Press-Statement following "some other business" discussion on MH17 during the VTC of the Security Council
The Russian Federation is fully committed to the Security Council Resolution 2166, its letter and spirit. We continue to advocate for a full, thorough and independent investigation of all the circumstances related to the tragedy and accountability for perpetrators.
On March the Hague District Court started legal proceedings against four Russian and Ukrainian citizens, who as the Dutch prosecutors allege were involved in the tragedy. In their letter to the Security Council dated March 6 on behalf of the Permanent Representatives of the Netherlands, Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and Ukraine maintain inter alia that “the actions taken by the Joint investigative Team (JIT) and the Dutch Public Prosecution service continue to implement Security Council resolution 2166”.
In this regard we wish to underline that such a statement is a blatant attempt to misguide the international community. What is now happening in the Hague has nothing to do with full, thorough and independent investigation.
We strongly believe that for any trial to be truly independent, it should take into account all the facts related to the tragedy, hear all witnesses and experts, welcome all evidence and data.
We pointed out many times at the poor quality of both technical and criminal investigation by JIT, their inconclusive character. The major deficiency was that they were both focused on the single “pre-picked” and “pre-cooked” scenario. Out of all available facts and data only those pieces were used which matched the desired result. The technical specifications were twisted and the so-called “evidence base” was formed by the information from the questionable sources and social media. Photos, audio and video contain clear signs of editing and tampering. Most of them were provided by the Security Service of Ukraine – a country obviously interested in only one outcome of the process. The actions of the Ukrainian authorities, first and foremost their refusal to close the airspace in the war-torn regions, is not even discussed.
There are speculations about unnamed witnesses with undisclosed identities who claim that they allegedly heard or saw something, with no one being able to verify such claims. For those of us and for those in the world at large who have not yet lost common sense, such “unnamed classified witnesses” are as reliable as white powder in a test-tube in the hands of Colin Powel trying to persuade the Security Council there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
It is also important not to forget the fact that the JIT is operating on the basis of a confidential agreement between the five countries which does not allow to make public any information without consent of all the participants. Thus, Ukraine has a de-facto veto power and a clear opportunity to “filter” the release of unwanted materials.
In an attempt to conceal clear gaps in the “evidence” as well as doubtful expertise and findings of the investigators, JIT and some others resorted to the usual accusations that Russia was not cooperating fully with the investigation. If we translate it from JIT-language to normal one it means that pieces of evidence and data we provide do not match their preferred outcome. That’s why they were ignored by JIT and are not part of the process.
We have been acting responsibly addressing all the legal requests from the Netherland authorities and providing all the necessary assistance to the international investigation, the Netherlands’ Council on Security, Prosecutor’s Office and the JIT. We provided investigators with huge volumes of data essential for establishing the real causes of the tragedy. We declassified the tech specs of military equipment and provided raw unedited radar data. It has all been simply ignored.
However for some reasons we saw that the tech specs we provided were edited in the outcomes of investigation while the most valuable part – the raw radar data – was dismissed. “Almaz-Antei” – the developer of the “BUK” missile launching system, which according to JIT was allegedly used to down the flight – held series of tests that put basic arguments of the investigation in question, but their results also were not taken into account.
Russia is looking forward to professional, depoliticized involvement of all the interested parties on the whole spectrum of factors of the tragedy with MH17 flight. But dialogue is not a lecture that we have heard so far from JIT, but a process where both parties listen to each other. So far, to our regret, we haven’t yet come to this stage. And the politicized and biased legal show in the Hague makes this task even more problematic and doesn’t move us closer to the truth, as well as to the implementation of Resolution 2166.