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Jul 22, 8:36 AM EDT

Putin: Russia will facilitate plane investigation

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AP Photo/Alexei Nikolsky
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MOSCOW (AP) -- President Vladimir Putin says Russia will do "everything in its power" to facilitate an investigation into the Malaysia Airlines passenger jet crash, but accused Kiev and the West of escalating the conflict in the region.

During a meeting with Russia's Security Council on Tuesday, Putin said Russia was willing to put pressure on the rebels, but that "that was not enough" to resolve the situation.

He condemned Kiev for continuing to shell parts of the region, asserting that international observers on the scene could "barely stick their heads out" because of safety concerns.

Putin also lashed out at the West, accusing NATO of bolstering its forces across eastern Europe.

The Malaysia Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed in rebel-held eastern Ukraine Thursday, killing all 298 people on board.

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