The Coalition welcomes the verdict of the District Court of the Hague in the Netherlands finding three pro-Russian individuals guilty of downing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17.

We welcome the Court imposing sentences of life imprisonment for these crimes and the finding that the Russian Federation controlled the separatist forces guilty of the murder of the 298 people on board, including 38 people who called Australia home.

This verdict is welcome but difficult for the families and loved ones of the 298 people aboard Flight MH17 and we hope some comfort can be found from the outcome of the trials.

The successful prosecution of Igor Girkin, Sergey Dubinskiy and Leonid Kharchenko in an open and independent court, sends a powerful message that the world will stand steadfast against such abhorrent crimes and hold those responsible to account.

Efforts to ensure those responsible face genuine punishment and justice must continue, as must the efforts to have Russia cease its senseless campaigns of violence.

The Coalition thanks the joint investigating team and Dutch prosecutors, and all nations who have supported the investigations to achieve justice, particularly the Netherlands, Malaysia, Belgium and Ukraine.

We pay tribute to those who lost their lives on Flight MH17 in 2014, our thoughts remain with their families and friends.