Not returning Smolensk wreckage points to complicity: Polish FM

Poland plans to employ foreign lawyers to get Russia to return the wreckage of the 2010 presidential plane crash which killed 96, Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski has said.

The site of the Polish presidential plane crash in 2010. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The site of the Polish presidential plane crash in 2010. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

“We will turn to an external entity – a serious international law firm that will help us,” Waszczykowski told Polish Radio on Thursday.

He added that ministry officials are currently working on a preliminary outline of claims against Russia, but since the process “is taking a long time”, they have agreed to appoint a foreign firm of lawyers to help in the “unprecedented” case of returning the wreckage.

Waszczykowski said that it is Poland’s duty to remind Russia to return the plane.

“The longer you hide the wreckage, the longer you hide the black boxes, the more you make Poles aware that you are complicit in this catastrophe,” he added.

In April 2010, a Polish presidential plane crashed while trying to land in fog in Smolensk, western Russia, killing then-President Lech Kaczyński and the 95 others on board.

Despite requests, the wreckage of the plane has not been handed over to Poland.

Meanwhile, Poland's governing Law and Justice (PiS) party has launched its own investigation into the disaster.

PiS has long challenged an official report into the crash issued by the previous Polish government which cited a catalogue of errors on the Polish side, while also pointing to errors made by Russian staff at the control tower of Smolensk Military Airport.

Source: the news




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