Missile downed MH17??: Malaysia Air Flight 17 Missile

Published: July 16, 2015

Missile downed MH17??: Malaysia Air Flight 17 Missile, As the world prepares to mark one year since the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine, Russia is rejecting talk of creating an international criminal tribunal for the case.

Russian President Vladimir Putin told Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte by phone Thursday that Dutch efforts to create a tribunal to try the case were premature and counterproductive, since an investigation hasn’t ended, the Kremlin said.

It’s the latest example of Russian officials — wary of accusations that pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine might be responsible for the disaster — making points of emphasis that diverge from those of other countries investigating the crash.

MH17, heading from Amsterdam to Malaysia, was shot down on July 17, 2014, over Ukrainian territory controlled by pro-Russian separatists, killing all 298 people on board.

Putin’s call came a day after a source told CNN that the Dutch transportation safety board, in a draft report yet to be released, says evidence indicates that pro-Russian rebels shot down MH17 with a Russian-made surface-to-air missile.

Disputes over who is responsible for the disaster have helped to taint relations between Moscow and the West.

On Tuesday, the Netherlands and four other nations leading the MH17 investigation called on the U.N. Security Council to create a tribunal that would try whomever is charged, saying in a joint statement that it would be “the best means of ensuring justice for the victims and their loved ones.”

“Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Ukraine call upon members of the Security Council to support this proposal to ensure that those responsible are held to account and to deter those who would threaten civil aviation,” the statement read.

Putin, besides explaining to Rutte why Russia believes calling for a tribunal is premature, stressed “the inadmissibility of media reports on various versions” of what happened to the airliner, the Kremlin said.

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