UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. Security Council has unanimously approved an Australia-proposed resolution calling for an international investigation into the Malaysian plane downed over eastern Ukraine and an end to military activities around the site.
The council adopted the measure in a televised vote Monday after a weekend of intense negotiations and widespread pressure on Russia.
It also demanded unimpeded international access to the crash site.
Australia said the U.N. Security Council vote supporting an international investigation into the downing of a Malaysia Airlines flight is unambiguous response to an “utterly deplorable act.”
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop told the council that there had been “grotesque violations” of the crash site, and the Australian-proposed resolution unanimously agreed upon by the council on Monday demands that armed groups controlling the site must allow immediate access to allow recovery of bodies.
Bishop also said those groups must also stop actions that compromise the integrity of the crash site.
She said the victims “must be treated with dignity.”
Of the 298 people aboard the Malaysia Airlines plane when it went down, 37 were Australian.
The United States aimed stern criticism at Moscow despite Russia’s support of the resolution.
U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power said that Monday’s unanimous vote at the Security Council would not have been necessary had Russia used its leverage to get the Ukraine rebels it supports to let international experts to visit the site.
Power charged that through Russia’s failure to condemn the obstructive behavior of the “armed thugs” at the site, Russia has sent a message to the separatists: “We have your backs.”
Power said there are now signs that rebels are allowing access to the crash site, but “access must be immediate, it must be full.”