Accessibility links

Breaking News

Russia Vetoes UN Resolution On MH17 Tribunal

Russia has vetoed a UN Security Council resolution that would have created a tribunal to try those suspected of shooting down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine in July 2014.

Eleven countries on the 15-member council voted in favor of the proposal by Malaysia, Australia, the Netherlands, and Ukraine on July 29.

China, Venezuela, and Angola abstained from the vote.

The draft resolution requires all countries to cooperate with the special tribunal or face sanctions.

Shortly after the vote, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko vowed to push for justice despite Russia’s veto.

"The results of the vote on the MH17 tribunal speak for themselves. But Ukraine will not stop there. Our goal is to punish the guilty," Poroshenko's press secretary Svyatoslav Tseholko said.

Following the vote, U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power told the council that "no veto will stand in the way of this heinous crime being investigated and prosecuted."

Russia's UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said that Russian investigators had been denied equal access to the crash site and said that such a tribunal would have been impartial and subject to media “propaganda.”

Russia had also proposed its own rival resolution, asking for a greater UN role in an investigation into what caused the downing of MH17, but did not call for a tribunal.

Churkin said that past tribunals, such as the ones for the Rwandan genocide and the violence in former Yugoslavia, were "expensive."

Earlier on July 29 Russian President Vladimir Putin told Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte in a phone call that he opposed the creation of an international criminal tribunal.

All 298 passengers died, most of them Dutch citizens, when the plane was shot down in Ukrainian territory held by Russian backed-separatists.

Malaysia, Australia, the Netherlands, Belgium and Ukraine have undertaken a criminal inquiry into the downing of MH17.

With reporting by AP, Reuters, and AFP
  • 16x9 Image


    RFE/RL journalists report the news in 27 languages in 23 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established. We provide what many people cannot get locally: uncensored news, responsible discussion, and open debate.

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

If you are in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine and hold a Russian passport or are a stateless person residing permanently in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine, please note that you could face fines or imprisonment for sharing, liking, commenting on, or saving our content, or for contacting us.

To find out more, click here.