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Russia must ‘accept state responsibility’ for MH17 crash in Donbass — UK foreign secretary

Boris Johnson thanked the Joint Investigation Team "for its painstaking work"
UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson AP Photo/Olivier Matthys
UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson
© AP Photo/Olivier Matthys

LONDON, May 25. /TASS/. UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said on Friday that Russia ‘must accept state responsibility’ for the crash of flight MH17 in Donbass in 2014.

"The Kremlin believes it can act with impunity. The Russian Government must now answer for its actions in relation to the downing of MH17," Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said.

"The Russian Federation must fulfil its obligations under UN Security Council resolution 2166 to provide any requested assistance to the investigation," he said in a FCO press release

He once again accused Russia of "illegal annexation of Crimea, and in its fomenting of conflict in eastern Ukraine which has led to the death of over 10,300 people; in its shielding of President Assad’s brutal regime as he uses chemical weapons against his own people".

He said the UK "fully supports Australia and the Netherlands in their request to the Russian Federation to accept state responsibility and to cooperate with them in their efforts to deliver justice for the victims of this tragedy".

Boris Johnson thanked the Joint Investigation Team "for its painstaking work" saying "it is vital that this work continue".

MH17 crash

The Boeing-777 passenger plane operated by Malaysian Airlines crashed on July 17, 2014, en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur in the east of the Donetsk region. As many as 283 passengers and 15 crew members - citizens of 10 states, were killed in the crash. The parties to the armed conflict in Donbass accused each other of its complicity in the tragedy.

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) was established to probe the tragedy. In September 2016 it presented its first preliminary findings, according to which the plane was downed by a missile launched from a Buk missile complex located in the Pervomaiskoye village area south of the community of Snezhnoye, which was controlled by the militiamen on the day of the tragedy. Russian experts disagree with the international experts’ findings. Their analysis of the primary radar data suggests that it was impossible to launch a missile towards the Malaysian Boeing from the area east of the tragedy site, including from the community of Snezhnoye.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the investigation was reminiscent of the Skripal case as there was no evidence.

Nevertheless, on May 25, Australia and the Netherlands issued a statement saying that they "hold Russia responsible for its part in the downing of flight MH17." "The Netherlands and Australia are now convinced that Russia is responsible for the deployment of the Buk installation that was used to down MH17. The government is now taking the next step by formally holding Russia accountable," the statement reads.