Fifth anniversary of MH17 tragedy: Russia still denies any involment
The European Union (EU) has called on the Russian Federation to accept responsibility for the downing of flight MH17 over Donbas in July 2014.
The EU urges the Russian Federation to take responsibility for MH17 crash and cooperate with the investigation according to the declaration by the High Representative on behalf of the EU on the occasion of the 5th anniversary of the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17.
“On this day, when we commemorate the fifth anniversary of the tragic downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, which led to the death of 298 innocent people, our hearts are with all those who lost their loved ones and we continue to share their grief,” – the letter stated.
The EU states about complete support of all efforts on the establishment of the truth, justice and responsibility for victims and their close relatives in accordance with UNSC resolution 2166.
Besides, the EU welcomes the announcement of the Joint Investigation Team on June 19, 2019, that the criminal proceedings against four people will be in the Netherlands.
“The EU calls on Russia to accept its responsibility and cooperate fully with the ongoing investigation. The EU expresses its full confidence in the independence and professionalism of the legal procedures that lie ahead,” – the message stated.
The Russian Federation on the eve of the fifth anniversary of the downing of the Malaysian Boeing flight MH17 from the sky over Donetsk region tried to deflect attention from the tragedy by initiating discussion of the Ukrainian language law at the UN Security Council.
“To deflect attention from MH17 Russia tries to start discussion in UN SC concerning Ukrainian language law. However, Russia itself has only 1 language in stock: the language of Force. Nonetheless, justice will be established and will pay for MH17,” MFA Ukraine wrote on Twitter July 16.
Reference. On July 17, 2014, the Boeing 777 belonging to Malaysia Airlines on the MH17 flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur disappeared from the radar screens over Shakhtarsk in Donetsk region. It was shot out of the sky over territory held by pro-Russian separatists. A total of 283 passengers, including 80 children, and 15 crew members were killed on the flight. The passengers were from 17 countries.
After almost four years, in May 2018, the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) at a press conference at The Hague demonstrated fragments of the rocket, which downed the plane. The missile was launched from the BUK system belonging to the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile based in the Russian city of Kursk.
The next day, Australia and the Netherlands officially announced that it was Russia that was responsible for shooting down the Malaysian plane. The European Council also called on the Russia to take responsibility and fully promote all attempts to establish the truth, justice and guilt of specific individuals involved in the crime.
The Dutch-led international team has opened criminal cases against Russian nationals Igor Girkin, Sergei Dubinskiy and Oleg Pulatov, as well as Ukrainian national Leonid Kharchenko. The court hearings against the suspects will begin on March 9, 2020 in the Netherlands.
Russia still denies any involvement in the tragedy.