Dutch may take Russia to court over MH17

File photo. The toys, flowers and candles are seen in front of the Dutch embassy in commemoration of the MH17 victims in Kiev, Ukraine, 17 July 2018. [Sergey Dolzhenko/EPA/EFE]

The Netherlands is considering dragging Russia to an international court over the downing of flight MH17 after talks over responsibility ground to an impasse, the Dutch foreign minister said Thursday (20 December).

In May, the Netherlands and Australia directly blamed Moscow for shooting down the Malaysia Airlines passenger jet with a BUK missile over war-torn eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014.

The two countries “asked Russia to formally contact us via diplomatic channels to discuss responsibility in the interest of justice, the victims and their relatives,” foreign minister Stef Blok said Thursday.

“More than half a year later… diplomatic contacts have not led to a start of talks with Russia and its responsibility for downing flight MH17,” Blok said in a letter to the Dutch parliament.

“The Netherlands and Australia are prepared to continue talks with Russia. But at the same time, cabinet will look at the next steps, in which taking the case to an international judge or organisation will be an option.”

All 298 people on the flight between Amsterdam and Kuala Lumpur were killed when the missile slammed into the Boeing 777 as it overflew territory held by pro-Russian separatists.

Downed Malaysian plane: ‘War has gone beyond Ukraine’

War has gone beyond the territory of Ukraine, the country’s President Petro Poroshenko has stated following the shocking news that the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 on a flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was brought down yesterday (17 July) over the territory of Eastern Ukraine close to the Russian border.

In November the relatives of 65 Dutch victims lodged a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg demanding that Russia take responsibility for MH17.

The Dutch-Australian claim came after international investigators fingered a Russian military unit based in Kursk for transporting the missile from Russia into eastern Ukraine before launching it — a claim backed by other Western powers.

Pressure builds on Russia under MH17 investigation

Dutch prosecutors identified a Russian military unit on Thursday (24 May) as the source of the missile that shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine in 2014, killing all 298 people on board.

Moscow has always vehemently denied involvement and instead pointed the finger at Kyiv.

Russia in September said it had “fresh proof”, releasing what it said was the missile’s serial number, aiming to prove the missile was made in Ukraine during the Soviet era.

Russia claims fresh 'proof' Ukraine downed flight MH17

Russia on Monday (17 September) released fresh information to back its claim the missile that downed a Malaysia Airlines flight over war-torn Ukraine in 2014 was fired by Kiev’s forces.

The Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team has said it would “carefully” study Moscow’s claims, adding that information previously provided by Russia such as the alleged presence of a Ukrainian fighter jet near the airliner on radar images was “incorrect”.

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