Kuleba, Blok discuss Russia's withdrawal from MH17 talks

Kuleba, Blok discuss Russia's withdrawal from MH17 talks

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Netherlands Stef Blok discussed cooperation in bringing to justice those responsible for downing of Flight MH17 in Dutch and international courts.

"Russia's withdrawal from consultations over MH17 is telling evidence of its fear of the truth about what happened on 17 July 2014 in the sky over Donbas," Kuleba said in a phone conversation with Blok, the Ministry’s press service informs.

The ministers discussed the withdrawal of the Russian Federation from trilateral consultations with the Netherlands and Australia on international legal responsibility for the downing of the flight.

Kuleba stressed that Ukraine had always been open to cooperation and provided all the necessary information.

The foreign ministers agreed to continue cooperation in order to establish justice and hold the perpetrators liable.

Steph Blok praised Ukraine's accession as a third party to the Netherlands' interstate lawsuit against the Russian Federation filed at the European Court of Human Rights.

In March 2020, the District Court of The Hague began the consideration of the case of the downing of flight MH17 in the sky over Donbas.

Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was shot down over conflict-hit Donbas in July 2014. There were 283 passengers and 15 crew members on board. All of them died. The international Joint Investigation Team reported that the plane had been shot down from a Buk missile system that belongs to the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade of the Russian Armed Forces stationed in Kursk.

On June 19, 2019, the JIT named four suspects believed to be involved in the transportation and combat use of the Buk missile system, from which MH17 flight had been downed. Three of them are Russians: Igor Girkin (Strelkov), former colonel in Russia's FSB intelligence service and former so-called defense minister of the so-called "Donetsk People's Republic"; Sergey Dubinskiy, general (at the time of downing – colonel) of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces and head of the so-called "Main Intelligence Directorate of the Donetsk People’s Republic"; Oleg Pulatov, lieutenant colonel of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces. The fourth suspect is Leonid Kharchenko, a Ukrainian civilian, who fought on the side of the so-called "Donetsk People's Republic."


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