Updated 3:31 p.m. Moscow Time
MOSCOW, October 1 (RIA Novosti) – If Russia and NATO had worked together, they could have possibly obtained important information on the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexei Meshkov said in an interview with RIA Novosti on Wednesday.
"I think that had the cooperation [between Russia and NATO] not been suspended, it is possible that we would have obtained important additional information related to the circumstances of the Malaysian Boeing crash," he said.
Russia's senior diplomat pointed out that Russia had cooperated with the NATO military bloc on "such serious challenges to global security as war on terror, drug trafficking, and the training of Afghan experts within the framework of the "helicopter project."
Meshkov said that NATO's decision to wind down all cooperation projects with Russia had "caused overall damage to the global security."
In April, NATO suspended cooperation with Russia over Moscow’s alleged role in the Ukrainian crisis, the claim Russia has repeatedly denied.
Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed in Ukraine's eastern region of Donetsk on July 17, killing all 298 people on board. The reasons behind the tragedy are still unclear.
Ukrainian government claims that anti-Kiev militia in Ukraine's east downed the plane with a missile, but it has not provided any evidence. Local militia leaders insist that they do not have weapons capable of shooting down a high-flying aircraft.
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov earlier blamed the West for delays in the investigation of the alleged MH17 downing, saying its unwillingness to cooperate with Russia hindered the fact-finding process.