Kiev agrees to 24-hour ceasefire in E. Ukraine

Schiphol Airport Amsterdam memorial MH17
Flowers left at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport in honor of the 298 people killed aboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH17. 20 July 2014. Roman Boed / Wikimedia Commons

The Ukrainian parliament agreed today to allow a police mission to come into the country and travel to the MH17 crash site. Ukraine will also observe a 24-hour cease fire between the rebel separatists and government forces in eastern Ukraine. These agreements will allow the international team to safely recover remaining victims and belongings.

The agreement will allow The Netherlands to send dozens, maybe even hundreds of officers from the police and the Royal Military Police as well as forensic experts. Australia is also sending experts.

For days now, the investigative team has made several attempts to reach the crash site, but have so far been interrupted by clashes between the pro-Russian separatists, who claim the rule over several eastern Ukrainian towns, close to the crash site, and the Ukrainian government. Today, an OSCE carrying Dutch and Australian experts were stopped at a Ukrainian army post en route to the crash site, and are still waiting there, according to De Volkskrant.

Ukraine promises a 24-hour ceasefire today. "We have decided not to execute military operations on this day of peace", according to the army spokesperson. Ukraine's Counter-Terrorist Operation's press center statement did specify that the military will "respond to direct attacks."

According to De Volkskrant, Russia also wants to send experts to Ukraine "to inspect the state of the parts of the aircraft." The country will also send investigators to Ukraine today.

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