Z.Eight years after the Smolensk plane disaster, the Polish government of Russia once again called for the Tupolev T-154 wreck to be released. A corresponding diplomatic note was sent to Moscow, the Foreign Ministry in Warsaw said on Friday via Twitter. “No standard of international law is the basis for Russia keeping Poland’s property.”
With a wreath-laying ceremony, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and PiS ruling party chief Jaroslaw Kaczynski commemorated the victims of the crash. The then Polish President Lech Kaczynski also died in the accident on April 10, 2010. Lech and Jaroslaw were twin brothers.
Because of the corona virus pandemic, the memorial for the 96 victims at Pilsudski Square in Warsaw was held without an audience, and there were no speeches. Initially, the Polish government planned to travel to Smolensk, Russia with a delegation on April 10. But the trip was canceled at short notice and postponed to a later date. The reason given by the Poles was the slow cooperation with the Russian authorities in the preparation of the visit. Russia therefore described the Polish side as “ungrateful”.
96 people were killed in the crash of the Polish government plane on the approach to Smolensk in Russia. They were on their way to a memorial service for the victims of the Katyn massacre. In 1940 members of the Soviet secret service NKVD murdered thousands of Polish officers.
Investigations into the cause of the aircraft disaster are ongoing. PiS supporters still believe that Kaczynski was murdered. Investigations so far submitted by the Polish Ministry of the Interior and the Russian investigators, on the other hand, speak of a pilot error.
The crew did not respond to early warnings and continued to fly despite poor visibility. “The pilot should have made the decision to head to another airport. But that was not the case, ”said Svetlana Petrenko from the State Investigation Committee in Russia to the Interfax agency. Experts from both countries have completely refuted the theory of possible traces of explosives with numerous forensic investigations, she said. Russia keeps the wreck under lock and key. Polish investigators may only examine it under Russian supervision.
In October 2018, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe had already asked Russia to return the wreck to Poland. According to the Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation, the country in which the disaster occurred must hand over the remains of the aircraft once the technical investigation into the cause of the accident has been completed. So far, however, Russia has argued that a criminal procedure for the crash is still ongoing. The fragments of the wreck served as evidence and therefore could not be released.