UK backs call to hold Russia responsible in MH17 case

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The U.K. fully supports Australia and the Netherlands in their request to Russia to “accept state responsibility” regarding the downing of the Malaysian passenger plane MH17 in Ukraine in 2014, British foreign secretary said Friday.

Axar.az informs citing AA.

The British support came shortly after the Dutch Foreign Ministry said on its website Friday that both Dutch and Australian governments held Russia responsible for downing the aircraft.

An international investigation team said on Thursday a Russian missile shot down flight MH17 in Ukraine in 2014.

“I would like once again to offer my condolences to the families and friends of those so tragically killed by the downing of flight MH17 on 17 July 2014, and to thank the joint investigation team for its painstaking work,” Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said.

“It is vital that this work continues towards prosecution,” he said.

“The 298 people, including 10 British nationals, who lost their lives in such horrific circumstances, deserve justice.”

Johnson said earlier investigations concluded the aircraft was “brought down by a Russian-made Buk missile system, launched from within territory held by Russian-backed separatist groups”, but “we now know that that missile belonged to the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Military Brigade of the Russian army.”

British foreign secretary added “the Kremlin believes it can act with impunity”.

Johnson underlined Russia “must now answer for its actions in relation to the downing of MH17”.

“The U.K. fully supports Australia and the Netherlands in their request to the Russian Federation to accept state responsibility, and to cooperate with them in their efforts to deliver justice for the victims of this tragedy,” he said.

He also accused Russia of undermining the investigation through “the deluge of disinformation” and urged Russia to “provide any requested assistance to the investigation”.

“This is an egregious example of the Kremlin’s disregard for innocent life,” Johnson added.

“The international community has witnessed this irresponsible and destabilising pattern of behaviour in Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea, in its fomenting of conflict in eastern Ukraine, which has led to the death of over 10,300 people, and in its shielding of President Assad’s brutal regime as he uses chemical weapons against his own people.”

The U.K. will continue to offer its full support to the efforts of the joint investigation team, the Dutch and Australian authorities and other grieving nations to deliver accountability for this terrible act and justice for all those who died.

Meanwhile, a British government statement said Prime Minister Theresa May spoke on the phone with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko Thursday night to extend U.K.’s strong support for Ukraine.

“The prime minister reiterated the U.K.’s strong support for Ukraine, including our commitment to maintaining pressure on Russia through EU sanctions,” the statement said.

The two leaders “discussed the announcement by the joint investigation team that the missile which brought down flight MH17 belonged to the Russian army – pointing out that such actions fit into a well-established pattern of Russian aggression”.

“The prime minister offered the U.K.’s full support to the investigation team which is looking into the incident, which saw 10 U.K. citizens lose their lives,” the statement said.

May also discussed with Poroshenko “how the international response to the poisoning incident in Salisbury had shown that coordinated action by a broad range of allies is the most effective way to respond to Russian aggression,” the statement added.

2018.05.25 / 18:39
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