Dutch FM takes Russian ambassador to task for criticizing MH17 investigation
On Friday morning Minister Bert Koenders of Foreign Affairs summed the Russian ambassador in The Hague to discuss Russia's statements about the integrity of the MH17 investigation. Koenders told the ambassador that baseless criticism is unacceptable, NOS reports.
Following the presentation of the preliminary results of the investigation into the downing of flight MH17, spokespersons for the Kremlin, the Russian Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defense raised doubts about the professionalism, integrity and independence of the Dutch Public Prosecutor.
"No Russian missile systems, including BUK missile systems, crossed from Russia the border with Ukraine", General-Major Igor Konasjenkov of the Russian Defense Ministry said following the MH17 press conference on Wednesday, according to the broadcaster. "The data presented today come from two sources. The Internet and the Secret Service of Ukraine. Therefore the objectivity of this information, and therefore the resulting conclusions are questionable."
A spokesperson for President Vladimir Putin called for a "transparent and complete" investigation, pointing out that Russia provided detailed information about the crash in eastern Ukraine. "This case is surrounded by a huge amount of speculation and unprofessional information." the spokesperson said.
The Russian Ministry of Defense called the results of the investigation largely invented, NOS reports. According to the official response, the investigators gave Ukraine a free hand to distort the findings so that the country goes unpunished. Russia still claims that Ukrainian troops shot down the Malaysia Airlines flight on July 17th, 2014, killing all 298 people on board.
"Instead of dragging the investigation through the mud and sowing doubt, Russia should 0 given the convincing evidence - respect the results presented", Koenders said on Friday. He called on Russia to continue to cooperate fully in the investigation and subsequent prosecution and trial, as is clearly stated in the unanimously adopted Resolution 2166 of the UN Security Council.