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The Netherlands may file new lawsuit against Russia over Boeing downing in Donbas

The Netherlands may file new lawsuit against Russia over Boeing downing in Donbas Archive photo: Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte (Getty Images)
Author: Liliana Oleniak

The Netherlands spent 166 million euros to eliminate the consequences of the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 by the Russians over the occupied part of the Donetsk region in 2014. This bill is to be presented to Russia, according to and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

The Court of Auditors states that the investigation of the perpetrators cost 53 million euros. The Netherlands also spent 365 euros to clean the plush toys of the dead children.

The government has asked the Accounting Chamber to prepare the costs of assisting the Netherlands in the state responsibility case against Russia.

It is currently under consideration by the International Civil Aviation Organization. The Netherlands and Australia initiated this case to possibly file a claim for damages against the Russians.

Amount of money spent is not final

The Accounting Chamber emphasizes that this is an interim position, and it will be updated annually.

In 2023, at least 16.5 million euros will be added. The state has allocated this amount as compensation to the relatives of the victims.

"This compensation was ordered because it is extremely doubtful that the criminals convicted by the Dutch court will ever actually pay this amount. The three men, two Russians, and a Ukrainian, were sentenced to life in prison last year for their involvement in the plane crash. They are not in prison, but are somewhere in Russia," the agency writes.

Rutte's statements

He thanked the government for the report and called it a step towards justice.

"This report could lead to a reasonable claim for compensation in the Dutch lawsuit against Russia," he says.

MH17 disaster

On July 17, 2014, a Boeing 777 passenger airliner was shot down in the Donetsk region, which was seized by pro-Russian militants. All passengers and crew members, 298 in all, died.

The investigative commission found that the Boeing was shot down by a missile launched from a Buk anti-aircraft missile system. It belonged to the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade of the Russian Federation, stationed in Kursk. The missile system was sent to Ukraine, where separatists and militants used it in battles against the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

The attack killed 298 people. Two-thirds of them were citizens of the Netherlands. Also on board were citizens of Malaysia, Australia, Indonesia, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Germany, the Philippines, Canada, and New Zealand.

In 2022, the District Court of The Hague handed down a verdict in the case of the downing of the MH17 passenger plane in the skies over Donbas in 2014. Three defendants were found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment. One of them was former FSB officer Igor Girkin.

The Telegraph wrote that Russian dictator Vladimir Putin personally approved the delivery of the Buk-M1 anti-aircraft missile system to Ukraine in 2014.