REUTERS

The Dutch government said on Thursday it was "increasingly confident" that Russian officials will be willing to meet soon for private talks on who was responsible for the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 in 2014.

"We are in contact with Russia over national accountability via diplomatic channels," a foreign ministry spokeswoman said, according to Reuters. "We are increasingly confident that we will sit down with the Russians shortly."

An international investigation led by the Netherlands concluded that the passenger jet – en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur – was brought down by a Russian surface-to-air missile. Moscow has denied any involvement.

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MH17 was shot down over territory held by Russian-led forces in eastern Ukraine in July 2014, killing all 298 people onboard, roughly two-thirds of them Dutch.

In May 2018 the Dutch and Australian governments said they would hold Russia responsible for the plane's destruction after investigators traced the "Buk" missile system they said was used to bring it down to the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Brigade, based in the western Russian city of Kursk.