Russia has vetoed an United Nations Security Council resolution that aimed to establish an international tribunal with powers to prosecute those responsible for the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine last year.
Eleven Council members, including permanent members United Kingdom, France, and the United States, voted in favor of the resolution on Wednesday. Russia was the sole vote against the text, while three countries — China, Angola and Venezuela — abstained.
Russian officials, including President Vladimir Putin and UN ambassador Vitaly Churkin, had made clear in recent days their opposition to the measure, which was drafted by the five countries — Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Ukraine — that make up the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) tasked with establishing accountability for the crash. Malaysia, the sole Council member among the JIT, introduced the text earlier this month.
On July 21, four days after the crash in Ukraine’s Donetsk region, the Security Council passed resolution 2166, which called for “efforts to establish a full, thorough and independent investigation into the incident.” It also called for “all States and actors in the region to cooperate fully in relation to the international investigation of the incident.”
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