MH17: Russia remains open to cooperation, urges impartial investigation

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) – Russia remains open to cooperation in the investigation of the catastrophic downing of Malaysia Airlines’ Flight MH17 as the world marked the fifth anniversary of the tragedy on Wednesday.

The Embassy of Russia in Malaysia, in a statement issued yesterday, also called for dialogue and cooperation with investigators involved in the crash in finding the truth.

“Russia strongly believes that the path to the truth lies through dialogue and cooperation.

“We strongly believe that only by conducting the investigation in a truly politics-free and professional manner can we identify what caused the crash and obtain the truth once and for all,” the statement said.

It added that while Russia was not permitted to take part in the investigation, it had worked with the Netherlands, the Dutch Safety Board and the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) from the start, sharing all the information it had on the MH17 crash.

Friends and family of victims from Malaysia Airlines’ Flight MH17 plane crash attend a ceremony marking the fifth anniversary of the tragedy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. – AP

Flight MH17 was flying from Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport to Kuala Lumpur when it was shot down near Torez in Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine – about 40 kilometres from the Russian border – on July 17, 2014. All 298 people on board, including 15 crew members, perished.

Passengers on board MH17  were from Malaysia, the Netherlands, Australia, Indo-nesia, the United Kingdom (UK), Belgium, Germany, New Zealand, Canada and the Philippines.

In the Netherlands on June 19 this year, Dutch-led international investigators charged four people – three Russians and one Ukranian – with murder over the tragedy.

However, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had said Malaysia was unhappy with the latest report on the downing of flight MH17, saying “there is no proof, only hearsay.”