18 Oct 2014

Putin will help with MH17 - Bishop

2:07 pm on 18 October 2014

Australia's foreign affairs minister Julie Bishop says Vladimir Putin has agreed to use his influence with Ukrainian rebel forces so international investigators can again access the crash site of Malaysia Airlines MH17.

A picture taken on October 15, 2014 shows the wreckage of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 near the village of Rassipnoe.

Malasia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down on 17 July 2014 with 298 people on board. Photo: AFP

Investigators want to return to the site in eastern Ukraine before winter sets in.

Ms Bishop held a 25-minute "detailed discussion" with the Russian president on the sidelines of a summit of European and Asian leaders in Italy, the ABC reported.

She said she received assurances from Mr Putin that he would help facilitate access to the crash site for international investigators but could not confirm a timeframe in which the Russian president would act.

"I had a very detailed discussion with him. I expressed our concerns about the Malaysia Airlines crash," Ms Bishop said.

"He said that he would seek to respond to my request by asking the separatists to provide that access."

Australia has accused Moscow of aiding the separatist revolt in eastern Ukraine by providing troops, arms and possibly the missile which brought the passenger jet down in July and killed almost 300 people, including 38 Australian citizens and residents.

Russia denied the charges but said it had a right to defend the interests of the region's Russian-speaking majority.

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