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Moscow disappointed by Dutch side's 'biased' approach to MH17 crash investigation

Moscow is outraged by the fact that the investigators are demonstrating "special attitude" towards Ukraine
Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS
Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova
© Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS

MOSCOW, October 19. /TASS/. Moscow regards as unjust the Netherlands’ accusations of insufficient help for investigation into the Malaysian Boeing crash in eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said, commenting on the statements made by Dutch Prosecutor General Fred Westerbeke in an interview with the Novaya Gazeta newspaper.

"What we initially saw regarding the investigation into the MH17 crash has been confirmed again, only now it is being stated officially, by the Dutch prosecutor general," Zakharova noted.

"I mean an openly biased attitude towards Russia and an extremely selective approach of the Netherlands towards the establishment of an evidential base, which cannot be called objective."

"Westerbeke’s interview demonstrated that contribution to the investigation conducted by Ukraine and the US and information from the internet is for some reason regarded as highly valuable, whereas any help from Russia is undermined, be it data disclosed in an unprecedented way for the investigation or a comprehensive experiment conducted by the Almaz-Antey concern, or Russian primary radar data - the most objective and precise information that may really help the investigation," the diplomat pointed out.

Attitude towards cooperation with Russia is rather dubious, she said. "Westerbeke calls it complicated and doubts Russia’s wish to really cooperate," the ministry spokeswoman said.

"Such statements are highly unjust, considering the great amount of information Russia has been providing for the investigation since its first day," Maria Zakharova stated. "Let alone the fact that it was the Netherlands that was among [the countries] that rejected the Russian side’s wish to become a full member of the Joint Investigation Team [JIT]."

Kiev is justified for almost everything

Moscow is outraged by the fact that "the investigators are demonstrating a special favorable attitude towards Ukraine." "Kiev was forgiven for the failure to provide such important information as communication between military controllers and positioning of Ukraine’s Buks. They accept Ukrainian authorities’ pretexts of alleged performance failures at radar stations and other," she stated.

"We would like to stress once again that Ukraine is an interested party and by vesting it with the right to be a JIT official member it was actually granted the possibility to influence the investigation process," Maria Zakharova stated.

Russia, for its part, "has always supported a thorough and objective investigation into the circumstances of this terrible tragedy and has been open for any help for the investigation." "We call on our Dutch counterparts once again to take Russian data into account on an obligatory basis, including when making the JIT’s final conclusions," the diplomat stressed.

The plane crash

The Malaysia Airlines Boeing-777 passenger airliner en route from the Dutch capital of Amsterdam to the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur crashed in the area of hostilities between local militias and Kiev’s government troops in east Ukraine’s Donetsk region on July 17, 2014. All 298 people aboard the airliner died. Most of the air crash victims were Dutch nationals. The investigators said that flight MH17 had been shot down by a surface-to-air or air-to-air missile.

Ukraine’s authorities and militia representatives of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic blamed each other for the crash. The UN Security Council demanded a comprehensive and independent investigation to be held.

Russian representatives repeatedly voiced their dissatisfaction with the way the investigation was carried out and stated that information presented by the Russian side was ignored.

In October 2015, Russia’s Almaz-Antey defense manufacturer, which produces Buk antiaircraft missile systems, published probe findings confirmed by live experiments which showed that the Boeing had been shot down from Buk antiaircraft missile systems, but not from the area specified by the Dutch Safety Board, but from the community of Zaroshchenksoye that was controlled by the Ukrainian forces on the day of the tragedy.