SOCHI: Malaysia has reaffirmed its stand to Russia that those responsible for the downing of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 must be brought to justice.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said the country’s stand on the tragedy was conveyed to Russian President Vladimir Putin during his bilateral meeting with the latter, earlier today.
“We are firm on our stand. There must be closure to victims’ loved ones and that the perpetrators must be brought to justice,” he told the Malaysian media after his 30-minute meeting with Putin on the sidelines the Asean-Russia Commemorative Summit here.
Also present during the meeting were Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman and Malaysian Ambassador to Russia Datuk Hayati Ismail.
Najib said both he and Putin agreed that both countries would sit down to deliberate on the course of action after the release of the Joint Investigation Team’s (JIT) report on the criminal aspect of the tragedy in October.
“We will spare no efforts to ensure that we achieve these objectives,” he said.
MH17 was downed over eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014, while en route to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam, Holland with 298 passengers and crew on board.
A Dutch Safety Board (DSB) report released Oct 13 last year had confirmed that MH17 was brought down by a Russian-made BUK missile over eastern Ukraine where fighting raged between government forces and pro-Russia separatists.
The report did not blame any party for firing the missile, as the ambit of the DSB investigation was only to confirm the circumstances and cause of the incident.
Meanwhile, Najib said that in the meeting, he also raised the possibility of Malaysia entering into Free Trade Agreement with Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) to boost trade with its member countries, including Russia.
“We noted that trade cooperation between Malaysia and Russia has the potential for expansion,” he said.
Najib said he also proposed for direct and chartered flights between Kuala Lumpur and Moscow to increase the number of tourist arrivals from Russia.
He said Putin also expressed his hope for the two countries’ cooperation in the area of economy, technical, education, military to be enhanced.
“We also agreed to work together in addressing the threat violent extremism which needed strong bilateral and international ties,” he said.
Najib said Putin also urged for the two countries to meet soon to discuss the Malaysia-Russia joint-commission for economic, scientific, technical and cultural cooperation which was signed last year.
Najib is here to lead Malaysia’s delegation to the two-day summit, which ends tomorrow (Friday), to commemorate 20 years of ASEAN-Russia dialogue relations.
Today, he is expected to hold his first bilateral meeting with his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc, who was sworn in into office in April.