According to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Russia will only recognize the results of the MH17 investigation if Russia is allowed to participate in the investigation.
At a press conference following a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, Putin recalled that although Moscow proposed to “work together to investigate the tragedy,” they have not been granted access to research carried out by the Joint Research Center of the team (JIT).
“For us to recognize what it (the JIT) says, we have to participate fully in the investigation,” Putin stressed.
On Thursday the JIT presented preliminary results of its investigation into the downing of the Malaysian Airlines plane in Donbass in 2014. The JIT claimed that preliminary results suggest that MH17 was downed by Russian Armed Forces.
The head of the Dutch Civil Police Investigations Department, Wilbert Paulissen, said the research group examining the circumstances surrounding the fall of Boeing in Donbass established that the Buk anti-aircraft system allegedly responsible belonged to the 53rd Russian Anti-aircraft Defense Brigade.
The Russian Ministry of Defense has said that “a Russian Armed Forces anti-aircraft system never crossed the Russian-Donbass border” and stated that the JIT investigation needs testimony from residents of Ukrainian and Donbass cities near the disaster site who say “that the missile was launched from the territory controlled by the Ukrainian military.”
“Of course, no proof of any kind was presented, just a very flashy video, filmed on the basis of ‘pre-made’ data by Bellingcat who had previously been accused of manipulating data in support of the Russian implication version,” a Russian Foreign Ministry statement said.
Concern has also been expressed over the manipulation of social media images in the investigation.
On July 17, 2014, a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777, which took the MH17 flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was struck by a missile when it was flying near Donetsk. Onboard the aircraft were 298 people, mostly Dutch; there were no survivors.