The Dutch cabinet on Friday said it would hold the Russian state responsible for “its role” in the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight July 2014.
“Holding a country responsible is a complex legal process,” the cabinet said.
“The Netherlands and Australia have asked Russia today to enter a dialogue in order to come to a solution that does justice to the enormous suffering and damage caused by the downing of flightMH17.”
MH17 was shot down over rebel-held territory in Eastern Ukraine in 2014, killing all 298 aboard. Russia has denied any involvement.
The development follows a press conference on Thursday during which investigators said the missile that shot down the plane was fired from a missile launcher in Russia’s 53rd Anti-Aircraft Brigade, but stopped short of saying who actually fired the fatal shot.
Wilbert Paulissen, head of the crime squad of the Netherlands’ national police, said yesterday: “All the vehicles in a convoy carrying the missile were part of the Russian armed forces.”
Russia has denied involvement in the incident and issued a statement saying the images presented were “fakes” that were “disavowed and rejected by Russian experts”.
In an interim update on their investigation, prosecutors said they had trimmed their list of possible suspects from more than a hundred to several dozen.
“We have a lot of proof and a lot of evidence, but we are not finished,” said chief prosecutor Fred Westerbeke. “There is still a lot of work to do.”
He said investigators were not yet ready to identify individual suspects publicly or to issue indictments. The question of whether members of the 53rd Brigade were actively involved in the downing of the plane remains under investigation, he said.