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Dutch Leader Reports ‘Confidential’ MH17 Discussion With Putin

Mark Rutte European Parliament / Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has said that he addressed the downing of Flight MH17 with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit last week. 

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was shot down by a missile in July 2014 over territory held by pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine as it was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. The international investigative team set up to look into the crash said last month three Russians and one Ukrainian will face murder charges for the deaths of all 298 people on board.

“I spoke to President Putin about MH17” at the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan late last week, Rutte told the Dutch RTL broadcaster on Saturday. 

“For the Netherlands, but also for so many countries in the world, it is still an open wound. So if I have the chance to discuss it with the Russian president, I will,” he said.

Rutte did not disclose the details of talks with Putin “because of the extremely high sensitivity of the subject.”

The Kremlin confirmed Rutte’s comments in a conference call with reporters on Wednesday.

Putin and Rutte had a “very brief interaction on their feet” in Osaka, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted as saying by Interfax.

“The president’s and the Russian side’s position is… based on the fact that the [MH17] investigation can hardly be accepted without Russia’s participation,” Peskov said.

Moscow has consistently denied claims of its involvement in the downing of MH17.

Reuters contributed reporting to this article.

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