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Russia confirms readiness to assist thorough investigation of MH17 crash — federal agency

February 09, 2016, 14:51 UTC+3

Russia is prepared to provide once again all primary radar data it has for the investigation of the loss of the Malaysia’s Flight MH17, the deputy head of the Federal Agency for Air Transport said

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MOSCOW, February 9. /TASS/. Moscow confirms readiness to assist thorough and immediate investigation of the MH17 crash in eastern Ukraine in July 2014, the deputy head of the Federal Agency for Air Transport (Rosaviatsiya), Oleg Sotrchevoy, said in reply to a message from relatives of victims of the air disaster, earlier sent to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The federal agency, known as Rosaviatsiya, officially represented Russia during the technical investigation of the circumstances of the Boeing crash in the sky over Ukraine.

"First and foremost I would like to offer condolences once again over this terrible tragedy in which you lost your relatives and dear ones," Storhevoy wrote.

"Russia is highly interested in establishing the real causes of what happened, and it keeps using all of its opportunities for the sake of establishing the truth, just as it has been doing throughout the period of technical investigation and after its official completion," he said.

Russia calls on the relatives and friends of those killed in the crash to demand answers to the questions and also "maximum openness, objectiveness, accuracy and urgency in investigation" by the Dutch authorities and partners, Storhevoy said.

"The Russian side, just as you, is interested in the fastest, most thorough and impartial investigation of this terrible tragedy," Storchevoy said.

Russia is prepared to provide once again all primary radar data it has for the investigation of the loss of the Malaysia’s Flight MH17 over Ukraine,  Storchevoi said.

"Russia back in August 2014, in other words, immediately after the disaster shared with the Dutch Safety Board all available primary radar data regarding Flight MH17… Russia still keeps these data and will be prepared to present them once again to the organizations of authority concerned," Storchevoi said.

Storchevoi recalled that the radar data had been presented as a video, filmed from the screen of a Russian air traffic controller.

"Russia keeps primary radar data exclusively in a video format, which does not contradict the standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). In the meantime, the DSB’s final report says nothing whether that somehow influenced the conclusions regarding the circumstances and causes of the MH17 disaster," Storchevoi said.

In his message the senior Russian aviation official recalled that the Boeing liner was lost outside Russia’s airspace and beyond the zone of responsibility of Russian air traffic controllers. The interest towards Russian data developed because Russia’s radars near Rostov-on-Don registered the plane’s flight, and also because "the primary radar function of Ukrainian stations was turned off at the moment for some unclear reasons," Storchevoi said.

The final report of the Dutch Safety Board on the MH17 airliner crash over Ukraine in 2014 says nothing about Kiev’s guilt for failing to close the country’s airspace during the armed conflict in the country, Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency Deputy Head said.

"Now about the quality of the technical investigation," Storchevoi said. "It should be noted that the final report completely inexplicably gives no answer to the main question: the extent of Ukraine’s guilt for failing to close its airspace and Kiev’s guilt in the final document is extremely vague."

On July 17, 2014, a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 passenger airliner on flight MH17 from the Dutch city of Amsterdam to the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur crashed in the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board. Most passengers - 193 people - were Dutch nationals. The strike of a ground-to-air or air-to-air missile was named as a possible cause of the crash.

Ukraine’s authorities and the militia of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic accused each other of the tragedy. This July, the United Nations Security Council called for holding a comprehensive and independent probe. Russia’s representatives have said on many occasions they are dissatisfied with how the investigation is being carried out and that the data presented by the Russian side are ignored.

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