UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Russia said Thursday it is opposed to a U.N. resolution that would establish an international tribunal to prosecute those responsible for shooting down a Malaysia Airlines plane over Ukraine last year.
Controversy continues over who downed the plane, bound from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, killing all 298 people on board.
Ukraine and the West suspect it was destroyed by a Russian surface-to-air missile fired by Russian soldiers or Russia-backed separatist rebels fighting in the area of eastern Ukraine. Moscow denies that and Russian officials and state media have alleged the plane was shot down by a Ukrainian missile or a warplane.
Russia’s deputy U.N. ambassador Petr Iliichev, asked Thursday whether Russia would push against adoption of the resolution, replied: “Yes.”
“It’s not a good time and it’s counterproductive,” Iliichev said.
The resolution was prepared by the five countries investigating the crash — Malaysia, Ukraine, Netherlands, Australia and Belgium. It was drafted drafted under Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter, which can be enforced militarily. It was unclear when the resolution could be voted on.
The document states that the downing of the plane “and its implications for the safety of civil aviation, constitute a threat to international peace and security.”
It expresses the council’s determination “to deter future attacks on civil aircraft and to take effective measures to bring to justice the persons who are responsible for this incident.”
The draft asks all states and non-governmental organizations to contribute funds, equipment and staff to the tribunal.
A statute for the International Criminal Tribunal for Flight MH17 is annexed to the draft resolution.
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