A legal action against Russia at the United Nations, UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization, by Australia and the Netherlands has begun.
Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was travelling over conflict-hit Ukraine on 17 July, 2014 when it disappeared from radar.
A total of 283 passengers, including 80 children, and 15 crew members were on board.
The plane crashed after being hit by a Russian-made Buk missile over eastern Ukraine, a 15-month investigation by the Dutch Safety Board (DSB) found in October 2015.
In September 2016, an international team of criminal investigators said evidence showed the Buk missile had been brought in from Russian territory and was fired from a field controlled by Russian-backed separatists.
The Dutch-led joint investigation team (JIT) concluded in May 2018 that the missile system belonged to a Russian brigade, and Australia and the Netherlands announced both were holding Russia responsible for downing the aircraft.
However, both countries are combining to take action against Russia over the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight.
This was made known in a statement issued by Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, Foreign Minister, Marise Payne and Attorney General, Michaelia Cash on Monday, according to CNN.
“The Russian Federation’s refusal to take responsibility for its role in the downing of Flight MH17 is unacceptable and the Australian Government has always said that it will not exclude any legal options in our pursuit of justice,” the statement said.
According to the statement, since October 2020 when Russia left the negotiations table, they have refused to return.
The negotiations were with Australia and the Netherlands regarding the shooting down of Flight MH17, but the Russians unilaterally withdrew despite repeated requests by the two countries.
Both countries said they will argue in the court that it was actually Russia that supplied the separatists with the missile system used in the attack then took it back afterward.
They said, “The missile could only have been fired by the trained Russian crew of the Buk-TELAR, or at least by someone acting under their instruction, direction or control.”