Putin Likley to Block UN Resolution for International Tribunal into Downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17

A Russian SA-11 missile launcher, which was used to bring Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 down

A Russian SA-11 missile launcher, which was used to bring Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 down


NEW YORK – The United NationsSecurity Council is due to vote on Wednesday on a bid for an international tribunal to prosecute those suspected of downing apassenger airliner last year in Ukraine, but Russia said on
Friday it was likely to block the move.

Malaysia last month circulated a draft resolution to formthe tribunal. Russia last week proposed a rival text that demands justice for the victims of Malaysia Airlines flightMH17, but does not establish a tribunal.

Flight MH17 was shot down in July 2014 with 298 passengerson board, two-thirds of them Dutch. It crashed in Ukrainianterritory held by Russian-backed separatists.

The vote on the proposal by Malaysia, Australia, theNetherlands and Ukraine to create an international tribunal isset for Wednesday afternoon, according to New Zealand, presidentof the UN Security Council for July.

“Malaysia did include some language from our draft in theirdraft text but it did not go to the core of our concern, theykept insisting on the need to establish right now aninternational criminal court,” Russian UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkinsaid on Friday.”This is not a proper thing for the Security Council to dobecause it’s not a case of a threat to international peace andsecurity,” Churkinadded.

Ukraine and Western countries accuse the rebels in easternUkraine of shooting down the plane with a Russian-made missile.But Moscow has rejected accusations it supplied the rebels withSA-11 Buk anti-aircraft missile systems.

Churkin said that while he had not received definitiveinstructions from Moscow on how to vote on Wednesday, he said ”I have a very strong feeling that it’s not going to lead to aresult that will be satisfactory for the Security Council.”

“We are against it,” Churkin said. Russia is a SecurityCouncil veto power, along with the United States, Britain,France and China. Several council diplomats, speaking on condition ofanonymity, said they expected Russia to veto the resolution.

Foreign ministers for Malaysia, Australia, the Netherlands,Belgium and Ukraine are expected to attend the planned vote onWednesday, diplomats said.Led by the Dutch, those countries are conducting a criminalinquiry in the downing of MH17. Separately, a final report onthe cause of the crash is due in October from the Dutch SafetyBoard.On July 21, 2014, the Security Council unanimously adopted aresolution that demanded that those responsible “be held toaccount and that all states cooperate fully with efforts toestablish accountability.”

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