Estonia considers the investigative report published Thursday concerning the shooting-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 over Eastern Ukraine to be clear evidence of Russia's involvement, and wants those who caused the catastrophe to be held accountable, Foreign Minister Sven Mikser (SDE) said.
"The report is definitely very clear evidence of the Russian armed forces being directly involved in the shooting-down of MH17, which they have denied so far," Mikser told the Baltic News Service on Friday.
"This means that the Russian authorities must cooperate to ensure that the culprits are held accountable, which so far they have not done," the minister added.
"In a broader sense, this once again proves Russia's direct participation in the Ukrainian conflict. I believe that this is also considerable evidence of the extent of the Russian armed forces' involvement in what is happening in Eastern Ukraine," Mikser said.
The minister commended the statement made by EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini on Friday, in which she called for Russia to admit its responsibility. "The [European Union's foreign policy] chief has issued a very clear and concrete statement the principles of which I can definitely agree with," Mikser said.
The minister added that the issue will also be discussed at a meeting of the European Union's Foreign Affairs Council, to be held in Brussels on Monday. "We will thoroughly familiarise with the opinions of all colleagues, and discuss this issue in detail on Monday. After that it will be possible to talk in more detail about what to do in order to ensure that all those responsible are held accountable," Mikser said.
"It is clear that the Russian authorities have not shown the necessary cooperation to find out the truth and hold those responsible accountable," Mikser stressed, adding that this is something that needs to be "resolutely demanded" from Russia.
Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur with 298 passengers and crew on board, was shot down on 17 July, 2014. All those on board were killed. 196 of the passengers and crew were citizens of the Netherlands. Citizens of altogether 17 nations were on board the aircraft.
The team that investigated the incident announced on Thursday that "the plane was destroyed by a Russian-made Buk missile," adding that it had been supplied by Russia's 53rd Anti-Aircraft Brigade in Kursk. The Netherlands and Australia, the countries with the most citizens among the victims, said on Friday that they are holding Russia responsible for the shooting-down of MH17.
Editor: Dario Cavegn