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Putin states inexpediency of establishing international tribunal on MH17 crash

July 29, 2015, 14:12 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The Russian side stressed readiness for close cooperation with the aim of finding causes and circumstances of the tragedy
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The wreckage of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17

The wreckage of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17

© Mikhail Pochuyev/TASS

MOSCOW, July 29. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has stated in a telephone conversation with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Wednesday that establishing an international tribunal on Flight MH17 crash in Ukraine is inexpedient.

"The Russian president confirmed that Moscow’s position on inexpediency of establishing an international tribunal remains unchanged," the Kremlin press service said. "It was also stressed that many questions still remain to the investigation, including to collected evidence and to denying Russia access to significant part in the process [of the investigation]. The Russian side stressed readiness for close cooperation with the aim of finding causes and circumstances of this tragedy," the press service added.

Putin also stressed that it is necessary to fully implement UN Security Council Resolution 2166 adopted on 21 July 2014 and put forward by Russia that calls for ensuring comprehensive, thorough and independent investigation of MH17 crash. "The sides exchanged opinions on experts’ work in the framework of preparing a new UN Security Council resolution on this matter," the press service continued. "Putin noted that the draft resolution put forward by Russia is aimed at coordinating with the tasks outlined in Resolution 2166. Regret was expressed in connection with the fact that countries calling for establishing an international tribunal on Malaysia Airlines plane crash, did not support this compromise draft [resolution]," the Kremlin added.

Draft resolution on MH17 international tribunal

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."

MH17 crash in east Ukraine

On 17 July 2014, a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 passenger airliner on flight MH17 from the Dutch city of Amsterdam to the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur crashed in the Donetsk Region in eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board. Most passengers - 193 people - were Dutch nationals. The suspected cause of the crash is that the plane was hit by a surface-to-air missile. The Dutch Safety Board is conducting the investigation.

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