In a conflict about landingrights at Schiphol airport, Dutch government bent for blackmail by the Russian government. Russia threatened to close Russian airspace for Dutch airlines effective Saturday, if Russian freight airline AirBridgeCargo was not given all the slots it had before it lost slots due to slotregulation.
This shows that legal steps by Dutch State against the Russian Federation because of MH17 are unlikely.
Slot regulated airport
Airlines operating to and from Schiphol need to have slots. A slot is a reserveration which allows an airline to land or takeoff from Schiphol in a certain timeframe. Slots are required as capacity at Schiphol airport is almost full.
Each airline needs to request the number of slots it wants for the next season to the Dutch slot coordination. If the airline does not consume 80% or more of the requested slots, the next season the number of slots are reduced as a penalty.
This happened to Russian cargo airlines AirBridgeCargo. The number of slots were reduced from 23 to 13 for the winterseason. As a result AirBridgeCargo had to move a couple of flights to Liege airport in Belgium.
Russian government was not amused. It threatened to disallow KLM using Russian airspace if AirBridgeCargo was not given back the slots it requires. KLM overflies Russian airspace enroute to destination in China, Japan and South Korea. If KLM would have to make a detour to avoid Russian airspace, it would cost an enormous amount of money and multiple extra hours of flight.
KLM made a deal with AirBridgeCargo to resolve this and hands over some of its slots to the Russian airline.
Now back to MH17
Russian Federation supplied the BUK TELAR which fired a missile at MH17 killing 298 innocent people. Russian state is liable for supplying a deadly weapon in an area with active civil flights and not taking all actions needed to avoid shooting down a civilian aircraft.
So Dutch state must and should state a legal case against the Russian Federation at either International Court of Justice of European Court of Human Rights.
Dutch PM Rutte did not say anything about taking legal steps against the Russian Federation except that first the criminal investigation done by JIT has to be finished. Also Dutch government promised the Dutch Parliament to send a letter before the end of 2017 which informs about possible legal steps taken against states.
In the meanwhile the Dutch government will not financially support next of kin if they take legal steps against Russia or Ukraine.
Now seeing the threat by Russia to close the airspace for KLM, it is 100% certain Russia will respond with economic sanctions to any legal step taken by the Netherlands against Russian Federation. PM Rutte is aware of that. We also know the interest of Dutch companies like Shell and Gasunie in Russia.
So legal steps against Russian Federation related to MH17 seems out of the question. Economics is more important than justice.