MOSCOW (Sputnik) - EU leaders said in a joint statement released Friday after hours-long debates in Brussels that Russia should accept its responsibility for the 2014 downing of a Malaysian plane in Ukraine.
"The European Council reiterates its full support for UNSC Resolution 2166 concerning the downing of flight MH-17. It calls on the Russian Federation to accept its responsibility and to fully cooperate with all efforts to establish truth, justice and accountability," the paper read.
The United Nations Security Council Resolution 2166, to which the European Council referred in its statement, was adopted unanimously on 21 July 2014. The resolution stressed the need for a "full, thorough and independent international investigation into the incident in accordance with international civil aviation guidelines," called on all states and actors in the region of the crash to "cooperate fully in relation to the international investigation of the incident" as well as demanded that those responsible for this incident be held to account and that all States cooperate fully with efforts to establish accountability. The resolution did not place the responsibility for the crash on any country or entity.
Earlier, the Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team (JIT) announced that it had concluded that the missile that downed the plane was launched by a Buk missile system that allegedly had belonged to the Russian Armed Forces. Australia and the Netherlands, whose citizens were also onboard the plane, were quick to say that they considered Russia responsible for the downing of aircraft.
Russian Foreign Ministry responded to the JIT announcement that accusations of Russia's involvement in the tragedy were unfounded and that the investigation was one-sided. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the international investigators have ignored the documentary evidence regarding the crash of MH17 that Russia has repeatedly provided.
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