Russia vetoes international tribunal on MH 17 crash

Moscow, July 30 (IANS) Russia has vetoed a draft resolution to set up an international tribunal to look into the crash of Malaysian Airlines MH17 flight in Ukraine last year, a media report said on Thursday.

Eleven UN Security Council (UNSC) members on Wednesday voted in support of the Malaysia-proposed draft resolution, with Angola, Venezuela and China abstaining, RT news reported.

This was enough for the resolution to pass, but Russia applied its veto right as a permanent UNSC member.

Despite the veto, Moscow is ready to assist the investigation into the reasons behind the Malaysian Boeing 777 crash, Russian UN envoy Vitaly Churkin said.

“Russia stands ready to cooperate in the conduct of a full, independent and objective investigation of the reasons and circumstances of the crash,” he said.

Churkin added that Russia repeatedly said that it would not support the tribunal “due to the fact that the UNSC resolution did not qualify the Boeing tragedy as a threat to international peace and security”.

“It is difficult to explain how the event, which wasn’t considered a threat to international peace and security a year ago, now suddenly becomes one,” he said.

The Malaysian Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk region on July 17 2014, killing all 298 people onboard.

Pro-Russian rebels in the area have denied shooting down the aircraft.

Western nations and Ukraine have said there is evidence it was hit by a Russian-supplied Buk anti-aircraft missile – a claim denied by Russia.

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