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Russia committed to thorough investigation of MH17 crash — foreign ministry

July 30, 2015, 11:51 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Russia refused to put through the politicized decision forced on the UN Security Council on establishing an international tribunal on MH17 crash, the Russian Foreign Ministry notes
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Piece of Malaysian Boeing-777 plane

Piece of Malaysian Boeing-777 plane

© AP Photo/ Dmitry Lovetsky, file

MOSCOW, July 30. /TASS/. Russia remains committed to thorough and objective international investigation of MH17 crash over Ukraine and to bringing those guilty to justice, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Thursday.

"Russia will continue making the most energetic efforts on rendering all possible assistance to investigating the air crash," the document said. Russia refused to put through the politicized decision forced on the UN Security Council on establishing an international tribunal to bring those guilty in Malaysian Boeing-777 crash over Ukraine to justice, the Russian Foreign Ministry noted.

Russia tried to prevent the split in the UN Security Council and bring the issue into constructive framework, the document said. "This is exactly what the draft resolution proposed by Russia and based on [UN Security Council] Resolution 2166 was aimed at — to broadly employ UN mechanisms for soonest completion of full, transparent and trustworthy international investigation of the crash and subsequently search for the most appropriate format of legal proceedings," the foreign ministry said. "Only the full implementation of Resolution 2166 will allow to find those guilty and bring them to justice," the ministry added.

"Russia condemns the destruction of Malaysian plane MH17 by unidentified persons and once again expresses deepest condolences to the relatives of all passengers and crew members that became victims of this horrible tragedy," Russia’s diplomatic agency said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry expressed regret that initiators of the latest UN Security Council session ignored Russia’s proposal. "Instead of that, they preferred to hastily submit for voting in the Security Council their own version with establishing an international tribunal without discussing any other options," the ministry noted. "Our persistent explanations about inexpedience and counter-productiveness of such step, that had no precedents in the past, before the ongoing investigation into circumstances of the air crash is complete, were not taken into account," the diplomatic agency stressed.

Russia vetoes UN Security Council resolution

On Thursday, Russia vetoed the United Nations Security Council resolution on establishing an international tribunal to prosecute persons guilty of the MH17 plane crash over Ukraine on July 17, 2014 on Wednesday.

Eleven Security Council members voted for the Malaysia-proposed draft, which, in fact, was enough for its adoption but Russia used its right of veto.

Another three countries, including Angola, Venezuela and China, abstained from voting.

The two-page Malaysia-proposed draft resolution classifies the incident as a threat to international peace and security and provides for the creation of a tribunal under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter in pursuit of a single goal — to prosecute persons responsible for the crimes linked to the destruction of the Malaysia Airlines plane (flight MH17). The statute (charter) of the proposed tribunal, which supplements the draft resolution, demands that all countries should cooperate with the future legal body in full measure.

Russian Ambassador to United Nations Vitaly Churkin told journalists on July 27 that Moscow had legal, practical and political objections regarding the proposal. Churkin said it was wrong to classify the air crash as a threat to international peace and security and create a tribunal proceeding from Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter.

"Never before international tribunals were established to investigate civilian plane crashes under Chapter VII of the UN Charter. No tribunal was set up to investigate the crash of a Russian airliner shot down by a Ukrainian anti-aircraft missile in 2001 or a US-destroyed Iranian plane," Churkin said.

MH17 crash in 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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