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AMBASSADOR'S ARTICLES

27.07.2015

MH-17 tradedy: the way to justice (by Ambassador Yakovenko, for London Evening Standart, full version)

298 persons lost their lives in the sky over Eastern Ukraine a year ago. The least the international community should do is to ensure that justice is done and is seen being done in this horrible incident. This matter is too serious to be used for propaganda purposes and political point-scoring.

Security Council already passed its resolution 2166 on 21 July 2014 with Russia's active support. The key objective now is to make full use of its potential of  insuring that the two  investigations being conducted in the Netherlands are successfully concluded, and proceed in an impartial and transparent fashion.

This is the purpose of Russia's draft resolution which was discussed at the consultative meeting of the Security Council last Sunday. It saw a constructive discussion and we are satisfied with how it proceeded and its outcome. We have got the impression that our partners left the meeting room in the mood to try to find a common ground, and see how the two approaches could be reconciled so that the Council could make the next step and enhance its potential of assisting in the investigation. Particularly, we suggest appointment of a special representative of the UN Secretary-General.

Russia is strongly committed to finding the truth and bringing those culpable to justice. We agree with our British colleagues that there are various ways for that. But to create a criminal court, which does not fall within the UN Security Council mandate, and do it under Chapter VII dealing with "threats to international peace and security", unlike all previous incidents of this nature, is a sure way to politicization of this entire matter.

We already saw numerous attempts to muddy water and to arrive at a theoretical conclusion on the guilty party as a function of political assumptions as to who is responsible for the conflict in Eastern Ukraine. That is indictment first with facts to follow. This approach will not only fail the victims of the tragedy and their relatives, but the international community at large. It will do a disservice to all the parties concerned by further eroding trust between them. The truth and justice seen being done, on the contrary, will help build trust.

As to the conflict in Ukraine, Russia has always spoken in favour of a political solution. Our Western partners, however, in fact supported a military one in disguise of the grotesque ATO, ever since the Ukrainian authorities decided not to extend the original truce in June 2014. It was regarded as Kiev's sovereign decision, which means that sovereignty trumps everything else, including human and minority right and the cause of civil peace.

Let's not forget, that two investigations, technical and criminal, are not yet concluded a year after the tragedy. Attempts at politicization will only contribute to shifting the subject and the very topic. Unlike other parties, Russia promptly provided all the objective technical control data. The investigation gathered material evidence at the site, although not all the parts of the destroyed aircraft, and must be in possession of projectiles, be those shells of jet-fighter cannons or warhead munitions of various types of SAM and air-to-air missiles. These are key to establishing the weapons used in downing the airliner. It must not be difficult and wouldn't take that long.

Finally, based on the experience of the past year it is Russia, who is interested the most in an early establishment of the truth. If only for the fact that any delay will provide more time and space for the current propaganda campaign aimed at substituting due process with a kangaroo court of public opinion. This is precisely why Russia believes the idea of the Malaysia-sponsored draft UN  Security  Council  resolution premature  and counterproductive.




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