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MH17 crash probe not comprehensive, not truly international — Lavrov

August 05, 2015, 14:17 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Instead of acting under the authority of the International Civil Aviation Organization, Ukraine, Australia, Belgium and the Netherlands signed bilateral agreements, Russia's Foreign Minister says
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© TASS/Mikhail Pochuev

MOSCOW, August 5. /TASS/. The investigation of the last year's Malaysian Airlines MH17 flight crash in eastern Ukraine was "not independent, not comprehensive and not truly international", Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with Channel News Asia.

"From the very first days, if not hours, of this incident we have been insisting on very thorough investigation," Lavrov said. "And we were among the initiators of the [UN] Security Council Resolution 2166, which was adopted a bit more than one year ago, on July 21 last year, and which called for through comprehensive independent international investigation under the authority of the International Civil Aviation Organization. The [UN] Security Council pledged to keep this investigation under its permanent review."

The foreign minister reminded that UN Security Council has also "called upon the [UN] Secretary General to provide recommendations as to how the Security Council and the United Nations in general can help and assist the investigation." "And it also called upon all countries who might possess any information to submit it to the investigation procedures," he added.

"Unfortunately, the investigation which was started was not independent, was not comprehensive and was not truly international," Lavrov continued. "Instead of acting under the authority of the International Civil Aviation Organization... Ukraine, Australia, Belgium and the Netherlands signed bilateral agreements between themselves, the substance of which was never made fully known, and they organized a joint criminal investigation team last August. It’s really very strange that Malaysia was invited to join only in December 2014."

The Russian foreign minister admitted that "technical investigation team is broader, they invited several other countries to participate in this technical investigation, including the Russian Federation." "But the information we receive through this representative is not complete. We are being given less than those who started the investigation, which is also subject to questions," he noted.

Lavrov also drew attention to the fact that "the call of the [UN] Security Council upon all countries to submit information which might have any relevance to the incident, was basically responded only by Russia." "We submitted the data from our radar station in the Rostov region, which monitored these skies at that time. The Americans said that they did have images from the satellite but never submitted them, never made them public. The same is true for the Ukrainians who were asked to provide the recordings of the air controllers and between the planes up in the area of the incident," he explained.

"All this, unfortunately, has been repeatedly brought to the attention of the United Nations, of the general public by us. We suggested that the Security Council couple of times should consider the implementation of that resolution and should call upon everyone to strictly abide by its provisions," Lavrov said. "Unfortunately, the proposals were blocked at the [UN] Security Council. And the Secretary General was also asked by us to appoint a special envoy to monitor the investigation. And we also suggested to dispatch a Security Council mission to the area. All this was blocked, and unfortunately, blocked by those very countries who now insist on creating the tribunal," the foreign minister concluded.

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