Australia Urges Russia To Cooperate With Initiatives To Prosecute MH17 Suspects

Australia Urges Russia To Cooperate With Initiatives To Prosecute MH17 Suspects

All 298 people on board died.

Most of those on board the Boeing 777 were Dutch, but others came from 17 countries, including 38 Australians.

After the all the names of the victims were read out by their relatives and a minute of silence was held, Dutch King Willem-Alexander and his wife Queen Maxima laid flowers at the monument, together with 17 children from Vijfhuizen, followed by the relatives.

A Dutch-led team of investigators that included Australians concluded in September the rocket was sacked from territory in eastern Ukraine held by pro-Russian separatists.

The flight, which had left Schiphol en route to Kuala Lumpur, crashed on July 17, 2017 in Donetsk, Ukraine, a contested area that experienced heavy fighting between pro-Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko used Facebook to demand the Russian government be held accountable for the tragedy.

"This insolent crime would not have happened if it were not for Russian aggression, a Russian installation and a Russian rocket brought from the territory of Russia", Poroshenko said in a statement.

Dutch King Willem Alexander and Queen Maxima attend the unveiling of the National Monument for the MH17 victims in Vijfhuizen
Australia Urges Russia To Cooperate With Initiatives To Prosecute MH17 Suspects

Russian Federation has denied all involvement, and a number of issues have made the case hard to bring to court.

"That calls on all states to cooperate to ensure that those responsible for the killing are brought to justice", she told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

"The tragedy of Flight MH17, in which so many lives were lost, remains a constant source of sorrow and sadness for the European Union", said Federica Mogherini.

Funded by donations, the project was designed by artist Ronald A. Westerhuis and landscape architect Robbert de Koning after it was chosen out of three proposals by relatives in late 2015. "We not only want to honor the MH17 victims, but also want to create a place where everyone can keep their memories of the 298 passengers alive".

It is surrounded by a ring of sunflowers which will blossom during the month of July and are also found in the eastern Ukranian fields where some parts of the plane wreckage were found.

The monument, which is situated close to Amsterdam's Schiphol airport, is an initiative of the foundation for the relatives of the MH17 victims, Stichting Vliegramp MH17. In the heart of the forest there is an amphitheater with the names of all the victims coming together in the middle of an eye.