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Russia Air Transport Agency not to comment on MH17 crash probe before Dutch report

October 02, 2015, 14:47 UTC+3
The agency considers it necessary to abstain from untimely comments until the publication of the Dutch Safety Board report due on October 13 and urges others to do the same
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© TASS/Mikhail Pochuev

MOSCOW, October 2. /TASS/. Russia’s Federal Transport Agency (Rosaviatsiya) will not comment on the investigation into the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 crash over Ukraine’s Donbas region until the publication of the Dutch Safety Board report due on October 13, Rosaviatsiya deputy head Oleg Storchevoi said on Friday.

"The Dutch Safety Board has the exclusive right to announce the official results of the technical investigation. On October 13, it will make public the final report on the MH17 crash causes. Until that moment we consider it necessary to abstain from untimely comments and urge others to do the same," Storchevoi said.

"The Russian side as an official participant in the international investigation commission had received the draft final report. We immediately voiced our opinion on the document and identified serious objections to certain of its theses. All of them were put together and handed over to the Dutch side," the deputy head of the Federal Air Transport Agency said.

"At the same time, we have been repeatedly stating that we are open for cooperation. We are ready to conduct all the necessary experiments and studies, we have all the resources, skills and experience needed for this. We are convinced that our assistance can play an important role in determining the true causes of this tragedy," Storchevoi said.

Flight MH17 crash

The Flight MH17 Boeing-777 passenger airliner of Malaysia Airlines en route from Amsterdam (Netherlands) to Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) crashed in the eastern Ukrainian Donetsk region on July 17, 2014. A total of 283 passengers and 15 crewmembers — citizens of 10 countries, were killed in the crash. Two-thirds of the passengers — 196 people — were Dutch citizens.

On July 21, 2014 the UN Security Council demanded a thorough and unbiased investigation.

In early September, the Dutch Safety Board said in its preliminary report that the MH17 flight broke up in the air probably as the result of structural damage caused by a large number of high-energy objects that penetrated the aircraft from outside. A surface-to-air or air-to-air missile that allegedly hit the plane is considered the biggest factor behind the crash.

Kiev authorities and militias of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic have blamed each other for shooting down the airliner.

Russian Foreign Ministry officials have repeatedly said that they are dissatisfied with the way the investigation has been going on.

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