FOREIGN ministers of the powerful G7 countries have called on Russia to account for its alleged role in the downing of the doomed Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17.
In a joint statement issued ahead of tragedy’s fourth anniversary which falls on July 17, the ministers said they were united in its support of Australia and the Netherlands as they call on Russia to cooperate fully with the process to establish the truth and achieve justice for the victims of MH17 and their next of kin.
The G7 foreign ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, US, and the High Representative of the European Union, said they were united in their condemnation in the strongest possible terms of the downing of flight MH17, a civilian aircraft flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur on July 17, 2014.
“We fully support the work of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), an independent criminal investigation led by the Netherlands, Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and Ukraine,” said the statement.
“The JIT’s findings on Russia’s role in the downing of MH17 are compelling, significant and deeply disturbing.”
The UN Security Council Resolution 2166 demanded that all states cooperate fully with efforts to establish accountability, the statement said.
“In a rules-based international order, those responsible for unacceptable actions, such as the firing or launching of the BUK missile of Russian origin, which intercepted and downed a civilian aircraft, must be held accountable.”
“To this end, we call on Russia to immediately engage with Australia and the Netherlands in good faith to explain and to address all relevant questions regarding any potential breaches of international law.”
“We express once again our deepest condolences to the families of the victims of MH17. We stand together against the impunity of those who engage in aggressive actions that threaten the rules-based international order, anywhere, anytime, and under any circumstances.”
MH17 was carrying nationals of Australia, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the Philippines, Romania, South Africa, Vietnam, the United Kingdom and the United States of America, the group said.
The missile attack killed all 298 passengers and crew members. In October 2015, the Dutch Safety Board concluded that the Boeing 777 was struck by a Russian-made Buk missile.
Russia has consistently denied the alleged involvement in the downing of the flight, insisting that the aircraft was shot down by Ukranian forces.
The Russian maker of Buk missiles came up with its report attempting to clear the pro-Russia separatists of any involvement in downing the plane.
Meanwhile, the Malaysian government reiterated its appreciation for the JIT presentation on May 24 which confirmed that the plane was shot down by a Russian unit.
The Southeast Asian country’s Transport Minister Anthony Loke said it was resolved in its pursuit to prosecute those responsible for the incident.
“Our commitment to the families and loved ones remains steadfast as we, along with the JIT countries continue finding the answers that we all seek to bring the perpetrators to justice.”