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MOSCOW, July 16 /TASS/. The idea to create a tribunal to investigate the MH17 crash is aimed at punishing those whom the United States considers to be guilty, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Thursday commenting remarks by US Ambassador to Russia John Tefft who said the United States allegedly knew who had shot the Malaysian Boeing down.
"I remember the ambassador’s interview in which he said in a very categorical manner that the United States knew for sure who had downed the plane and added that it was waiting for the end of investigation," Lavrov said adding the phrase sounded a bit contradictory given the confidence which the US certainly has.
"But if Washington really thinks like Tefft says, the idea of a tribunal becomes a bit clearer. If they know everything, and the United States has actively supported the idea of tribunal’s creation by a UN Security Council resolution, then perhaps it is easy to put two and two together and understand what goal it [the tribunal] will pursue," the Russian foreign minister stressed.
"It turns out that it should guarantee the punishment of those whom Washington considers to be guilty. Let me leave it to Mr. Tefft’s conscience," Lavrov said.
Recalling the US ambassador’s interview, Lavrov said Tefft had touched upon many things. "He said that the ‘annexation’ of Crimea was a direct cause behind the Ukraine crisis. He also denied the assertion that the Maidan led to a state coup in Ukraine and doubted that the referendum in Crimea really reflected the will expressed by its population. I leave it to his conscience," Lavrov said.
On July 14, Malaysia submitted a draft resolution to the UN Security Council suggesting to create an international tribunal to investigate the MH17 crash near Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, on July 17, 2014. The date of the vote will be set later. The initiative came from Malaysia, Australia, the Netherlands (most of the MH17 passengers were Dutch), Ukraine and Belgium. Malaysia wants the tribunal to guarantee a fair trial for the people guilty of the crash. Russia is against Malaysia’s initiative.
Russia wants to wait for the final results of investigation into MH17 crash before launching initiatives to create a tribunal, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov continued.
"It turns out that after a year of inaction when Russia’s numerous appeals to the UN Security Council to step up the investigation were left unanswered, we are now being told: "let’s urgently create an international tribunal’," Lavrov said.
"Draft resolutions on this subject arouse many questions. The most important thing is that the /Boeing/ incident is classified as a threat to international peace and security despite the fact that UN Security Council resolution 2166 does not contain this classification," the Russian diplomat went on to say.
The plane crash, Lavrov said, is a crime, and it was investigated by the Netherlands and Malaysia as a crime. "The United Nations Security Council has got nothing to do with it. No tribunals have ever been set up to investigate passenger plane crashes," the Russian foreign minister stressed.
"We believe that it is unnecessary to put the cart before a horse. The investigation is not yet competed. UN Security Council resolution 2166 really calls for punishing all the culprits. The investigation will be over by October or even later — by year end," Lavrov concluded.
The investigation into the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine is conducted without recognizing the key role of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Thursday.
"When this terrible disaster occurred almost a year ago, we were among those who initiated the adoption of the UN Security Council resolution. Since then, we have repeatedly called for scrupulously abiding by this Resolution 2166 in all its components," Lavrov noted. "As you remember, this resolution said it was necessary to ensure the comprehensive, thorough and independent investigation into the tragedy in full compliance with the resolution itself and the ICAO regulations.
"Unfortunately, the resolution has not been abided by in this part, as well as in some others, the investigation is conducted without the recognition of the key role of the ICAO, not under the CIAO auspices," he went on to say. "Instead, the investigation’s option based on individual countries’ relations with Ukraine has been chosen. If I remember correctly, these agreements have never been published in full."