Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said Monday that his government would hold off assigning blame for last week’s missile strike that brought down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, as it pursues its top priorities of recovering the victims’ bodies and conducting an independent investigation of the crash site in eastern Ukraine.
In a nationally televised address to a special meeting of the Dutch parliament, Rutte called the delays in recovering the bodies and launching the probe “unbearable.” But he said finger-pointing would only provoke further delays. U.S. and Ukrainian government officials have identified pro-Russian separatist forces as the likely culprits in the catastrophic shootdown.
“I realize that many people want us to establish the facts as quickly as possible so that we can state who was to blame,” Rutte said. “But I have to point out the dilemma that we are facing, which is that never, ever should assigning blame lead to diminished chances of recovering the bodies and carrying out an independent inquiry.”. . .