Politics Regional

Russia withdraws from MH17 talks with Netherlands and Australia

The three countries have held long-lasted talks aimed at revealing the cause of the disaster, which led to hit of Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 on its way from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur by a BUK missile on July 17, 2014 with 298 people fell victims to the tragedy.

Continuing investigation into the catastrophe performed by the international expert team made it clear that the the BUK missile was delivered into the Ukrainian territory from a Russian military base with the mobile launcher that was used to fire it was later brought back to Russia.

“Australia and the Netherlands did not seek to understand what really happened in the summer of 2014, but instead were aiming to get Russia to admit guilt and receive compensation for the victims’ relatives,” the Russian foreign ministry commented.

They decided to leave the negotiations with the Netherlands and Australia, saying the latter were not genuinely interested in finding the truth about what happened and had initiated legal proceedings against it at the European Court of Human Rights.

Another separate ongoing criminal trial over the case is held in the Netherlands, with four men being tried in absentia for their alleged role in the downing of the plane.

In his report at an EU summit in Brussels, Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte said that Russia’s decision “disappoited” and “surprised” him, adding that it was “especially painful” for the victims’ families.

The Dutch government urged Russia to return to the negotiating table after Moscow said on Thursday it was withdrawing from talks on liability for the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in 2014.

Russia expressed an intention to “continue its cooperation” with The Hague in the inquiry, though it should be “a different format”, as the Russian foreign ministry said.

The JIT also includes Australia, Belgium and Malaysia, which lost citizens in the disaster, as well as Ukraine. Since 2018, Russia, Australia and the Netherlands have held talks aimed at uncovering the causes of the disaster. 

Russia said the Netherlands’ initiative to take the case to the ECHR “after just three rounds of talks” demonstrates their “intention to take the vicious path… of unilaterally assigning responsibility to Russia for what happened.”

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