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Lavrov: Dutch Report on MH17 Crash Provided No Answers to Russia’s Questions

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A preliminary report on the crash of the MH17 released this week by the Netherlands has answered no questions Russia was interested in, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

MOSCOW, September 13 (RIA Novosti) - A preliminary report on the crash of the MH17 released this week by the Netherlands has answered no questions Russia was interested in, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

"International experts have spent three weeks in Kiev, [they] talked with Ukrainian authorities. No answers to the questions formulated shortly after the crash by the Russian Defense Ministry and the Federal Air Transport Agency have been given," Lavrov said in the Pravo Znat (Right to Know) show on the TVC channel.

The minister said that the Russian experts are preparing another set of questions together with the Russian aviation authorities in order to "identify the issues, which are necessary for urgent consideration."

Lavrov also added that the Malaysian Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein had visited Russia this week to study Russian experts’ analyses based on the preliminary findings which were made by the Russian Defense Ministry at a briefing in July.

"We welcome this interest [of Malaysian authorities] because there is no reason to reject the clear answers, or at least the discussion of the questions that we have asked, the questions that have not yet received any response," Lavrov said.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Saturday that he had been surprised by the calm tone of the Dutch authorities’ preliminary report on MH17 crash.

"First of all, it [the report] surprised me because despite all the clamor about this tragedy, the tone is somewhat calm, the work is being done slowly and leisurely. There are no demands to ensure the resumption of expert work at the crash site. There were no attempts to go there to collect, as they say, the debris and see what the entire plane looked like, and nobody spoke about it out loud," Lavrov said in the Pravo Znat [Right to Know] show on the TVC channel.

The minister noted that he hopes "we will know the truth, but it does not depend on me."

Russia’s political leadership would ensure that the community is “constantly reminded that this [investigation] should be done," Lavrov said. "But the rest is in the hands of those who are assigned to carry out this investigation."

There is neither transparency, nor accountability in attempts to set up a multilateral discussion of the MH17 flight crash investigation, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

"We are probably the only ones who are constantly reminding [global community] of the fact that there is a UN Security Council resolution, which demands that the investigation should be thorough, international, transparent, and accountable. As for the international response, it seems like we have a group of experts under the auspices of the International Civil Aviation Organization, and the organization is taking some steps to set up multilateral discussions, but it lacks transparency and accountability,” Lavrov said.

The Russian foreign minister stressed that while the UN Security Council does not carry out an investigation into the crash, it nevertheless "outlined the political demands that meet the severity of the tragedy and its perception in those countries whose nationals were on board and in the whole world community, as it was a civilian aircraft that was shot down."

Lavrov also reminded of the "hysterical accusations against independence supporters [in eastern Ukraine] and Russia" that had immediately followed the tragedy. "Now that the ‘propaganda cream’ has been skimmed off, it is possible that one does not really want to investigate the true cause of the accident. [But] that's not our approach," Lavrov said.

On July 17, a Malaysia Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed in Ukraine's eastern region of Donetsk, killing all 298 people on board.

The reason for the crash is still a matter of debates. Kiev accuses independence supporters in eastern Ukraine of shooting the plane down, but cannot provide any evidence for this assertion. Local militia leaders say they do not have weapons capable of shooting down a plane flying at 32,000 feet.

Earlier, the Russian Defense Ministry said that a Ukrainian combat jet was detected in close approach to the MH17 shortly before it crashed, a claim that can be proven by video shots made in the Rostov monitoring center.

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