UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) — Russia will vote against a UN Security Council draft resolution to establish an international tribunal to investigate the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash in eastern Ukraine in July 2014, Envoy to UN Vitaly Churkin said Monday.
Earlier in July, Malaysia submitted a draft resolution to the UN Security Council calling for the creation of an independent UN tribunal to identify and prosecute those responsible for the alleged downing of the plane.
"We [Russia] will vote against [the draft resolution], I have no doubt. If the resolution receives nine or more votes, it will be a veto. If it gets less than nine votes, it is just going to be Russia's 'No' vote together with some other members of the Security Council. Unfortunately, I think that nine votes are likely to be received," Churkin told reporters.
Churkin expressed hope that the draft resolution will not be submitted to the Security Council vote.
"It is a clear attempt to create another hotbed of confrontation that could have very far-reaching consequences for international relations, in an environment where there are a lot of problems worldwide that require comprehensive cooperation", Churkin added.
The Russian Foreign Ministry considers the Malaysian initiative premature and counterproductive. Moscow insists in is necessary to wait for the Dutch Safety Board to release their final report on the crash, expected in October 2015.
On June 20, Russia submitted its own draft UN Security Council resolution on the issue, urging to enhance the United Nations’ role in the investigation.
On July 17, 2014, Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crashed in Ukraine's eastern region of Donetsk en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. All 298 people on board, mostly Dutch citizens, died. According to a preliminary report by the Dutch Safety Board, the plane fell apart in midair after being hit by numerous high-energy objects.
Local militia and government forces have been trading the blame for the crash.