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UN SC will vote on draft resolution on establishing international tribunal for MH17 crash

July 29, 2015, 8:52 UTC+3 UNITED NATIONS
The draft resolution was proposed by Malaysia on behalf of five countries investigating the tragedy, including Australia, Belgium, the Netherlands and Ukraine
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The wreckage of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17

The wreckage of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17

© Mikhail Pochuyev/TASS

UNITED NATIONS, July 29. /TASS/. UN Security Council will vote on the resolution on establishing an international tribunal for Flight MH17 crash in Ukraine in July 2014 on Wednesday.

The draft resolution was proposed by Malaysia on behalf of five countries investigating the tragedy, including Australia, Belgium, the Netherlands and Ukraine. The tribunal will rely on the results of technical and criminal investigation.

Russia, as one of UN Security Council permanent members with a veto right, has repeatedly stated that it will not support the resolution. "We will vote against it. I have no doubt in that. If the [draft] resolution gets nine or more votes, it will be a veto [from Russia]," Russia’s Ambassador to UN Vitaly Churkin said. "If it gets less than nine votes, then it will be a negative voting by Russia possibly together with some other members of [UN] Security Council," he added.

Moscow thinks that it is wrong to classify the MH17 crash as a "threat to international peace and security." "No international tribunals have been established before in accordance with UN Charter Chapter VII on civilian plane crashes," Churkin noted.

Russia earlier submitted an alternative draft resolution to UN Security Council that supports international investigation. The document envisages appointing UN secretary general’s special representative for investigation. The draft resolution does not mention establishing an international tribunal but instead calls "to bring to justice all those guilty in the air crash" and for all countries "to cooperate in this direction until the international investigation is completed."

Global Security Institute Jonathan Granoff told TASS earlier that Flight MH17 crash cannot be considered as a threat to international security. "It’s an isolated incident, not a systemic one, not part of an ongoing offensive, the way, say, ISIS [Islamic State terrorist organization] would be," he said. "I do not think it is a threat to international peace and security, it doesn’t belong to the Security Council. It would be more legitimate, I think, for the Security Council to address the threat of ISIS. That’s an ongoing threat."

According to Granoff, "in this instance, at worst, it’s a renegade group that did it intentionally." "It’s likely that was a mistake. It appears to be more an act of negligence than an act of intent. In other words, they thought they were fighting a civil war, when they opened fire. They did not mean to shoot a civilian airliner."

The expert pointed to similar incidents in the past when airliners were brought down by mistake, including the Korean Airlines Flight 007 shot down over Sakhalin in 1983, and suggested creating "an ad-hoc tribunal or an institution for downed airliners, some form of international body that will deal with such matters."

"I think it would be legitimate for some form of commission to be created to hold somebody culpable, but I don’t think it’s an issue for the Security Council. I just don’t think it’s a threat to international peace and security," Granoff concluded.

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