MH17 victims wanted end to bloodshed: son

Paul Guard in Toowoomba during a public service for his parents Dr Roger and Dr Jill Guard, victims in the MH17 tragedy.
Paul Guard in Toowoomba during a public service for his parents Dr Roger and Dr Jill Guard, victims in the MH17 tragedy. Nev Madsen

THE attendance of Vladimir Putin at next month's G20 summit in Brisbane was an opportunity for the West to push for Russia's co-operation in the investigation into the MH17 tragedy and lasting peace in the Ukraine.

Paul Guard, son of MH17 victims Toowoomba residents Dr Roger and Dr Jill Guard, said he was "not unhappy" that the Russian president was coming to the G20 summit and saw it as an opportunity to push for Russian co-operation.

"Uninviting him doesn't achieve much," Mr Guard said. "It's important Russia cooperates in the investigation."

The West had a part to play in re-establishing peace in the Ukraine and needed to press Mr Putin for support.

"The only way the Ukraine can get a good deal is if the West stands up to Russia...," Mr Guard said.

Mr Guard's parents were among 283 passengers and 15 crew who perished after their Malaysian Airlines flight 17 exploded and crashed over the Ukraine in July.

Pro-Russian separatists fighting Ukraine Government forces have been accused of shooting down the plane and an investigation into the cause of the tragedy is ongoing.

Still grieving the loss of his parents, Mr Guard said he hoped the tragedy would lead to lasting peace in the region.

"The only positive thing to come out of MH17 would be lasting peace in the Ukraine," he said.

"All my parents would have liked is an end to the bloodshed."

Mr Guard took solace in the fact a ceasefire between the warring parties seemed to be holding.

"At least there is a ceasefire and they're talking to each other.

"While there's talk, there's hope," he said.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott said yesterday he would "shirtfront" the Russian president over the MH17 tragedy when the pair meet at the G20 summit in Brisbane next month.


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