Response of the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the UN, Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, at a UN Security Council Meeting on MH17
I shall be very brief.Today’s meeting was a very emotional one, which is understandable. At times it gave rise to the question: are there any limits to the political exploitation of the feelings of the families of those who perished and who are experiencing a living horror? A number of accusations were levelled at the Russian Federation that I consider insulting and not worthy of diplomats. Turning now to the substance of the issues, we made our arguments in our statement. I will touch on only one issue, on the outcome of the discussions. It is simply incomprehensible that a lack of understanding of one form of judicial proceedings is being equated with impunity. We made, and reaffirm, a proposal to consider various formats for judicial proceedings. Among them are simpler ones that are more effective, more appropriate and certainly less politicized; these are the ones on which we should focus.In his statement, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Mr. Klimkin, attempted to speak from a moral and religious position of superiority. He referred to the unacceptability of impunity and the need to cooperate. I have only two questions for him: why were civilian airliners sent to areas where military activities were under way, areas where the Ukrainian forces were fighting using military aircraft? Why were civilian flights sent through that airspace? The passengers on that airliner simply could not have known that a military conflict was under way there. Even Malaysian aviation authorities could not have known that a military conflict was under way there. But Kyiv knew it. Why did it do this? Why has it thus far not provided the recordings of its military air dispatchers? That is impunity. Did they punish anyone in Ukraine for that?Finally, the tragedy concerning Malaysia Airlines Flight MH-17 is a terrible event — not only for the citizens who died in that castrophe and the countries that they represented, but also for the diplomats who now are forced to deal with it. It is also a trial for the concerned politicians, experts and specialists who continue to work on this issue together. We need to walk hand-in-hand down on this road. Unfortunately, today’s meeting is most unlikely to promote joint movement towards the final objective, that is, to shed light on all of the circumstances surrounding this tragedy and to bring those responsible for it to justice. Russia is ready to resume this work at expert, diplomatic and any other levels. Let us therefore move forward from tomorrow-on in this effort.