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No proof to link Russia was behind downing of MH17 aircraft: Putin

A Malaysian air crash investigator inspects the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17. Photograph:( Reuters )

AFP Moscow Jun 20, 2019, 07.28 PM (IST)

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday the international community had failed to provide any evidence that Moscow was behind the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in which 298 people died.

"What we've seen as evidence of Russia's guilt absolutely does not suit us. We believe that there is no proof there," Putin told reporters. 

On Wednesday, international investigators charged three Russians and a Ukrainian over the downing of the plane in eastern Ukraine in 2014.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had said on Thursday that Russia must ensure that those charged with murder over the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 face justice.

"We call upon Russia to... ensure that any indicted individuals currently in Russia face justice," Pompeo said in a statement.

The authorities have opened criminal proceedings against the suspects behind the crash.

The Dutch-led probe said it was going to prosecute Russian nationals Igor Girkin, Sergey Dubinskiy and Oleg Pulatov as well as Ukrainian Leonid Kharchenko over the downing of the Malaysia Airlines plane.