Peters 'deeply concerned' over MH17 missile confirmation

File The Netherlands and Australia hold Russia responsible for the downing of flight MH17 in July 2014

MH17 was shot down over rebel-held territory in Eastern Ukraine in 2014, killing all 298 aboard including 28 Australians as it flew from Amsterdam en route to Kuala Lumpur. There were no survivors. Two-thirds of the passengers were Dutch. Thanks to the thorough and professional work of the investigators, we now know that that missile belonged to the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Military Brigade of the Russian army. The day after the downing, Orion is heard saying, "We got a BUK now...."

On Thursday, Russia criticized the Joint Investigation Team, or JIT, for relying on claims by Bellingcat.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday his Dutch counterpart had been unable to provide evidence of Russia's involvement in the crash, the Russian TASS news agency reported.

She said the findings could have an impact on Australia's ties with Russian Federation.

The Russian foreign ministry later said "it is clear that these gratuitous accusations are an attempt to discredit our nation in the eyes of the worldwide community".

The Russian government has long denied involvement in the crash, saying on Thursday that its missile launchers have never entered Ukraine - despite photo evidence provided by global investigators.

". We have been part of the joint investigation team for nearly four years now, and we will continue to pursue this matter to obtain justice for the victims and the families of those who are still grieving over the loss of their loved ones", she added. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said, according to USA Today. "They didn't give us this information, although a Buk from their military forces was used".

It's alleged it had crossed back several days later with one missile missing.

"The 53rd Brigade forms part of the Russian armed forces", he told reporters Thursday.

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Shows part of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 at the crash site in the village of Hrabove (Grabovo), some 80 km east of Donetsk, September 09, 2014.

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop on Friday called for global support for the Dutch-Australian legal initiative.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who was on a visit to India yesterday, cut his trip short, returning to The Hague to discuss the topic during the weekly meeting of his cabinet.

Piet Ploeg, a member of a foundation for victims' relatives, said the Dutch government should not consider legal steps against Russian Federation. "It must go beyond legal exploration after this", board member Piet Ploeg was quoted by broadcaster NOS as saying.

In a statement, the US Department of State urged Russian Federation "to adhere to UNSCR 2166 and respond to Australia's and the Netherlands' legitimate requests" and said that Moscow's aggression had led to 10,300 conflict-related deaths, including those of flight MH-17.

Spokeswoman Martina Fietz said Friday the German government accepts and supports the investigators' report.

"The foreign minister of the Netherlands called me to say they have no doubts that the Buk came from Russia", Lavrov said.

The Russian foreign ministry also denounced what it called an attempt to "discredit Russia in the eyes of the worldwide community", but investigators, who painstaking recreated the BUK missile system's route from Kursk across the border into rebel-held eastern Ukraine using videos and photos, stood by their findings.


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