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Russian expert blames Kiev’s refusal to close airspace over troubled area for loss of MH17

January 14, 14:24 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The disaster must be blamed on crude violation of the rules of the ICAO by the Ukrainian leadership, which failed to close the airspace over an area of hostilities, an analyst says
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© Mikhail Pochuev/TASS

MOSCOW, January 14. /TASS/. The Ukrainian authorities are responsible for the loss of the Malaysian flight MH17 in the summer of 2014, because they failed to close the air space over the south-east of the country after the beginning of combat operations there, the president of the air transport infrastructure development fund called Civil Aviation Partner, Oleg Smirnov, has told TASS.

"The disaster must be blamed on crude violation of the rules of the International Civil Aviation Organization by the Ukrainian leadership, which failed to close the airspace over an area of hostilities. According to all rules air space shall be declared closed as soon as fighting on the ground begins," Smirnov said.

The Dutch Safety Board in its final report on the results of the probe into the disaster, presented in October 2015, said that Ukraine was responsible for the disaster because it kept airspace over the zone of fighting open. On Thursday, the deputy chief of Russia’s federal air transport agency Aviatsiya, Oleg Storchevoi, published a letter to the Dutch Safety Board Chief Tibbe Joustra saying that the conclusion was incomplete. The Russian aviation authority believes that Kiev was obliged to close the area to all flights back in April 2014. Also, it deliberately concealed or distorted the risks for civil aviation.

Smirnov shares Storchevoi’s opinion of the final report. He described the document as "unprofessional and not based on the requirements of international documents." He said the analysis was accompanied by crude violations of international aviation rules and contained no mathematical, physical or chemical calculations. Nor did it use the evidence gathered in the process of examining the plane’s debris.

A Boeing-777 of the Malaysian Airlines (Flight MH17) was lost over Ukraine on July 17, 2014. None of the 298 passengers and crew on board survived. An international inquiry ruled that the plane was downed with a surface-to-air missile Buk.

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