Russia vetoes UN resolution on MH17 tribunal

29th July 2015, Comments 0 comments

Russia vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution on Wednesday that sought to set up a special tribunal to try those responsible for shooting down flight MH17 over Ukraine.

Eleven of the 15 members of the Security Council voted in favor of the resolution, which had been drafted by Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Ukraine.

Russia exercised its veto. Angola, China and Venezuela abstained. The Security Council session began with a moment's silence in honor of the 298 people killed in the July 2014 disaster.

"What are the grounds to be assured of the impartiality of such an investigation?" Russian ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin said in a speech to the Council after the vote.

He asked how it could resist an "aggressive backdrop of propaganda in the media."

Russia drafted an alternative resolution that does not include a tribunal but asks for a full international investigation.

Malaysia's transport minister earlier appealed to Council members to adopt the resolution and said a tribunal would be best placed to "deliver justice to the families of the victims."

"All those who travel by air will be more at risk if the perpetrators are not held to account," Liow Tiong Lai said.

The flight was downed over rebel-held east Ukraine during heavy fighting between Kiev's armed forces and pro-Russian separatists.

The majority of passengers on the flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur were Dutch.

© 2015 AFP

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