Russia has asked the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a United Nations agency, to open a new investigation into the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH-17 last year over eastern Ukraine.
Speaking Wednesday in Moscow, deputy head of the Russian Federal Aviation Agency, Rosaviatsiya, Oleg Storchevoy categorically disputed the results of the Dutch probe and said Russia has the right to “to initiate a renewal of the investigation of the catastrophe."
"The report does not have facts, which confirm the full value and credibility of the conducted investigation. The quality of the investigation did not satisfy us and in our opinion it was conducted with violations of ICAO standards," Storchevoy said.
A Dutch-led investigative panel into the crash of MH-17 said in a report released Tuesday the plane was shot down by a Russian-made surface-to-air missile. But Storchevoy said that there was no tangible evidence supporting that claim.
"In fact, on the skin covering the Boeing 777 there is no single hole which would indicate that the plane was shot by a BUK M1. There is no damage which would confirm the form of the destructive agent, the butterfly-shaped shrapnel," Storchevoy said.
The Boeing 777 was downed on July 17, 2014, over eastern Ukraine, the scene of fighting between pro-Russia rebels and Ukrainian government forces, killing all 298 people on board, most of them Dutch nationals.
The Dutch-led panel, which included investigators from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and Ukraine, did not explicitly assign blame, despite Western suspicions that pro-Russia rebels in eastern Ukraine shot down the plane, mistaking it for a military aircraft. The 15-month probe only identified an area of 320 square kilometers (120 square miles) from where it said the launch must have taken place.
Russia's state-run missile manufacturer, Almaz-Antey, said Tuesday its own investigation indicates the BUK missile was fired from the town of Zaroshenske, which it says was under control of Ukrainian government forces at the time of the incident. It also said the shape of puncture marks found on the fuselage of the ill-fated MH17 seem to indicate it was brought down by an older Soviet-era BUK missile that Russia no longer produces.