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Russian Foreign Ministry debunks Dutch newspaper article on alleged meddling in MH17 case

The Foreign Ministry underscored that the article is based on statements by "anonymous sources" and Bellingcat journalist investigative agency known for its political bias against Russia
The Russian Foreign Ministry Mikhail Dzhaparidze/TASS
The Russian Foreign Ministry
© Mikhail Dzhaparidze/TASS

MOSCOW, March 20. /TASS/. The article by the Dutch de Volkskrant newspaper about alleged Russian attempts to obstruct the investigation of the 2014 MH17 Boeing crash is misinformation that seeks to influence the court proceedings in the Hague, Russian Foreign Ministry announced Thursday on its website’s "rebuttals" section.

"We view this article as another attempt to distract attention from serious discrepancies in the chosen uncontested version of alleged ‘Russian trace’ in the tragedy," the Foreign Ministry said. "The article, published in de Volkskrant newspaper, close to the Dutch governing circles, is a product of a media misinformation campaign with obvious anti-Russian bias, which once again gained traction in the Netherlands recently. Apparently, its creators seek to impact the court proceedings on the MH17 case, which began on March 9 in the Hague District court."

The article in question is titled "Hacks, manipulatie en diefstal: Rusland deed alles om het MH17-onderzoek te dwarsbomen" ("Hacks, Manipulation and Theft: Russia did everything to thwart the MH17 Investigation"). It was published on March 5.

The authors, who had published Russophobic articles earlier, claim that Russia has "exerted direct influence on the investigative team members" for years.

"In particular, Russian intelligence services agents are mentioned in the context of their alleged involvement in incidents that happened with the experts: surveillance, database theft, phone call tapping and hacker attacks," the Foreign Ministry commented.

The Foreign Ministry underscored that the article is based on statements made by "anonymous sources in Dutch intelligence services and the Joint Investigative Team," as well as the odious Bellingcat journalist investigative agency, notorious for its "scandalous fake news" and political bias against Russia.

"The article’s authors adhere to the Western media’s ‘spy investigation’ style: having no real evidence, they cite sources, whose reliability inherently cannot be proven," the Ministry states.