PACE regrets Russia’s withdrawal from MH17 talks
PACE’s rapporteur has regretted the withdrawal of Russia from trilateral talks with the Netherlands and Australia concerning the 2014 downing of flight MH17.
“The Russian withdrawal from the trilateral talks sends a painful signal, first and foremost to the victims’ families. In their interest, dialogue must be stepped up, not ended. The filing of an inter-state application before the European Court of Human Rights is not an unfriendly act that would justify an adverse reaction. It is the normal, legitimate use of a procedural remedy foreseen by the Convention, which all States Parties have signed and ratified,” reads the statement of PACE’s rapporteur on ensuring accountability for the downing of flight MH17 Titus Corlăţean (Romania, SOC).
Last week, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation announced it saw no point in continuing consultations with Australia and the Netherlands concerning the downing of flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine.
This happened after the Netherlands filed an interstate lawsuit against Russia at the European Court of Human Rights.
In March 2020, the District Court of The Hague began the consideration of the case of the downing of flight MH17 in the sky over Donbas.
Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was shot down over conflict-hit Donbas in July 2014. There were 283 passengers and 15 crew members on board. All of them died. The international Joint Investigation Team reported that the plane had been shot down from a Buk missile system that belongs to the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade of the Russian Armed Forces stationed in Kursk.
On June 19, 2019, the JIT named four suspects believed to be involved in the transportation and combat use of the Buk missile system, from which MH17 flight had been downed. Three of them are Russians: Igor Girkin (Strelkov), former colonel in Russia’s FSB intelligence service and former so-called defense minister of the so-called “Donetsk People’s Republic”; Sergey Dubinskiy, general (at the time of downing – colonel) of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces and head of the so-called “Main Intelligence Directorate of the Donetsk People’s Republic”; Oleg Pulatov, lieutenant colonel of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces. The fourth suspect is Leonid Kharchenko, a Ukrainian civilian, who fought on the side of the so-called “Donetsk People’s Republic.”