Julie Bishop Urges Russia To Accept Responsibility For The Downing Of Flight MH17

The Foreign Minister says Russia should pay compensation to the families of the 38 Australians killed by the shooting down of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 in 2014.

What you need to know
  • Official investigators are now convinced Russian Federation's 53rd anti-aircraft missile brigade was responsible for the missile attack
  • Australia has told Russia it holds it directly responsible
  • A Kremlin spokesman said Russia could not trust the investigation's results

Russia has been quick to deny any involvement in the downing of flight MH17 after Australia notified the country it was holding it responsible under international law.

A joint investigation team on Thursday released findings that a Russian missile was used to shoot down the Malaysia Airlines passenger jet over eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014.

Flight MH17 was headed from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was blown out of the sky, killing all 298 passengers and crew, including 38 Australians.

"Australia and the Netherlands have now informed the Russian Federation that we hold it responsible under international law for its role in the bringing down of MH17," Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop said.

She said the two countries requested Russia "enter into negotiations to open up a dialogue about its conduct and to seek reparations".

Ms Bishop said Russia must now stop its "campaign of misinformation" and its efforts to discredit the legitimacy of the investigation findings.

"Its conduct and its role in bringing down MH17 showed a gross disregard for international norms and standards, and its conduct is utterly unacceptable," she said.

Asked whether she feared Russia might ban Australia from this year's soccer World Cup over this issue, Ms Bishop said they were "entirely separate matters".

"The government won't interfere in the football federation's decisions in relation to the World Cup," she told ABC TV on Saturday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said on Friday that Russia has been barred from the investigation and thus could not trust its results.

The Russian defence ministry claimed the missile "more than likely" came from a Ukrainian arsenal as the fragments displayed by investigators indicated the Soviet-made missile was produced in 1986.

It said the Russian military decommissioned all missiles of that type in 2011. The European Union and NATO have urged Russia to admit its role in the attack.

"The European Union calls on the Russian Federation to accept its responsibility and to fully co-operate with all efforts to establish accountability," EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said in a statement.

"The downing of MH17 was a global tragedy and those responsible must be held accountable," NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said.

Featured image: Getty