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MOSCOW, July 16 /TASS/. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov has refused to predict if Russia is going to veto a UN Security Council Resolution on creation of an international tribunal to investigate the MH17 crash over Ukraine. He, however, recalled that Russian President Vladimir Putin had described the idea about the tribunal as premature and counter-productive.
"Predicting a veto is a thankless task. But the Russian head of state has set forth his position at least," Peskov told journalists.
"By Constitution our foreign policy, the underlying principles of Russia’s foreign policy are formulated exactly by the head of state," Peskov said.
In a telephone conversation with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte held earlier on Thursday, Putin said he was sure that the international tribunal for prosecuting persons responsible for the Boeing’s crash over Ukraine was not needed for the moment.
"Putin detailed the Russian stance on the initiative of some countries, including the Netherlands, to establish an international tribunal to prosecute persons responsible for destroying the Malaysian airliner," the Kremlin press service said.
"It was emphasized that active work was needed to complete the international investigation so as to adopt judicial mechanisms and punish persons guilty of that crime. The investigation should be thorough and objective and have an independent and comprehensive nature in full compliance with the provisions of UN Security Council resolution 2166 adopted on July 21, 2014 on Russia’s initiative," the Kremlin press service said in its statement.
The Kremlin press service also said that politicized smear campaigns in the media regarding the causes of the crash were inadmissible.
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 said on Thursday.
"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’. 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 UN Security Council has never created tribunals to investigate passenger plane crashes - it did not do that in 1988 when the Americans shot down an Iranian passenger airliner or in 2001 when the Ukrainian military downed a Russian plane belonging to the Sibir air company. There were no UN Security Council tribunals in other similar cases. Even on the Lockerbie case, which the UN Security Council tackled many times, the trial was held in the Netherlands according to the Scottish laws," Lavrov explained.
"We believe there is no need 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 after the investigation is completed. The investigation will be over by October or even later - hopefully, by year end," the Russian foreign minister said.
"In view of all that, two things are the most important for us now: first, the access of all the states concerned, at least those that are represented in the international team, to the investigation results without any discrimination; second, we believe that it’s only after that the question of responsibility for the crash can be considered preliminarily and consultations can be held to discuss the optimal forms of doing that in order not to abuse the powers, prerogatives and the authority of the United Nations Security Council," Lavrov concluded.