Russia responsible for downing of Flight MH17 – Dutch foreign minister

Members of the Joint Investigation Team, comprising the authorities from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Ukraine, present interim results in the ongoing investigation of the 2014 MH17 crash that killed 298 people over eastern Ukraine, during a news conference in Bunnik, Netherlands, on May 24, 2018. (Reuters)

Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok said on Friday that Russia was responsible for the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in July 2014, and has called Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov for cooperation with criminal investigation and compensation for the victims.

According to the Netherlands, the missile shooting MH17 down was fired from a launcher in Russia’s 53rd Anti-Aircraft Brigade.

Lavrov had a phone call with his Dutch counterpart saying the Dutch investigation team could not provide proof of Russia’s involvement with the incident. “Russia has so far failed to cooperate ‘at all’ with the investigation on the incident,” said Blok.

A Dutch cabinet statement said a “possible” next step would be presenting the case to an international court or organization for their judgment, adding that Australia shared its assessment of Russia’s role.

Australia, along with the Netherlands, moved towards launching legal action against Russia. The EU and NATO urged Russia to take responsibility for the MH17 downing, and British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson says the Russian government must now answer for its shooting actions.

MH17 was shot down over rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine in 2014, killing all 298 aboard as it flew from Amsterdam en route to Kuala Lumpur.