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Dutch foreign minister’s speculations over plane crash in Iran impermissible — Zakharova

The diplomat recalled that Russia had provided sufficient evidence in the MH17 case testifying that all charges against it were absolutely groundless

MOSCOW, January 23. /TASS/. Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok’s attempts at drawing parallels between the MH17 disaster over Donbass in 2014 and the loss of Ukraine’s passenger liner near Tehran on January 8 this year for advancing biased accusations against Russia are devoid of sound logic and therefore impermissible, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a news briefing on Thursday.

"We believe that the chief Dutch diplomat inappropriately used the tragedy in Iran, which has its own causes and special features, for another series of attacks against Russia and for advertising The Hague’s own hackneyed, subjective approaches to the MH17 flight disaster. Now, in connection with the loss of flight PS 752 Blok has demanded that Russia should present what he described as satisfactory answers to a number of questions Joint Investigation Team questions. Without feeling even a little bit shy over the absence of proven facts Blok has come out with some personal feelings Russia’s Foreign Minister [Sergey Lavrov] feels somewhat uneasy whenever the MH17 issue is raised and that Russians should better recognize their guilt and agree to pay compensations to the relatives of those who died in the disaster, thus easing tensions," she said.

"Speculations over the Iranian tragedy aimed at propping up biased charges against Russia, is first and foremost impermissible and mean in relation to the victims’ relatives and dear ones," Zakharova said. "Blok’s ultimatum-like demands Russia should plead guilty to the loss of the Malaysian plane over Ukraine for the sole reason a Ukrainian plane has been shot down in Iran are inappropriate, unacceptable and devoid of any sound logic."

Zakharova recalled that Russia had provided sufficient evidence in the MH17 case testifying that all charges against it were absolutely groundless.

"Once again Blok overlooked Ukraine’s obvious complicity in the disaster, although it was Kiev that had failed to close the airspace over the zone of hostilities in defiance of the Dutch parliament’s concerns, expressed in this connection."

Malaysia Airlines’ Boeing 777 (Flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur) was shot down over eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014. The disaster claimed the lives of all 298 passengers and crew on board. Austria, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Ukraine formed a Joint Investigation Team (JIT). Russian officials have repeatedly expressed distrust towards its activities and pointed to groundless charges and the reluctance to use the conclusions of the Russian side in the investigation.

A Boeing-737 of Ukraine International Airlines crashed on January 8 minutes after leaving Tehran airport. None of the 176 passengers and crew on board survived. Later, Iran recognized that its air defenses had downed the plane by mistake.