Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte called Russian President Vladimir Putin on July 29 to discuss the ongoing investigation into the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 (MH17) crash in eastern Ukraine in July 2014, the Kremlin press service reported.
Putin and Rutte "continued to discuss issues related to the investigation into the crash of a Malaysia Airlines plane in Ukrainian territory in July 2014. The Russian president underscored the need to strictly abide by UN Security Council resolution 2166 adopted at Russia's initiative on July 21, 2014 and aimed at ensuring a comprehensive, careful, and independent investigation," it said.
Putin and Rutte exchanged opinions on the work that had been done by experts in the context of drawing up a new UN Security Council resolution concerning the matter. Putin said that Russia's draft was intended to promote the attainment of the objectives set in resolution 2166, it said.
"Regret was expressed that this compromise draft was not supported by the countries that favor the establishment of an international tribunal on the Malaysia Airlines crash," it said. Putin said that Russia views the establishment of such an international tribunal as unfeasible, it said.
"It was also emphasized that a lot of questions still remain concerning the investigation, including the evidence collected and steps toward barring Russia from significant involvement in it. It was stressed that Russia stands ready to closely cooperate to find out the causes and circumstances of this tragedy," the Kremlin said.
Putin and Rutte also exchanged opinions on the current state and prospects for the development of Russian-Dutch relations.
The office of the Dutch prime minister circulated a communique following the conversation, saying that Rutte had tried to persuade Putin of the need to set up a tribunal to investigate the crash even before all of its circumstances are determined.
"Mr. Rutte specifically addressed Russia's doubts about the timing and form of the tribunal, stating that the Netherlands had carefully listened to Russia's earlier questions. He stressed that it was preferable to make a decision about the tribunal before the facts and charges have been established precisely in order to avoid politicizing the prosecution process," the Dutch government's communique says.
"This has also been the course of action taken in the past with most of the other specialized UN tribunals," it said.
"In their open and detailed conversation, Mr. Rutte urged the Russian president to allow latitude for trying those responsible for the MH17 disaster in a UN tribunal," it said.
The Dutch government is making diplomatic efforts in the context of the plan to consider a draft resolution on establishing an MH17 tribunal at the UN Security Council later on Wednesday, it said.
"Foreign Minister Koenders has been in talks with various parties in New York yesterday and today and will address the Security Council about the resolution at today's session," the communique says.
Russia has said it would veto a draft resolution on establishing an MH17 tribunal at the UN Security Council session on July 29.
The idea to draw up and consider such a resolution belongs to Malaysia, whose authorities have called on the UN Security Council to set up a tribunal with the aim of prosecuting those responsible for the crime related to the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17's downing on July 17, 2014.
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