UN considers resolution to establish accountability

The UN Security Council is considering a draft resolution to condemn the "shooting down" of a Malaysian passenger plane in Ukraine, demand armed groups allow access to the crash site, and call on states in the region to co-operate with an international investigation.

Australia — which lost 28 citizens — circulated a draft text, seen by Reuters, to the 15-member Security Council late on Saturday and diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity, said it could be put to a vote as early as today.

The draft resolution “demands that those responsible for this incident be held to account and that all states co-operate fully with efforts to establish accountability”.

It “condemns in the strongest terms the shooting down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17... resulting in the tragic loss of 298 lives” and “demands that all states and other actors in the region refrain from acts of violence directed against civilian aircraft”.

The United States and other powers have said the plane was likely brought down by a missile fired from rebel territory.

US ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power said on Friday that Washington could not rule out Russian help in firing the missile.

Russian President Vladimir Putin urged the pro-Moscow rebels in eastern Ukraine to co-operate and insisted that an international investigation must not leap to conclusions. Moscow denies involvement and has pointed a finger at Kiev’s military.

Ukraine and its Western allies accuse Moscow of fueling a pro-Russian uprising that threatens to break up the former Soviet republic. Russia denies orchestrating the unrest and says Ukraine’s attempts to end it by military force are making the situation worse.

The draft UN resolution “calls on all states and actors in the region to cooperate fully in relation to the international investigation of the incident, including with respect to immediate access to the crash site”.

al monitors said they had been allowed to see more of the crash site, though gunmen still stopped them approaching some of the wreckage.

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