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Australia, Netherlands Hold Russia Responsible for MH17 Downing - Embassies

© REUTERS / Maxim Zmeyev / A Malaysian air crash investigator inspects the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, near the village of Hrabove (Grabovo) in Donetsk region, Ukraine, July 22, 2014
A Malaysian air crash investigator inspects the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, near the village of Hrabove (Grabovo) in Donetsk region, Ukraine, July 22, 2014 - Sputnik International
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Australia and the Netherlands consider Russia responsible for downing of flight MH17 in 2014, and are requesting that Russia enter into negotiations with them "in relation to these breaches of international law," the countries’ embassies said in a letter to the Russian Foreign Ministry, released by the Dutch government on Friday.

"Australia and the Kingdom of the Netherlands consider that the Russian Federation, through its role in the downing of flight MH17 on 17 July 2014, has breached several obligations under international law… These breaches of international law constitute internationally wrongful acts for which the Russian Federation bears responsibility," the statement read.

Australia and the Netherlands are calling on Russia to accept responsibility for "those internationally wrongful acts," provide guarantees with assurances "and guarantees of non-repetition," as well as to provide full reparation to the countries.

"Australia and the Kingdom of the Netherlands request that the Russian Federation enters into negotiations with them in relation to these breaches of international law by the Russian Federation and the legal consequences that flow from them. Australia and the Kingdom of the Netherlands request a prompt response from the Russian Federation to this request," the statement read.

Following the statements, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said that Russia was responsible for the deployment of a missile system that shot down MH17.

On Thursday, head of the Dutch National Police's Central Crime Investigation department Wilbert Paulissen said that the missile, which downed Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine in 2014, was launched by the Buk TELAR belonging to the Russian Armed Forces.

At the same time, Dutch Chief Prosecutor Fred Westerbeke stated that the investigation team would not disclose the evidence allegedly uncovered.

Following the allegations, State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a statement that the US wanted Russia to acknowledge the alleged role it played in shooting down the plane.

"It is time for Russia to acknowledge its role in the shooting down of MH-17 and to cease its callous disinformation campaign," Nauert said.

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, in her turn, said that Russia must address the conclusion of the investigation.

"The JIT investigation concluded that the missile used to bring down Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 came from the 53rd Anti-aircraft Missile Brigade of the Russian Armed Forces, based near Kursk, Russia," Freeland said. "We call on Russia to urgently address these conclusions and to cooperate fully with the JIT."

She also said those responsible for the downing of flight should be held accountable in line with international standards, the release said.

READ MORE: MH17 Case: French Activist Explains Why He Feels Probe is Biased

Dutch Safety Board releases report on Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 crash - Sputnik International
State Department: US Has 'Complete Confidence' in Findings of Dutch MH 17 Probe
Back in 2016, the Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team already presented the initial results of the criminal investigation into the crash, claiming that the airliner was downed by a Buk surface-to-air missile launcher which was delivered from the "territory of the Russian Federation to Ukraine."

However, Russia's Almaz-Antey company, which developed the Buk missile system, rejected the findings, saying that three simulations showed that the missile was launched from the Zaroshchenske area, which was controlled by the Ukrainian army at the time of the downing.

MH17 was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, carrying 298 passengers, all of whom — including the crew — were killed when the plane crashed in Ukraine's region of Donetsk on July 17, 2014. Following the catastrophe, the state of occurrence (Ukraine) delegated the investigation, announced the same year, to the Dutch Safety Board (DSB).

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