The Netherlands and Australia submit complaint against Russia to the International Civil Aviation Organization

The Netherlands and Australia have initiated legal proceedings before the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) against the Russian Federation for its role in the downing of flight MH17. Earlier today the two countries submitted a joint complaint against Russia to the ICAO. The UN Security Council has also been informed of this step.

On 25 May 2018 Australia and the Netherlands jointly held Russia responsible under international law for its role in the downing of flight MH17. Negotiations on this matter between Russia, on the one side, and Australia and the Netherlands, on the other, were unilaterally terminated by Russia. Following the suspension of talks, Australia and the Netherlands held consultations on what steps should be taken next. This resulted in the initiation, earlier today, of legal proceedings against Russia before the ICAO. This step has been carefully and independently carefully prepared and has only now been finalised. This step is unrelated to current developments in Ukraine.

International legal order

‘The government will continue to do everything in its power to call Russia to account for the downing of flight MH17 and to uphold the international legal order,’ said Dutch foreign minister Wopke Hoekstra. ‘We cannot and will not allow the death of 298 people, including 196 Dutch nationals, to go unanswered. The current events in Ukraine underscore the vital importance of this.’


The Dutch government has always said it would not rule out any legal option in its efforts to establish the truth, ensure accountability and achieve justice for the 298 victims of the MH17 disaster and their next of kin. This is and remains a priority of the Dutch government, and today’s decision represents another important step.