May 25, 2018 / 10:04 AM / in 3 months

Kremlin rejects blame for MH17 downing, says distrusts Dutch findings

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Kremlin on Friday rejected allegations of any Russian involvement in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine in 2014, an incident in which 298 people were killed.

FILE PHOTO: Dutch police officer Wilbert Paulissen, head of the National Crime Squad, is pictured next to a damaged missile as he presents interim results in the ongoing investigation of the 2014 MH17 crash that killed 298 people over eastern Ukraine, during a news conference by members of the Joint Investigation Team, comprising the authorities from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Ukraine, in Bunnik, Netherlands, May 24, 2018. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir/File Photo

The Netherlands said on Friday it held the Russian state responsible and a Dutch cabinet statement said a “possible” next step would be presenting the case to an international court, adding Australia shared its assessment of Russia’s role.

Dutch prosecutors on Thursday identified a Russian military unit as the source of the missile that shot down the plane.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call on Friday that Russia had not been a fully-fledged participant in the Dutch investigation into the incident and could not therefore trust its findings.

When asked if the Kremlin denied allegations of Russian involvement, he said: “Absolutely.”

Peskov referred a question about possible compensation for families of the victims to the Russian Foreign Ministry.

Reporting by Maria Tsvetkova; Writing by Tom Balmforth; Editing by Andrew Osborn

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