Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has stepped up efforts to bring to justice those who shot down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine last year, pushing for an worldwide criminal tribunal to investigate the incident that left 298 people dead.
On Monday, Russia’s envoy to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, said Moscow would vote against the resolution.
Russian Federation has said it opposes the resolution, and it offered its own draft that demanded justice for those responsible for the crash without calling for a tribunal.
Speaking to Sky News this morning from New York, Bishop said she has been meeting with representatives of all four nations to sure up support for the tribunal but a “very frank discussion” with Churkin has again resulted in the pair going back and forth with “counter arguments”.
She rejected Russian President Vladimir Putin’s earlier remarks that it was “premature” and “counterproductive” for the UN to vote on an independent tribunal.
Ms Bishop told Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) TV that despite Russia’s resistance, she was encouraged by support from the UN Security Council.
“We can not allow a veto in the United Nations Security Council to avoid justice”, Bishop told the newspaper. “They will not have closure in their lives until this matter is completed”.
Significantly, for the inquiry to go ahead it will require a “yes” vote from Russian Federation, who holds veto power as a member of the Security Council.
Bishop, however, dismissed Russia’s concern about the tribunal, and said she would advocate for a “unanimous resolution”.
“This would not serve Russia’s national interest, in seeking to deny the families of those aboard MH17 justice”.
According to the BBC, Australia has joined other countries including Belgium, the Netherlands and Ukraine in a joint investigation to push for the tribunal and the prosecution of those responsible.
A final report on the cause of the crash by the Dutch Safety Board is due to be released in October.
“We need to send a clear message that downing a commercial plane in commercial airspace will not be tolerated by the global community”.
Russian Federation has blamed the Ukraine government for the attack on MH17, killed 283 passengers and 15 crew, including 28 Australian citizens and 11 others who called Australia home.