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MOSCOW, September 17. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia should not allow soft-pedalling the probe of the Malaysian airliner’s crash over Ukraine, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with Rossiiskaya Gazeta daily’s multilingual news and information resource Russia Beyond The Headlines for Spanish daily El Pais.
“We should not allow the inquiry in the details of the MH17 crash to be soft-pedalled as this had already happened to many other Ukrainian tragedies, including the sniper shooting of civilians in Kiev in February, massacres in Odessa (Ukrainian Black Sea port) and Mariupol (a city in the Donetsk region) in May and so on,” the foreign minister said. “We will insist with determination on bringing all who are responsible for these crimes to justice,” he added.
The minister recalled that Russia has appealed to conduct an open and unbiased international probe since July 17. “UN Security Council Resolution 2166 adopted on July 21 envisages a comprehensive, detailed and independent investigation under fundamental principles and rules of the International Civil Aviation Organization,” he noted.
“With due account of a broad international outcry to the tragedy, we believe that conducting this probe is not only vitally important to find true reasons of the air crash and to bring those guilty to account,” Lavrov said. “This also concerns issues of maintaining international peace and security. We call for strict observance of the UN Security Council’s decision under, which the council will keep the developments under control.”
The Russian foreign minister noted that a horrible tragedy caused by the crash of the Malaysian airliner not only claimed many lives, but was also used for deliberate fuelling of international tension, pressure on different countries and pushing for ‘sectoral’ sanctions on Russia. “We call strongly on all parties to refrain from groundless accusing statements which undermine the foundations of international relations and constitute blatant acts of interference in the investigation,” Lavrov noted.
“The truth should be found,” he said. “This is our resolute demand, as several member-states do not show special enthusiasm to conduct a transparent and supervised probe,” he noted.
The Russian minister also focused on “obvious protraction of the investigation”. “A report delivered by the international committee does not contain convincing information about the details of the air crash,” the foreign minister said. “Most important expertise and surveys, including collection and demonstration of airliner fragments, search for striking elements and forensic expertise were not conducted. Without this data, no conclusions can be drawn about the causes of the incident.”
Meanwhile, answers for which Russian Defense Ministry and Air Transport Agency had asked earlier, were not received. Russia noted the lack of mentioning UN Security Council Resolution 2166 in the report and the mechanism of the UN general secretary’s reports on developments in context of the probe envisaged in this resolution.
“We put in question the sovereign right of ‘the state of the event’ (Ukraine) to define a mechanism for conducting the investigation in the airliner’s crash in the air space of the country,” Lavrov said. “Meanwhile, we are convinced that this mechanism should ensure a truly international character of the probe and sufficient ‘transparency’ in the issues of conducting it. Meanwhile, it is important so that specialists from different countries included in the group of international experts will act in close contact with each other as a common team, without any external interference and also will have an equal and just access to all materials of the probe," Lavrov said.