Australia and the Netherlands have lashed out at Russia for vetoing a UN resolution that would have established an international tribunal to try those suspected of shooting down Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said “Russia failed to stand up and be counted in the quest for international justice.”
He said Russia’s veto was “exceptionally disappointing” but “not surprising.”
Rutte added that countries involved in a Dutch-led investigation will now focus on other legal options “at both the international and national level… supported by a broad international coalition” because “the perpetrators…. must not be allowed to escape punishment.”
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said on July 30 that Russia’s veto was “outrageous.”
He said: “By its actions, Russia has shown complete disregard for the families’ right to know who was responsible and to see these criminals face justice.”
Russia accuses Kyiv of shooting down the airliner in July 2014, but justified its veto by saying it was denied access to the crash site in territory under the control of pro-Russian separatists.
Leaked details of the Dutch-led investigation suggest the plane was shot down by a Russian surface-to-air missile fired from separatist-controlled territory.
The investigator's conclusions are expected to be published in October.
With reporting by Reuters, AP, AFP, and dpa