MOSCOW, July 21 (UPI) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin called for all parties to allow the investigation into the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 and to not exploit the tragedy.
In his remarks Monday, Putin once again implied fault on the part of the Ukrainian government for the incident because of the continuing conflict in the region.
"We have called repeatedly on all parties to the conflict to stop the bloodshed immediately and begin negotiations. I believe that if military operations had not resumed in eastern Ukraine on June 28, this tragedy probably could have been avoided," he said.
This is not the first time Putin has pointed a finger at Ukraine. He made similar remarks Monday when he said that the government who oversees the territory where the plane crashed is responsible.
Russia has been facing international backlash as evidence indicates that the Russian-supported Ukrainian separatists were the ones who shot down the plane. Putin further stressed that no country involved in the tragedy should disassociate themselves from responsibility and not to "use this tragedy to pursue their own political goals."
"No one should and no one has the right to use this tragedy to pursue their own political goals. Rather than dividing us, tragedies of this sort should bring people together. All those who are responsible for the situation in the region must take greater responsibility before their own peoples and before the peoples of the countries whose citizens were killed in this disaster."
Putin said there must be an independent investigation of the incident, unhindered by all nations, and Russia will work to begin peace negotiations to end the conflict in eastern Ukraine.