'Unacceptable' and 'without foundation': Poland rejects Russian air crash report
Monday, December 20, 2010
Poland has rejected a Russian investigative report into the air crash that killed Polish President earlier this year. Poland's first couple and other senior officials were among the 96 killed when their aircraft went down near Smolensk, Russia. On Friday, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk called an unreleased draft he has seen "unacceptable" and its conclusions "without foundation".
Tusk's televised remarks to the press did not reveal what the report contains, but claimed it to be in breach of the, an international regulatory document on air travel. "From the Polish point of view, the draft report from the Russian side as it has been sent is without question unacceptable. This negligence and mistakes or lack of positive reaction to what Poland has been asking for, all these things allow us to say that some of the report's conclusions are without foundation," he said.
Edmund Klich, who heads the Polish air accident investigatory body, has seen the report and blamed elements in both Russia and Poland. Klich said the Second World War.pilots had been insufficiently trained and ignored safety, and that Russian should have diverted the aircraft elsewhere. Visibility had deteriorated at Smolensk's airport prior to the crash, but the 's pilots were determined to get the President through the fog so he could attend a ceremony commemorating the . had ordered Polish prisoners there to be killed during the
"I believe the Polish side bears more responsibility," Klich commented, "but of course the Russians had their shortcomings." He has previously criticised Russia's failure to provide air traffic control transcripts from the disaster, which left no survivors. Also on Friday, a Russian foreign ministry spokesman told Dmitry Medvedev also repeated calls for co-operation on a visit to Poland last week.Russia is ready to answer Polish questions. He reiterated a need to co-operate and added it is "important not to politicize the situation." Russian President
The comments follow the delivery of the draft to Poland by thelast month following complaints Russia should speed up the investigation. The crash has caused political controversy in Poland, with the newly-elected President and first lady belonging to , who were Kaczyński's opposition.
suggests Tusk's remarks may damage improving relations between the countries. Conservative elements within Poland already doubted the veracity of improved relations and have formed conspiracy theories around the crash, citing a perception the Polish government will blindly accept whatever Russian investigators say.
- "Investigation into Polish air crash reveals passengers in cockpit" — Wikinews, May 19, 2010
- "Polish President Lech Kaczyński dies as his plane crashes in Russia" — Wikinews, April 10, 2010
- Marcin Sobczyk. "Poland Rejects Russian Findings in Air Crash" — , December 17, 2010
- "Poland criticises Russia Kaczynski plane crash report" — , December 17, 2010