Carl Bildt has been pushingfor tougher sanctions from the EU against Russia. Photo: Efrem Lukatsky/AP/TT.

Bildt: MH17 likely downed by separatists

A Malaysian passenger plane is suspected to have been shot down while flying over Ukraine Thursday afternoon, and the Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt blames pro-Russian separatists.

Foreign Minister Carl Bildt told Swedish Television Friday morning those responsible must be brought to justice and he believes the plane was likely shot down by separatists in Ukraine.

"We are not certain, but we know that separatists have claimed before to have shot down planes in the same area and such an aircraft does not crash on its own in this way. It is almost unthinkable. This unfortunately suggests that separatists have shot down the plane with advanced weapons they acquired from Russia," Bildt said to SVT.

If the plane has been shot down by separatists, it would mean serious consequences, Bildt claimed.

"Then the separatists have become a threat to international peace and security and have committed a very crime they must one way or another be hold accountable for," Bildt said.

Russia may bear some of the blame for possibly providing the planes that may have been used to shoot down the plane.

"The searchlight is aimed also at those who have provided the advanced weapons and the searchlight is aimed at Russia. We know that they have supplied them the most advanced weapons in the last few weeks. Exactly which weapons and how is difficult to say," Bildt said.

But members of the opposition were not all happy about Bildt's comments.

Urban Ahlin, foreign policy spokesperson for the Social Democrats, said that it is still not certain that the separatists are to blame.

"He has many times been very quick to with the trigger and point fingers in one and then the other direction. I would have been more careful and waited until I had all the facts on the table," Ahlin told Swedish Radio.

The Green Party's foreign policy spokesperson Walter Mutt thinks about the same.

"Gangsters have apparently been active. But I am no detective. This must of course be investigated. After that, guilt be talked about," Mutt said.

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