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MH17: Many questions unanswered despite Dutch report, claims Russia

THARANYA ARUMUGAM

tharanya@nst.com.my

KUALA LUMPUR: Russia has expressed its dissatisfaction with the Dutch Safety Board’s final investigation report on MH17, and says there are still many questions left unanswered.

Russian Ambassador to Malaysia Dr Valery N. Yermolov, at a press conference today, said the Russian experts were not given access to the investigation into Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.

“Russian experts have yet to examine the report on the technical investigation into the crash of the Malaysian Boeing airliner carried out by the Dutch Safety Board.

“We had repeatedly voiced misgivings about how the investigation was conducted, but the situation remained unchanged in this respect.”

Russia, he said has been calling for an unbiased, comprehensive and transparent investigation into the Malaysian Boeing crash from the outset.

“We expected Russian experts to be able to access all the information available to the group. “However, Russia’s proposals to carry out the investigation in such a way as to ensure its transparency relying on the Security Council were ignored.”

Yermolov said Malaysian leaders should not play the blame game and point finger at Russia, but should work towards finding the perpetrators that caused the downing of MH17.

“I was a little bit surprised and disappointed when the leaders of Malaysia said the aircraft was downed by the Russian-made Buk missile,” he said.

He said Russia is ready to work with Malaysia and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to find the truth and continue the investigation to bring the perpetrators to justice.

“The Dutch Safety Board report did not state the exact point from which the missile was launched, but there were claims in Malaysia that the plane was downed by pro-Russian rebels,” he said.

Yermolov said there were many other former Soviet Union countries, such as Greece which were armed with similar Buk missiles.

He further explained that the missiles owned by the Russian does not contain the shrapnel in shape of butterflies, which were found on the fuselage of MH17.

“Our missiles, on the other hand, only contain shrapnel in the shape of parallelepiped,” he said.

“The Buk missile mentioned in the report was developed in 1986 during war with the Soviet Union army after the Independence declaration.

“It had the warranty of 25 years. Russia does not own such missile since 2011 but the Ukranian army owns 520 missiles to date,” he added.

The Dutch Safety Board, had on Tuesday, unveiled its final report on the crash in July 2014 that flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine by a Russian-made Buk missile. However, it did not identify who fired it.

All 298 people on MH17, the majority of them Dutch were killed.

The report stated that the missile had exploded less than a metre from the aircraft cockpit, breaking off the front of the plane.

The Boeing 777 broke up in the air and crashed over a large area in eastern Ukraine controlled by pro- Russian separatists who had been fighting the government troops there since April last year.

The final report said a study of the missile trajectory showed that it was launched from from somewhere in an area of 320 sq km in eastern Ukraine.

Sources : http://www.nst.com.my/news/2015/10/mh17-many-questions-unanswered-despite-dutch-report-claims-russia