Australia launches legal action against Russia over Malaysia Airlines plane shot down in 2014

The announcement came the same day the federal government announced new sanctions against 33 Russian oligarchs, prominent businessmen and their immediate family members following the invasion of Ukraine.

Chelsea football club owner Roman Abramovich was among the new sanctions targets, all of whom have close ties to the Russian president.

Australia is working with the United States, Canada, the European Union, New Zealand and the United Kingdom to impose strong restrictive measures on key Russian individuals.

In October 2020, Russia unilaterally withdrew from negotiations with Australia and the Netherlands over the MH17 tragedy and refused to return to the negotiating table despite repeated requests.

“The Russian Federation’s refusal to take responsibility for its role in the downing of MH17 is unacceptable and the Australian government has consistently said it will not rule out any legal option in our pursuit of justice,” Mr. Morrison and Sen. Payne in a statement. .

“Russia’s unprovoked and unwarranted invasion of Ukraine and its escalating aggression underscore the need to continue our sustained efforts to hold Russia accountable for its flagrant violation of international law and the Charter of the United Nations, including threats to Ukraine’s sovereignty and airspace.

“While we cannot take away the grief of those whose loved ones have died as a result of Russia’s actions, the Australian Government will pursue all means available to ensure Russia is held accountable so that this horrific act does not never happen again.”

Australia and the Netherlands will rely on what the two countries call “overwhelming evidence” that the flight was shot down by a Russian Buk-TELAR surface-to-air missile system, transported from Russia to an agricultural field in eastern Ukraine under the control of Russian-backed separatists.

They allege that the missile system belonged to the 53rd Military Anti-Aircraft Brigade of the Russian Federation and was accompanied by a trained Russian military crew and was returned to Russia shortly after the bombing.

Senator Payne warned in 2019 that there was a long road to justice for the families of the victims.

Murder charges have been brought against three Russians and a Ukrainian after extensive work by an international investigation team.

Prosecutors have charged former Russian spy service colonel Igor Girkin, former Russian special forces soldier Oleg Pulatov and Sergei Dubinsky of the Russian military intelligence agency, and Ukrainian militiaman Leonid Kharchenko.

Australia has blamed Russia for waging a long “misinformation campaign” over the MH17 deaths, with government ministers rejecting any evidence discrediting the findings of the investigation.