Russia as a state will be brought to account for downing of flight MH17 – Ukrainian Foreign Ministry

Russia as a state will be brought to account for downing of flight MH17 – Ukrainian Foreign Ministry

A judgment by the District Court of The Hague regarding the downing of flight MH17 is a landmark event on the way to establishing justice and ensuring the inevitability of punishment for the crimes committed.

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said this in a statement posted on its website, Ukrinform reports.

"The verdicts of the Court are a remarkable event in the context of the establishment of justice and the inevitability of punishment for the commission of crimes. It became possible due to constant and methodological work of dozens of investigators and prosecutors of the Joint Investigation Team, including Ukrainian," the ministry said.

It added that the verdicts are also a sign that those who have taken a decision and ordered the shooting down of a civilian aircraft shall ultimately end up in the courtroom and the punishment of those perpetrators is inevitable.

The ministry said that apart from individuals, the Russian Federation as a state shall be brought to account.

"The transfer of Buk-TELAR to terrorists is obvious breach of the international law, specifically, of the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism. Such transfer of this deadly weapon to Ukraine is a key element of Ukraine's case versus Russia in the International Court of Justice," the statement reads.

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry stressed that Ukraine would continue coordinating efforts with its partners to establish the truth and justice for the victims of the MH17 tragedy, as well as for their families, who continue to mourn the loss of their loved ones.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, commenting on the court verdict in the case of the downing of flight MH17, said that this is a signal to Russia and no lie will help avoid justice.

"I welcome the first MH17 verdicts. Profound joint effort by Ukraine, the Netherlands, Belgium, Australia, and Malaysia. Today's verdicts send a message to Russia: no amount of lies can help escape justice. All criminals up the Russian chain of command shall be held accountable," Kuleba wrote on Twitter.

A former FSB operative, former "Minister of Defense of the DPR" Igor Girkin (aka Strelkov), General, at the time of the downing Colonel of the GRU of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, head of the "GRU of the DPR" Sergei Dubinsky, and Ukrainian citizen Leonid Kharchenko were found guilty of shooting down flight MH17 and sentenced to life imprisonment. The fourth suspect, Russian national, Lieutenant Colonel of the GRU, Oleg Pulatov, was acquitted.

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was shot down over occupied area of Donetsk region on July 17, 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 belonged to the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade of the Russian Armed Forces stationed in Kursk.

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