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Top Russian diplomat draws parallels between investigations of MH17 crash, Skripal case

Commenting on the MH17 crash investigation, Russian acting Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov noted that "similarly, a CCTV camera turned off for first part of the day when the Skripals were found on a park bench"

MOSCOW, January 17. /TASS/. Foreign colleagues are not presenting evidence in investigations into the Skripal case or the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 crash, coming up with bizarre reasons behind their absence, Russian acting Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told a press conference outlining results of Russian diplomatic efforts in 2019.

Commenting on the MH17 crash investigation, Lavrov noted, "To answer your question where is Ukrainian radar data, the answer is strange - they aren’t there. Then somebody said that all radars just turned off by mistake. All radars that were watching this part of the airspace in Ukraine just switched off at some point."

"Similarly, a CCTV camera turned off for first part of the day when the Skripals were found on a park bench. The camera that was watching their house switched off and then switched on again," he added.

The Boeing 777 passenger plane operated by Malaysian Airlines crashed on July 17, 2014, en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur in the east of the Donetsk Region. As a result, 298 people were killed in the crash, the majority of them were Dutch citizens. The parties to the armed conflict in Donbass accused each other of being complicit in the tragedy. The Joint Investigation Team (JIT), consisting of representatives from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Ukraine, was established to investigate the crash. Russian officials have repeatedly expressed doubts of the JIT investigation, pointed to the groundless nature of arguments presented and used by prosecution to draw up accusations and rejection of Russian conclusions in the probe.

On March 4, 2018, Sergei Skripal, who had been convicted in Russia of spying for Great Britain and later swapped for Russian intelligence officers, and his daughter Yulia suffered the effects of the so-called Novichok nerve agent in the British city of Salisbury. Claiming that the substance used in the attack had been a nerve agent allegedly developed in Russia, London rushed to accuse Moscow of being involved in the incident. The Russian side flatly rejected all of the United Kingdom’s accusations, saying that a program aimed at developing such a substance had existed neither in the Soviet Union nor in Russia.