A senior Russian official has criticised the lack of progress in the investigation into the MH17 tragedy, telling the UN it has reached a “dead-end”.

Russia has criticised the investigation into the Malaysian Airlines tragedy, with a senior official telling the United Nations it is at a “dead-end”.

In comments that could inflame tensions between Australia and Russia, Alexey Zaitsev, the First Secretary for Russia’s permanent envoy to the UN, has complained of a lack of progress in the investigation into the downing of MH17 over eastern Ukraine.

Russia has itself in the past been accused of failing to cooperate with the international investigation into the disaster, and of hampering efforts of investigators to reach the crash site.

The development comes after Prime Minister Tony Abbott last week said he would confront Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit in Brisbane, and demand he fully cooperate with the investigation.

The senior Russian official told a committee of the UN General Assembly that investigations into a number of incidents in Ukraine, including recently discovered mass graves in the country’s east and the MH17 disaster, had been poor.

“[No-one] has been brought [to] account in connection with the recently discovered mass burials near Donetsk,” Mr Zaitsev said, according to the Russian news agency TASS.

“The investigation into the crash of MH17 flight of the Malaysia Airlines in fact reached its dead-end.”

Russian media reported the comments as being critical of the probe into MH17.

Mr Abbott has vowed to “shirtfront” Mr Putin over the tragedy in which all 298 passengers and crew were killed, including 38 Australian citizens or residents, when the plane was brought down in July.

The prime minister said last week he would “demand that you [Russia] fully cooperate with the criminal investigation”.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, who last weekend met Mr Putin on the sidelines of the Asia Europe Meeting in Milan, said she “implored” the Russian president to use his influence over separatists in eastern Ukraine to enable investigators to have access to the crash site.