Blok calls on Russian ambassador about breaking off MH17 talks

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Minister Stef Blok (Foreign Affairs) on Thursday summoned the Russian ambassador, because the government in Moscow has stopped consultations about the liability for the downing of flight MH17.

The government regrets this unilateral step and is committed to the continuation of the negotiations with the aim of reaching a solution, writes Block to the House of Representatives.

“The Russian ambassador has been summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs today and this message has also been strongly conveyed to him.”

The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Thursday that further talks with the Netherlands and Australia about the downing of flight MH17 in July 2014 are “pointless”, because both countries are “biased and follow a certain political agenda”.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte is “surprised” by Russia’s unilateral decision to end negotiations over its liability for the downing of flight MH17, as well as by the timing. In Brussels, the Prime Minister said he was “very disappointed”. “This is painful for the next of kin.”

The Netherlands and Australia have jointly held Russia liable under international law for Russia’s share in the downing of flight MH17. Since the beginning of 2019, talks have been ongoing with Russia to “find a solution”, Blok writes.

According to the government, “achieving justice for the 298 victims and their families remains the highest priority”.

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