Sputnik: What are your thoughts on the timing of the investigators decision to reveal the results of the probe?
Kees van der Pijl: It was very remarkable, the timing of this press conference, because there wasn't really much new information that was being brought forward. What I found most remarkable was the call for witnesses after four years.
Most people in the audience asked questions of very easy kind, but the last person was a lady from Australian TV and she said: "Well if you're still asking for witnesses to come forward, that sounds pretty desperate" and that was my feeling too.You know, there wasn't really any new information that hadn't already been widely disseminated.
I would think that with the football championship in Russia coming up in three weeks' time, the Skripal case and this press conference's declaration of the family members of the victims: "do the Russian people want to live in a country without truth" and so on, are steps in a campaign against Russia. I was surprised because it was so little that justified a formal press conference.
Sputnik: Is it possible that a BUK missile could have been fired by somebody other than Russia?
Kees van der Pijl: Oh yes because Ukraine has four regiments with BUK missile units and one of them was in that area and its radars were all activated so it means that they were combat ready.
[ …] Although I cannot arrive at a definite conclusion, my strong feeling is that everything points to the Ukrainian side because they had the motive, the timing was necessary for them to have a breakthrough and at the same time there was a motive on the part of NATO to cast [Russian President] Vladimir Putin as a new demon who should be resisted because there was an important NATO summit coming up in Wales.
If they wouldn't have had Russia as a new enemy – you know, ultimately the plane was brought down by an act of war, let's put it that way.
[…] I found it a singularly unconvincing press conference and especially I was puzzled why now – what was new that we didn’t yet know? It almost seemed as if they had been urged to come up with something, they didn't really have something, so they decided to rely on two-year-old information from the Bellingcat [investigative website].
The views and opinions expressed by Kees van der Pijl are those of the analyst and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.