May 25, 2018 / 1:10 PM / 10 months ago

Dutch PM: Russia responsible in MH17 downing, must cooperate

Netherland’s Prime Minister Mark Rutte arrives at a European Union leaders summit in Brussels, Belgium, March 22, 2018. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir/Files

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Friday said Russia was partly responsible for the 2014 downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 and demanded that Moscow acknowledge its role.

Speaking after the Netherlands and Australia said they would hold Russia legally responsible in the MH17 disaster, Rutte appealed to Russia to cooperate with an criminal investigation and negotiate over reparations.

International criminal investigators have “irrefutably established that Russia can be held responsible for their part in downing MH17, and they are responsible for deploying” the missile launcher that was used to shoot it down, Rutte said.

MH17 was shot down over territory held by pro-Russian separatist forces in eastern Ukraine in 2014, killing all 298 aboard. Russia denies responsibility.

Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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