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Russia rejects ‘baseless conclusions’ on flight MH17 crash in Ukraine — UN envoy

May 30, 1:39 UTC+3

"Considering the unsavory methods that certain nations employ at present, we can trust the findings only of investigations to which Russia is a full-fledged member," Vasily Nebenzya said

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Russia's UN envoy, Vasily Nebenzya

Russia's UN envoy, Vasily Nebenzya

© AP Photo/Julie Jacobson

UN, May 30. /TASS/. Russia cannot accept "baseless conclusions" of the Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team (JIT), which blames Russia for the 2014 crash of flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine, Russia’s UN envoy, Vasily Nebenzya, said on Tuesday.

"We confirm our readiness to render all possible assistance to a truly transparent and independent investigation, but we cannot accept baseless conclusions of the JIT. Considering the unsavory methods that certain nations employ at present, we can trust the findings only of investigations to which Russia is a full-fledged member," Nebenzya said during the Security Council’s session on Ukraine, the first in more than a year.

Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok said during the session that Russia must fully admit its responsibility for the crash and cooperate with investigators.

Commenting on those demands, Nebenzya replied that he does not want "to sound offensive to the Dutch minister," but "no one is allowed to speak with Russia in the language of ultimatums."

The Russian diplomat added that Russia’s stance on the MH17 tragedy remains unchanged.

"We are outraged by this terrible incident," he said. "We insist on holding a trustworthy investigation. The true culprits should be determined on the basis of factual evidence and brought to justice."

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 crewmembers. There were nationals of ten states among the dead.

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) looking into the crash comprises representatives of the Netherlands, Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and Ukraine.

On May 24, the team gave an update of the state of affairs in the criminal investigation, claiming that "the BUK-TELAR that was used to down MH17, originates from the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile brigade (hereinafter 53rd brigade), a unit of the Russian army from Kursk in the Russian Federation."

Russia’s Defense Ministry rejected all the allegations and said that none of the missile systems belonging to the Russian Armed Forces had ever been taken abroad. The ministry noted that Moscow had provided Dutch investigators with overwhelming evidence proving that a Ukrainian Buk missile system had been used to bring down the aircraft.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the investigation was reminiscent of the Skripal case as there was no evidence as well.

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