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Russia: We are open to MH17 plane crash investigation but the Netherlands is unfriendly

Christian Fernsby |
Russia withdrew from trilateral consultations with the Netherlands and Australia on the crash of Malaysian Boeing over the Donbas in July 2014, said the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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"As you know, in July, the Netherlands filed an interstate complaint against Russia with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in connection with the crash in 2014 of a Boeing-777 Malaysian Airlines passenger plane (flight MH17)," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

"We regard this step as another blow to Russian-Dutch relations and a demonstration by The Hague of a firm intention, contrary to common sense, to continue the vicious path of unilaterally blaming Russia for what happened in the skies over Donbas.

"From the very first day, the Netherlands adhered to the only version of what happened and promoted it both within the framework of a technical investigation by the Netherlands Security Council (SSC) and a criminal investigation carried out by the Joint Investigation Group (JIT).

"Naturally, both investigations turned out to be biased, superficial and politicized. Everything was done to support the hasty accusations against Russia," the Ministry states.

"In turn, our country initially advocated a full, thorough and independent investigation in accordance with the provisions of UN Security Council Resolution 2166, repeatedly pointed out the shortcomings in the investigations of the plane crash, noted their non-compliance with the criteria contained in the resolution.

"Russia was open to contacts with the investigation, offered all-round assistance, transferred a significant amount of valuable materials that shed light on what had happened and refuted many of the "conclusions" of the investigation. Some of the data provided by Russia was declassified for this purpose.

"In addition, when in 2018 we agreed to hold trilateral consultations with Australia and the Netherlands on the entire range of issues related to the circumstances of the crash of flight MH17, we proceeded from the fact that such consultations would help to establish, based on facts, the true causes of the crash of flight MH17.

"However, in all likelihood, Australia and the Netherlands did not seek to understand what actually happened in the summer of 2014, but were only aimed at getting Russia to plead guilty and receive compensation for the relatives of the victims.

"Ultimately, without even waiting for the interim results of the consultations, and only three rounds passed, The Hague chose a different path by submitting an interstate complaint against Russia to the ECHR. Such unfriendly actions of the Netherlands make it meaningless to continue the tripartite consultations and our participation in them. The responsibility for disrupting the tripartite consultations thus rests entirely with the official Hague.

"We believe that ignoring any arguments and our readiness for dialogue, the Netherlands pursues exclusively opportunistic political interests, shamelessly hiding behind the need to protect the rights of relatives of victims of the plane crash.

"For our part, we intend to continue cooperation with the competent authorities of the Netherlands, including in the study of the issue of Ukraine not closing its airspace for flights of civilian aircraft over the zone of armed conflict over the Donbas, but we will do this in other formats," the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

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