Netherlands urges Moscow to cooperate with other countries in JIT investigation

The Dutch ambassador in Moscow, Renée Jones-Bos, was today summoned to the Russian foreign ministry, after Dutch foreign minister Bert Koenders summoned the Russian ambassador in The Hague on Friday. Ms Jones-Bos was met by Russia’s deputy foreign minister Aleksey Meshkov.

During the meeting Ms Jones-Bos stressed that the Dutch government considers it paramount that those responsible for downing flight MH17 are identified and tried. Russia also committed itself to this objective, with the passage of Security Council Resolution 2166. ‘We used today’s talks to urge Russia once again to cooperate in order to achieve this widely shared international objective, to which Russia is also bound through the UN,’  said Mr Koenders. In the course of today’s meeting, Russia focused on its allegations of deficiencies in the procedures, objectivity and transparency of the JIT investigation. However, despite its criticisms, Russia seems willing to provide further information to the JIT. That willingness will be put to the test in the weeks ahead.

The JIT enjoys broad support among the international community in its efforts to identify those responsible for downing flight MH17. This support was confirmed by the official responses that followed the Dutch Public Prosecution Service’s presentation of the initial findings of the criminal investigation. A large number of countries and organisations, including France, Germany, the UK, the US, the EU and the UN, have welcomed the JIT’s findings and called on all states to cooperate with its investigation.

It is essential that the JIT is able to conduct its independent criminal investigation without political interference. ‘Casting doubt on the professionalism and integrity of the Dutch Public Prosecution Service, and thereby discrediting the JIT’s work, is wrong,’ Mr Koenders remarked. ‘I made this absolutely clear to the Russian ambassador on Friday, and the Dutch ambassador reiterated the point today in Moscow.’