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Russia Poised To Veto Bid To Create UN Tribunal On MH17 Next Week

The United Nations Security Council will vote on July 29 on creating an international tribunal to prosecute those suspected of downing a passenger airliner last year in Ukraine, but Russia is expected to block the move, diplomats have said.

The proposal was offered by Malaysia, Australia, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin views the proposal as premature and counterproductive, and Russia has offered a rival resolution that demands justice but does not establish a tribunal.

Russia has veto power in the Security Council and can block what Russian UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin described as an attempt to organize a "grandiose, political show."

Several council diplomats said they expected Russia to exercise its veto.

"It is very unlikely that we will find a common ground" between the Russian and Malaysian proposals, said one diplomat.

All 298 passengers on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 were killed when it was shot down in July 2014 in Ukrainian territory held by Russian-backed separatists.

Ukraine and Western countries say the rebels shot the plane down with a Russian-made missile, but Moscow denies the accusations.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, and TASS

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