Netherlands counting on unanimous EU support on MH17
On Monday Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs will explain the Netherlands and Australia's decision to formally hold Russia accountable for its role in the downing of flight MH17 to a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels. He is counting on unanimous support from the European Union on this decision, sources told newspaper AD.
On Thursday the Joint Investigation Team revealed that the BUK missile system used to shoot down flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine on July 17th, 2014, came from the 53rd Brigade of the Russian Armed Forces. All 298 people on board the Malaysia Airlines flight were killed in the disaster, including 196 Dutch. The JIT also revealed that Russia is not cooperating with the investigation into those responsible, and is refusing to provide all the requested information.
This week the Dutch government is deliberately looking for support from other countries for its decision to hold Russia accountable for providing the missile that shot down MH17, according to AD's sources. The idea is to isolate Russia more and more, so that the effect of this decision is greater. The decision will also be explained during a UN Security Council meeting on Ukraine. There too the Dutch government will ask for support. Russia is a member of the UN Security Council.
A number of countries already expressed support for this decision. EU foreign coordinator Federica Mogherini issued a statement of support in which she called on Russia to take responsibility. Great Britain and Germany also expressed support. A spokesperson for the United States Department of State said that America "strongly supports" the Netherlands and Australia's decision, according to AD. "It is time that Russia recognizes its role in shooting down MH17 and stops its insensitive campaign of disinformation." After the JIT announced its interim investigation results, the department also released a statement calling on Russia to cooperate in the investigation.