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Ukrainian ambassador to Japan calls on Russia to act like a ‘responsible global power’

by Masaaki Kameda

Staff Writer

The Ukrainian ambassador to Japan said Monday that Russian President Vladimir Putin must show that his country is a responsible global power by establishing normal relations with its neighbors after pro-Moscow separatists allegedly shot down a Malaysia Airlines jet.

“We want the same thing that Prime Minister (Shinzo) Abe wants,” Ambassador Ihor Kharchenko said at the Ukrainian Embassy in Tokyo.

He was referring to Abe’s reported remark Saturday that as a responsible state, Russia should commit constructively to various international issues over the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

“Of course, we would wish to have good neighbor relations with Russia, but after what Russia has committed, starting from the occupation of Crimea, being responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Ukrainian citizens,” Kharchenko said, a “huge effort” is necessary from Moscow to make Ukrainians believe that “Russia is really a responsible international power.”

“So far, all evidence we see is to the contrary,” he added.

As for the shooting down of the passenger jet, Kharchenko called for international cooperation in finding out who was responsible.

“We hope that all the world today, the responsible civilized world, will join this effort to bring the perpetrators of this crime to justice,” he said.

Kharchenko said Ukraine’s government has enough evidence to blame the separatists for the downing.

“What I wanted to inform you is that three days after the tragedy Ukrainian special services had already collected insurmountable evidence this attack was committed from the territory now under control of the terrorist groups in east Ukraine,” he said.

“It has also collected evidence that the crew of that anti-aircraft missile called BUK-M1 was Russian,” he continued. “It collected evidence that this anti-aircraft missile was transported to the territory of Ukraine under control of terrorist groups in the east by 14 July, three days before the attack.

“Ukrainian special services have captured the intercommunications of terrorists on the ground with the Russian commanders,” the ambassador said.