Australia and the Netherlands have begun legal action against Russia at the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organisation over the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in 2014, according to an Australian government statement Monday.
The Malaysia Airlines Amsterdam-Kuala Lumpur flight was shot down in July 2014 by a missile fired by pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine. All 298 people aboard were killed.
“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 issued by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Foreign Minister Marise Payne and Attorney General Michaelia Cash reads.
“In October 2020, Russia unilaterally withdrew from negotiations with Australia and the Netherlands regarding the downing of Flight MH17, and refused to return to the negotiating table despite repeated requests by Australia and the Netherlands.”
The two countries will argue that Russia supplied the separatists with the missile system used in the attack then took it back afterward. They say “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.”