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MH17 hit by hit by air-to-air or ground-to-air missile — Russian air transport agency

July 16, 2015, 15:59 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Russia is ready to identify in foreign observers’ presence the steel grade of striking elements of the missile that shot down the MH17 flight over east Ukraine last year, the agency's deputy head says
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© Mikhail Pochuyev/TASS

MOSCOW, July 16. /TASS/. The Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was obviously downed by an air-to-air missile or ground-to-air missile, a deputy head of the Russian Air Transport Agency said on Thursday.

"The plane was evidently hit by an air-to-air missile or ground-to-air missile," Oleg Storchevoy said.

There are many different versions of how the plane was downed, he added, stressing that Russia never promoted its main theory about the crash. "There is no Russian version, but there is understanding that it is necessary to take into account all factors and information," Storchevoy noted.

Russia is not the first and not the only country that made public all data on the MH17 crash, he continued, reminding that the Defense Ministry released the reports. The Ukrainian side, however, does not release any information, only posts photographs in social networks, Storchevoy said.

Talking about the report released by the Netherlands, Storchevoy said the Russian Air Transport Agency has claims to certain parts of the report. The claims will be announced after the document is released officially, he added. "We have a lot to say about this document and many arguments about separate issues, but in this case, I am tied by international rules," he said.

The international commission on investigating the MH17 crash is being pressured, Storchevoy continued. "We cannot talk about appropriate coverage of this investigation. Western journalists and politicians started issuing biased materials. It can be considered as deliberate pressure on the international investigating commission in order to get unambiguous results," he added.

Storchevoy reminded that in accordance with Annex 13 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, all official comments should be given only by the side conducting the investigation, in this case — by Dutch Safety Board."

Russia is ready to identify in foreign observers’ presence the steel grade of striking elements of the missile that shot down the Malaysian airliner over east Ukraine last year, Storchevoy went on to say.

"The Russian side is fully open for joint work with the commission [investigating the causes of the MH17 crash]," the Russian aviation official said.

"We’re ready to take part in any probes, provide our specialists and data available to us. We have high-quality equipment, including for expert studies that can identify the grade of the steel used to produce the striking elements and, correspondingly, the exact type of the missile," he said.

‘We’re ready to hold all the necessary studies in the presence of specialists from different countries. We have nothing to conceal," he said.

On 17 July 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.

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