R.us country withdraws from consultations with the Netherlands and Australia on the cause of the downing of flight MH17 over Ukraine in July 2014. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Moscow justified this on Thursday with “malicious” attempts to unilaterally blame Russia for the shooting down. “Hostile acts” by the Netherlands made further Russian participation in the consultations “pointless”.
The Russian government is enraged by the Dutch announcement in July that it would bring the crash to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). On the sidelines of the EU summit in Brussels, the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte was “surprised” and “disappointed” by the Russian decision, which he called “particularly painful” for the bereaved of the victims.
The Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok said he asked the Russian Ambassador to speak to him, conveying his government’s “deep regrets” about the Russian withdrawal. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said the Moscow decision “says a lot about the fear of the truth” that prevails in Moscow.
298 people died from being shot down
The Malaysia Airlines plane took off on July 17, 2014 from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol in the direction of Kuala Lumpur. The shooting down over the conflict area in eastern Ukraine killed everyone on board, including 196 Dutch and 38 Australians. Four Germans were also among the victims.
An international team of investigators concluded in May 2018 that the machine was shot down by a BUK missile from an anti-aircraft brigade in Kursk, Russia. The Netherlands and Australia then blamed Russia for the downing of the machine and the death of the 298 occupants.
Moscow always denied any involvement and, for its part, accused the leadership in Kiev.
War has been raging in eastern Ukraine since 2014. In the conflict, Russia is supporting the pro-Russian rebels who have proclaimed so-called People’s Republics in Luhansk and Donetsk. More than 13,000 people have already been killed in the conflict.