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Ukraine Rebels Threaten to Ban OSCE From MH17 Crash Site

KIEV — Rebels in eastern Ukraine accused the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe on Tuesday of serving U.S. and Ukrainian interests and threatened to ban the security and rights group from the crash site of a Malaysian airliner. The self-proclaimed "Donetsk People's Republic" said in an emailed statement it was going to halt cooperation with the OSCE, until now the main body tasked with negotiating access to the crash site for international experts. "From the very start, the OSCE was not a neutral side and acted in the interests of Ukraine," it said. "The OSCE, as it turns out, is a structure completely controlled by the United States."

The OSCE did not immediately comment. International experts, including the OSCE as well as Dutch and Australian police, have been struggling to reach the site to recover the remaining body parts and investigate the downing of the plane, in which 298 people died. Fierce fighting in the wider area surrounding the crash site prevented the experts from reaching it for the third successive day on Tuesday, with Kiev and the pro-Russian rebels accusing each other of blocking access.

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— Reuters