Delivered by Ambassador Yevhenii Tsymbaliuk, Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the International Organizations in Vienna, to the 1236th meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council, 18 July 2019
We thank the delegation of the European Union for raising this issue at the Permanent Council meeting. This provides us with an opportunity to draw additional attention to the ongoing Russia’s contempt for international law and the rules-based order, its denial of responsibility for committing and financing terrorist acts in Ukraine, and persistent unwillingness to cease them.
Yesterday, we marked the 5th anniversary of the downing of the flight MH17, which took the lives of 298 innocent civilians, including 80 children, from 10 countries around the world. I would remind that this downing was caused by a missile, launched by a Russian anti-aircraft missile system «Buk» belonging to the Russian Federation’s 53rd Anti-Aircraft Military Brigade, permanently located near the city of Kursk. This “Buk” system was transferred to the Russia-occupied territory of Donbas, 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.
Despite all the efforts of the Russian Federation to block the investigation process and shift its responsibility for participating in the downing of the MH17, the Joint Investigation Team has already established the first 4 suspects, who will face the trial on March 19, 2020. They are Russians Igor Girkin, Sergiy Dubinskyi, Oleg Pulatov and Ukrainian Leonid Kharchenko.
And this is just the beginning. Later on, direct perpetrators will be identified.
As stated in the statement by the MFA of Ukraine, this day will forever remain a tragic page of history, not only for Ukraine, but also for the whole world. Our common duty and priority remains establishing justice and bringing all the perpetrators of this terrible terrorist act to responsibility. This horrible crime will not go unpunished. The investigation will identify those, who are guilty of the death of 298 civilians, and an independent court will determine a just punishment. Justice will be restored.
Thank you, Mr. Chairperson.