Topic: Polish Air Crash Drama
A Tu-154 plane carrying Polish President Lech Kaczynski, his wife and a host of top officials crashed as it attempted to land at an airfield near the city of Smolensk© RIA Novosti. Oleg Mineev
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WARSAW, April 4 (RIA Novosti) – Relations between Poland and Russia have seen some improvement, but are still burdened by some unresolved issues, Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Katarzyna Pełczynska-Nalecz said on Thursday.
“Among the most important unresolved issues, which burden the Russian-Polish relations, are issues concerning the Smolensk [presidential] aircraft crash [in 2010], particularly the return of the plane’s remains to Poland… The Foreign Ministry believes the delay of almost three years is ungrounded,” the diplomat said.
Progress, she said, has been made in the trade and economic spheres, as Russia is Poland’s main trade partner outside the European Union, while Russia's share of total Polish exports totaled 24 percent in 2012.
A Tu-154 plane carrying Polish President Lech Kaczynski, his wife and a host of top officials crashed in heavy fog as it attempted to land at an airfield near the western Russian city of Smolensk.
The delegation was flying to Smolensk to mark the 70th anniversary of the 1940 Katyn massacre of thousands of Polish officers by Soviet secret police. All 96 people onboard the plane died.
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- bielecShe's right00:12, 05/04/2013The plane is a property of the Polish government and there is no question that is should have been returned to the owner, upon request.
Such long delay in returning the plane raises suspicions that Russia is trying to hide something and make independent testing of the plane's wreck impossible. There is no other rational justification for the delay.
Suspicions are multiplied by the fact that MAK has failed to honestly investigate and disclose the extend of responsibility of the Russian personnell at Smolensk Severny airfield.
Sevastopol became Russia’s main naval base on the Black Sea, a role it was to play for many years. A total of 25,000 servicemen, not including civilian staff, are employed at the Black fleet’s facilities. When the families of these servicemen are taken into account, this figure grows to more than 100,000 people.