Men convicted in downing of flight MH17 added to EU sanctions list
Two men who were convicted of being involved in the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine were placed on the European Union's sanctions list. This was partly at the insistence of both the Netherlands and Australia. Some 298 people were on the plane when it was shot down, including 196 Dutch citizens, and 27 Australians.
Two Russian army units responsible for firing the BUK missile that downed flight MH17 over Ukraine in 2014 were also placed on the sanctions list. On Wednesday, the European Union member states agreed on an eleventh sanctions package against Russia, but not all of the details were released at the time.
Sergey Dubinskiy and Leonid Chartchenko were convicted in November by the District Court in The Hague for their role in the downing of flight MH17. That is why they have now been put on the sanctions list. The third person convicted in November was Igor Girkin. He has been on the sanctions list since 2014. Both Dubinskiy and Gerkin are Russians, while Chartchenko is Ukrainian.
Foreign Affairs Minister Wopke Hoekstra said that these sanctions are separate from the legal proceedings against Russia before the European Court of Human Rights and the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization. The minister said that the Netherlands will continue pressing forward with those cases, too.
In total, the EU is imposing sanctions on 87 individuals and organizations supporting the Russian regime, including those responsible for the kidnapping of Ukrainian children and major arms manufacturers. The measures also apply to companies that contribute to malicious Russian cyber operations against Ukraine. Their assets in the EU will be frozen and it is forbidden for someone in the European Union to do business with them.
The package further provides for restrictions on certain exports to countries outside the EU which are suspected of circumventing sanctions against Russia. "The Netherlands has been campaigning for a stronger approach to sanction circumvention for some time," said Hoekstra. "With this package we are taking further steps against circumvention and we will continue to do so."
Reporting by ANP and NL Times