June 5, 2015 / 2:28 PM / 3 years ago

Dutch foreign minister to discuss MH17 prosecution in Russia

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders will discuss efforts to prosecute suspects in the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 while in Moscow on Friday, his office said in a statement.

Investigators work near a sign reading "No entrance! There may be remains of the victims of flight MH17 crash at the territory" at the site of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash near the village of Hrabove (Grabovo) in Donetsk region, April 16, 2015. REUTERS/Igor Tkachenko

Koenders will also discuss a Russian blacklist of European politicians during a meeting with his counterpart Sergei Lavrov, it said.

Roughly two-thirds of the 298 victims of the airline disaster on July 17 were Dutch. Suspects have yet to be identified by Dutch prosecutors.

The plane is widely believed to have been shot down with a surface-to-air missile launched by pro-Russian forces in Ukrainian territory, but Moscow denies involvement.

A Dutch Safety Board report on the precise cause of the crash is due in October.

The Netherlands is leading an international investigation into the disaster and has vowed to prosecute those responsible. But the case is unprecedented and it will be legally and politically challenging to put foreign suspects on trial.

Reporting by Anthony Deutsch; Editing by Tom Heneghan

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