UNITED NATIONS, July 29 /TASS/. 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.
Prior to the vote, the UN Security Council observed a minute of silence in memory of the MH17 victims who died in an air crash near Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, on July 17, 2014.
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.
Russia had 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.