EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and European Commission Vice President Federica Mogherini has called on the worldwide community to support a criminal investigation into the downing of the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 (MH17) in Donbas in July 2014. Most of the passengers, 196 people, were Dutch, but victims also included citizens of Australia and Malaysia among other countries. On this day in the Netherlands will open the memorial to the victims of flight MH17.
Accompanied by the Dutch King Willem-Alexander and his wife, Queen Maxima, as well as Dutch government officials, 2,000 relatives of those killed gathered in the town of Vijfhuizen to mark the third anniversary of the disaster. The memorial's design includes 298 newly planted trees - each one bearing the name of a victim - that form the shape of a green ribbon.
A Dutch-led team of investigators that included Australians concluded in September the rocket was sacked from territory in eastern Ukraine held by pro-Russian separatists.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko marked the anniversary with renewed condemnation of Russian Federation.
"It was a barefaced crime that could have been avoided if not for the Russian aggression, Russian system and Russian missile that came from Russian territory", Poroshenko wrote.
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Three years on from the tragedy, closure remains elusive for the victims' families.
The European Union foreign affairs chief, Federica Mogherini, called for worldwide cooperation in the hunt for the perpetrators.
Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai told reporters after the event, which was closed to the media, that the investigation was "very detailed and we are quite convinced that we will be able to find the culprits".
"To ensure that those responsible for the downing of MH17 are held accountable and brought to justice, the criminal investigation needs the continuing support of the worldwide community", Mogherini said in a statement circulated by the European Union Delegation to Russian Federation on the third anniversary of the MH17 crash.