Conflicts & War

Australia calls on Russia to ‘take responsibility’ for downing of MH17

Sydney, Australia, Jul 17 (EFE).- The Australian government on Monday called on Russia to “take responsibility” for the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 on the ninth anniversary of the tragedy that killed all 298 onboard.

“Russia must take responsibility for the role it played in this horrific act of violence, and stop harboring those who contributed to the downing of Flight MH17 and the murder of all on board,” Foreign Minister Penny Wong said Monday.

Australia, Wong added, holds Russia “responsible under international law” for the shooting down of the plane with a Russian surface-to-air missile over Donetsk in eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014 while the passenger jet was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.

The incident was attributed to Moscow-backed separatists in the region.

Most of the victims were Dutch, but the fatalities also included 38 Australian citizens and residents.

In November 2022, a Dutch court sentenced in absentia former Russian intelligence agents Igor Girkin and Sergey Dubinsky and Ukrainian separatist leader Leonid Kharchenko to life imprisonment for the murder of all onboard MH17.

Despite the court decision, Russia, which rejects the sentences, refuses to extradite those convicted.

Following the Dutch ruling, the Australian government worked with the Netherlands and the European Union to impose financial sanctions and travel bans on those involved in the incident, Wong recalled.

Australia in February acknowledged the decision of international prosecutors to suspend their investigation into MH17 after finding “strong indications” that Russia’s President Vladimir Putin approved the provision to the Donetsk People’s Republic of the missile system that brought down the plane.

It said it had “abundant evidence” that showed the Kremlin had “overall control” over the Donetsk People’s Republic at the time.

However, prosecutors said the evidence on the involvement of Putin and other Russian officials was not conclusive enough to lead to a criminal conviction, ending the probe for now. EFE


Related Articles

Back to top button