21:20 GMT14 August 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Australia and the Netherlands remain committed to achieving justice for victims of the MH17 plane crash in eastern Ukraine, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Wednesday.

    "Prime Minister Rutte’s exceptional leadership to establish the MH17 Joint Investigation Team embodies the collective and unwavering commitment of our countries to stand firm on MH17 in defence of our shared values. Our two countries continue to stand united and resolute in our commitment to pursuing accountability for this tragedy and to achieving justice for the 289 victims and their loved ones," Morrison said as quoted in the government press release.

    Rutte, on his part, called Australia one of the most important partners in the investigation of the MH17 crash.

    "Australia is our most important partner in the MH17 process. My visit has a broader agenda; our two countries work together closely and successfully in many areas. For instance, our trading relationship is growing fast, and there are still plenty of opportunities ahead," he said on Twitter.

    Earlier in the day, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte met Morrison in Sydney as part of his visit to Australia with 2014 MH17 disaster topping the agenda alongside talks devoted to bilateral trade issues.

    The Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 crashed on 17 July, 2014 in eastern Ukraine while en route to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam. All 298 people aboard, mostly Dutch citizens, Malaysians and Australians, were killed. Kiev and the self-proclaimed republics in Ukraine’s easternmost Donbas region, where the plane crashed, have exchanged blame for the incident.

    The investigation into the MH17 crash is being conducted by Dutch prosecutors and the Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team (JIT), which has accused Russia of instigating the attack. According to the JIT, flight MH17 was brought down by a missile that came from the 53rd Anti-aircraft Missile Brigade of the Russian Armed Forces, based near the Russian city of Kursk.

    Moscow has repeatedly rejected the JIT's accusations, saying that the claims were unfounded and the investigation was biased. Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that Russia has not been granted access to the investigation and that Moscow would be able to recognize its results only if given access to the probe.


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