MH17 crash investigation based on 'unfounded accusations', says Russia; Ukraine urges Moscow to 'cooperate'

AFP
Moscow, Moscow City, Russian Federation Published: Jun 19, 2019, 08:41 PM(IST)

Crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, near the village of Hrabove in Donetsk. Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Kive urged Moscow "to cooperate with the probe", referring to international investigators who earlier issued arrest warrants for four suspects, three of them Russian nationals.

Moscow slammed "unfounded accusations" by international investigators who on Wednesday charged four people, including Russian citizens, with murder over the 2014 shooting down of flight MH17 above rebel-held eastern Ukraine.

"Once again, absolutely unfounded accusations are being made against the Russian side, aimed at discrediting Russia in the eyes of the international community," the foreign ministry said in a statement on its website.

In the statement, Moscow said it had been ready to provide "all-round assistance to the investigation" from the first day, but argued it had been frozen out of the investigation.

The foreign ministry said information given by the Russian side had been ignored. Russia has long denied all involvement in the downing of the jet.

"You know our attitude towards this investigation. Russia had no opportunity to take part in it even though it showed initiative from... the very first days of this tragedy," President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

On Wednesday Dutch-led international investigators issues arrest warrants for three Russians and a Ukrainian, saying they would go on trial in March next year. 

However they are likely to be tried in absentia in the Netherlands as neither Russia nor Ukraine extradites their nationals.

Meanwhile, Kiev urged Russia to admit responsibility over the 2014 downing of passenger flight MH17 over rebel-held eastern Ukraine that left 298 people dead, after charges were laid by international investigators.

"We call on the Russian Federation to acknowledge its responsibility for supplying arms" to Kremlin-backed rebels in the region, Ukraine's foreign ministry said in a statement.

It urged Moscow "to cooperate with the probe", referring to international investigators who earlier issued arrest warrants for four suspects, three of them Russian nationals.

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