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Russian nationals Igor Girkin, Sergey Dubinskiy and Oleg Pulatov, as well as Ukrainian Leonid Kharchenko, accused of downing of flight MH17, are shown on screen as international investigators present their latest findings in the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, nearly five years after the crash that killed 298 passengers and crew, in Nieuwegein, Netherlands. - Reuters

MOSCOW: Moscow slammed ‘unfounded accusations’ by international investigators who on Wednesday charged four people, including Russian citizens, with murder over the 2014 shooting down of flight MH17 above rebel-held eastern Ukraine.

“Once again, absolutely unfounded accusations are being made against the Russian side, aimed at discrediting Russia in the eyes of the international community,” the foreign ministry said in a statement on its website.

In the statement, Moscow said it had been ready to provide “all-round assistance to the investigation” from the first day, but argued it had been frozen out of the investigation.

The foreign ministry said information given by the Russian side had been ignored.

Russia has long denied all involvement in the downing of the jet.

“You know our attitude towards this investigation. Russia had no opportunity to take part in it even though it showed initiative from... the very first days of this tragedy,” President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters earlier Wednesday.

On Wednesday Dutch-led international investigators issues arrest warrants for three Russians and a Ukrainian, saying they would go on trial in March next year.

However they are likely to be tried in absentia in the Netherlands as neither Russia nor Ukraine extradites their nationals.--AFP

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