Russia Explained Stance on MH17 Crash to Malaysia
Russia’s ambassador to Malaysia said that Russia was able to convey its view of what happened to the crashed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 and confront the negative initial outbursts from Malaysians.
On Tuesday, the Dutch Safety Board, tasked with investigation of the crash, released its final report which reiterated that the aircraft was shot down using a Russian-produced Buk surface-to-air missile. The organization did not identify the exact location from where the missile was launched.
"The initial reaction here (in Malaysia) was overwhelming, but the professionalism of my predecessor… helped subdue the negative outburst and address the accusations against Russia, coming mostly from the media," Ambassador Valery Yermolov said.
He added the Russian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur coped with waves of questions from local and foreign journalists by spelling out Moscow’s stance on the alleged downing of the MH17 flight and providing them with full access to detailed data on the crash compiled by the Russian Defense Ministry.
"Malaysian officials traveled to Moscow where they were provided with explanations on our view of what happened [to MH17], based on the information we had gathered, and it was handed over to the Malaysian side which used it to adopt a stance on the issue," Yermolov said.
The Russian civil aviation agency has underlined that the Dutch Safety Board’s version of events that led to the MH17 crash was not final. Buk manufacturer Almaz-Antey has conducted its own probe and challenged the DSF conclusions on the model of the missile used to down the plane, offering its own estimation of where the missile was launched from.
The Malaysian airliner came down on July 17, 2014 over conflict-torn eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board. Malaysia and the West accused Ukrainian rebels of shooting it down with a Russia-made missile.