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US officials decline to comment on investigation of MH17 crash in Ukraine

July 18, 2015, 7:21 UTC+3 WASHINGTON
The Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 (MH17) en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed on July 17, 2014, in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region
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© AP Photo/Peter Dejong

WASHINGTON, July 18. /TASS/. The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which is involved in the investigation of the circumstances of the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crash in the Donetsk region last year, does not comment publicly on either the course of the investigation or the preliminary report on it compiled by the Netherlands recently, the board’s Public Affairs Officer Eric Weiss told TASS on Friday.

"We only comment on investigations that we do," he said. When a TASS correspondent reminded him that the board’s experts too were involved in the multilateral investigation, Weiss replied: "We are not leading the investigation. It is not an NTSB investigation." He also declined to comment on a number of complaints on the part of the Russian experts regarding the way this international investigation was conducted.

The National Transportation Safety Board is an independent U.S. federal agency headquartered in Washington, D.C. The investigation into the MH17 crash in Ukraine also involves the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). However, the NTSB plays a dominant role in this work.

The Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 (MH17) en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed on July 17, 2014, in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region. All the passengers and crewmembers onboard the aircraft - 298 people, citizens of 10 states - died. Most of the passengers - 196 people - were Dutch citizens. According to the key theory of the crash, the plane was shot down by a surface-to-air or an air-to-air missile. The Ukrainian authorities and representatives of the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Lugansk have been accusing each other of the crash. The UN Security Council has demanded to conduct a comprehensive and independent investigation into the air disaster. The Russian Foreign Ministry has repeatedly said it is not satisfied with the way the investigation is carried out.

Infographics Boeing 777 crash in Ukraine Boeing 777 crash in Ukraine
Malaysia Airlines’ Boeing 777 crashed in the Donetsk region of Ukraine. 280 passengers and 15 crewmembers have died. Infographics by ITAR-TASS

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