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ICAO given proof Russia had nothing to do with Flight МН17 crash, official says

Even so, the country doesn’t expect the ICAO Council to pass a fair judgement as it is dominated by nations from the collective West, Denis Grunis told TASS

MOSCOW, June 17. /TASS/. Moscow provided proof to the International Civil Aviation Organization that Russia had nothing to do with the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 crash, said Denis Grunis, a special assignments aide to the Russian prosecutor general.

Even so, the country doesn’t expect the ICAO Council to pass a fair judgement as it is dominated by nations from the collective West, he told TASS.

"We have presented ICAO with a large amount of evidence and other materials testifying to the lack of expertise at the ICAO Council and the absurdity of the accusations that Russia was involved in the crash of Flight MH17," he said.

He said the ICAO Council can’t hold investigations or trials, nor can it determine the culpability of a country or a person in relation to a plane crash.

"Nevertheless, the ICAO Council agreed to consider these disagreements and we continued to participate, hoping for the independence and impartiality of this body, and hoping that it is represented by professionals," the prosecutor’s office official said.

But he said the council's meetings showed that all its members voted not on the basis of their inner beliefs, professional experience and the evidence presented, but followed the instructions of their governments.

"The council is composed of 36 states. The majority of it is made up of the countries of the collective West, their satellites and their dependent countries. Therefore, regardless of the evidence we have presented, we realize that the decision will be negative for Russia due to the political balance of votes," Grunis said.

According to the official, 13 members of the council previously stated at the political level that they believe Russia was responsible for the crash of the Malaysian Boeing.

"And they said this even before the publication of results of their own investigation, which was conducted by a joint investigation team. They said this even before the announcement of the verdict of The Hague District Court, which took place in November 2022. Now, of course, the same countries did not change their position and will not change it no matter what evidence was already presented or could yet be presented. That essentially means the procedure for the council to resolve the disagreement between the Netherlands, Australia and Russia is a farce, a performance with a finale that is known in advance. And we do not want to continue to participate in it," the official said. "All unbiased members of ICAO, which are also in the council, can acquaint themselves with our evidence and make their conclusions but they are a minority."

Earlier, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Moscow is halting participation in the dispute with the Netherlands and Australia in the MH17 case at the ICAO council.

About the crash

Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed in the Donetsk Region of Ukraine on July 17, 2014, killing 298 people from 10 countries. A court in The Hague considered a case about the crash. In November 2022, it found guilty and sentenced to life in prison three people: former militia leader of the Donetsk People’s Republic, Igor Girkin, also known as Igor Strelkov, and his subordinates Sergey Dubinsky and Leonid Kharchenko. The fourth suspect, Oleg Pulatov, was acquitted for lack of incriminating evidence.

Russian officials repeatedly expressed their lack of confidence in the results of the investigation, described the arguments of the prosecution as groundless, and pointed to the unwillingness to use Moscow’s conclusions during the investigation.