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Putin Says MH17 Tribunal Would Be ‘Premature, Counterproductive’

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that setting up a UN tribunal to prosecute suspects in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine would be “premature" and "counterproductive.”

The Kremlin says Putin made the comments in a phone call with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on July 16, a day before the first anniversary of the tragedy in which all 298 aboard the aircraft were killed, many of them Dutch.

Rutte has said a UN tribunal would give "the best guarantee of cooperation from all countries" in seeking justice for the families of the victims.

The Dutch Safety Board's draft investigative report on the incident blames pro-Russian separatists for shooting down the Boeing 777, according to a CNN report.

Russian officials have suggested Ukrainian forces shot the aircraft down, a charge denied by Kyiv.

Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters