The Dutch government is taking Russia to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) over the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine in 2014.
Analysts say countries very rarely bring lawsuits against other countries in the Strasbourg-based court, with only 24 so-called “inter-state applications” filed in its nearly 70-year history.
“Achieving justice for the 298 victims of the downing of Flight MH17 is and will remain the government’s highest priority,” Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok said in a statement.
“By taking this step today — bringing a case before the ECHR and thus supporting the applications of the next of kin as much as we can — we are moving closer to this goal,” Blok said.
Prosecutors and international investigators say a Russian-made BUK surface-to-air missile hit the Boeing 777 that was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur on July 17, 2014.
Russia continues to deny allegations that it was involved in shooting down MH17.
Russian officials have not yet responded to the Dutch government’s announcement of an ECHR suit.
A court in the Hague is also presiding over a murder trial against three Russians and one Ukrainian national in connection with MH17.