Moscow considers “strange” a request from the Dutch prime minister for Russia to cooperate fully with a probe into the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.
A Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman said her country has always been willing to cooperate with the investigation, according to the Interfax news agency.
“I want to call on Russian authorities to respect but also to provide complete cooperation with this report and the following criminal investigation by the Dutch public prosecutor in collaboration with four other countries,” Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said.
Rutte’s comments followed the publication of a final report by the Dutch Safety Board, which concluded that MH17 was shot down by a missile typically used with a Russian-made BUK system.
A separate criminal inquiry is underway into the crash that killed all 298 people on board in July 2014.
“We already have quite a bit of persons of interest in which we are gathering information and evidence,” explained Fred Westerbeke, the Dutch Chief Public Prosecutors’ Investigator. “But still, we have a lot of bricks, but we still need a lot of cement between those bricks. So there’s still quite some work to do, and it’s not that we’re now at the point that within a week or two weeks arrests can be made. We are not that far yet.”
After the crash, Russia vetoed a United Nations draft resolution that would have set up an international tribunal to prosecute those suspected of downing the plane.