Ukrainian Emergencies Ministry work at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, near the village of Hrabove, Donetsk region, July 20, 2014 (Reuters / Maxim Zmeyev)

The blame game against Russia that unfolded in western media hours after MH 17 crash in Ukraine has only political motives behind it, says a former Senior Advisor to OSCE. Accusing Moscow is a great opportunity that both politicians and media can’t miss.

LIVE UPDATES: Malaysia Airlines MH17 plane crash in Ukraine

Speaking to RT, Lode Vanoost, also a former Deputy Speaker of Belgium's House of Representatives, has stressed that collecting evidence takes “weeks and months”, everything else is “jumping to conclusions”. This at the same time may lead to further escalation in the region.

“But this is a very volatile situation – all wars have started like this, because of things like this: speculating and putting the blame before there is any evidence to come to any conclusion,” he says.

RT: Before any investigation had even begun, some had already pinned the blame on Russia. Has any evidence actually been presented?

Lode Vanoost: We should make very clear first of all that after a tragedy, catastrophe like this that the relatives of the victims deserve thorough investigation by independent sources. When you say evidence this is something that is produced by experts on the ground. There are programs on air crashes on National Geographic – it takes weeks and month before you can jump to any conclusions. Whatever is being said now is just speculations for political motives.

A journalist takes photographs at the site of Thursday's Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash near the settlement of Grabovo, in the Donetsk region July 18, 2014 (Reuters / Maxim Zmeyev)

RT: Why were both media and politicians so quick to jump to conclusions?

LV: This is too good opportunity to once again play the blame game on Russia and on insurgents in eastern Ukraine. It is too good an opportunity to miss. How this will turn out in the long-term remains to be seen. But this is a very volatile situation – all wars have started like this, because of things like this: speculating and putting the blame before there is any evidence to come to any conclusion.

RT: How confident can we be that the investigation into the crash will be objective and not politicized?

LV: If there is an objective investigation it should of course include Dutch and Malaysian authorities and also, probably Boeing Company, being an American company, but it is obvious that American authorities and Russian authorities should present but only as witnesses of the investigation. They certainly can’t be part of the investigation.

RT: If it turns out the plane was indeed shot down, what would the implications be for whoever will be found responsible?

LV: There is no element that can already give us an opportunity to come to conclusions, so I am not going to speculate on what will happen. It is pretty obvious that this plane was shot down, not had an accident. Who is to blame? There are precedents, there have been similar events. In 1983 Soviet Union downed an American [Korean] airline. What happened after that? The United States downed an Iranian airline, if I am not mistaking, in 1988. Look what happened to those perpetrators? My guess is that the similar will happen. It is too bad, but I am afraid that real culprits will never be punished. I hope it is different this time, but it is too early to say.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.