The Netherlands turned to the Russian Federation for help in investigating the involvement of Ukraine in the crash of MH17

The Netherlands turned to Russia for cooperation on the investigation into the non-closure of airspace over eastern Ukraine on the day of the crash of MH17. This was announced on Monday by Dutch Foreign Minister Steph Block.

In a note to the national parliament on a strategy for the further development of relations with Russia, the minister noted that the government “requested the Russian Federation to cooperate in the investigation” regarding airspace over eastern Ukraine. The bloc promised that the country’s main legislative body “will be separately informed of progress on this issue.”

In the same letter, he added, disappointment was expressed that the Russian authorities could not fulfill the request of the prosecutor’s office for the temporary detention of a resident of the Donetsk People’s Republic, Vladimir Tsemakh, who is a suspect in the MH17 case.

“Finding the truth and holding accountable for the collapse of MH17 remains a priority for the Dutch government,” Block said. “We owe it to the victims of the tragedy and their relatives.”

A Malaysian Airlines Boeing-777 plane crashed in eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014 while flying MH17. The plane crash killed all 298 people on board. The plane followed from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. Most of the dead – 196 people – were citizens of the Netherlands.

After the tragedy, in accordance with the concluded international agreements between Ukraine, Australia, Belgium, the Netherlands and Malaysia, a Joint Investigation Team was created to criminally investigate the disaster. In June of this year, investigators named the four suspects of involvement in the crash. Their trial should begin in the Netherlands on March 9, 2020.