Dutch were aware of Ukraine airspace risks before MH17: claim

AANKOMST MH17 SLACHTOFFERS HILVERSUMThe Dutch foreign affairs and defence ministries were aware that Russian ground to air missiles were in eastern Ukraine three days before flight MH17 was shot down, according to television current affairs programme Argos.

A report on a diplomatic briefing in Kiev on July 14, written by a Dutch diplomat, states that Ukraine warned officials of the danger in Ukrainian airspace. The meeting was called on the same day as a Ukrainian military plane was shot down.

Prime minister Mark Rutte has so far refused to make the report public, saying it could damage diplomatic relations between the two countries. However, a copy is in the hands of Argos researchers

The report, written by the interim head of the Dutch embassy in Kiev, states that the Ukrainian plane, an Antonov 26, could only have been shot down using Russian equipment or by the Russian military ‘given the separatists do not have this sort of equipment’.

The shooting down of the Antonov was the ‘most recent concrete example’ of the ‘critical and dangerous’ situation in the east of the country.

Until now, Dutch ministers had said that the briefing concerned the ‘possible deployment’ of ground to air missiles.

Three days after the briefing, MH17 was shot down, killing 298 people, most of them Dutch. There is mounting evidence the plane was brought down by a BUK rocket of Russian origin.

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