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Russian, Dutch ministers discuss prosecuting MH17 culprits

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Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met his Dutch counterpart Bert Koenders on Friday to discuss catching and prosecuting those who shot down the Malaysia Airlines flight over Ukraine last year, Moscow said.

[MOSCOW] Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met his Dutch counterpart Bert Koenders on Friday to discuss catching and prosecuting those who shot down the Malaysia Airlines flight over Ukraine last year, Moscow said.

In Moscow, they also discussed "current issues of international importance, including the situation in the Middle East and North Africa... as well as resolving the Ukraine crisis", the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement.

"Russia wants a comprehensive, global and independent investigation into the Malaysia Airlines plane crash," Mr Lavrov said, according to the statement.

Flight MH17 was shot down in July last year over war-torn Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board, most of them Dutch nationals.

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Kiev and the West claim that the plane was shot down by pro-Russian separatists using a BUK surface-to-air missile supplied by Moscow.

Russia has denied the charges, pointing the finger instead at Kiev.

The Netherlands has been tasked with leading the investigation into the cause of the disaster and identifying the victims.

It is also in charge of the criminal prosecution of those responsible.

Shortly after the crash, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 2166 which demanded that those responsible "be held to account and that all states cooperate fully with efforts to establish accountability".

The Boeing 777 was a civilian carrier travelling between Amsterdam and Kuala Lumpur when it was shot down in July 2014.

In an initial report published last year, the Dutch Safety Board said the plane had been hit by numerous "high-energy objects".

A final report is due this summer.

AFP

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