The missile that shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 came from the arsenals of the Ukrainian army, not from Russia, officials in Moscow say.
The passenger jet was shot down by a Soviet-made missile over rebel-held eastern Ukraine in July 2014, killing all 298 people on board.
The Netherlands and Australia announced in May that they believe the missile was transported to Ukraine from a military unit in the Russian city of Kursk.
Russia has vehemently denied involvement and has over the years come up with various theories as to the cause of the crash.
Lt Gen Nikolai Parshin, chief of the Missile and Artillery Directorate at the Russian Defence Ministry, told reporters on Monday that the military had studied and declassified archives at the research centre outside Moscow that produced the Buk missiles after the Dutch investigators displayed parts of the missile and their serial numbers.
Lt Gen Parshin said the Russian archives show that the missile that was made of these parts was transported to a military unit in western Ukraine in 1986, and to Russia’s knowledge never left Ukraine.
Asked about the possibility that the separatists may have seized the missile system during fighting in 2014, Defence Ministry spokesman Maj Gen Igor Konashenkov conceded that Russia does not have any documents proving otherwise, but pointed to the statements of Ukrainian officials who have denied that separatists seized any of their Buks.
– Press Association