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Lavrov says Russia’s materials on MH17 crash over Donbass ignored

April 13, 17:00 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, a Boeing-777 passenger plane travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was shot down on July 17, 2014, over Ukraine’s eastern region of Donetsk

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© Mikhail Pochuyev/TASS

MOSCOW, April 13. /TASS/. Russia’s materials on the crash of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 over Donbass are considered either superficially or selectively or are totally ignored, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said after negotiations with his Dutch counterpart Stef Blok on Friday.

"Our facts, our remarks and our comments are not fully taken into account by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) and the materials transferred by us are considered either superficially or selectively or are simply ignored," Russia’s top diplomat noted.

As Lavrov noted, Russia answers and answered all the questions without any exception asked by the Dutch Prosecutor’s Office on this crash.

"We, indeed, rendered assistance to the investigation during its technical stage as well. We are continuing the assistance now that a criminal investigation is underway," Russia’s foreign minister pointed out.

"We answer and answered all the inquiries by the Dutch Prosecutor’s Office without any exception as part of legal assistance provision," Lavrov said.

As the Russian foreign minister pointed out, "there is a substantial volume of information," including primary unprocessed radar observation data on the air situation at the time of the Malaysian airliner’s crash.

"These data clearly indicate, which directions the missile could fly from and from which it could not," Lavrov said.

According to Russia’s foreign minister, these data "cannot be forged and they cannot be altered" and they "clearly indicated the missile’s absence from the direction, from which it was launched in the opinion of this team."

"In reply, and the reply came after a very lengthy period, they told us that this was not so and that there were some two independent experts whose names were not disclosed to us and who stated after examining the data of our objective radar control that our radars had simply been unable to spot it because it flew quickly," the Russian foreign minister said.

"The absurd nature of this statement is obvious for specialists," Lavrov pointed out.

That is why, questions arise when the Russian side gets anonymous refutations from the independent prosecutor conducting the investigation in reply to the "scientifically verified objective data," Lavrov said.

Especially amid constant accusations against us that we are trying to lead the investigation astray," the minister said.

Questions to Ukraine

As Russia’s top diplomat noted, the Joint Investigation Team does not address any questions, for example, to Ukraine and with regard to its contribution to the investigation.

"However, not a single Ukrainian air controller who was on duty on that day was questioned and the investigators have not received the Ukrainian radar observation data," Russia’s foreign minister said.

"What also causes a question is that the Dutch authorities have officially stated that the question of why Ukraine did not close its airspace - and this question was asked by many - that this question is not a subject of the ongoing investigation by the Joint Investigation Team," Russia’s top diplomat said.

The Russian foreign minister said he was mentioning this just as a fact rather than "to demand diplomatic steps against Ukraine, which is not cooperating with the investigative team."

"I want once again to urge not to discard any versions and not to try to fit all the available data into a version that is well known and was numerously mentioned in the media even before the investigation’s completion," Lavrov said.

"As my counterpart said, it is necessary to necessarily seek truth and this relates not only to the crash of the Malaysian Boeing. This concerns all the themes, which we discussed today, first of all, the issue of the use of chemical weapons, be it in Syria or be it in Salisbury," the Russian foreign minister said.

MH17 crash

The Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, a Boeing-777 passenger plane travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was shot down on July 17, 2014, over Ukraine’s eastern region of Donetsk. The crash killed all the 283 passengers and 15 crew members on board. There were nationals of ten states among the dead, including Malaysia, the Netherlands, Australia, Indonesia, the United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium, the Philippines, Canada and New Zealand. Most of the crash victims were Dutch nationals.

The Ukrainian authorities and the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic accused each other of downing the plane.

The investigation into the crash is being conducted by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), comprising representatives of Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Ukraine.

In September 2016, international investigators published the results of their probe, claiming that the missile that brought down the plane was launched from a Buk air defense system near the town of Pervomaiskoye to the south of the settlement of Snezhnoye, which at that time was under the control of the eastern Ukrainian militias.

The Russian analysis of the primary radar’s data refutes the possibility of a missile launch targeting the Boeing from the area to the east of the crash scene, including from Snezhnoye.

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