A US envoy has told the UN the missile that downed a Malaysian airliner is likely to have been fired from a separatist-held area in eastern Ukraine.
Samantha Power added that the US cannot rule out the possibility of help from Russia in the launch of the SA-11 surface-to-air missile that shot down the Malaysia Airlines jet killing all 298 people on board.
Ms Power said the US believes the missile was fired from an area controlled by pro-Russian separatists who had previously boasted about obtaining such missiles, and added that Moscow has provided SA-11s and other heavy weapons to the rebels.
She told an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council: “If indeed Russian-backed separatists were behind this attack on a civilian airliner, they and their backers would have good reason to cover up evidence of their crime.
“Thus it is extremely important than an investigation be commenced immediately.”
The Security Council earlier called for “a full, thorough and independent international investigation”.
Ukraine has called for an international probe to determine who attacked the plane and insisted it was not its military. Officials accused separatist rebels of shooting down the plane.
The rebels denied it and claimed government forces were behind the crash, which was denied by Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko.