September 28, 2016
Members of the Ukrainian Emergencies Ministry work at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, near the village of Hrabove, Donetsk region, July 20, 2014.© Maxim Zmeyev / Reuters
The Russian Foreign Ministry has said that investigators probing the MH17 crash allowed Ukraine to fabricate evidence, turning the case to its advantage, while denying Moscow any comprehensive role in the inquiry.
"Russia suggested working together from the start and relying on the facts only," Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said in a statement for the media on Wednesday, commenting on the findings in the criminal probe into the MH17 crash by a Dutch-led team of international investigators.
"Instead of [working together], international investigators suspended Moscow from comprehensive participation in the investigative process, allowing our efforts only a minor role. It sounds like a bad joke, but at the same time they made Ukraine a full member of the JIT [Joint Investigation Team], giving it the opportunity to forge evidence and turn the case to its advantage," Zakharova added.
The spokesperson also noted that the JIT bases its findings on evidence provided by Ukrainian power structures, which are "undoubtedly a party with a vested interest."
"To this day, the investigators continue to ignore the overwhelming evidence provided by the Russian side, despite the fact that Russia is the only side that submits accurate information and constantly discloses new data," Zakharova said.
"Russia is disappointed that the situation surrounding the investigation into the Boeing crash is not changing. The findings of the Dutch prosecutor's office confirm that the investigation is biased and politically motivated. To arbitrarily designate a guilty party and dream up the desired results has become the norm for our Western colleagues," the spokesperson said.
READ MORE: Int'l MH17 crash investigation 'politically deficient, defective by process'
She also expressed hope that after the JIT examines the evidence submitted by Russia, including primary radar data, the situation will change and that the final findings will indicate the "real culprits of the tragedy."
According to the report by the JIT released earlier on Wednesday, MH17 was shot down from a rebel-controlled area in eastern Ukraine, using a Buk missile system "brought from the territory of the Russian Federation and after launch subsequently returned to the Russian Federation territory."
Investigators claim the findings on the Buk's route from Russia are based on various sources, including "intercepted telephone conversations, witness statements, photographs and videos that had been posted on social media." However, the criminal investigation has not directly incriminated Russia in causing the downing of the plane.
Joaquin Flores, Editor-in-Chief at Fort Russ news, told RT the JIT initially aimed at proving Russia was responsible for the crash instead of determining the actual guilty party.
"The very problem with the JIT from its genesis was that it was put together by NATO as a result of a failure to actually create a truly independent inquiry team which was rejected at the level of the UN Security Council, once it became clear the point of any investigation was going to be to determine how it was that the Russian Federation was responsible instead of looking at the first question, 'who did it?'"
"So, that was the problem from the very start. It was a geopolitically motivated investigation and it was flawed," Flores said.
Moscow has repeatedly denied supplying weapons to the rebels. It also challenged Kiev’s claims that Ukraine had no warplanes and Buk systems in the area, producing public satellite and radar images proving the contrary.