If pro-Moscow separatist rebels do have Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17's black boxes, Russia doesn't want them. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Friday that the Russian government had no interest in seizing the devices which contain vital data about the doomed airplane's final moments. "In spite of what Kiev is saying, we are not going to take those boxes," Lavrov told news channel Russia 24. "We are not going to violate those rules that exist in the international community in regard of such cases."
Lavrov welcomed talk of a cease-fire between pro-Russian separatists and Ukraine's military so experts could access the scene and conduct a thorough investigation. "We agree that the international experts need to arrive as soon as possible to the site and receive the black boxes," he said. Nevertheless, questions swirled Friday about where the black boxes were. An aide to Donetsk separatist leader Aleksandr Borodai claimed pro-Russian rebels had recovered eight out of 12 recording devices. Yet since planes typically have only two black boxes it was not immediately clear what he was referring to. Borodai later disputed this claim. "No black boxes have been found," he said. "We hope that experts will track them down and create a picture of what has happened."
- Christina Boyle and Sasha Mazikina
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
First published July 18 2014, 8:36 AM