Australia and the Netherlands have requested talks with Russia in the hope of getting it to acknowledge and accept responsibility for its “undoubted role” in the shooting down of flight MH17 in 2014.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said the two countries will be seeking compensation for the families of the victims.
The plane, with 298 passengers including 38 Australians and crew on board, was headed from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was blown out of the sky.
“These will be confidential negotiations but what we’re seeking is justice for the victims and their families,” she told ABC TV on Saturday.
“We’ll continue to consider all options with our partners and the international community to ensure that Russia’s conduct is called out as being utterly unacceptable.”
“It’s important for the sake of honesty, and for the sake of the families and the Australians whose lives were lost, that the truth is called out,” Treasurer Scott Morrison told reporters in Sydney on Saturday.
“The Australian government will never step away from seeking that justice.”
President Vladimir Putin was quick to deny any responsibility under international law after Australia and the Netherlands blamed Russia for the July 17, 2014 incident.
A joint investigation team on Thursday released findings that a Russian missile was used to shoot down the Malaysia Airlines passenger jet over eastern Ukraine.
Mr Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, on Friday said Russia had been barred from the investigation and thus could not trust its results.
The Russian defence ministry claimed the missile “more than likely” came from a Ukrainian arsenal as the fragments displayed by investigators indicated the Soviet-made missile was produced in 1986.
It said the Russian military decommissioned all missiles of that type in 2011.
The European Union and NATO have also urged Russia to admit its role in the attack.
— Mark Rutte (@MinPres) May 25, 2018
“The European Union calls on the Russian Federation to accept its responsibility and to fully co-operate with all efforts to establish accountability,” EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said in a statement.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said those responsible for the “global tragedy” must be held accountable.