MOSCOW, May 8. /TASS/. The Dutch authorities have been trying to avoid disclosing crucial evidence concerning the Malaysia Airlines MH17 flight disaster over eastern Ukraine, thus helping the authorities in Kiev shirk responsibility and putting the blame on Russia, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a news briefing on Wednesday.
A passenger Boeing-777 of Malaysia Airlines, flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was lost in a midair incident on July 17, 2014 over the east of Ukraine’s Donetsk Region. The disaster claimed the lives of all 298 people on board - citizens of ten countries. Although active hostilities were in progress on the ground at the moment, the authorities in Kiev failed to close the airspace over Donbass to international passenger flights.
"The strong reluctance to make public the relevant correspondence [concerning the disaster between the Dutch agencies concerned] is indicative the Netherlands wishes to conceal crucial information that might shed light on the air disaster and is determined to ward off suspicions from the Ukrainian authorities and put the blame on Russia," Zakharova said.
She speculated that some Dutch legislators had reasonable doubts Kiev could not but know that its failure to close the airspace over the area of hostilities posed risks to civil aviation security. Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Ukraine formed a Joint Investigation Team. On May 24, 2018 the JIT experts published an interim report claiming the launcher that had fired the missile which shot down the passenger plane might have been brought from Russia’s 53rd air defense brigade near Kursk.
Russia dismissed the JIT’s charges. The Russian Defense Ministry said not a single air defense system of Russia’s armed forces had ever crossed the Ukrainian border. Also, Russian military officials said they had managed to identify the missile that hit the Malaysian Boeing-777 and to find out it had been brought to the territory of Ukraine back in 1986 to have remained there since.