Russia Vetoes UN Resolution for Setting Tribunal on MH17 Disaster
Russia vetoed on Wednesday the United Nations (UN) resolution on establishing an international tribunal for prosecuting the people guilty of shooting down the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 (MH17).
Eleven members of the UN Security Council (UNSC) voted in favour of the proposal, which would have been enough for the resolution to be adopted, but Russia used its right of veto.
The remaining three countries sitting on the UNSC – Angola, Venezuela and China abstained, TASS news agency informs.
Prior to the vote, the UNSC observed a minute of silence in memory of the victims.
The draft resolution, which was proposed by Malaysia, classified the incident as a threat to international peace and security and called for the creation of an international tribunal under Chapter VII of the UN Charter.
The envisaged tribunal would have had a single goal – prosecuting the persons responsible for the crimes linked to the destruction of MH17.
Russian Ambassador to UN Vitaly Churkin said on Monday that his country had legal, practical and political objections to the proposed tribunal.
Churkin stated it was wrong to classify the air crash as a threat to international peace and security, reminding that never before international tribunals have been established to investigate civilian airplane crashes under Chapter VII of the UN Charter.
Russia has submitted an alternative draft resolution to UNSC, which envisages support for an independent international investigation, but without setting up a tribunal.
Russia proposes for the appointment of a special representative to UN Secretary-General to supervise the investigation of the tragedy.
MH17 was on a flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur with 283 passengers and 15 crew members on board, when it was shot down near Donetsk on 17 July 2014.
The resulting crash claimed the lives of all 298 people on board.
It still remains unclear whether the plane was shot down by pro-Russian separatists or Ukrainian forces, with the two sides hurling mutual accusations at each other.
An investigation to determine the perpetrators is still ongoing with a final report expected to be released in October.
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