Russian Embassy condemns Reinsalu statement on MH17 downing

Russian embassy on Pikk Street in Tallinn's Old Town.
Russian embassy on Pikk Street in Tallinn's Old Town. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

The Russian Embassy in Estonia condemned a statement released by Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) on the fifth anniversary of the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 (MH17) in which the minister called on Russia to accept its role in this tragedy.

"Russia must accept its role in this tragedy and cooperate fully with the ongoing investigation," Reinsalu in a statement released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday.

According to the Russian Embassy, statements in which Russia has already been declared guilty should be considered attempts to influence an impartial investigation and analysis.

"It must be emphasized that, in spite of such statements, Russia has maintained its full willingness to cooperate in identifying the true perpetrators of this monstrous crime," the embassy said in its own statement.

This task is entirely feasible once political and propagandist approaches are left out of it, the embassy said.

Russia denies allegations

An international investigation has determined that MH17, en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was downed on July 17, 2014, by a Russian-made Buk missile fired from an area of Eastern Ukraine under separatist control. All of the 298 passengers and crew on board were killed. Of the victims, 196 were Dutch and 36 Australian nationals.

The Netherlands and Australia consider Russia to be responsible for the downing of MH17.

Last month, international investigators charged Russians Igor Girkin, Sergei Dubinskiy and Oleg Putalov and Ukrainian Leonid Kharchenko in absentia in connection with the downing. All four have links to rebels in Eastern Ukraine.

Russia has denied any involvement in the tragedy, and President Vladimir Putin has said that there is no evidence to back Moscow's guilt.

Malaysia's support of the investigation of the downing has also come under question as its prime minister, Mahathir Mohamad, has stated that Russia has been scapegoated in the investigations.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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