Russia backs probe of plane downed in Ukraine

Russian U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin speaks to the media during an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council on the worsening situation in Gaza at United Nations headquarters, Sunday, July 20, 2014. A Jordan-drafted resolution obtained by The Associated Press expresses "grave concern" at the high number of civilians killed in Gaza, including children, and it calls for an immediate cease-fire, "including the withdrawal of Israeli occupying forces from the Gaza Strip." (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Russia's U.N. envoy says his nation backs a resolution calling for an international investigation of the Malaysian plane downed in eastern Ukraine.

Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin's comments Monday ahead of a Security Council virtually assured the resolution would pass.

Diplomats had pressured a reluctant Russia to approve the Australia-proposed resolution that demands international access to the Ukraine plane crash site and a cease-fire around the area.

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said as she walked into the meeting: "What we hope will happen today is having this resolution adopted unanimously."

Of the 298 people aboard the Malaysia Airlines plane when it went down, 37 were Australian and 193 were Dutch.