Australia and Netherlands in talks with Russia over downed Malaysia jet
SYDNEY, Australia – Australia and the Netherlands on Wednesday, March 27, said they were in talks with Russia over the ongoing investigation into the downing of flight MH17 over Ukraine.
The Malaysia Airlines jet was hit by a Russian-made BUK missile over war-torn eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014, killing all 298 passengers.
Close to two thirds of those killed on the flight between Amsterdam and Kuala Lumpur were Dutch, while 38 Australians were also lost.
Last year Australia and the Netherlands blamed Russia for the disaster.
Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne and her Dutch counterpart Stef Blok said Wednesday they were making progress on finding those responsible for the disaster after starting trilateral meetings with Russia earlier this month.
"We cannot go into the content of the process because confidentiality is vital here," Blok told reporters in Sydney.
"But I can say this: we remain committed to achieving truth, justice and accountability."
International investigators concluded that the BUK came from a Russian military brigade based in southwestern Kursk which had crossed into Ukraine.
Moscow has vehemently denied any responsibility.
Five countries – Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Ukraine – continue to investigate the disaster.
"Australia remains a strong supporter of the prosecution of the individuals responsible," Payne said.
Russia also confirmed Wednesday the trilateral meetings had taken place.
"They agreed they would be confidential," deputy foreign minister Alexander Grushko told reporters in Moscow.
Grushko said there was "no agreements" in place yet for the next meeting, TASS state news agency reported. – Rappler.com