MONTREAL: Two sources familiar with the matter have told CNN that the UN aviation agency will discuss whether to hear a case against Russia for the 2014 downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 on Friday.


When Flight MH17 was shot down over rebel-held eastern Ukraine by a surface-to-air missile last year, killing all 298 people on board, Australia and the Netherlands took the initiative to take action at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

Australia has stated that Russia is legally liable for the loss of life, and that bringing the matter before the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) would be a positive step in the fight for the 38 Australians who were killed.

The Russian government has strongly denied responsibility for the incident. The Russian ICAO delegation could not be reached for comment right away. Experts say the move may be seen as another way to force Russia into negotiations over the incident, though the outcome at the ICAO is uncertain.

One of the two sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the negotiations are private, said that it was unclear whether or not a vote would actually take place on Friday.

After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Moscow has been receiving growing criticism for its actions in the aviation sector, which is why the ICAO’s governing council of 36 members has proposed holding technical talks on the matter.

Russia was unable to secure enough support at the ICAO’s triennial assembly in October, costing the country its place on the council. The Council has also criticized Russia for its practice of dual-registering commercial aircraft, which it says violates international norms.

Despite operating across political divides, the 193 member states of ICAO, based in Montreal, Canada, have consistently adopted the organization’s global aviation standards.

Council members prefer “the discussion be conducted as a closed diplomatic session,” the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) said in a statement.