Delivered by Ambassador Ihor Prokopchuk, Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the International Organizations in Vienna, to the 1187th meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council, 31 May 2018
Nearly four years ago, 298 innocent people travelling by Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 lost their lives after one shot was made by terrorists in Donbas from a sophisticated anti-aircraft weapon. As we underlined at the 1011th special meeting of the Permanent Council on 18 July 2014, the next day after the tragedy, this crash had become a tragedy for Ukraine and the whole world. Since then the Ukrainian authorities have been making every possible contribution to the efforts of bringing the perpetrators to account.
Back in 2015 Russia vetoed in the UN Security Council resolution that was aimed at creating an international tribunal to prosecute persons responsible for the attack on MH17.
Last Thursday the Joint Investigation Team presented some of their findings. Ukrainian investigators and prosecutors, being a part of the Team, played an important role in the investigation which led to the conclusion about the belonging of the Buk missile system, which had downed the MH17, to the Russian Federation’s 53rd Anti-Aircraft Military Brigade, permanently located near the city of Kursk. The missile system was transferred to Donetsk region of Ukraine, used to shoot down a civilian aircraft and taken back the next day to the Russian Federation through the uncontrolled segment of the Ukrainian-Russian state border.
Besides the criminal investigation that will take some more time, Ukraine is fully committed to bring those responsible for the attack to liability under international law. We fully support latest decision of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Australia.
In turn, last year Ukraine filed a case against the Russian Federation to the International Court of Justice, in which downing of the MH17 is an important part. Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin informed the UN Security Council meeting on Ukraine two days ago that by 12 June our country will submit a memorandum to the International Court of Justice that will contain facts and evidences of Russia’s violations of the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism.
The perpetrators must be held to account, in compliance with the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2166 of 21 July 2014. Ukraine is fully committed to continue its work on this issue. As emphasized by the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, “joint coordinated actions of the world should ensure that Russia does not repeat such crimes in the future”.
Thank you, Mr. Chairperson.