Russia vetoes MH17 tribunal; Netherlands "deeply disappointed"
To no one's surprise Russia vetoed the establishment of an international tribunal to prosecute those responsible for the downing of flight MH17. The United Nations Security council voted on it in New York on Wednesday night. Both Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Minister Bert Koenders are "deeply disappointed" with Russia's decision.
"I am extremely disappointed that there will be no UN tribunal to prosecute the perpetrators of the MH17 disaster." the Prime Minister said in a reaction. He added that the Russian veto did not come as a surprise, especially after his conversation with President Vladimir Putin earlier that day. "But in the end Russia is not at home when it comes to international justice. That is extremely disappointing. 11 members of the Security Council voted for; with 3 abstentions and only Russia voting against. That too is painful."
In a speech to the UN Security Council, Minister Koenders said that he is "deeply, deeply disappointed", calling it incomprehensible that a member of the council is obstructing justice. "Impunity sends a very dangerous signal. As a result the safety of passenger aircraft is at stake. The safety of all of you.", the Minister said, NOS reports.
Both Koenders and Rutte stated that the countries united in the Joint Investigation Team - the Ukraine, Malaysia, Australia, Belgium and the Netherlands - will continue the investigation. They will no explore other options for prosecuting those responsible, both internationally and nationally.
"The Netherlands will not rest until all the facts are on the table and justice prevails", Koenders said.
"We continue, along with the other countries in the Joint Investigation team and supported by a broad international coalition", Rutte said. "We hold to the Security Council Resolution 2166, unanimously adopted shortly after the MH17 disaster. The perpetrators will be held accountable. The will not go unpunished. We owe this to the victims and survivors."