Wednesday

22nd May 2019

MH17 culprits still not identified, one year on

  • After the crash, the bodies of the victims were driven through the Netherlands (Photo: Edith Zwagerman)

Friday (17 July) will mark one year since the MH17 disaster in east Ukraine, but an investigation into the cause has not yet identified who shot it down.

US broadcaster CNN reported on Wednesday that a draft version of a Dutch investigative report into the events points to pro-Russian rebels as being responsible.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

  • Commemorative sign in Malaysia (Photo: Sonia)

The news outlet based its story on one source it said has seen the draft report of the Dutch Safety Board, which is leading the probe.

Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant on Thursday nuanced the CNN story. Based on multiple sources in the Dutch government, the paper notes the draft report does not yet include complete proof.

“The report only states that the plane was downed by a [Russian-made] Buk missile. But not where that missile came from, or who pushed the button”, one source told the paper.

On 17 July 2014, Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 from Amsterdam crashed on its way to Kuala Lumpur, in the Ukrainian region Donetsk, a scene of heavy fighting between the Ukrainian army and Russia’s hybrid forces.

All 298 people on board the plane died. Two-thirds of them were Dutch.

The disaster marked a turning point in the conflict, when EU states imposed far-reaching economic sanctions on Russia.

The measures were recently refreshed until January next year.

But the dispute over MH17 remains central to the dossier, and could impact future sanctions decisions.

Although several witnesses have pointed to the Russian side, Russia denies responsibility and its media have sowed consipracy theories blaming Ukraine.

The Dutch government, together with its counterparts from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, and Ukraine, have been unable to persuade Russia to agree to the set-up of an international tribunal to prosecute the perpetrators.

On Wednesday, the Russian foreign ministry repeated that an MH17 tribunal would be “counter-productive”. Russia can stop such a United Nations' tribunal with its veto in the UN Security Council (UNSC).

Possibly next Tuesday (21 July), the UNSC will vote on the tribunal.

Meanwhile, Russian state news agency Tass reported that, according to a Russian investigation committee, the missile which shot down MH17 was “not Russian-made”.

In a press statement, the Dutch Safety Board noted the “draft final report is confidential” for the time being and that it will not comment.

It expects to publish the final report by mid-October 2015.

EU foreign policy faces test after MH17 shootdown

EU foreign policy is facing a major test today as ministers gather in Brussels to consider their response to the suspected downing of the Malaysia Airlines flight by Russia-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine.

News in Brief

  1. Poll: Denmark set to double number of liberal MEPs
  2. European brands 'breaking' chemical safety rules
  3. Report: Merkel was lobbied to accept EU top job
  4. May struggling to get Brexit deal passed at fourth vote
  5. German MPs show interest in 'Magnitsky' sanctions
  6. CoE: Rights violations in Hungary 'must be addressed'
  7. EU affairs ministers rubber-stamp new ban on plastics
  8. Private companies campaign to boost turnout in EU poll

Opinion

Closer EU-Caribbean ties mean greater prosperity for all

The foreign affairs minister of Haiti calls for the replacement EU-Africa, Caribbean, Pacific 'Cotonou' agreement of 2000 to be updated to take account climate change, infrastructure and tourism to help the country transition away from aid-dependence.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  3. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  4. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  5. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  6. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Secretary General: Nordic co-operation must benefit everybody
  11. Platform for Peace and JusticeMEP Kati Piri: “Our red line on Turkey has been crossed”
  12. UNICEF2018 deadliest year yet for children in Syria as war enters 9th year

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us