Bill's Transcripts

Doorstop: Washington DC

MONDAY, 21 JULY 2014

SUBJECT/S: MH17; United Nation’s Security Council vote.

DAVID SPEERS – SKY NEWS: Bill Shorten, what’s your reaction to the UN Security Council vote?

SHORTEN: I’m very pleased that the United Nations Security Council has passed the resolution it has, supporting a full, independent and thorough investigation. It is now time for the leader of the Russian Federation, Mr Putin, to now show the rest of the world that he will act on this resolution.

JOURNALIST: Is there some doubt over that?

SHORTEN: I think this has dragged on for too long. The tragedy for families is unthinkable and then not to be able to know if you’re going to be able to retrieve the body of your loved one is, it is just injury upon what has already been terrible. This is a test for Mr Putin, this is a test of decency, it is a test that he has to pass for the sake of all those hundreds of families who’ve suffered this unspeakable loss.

JOURNALIST: This resolution doesn’t talk about the plane being shot down, nor does it refer to Russian backed rebels being responsible. Would you have liked to have seen a tougher resolution?

SHORTEN: I don’t think the words of the resolution change this tragedy.  We know that rebels have shot this plane down. We understand that these weapons must have come from somewhere to shoot this plane down. At this stage what really matters isn’t the words of the resolution, it matters that there’s a commitment to a full, transparent, independent investigation and most of all what matters is to be able to bring these bodies home.

JOURNALIST: What’s the most important thing for this investigation to uncover?

SHORTEN: Well the first thing is, nothing can restore the families to the position they were in before this dreadful event but getting the bodies back is some small measure to allow people to grieve. In terms of the investigation it is a matter of ascertaining at the site all the information which is possibly can be found to explain why this happened and who was responsible.

JOURNALIST: Do you think that President Putin has buckled to some international pressure? Do you think that the pressure from the likes of Barack Obama, Tony Abbott and others has forced him to agree to this resolution?

SHORTEN: Well we’re here in Washington, the capital of the United States and we see how much the world, but not just Australia, is horrified by what has happened. There is no doubt that the entire world has said this is an unspeakable act, it is a dreadful, dreadful event and that no one should be standing in the way of getting to the bottom, the heart of why and how this happened.

JOURNALIST: Bill Shorten, thank you.

REUTERS TELEVISION JOURNALIST: What is your reaction to the UN Security Council adopting the resolution put forth by Australia?

SHORTEN: We are very pleased that the United Nations Security Council has passed a resolution condemning this event and importantly making sure that we can have, that the world can have, a full independent and thorough investigation of this shocking, shocking deed.

JOURNALIST: Do you think that the resolution goes far enough? Does it put enough pressure on Russia and Putin, it’s really focused in on the separatists?

SHORTEN: The resolution is a start. It is shocking and unimaginable for families who had loved ones taken away from them so traumatically that we haven’t even been able to retrieve their bodies that we’re unable to know what has happened. This is a good first step but it is only a first step. The world will now watch if Mr Putin and the Russian Federation will follow through the resolution with deeds and actions. The world does want justice but in the very first stage families just need the ability to grieve.

JOURNALIST: And you talk about he needs to be pressured, you’re here in the United States, you see that the reaction from the Americans and some of the other countries. Do you think that’s enough to push Putin to make him adopt this resolution and be more forthcoming and allowing an independent investigation?

SHORTEN: The senseless deaths of 298 souls should be enough pressure. The United Nation’s Security Council resolution reflects what I think nearly everyone in the world is feeling about this terrible event. It is now time to make sure that the Russian Federation supports full and transparent, independent investigations. They have a great deal of influence over these separatist terrorists. The question is will they use that influence to get to the bottom of what’s really happened.