Tuesday 27 July 2021

Russia pulls out of ‘pointless’ talks on MH17 after Dutch European court move

A reconstruction of the wreckage of MH17 by the Dutch Safety Board.

Russia has told the Netherlands and Australia that it will no longer take part in talks about who is responsible for the MH17 air disaster.

Moscow is pulling out of the talks because the Netherlands has begun legal proceedings against Russia at the European Court of Human Rights. ‘Such unfriendly actions of the Netherlands make trilateral consultations and our participation in them pointless,’ website Russia Today quotes the Russian foreign ministry as saying.

The Netherlands said in July it had decided to take court action against Russia.

‘Achieving justice for 298 victims of the downing of flight MH17 is and will remain the government’s highest priority,’ said foreign minister Stef Blok at the time. ‘By taking this step today – bringing a case before the ECtHR and thus supporting the applications of the next of kin as much as we can – we are moving closer to this goal.’

Blok said in response to the Russian decision to pull out of the talks that the move would be ‘extremely painful’ for the next of kin of those who died. The Dutch cabinet would not rule out any option in its efforts to get justice for the victims and their families, he said.

Two years ago, the Netherlands and Australia held Russia responsible for its role in the downing of the flight after a Joint Investigation Team found that the BUK missile which shot down the flight came from a Russian army brigade. Moscow has always denied any involvement.

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