Updated: 07/27/2014 03:27 | By Agence France-Presse

Putin and Australia's Abbott discuss MH17 probe

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Saturday discussed how an international probe could be set up into the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 in Ukraine, in which 28 Australians were killed.

Putin and Australia's Abbott discuss MH17 probe

This picture released by the Australia Prime Minister Office on July 25, 2014 shows Prime Minister Tony Abbott at the Australian Federal Police headquarters in Canberra

The two leaders held a telephone conversation "to exchange their views on aspects of organising an independent and objective international inquiry", the Kremlin said in a statement.

They also stressed the need for compliance with a UN Security Council resolution calling for full access to the crash site and cooperation by all countries with the investigation.

Flight MH17 was shot out of the sky above east Ukraine on July 17 as it was heading from the Netherlands to Malaysia. Blame is largely falling on pro-Russian rebels fighting Ukrainian forces in the area who are restricting access to the crash site.

A total 298 passengers were killed in the disaster. As well as the 28 Australian citizens there were nine Australian residents on board.

Abbott has accused the rebels of attempting a cover-up at the crash site to hide evidence. He has urged the world to press Moscow to help uncover the details of the downing of the plane, saying Russia could not "wash its hands" of the incident.

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