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Russia shares Malaysian PM’s view that MH17 probe is politicized — Security Council

The meetings of the Russian Security Council secretary particularly addressed an investigation into the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, the Council commented

MOSCOW, August 27. /TASS/. Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev held a number of meetings during his visit to Malaysia on Tuesday, which particularly addressed an investigation into the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, the Council said in a statement.

Patrushev held working meetings with Malaysia’s defense minister and National Security Council director general, and participated in inter-agency consultations, which also involved officials from the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office, the Interior Ministry, the Defense Ministry, the Foreign Ministry, the Federal Security Service, the Federal Air Transport Agency and the Security Council.

"The parties paid special attention to the situation surrounding the investigation into the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 crash above Ukraine," the statement reads. "Russia supported [Malaysian] Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s criticism of the Joint Investigation Team’s politicized, unfounded and hasty allegations," the Russian Security Council added.

MH17 crash

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, a Boeing-777 passenger plane travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was shot down over Ukraine’s eastern region of Donetsk on July 17, 2014. The crash killed all the 283 passengers and 15 crew. There were nationals of ten states among the dead. The Joint Investigation Team looking into the crash comprises representatives of the Netherlands, Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and Ukraine.

On May 24, 2018, the JIT 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 allegations and said that none of the missile systems belonging to the Russian Armed Forces had ever been taken abroad. The missile, which downed Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, had been made in the town of Dolgoprudny outside Moscow in 1986, delivered to a military unit deployed to Ukraine and never brought back to Russia, Chief of the Russian Defense Ministry’s Missile and Artillery Department Lieutenant General Nikolai Parshin stated.

On June 19, 2019, the Joint Investigation Team announced that it had identified four suspects involved in the crash, adding that a trial was expected to begin on March 9, 2020.

Malaysia’s prime minister, in turn, claimed that the JIT’s findings were politicized. According to him, "from the very beginning, it became a political issue on how to accuse Russia of the wrongdoing." He added that Malaysia wanted proof of Russia’s guilt, while at the moment, there was only hearsay.