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Netherlands provides no response on alleged Buk missile debris — Lavrov

August 24, 2015, 14:04 UTC+3

Russia's top diplomat noted that the key facts in investigation of Malaysian Boeing crash over Ukraine are still withheld

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Buk-M1 air defense missile system

Buk-M1 air defense missile system

© Vladimir Zinin/ITAR-TASS

VLADIMIR, August 24. /TASS/. The Dutch investigators have failed to answer Russia’s questions on the Buk missile debris allegedly found at the Boeing crash site in eastern Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told a youth forum in the Vladimir region, central Russia, on Monday.

Speaking at the event called Territory of Meanings on the Klyazma, Lavrov said the Dutch Safety Board which conducts the investigation into the July 2014 crash held a number of meetings recently.

"We asked them questions, in particular, why the report on the Buk missile parts which they found several months ago comes only now, and asked them to show them, and they did not. We asked where they had found them - and they did not tell us either," Lavrov said.

"We strive to carry out a fair investigation into the tragedy and all the key facts were concealed and are being concealed," he said.

The draft UN resolution to set up an international tribunal into the MH17 crash, which Moscow vetoed in late July, was aimed at "confirming the image of Russia as guilty in that awful crime," Lavrov said.

Lavrov reminded that Russia is the only country that has been calling over the past year for implementing the UN Security Council resolution on investigating the causes of the Boeing crash.

On August 12, the Dutch Safety Board and the Dutch Prosecutor’s Office published a joint press release, which said that the investigators were scrutinizing the elements, which, they believe, might be related to the Buk anti-aircraft missile system. 

MH17 crash

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 onboard. Most passengers - 193 people - were Dutch nationals. Investigators believe the plane was shot down by a surface-to-air missile.

The Dutch Safety Board is conducting the investigation.

Russia's position

Russia wants the investigation to be brought to the end in strict compliance with UN Security Council Resolution 2166.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has called for making the punishment inevitable for the people guilty of the crash after the investigation is over.

"We are ready to discuss possible mechanisms for bringing the persons responsible for the MH17 crash to justice by using practices that used to be applied previously in such cases," Lavrov said.

UN Security Council resolution veto

Russia has vetoed the United Nations Security Council resolution on establishing an international tribunal to prosecute persons guilty of the MH17 plane crash.

Eleven Security Council members voted for the Malaysia-proposed draft. 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 believes that it is 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 have international tribunals been 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 in one of his interviews.

Russia submitted an alternative draft resolution to the UN Security Council designed to support an independent international investigation into the MH17 air crash. The Russia-proposed document suggests appointing a special representative of the United Nations secretary-general to supervise the tragedy’s investigation. The text says nothing about the need to set up an international tribunal. Instead, it demands that persons guilty of the air crash be brought to justice and that all states continue cooperation in this direction after the international investigation is over.

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