News World Russia blasts Australia as it withdraws from MH17 negotiations

Russia blasts Australia as it withdraws from MH17 negotiations

The Russian government has refused to take responsibility for the shooting down of MH17. Photo: Getty
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The Dutch government “greatly regrets” Russia’s decision to halt consultations with the Netherlands about the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, Foreign Minister Stef Blok says.

Russia’s foreign ministry said on Thursday it was pointless to continue consultations with Australia and the Netherlands, accusing them of not seeking to establish what happened.

“The Russian Federation informed us it has unilaterally decided to halt negotiations over the liability in the downing of flight MH17,” Blok said in a statement.

“The Netherlands greatly regrets this decision. It is extremely painful for the survivors,” he said.

MH17 was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was shot down by a missile fired from territory held by pro-Russian rebels during fighting in eastern Ukraine, international investigators say.

All 298 people on board were killed, including 38 who called Australia home.

After an investigation lasting nearly six years, four defendants went on trial in March. The men are all still at large and three are being tried in absentia.