There was no reason to warn airlines about safety issues in Ukrainian airspace in the days prior to the MH17 crash, security minister Ivo Opstelten said on Friday.
There were no ‘valid details’ which required passing on to airlines, Opstelten told reporters shortly before the weekly cabinet meeting. In addition, the Ukrainian authorities had cleared airspace above 10 km, the minister said.
Opstelten was responding to questions following the publication of a ministerial briefing which confirmed Ukraine had informed the Netherlands about the dangerous situation in its airspace prior to the crash in July. However, this had not been passed on to airlines.
Three days before the disaster, a Ukrainian cargo plane was shot down above the eastern part of the country where pro-Russian rebels are fighting government forces. A spokesman updated ‘diplomats from a wide group of friendly countries’ about this.
Foreign minister Bert Koenders also told reporters there was no reason to pass on the information to airlines. Asked if sharing the information could have prevented the plane being shot down Koenders said ‘No, absolutely not’.
On Tuesday the Dutch security service regulator said it was investigating exactly what the security services knew about the situation in eastern Ukraine prior to the MH17 crash.
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