MOSCOW, September 13 /ITAR-TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov hopes that the world will ultimately learn the truth about the Boeing 777 crash in Ukraine.
“I hope that we are going to learn this truth but that does not depend on me,” Lavrov told TV Tsentr's “Pravo Znat” (The Right to Know) programme.
“Russia, its political leadership and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs should constantly remind the world of the need to do that. It is not accidental that I cited the U.N. Security Council resolution (whose adoption we actively supported). What’s written in it must be implemented by all. Such is the nature of this document,” the Russian foreign minister said.
“All the rest is in the hands of those who have been assigned with the task to conduct this investigation,” Lavrov added.
He said that Malaysia’s Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein had visited Russia. "He has been to Ukraine and the Netherlands and is planning to visit Australia,” the Russian foreign minister went on to say.
According to him, the Malaysians “want to get our assessments because they know about the preliminary conclusions the Russian Defense Ministry announced at a briefing on July 21; they want to discuss a list of questions formulated by the Federal Air Transport Agency and talk to experts.
“We welcome this interest because there are no grounds to refuse from getting comprehensible answers or at least from discussing the questions which we have posed but which have so far remained unanswered,” Lavrov emphasized.
Russia is preparing a new set of questions, Lavrov said.
“International experts spent three weeks in Kiev, talking with the Ukrainian authorities. No answers were prepared in response to the questions raised after the catastrophe by the Russian Defence Ministry and the Air Transportation Agency. Our representative, who is a member of the international team of experts, is pointing out these ‘oddities’,” Lavrov told TV Tsentr’s Pravo Znat programme (The Right to Know).
“We are preparing another set of questions from the Russian aviation authorities to identify issues that require urgent attention. On the whole, as I was told by experts who know how such investigations are conducted, many things that must have been done were not done. I don’t know why. Maybe some benefitted from the situation where hysterical accusations were made against militias and Russia immediately after the accident,” the minister said.
“All front pages of newspapers and primetime on television, the Internet were full of that. Now that this ‘propaganda foam’ has been removed, some may not be so eager to investigate the actual causes of the accident,” he said.
“This is not our approach. We are probably the only [country] who keep reminding [the world] that there is U.N. Security Council Resolution 2166, which I mentioned before and which calls for an immediate cessation of fire in the area of the crash so that experts could get access. It also says that the investigation must be thorough, international, transparent and accountable,” Lavrov said.
“As for the international nature [of the investigation], there seems to be a group of experts under the ICAO aegis, and the organisation is taking steps to begin multilateral discussions, but there is neither transparency nor accountability,” he said.
“I am not saying that the U.N. Security Council should conduct the investigation, but it set forth political requirements that match the acuteness of the tragedy and its perception in the countries whose citizens were aboard the plane and the international community as a whole, for it was a commercial plane that was downed,” Lavrov said.
Russia is surprised by “a very calm tone” of the report on the investigation of the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 accident and by its slow pace, Lavrov said.
The Dutch Security Council’s report stated that the plane had fallen into pieces in midair presumably as a result of structural damage caused by external impact from numerous high-energy objects.
“The report surprised us and even our specialists who understand these terms… mainly because despite so much fuss around this tragedy its tone is very calm and the work is going unhurriedly and leisurely. There have been no calls for resuming the work of experts at the crash site.
There have been no attempts to go out there, collect the pieces and see how the whole plane looked like, and no one ever spoke about this out loud,” the minister told TV Tsentr’s Pravo Znat programme (The Right to Know).
“There were many tales about Buks [surface-to-air missile systems],” Lavrov said, commenting on numerous media reports claiming that the system was used to down the plane.
He said such allegations had been refuted. “They showed a Buk with a serial number that was moving around in the area controlled by Kiev’s army. And there are many other facts that are not just far-fetched but actually a blatant lie,” Lavrov said.