MOSCOW, March 4. /TASS/. The Kremlin cannot predict how the court will rule in the trial on the MH17 crash in Ukraine, but plans to thoroughly analyze its outcome, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Wednesday.
"We have always voiced doubts whether the investigative team’s work is unbiased because we have been stripped of the opportunity to join it," Peskov told reporters.
"As for the court’s rulings, we won’t predict them, but will give comments and analyze what will happen and how much they [the court’s rulings] will be reasoned and substantiated," Peskov stressed.
The Boeing-777 passenger plane operated by Malaysian Airlines crashed in eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014, while en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. A total of 298 people, citizens of at least 10 countries, were killed. The parties to the armed conflict in Donbass traded blame over the tragedy.
Despite active combat actions, Kiev did not close airspace over Donbass for international passenger flights. The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) was set up to investigate the tragedy, consisting of representatives from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Ukraine.
In June 2019, the JIT said it had identified four individuals suspected of being involved in the MH17 crash. They are three Russian nationals Igor Girkin, also known under the nickname of Strelkov, Sergei Dubinsky, Oleg Pulatov and a Ukrainian national, Leonid Kharchenko. The trial is scheduled to begin in the Netherlands on March 9. Russia’s authorities have repeatedly voiced doubt over the JIT’s findings, pointing to the lack of evidence and its reluctance to take into account Moscow’s conclusions made during the investigation.