Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 airliner crush in Eastern Ukraine has sent a shockwave all over the world. An enormous human tragedy has led to attempts to politicize the incident. While Moscow called for an independent international investigation US officials were quick to blame pro-Russian militia without producing any credible evidence. Radio VR guests shared their opinion on the issue.
Alexander Domrin, Professor of the High School of Economics.
– I doubt that the United States has any evidence at this moment, because the tragedy happened a week ago, and if the United States had any evidence, that evidence should have been presented. This is definitely a blame game. This is definitely an attempt to put pressure on Russia. From a legal point of view – and I am a lawyer as you know – from a legal point of view, the only legal fact that we have is that the plane was downed and it led to numerous human casualties. That’s it – nothing else.
We don’t know anything about how it happened. Was it shot down by another plane? Was it shot down from surface? Was it a terrorist attack? Was it a malfunction that sometimes happens with planes? Or was it some other explanation? Just take a look at two others.
– So, you think that there can be a number of reasons, yes?
– And we so far - we don’t know what actually happened?
– We don’t. And those who pretend that they have any evidence, they should present that evidence. Nothing has been done so far. As a lawyer, I am very skeptical.
Dietrich Arnold, Moscow-based Dutch businessman, retail development director.
– Well, I understand that they really want to do that. But I think that it’s a very big mistake for the Netherlands to do such a thing before no one understands the real truth about what happened. Second, it’s not in anyone’s interest – not in the Dutch, not in the European, not in Russia’s interests – to make economic ties between our countries more difficult. I mean, it’s in no one’s benefit. You know, there are so many people from the West working in Russia, there are many Russians going to Europe. I mean, I don’t see the real benefit of all that. But there is a change in the attitude, which is really very sad and I hope it will not continue further.
Roslyn Fuller, Research Associate at the INSYTE Group.
– Well, we have this thing, of course, to be tried in the press. Now, that is something that is becoming I think more and more the case, not just in particular in relation to Ukraine, but, generally speaking, we are getting more to the state where opinions seem to count more than facts.
And so, yes, I do think that it’s a little bit unhelpful, especially when it is government officials that are participating in that. When the press itself makes accusations – that’s bad enough. But we’ve seen several officials in the United States come out and speak probably unfairly harsh against Russia at a time when we simply don’t have all of the facts.
That being said, investigations, of course, should happen in a timely fashion. I mean it wouldn’t be good to drag this out for a year or a year and a half until attention has faded, which we also see is a common tactic that politicians often take when they don’t want things to be investigated.
That being said, in 24 hours or even in a few hours, I think, The Sun headline “Putin’s Missile” in relation to this airplane coming down coming out within hours of the event actually happening – of course, that’s very-very unhelpful, and it’s very unhelpful for trying to build positive relations between states.