The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) yesterday released significant findings that the BUK missile system used to down MH17 belonged to the 53rd Brigade of the Russian army.

These findings are built on earlier findings that the BUK missile system was taken from Russia to eastern Ukraine and back, immediately after the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 on 17 July 2014.

Based on these findings, the only conclusion we can reasonably now draw is that Russia was directly involved in the downing of MH17.

This evening Australia and the Netherlands notified the Russian Federation that we hold it responsible for its role in the downing.  We have requested negotiations to open dialogue around the circumstances leading to the tragic loss of innocent lives.

The Russian Federation must be held to account for its conduct in the downing of MH17 over eastern Ukraine, which resulted in the tragic deaths of 298 passengers and crew, including 38 people who called Australia home.

Holding the Russian Federation responsible under international law is separate, but complementary to, the prosecution of the individual suspects, which is taking place under the Dutch national system.

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