The Netherlands does not consider Ukraine responsible for the crash of the Malaysian Boeing in the Donbas due to the airspace over the region not being closed.
Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok responded to a question on this matter from ministers of parliament, Dutch news outlet NOS reports. In the question, the legislators noted that, if Ukraine had information that Buk missile launchers had appeared in the conflict region, Kyiv would have had reason to close the airspace over the dangerous region or to raise the altitude of the air corridor.
In a letter to the MPs, Blok pointed out that the information acquired by the Joint Investigative Team does not point to Ukraine being responsible. According to him, “there is no persuasive evidence that Kyiv did not take adequate measures to prevent a possible catastrophe”.
The head of the Dutch Foreign Ministry also said that it would be inappropriate to carry out additional investigations on this topic. He clarified that the international commission is not directly investigating the question of whether or not Ukraine should have closed the airspace, and so “certain information from the investigation materials could be relevant later”.
The Joint Investigative Team, which has representatives from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Ukraine, released a report on May 24 with the preliminary findings of the investigation. The report states that the airliner was shot down by a Russian Buk anti-air missile system belonging to the 53rd anti-air missile brigade of Russia’s Armed Forces, which is based in the Kursk province. The investigators concluded that the missile system was brought to the “Donetsk People’s Republic” from Russia.
After the report, the Cabinet of the Netherlands said that it will consider Russia responsible for the plane crash. However, Malaysian Transport Minister Anthony Loke said that there is not yet irrefutable evidence that Russia was complicit in the crash.