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ICAO Needs Request to Probe Kiev's Failure to Close Airspace Before MH17

© AFP 2022 / BULENT KILICThis photo taken on July 26, 2014 shows flowers, left by parents of an Australian victim of the crash, laid on a piece of the Malaysia Airlines plane MH17, near the village of Hrabove (Grabove), in the Donetsk region
This photo taken on July 26, 2014 shows flowers, left by parents of an Australian victim of the crash, laid on a piece of the Malaysia Airlines plane MH17, near the village of Hrabove (Grabove), in the Donetsk region - Sputnik International
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ICAO chief said that organization can only begin assessment of Ukraine’s alleged violations of its laws by not shutting its airspace during the conflict between the southeastern militias and Kiev forces, which led to the crash MH17 flight, once one of ICAO member states makes an official request.

Dutch experts work at Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 crash site - Sputnik International
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) can only begin assessment of Ukraine’s alleged violations of its laws by not shutting its airspace during the conflict between the southeastern militias and Kiev forces, which led to the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, once one of ICAO member states makes an official request, the ICAO communications chief told Sputnik.

Last week, Russia's civil aviation regulator Rosaviatsia posted a letter sent by its deputy head Oleg Storchevoy to the Dutch Safety Board (DSB), pointing at some unsubstantiated and inaccurate data in the Dutch investigative report on the crash. Storchevoy also stated Ukraine violated the requirements the Convention on International Civil Aviation as well as ICAO legislation.

"ICAO could only begin to consider such an assessment [by Storchevoy] if one of our Member States officially requested the Organization to do so. To date, no such request has been received," Anthony Philbin said.

In his letter, Storchevoy reminded that Annex 17 to the Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation, as well as ICAO document 9554, require that states keep the level of threat to civil aviation within their territory under constant review.

Ukraine’s responsibility over not closing down its airspace is downplayed in the final DSB report, Storchevoy noted, adding that the information on real threats to the safety of civil flights arising from the military activities in the country’s east was either distorted or concealed.

Flight MH17 was en route to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam, when it was downed. The crash claimed the lives of all 298 people on board. The DSB initiated the international investigation into the incident since most of the victims were Dutch citizens.

The appeal of the relatives of the MH17 eastern Ukraine plane crash victims to unveil radar images of the incident falls beyond the scope of the civil aviation convention, the communications chief at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) told Sputnik.

Relatives of the MH17 victims sent a letter to Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on January 13, asking him to put pressure on the United Nations or ICAO to get hold of Ukrainian, Russian and US radar images of the scene made at the time of the crash in hope they would shed light on who launched the missile that allegedly struck the plane down.

"This type of appeal falls beyond the scope of Annex 13 (Accident Investigation) to the Convention on International Civil Aviation," Anthony Philbin said.

The Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777, en route to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam, crashed over the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014, killing all 298 people on board.

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