Date
19 October 2017
Samantha Power, the US ambassador to the United Nations, says no veto will stand in the way of the heinous crime being investigated and prosecuted. Photo: Reuters
Samantha Power, the US ambassador to the United Nations, says no veto will stand in the way of the heinous crime being investigated and prosecuted. Photo: Reuters

Russia vetoes UN tribunal for downed flight MH17

Russia has shot down a United Nations Security Council attempt to create an international tribunal to prosecute suspects in the downing of a Malaysia Airlines passenger airliner last year in eastern Ukraine.

Eleven countries on the 15-member council voted in favor of the proposal by Malaysia, Australia, the Netherlands, Belgium and Ukraine while three countries abstained — China, Angola and Venezuela, Reuters reports.

A resolution needs nine votes in favor to pass and no veto by Russia, the United States, China, Britain or France.

Flight MH17 was shot down in July 2014 with 298 passengers on board, two-thirds of them Dutch.

It crashed in Ukrainian territory held by Russian-backed separatists.

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

Samantha Power, the US ambassador to the United Nations, said “no veto will stand in the way of this heinous crime being investigated and prosecuted”.

Russia had proposed its own rival draft resolution, which pushed for a greater UN role in an investigation into what caused the downing of the aircraft and demanded justice but it would not have set up a tribunal.

Russian UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said it was premature to set up an international tribunal.

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