EU summit calls on Russia to accept responsibility for downing of flight MH17

The leaders of 28 EU member states called on Russia to accept responsibility for downing Malaysian Boeing 777 flight MH17, which was shot down in the skies over the Donetsk region on July 17, 2014.

The EU Council published a statement on their website outlining conclusions of the first day of the summit held in Brussels, attended by EU heads of state and government. “The European Council reiterates its full support for the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 2166 concerning the downing of flight MH-17,” the statement reads. “It calls on the Russian Federation to accept responsibility and fully cooperate with all efforts to establish truth, justice, and accountability.”

The Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 flight MH17 was shot down on July 17, 2014 over separatist-held territory of the Donetsk region. All 298 people on board were killed. Passengers of the flight included citizens of 10 countries. The majority of the victims (196 people) were citizens of the Netherlands.

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT)—which includes representatives from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands, and Ukraine—has carried out criminal investigation of the tragedy. The countries participating in the investigation have agreed not to create a separate tribunal, and decided that those responsible would be brought before the Dutch court.

On May 24, 2018, the JIT presented additional evidence of Russia’s crucial role in the tragic air disaster. The JIT concluded that the Buk ground-to-air missile system that shot down the passenger airplane was in service of the 53rd anti-aircraft missile brigade of the Russian Armed Forces stationed in Kursk.

On May 25, the Dutch government took steps to hold Russia accountable for the crash of flight MH17, a process which will be managed separately from prosecuting the perpetrators.

Australia stated it will seek payment of compensation from Russia to the families of the MH17 crash victims.

The President of Ukraine instructed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to immediately submit proposals on joining the Netherlands-Australia-initiated case against Russia at the interstate level in connection with this air disaster.

  Russia, EU, MH17, Netherlands