Tributes were paid in the Netherlands and around the world to the 298 people who lost their lives when a Malaysian Airlines passenger plane went down in eastern Ukraine one year ago today. Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier also remembered the many victims, including four German nationals, and renewed his calls for a full investigation of the incident.
One year after the downing of flight MH17, flags on public buildings in the Netherlands were at half‑mast; memorial services were held across the country. Wreaths and flowers were laid at Amsterdam airport. On 17 July 2014, the Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 took off from Amsterdam en route for Kuala Lumpur – and crashed over eastern Ukraine.
The background to the incident, and questions of responsibility, have not yet been fully resolved. Immediately after the disaster, Foreign Minister Steinmeier spoke of "an atrocity beyond all imagining" and joined his fellow European Foreign Ministers in calling for an investigation.
A full inquiry is needed
On the anniversary of this horrendous incident in eastern Ukraine, the German Foreign Minister recalled: "One year ago, the news that flight MH17 had crashed in Ukraine sent shockwaves and caused consternation around the world. We remember the many victims, including four Germans. Our thoughts are with all those who lost friends or relatives in the crash of flight MH17."
Steinmeier added that a full investigation was needed and that those responsible for the downing of flight MH17 had to be held accountable and brought to justice. A German Government spokesperson also stressed on Friday (17 July) that all possible means of investigating the incident would be welcomed and backed by the German Government.