News Brief

EU Pressure On Moscow Ahead of 4th Anniversary of Shooting Down of Malaysian Flight MH17

The leaders of the 28 member states of the European Union have called on Russia to accept responsibility for the shooting down of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine four years ago this month, which killed all 298 people on board.

Russia has repeatedly rejected the conclusions of a Dutch-led international investigation that said it was a Russian-supplied anti-aircraft missile that brought down the passenger jet on July 17, 2014.

But at their recent summit in Brussels, EU heads of state reiterated their support for United Nations resolution 2166 concerning the downing of flight MH-17 and called on Moscow “to accept its responsibility and fully cooperate with all efforts to establish truth, justice and accountability.”

The majority of victims on board the flight, which was heading from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, were from the Netherlands but citizens from nine other countries also died in the crash.

Russia has reacted to the conclusions from the Dutch Safety Board and the Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team into the disaster with a host of counter-theories, as part of what critics say is a deliberate policy of disinformation aimed at sowing doubt and confusion.

Although no specific suspects have been named, the Dutch chief prosecutor, Fred Westerbeke, said that 100 people have been identified as “persons of interest” to the investigation.