REUTERS

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba says that responsibility for the downing of MH17 in Donbas in July 2014 is inevitable.

"Whatever political maneuvers the offender uses, the responsibility for the downing of MH17 is inevitable," the press service of Ukraine's Ministry of Foreign Affairs quoted Kuleba as saying.

The minister on November 2, 2020, took part in a video conference with the foreign ministers of the member states of the Joint Investigation Team, or JIT, (Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands) to discuss the process of bringing to justice those responsible for the downing of MH17, the ministry reported on its website on November 3.

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The foreign ministers discussed the progress of the court proceedings in the Netherlands and in international courts. The participants positively took note of Ukraine's accession as a third party to the interstate lawsuit of the Netherlands against the Russian Federation in the European Court of Human Rights.

The foreign ministers exchanged their views on the withdrawal of the Russian Federation from the tripartite consultations with the Netherlands and Australia on international legal responsibility for the downing of the aircraft.

Ukraine informed about the dynamics of the process in the ICJ to hold Russia accountable for the breach of its obligations under the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism, which led to the downing of MH17.

The ministers agreed to continue co-operation in order to establish justice and bring the offenders to justice.

Background

  • Malaysia Airlines' MH17 Boeing 777 heading from Amsterdam for Kuala Lumpur was shot down on July 17, 2014, over Russia-occupied territory in Donetsk region. All 298 people on board who were citizens of 10 countries were killed in the crash. The majority of the victims, 196, were citizens of the Netherlands. The Dutch Safety Board October 13, 2015, issued a report on the causes of the accident. It was revealed that the plane had been shot down by a Buk anti-aircraft missile system.
  • The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) in its report published on September 28, 2016, confirmed that the plane had been downed by a Russian-made Buk brought to Ukraine from Russia.
  • On June 19, 2019, JIT investigators accused four Russia-controlled military intelligence officers of involvement in a missile attack that shot down MH17. The first four suspects in the MH17 case are Russian terrorist Igor Girkin (AKA "Strelkov"), who in the summer of 2014 was the so-called "Minister of Defense of the Donetsk People's Republic" ("DPR"); Russian General Sergei Dubinsky (nom de guerre "Khmuryi"), who led the "DPR intelligence;" Oleg Pulatov (nom de guerre "Gyurza"), who in 2014 headed of "the 2nd division of the GRU of the DPR;" as well as Leonid Kharchenko (nom de guerre "Krot"), who was a leader of the "reconnaissance battalion" of Russia-led forces.
  • The MH17 trial process began on March 9, 2020.