The Netherlands does not rule out the possibility of holding Kiev accountable for the flight MH17 crash in eastern Ukraine in 2014, Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok was quoted as saying after debates in the country’s parliament on Thursday.
“It is too early to make any steps in this direction” he said. “However, I do not rule out any variant.”
The Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, a Boeing-777 passenger plane travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was shot down on July 17, 2014, over Ukraine’s eastern region of Donetsk. The crash killed all the 283 passengers and 15 crewmembers. There were nationals of ten states among the dead. Despite intense hostilities on the ground, Kiev chose not to close the region’s airspace for civilian flights. The Joint Investigation Team (JIT), comprising representatives of the Netherlands, Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and Ukraine, was set up to look into the air disaster.
On May 24, the team gave an update of the state of affairs in the criminal investigation, claiming that “the BUK-TELAR that was used to down MH17, originates from the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile brigade (hereinafter 53rd brigade), a unit of the Russian army from Kursk in the Russian Federation.” Russia’s Defense Ministry rejected all the allegations and said that none of the missile systems belonging to the Russian Armed Forces had ever crossed the Russian-Ukrainian border.
The ministry noted that Moscow had provided Dutch investigators with overwhelming evidence proving that a Ukrainian Buk missile system had been used to bring down the aircraft.
Nevertheless, on May 25, Australia and the Netherlands issued a statement saying that they “hold Russia responsible for its part in the downing of flight MH17.” They also invited Russia to engage in talks on possible solution to the issue, and warned about taking the case to an international court or an organization.