Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is upset that Russia’s “materials” on the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 over Ukraine are considered either superficially or are totally ignored.
He said this after a meeting with his Dutch counterpart Stef Blok on Friday, Russian agency TASS reported. The hunt for those who brought down flight MH17 was the main issue discussed by the duo.
“Our facts, our remarks and our comments are not fully taken into account by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) and the materials transferred by us are considered either superficially or selectively or are simply ignored,” he was quoted as saying.
He was commenting on the probe into Flight MH17, a Boeing-777 passenger plane travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, which was shot down on July 17, 2014, over Ukraine’s eastern region of Donetsk.
All 298 people on board flight MH17 were killed when it was struck by a missile, causing the plane to crash into fields in eastern Ukraine. Two-thirds of the passengers on the flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur were Dutch. The Netherlands is leading the investigation.
DutchNews reported that the JIT’s preliminary investigations concluded last year that the plane was shot down from Ukrainian farmland by a BUK missile ‘controlled by pro-Russian fighters’. That conclusion has been disputed by Russia, which claims that Ukrainian fighters were responsible.
The investigation into the crash is being conducted by the JIT, comprising representatives of Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Ukraine.
According to TASS, Lavrov said Russia had answered all questions, without any exception, posed by the Dutch Prosecutor’s Office on this crash.
“We, indeed, rendered assistance to the investigation during its technical stage as well. We are continuing the assistance now that a criminal investigation is underway.”
He said there was a substantial volume of information, including primary unprocessed radar observation data on the air situation at the time of the Malaysian airliner’s crash.
“These data clearly indicate, which directions the missile could fly from and from which it could not,” Lavrov was quoted as saying by TASS.
He said in the data Russia had “clearly indicated” the missile did not come from the direction that it was said to have come. He complained that this evidence had not been accepted and Russia was told that two independent experts had stated, “after examining the data of our objective radar control that our radars had simply been unable to spot it because it flew quickly”.
He denied accusations that Russia was trying to lead the investigation astray.
He asked why the Dutch authorities had not asked why Ukraine did not close its airspace.
Lavrov said: “Not a single Ukrainian air controller who was on duty on that day was questioned and the investigators have not received the Ukrainian radar observation data.”
He urged investigators not to disregard any version of what happened. He said they should “not to try to fit all the available data into a version that is well known and was numerously mentioned in the media even before the investigation’s completion”.
TASS said in September 2016, international investigators published the results of their probe, claiming that the missile that brought down the plane was launched from a Buk air defense system near the town of Pervomaiskoye to the south of the settlement of Snezhnoye, which at that time was under the control of the eastern Ukrainian militias.
According to TASS, the Russian analysis of the primary radar’s data refutes the possibility of a missile launch targeting the Boeing from the area to the east of the crash scene, including from Snezhnoye.
DutchNews quoted Jirko Patist, spokesman for the Dutch prosecution service, as saying the type of radar used by the Russians filtered out high-speed objects and that the type of Buk missile implicated in the shooting down of MH17 flew three times as fast as a passenger jet.
Patist said the two experts had also discounted alternative scenarios put forward by Russia, such as the suggestion that MH17 could have been shot down by a fighter plane. No other aircraft was detected in the vicinity of the airliner at the time the missile was fired, they concluded.
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