The Netherlands has no doubts about American support for its investigation into the downing of flight MH17 despite reports that US officials withheld a statement blaming Russia, the foreign affairs ministry said on Thursday.
‘Over the past few months, the US has made many statements which lead the Netherlands to conclude we are supported in the MH17 case,’ a spokesman for foreign minister Stef Blok said.
‘US secretary of state Mike Pompeo strengthened that support at a news conference on Wednesday, as has the US ambassador to the Netherlands,’ the spokesman said.
The US did not issue a statement on July 17, the four-year anniversary of the disaster, in which nearly 300 people died.
According to website Foreignpolicy.com ‘the department prepared to criticize Russia’s role in the 2014 downing of a civilian airliner over Ukraine, but the statement was never released’.
There are suggestions that the decision not to publish the statement was taken in the wake of president Donald Trump’s controversial meeting with Russia’s Vladimir Putin.
In May, the Netherlands said it is holding Russia liable for its role in the shooting down of flight MH17 in July 2014.
The decision to hold Russia responsible followed the publication of a report by investigators looking into the crash, who said the Buk missile which brought down the plane was fired by a weapons system in the hands of a Russian brigade.
Russia has repeatedly denied all responsibility for the air disaster.
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