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Diplomat: The Hague seeking to relegate MH17 crash investigation to background

March 11, 16:49 UTC+3 MOSCOW
"Only the relatives of the crash victims want to know the truth", Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said
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Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova

© Sergei Fadeichev/TASS

MOSCOW, March 11. /TASS/. The Hague is seeking to relegate the subject of the investigation into the MH17 crash over Ukraine to the background, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Friday.

He reminded that regular round of hearings on that subject were held on March 1. "The interest shown to this matter proves that the subject of the MH17 crash over Ukraine is being relegated by the official Hague to the background," she said. "Having failed to sift the circumstances of the tragedy to the very bottom and having failed to answer grounded questions of their citizens, the Dutch authorities are in no hurry to find and criminally persecute those responsible. Only the relatives of the crash victims want to know the truth."

She said that "many unclear things and an absolutely non-transparent situation" are seen around criminal investigation conducted by a joint group of Australian, Belgian, Malaysian and Ukrainian representatives.

The Russian diplomat stressed the importance of "professional laborious work to find out the truth about the causes of the MH17 crash over Ukraine."

"The Russian side is open for cooperation and is ready to offer assistance of its specialists, if it is asked for that," Zakharova stressed.

Moscow is disappointed over Amsterdam’s reluctance to jointly investigate the MH17 crash over Ukraine, Maria Zakharova added.

On January 14, deputy head of Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency Oleg Storchevoi referred a letter to the Dutch Safety Board to point to incompleteness, groundlessness and unreliability of data cited in the final report of the Dutch side on the MH17 crash. Thus, the letter noted discrepancies concerning the type of the missile that hit the airliner.

The Dutch side, according to Zakharova, answered this letter but "this document was a formal reply." "Arguments cited in the open letter tell nothing new about the situation but only repeat previous conclusions and estimates," she said. "All this proves tenacious unwillingness of the Dutch side to cooperate with Russian experts to establish real circumstances of the MH17 crash."

"We are disappointed over such formal approach of the Dutch side," the Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman underscored. "It demonstrates a non-constructive position on that matter. We are convinced that it is necessary to continue professional and laborious work to find out the truth about the causes and circumstances of the airliner’s crash over Ukraine."

A Boeing 777-200 of the Malaysia Airlines en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed on July 17 in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk Region, some 60 km (over 37 miles) from the Russian border, in the zone of combat operations between the Donetsk self-defense forces and the Ukrainian army. All the passengers and crewmembers onboard the aircraft - 298 people - died. Most of the passengers - 196 people - were Dutch citizens.

The international commission arrived at a conclusion that the airliner was hit by a Buk missile. The missile was presumably launched from an area of 320 square kilometers in eastern Ukraine. However, according to Russia’s Almaz-Antey Concern, the missile was launched from the settlement of Zaroshchenskoye controlled by Ukrainian troops on the day of the crash. Apart from that, Russian specialists believe the MH17 was shot down by a missile of an older modification whose manufacture stopped in 1986 and which were withdrawn from service in Russia in 2011.

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