The World BrieflyMarch 16, 2022
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Australia and the Netherlands initiated new legal proceedings against Russia for its alleged role in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 over Ukraine in 2014, a case that comes amid the ongoing conflict between Moscow and Kyiv, NPR reported.
The two countries filed a complaint with the International Civil Aviation Organization this week over the incident that killed all 298 people on board the aircraft which was flying from the Netherlands to Malaysia in July 2014.
International investigations concluded that a Russian Buk missile had shot down the plane. The missile had been transferred to rebel-held eastern Ukraine. The Kremlin has repeatedly denied any involvement but experts say it would be impossible for the rebels to operate the missile without Russian help.
Since 2018, Australia and the Netherlands have formally held Russia responsible for the aircraft’s downing. On Monday, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison criticized Moscow for withdrawing from negotiations over the downed plane in October 2020.
In the meantime, Dutch authorities are trying four suspects in absentia and the government has also sued Russia at the European Court of Justice. Dutch officials also said that they have notified the United Nations Security Council of their latest move.
The Netherlands maintains that the recent developments are unrelated to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Morrison, however, described the recent case as directly related to the conflict, saying that Russia needs to be held “account(able) for its blatant violation of international law and the UN Charter, including threats to Ukraine’s sovereignty and airspace.”
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