Lithuania supports a proposal to set up a UN tribunal to prosecute those responsible for shooting down a Malaysian Airlines passenger plane over Ukraine, Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevičius said on Friday.
MH17 crash site
© RIA/Scanpix

In his words, Lithuania, which is a member of the UN Security Council until the end of this year, backs proposals by the incumbent Malaysian presidency.

"We strongly support proposals by the UN Security Council's Malaysian presidency which is closely cooperating with Australia and the Netherlands. The goal is very simple. We want an impartial and effective investigation to identify the culprits and bring them to justice," Linkevičius told BNS on Friday.

British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond called on Friday for a UN-backed international tribunal to prosecute those responsible for the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine one year ago.

Linkevičius says the tragedy "is directly related to Russia's military actions in Ukraine" and must be viewed as a terror attack.

Russia said earlier this week, however, it would not back a UN resolution on the establishment of such a tribunal, saying that it "would be premature and counterproductive".

Linkevičius believes such comments "cause some suspicion that Russia doesn’t want an impartial and objective investigation".

The Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 was shot down in eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014, en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. All 298 people on board were killed. Most of them were Dutch nationals.

Ukraine and many Western countries claim the plane was downed by pro-Russian separatists who used a surface-to-air missile received from Russia.

Having a veto right at the UN Security Council, Russia and pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine deny their guilt.

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