MH17 incident not a cold-war tool

Updated: 2014-07-29 08:15

By Vladimir Petrovskiy(China Daily)

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The Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash in restive eastern Ukraine, a tragedy of great proportions, has escalated tensions in Ukraine, and between Russia and the West. An earlier air tragedy, the disappearance of flight MH370 on March 8, proved that only total transparency in international investigation procedures and cooperation built on trust can prevent speculations, conspiracy theories and mutual accusations from spreading panic and increasing tensions.

As of now, the MH17 incident has not seen any such cooperation. The two sides of the Ukraine conflict, the government in Kiev and pro-Russian insurgents, continue to accuse each other of shooting down the plane. The United States and some European Union countries, on their part, hold Russia accountable for the tragedy because it supports the insurgents and supplies them with sophisticated surface-to-air missiles.

Why does the West do so without proper evidence while the investigation is still going on?

The answer to this question is purely political in nature, with trust and transparency being the key words. For Russians, the Ukrainian air defense forces, which shot down a Russian passenger plane in 2001 over the Black Sea by mistake, have a bad reputation for their lack of professionalism. Russians also rue the fact that people responsible for that tragedy still call the shots in Ukraine. But the West ignores this fact because it is determined to provide political support to the government in Kiev at any cost.

Unnamed US intelligence officials allege that Russia-backed insurgents fired the missile that brought down the plane, citing voice print analysis of insurgents' conversations and photographs from social media as proof. But they are not the hard evidence that the international community expects to see. There is no doubt that Russian and US intelligence officials closely monitor the air defense situation in the conflict zone, and Moscow has already made public some key facts obtained from this monitoring.

Some Western entities, especially the US, thanks to their double standards, are looking for fake evidence to hold Russia responsible for the crash and further isolate it from the international community. But most probably Europe will not support the US in this attempt because of lack of real proof against Russia. Moscow has been fighting in the only decent way possible, by insisting on a fully transparent and thorough international probe into the downing of MH17.

The UN Security Council, for the first time since the Ukraine crisis broke out, unanimously adopted a resolution demanding international access to the site of the crash and an end to military activities in and around the area. The resolution called for a "full, thorough and independent international investigation" into the downing of MH17 and urged the two sides in the conflict to allow the international team complete access to the crash site.

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