Disasters & Accidents

Eight years on, Australia reiterates Russia downed MH17

Sydney, July 17 (EFE).- Australia Sunday reiterated that Russia was responsible for the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, which resulted in the deaths of all 298 passengers and crew.

Sunday marked the eighth anniversary of the tragedy when the Boeing 777 airliner was hit by a missile over eastern Ukraine in 2014, killing all on board, including 38 Australians and 193 Dutch travelers.

Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles, also the acting foreign minister, said Australia has since 2018 maintained that Russia is responsible under international law for the downing of Flight MH17.

“This is based on the strong body of evidence presented by the joint investigation team,” Marles said in a statement.

He said Australia and the Netherlands were committed to the “pursuit of accountability through our dispute against Russia in the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).”

“We commend the progress in the Dutch criminal trials of four individuals for their alleged involvement and look forward to the delivery of verdicts.”

The minister said Australia condemned Russia’s unilateral, illegal, and immoral aggression against the people of Ukraine – “a painful reminder of the tragic circumstances surrounding the downing of Flight MH17.”

The plane was on its way to Amsterdam after taking off from Kuala Lumpur on July 17, 2014, when, while flying over a Russian-backed rebel-controlled area in eastern Ukraine, it was hit by what international investigators and prosecutors say was a Russian-made surface-to-air missile.

Australia and the Netherlands have demanded compensation and an apology from Russia.

However, Moscow has denied its involvement in the incident despite the findings of an international investigation.

Moscow unilaterally withdrew from negotiations with the two countries in October 2020. EFE


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