updated 9:43 AM UTC, Dec 29, 2017

On July 29, one year after the crash of the Malaysian MH17 airliner in southeastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014, the UN Security Council considered an initiative advanced by a number of countries to establish an international tribunal for the prosecution of those implicated in the tragedy.

Russia condemns the destruction by unidentified persons of the Malaysian MH17 airliner and reiterates its most sincere condolences to the families of all passengers and crew, who died as a result of this monstrous tragedy. We have constantly stressed our commitment to the unavoidability of punishment for the perpetrators of this crime.

Since July 21, 2014, when the UN Security Council approved Resolution 2166, which remains the only universally acceptable basis for international cooperation in the interests of an independent and transparent investigation into the MH17 crash, this country has repeatedly put forward proposals in favour of using the full potential of the Security Council to support the ongoing investigation.

This was precisely the aim of Russia’s draft resolution of the UN Security Council, which suggested using on a broad scale, proceeding from Resolution 2166, the UN mechanisms with a view to an early accomplishment of a full, transparent and trustworthy international investigation into the disaster to facilitate the subsequent search for the most fitting judiciary formula. It is only the full implementation of Resolution 2166 that will help us understand who is to blame and should incur punishment.

We regret that the sponsors of yesterday’s meeting neglected our proposal. Instead, they preferred to rush their international tribunal resolution through the Security Council without holding a discussion of other options. Our insistent explanations to the effect that this unprecedented step was both ill-timed and counterproductive, given that the ongoing investigation into the circumstances of the crash was far from complete, were left unheeded.

Under these circumstances, the Russian Federation, which in every way sought to avoid a split in the Security Council and shunt the issue to a constructive track, did not think it possible to endorse a politicised decision that was being forced on the Security Council and voted against it, with Angola, Venezuela and China abstaining.

We would like to reiterate our commitment to a thorough and unbiased international investigation into the crash of the Malaysian aircraft. Russia will continue to do its utmost to provide every possible assistance to the investigation.

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