A federal government MP has suggested the world overlook Russia’s involvement in the shooting down of MH17 for the sake of ‘good relations’.
Almost 300 people, including 38 Australians, were killed in 2014 when a Russian-made missile shot down their Malaysian Airlines flight over Ukraine.
A day after the fourth anniversary of the massacre, Liberal MP Craig Kelly said it would be better to overlook any Russian involvement in order to improve world relations.
Federal government MP Craig Kelly has been slammed for his comments about the shooting down of MH17
‘If that means some of the things that Russia have gotten away with in the past have to be slightly looked over, well, I’m sorry, that’s the price that we have to pay sometimes to have good relations going forward,’ Mr Kelly told Sky News on Wednesday.
‘We can’t fix things that happened in the past. We’ve got to make sure that the relationships between the Russia and the US going forward are the best they can possibly be.’
Opposition leader Bill Shorten has slammed Mr Kelly for his comments and has asked him to apologise.
‘I cannot believe he said this. Australians were killed. Children were killed. There are no excuses, ever. Craig Kelly should apologise to the families of the victims,’ Mr Shorten tweeted.
Speaking to Fairfax about whether or not he should apologise, Mr Kelly defended his argument and said people took his comments out of context.
‘If people have taken any offence from that, I apologise. But I don’t retract the basic point I was making,’ he said.
Mr Kelly also responded to the father of three children who were killed in the incident, telling him nothing would bring them back.
Anthony Maslin, whose children Mo, Evie and Otis, were on MH17, posted an open letter on Facebook on Tuesday criticising US President Donald Trump for not holding his Russian counterpart accountable for the killing.
Anthony Maslin posted an open letter on Facebook on Tuesday criticising US President Donald Trump for not holding his Russian counterpart accountable for the killing
Mr Maslin’s three children, Mo, Evie and Otis (pictured) were on MH17 and died during the incident
‘That passenger flight MH17 was shot out of the sky and 298 innocent people were murdered is an irrefutable fact,’ Mr Maslin wrote.
‘That the plane was hit by a Russian missile has been proven to be an irrefutable fact.
‘That the man whose arse you’ve just been kissing did this, and continues to lie about it, is an irrefutable fact.’
Mr Kelly said nothing would bring Mr Maslin’s children back and it was important Mr Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin maintained a good relationship.
‘I’m sure that any father that’s lost three kids would be absolutely devastated but the reality is nothing is going to bring those three kids back, nothing that happens,’ Mr Kelly said.