Russian foreign ministry said Thursday that it remains committed to a thorough and objective investigation into the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 crash, a day after vetoing a United Nations Security Council draft resolution that would have established an independent tribunal to prosecute those responsible for downing the plane.
"Russia will continue making the most energetic efforts on rendering all possible assistance to investigating the air crash," Russia’s foreign ministry said in a statement, according to Tass news agency, adding that it tried to prevent the differences in the Security Council and made efforts to deal with the issue in a constructive manner.
The country said that it regretted that the initiators of the Security Council draft resolution -- the Netherlands, Malaysia, Australia and Belgium -- ignored Russia’s proposal and instead submitted their "own version with establishing an international tribunal without discussing any other options," Tass reported, citing the statement. "Our persistent explanations about inexpedience and counter-productiveness of such step, that had no precedents in the past, before the ongoing investigation into circumstances of the air crash is complete, were not taken into account," the ministry said.
The draft resolution for the international criminal tribunal was approved by 11 members while three countries abstained from voting. But it could not pass because Russia -- a permanent member of the Security Council -- vetoed against it. The proposal was reportedly a means to force Russian authorities to cooperate with the investigation into the crash that killed all 298 people on board the plane traveling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur last July.
After the voting, U.S. Representative to the U.N. Samantha Power criticized Russia's decision, and said Moscow had "abused the privilege given to it by the U.N." Power added that Russia’s "efforts to deny justice only intensify the pain felt by victims of flight MH17."
While Western countries and Ukraine believe that the plane was hit by a Russian-made BUK missile fired by pro-Russian rebels, Russia and the separatists have denied the allegations.