Prosecutors at The Hague on Wednesday issued arrest warrants for three Russians and one Ukrainian involved in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in 2014 which killed 298 people. 

The court case will begin in March 2020 and the four men will likely be tried in absentia, Reuters reported. Authorities are hoping Moscow will cooperate with extraditing the Russian nationals to face prosecution. 

"In the short term we will ask Russia to hand the summons of the suspects who are in the Russian Federation," Dutch Prosecutor Fred Westerbeke said.

U.K. Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said Russia "must cooperate fully with the prosecution and provide any assistance it requests," the BBC reported. 

One of the suspects named by the Dutch Joint Investigation Team (JIT), is Russian national Igor Gorkin, a former colonel in Russia's FSB intelligence agency, who has denied pro-Russian militias shot down the plane. 

Alexander Borodai, a Russian separatist leader in the Donetsk region in 2014, told the Associated Press that the allegations that pro-Russian rebels were behind the attack are false. 

The JIT said the plane was shot down with a Buk missile that originated from the Russian military. 

Controversy surrounds around how much involvement the Russian government had in the attack. The Russian Foreign Ministry called the accusations "an attempt to discredit our nation in the eyes of the international community."

The Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot down over eastern Ukraine in July 2014. The plane crashed in the Donetsk area of Ukraine, where Russian-backed separatist militias are fighting Ukrainian government forces.