Russia is formally to be held responsible by the Dutch and Australian governments for the destruction of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine four years ago.

The Netherlands and Australia are two of the five participant states – along with Ukraine, Malaysia and Belgium – in the Joint Investigation Team which has been probing the loss of the Boeing 777-200ER, shot down by a surface-to-air missile in July 2014.

Both countries have informed Russia of the decision and requested that Russian government representatives enter into talks to find a solution that will result in "justice" for those who have suffered from the downing of the jet.

This decision is separate, the ministry stresses, from the continuing criminal probe to identify and prosecute those directly responsible for the attack.

Investigators have traced the origin of the Buk missile transporter, which fired the weapon, back to a Russian armed forces base in Kursk.

"On the basis of the [investigation team's] conclusions, the Netherlands and Australia are now convinced that Russia is responsible for the deployment of the Buk installation that was used to down MH17," says Dutch foreign minister Stef Blok.

"The government is now taking the next step by formally holding Russia accountable."

The foreign ministry says that it could present its case to an international court, or similar organisation, for judgement.

"State responsibility comes into play when states fail to uphold the provisions of international law," the ministry adds. "A state can then be held responsible for breaching one or more of those provisions.

"This is the legal avenue that the Netherlands and Australia have now chosen to pursue."

Source: Cirium Dashboard