Press release on Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s telephone conversation with Foreign Minister of the Netherlands Stef Blok

Friday, 25 May 2018 13:41

On May 25, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had a telephone conversation with Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands Stef Blok on the latter’s initiative.

Mr Blok informed Mr Lavrov about the preliminary results of the criminal investigation into the July 7, 2014 Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash in eastern Ukraine, presented on May 24, 2018, at a news conference with members of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT).

Mr Lavrov resolutely rejected charges of Russia’s complicity in the tragedy as unsubstantiated and groundless. It was noted that the JIT, whose activities have been repeatedly criticised by Russia, completely ignored important evidence submitted by the Russian side, including unprocessed initial radar control data for monitoring the airspace situation, the results of a life-size simulation conducted by the Almaz-Antey Air and Space Defence Corporation that manufactures Buk air-defence systems and other information from technical experts. According to Mr Lavrov, these charges were formulated even before the Russian side finished responding to the requests of the Dutch Chief Prosecutor’s Office as regards the provision of legal assistance during the investigation of the flight MH17 crash.

Mr Lavrov noted the openly biased and lopsided nature of the investigation. The investigators decided not to evaluate the fact that the Ukrainian aviation authorities had failed to close the airspace over the conflict zone. Nor did they demand that the Ukrainian side provide air-traffic control data or question the controller who had monitored flight MH17 on the radar screen. He noted other shortcomings and discrepancies in the version being presented by the Dutch authorities.

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