QUESTION How frustrating is it that Russia is still trying to deflect blame when there’s more than 50 passengers still to be identified?
FOREIGN MINISTER There was a significant repudiation of Russia’s version of events today. In fact, I thought Russia received quite a dressing down from a number of the countries present here.
Two months ago Australia authored resolution 2166, which was passed unanimously and it called for access to the crash site, safe, secure access, and also for there to be a thorough and full investigation. There has been a preliminary report, it’s quite evident from that preliminary report that a missile downed MH17 and now the criminal investigation is underway. And all countries present, apart from Russia, expressed full confidence in the Dutch Safety Board and also in the criminal investigation that the Dutch prosecutorial team is undertaking.
QUESTION Often the UN is accused of being a bit of a talkfest where not much happens. What can come out of that to and fro that was going on between everyone and Russia today?
FOREIGN MINISTER It was not quite evident why Russia called this debate today for it certainly didn’t receive any support for its theories. What did occur is full support for the Dutch Safety Board’s preliminary report; support for the criminal investigation underway and a recognition that it was not the aircraft, it was not the crew that caused this crash. The evidence is consistent with what Australia has said from the outset – a surface-to-air missile shot down MH17 and it was fired from within the Russian-held separatist area in eastern Ukraine. And nothing I have seen, observed or read since that time has changed my view.
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