Moscow calls for greater UN involvement in MH17 crash investigation, not ‘political propaganda game’
“I am satisfied with the outcome of the talks, though of course we did have disagreements with our western colleagues,” UN envoy Vitaly Churkin told the press after the Monday meeting. “The media is currently creating an atmosphere of heavy propaganda pressure. But despite this climate, I felt a desire among the Security Council to avoid joining in the propaganda, and instead to help with an investigation that will lead to a court hearing.”
According to Churkin, Moscow presented its own draft document aimed at “strengthening” the investigation which is being conducted by Dutch experts, as well as exploiting “the potential which lies in the resolution of 2166.”
Although no solid results were reached during the closed door session, ambassadors, according to Churkin, left the talks with an intention of continuing to seek a “common denominator” and possibly combining the Russian and Malaysian drafts.
Earlier this month the Malaysian draft resolution called on the UN Security Council to create an international tribunal, and to classify the crash as a threat to peace and security. During the closed-door discussions among the 15-member council of the two drafts, Churkin said that the Russian delegation kept insisting that the creation of international tribunal was not only premature but also not prescribed in the UN Charter.
“We kept on repeating a completely obvious thing, that the UN Security Council should not engage in the creation of criminal courts, as the Malaysian initiative calls for. It’s simply not a statutory prerogative of the Security Council to create criminal courts and lead them under the rubric of a threat to international security,” Churkin said.
Churkin said that while “some polemics” were indeed heard from “Western colleagues” during Monday’s debate, it was important that the Security Council did not get involved in the “political propaganda game” instead of making real steps to investigate the tragedy.
Rotating President of the Council, New Zealand Ambassador Gerard van Bohemen somewhat agreed with Churkin's assessment calling it a “very positive discussion.”
“There was strong support in the room for the establishment of a tribunal. Russia of course has a different perspective on this,” he told reporters. Moscow has advised waiting for the Dutch Safety Board to release their final report on the crash, expected in October 2015.