Russia cuts off MH17 talks with Netherlands, Australia
Russia stopped negotiations with the Netherlands and Australia regarding its accountability in the downing of flight MH17 in 2014. According to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Russia is withdrawing from the talks because the Netherlands took Russia to the European Court of Human Rights.
"Such unfriendly actions of the Netherlands make trilateral consultations and our participation in them pointless," the Russian Ministry said in a statement, according RT.
Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs said in response that he "deeply" regrets Russia's decision to cut off talks, calling it particularly painful for the relatives of the 298 people killed in the disaster, NOS reports.
The Netherlands is willing to continue the negotiations in order to arrive at a solution "that does justice to the enormous suffering and damage caused by the downing of flight MH17," Blok said. He reiterated that the Dutch government will stop at nothing to get justice for the victims and their families.
Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine on 17 July 2014, killing all 298 people on board, including 196 Dutch. The Joint Investigation Team, the international team investigating the cause of the disaster, regularly provided evidence of Russian involvement in the downing.
In 2018, the Netherlands and Australia officially held Russia accountable for its involvement in the downing of the passenger plane - providing the BUK missile that shot it down. Last year, four men were identified as the first suspects of involvement - three Russians and an Ukrainian. The trial against them started in March this year.
In July, the Netherlands went to the European Court of Human Rights to support individual complaints filed against Russia by the relatives of victims. The relatives need access to all the material from the MH17 investigation for their cases, and that is only possible if the Netherlands files a complaint itself, Prime Minister Mark Rutte explained at the time.