Legislators push for more U.N. support at airplane crash site in Ukraine

Leaders of the House Foreign Affairs Committee pushed for adoption of a U.N. Security Council resolution on Tuesday to provide security for international investigators of the Malaysia Airlines crash site in eastern Ukraine.

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) and House Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) called for the resolution’s adoption in a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, according to a press release.

Royce and Engel pushed for a resolution that would authorize immediate, temporary deployment of an integrated international mission to aid in securing the crash site. The mission would include security personnel.

“The credibility of the investigation into this horrific tragedy already has been severely compromised,” the legislators said. “It is incumbent upon those in a position to help protect the U.N.-endorsed international investigators, restore the dignity of the victims, help hold the perpetrators of this crime against humanity accountable and facilitate the restoration of peace and security in the region to do so without further delay. The United Nations can and should do more. That is only possible with strong U.S. leadership.”

Specific priorities of the mission would be to secure the crash site, ensure freedom of movement for investigators and provide an organizational structure for the recovery of human remains, Royce and Engel said.

“(The mission would also) serve as an interlocutor between Russia, Ukraine and separatists in an effort to diffuse further tensions which, if allowed to remain unchecked, could easily spiral into an even deeper conflict with severe consequences,” the legislators said.